Challenges and Opportunities of Higher-Education Employment

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Photo by Anna Shvets:

Colleges and Universities used to be among the most desired places for work. They were known to provide meaningful jobs and stability, which were key factors for attracting talent.

Nowadays, however, as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, many academics chose to retire early and most of those who remained, refuse to return full-time to their jobs. Also, many are ready to give up their meaningful academic jobs to take advantage of the financial opportunities provided by the corporate world.

In order to keep and attract the most promising academic talents in the new job market, HR managers will have to adopt an innovative approach that identifies and follows their future requirements.      

The challenges that HR managers in higher education are facing in 2022

As a result of COVID-19, higher education institutions have had to reassess everything they do in the past couple of years. HR managers had to pull extreme efforts into facilitating a transition to remote working. 

These days, however, with the end of the pandemic on the horizon, higher education will have to face new challenges when it comes to bringing back their staff on campus. Many have found comfort in their home office environments and will be difficult to persuade them to go back to the way it was before. 

Here are some of the problems that HR managers are facing:

  • Many employees choose to quit their jobs instead of giving up their work-from-home way of life.
  • The corporate world can offer more competitive salaries.
  • The Covid 19 pandemic has forced many aging academics into early retirement.
  • Cutting positions, reducing budgets, and decreasing salaries have also been major issues for HR managers in higher education.


Room for improvement

Development and learning new skills are often neglected in higher education when it comes to employees, as their main focus is on the students. This is just another area where academic institutions are falling behind compared to the corporate world. Based on some LinkedIn studies, almost 95% of employees have said they would remain with their current employer for longer if they invested in their education and skills. 

Higher education must find creative and effective ways to keep its staff engaged with the challenges of working remotely. In the same way that students benefit from online learning opportunities, HR professionals should look to advance their employees’ skills.

Investing in candidate experience

When it comes to hiring and retaining the most qualified candidates and employees, a quality candidate experience can make all the difference. Employers today need to think about existing and future employees. This is especially important for those who work in higher education. 

Higher education HR teams must also accommodate modern expectations to remain successful with proactive recruiting strategies. Candidates should also receive positive, high-touch experiences through effective communication of your organization’s values and culture.

Proactive hiring

With proactive hiring, candidates are sourced, engaged, and attracted ahead of hiring needs.

Instead of reactive hiring – which focuses on the roles that need to be filled immediately – proactive hiring cultivates relationships with candidates that can assist institutions in future hiring.

Responding to hiring in a reactive manner will meet short-term goals, however, proactive hiring will allow recruiters to nurture candidates in warm talent pools. Basically, proactive hiring is an excellent way to develop a long-term professional relationship with passive talents for future opportunities.

The competition for talent is heating up as colleges and universities try to rebuild their workforces after a year of pandemic-related layoffs and lockdowns. Only a proactive hiring strategy will help higher education institutions attract fresh talent from the brutal job market today. 

With so many employees looking for job flexibility and better salaries, staying competitive will mean adopting a new perspective on talent recruitment.