Faster Hiring, Accessible Employee Records, More Time for What Matters
Why the Circleville City Schools HR Department loves having employee information all in one online location.
At a Glance:
- Circleville, Ohio
- K-12 Enrollment
Frontline Solutions in this Case Study:
- Frontline Central
- Frontline Recruiting & Hiring
- Frontline Absence & Time
- Frontline Professional Growth
Circleville City Schools may have the word “city” in its name, but the district is more rural than urban. Just south of Columbus, Ohio, the area was impacted when a General Electric plant, along with other businesses, closed its doors. Yet the district is looking forward, not back.
Suzie has been with the district for 19 years and now runs the Human Resources department. She spends her time ensuring that classrooms — and Food Services, Transportation, Operations, and every other department — are staffed to offer the education students expect and deserve.
Fighting the Teacher Shortage
Lately, all full-time teaching positions have been filled. But the teacher shortage has made it more challenging and sometimes means working quickly to help long-term substitutes get licensed. Substitutes — which the district sources through an Educational Service Center — can be especially hard to find.
At a time when HR teams are stretched thin and school districts are competing for a finite pool of talent, every opportunity to be more efficient and provide a better experience for applicants and employees can mean the difference between vacant positions and fully staffed schools.
Taking HR Online
Before Suzie joined the HR team, candidates would apply for positions with pen and paper. “We had a paper application, it got put into a folder, and then depending on the position that we were hiring for, it would get passed along to the supervisor. I’m so thankful that we don’t have that anymore,” said Suzie.
A number of years ago, the district went through restructuring, ultimately closing one school and constructing others. When the new schools opened and the HR department moved into new offices in 2018-2019, the HR team was left without sufficient space to store paper records. “We have very limited storage space… we get quite a few applications randomly throughout the year, so that was storage that we just didn’t have the space to keep. So, we decided to go electronic.” Suzie and her team used the opportunity to rethink how they approached their HR processes.
A small team consisting of Suzie, the Superintendent, the Assistant Superintendent, and the Treasurer began looking at systems to solve the issue. The district already knew and trusted Frontline Education for managing substitutes and teacher absences, so they looked to see if expanding their use of Frontline made sense. “We’d had Absence Management for years, and so we knew the client support and that kind of thing was very friendly. It was easy to use, it was a good result, so we wanted to continue with the Frontline path if possible.”
Suzie attended a Frontline training and came back with a vision for going “as digital as possible.” The district added Frontline Recruiting & Hiring, Frontline Central to help with employee records and forms and onboarding, and Time and Attendance to streamline time tracking and payroll. Later they also added Frontline Professional Growth to manage and track professional learning.
“One of the things that we were made aware of was that things could roll over from Recruiting & Hiring. When you hired somebody, it would roll over into the other systems you had. That was a big selling factor for us. Then we could house everything in one location.”
Faster Hiring, Faster Onboarding
Circleville City Schools no longer accepts paper applications — all candidates apply through Frontline Recruiting & Hiring. Hiring approvals flow much more quickly, required forms are submitted online, and no one waits for paper to travel from one spot to the next.
Suzie said that although many of the other districts in the area use Absence Management, Circleville City Schools’ use of multiple Frontline systems gives them an edge. Not only is the hiring process faster and more efficient, but when someone is hired, that employee’s information flows into all of their Frontline systems. “I can go in and mark that they’re hired and what position they’re taking, and everything they upload goes right into Frontline Central and also adds them into Absence Management. We also have Time and Attendance and Professional Growth. It makes it so much easier. As long as I know I’ve got the right name and the right identifier, it’s going to show up in all aspects of it. That is huge,” Suzie said. “I love the fact that now, when we hire somebody or I add somebody to the directory, it allows me to give them access to everything that they need, all in one step.”
“I love the fact that now, when we hire somebody or I add somebody to the directory, it allows me to give them access to everything that they need, all in one step.”
When each new employee is hired, Suzie still prefers to sit down with them to welcome them and go through their new employee forms. It only takes about 20 minutes. “It has been so much more streamlined. We’re less likely to lose paperwork.”
