Higher education institutions are grappling with unique hiring challenges that affect their ability to effectively serve their student populations. From geographical limitations in talent sourcing to compliance with intricate regulations, the stakes are high. Here, we’ll explore how an Employer of Record model can mitigate these challenges, offering a streamlined approach to hiring that expands access to a broader talent pool and ensures regulatory compliance.

The Challenges of Higher Ed Hiring

Colleges and universities typically face significant limitations in talent sourcing, confined to local candidates or those willing to relocate. Imagine a college in a smaller state needing to recruit specialized, highly educated instructors. The options are often stark: Settle for whoever is locally available, if anyone at all, or face the undesirable outcome of course cancellations. This introduces a ripple effect that impacts growth. Colleges can only increase their student bodies as much as their internal staff can support, and students need certain courses to be available to earn their degrees.

As the global workforce shifts increasingly toward remote engagement, higher education must also evolve to capitalize on this trend. By embracing a nationwide and global talent pool, institutions can ensure they recruit the best talent for their students, irrespective of geographic boundaries. This pivotal shift enables schools to transcend traditional location constraints, enriching their educational offerings and broadening student perspectives.

However, taking advantage of a wider talent pool for hiring can present compliance challenges. Each geographical expansion necessitates a deep understanding of local laws, potentially involving the costly and complex process of setting up multiple legal entities to hire out-of-state or international talent. The challenge extends beyond mere recruitment to maintaining compliance in worker status and compensation packages, aligning with diverse legal frameworks.

An Employer of Record can mitigate these risks by managing all aspects of compliance, from worker status to compensation, according to the varied laws of each locale.

Overcoming Higher Ed Hiring Challenges With an EOR

What does “Employer of Record” mean exactly? Sometimes referred to as “EOR,” it is a third-party partner that takes on the legal responsibilities of employing staff on behalf of another organization. Leveraging the Employer of Record model can significantly streamline HR processes for higher education institutions. By partnering with an EOR — like Innovative Employee Solutions — colleges can bypass the hurdles of establishing entities in each state or country in which they plan to hire talent. EORs are already equipped with the requisite registrations and a comprehensive understanding of HR and local labor laws, which simplifies the hiring process and shifts the administrative burden from the institution to the EOR.

In terms of compliance, an EOR assumes responsibility for all employment-related legalities, including adherence to employment laws and the management of taxes, benefits, and retirement. This removes the need for the institution’s HR department to spend time and resources on understanding the intricacies of compliance, allowing them to focus instead on core educational objectives.

Additionally, an EOR partnership opens the door to a much wider talent pool. With the capability to easily and compliantly hire nationally or globally, institutions are no longer restricted by geographic boundaries. This access is especially crucial in the modern landscape, where remote work and learning have become viable and often preferred options. The EOR’s established infrastructure supports the effective integration of remote teaching roles, ensuring a robust and flexible academic workforce.

By expanding the reach for talent, institutions can enhance their educational offerings and adapt more dynamically to the fluctuating demands of their student bodies. Quick and compliant talent acquisition through an EOR allows for the rapid scaling of classes to meet student needs, ensuring that educational progress is never hindered by staffing shortages and keeping students satisfied. For example, say a core class gets booked quickly, and you, therefore, need to add classes with additional instructors. With an EOR partner, hiring practices in higher education can ebb and flow for these kinds of situations as needed.

Customized EOR Solutions for Improved Hiring Practices in Higher Education

IES tailors its EOR services specifically to the unique needs of the higher education sector, focusing on efficiency and compliance. This includes creating a compliant payment structure to ensure the worker is receiving the total compensation earned per course throughout the semester. This meets the compliance requirements set forth by state and federal governments while also meeting the budgeting and compensation needs of our clients. Our services ensure that all legal and compensation requirements are fulfilled, allowing clients to concentrate on what truly matters — recruiting and retaining top talent. With IES, educational institutions can transcend traditional barriers, enhancing their capacity to attract and employ the best educators from across the globe.

For instance, we once helped a prominent private communications and arts institution expand its master’s program by hiring more than 30 remote employees across 17 states. Additionally, we knew that the college wanted to continue this expansion, so we set up engagement and onboarding workflows to make it easy for the institution to hire remote staff anywhere in the U.S. The college more than tripled its remote staff through our work.

For higher education institutions looking to overcome similar hiring challenges and enhance their workforce capabilities, partnering with IES provides a seamless, compliant, and efficient solution. Reach out to learn how our EOR services can be customized to meet your specific needs, helping you focus on delivering exceptional educational value.

Interested in spending 83% less time on HR tasks? IES handles HR for you — including onboarding, payroll, compliance, and more — in all 50 states and 150+ countries. Talk to an expert today.

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