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Top 5 HR Challenges in the Education Sector — and How to Address Them
HR across sectors

Top 5 HR Challenges in the Education Sector — and How to Address Them

Nirvi B
January 4, 2023

Education is an essential societal function that dates back to the dawn of human life and continues to the present day. The need for educators who will serve the 21st century will be role models with their knowledge, skills and abilities. As a result, there is a growing demand for teachers - which means human resource challenges have become crucial for every educational policy around the world.

The "hot" topics in education generally centre around student accomplishment, educational funding and issues of access and quality. But considerations relating to workforce recruiting, preparation, hiring, evaluation, and professional development are important to understand the HR challenges in the education sector. 

The role of human resources in higher education include everything from employee relations, teachers' attendance and substitution tracking to training and development, recruiting, and job performance.

HR challenges in the education sector: Top Human Resource Issues in Education

1. Shortage of teachers

Travelling to job fairs, expos and career events at schools and institutions has been a means to do recruit diverse pools of candidates. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, visits and job fairs have become virtual. HR in the education sector are left with no choice but to adapt, and it hasn't been easy.

A number of HR challenges in the education sector have contributed to this shortfall of teachers. This includes remuneration, working conditions, a lack of support and autonomy, and changing curriculum. One of the major contributors to the teacher shortage is the fact that there aren't nearly as many people interested in pursuing a career in education as there once were. 

The Solution: 

Offering opportunities for collaboration and teacher participation into decision-making are essential factors in attracting qualified teachers. As a result, possibilities for professional collaboration and shared decision-making are also excellent answers to the problem of attracting professors to your institution. Teachers' career decisions are impacted by their desire to be part of a team that is working toward a common goal.

Institutes can think about investing in a recruitment management system where teachers can simply figure out what actions they need to take to be hired. Online HR methods streamline the onboarding process once the qualified individuals have been hired. This makes ensuring that all required forms and orientation materials are received and completed on time much easier. New hires can spend more time adjusting to school culture and ensuring a smooth start to the school year with less time spent filling out documents. 

2. Retention of top educators

One of the most critical HR challenges in the education sector—one that must equip diverse students to engage in today's knowledge-driven economy—is retaining good educators. But a recent spike in teacher demand, along with dwindling supply and a consistent rate of teachers quitting the field, poses a threat to students' academic and economic well-being. 

For instance, premature retirement of teachers has a negative impact on student learning and costs taxpayers money. One research estimated that replacing teachers who leave—which can cost as much as $20,000 per teacher in today's date in a large urban city—costs the country $8.5 billion every year. 

HR challenges in the education sector
Image Source: Learning Policy Institute

The Solution: 

When it comes to quitting or staying in the profession or in a certain school, administrative assistance is more important than monetary concerns for some teachers,. Dissatisfaction with the influence of school evaluation and accountability measures on their teaching or curriculum was ranked very important in the decision to quit for almost 25% of public school teachers who left the profession.

Thus, it is ideal to have a solid reward system and structure to retain teachers from diverse backgrounds. Good remuneration tends to eliminate wage disparities, enhance individual morale, inspire employees to work for pay raises and promotions, and reduce employee grievances.

HR challenges in the education sector
Image Source: Learning Policy Institute

3) Lack of training and career development 

The education system is ever-evolving, and teachers must keep up with the changes. They are expected to develop proficiency in multiple subjects to better the student’s learning process. Continuous professional development is crucial for them to build these skills. 

The human resources issues in education sector during teacher training may arise due to:

  • the training process's weakness in terms of strategic planning
  • candidate teacher selection without any criterion or oversight inadequacy of pedagogical formation education
  • lack of inspection of difficulties or performance improvement areas during the candidacy years
  • in-service trainings not being planned 
  • or being conducted purely for the sake of promotion

The Solution:

Based on the above HR challenges in the education sector, the following recommendations can be made: 

  • To make workforce more productive, universities should work in a more cooperative way and, if necessary, institutes should offer an incentive bonuses.
  • In-service training activities should be spread through the year and into all regions and every teacher should be encouraged to benefit from them.
  • Performance management should be executed throughout the profession and not only during the first few years. 

