One System for All HR Information at Franklin Township Community Schools
How Franklin Township Community School Corporation updated its Human Resources systems and brought hiring, onboarding, absence management, time tracking, employee records, professional development, and employee evaluations under one roof.
Teachers & Staff
Product & Solutions
When Jill Britt started as the Director of Human Resources at Franklin Township Community School Corporation, a rapidly growing district on the outskirts of Indianapolis, she was struck by the software systems the HR department was using. “I had been in HR in other industries… Coming as a businessperson into a school setting, our systems were about 15 years behind where they should have been.”
Most HR processes were paper based. Rows of file cabinets, manila folders, flicking through files to find forms: they were all part of every day at Franklin Township. Along with HR Supervisor Ruth Massey, she began looking for a system to help the HR department operate more efficiently. The district already used Frontline Recruiting & Hiring and Absence Management, and over the last eight years they have steadily expanded their use of Frontline systems.
“The promise of having everything in one system is really what drew us to Frontline, and understanding that Frontline works with schools and understands how schools work. That really was the selling point.”
– Director of Human Resources
Now, all those file cabinets are a thing of the past. “In those eight years, we’ve gone completely paperless. Our file room that we had is now another office in our department.”
A Hiring Process that Just Works
Franklin Township is not immune from the teacher shortage and faces stiff competition with other area districts when it comes to recruiting outstanding teachers. “They’re highly sought after now because there just aren’t enough kids going into the schools of teaching around the area and in the country. There definitely is a shortage,” Jill said. Today it’s even more essential for Jill and Ruth to ensure that hiring at Franklin Township is frictionless and quick.
Frontline Recruiting & Hiring houses the entire recruiting process, which kicks off when hiring managers fill out a form to request a new hire. Applicants are kept in a database which can be used to send out information about job fairs or new openings. Email templates ensure the correct wording is always used, make it easier to move people through the hiring process more quickly, and allow supervisors to see a log of communications that are sent.
As each applicant is interviewed, the principal or hiring manager completes a standard interview form, scoring the applicant on an ineffective-to-effective scale based on Patrick Lencioni’s The Ideal Team Player and The Advantage. Applicants who are determined to be a non-fit for the district can be placed on a “do not hire” list and aren’t shown to hiring managers, which is especially helpful when principals may not be aware of a candidate’s history applying at another building.
Everyone who wants to work in the district — including student teachers and volunteer coaches — must apply through the system. This helps with communication, captures demographics for future use, and emails candidates to ensure background checks are completed. The system’s Appointment Series makes it easy to schedule interviews and see where a candidate is in the hiring process. Custom workflows move candidates through every stage of hiring, including reference checks, sending notifications and email reminders at each stage.
When a candidate is selected, it’s a snap to complete the hire. “It has totally streamlined and made the process way more efficient,” said Jill. “It can be done in minutes, literally. One of our Chief Academic Officers will approve it, it comes to me for approval, and then immediately the system sends a notice to Ruth to make the offer. Literally minutes.” Ruth then sends the offer through Frontline Central where candidates can electronically sign and return their contract.
“The time saving, the paper, I know our paper budget went way down in the eight years I’ve been over here because we really, truly are paperless.”
– HR Supervisor
Ruth said hiring has sped up considerably with Frontline. Once an offer is made, the new hire must complete several steps before onboarding can begin. “Sometimes, if you let the person drag their feet, they could continue that process for a month. From start to finish after this person is offered a position, I want them hired within that week — that means their forms and everything. This process that we’ve created has taken that three-week process down to three or four days.”
Onboarding is completely paperless as well. Once a candidate is hired, their information flows into Frontline Central, which Franklin Township uses to manage employee-related forms and information, including offers, new hire forms, benefits information, contracts, worker’s compensation information, and FMLA forms.
A hiring checklist in Central prompts Human Resources to complete any steps needed, then flags the Technology department to set up the new employee’s email address and provision them in the other systems they’ll need. Then, the benefits specialist is prompted to enroll them in health insurance and other benefits, and the new hire’s information is sent to Payroll. “Everybody is notified and everybody has to do their little check marks of what they have done, and everybody’s ready for that person to come into new hire orientation to begin training and be ready to start in the building,” said Ruth.
New hires’ profiles can quickly be added in other Frontline systems as well, such as Absence Management and Time and Attendance. “You’re able to click one button and it takes you there instead of having to navigate and have 12 windows open, you can go in and just add that information there,” Ruth said. “It really is a time saver.” At orientation, they show employees how easy it is to enter absences or clock in and out using the Frontline mobile app.
