Are Recruitment, Retainment, and Remuneration the New “3 R’s”?

Are you fully staffed without any open positions? Is it harder or easier to find qualified talent for your organization? Are you prepared with your compensation and benefits analyses to enter into negotiations with your bargaining units? How are you handling the demands for “hybrid” work environments?

In the past year, we have seen an incredible increase in updates to job descriptions, compensations, and salary schedules. Ever since our return from Covid to in-person activities and the 49% surge in gasoline prices in 2022, we have also seen a surge in demand for updating compensation packages and salary schedules for public entities. The process to complete this update is often completed through a “Classification & Compensation Study”.

Recently, the three most consistent topics and desires of most school districts, and professional organizations in general, under this Human Resources topic include:

If you can relate to any or all three of these Human Resource challenges, you may want to review your organization’s Classification & Compensation status. Along with the push for Human Resources to match the market demands, there is also a challenge on the budget to withstand the raises and past retirement promises, while staying financially solvent. For instance, in an effort the retain teachers, school districts like Palo Alto Unified School District recently negotiated 7% raises to combat the various demands from employees and the market place (https://edsource.org/updates/palo-alto-unified-teachers-and-staff-get-7-raises). More and more, school districts are finding the following list of human resource challenges in their organization are not just apparent, but prevalent.

  • Managing the District, Employees/Unions, and Commission relations
  • Balancing varying political agendas
  • Finding quality people/staff
  • Matching competitive compensation
  • Avoiding District and Employee conflict
  • Navigating Leadership changes
  • Handling Teacher shortage
  • Communicating clear pictures of what people are supposed to do
  • Minimizing appeals…everyone has a voice
  • Providing fairness and clarity in compensation


An old adage states that “it is important to keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer”. Do you know how your compensation package compares to your neighboring districts? Why are your employees leaving and/or to whom they are going? Are you aware of your neighboring district’s benefits package? How does that compare to yours? Exit interviews are a critical part of understanding your current retention situation. However, scientific studies and market comparison information from Class & Comp studies can easily guide a district towards more strategic solutions and more solvent remuneration, recruitment, and retention.

For additional information or questions/comments please contact Khary Knowles at khary@ehanda.com.