Institutes may look into a Learning Management System (LMS) that streamlines the learning and development of teachers. With peopleHum's teachers can train from anywhere and refer to learning resources whenever they need them, thanks to our features like e-learning and mobile-friendliness of the system. It recommends the appropriate course for teachers based on their function, designation, and job description.

4. Barriers in communication

When educators fail to communicate at work, misinformation, misunderstandings, and mixed messages can cause the system’s wheels to spin or come off altogether. Unfortunately, even professionals don’t always get it right. That’s why it should come as no surprise that administrators and teachers sometimes have difficulty sending clear messages. Even the best school leaders don’t always know the right thing to say or how to say it.

The main cause of HR in education sector hurdles is the institute’s several buildings - spread across multiple campuses - with an employment of thousands of people. Educators can have as much trouble communicating clearly as anyone else.  Whether your announcement is positive or negative, relying on word-of-mouth as a communication tactic is also dangerous in this case.

The Solution:

An endless barrage of emails, texts, handouts, and announcements can lead to a communication overdose. The message, scattered about, gets lost when there are too many outlets. These flyers, rallies, meetings, and paper-based publications are no longer effective ways to reach out to students on campus.

The easiest remedy is to consolidate these communications in a single, consistent package. We called ours peopleHum’s employee engagement platform. With our HRMS, teachers can use an internal communication system, and gaps in communication can be prevented altogether. Our announcement feature helps you to pass on important announcements to all your employees and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Our internal idea forums can also allow employees to have discussions about their subjects and teaching ideas.

5. Endless paperwork 

Educational institutions are plagued with time-consuming paperwork and manual processes, setting up HR in education sector hurdles like keeping track of attendance, fees, admissions, transportation, and other data. For instance, imagine how many times a teacher that has been in the institute for more than 20 years had to write information like their name, address, and phone numbers on contract renewals and HR forms over the years. These human resource issues in education are vital and worth addressing.

The Solution: 

Imagine how, when a new professor is hired - they enter this information into a digital HR system and never have to fill again any HR forms. Over the course of a 20-year career, how much time would the employee save? Overall, digital HR systems help institutes enhance accuracy. Allowing users to directly enter their information into the database avoids errors caused by HR in the education sector. 

Switching to digital HR processes frees up time and resources for institutes to focus on what matters most: providing students the required knowledge. For HR, this involves finding the proper teachers, supporting their professional development and advancement, and ensuring that excellent substitutes cover for them while they're absent. 

Also, using a digital system to automate activities improves timeliness when it comes to form and contract deadlines. Set up reminders and alerts for dates and status changes that necessitate new form submissions, updates, or consent. This not only helps to avoid missed deadlines, but it also reduces the workload of office and support workers, since they are no longer required to spend their days looking for signatures with the help of E-Signatures.

Final words: 

It's as simple as that. Online HR makes it easier to manage personnel. From recruiting to accepting applications, onboarding new workers, and supporting teachers until they retire, digital processes offer applicants, employees, managers, and HR staff a better, more intuitive, and more accurate solution. 

Switching to a HR digital solution, according to Don Fraynd, a PowerSchool Strategic Education Advisor, is a top reason for selecting the most effective teachers from a pool of candidates.

He says, “Becoming digital enables scientific decision-making by using such tools as an online hiring assessment that predicts the impact candidates will have on student achievement.”

On the other hand, it’s just as crucial to keep track of teacher attendance as it is to keep track of student attendance. Managing staff attendance is much easier using HR software. They can use their mobile devices to mark their attendance with IP and geo-restrictions. You can also use your HRMS to capture staff attendance by integrating your biometric and attendance devices. Employees can also examine their attendance hours, leaves and vacation time.

To know how peopleHum can help address the HR challenges in the education sector, book a free demo of our platform. Let our team handle all your queries and concerns. You can also reach out to us on WhatsApp or send an email at

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Top 5 HR Challenges in the Education Sector — and How to Address Them

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October 25, 2021

A very inspiring list. Thanks for putting this together


October 25, 2021

This is such a great list of women leaders! More power to you all

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