Effective Dating & Conditional Workflows in Position Management
Behind the scenes at any school district, there are playmakers at work — including business officials who keep the gears moving. And behind those people? Their systems and processes. Tried and true methods get the job done, but innovations save time and elevate professionals in HR, Finance, and Payroll to higher-level insights, strategy, and stewardship. And that elevates a school district to stronger learning outcomes.
Human Capital Management (HCM) is an HR practice of creating an environment that supports people and optimizes their output based on their knowledge, skills, assets, preferences, and needs. Within HCM is a key element that separates roles from individuals, allowing for HR, Finance, and Payroll to work proactively on position management.
Without position management, vacancies can be a surprise and often go unfilled until it becomes an emergency. HR and Finance often find themselves at odds between yesterday’s hiring needs and today’s budget constraints. Onboarding can be cumbersome and once an employee is in the door, they’re sometimes left to their own best efforts.
With a position management plan, HR, Finance, and Payroll professionals excel beyond number-crunching, stapling, stacking, and manual data entry, to become strategists, advisors, and high-level playmakers. A quality plan serves as a bird’s eye view into the personnel landscape at your district and supports proactive, intentional work.
The Four Stages of a Position Management Plan
Designating information at the position level
Planning and forecasting with effective dating
Using conditional workflows for approvals, vacancies, and requests
Organizational mapping begins by collecting data on:
How many employees work in the district, and where they work
Which employees plan to vacate their role temporarily or permanently (planned leave, retirement, etc.)
Where those vacancies are and where the budget can support the roles
What the recruiting effort will look like to maintain quality staff in the district
Designating information at the position level means getting specific about what is expected of the personnel in each role. You wouldn’t field a team without first communicating what each player must accomplish to win, right?
With a half-developed position management plan, you already know which personnel gaps, opportunities, and needs exist. When you start taking addressing those gaps, opportunities, and needs — moving and shaking — you need two key processes in place to make it work: effective dating and conditional workflows.
Effective dating allows you to work in the past, present, and future. Without it, the only personnel information available to you is what is true on that very day. This means that your hands are tied — or you’ll be putting in a lot of extra hours — if a stakeholder asks for data and stats from prior years, or projections into coming years. It means that you don’t have the full scope of employee data at your fingertips for your own efforts to get strategic at a high level. Old spreadsheets pile up and manual analysis grows tedious.
Effective dating helps you be proactive in managing the fluidity of positions in a school as teachers take on different roles throughout the year, such as:
Sports coach for one or more seasons
After-school academic support advisor
Grade or subject team lead
Summer school instructor
Add-on roles like these mean that stipends are tacked onto salaries at different variables and timeframes throughout the year. And of course, sometimes unexpected staffing issues pop up. Take Ms. R, who is one week into coaching the middle school soccer team when she injures her leg doing work around the house. Mr. K says he’ll take over until she’s more comfortable. With effective dating, this very human (we all fall sometimes!) personnel matter can play out naturally, and the appropriate role-based dates can be assigned at any time, even after the fact (in this case, when it’s known whether or not Ms. R will resume coaching).
Looking into the future can be even more important than seeing the past. With a clear view of the organizational map and position-level designations, the grasp of HR and Finance on personnel needs grows as well. With effective dating, you can date a vacancy that you know is coming (planned leave, retirement, etc.) and begin the approval process for hiring long before it becomes a scramble to fill the classroom.
“Get strategic, intentional, and — here’s the big one — less stressed.”
Conditional Workflows for Approvals, Vacancies, and Requests
So, let’s say you begin that approval process for hiring. What does it look like? There’s the old way, and then there’s the more efficient way, supported by conditional workflows. In the old way, a seasoned HR professional, Amy, has been manually processing approvals for years:
She prints the form
She walks the halls over the course of a few days, seeking signatures from the principal, Finance officer, and department chair
She catches the Finance officer on day one, department chair on day two, and principal on day three (after an email thread, of course)
She stays late a few days during the week, finishing up work that didn’t get done during the day
It’s not that Amy doesn’t want to say hello to colleagues or get a few steps in — it’s just that time-consuming, unsuccessful laps in the hallway pour her valuable time down the drain. She’d rather choose where to take that walk — say, in her own neighborhood after the workday is done.
With conditional workflows, approvals become part of an automated process. Each stakeholder in the role is included in the workflow and receives an alert when it’s time to review the role, materials, and give approval. HR and Finance are connected, with all the pertinent information in a shared space to work from, together. And as for Amy’s hellos, well, they feel a lot better when the work is getting done.
Conditional workflows make room for easy human interaction by connecting all the people in the hiring process. In fact, they do a few things:
Break down repetitive tasks into a logical sequence
Help HR and Finance process data more easily
Eliminate bottlenecks in recruiting, so stellar candidates are hired and onboarded faster
A strong position management plan in place gives time and power back to HR, Finance, and Payroll professionals. Vacancies can be identified and filled early with a position management plan, and conditional workflows support the approval process so that the right hire can begin with confidence before it’s an emergency.
The right process enablement software that supports organizational mapping, role-based effective dating and details, and proactive recruiting, are powerful tools. It connects HR and Finance in invaluable ways to turn those professionals from number-crunchers and hallway-walkers to advisors and project champions.
Frontline can help you implement a position management plan at your district. Learn more here.
Meg Kende is a writer specializing in education and educational technology. She is a former New York City teacher with a master’s degree in teaching English and now writes for organizations who are cheerleaders and change-makers for schools.