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Tackling Turnover with Technology

Going green helps East Orange School District cast a wider net and recruit more candidates.

At a Glance:

East Orange, New Jersey
PreK-12 Enrollment
Certified Staff

Frontline Solutions Used:

Frontline Central
Frontline Recruiting & Hiring
Frontline Professional Growth
Frontline Absence & Time

Deliris Lorenzo, Director of Labor Relations & Employment Services at East Orange School District, worked her way up to her position step by step. Starting as a generalist over 10 years ago, she has held every position in the department. Her experience gives her the advantage of knowing what it takes to run a successful human resources department from the ground up. Her division oversees recruiting, retention, certification, compliance, employee discipline, and supervision.

Our Goal is to Recruit and Retain

“Covid has changed the landscape, and a lot of our professionals are exiting the education industry.”

Deliris Lorenzo, Director of Labor Relations & Employment Services

Recruiting qualified staff, including instructional, administrative, and support staff, has been a tremendous challenge in recent years. As in most districts, turnover is high, and retention is an issue in all areas. In today’s world, candidates have the luxury of choosing among numerous school districts, each offering competitive opportunities. Many will start an application, then jump to a greener pasture before they ever complete it.

Deliris and her team, determined to get as much exposure as possible, are creative in their recruitment efforts. Among them, partnering with external agencies, attending and hosting job fairs, and posting on social media have helped put East Orange on the map.

The Right Tools in the Toolbox

Already familiar with Frontline since the district had been using Absence & Time and Professional Growth for years, it seemed logical to add Recruiting & Hiring along with Central to make applying, hiring, and onboarding faster and easier to manage. It turned out to be a good decision.

A big shift happened when East Orange implemented those two new Frontline solutions. Open positions are now posted internally and externally. Postings link to K12JobSpot and social media, and are refreshed regularly to keep them at the top of the lists. “Frontline has helped our process tremendously. We’re trying to rebrand ourselves and get on the most visible platforms to make our presence known,” said Deliris.

Software built specifically for K-12 schools makes processes faster, more efficient, and more effective. Onboarding time is much shorter, handled primarily by a few generalists hired to focus on processing new hires. Their role is to get vacancies filled by quickly turning candidates from applicants into employees.

Speed and Efficiency

When COVID came along and disrupted the world shortly after East Orange first implemented Frontline Recruiting & Hiring and Central, Deliris’ department hardly missed a beat. Physical files were no longer stored at the district office but in an electronic portal. That strategy freed up space and made documents easier to locate and readily accessible remotely. There is no comparison to the speed and efficiency of the new electronic system.

In the spring of 2020, the district was ready for the recruiting and hiring season to begin. Employees could access records from home when remote work was required. Training for Frontline users went on as usual, from new hires to administrators. Employees used the quick start guides and learning library on demand. Because every new and current employee has access to training modules for their specific roles, the Frontline instructional videos are part of the onboarding process.

“Having an electronic system pretty much streamlined our whole process. We were able to put the accountability back on the applicant and the employee since they had to initiate the workflow.”

Looking back to the way things used to be, Deliris remembers that it took a lot of paper and a lot of time to hire each new employee. The old process meant waiting for documents to arrive, get verified, copied, scanned, filed, and sent on to the next department.

Now an administrator can create a posting for an open position and publish it in Frontline within the hour. The hiring and onboarding process that used to take eight to ten weeks is now usually completed in just two or three, including background checks conducted by external agencies — and sometimes faster if the candidate is eager to get started.

The Recruiting Wizard

“We use Recruiting & Hiring and Central day in and day out to initiate our onboarding process and convert our applicants to employees.”

Deliris Lorenzo

Using the recruiting wizard seems a lot like magic. As soon as a school administrator has selected a candidate, the paperwork immediately appears in the inbox for the Labor Relations & Employment Services department. It is inspected to verify that the position is valid, and the wizard takes it from there. The new hire’s information goes directly into Absence Management and Frontline Central. A generalist assigned to contact the applicant introduces themselves as the onboarding specialist, then selects and sends the appropriate job offer packet to the candidate electronically. The generalist will also assist new employees who may not be familiar with electronic forms.

Virtually any piece of paper that clerical workers would typically handle, from name and address changes to salary adjustments, benefits, and even student teacher placements, goes through Frontline electronically.

It’s Like a Circle

“One great thing I love about Frontline is that everything is centralized and uniform. With Frontline, we are bridging the gap and providing support to candidates and employees.”

East Orange has created a special Frontline Central computer station at the district office for use by any candidate needing assistance completing online forms or filling out job applications. Those documents are automatically stored in Central, ready for the hiring process to begin.

Employees appreciate the ease of completing forms for salary advancement or other changes, and the Labor Relations & Employment Services staff like having immediate access to documents they need.

Deliris visualizes the Frontline suite as a circle with different components that all speak to each other. It connects Recruiting & Hiring and Central to Absence Management. The system can process one applicant into all three areas simultaneously.

Proud of her district’s forward-thinking efforts to create an electronic-friendly environment, Deliris believes that Frontline has changed the recruitment landscape for East Orange. Pleased with how much more efficiently the district performs each time a new Frontline solution is implemented, she feels confident that other innovations from Frontline will serve East Orange well in the future.

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.

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