Reinventing Human Resources at the School District of Philadelphia

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Summary
The school district of Philadelphia had been troubled with a chronically low academic achievement and a $200 million operating deficit. The relationship between the district and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers union also caused turmoil, while the turnover rate of teachers was saddening. The offices of human resources also experienced a revolving door of leadership with three different executive directors serving in about a 2-year time frame. HR had been reluctant of change to meet the needs of the new economy. Tomás Hanna was hired on to improve HR’s effectiveness in the key challenges of strategic and operational issues, the relationship with the teachers’ union and the highly centralized teacher hiring process. Hanna started the change with the “Campaign for Human Capital.” As the campaign worked to strengthen teacher recruitment and retention in the district, it also revealed the brokenness of the HR department.

Problem Analysis
Strategic and operational issues
* Human resources department divisions were segmented
* Information was not shared between divisions and interaction was not common * Not invited to “the table” to give input on recruitment and staffing issues * Team expected to “make it happen”

* Employee records were separated
Relationship with the teachers’ union
* HR leadership had not fostered a more collaborative relationship * Communication breakdown
Highly centralized and cumbersome teacher hiring process
* Recruitment and selection processes were not lined up with the placement team * PFT contract stipulations caused conflict
As processes began changing, some processes still included challenges. | Pros| Cons|
Site-based selection| * Important resources were determined and used * Recruitment, selection, and placement worked together more seamlessly * Applicant tracking tool in place * Training sessions for principals and their selection committees| * Hanna...
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