Skip to main content

Tuition assistance, hiring guidance and more: What faculty and staff need to know about Human Resources updates

Staff survey will help inform Northwestern’s long-term alternative work strategies coming out of COVID-19

The Office of Human Resources (HR) plans to roll out changes to systems and benefits over the next several months that will impact many faculty and staff. These include changes to the University-wide timekeeping system for all employees, alterations to the Tuition Assistance benefit and updated guidance for effective hiring and recruiting practices in a competitive job market.

In addition, HR continues to explore long-term alternative work strategies (AWS) as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages staff to complete the AWS survey by May 18.

"We are continuously working to enhance systems and offerings for University employees," said Lorraine Goffe, who joined Northwestern as vice president for human resources and chief human resources officer in February. "We are committed to listening and learning from all our faculty and staff as we develop policies and programs to lead our University forward."

Reminders

Goodbye, Kronos; Hello Workforce Software

This summer, HR will implement a new timekeeping system, Workforce Software. Visit the website to learn more about the changes and enhancements with the new system that will benefit all employees.

HR continues to seek volunteers to participate in community user testing of the new system and will host a community forum later this month with more information. In the meantime, questions and feedback may be submitted online.

Fees for courses outside Northwestern

The Tuition Assistance benefit for courses outside of Northwestern will no longer cover fees. A recent audit of tuition administration revealed that certain fees have been included with tuition fees, but to administer the plan equitably and in compliance , the University must limit the benefit to tuition. In addition, the IRS guidance prohibits certain fees from being included in the tax-free benefit.

Starting fall 2022, fees such as activity, sustainability, library, class, athletic, health, technology, orientation, registration, materials, transportation, facility and general fees will not be covered. HR  recognizes that this affects staff during an especially challenging time. Please email askHR@northwestern.edu or call 847-491-4700 with questions.

As goes the nation, so goes Northwestern

The national job market is extremely competitive at this moment, and like most workplaces, Northwestern is experiencing an uptick in openings and a decrease in applications. Despite this, at Northwestern, the length of time it takes to fill a job has remained stable.

HR shares the following advice for hiring managers to help make the hiring process go as efficiently as possible:

  • Finalize the marketing strategy with your talent acquisition (TA) partner as soon as possible
  • Strategize with your TA partner on how you can reach a diverse pool of candidates
  • Think ahead of time about who should be in the interviews
  • Be flexible with your schedule to accommodate interviews
  • Communicate to your TA partner throughout the process

Consider a temporary worker

In certain cases, it might make sense to hire a temporary worker in the interim. Hiring managers have several options to find the right temporary worker for each situation. For example, HR's talent acquisition team can source temporary workers at a much lower rate than a vendor. The standard fee for sourced temporary placements by your TA partner is $4.00 per hour compared to standard mark ups provided by even our preferred vendors.

Reaching out to the local community

Finally, the talent acquisition team has been thinking creatively on how to reach candidates in this competitive market. In partnership with the Office of Neighborhood & Community Relations, the team has held two career fairs over the last six months.

The Evanston Community Career Fair took place in March, with the team meeting more than 100 Evanston community members. In November, NU’s Got Talent Internal Career Fair was held at the Norris University Center. During this event, thetalent acquisition team met with about 65 current Northwestern employees to provide resume assistance and interview best practices and held conversations about open positions they were interested in pursuing. Results of these outreach activities include several Evanston community members and internal employees securing interviews, some of which have led to hires.