Looking to the future, school district leverages new technology to streamline recordkeeping processes, improve student outcomes
Steeped in history and tradition, St. Clair County – one of the oldest counties in Alabama – is also a progressive and growing community. So it’s no surprise that the St. Clair County School District continually seeks to prepare its students for a modern world by adapting and improving upon its education practices — including its HR recordkeeping processes.
District leaders, knowing that effective teaching and administration is key to student achievement, invest year-round in the alignment of human, programmatic and fiscal resources to support improved classroom experiences and student outcomes … even while school is out.
“Most people believe that summer is the easy time. But for us in HR and payroll, it’s one of our busiest times,” said Laura Nance, chief financial officer for the school district.
In an effort to alleviate some of the paper-intensive processes across the 19 schools in the district, leadership purchased an electronic personnel recordkeeping solution … but as the small HR staff quickly realized, the product was not user-friendly.
“It was too complex, cumbersome and difficult to use. It required a lot of expertise that we didn’t have,” said Laura. “I’m a pretty tech-savvy person, and it was difficult for me to go through that whole process.”
The system also lacked sufficient customer support, further exasperating Laura and her team.
“We didn’t have a lot of support with this solution, and that was a big issue for us,” Laura said. “Then our HR director saw a TalentEd Records presentation and, though we weren’t actually looking at the time, she thought that it would be much more user-friendly and would work a lot better for us.”
So the district formed a team to review potential replacement recordkeeping solutions, with careful attention to timeline and concern over implementing a new solution during their busy summer months.
“We were worried about the learning curve. We’re a small staff and anytime you change over a system, it requires time and effort in learning the product and doing the switch-over.”
After participating in multiple product demonstrations, the team felt confident moving forward with Records this summer for two reasons: ease of use and customer support.
“It was through the Records presentations and seeing the step-by-step processes that we realized we could implement right away. It looked really user-friendly — like it wasn’t going to be that difficult of a transition,” Laura said.
And if difficulties did arise, Laura knew support would be readily available. “PeopleAdmin makes a concerted effort to get back with customers within a day,” she said. “I also like the chat feature. I use that with another product and love that there’s somebody there that you can easily converse with.”
With its two biggest concerns met, the St. Clair County team is now focusing on districtwide improvements, such as going paperless.
“We’re a large school system, and right now, we’re still dealing with paper way too much — moving it back and forth, bringing it, scanning it or sending it,” Laura said. “We want to be paperless as much as possible.”
Laura and her team are currently working with their PeopleAdmin customer success representative to design implementation around those goals, learn how to use the system to best meet their remaining needs, and to customize Records to adapt to their workflows.
“We’re ready to get started.”