how can HR software help the education sector?
2 February 2021

How can HR software help the education sector?

From remote teaching to low pay, teachers are facing many challenges today, but HR teams can create a better work environment by investing in HR software


Maryam Munir

Maryam Munir

Maryam Munir worked as a content marketing writer at Ciphr from 2019 to 2021, specialising in topics related to HR systems, recruitment, payroll software, and learning and development.


Employee engagement Performance Technology


From remote teaching to low pay, teachers are facing many challenges today, but HR teams can create a better work environment by investing in HR software

The education sector is constantly facing many challenges.

State schools in England have suffered their worst decline in funding since 1980, university students want a higher level of service in return for the high fees they are paying, and teachers are having to handle long working hours. For HR teams within the education sector, this means more work has to be done to keep teachers happy – and, in turn, satisfy students – while also having to take on new HR responsibilities which have come about as a result of remote working.

In 2020, remote working greatly impacted mental health and wellbeing. HR teams had to ensure they were, and that they still are, supporting the mental health of their employees by making remote working as smooth as possible. HR teams are also having to make sure that they can reduce staff turnover and face the challenges of data protection and compliance when hiring new staff.

But how can HR teams in education overcome their challenges and create a better work environment for staff?

A helping hand from HR software

Motivated and engaged teachers can help create a positive learning environment for students. To engage teachers, HR teams in the education sector should invest in HR software. HR software is crucial for every growing and established organisation. It not only enables organisations to carry out tasks related to the attraction, retention and management of their people and HR data, but is also able to increase the productivity and efficiency of HR teams.

Investing in HR software for your school enables HR teams in education to streamline processes and work more efficiently – improving the working environment for teachers as a result. Here are four ways that HR software supports HR teams in education and improves the working environment for staff.

1. Improving the recruitment and retention of staff

With HR software, HR teams can streamline the hiring process and recruit top talent. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) such as Ciphr iRecruit streamline the hiring process through automated emails, auto-reject questions, and self-service interview scheduling.

For schools and universities, this means HR is able to save time when recruiting, and easily identify the best candidate for the role.

Latymer Upper School – London’s leading fully co-educational school – has seen an improvement in the recruitment process since investing in Ciphr HR and Ciphr iRecruit.

When discussing the impact that HR software has had on the school, Tricia Howarth, the school’s HR director, said “nationally, key challenges for the teaching profession include recruitment and retention of staff – particularly of teaching staff in hard to recruit for subjects. Ciphr HR and Ciphr iRecruit give us a really useful opportunity to streamline the application process for candidates and make sure – whether or not somebody is actually recruited – they have a positive experience with us.”

New teachers can also encounter a positive and smooth onboarding experience if HR teams invest in HR software.

Howard added: “for us as a school, safeguarding is absolutely a key priority, and Ciphr’s onboarding facility allows us to complete some of that safeguarding journey so they are well informed in time for their first day. I think for the candidate it just means that not everything happens on the first day – they are welcomed into the organisation over a period of time, it’s a more streamlined process, and their first day is less overwhelming.”

2. Simplified payroll processes

During instances where staff had/have been furloughed, schools and universities have to ensure that everyone is being paid accurately and on time, and HR software can support teams with this when they integrate HR software with payroll.

HR teams can customise payslips, easily transfer pay data and information from HR to payroll and short-circuit paper trails – helping HR teams save time as a result.

For both teachers and HR, this means fewer issues with pay, keeping everyone happy.

3. Supports compliance

All schools in England and Wales must maintain a single central record (SCR) of pre-appointment checks for all staff, including teacher trainees, agency, and third-party supply staff. HR software can help schools to track employee records, including criminal background checks and training records, and can be used to create safeguarding policies and procedures.

HR teams also have to ensure that they are able to support staff with document management and compliance. From student attendance records to lesson plans, teachers are constantly working with large amounts of documents. When it comes to their personal documents – which includes their personal information – teachers want to be able to access these quickly.

HR teams can help teachers achieve this with HR software. Their documents can be stored in a single, secure system which teachers – and every staff member – can access whenever they need to, and for HR teams this means documents no longer need to be stored as paper files in filing cabinets – saving time and making processes more efficient.

4. Easier attendance management

Self-service HR gives employees the power to manage and update their personal information, request holiday, and enter absences. Teachers can enter absences themselves, saving HR time and giving teachers a greater sense of responsibility. This level of responsibility can help employees feel valued, boosting productivity, performance, and employee retention.

For the education sector, staff include teaching assistants, substitute teachers, and many other employees who work different hours/shifts when needed. To easily track attendance, HR teams can choose to invest in HR software that integrates with time and attendance software.

With HR software, HR teams in education can altogether save time, work more efficiently, and make processes easier for all staff. As a result, engaged and happier staff are able to focus on giving students the attention they deserve.