‘It’s nice to have everything happening electronically. It’s much more efficient.’
West Baton Rouge Parish Schools (WBR) is a relatively small district of 10 schools, which means they have the same talent management needs of all K-12 schools and districts — recruiting top educators, screening, interviewing, onboarding, managing employees, etc. — without a lot of manpower.
“I work very closely with Dawn, my administrative assistant, and with our TalentEd support person,” said Barbara Burke, director of human resources and staff development at WBR. Barbara led the district through the transition from paper-based talent management processes to automated workflows using TalentEd solutions last year. “It’s nice to have everything happening electronically. It’s much more efficient now.”
Using TalentEd’s Hire Pro applicant tracking solution, and Records recordkeeping solution, WBR administrators manage the employee life cycle with greater efficiency and accountability, starting with the application.
“The applications come in, and, as they’re submitted, I receive an email that lets me know that an interested candidate has submitted an application,” Barbara said. “I get to screen those for the main criteria — such as whether that person has completed the teacher preparation program, has at least a 2.5 GPA, and passed all of their state licensing exams.”
This information makes it easy for Barbara to identify whether minimum qualifications are met before she conducts the initial applicant screening — anyone that Barbara rates as a three or higher goes to the principal for evaluation.
“Principals don’t need to see every application that’s submitted, just the ones that are viable candidates,” Barbara said.
Hire Pro also helps Barbara keep candidates informed of where they stand in the hiring process through automatic email updates that use customized language determined by the school.
“It keeps them in the know and excited about the fact that they’re moving forward and someone’s looking at their application,” Barbara said. “We’re also able to send them a message directly through Hire Pro to set up interviews.”
Once the interviews are complete and a candidate is hired, the candidate’s relevant application information automatically moves from Hire Pro to Records.
“The beauty of the system is once they’re hired via that hire button, it moves that individual over and transfers all the information into their personnel records portal,” Barbara said. That eliminates the need for duplicate data entry and helps ensure defensibility during an audit — which Barbara recently found out firsthand.
“The auditors randomly selected 40 names and looked for certain documentation,” she recalled. Some of the employees selected for the random check were no longer active employees, which required document searches through WBR’s paper files.
“Demonstrating compliance in Records was much easier,” Barbara said. “We have the files set up very nicely with all of our teaching certifications, transcripts, custom titles, and folders … it’s easy to find what you need when everything rolls over from Hire Pro and becomes part of their official personnel record.”
To capture the necessary documentation that’s not included in employment applications, Records allows employees to complete forms electronically — before their first day — freeing new hires to spend their initial time at the district learning about their new roles and responsibilities.
“We have instructional coaches at our schools, so they begin the onboarding process by working with their coach and principal,” Barbara said.
These electronic processes help set up employees for success from day one and simplify contract renewals later in the year, which lightens the workload for Barbara, administrators, and employees.
“There are no more paper contracts. We assign contracts through Records and send them out by position,” Barbara explained. “Of course, once they sign their contract, it becomes part of their official personnel record.”
Storing all these documents electronically also makes it easy to see which contracts, or other requirements, are outstanding.
“Reports are super helpful to me,” Barbara said. “We can create any reports that we’d like! We can see hires … how many hires we’ve had … who has completed their safe schools training or ethics training … who has not completed their emergency contact form … all with just with a click of a button.”