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Guest Post: Hire Fast, Hire Smart, Hire Now

Kris Worley

Application Specialist, St. Lucie Public Schools

Guest Post: Hire Fast, Hire Smart, Hire Now

Hang up the "Help Wanted" sign—we’re (always) hiring. 

Our district, St. Lucie Public Schools in Fort Pierce, Florida, is made up of 42 schools and serves about 44,000 students. Our district office has several departments, from finance to purchasing to IT. You can imagine it takes a group effort to keep everything running smoothly! 

It’s our goal as leaders and managers to take part in positive change by encouraging career endeavors. New full-time hires, substitutes, and transfers between departments add up to hundreds of staffing changes every year. Streamlining the hiring process can save time and money, help identify better candidates, and keep great staff in our district longer. For a decade, St. Lucie Public Schools have used Skyward FastTrack to improve our hiring process. Here’s how.


Search smarter

In an average year, we hire 300 new full-time teachers and staff, along with 300 substitute teachers. On top of those hires, we have around 250 transfers and approximately 300 summer school placements. We use FastTrack to keep online applications organized, verify certifications, and even screen volunteers. Rather than leaving this process all to the HR department, it’s truly a team effort. All our principals, department heads, and managers receive training every year so they can take charge of their own hiring needs. 

Online applications through FastTrack allow us to advertise to areas we never thought of before, like social media, for example. Eliminating paper has also made it easier to identify quality candidates. 

Screeners can use filters to sort applications. Before, this required printing each application to figure out who has the certifications and skills required, then identifying who to interview. Removing time-consuming manual processes saves hours and gives a more accurate applicant pool that fits each department’s unique needs.


Hire faster

Shifting to a strategic, generalized system has also shortened the identification process. Before, under a compliant system, we were limited to advertising each vacancy one by one as it came available. Now we can post a general vacancy so when a position becomes available, we have applicants waiting to be considered.

The reality of the industry tells us that people do inevitably leave. Filling those vacancies goes much faster when there’s a pool of candidates already available to start screening.

Once we’ve identified, interviewed, and selected a candidate, it’s time to extend an offer. This is where FastTrack has made a big impact for us. The offer process used to take up to three days. Now we usually have an accepted offer within 24 hours through the FastTrack system online. 


Onboard easier

The best way to keep applicants happy with the onboarding process is to make it quick—after all, the less time it takes to settle paperwork, the more time new hires have to learn about their new role, meet colleagues, and get acclimated to our culture.

A prime example of a quick onboarding process happens occasionally to principals, department heads, or managers attending job fairs. Sometimes they find a slam-dunk candidate, can extend an offer, and hire that person on the spot. How exciting! But in order to make this a smooth process for everyone, a lot of preparation has already occurred. 

This group effort requires:
  • Applicants to be prepared with the necessary personnel info
  • Principals, department heads, and managers to be able to view the necessary status codes
  • HR departments to assign the right privileges to staff so they can process applicants
We keep our team up-to-date with annual training so they can be ready to process a new hire quickly.

Since everyone applies the same way, the process to move an applicant to an employee profile is quite seamless. This integration eliminated dual entries into previous systems and reduced the amount of data entry errors.  


Build your team

Hiring is a team effort. Our HR department does a great job collaborating, communicating, and training so that every principal, department head, and manager is empowered to use FastTrack to hire great candidates quickly.

Having the right tools available saves everyone on our team time, reduces errors, and increases productivity, so we can get the right people into the right jobs to help students.

Learn more about how a better hiring system can help you build and retain a high-performing culture here or skip to the FastTrack product brief to see how you can hire faster and smarter, starting now.


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