Imagine this: You’re an educator applying for a new job at a school district across the state. Instead of a simple online process, you have to fill out a multi-page paper application. Then, to complete the process, you have to physically turn in your application to the district office two hours away. Finally, over four weeks later, you are notified (via snail mail) that you’ve been offered the position. You accept the job offer, but the new-hire paperwork is yet another long, arduous process – it’s enough to make you wonder why you applied there in the first place.
Now ask yourself: With a first impression like this, how likely is it that a new staff member in any school district will make it to the following fall – or even through the first semester?
Thankfully for applicants and future staff members at Clovis Municipal School District, located in eastern New Mexico, an outdated onboarding experience is a thing of the past. Dr. Kerry Parker, assistant superintendent of human resources at Clovis Schools, and Renee Mestas, director of human resources, explained how the district uses Skyward’s FastTrack application to hire and onboard new employees, giving candidates a positive first impression.
The applicant tracking feature, a part of Skyward’s School Business Suite, improves the hiring and onboarding process for new employees and HR staff. The paperless steps make hiring faster and more accurate, allowing administrators to easily transition the best candidates into new employees.
"I WOULD PROBABLY HAVE HEART FAILURE IF I HAD TO GO TO A DISTRICT WHERE THEY HAVE PAPER...I CANNOT IMAGINE."
“I know of other districts that I’ve been in that don’t have an onboarding system or even a paperless system,” Parker explained. “As a principal back in the day, applicants had to go to the central office, pick up an application…It was quite a process.”
“Nowadays, we can put screeners in the system, applicants can see the steps, and it expedites the process greatly – gets people to work faster,” Parker added. “It’s nice for applicants to be able to apply directly through Skyward, and it makes our process in the HR office a lot more accurate as well.”
Parker explained that for herself, Mestas, and the rest of the HR team at Clovis Schools, the risk for making administrative errors during the hiring process has been greatly reduced due to Skyward’s FastTrack. “It’s because we’re not transferring information from paper,” she said.
“I would probably have heart failure if I had to go to a district where they had paper…I cannot imagine,” Parker said. “FastTrack has been very positive for us.”
Principals at Clovis Schools also enjoy the simpler process for hiring educators in their schools. “They’re not wasting time,” Parker explained. “Once a candidate is hired, it helps our staff so much to be able to extract that new employee data and information – all the information we need is already there.”
Mestas agreed, adding that FastTrack allows an applicant to go from “candidate” to “employee” in a matter of hours within the system. “It’s a 24-hour turnaround,” she said.
Another feature of FastTrack administrators appreciate is the user-friendly interface prospective employees experience. “Once applicants have entered their information, the ease for them to apply to other positions is also a plus,” Mestas said.
"IT'S A PART OF WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE FUNCTION AS A DISTRICT."
As a military community, Clovis Schools requires an intuitive online application in order to reach an applicant pool outside of the local area.
“We have a lot of movement of staff, so oftentimes our candidates are not here but are able to apply, and we can arrange interviews with the electronic application process,” Mestas explained. “If we didn’t have that, our pool would be even more limited, so FastTrack allows us to get to know the candidate ‘on paper’ and reach out to them before they’re necessarily onsite.”
Parker described how the online application itself is used as a form of screening for individuals who apply. “For example, if we have a secretarial position and have 80 applicants, I look at their ability to complete the online process accurately and upload documents – that sort of thing – because, truly, can they use technology? That’s a pretty basic requirement,” she said.
The HR team at Clovis Schools also appreciates the ease of posting new job openings within FastTrack, which saves staff members time.
“It’s just a few clicks when we have a new position that we need to post,” Parker said. “It’s not rebuilding the world – I just need to clone this or attach this job description – as opposed to rebuilding a whole entire process for every new opening. I think that’s pretty efficient and accurate because we use a lot of the same data that has already been checked and double-checked.”
“We don’t have time to waste,” added Mestas. “So I think it’s critically important to have this streamlined process.”
Parker and Mestas encourage districts looking at Skyward’s ERP solution and FastTrack application to do so with certainty. “If they’re considering it, they need to do it with full confidence because it’s been extremely beneficial and accurate,” Parker attested. “The data pulls in well, everything we need is there, and it streamlines the onboarding very well.”
“Don’t be afraid to reach out to Skyward and ask, ‘How can you help us and make our process more efficient?’” she added.
Administrators at Clovis Schools are pleased with the integration FastTrack delivers and plan to continue the partnership with Skyward.
“I appreciate how well FastTrack works with the Skyward system as a whole, and I love some of the features that we have in place,” Parker said. “Different vendors try to sell their programs to us, but we have no reason to change. Skyward has addressed all of our needs, and I believe they have been very receptive when we’ve made requests.”
“We absolutely would recommend it to others,” she added. “It’s a part of who we are and how we function as a district.”
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