Customer Spotlight: Paradise Valley USD

Making an investment to get the teachers the district needs with SchoolSpring Unlimited, powered by PeopleAdmin

Whether public or private, charter or magnet, rural or urban, all K-12 schools seem to share the challenge of limited resources and funding. As a large district in one of the most poorly funded states in the U.S., Arizona’s Paradise Valley Unified School District (USD) struggled to attract quality teachers when competing against higher-paying positions in nearby states.

“In HR, one of our biggest challenges is the recruitment of teachers,” said Chris Rossini, director of human resources for certified staff at Paradise Valley USD. “Last year was really tough. We made some changes to start recruiting earlier in the year, but even in doing so, we still had more than 20 various vacancies at the start the school year, falling short of our goal.”

The fourth-largest school district in Arizona, Paradise Valley USD includes 44 schools spread over 98 square miles, with demographics as vast as the mileage covered. Nearly one-fourth of the district’s schools are Title 1 with 72 percent of the students receiving free and reduced meals, while other schools are located in affluent communities.

This year, Paradise Valley plans to overcome its recruiting challenges by leveraging a new technology solution. “We picked up SchoolSpring Unlimited, powered by PeopleAdmin,” said Chris. “I knew funding would be an issue, but I also knew that if we can’t fill our teacher vacancies, we’ll have a bigger issue. We’re making an investment to get the teachers that we need.”

Paradise Valley USD has been leveraging PeopleAdmin’s TalentEd Recruit & Hire, Records and Perform solutions for the past five years to improve and streamline HR processes. School leaders are excited to add SchoolSpring Unlimited to their suite of user-friendly, automated online solutions.

“PeopleAdmin’s platform of customer service and products have made a tremendous impact for our HR department at Paradise Valley USD,” Chris said. “These solutions provide the data we need at our fingertips and the automation frees up labor time that we’re able to then focus on other aspects of HR — to become a better customer service provider for our schools and spend more time screening.”

And that’s not the only improvement that the district has seen. “We can handle a larger volume of teacher candidates, process them faster and hire them more quickly,” Chris said. “We’re able to get the cream of the crop at lightning speed — reducing our processing time by 75 percent — down from 40 days to 10.”

Chris believes that these HR achievements have also played a role in student success. “Our test scores have improved. Of course, there are other factors and variables involved when drawing conclusions about student achievement. But what we do know is hiring teachers quickly and early in the season produces a better situation for everyone.

“We expect to achieve our goals this year to recruit a larger volume of top teacher applicants, hire candidates earlier and make sure that we have all of our classes filled,” Chris said. “I think — no, I know — that if we weren’t leveraging PeopleAdmin’s solutions and customer service platform, we’d be off the mark. We’d be left in the dust.”

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