Nurturing talent in tuition with technology

By Charles Courquin, director at Symatrix

In the higher education sector, universities and other institutions are having to manage the pressure of attracting both the most academically astute students and the lecturers that can effectively nurture their development. However, a University and College Union report from earlier in 2022 discovered that two-thirds of university staff are considering leaving the sector within five years, primarily due to both pension cuts and worsening pay and working conditions.

It’s indicative of how educational institutions are struggling to enable effective employee engagement, with processes neglecting to take flexible working and other benefits into account. Manual reporting, duplication and poor employee data compliance is hugely impacting on the ability to retain the best lecturers. In a time where the war for talent is escalating due to widespread staff shortages, it’s a growing concern. To add to the worry, institutions are facing budgetary pressures due to a reduction in overseas students to the UK, with an 8% drop in 2021 applications from 2019.

With the summer break in full swing, now is the perfect time for higher education institutions to review their employment processes to ensure talented staff are attracted and ultimately retained ahead of the new term in September.

Supporting professionals under pressure

The employee experience covers every aspect of a candidate’s dealings with the business, from initial application, to interview, appointment and then initial onboarding. An effective combination of innovative technology and technical expertise can ensure that recruitment processes are efficient and orderly, which will send the right messages to potential candidates and impress them throughout the hiring process, all while protecting sensitive employee data.

With top education talent at a premium, bringing the right candidates in is just the starting point; retention is even more vital. With the cost-of-living crisis and rising energy bills concerning a significant number of the workforce, ensuring that salaries are paid in an accurate and timely manner is essential for peace-of-mind and wellbeing.

It may be that educational professionals are faced with a more costly bill than expected in these uncertain times. To ease this concern, educational institutions can deploy a solution that allows employees to access a portion of their wage already earned during a single pay cycle, enabling flexibility. Professionals in the sector can also gain control of their finances thanks to the ability to track earnings in real-time.

Focusing on retention

It’s not just visibility and access to financial benefits that can assist employees and improve their wellbeing while at an organisation. For those entrenched in the institution, tools can enable access to relevant training and development opportunities, providing staff the ability to gain new skills and pursue new promotion pathways.

Institutions can also provide clear and positive updates wherever or however staff wish to access them. For example, this could include holiday entitlements, instant queries and support. With the growth of flexible working strategies, it may be the case that staff need to make requests for hours that suit their lifestyle, such as working parents with school pickup requirements.

Supporting the future generation

Following two years of disruption due to the pandemic, a sense of normality is returning to tuition in higher education. Time is ticking, and soon a new wave of students will be starting a new term at their educational institution. The onus is on universities and other institutions to ensure their house is in order before this begins. Ultimately, engaged and happy staff are best placed to teach the next generation of workforce talent.

Supporting technology, which allows for automated and streamlined processes and underpinned by consulting and managed services, gives lecturers the tools to engage effectively with their organisation and help guide the next generation to success.

Read more: A university aims to ‘boost students’ experience’ through digital transformation

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