Project Description

Staunton City Schools
Staunton, Virginia

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District overview:

  • 3 elementary schools
  • 1 middle school
  • 1 high school
  • 1 pre-school/alternative program
  • State-operated programs

Staff: 

  • 301 professional staff
  • 463 full-time employees

Students (PK-12): 2,700
Implementation date: Fall 2013
Solutions implemented:

  • Records
  • Recruit & Hire
  • Perform

Results:
Before: Time-consuming paper-based processes and ever-expanding boxes of files and personnel paperwork overwhelmed the small human resources department.

After: Improved employee engagement and streamlined processes resulted in improved efficiency and better feedback for forward-thinking division.

Small team ends HR paperwork,
filing as they knew it.

Situation
At many school districts, paper-based HR processes seem normal, but counting the time spent standing at the copier, printing dozens — perhaps hundreds — of employee contracts, letters of notification, and other personnel documents to be sorted, sealed, mail-merged and delivered reveals the high cost of these processes.

And that’s precisely what Jon Venn knew needed to change when he became the Director of Human Resources at Staunton City Schools.

”It was all paper,” Jon said. “We generated it, had to bundle it, had to sort it, had to deliver it, had to bring it back. The lack of space, the time it took. …”

Keeping those documents was another problem of scale. At the 2,600-student division in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, cardboard boxes with old contracts and files filled a storage room from floor to ceiling.

“We were running out of space and didn’t have the personnel to sort through it all,” Jon said. “Boxes just sat there because we didn’t have the resources.”

Challenges

  • Streamline and automate the paper- and time-intensive personnel recordkeeping processes.
  • Solve storage constraints and simplify document retention and purging policies.

A platform built for every step.

Actions
Jon credits the state of Virginia for unintentionally introducing him to PeopleAdmin.

The state’s rollout of a new evaluation system in 2012 led Jon and the Staunton City team to review Perform, PeopleAdmin’s customizable performance evaluation system used by more than 50 Virginia divisions and hundreds of school systems nationwide.

“That really drove everything for us,” Jon said, remembering how the push toward paperless evaluation tools sparked the district’s search for other digital talent management solutions.

Staunton City Schools already used a well-known applicant tracking system, but it was unpopular with the division’s principals and administrators, which motivated the district’s search for a replacement.

“Our principals enjoyed Perform, so we went with Recruit & Hire for applicant tracking,” Jon said. “It is so much more user-friendly than our previous system ever was.”

After success with two of the three TalentEd solutions, Jon and his team trusted TalentEd Records would also deliver the solution they needed for their records management and storage problems.

“Having a uniform platform, rather than one-off systems for each task — applicant tracking, evaluations, and personnel management — makes it easier for principals and for the end user.”

Happier employees, a more efficient school division.

Results
By implementing Records. the division faced a new challenge — one that unexpectedly led to improved employee engagement and development.

Much of Staunton City’s support staff didn’t use computers or division-assigned email in their roles. But with Records now online, Jon and his team worked with each department to provide access to computers and email accounts, plus training for those employees.

“Now they’re comfortable logging on and are regularly checking their email because a lot of information comes to them,” Jon said. “Information they actually now receive. Before, they had no idea.”

With everyone connected, Staunton City Schools began automating the exit process, developing electronic resignation, termination, and retirement forms with a signature workflow that passed from the employee to the principal, to the HR office, to the superintendent, then back to HR electronically.

None of that required the manual steps of the once paper-based process. And the added exit interview questionnaire provided important feedback on division and school operations that wouldn’t have been received in the past.

“This made it a lot easier on everybody,” Jon said. “Me, our HR technician, administrators, principals, as well as employees.”

Meanwhile, Staunton City Schools realized the value of Records almost immediately.

“We’ve saved money,” Jon said. “We were looking at adding another staff member just to help us handle the day-to-day operations within human resources. Right now I don’t think we’re going to need to do that.

“That’s attributable to PeopleAdmin because we’ve automated so much of those operations and don’t have the paperwork we then need to sort and file.”