Throughout their careers, employees also use Frontline Central to track credentials and certifications needed for licensure, as well as medical reviews, CDLs for bus drivers, and more. When something is about to expire, the system reminds them (and their supervisor) 90, 60, and 30 days in advance, and the HR team can run custom reports when needed.
Keeping Classrooms Covered
Teachers may be superheroes, but the flu comes for most of us eventually. Absence Management allows employees to easily enter absences and find substitute teachers. Daily reports show which schools are seeing an unusual number of absences and why, and identify which substitutes are working and which are not accepting jobs. “We don’t want subs to just sit on our list,” Ruth said, “we want them to work.” HR reaches out to non-working substitutes, which often re-engages them. On high volume days they’ll proactively contact their list ahead of time, asking each substitute to let them know if they’re available, even if only for a half day.
Reports also help the HR team track absences to see when attendance letters need to be sent for disciplinary purposes. And because the district pays a $25 stipend when a teacher must cover a classroom for another teacher, that also gets logged in Absence Management so a report can be pulled each payroll period.
More Accurate Payroll
Once Franklin Township began using Frontline’s Time and Attendance software, they no longer had to hand key time for employees. This not only made for more efficient timesheet approvals, it improved payroll accuracy. For hourly employees, the district uses the system to track if employees have worked the required 40 hours — which was financially beneficial.
Ruth said, “If you’re supposed to be at 40 hours and you’re only working 38, you have to account for that. I think it has saved the township thousands and thousands of dollars, using Time and Attendance, because we’re able to track now for sure. Before, it used to be on your honor.”
“I think it has saved the township thousands and thousands of dollars, using Time and Attendance, because we’re able to track now for sure. Before, it used to be on your honor.”
– HR Supervisor
Supporting Employee Growth
Most recently the district added Frontline Professional Growth to their portfolio, including Professional Learning Management, Employee Evaluation Management, and Learning & Collaboration Resources, which allows them to offer a library of pre-created content or to create their own, as well as enable teachers and PLCs to collaborate online. Once again, they chose Frontline to keep employee information under one roof. “We wanted one system to have everything rather than having to double enter or upload names. We wanted it all in one system,” said Jill.
Indiana state law requires all teachers to be evaluated annually, and the system offers a way for administrators to compile evaluation data and facilitate growth-focused conversions. The district also uses Frontline Professional Growth to guide people toward professional learning that will help enhance their skills. Jill said, “Being able to not only track that and see where people are with their performance but also to guide people to professional development to enhance their skills — having the two tied together is something that we hadn’t had before. I think that’s been critical.”
The district hosts all technology trainings and beginning-of-year mandatory trainings in Frontline, as well as the several days of training new hires receive when they start at the district. “That way, if somebody is hired in December, they get the same training as somebody who is hired in July,” explained Ruth. Any in-district professional development is also recorded and offered through the system.
Certified staff must complete Professional Growth Plans (PGPs) for licensure, and the system tracks that too. “Our staff loves the tracking of PD and the ability to download their transcripts.” Mobile check-in makes it easy to log attendance at on-site workshops, and employees can search the system’s large library of learning opportunities to address specific needs. For example, substitutes often look up courses on classroom management.
Ruth also described the way the district’s police department is planning to use Frontline. If an incident occurs at a school and an action is taken, the district will conduct an action review process, using a form in the system to catalog what went well and what didn’t. Then, they will hold a training based on those learnings for each building. “This is critical for the safety and security of students and staff,” Ruth said. “We will be able to do specific trainings for areas that need improvement.”
Time Moves Fast. Franklin Township Moves Faster.
The demands on the HR department aren’t slowing down — but with Frontline, they’ve been able to keep up. “It has kept us from hiring two or three more staff members here in the HR department because we have been able to utilize the systems to become efficient,” Jill said.
Ruth agreed. “From start to finish, the efficiencies of each of the products we use are simply immeasurable. The use of templates, not having to enter each person into different systems, the supervisor being able to track hiring progress instead of calling HR to find out what step the potential candidate is at in the hiring process, tracking of credentials and notifying the employees and supervisors of expiring credentials, the ease of running reports out of the systems for payroll, no longer hand entering timesheets into calculating over 1,000 employees, handling of discipline letters where everyone is notified within how long it takes to complete a form…as you see, I could go on and on about the time savings as well as cost savings of not having to hire more employees in Human Resources to accomplish what Frontline is helping us complete.”
“Frontline gives us the opportunity to make very efficient processes throughout the entire district, not just here in this building, but throughout the entire district.”
– HR Supervisor