When it’s not practical to sit down in person — such as during the pandemic — that doesn’t stop the onboarding process. During one period of time when Suzie was out of the office, she could still manage the process. “I was able to onboard two administrators, just from having Frontline Central and sending all the documents to them and exchanging emails, then following up and asking if they had any questions. There’s a benefit: even if you’re not here, you’re still able to onboard new hires mid-year.”
One Place for All Employee Information
Once a new employee creates their Frontline ID, they can log in with single sign-on and switch between Frontline systems easily. “An employee can log in and see four different options. They could have Central, Time and Attendance, and then their Professional Growth and Absence Management instead of having to log into multiple different locations. I don’t know about you, but I have enough passwords and usernames in my life. Having just one to get into that many systems is fantastic.”
“I don’t know about you, but I have enough passwords and usernames in my life. Having just one to get into that many systems is fantastic.”
Employee information is accessible from anywhere, too — no more rifling through folders to locate forms and paperwork. “With Central, they can go there and look at all their information in their file. They don’t have to try to come over here during our district office open hours that may not be conducive to their workday.”
When employees need to submit information, it’s easy for Suzie or her team to quickly send packets they’ve created in Frontline Central. New hires receive payroll packets to fill out, and substitutes receive packets with forms specific to their role. There’s a special packet to use if someone had been a substitute and is hired as a full-time employee — all easily sent, completed, and stored electronically. They even created a specific form for employees to document COVID leave.
Professional Development and Certification
The leadership at Circleville City Schools manages and tracks professional learning in Frontline as well. Employees create individual professional development plans (IPDPs) in Frontline Professional Growth. Along with all other employee information, their professional development transcripts are kept in Frontline Central, which employees can see when they log in.
For employees requesting college reimbursement as part of their professional development, approvals are handled in Frontline, too. “The big thing with those,” Suzie said, “is in the past it could take up to two weeks for that form to get all the way back to you from the time you filled it out, because of all the hands it had to exchange. Now it’s all digital and can be approved by everybody in one to two days. Anything that they do within Professional Growth actually rolls over into their portfolio for when they go to renew their license.”
Certification renewals are tracked in Frontline Central, and automatic reminders sent when credentials are about to expire. “You add all their licenses and you put the expiration date on there. The system is going to alert them 30, 60, and 90 days out, and you don’t have to do that, it falls back on them. And that’s just one less thing you have to track.”
Because Suzie doesn’t have to chase paper across the district, she’s able to spend more in-person time with her employees. When the end of the school year approaches, she takes time to meet with staff who are considering retirement. “They don’t always know what’s offered to them and what is the process. I’m able to take the time and meet with them and have that one-to-one with them. In the past, with all the paper and shuffling and storage and getting payroll packets and making sure you have plenty of copies and all that… I don’t have to worry about that anymore. I have the ability to go meet with that teacher or other classified employee that’s thinking about retiring and have the time to walk through the process and the steps.”
Ultimately, Suzie said, the value of using Frontline comes from having all employee information in one spot, easily accessible to employees and administrators who need it.
“It has streamlined our process and minimizes the risk of losing documents. You can allow different administrators, principals, and employees to see different parts of each program and what is specific to their role in the district. It has probably been one of the best systems we’ve had, and I don’t plan on ever changing, I can tell you that, as long as I am here.”
“It has probably been one of the best systems we’ve had, and I don’t plan on ever changing, I can tell you that, as long as I am here.”
About Frontline Education
Frontline Education is a leading provider of school administration software, connecting solutions for student and special programs, business operations and human capital management with powerful analytics to empower educators. Frontline partners with school systems to deliver tools, data and insights that support greater efficiency and productivity, enabling school leaders to spend more time and resources executing strategies that drive educator effectiveness, student success and district excellence.
Frontline’s broad portfolio includes solutions for proactive recruiting and hiring, absence and time management, professional growth, student information systems, special education, special programs, Medicaid reimbursement, school health management, inventory control and asset management, payroll, benefits and financial management, and analytics solutions that help district leaders tap into their data to make more informed decisions for the benefit of their students and communities. Over 10,000 clients representing millions of educators, administrators and support personnel have partnered with Frontline Education in their efforts to develop the next generation of learners.
Learn more at www.FrontlineEducation.com