April 2016

HR Extras

Demand for HR data analysts on the rise

Have you ever wished you could predict which of your employees would be the most successful at a particular job or which interviewee had the highest probability of not working out? Enter the rapidly growing market for HR analysts.

Business leaders are harnessing the power of big data to search for predictable relationships between their investments in their people and the real business results. According to the Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report by Deloitte, one third of surveyed companies are in the process of building data analytics into their HR departments.

For HR, this means collecting data on key variables that affect the bottom line such as time to hire, recruiting costs, and turnover. If you already have data on the number of employees that voluntarily separate from employment, you can quickly calculate turnover.

The HR analyst comes in to give context to the data by running analyses at a more granular level. Investigating deeper levels like position, campus, age, tenure, and ethnicity can reveal truly surprising results that can help fix problems you may not have even known existed.

Time to hire is another pivotal metric that can be addressed by HR analysts. To gain valuable insights on whether or not you are losing top talent to the competition, an HR analyst would want to collect data on the average length of time spent doing things like reviewing applications, screening and interviewing applicants, and processing job offers.  

Because they are currently in short supply, finding HR analysts can be challenging. Some companies are hiring third-party vendors or regular employees, depending on need. 

Realistic qualifications key to good job postings

For clerical, technical, administrative, and auxiliary positions in the schools, some hiring managers may find themselves demanding unrealistic attributes from their applicants. Often times, job postings reflect the qualifications of a previous experienced or long-term incumbent rather than the minimum qualifications needed to enter the job.

Poorly-composed job postings also can deter otherwise talented candidates lacking in extensive experience directly related to the position. In today’s dynamic workforce, candidates with three years of experience can be just as qualified as someone with five or six in past workforces. Hiring managers should emphasize the importance of bringing on motivated candidates with a skill set and attitude that would align with the district’s culture in place of a strict requirement of durational experience.

Additionally, mandating that applicants should have a degree in one or two specific majors can prevent other equally qualified candidates who simply selected another area of study while in college. Discouraging those applicants can reduce the strength of the talent pool, which would ultimately be an exact contradiction of what the job posting had set out to do.

The key to generating a strong applicant pool is through simplicity and honesty in the job posting. Reaching exclusively for star candidates may result in a smaller list of prospective employees to choose from and does not guarantee top-tier talent. Contrarily, opening up the application to a wider variety of candidates with reasonable expectations will encourage more people to apply, and can potentially land that star applicant after all. 

Important updates from TEA

Prekindergarten grant program application deadline approaching
 
Districts must apply by April 8, 2016 to be eligible to receive grant funding for qualifying prekindergarten students for 2016‒17. Under the program established by House Bill 4 in 2015, districts can receive up to $1,500 per year for each qualifying student, depending on the number of eligible district applicants. Visit the TEA website for more information on the PreK grant program process and timeline.
 
Superintendent certification pathway rule change now in effect
 
As of February 28 the new rule allows public school district managers to substitute public school district managerial experience for principal certification. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) states that the experience must be at least three years in duration and include supervisory or appraisal duties; district-level planning and coordination of programs, activities, or initiatives; and involve either the creation or maintenance of a budget. The new superintendent certification application is available on the TEA website.
 

New TRS surcharge structure will be easier to implement

Beginning Sept. 1, 2016, districts that hire retirees will find it easier to determine the amount of the required health insurance surcharge. Currently, the amount of the TRS-Care surcharge is based on the TRS-Care coverage the retiree is enrolled in and varies from member to member.
 
Katrina Daniel, chief health care officer, states in a memorandum to the board, “The current surcharge rate structure is a multi-rate system, which is relatively complex to administer and has caused confusion among employers.”
 
At the Feb. 24 meeting, the board adopted a resolution to implement a single, uniformly applied employer-health-surcharge rate of $535 per month. The new rate will be effective Sept. 1, 2016, and reflects the average amount paid on behalf of approximately 4,000 retirees.
 
Additional information regarding the processing of TRS surcharges in addressed in this month’s Q&AHow do we process TRS surcharge deduction if we require our retire rehires to assume the cost?