Tuition Help, Hiring Tips, and More: What Faculty and Staff Need to Know About Human Resources Updates

The Office of Human Resources (HR) plans to roll out changes to systems and benefits over the next few months that will impact many faculty and staff. These include changes to the University-wide timekeeping system for all employees, changes to the tuition assistance benefit, and updated guidelines for hiring practices. and recruitment in a competitive labor market.

Additionally, 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 constantly working to improve systems and offerings for University employees,” said Lorraine Goffe, who joined Northwestern as vice president of human resources and chief human resources officer in February. “We are committed to listening to and learning from all of our faculty and staff as we develop policies and programs to move our university forward.”


Goodbye, Cronos; HelloWorkforce software

This summer, HR will implement a new timekeeping system, Workforce Software. Visit the website to learn more about the changes and enhancements to 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 comments can be submitted online.

Fees for courses outside of Northwestern

The tuition assistance benefit for courses outside of Northwestern will no longer cover fees. A recent audit of tuition administration revealed that some fees have been included in the tuition fee, but to administer the plan fairly and compliantly, the University must limit the benefit to tuition fees. Also, IRS guidelines prohibit certain expenses from being included in the non-taxable benefit.

Beginning in Fall 2022, fees such as activities, sustainability, library, classes, sports, health, technology, orientation, registration, materials, transportation, facilities and overhead costs will not be covered. HR recognizes that this affects staff during a particularly difficult time. Please email [email protected] or call 847-491-4700 with any questions.

As the nation goes, so goes the northwest

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

HR shares the following tips for hiring managers to make the hiring process as efficient 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
  • Consider in advance who should participate in interviews
  • Be flexible with your schedule to accommodate interviews
  • Communicate with your TA partner throughout the process

Consider a temp

In some cases, it may make sense to hire a temporary worker. Hiring managers have several options for finding the right temporary worker for every situation. For example, the HR talent acquisition team can recruit temporary workers at a much lower rate than a vendor. The standard fee for temporary placements sourced through your TA partner is $4.00 per hour compared to the standard markups provided even by our preferred providers.

Reaching the local community

Finally, the talent acquisition team thought creatively about how to reach candidates in this competitive market. In partnership with the Office of Relations with the neighborhood and the community, the team has organized two job fairs in the last six months.

The Evanston Community Career Fair was held in March and the team met with over 100 members of the Evanston community. In November, the NU’s Got Talent in-house job fair was held at the Norris University Center. During this event, the talent acquisition team met with approximately 65 current Northwestern employees to provide assistance with resumes and interview best practices, and had conversations about open positions they wanted to occupy. The results of these outreach activities include several members of the Evanston community and internal employees who have obtained interviews, some of which have led to hires.

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