Four of The Biggest HR Struggles for Universities

Four of The Biggest HR Struggles for Universities

Published : April 24, 2017

Human resources departments are beginning to face some significant challenges as they struggle to refine their roles in a modern and competitive working environment. Universities must walk a fine line between offering unique and effective packages for students, and managing the restrictive, and often challenging, budget restraints that prevent them from spending too much money.

For universities, HR is far more than just a basic solution for hiring, training, and retaining key employees. It is an essential element of developing the educational workforce so that it aligns with the unique vision of the university services. As demands for technology, talent, and employee retention continue to increase, resources for universities remain woefully short.

Let’s examine some of the biggest struggles that university environments are facing today.

The Recruitment of Key Staff

In 2016, a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found that university HR networks would find recruitment 24% more difficult, thanks to a range of key factors. Interestingly, the issue is not with a shortage of labor, but rather a shortage of essential talent. In other words, there aren’t enough visionary university personnel to go around. That means that if universities want to get ahead of the competition, they need to find a way to appeal to the key professionals that might enhance their HR groups.

Today’s recruitment methods could benefit from some fine-tuning. A study entitled “Reinventing HR” found that applying social technologies, embracing social media, and enabling greater innovation in customer satisfaction could all help to improve the recruitment of key staff. Of course, this means that universities need to find ways to offer training to their HR representatives. Fortunately, when combined with essential benefits, the right training solutions could help to supplement lower salaries within the HR sector.

Talent Retention

Talent retention goes hand in hand with the recruitment of key staff members. With five generations of workers in the U.S. today, university HR departments not only need to create powerful teams, but they have to manage those teams for long-term retention, too. Many HR professionals believe that human resources hold the unique ability to bring various professional groups together, creating seamless productivity within a disorganized network. Without HR, everything from recruitment to company development will suffer.

Unfortunately, competing demands and restricted resources have created financial pressure for colleges and universities. These groups must reduce their offerings, cut faculties, and be more frugal with their financial conditions at a time when key talent is needed the most. As resources dwindle, HR experts suggest that retaining talent will be one of the key pressures facing universities for the future. Since salaries can’t go up any higher, engagement and alternative benefits will need to supplement retention solutions.

Engagement and Alternative Benefits

To ensure employee retention, the HR departments in universities must be more creative with their benefit and engagement solutions. Engagement is about aligning organizational goals with employee expectations, while benefits focus on addressing the unique needs of employees during specific periods of their careers.

It takes more than just a good salary to retain key employees in today’s working environment. Universities need to demonstrate concern for their people, and offer key solutions to make their lives easier. As the rising costs of benefits, such as health insurance, challenge universities across the country, organizations could benefit from considering a solution that offers win/win opportunities for both the university and their staff. While some university groups offer Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERP) to retain staff, traditional solutions can be complex and risky. Alternatively, customized and carefully planned retirement solutions can offer liquidity and tax-efficiency to universities, while giving staff the benefits they need.

As more key talent hops from job to job in search of the best benefit package, retention could center around unique life insurance and retirement plans that provide flexibility for universities, and supplement limited salaries.

Overcoming Financial and Talent-Based Hurdles

HR services at a university handle everything from hiring new employees to administering key services for faculty and students. As funding solutions and opportunities for universities face severe limitations, issues with employee attraction, retention, and financial development are some of the biggest struggles these institutions face.

The only way to strengthen university HR solutions is to focus on creating a company culture that focuses on a primary goal for great education and respected workers. Life insurance policies and retirement solutions can help make employees feel valued within their university system. This allows universities to attract and retain key staff without the need to raise salary or tuition prices. With the right benefits, universities can develop plans that attract executive-level employees, and offer the incentives they need to stay within their chosen position.

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