In the wake of the post-pandemic era, numerous challenges confront higher education institutions—enrollment growth, meeting student and staff needs, and achieving these objectives with limited staffing resources.
Financial aid offices across the country are facing significant impact in each of these areas. They are tasked with assisting students through the financial aid process to lead them to the next step of enrolling. They must also meet students where they are (i.e., in-person and/or virtual)—all while facing a high turnover rate.
Hiring brand-new staff takes time and money. Human resources offices must market a job posting, filter out underqualified candidates, interview, and then onboard a chosen candidate. This process can take weeks to months and often comes at the expense of existing staff members who are burdened with the extra work.
Interim staffing can benefit colleges and universities by providing support during high-volume periods, when staff and students need it the most. Attain Partners experts guide financial aid offices through peak periods to enable the institution to dedicate their time and energy towards hiring and training permanent staff.
Here are a few ways interim staffing can benefit your financial aid office:
1. Highly experienced staff can immediately enter and assist your team.
Attain Partners’ expert financial aid consultants bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to fill gaps in service, such as award processing, verification, and student loan management. Serving as a valuable extension of your team, Attain Partners can quickly integrate to support current staff and help resolve any backlog issues.
2. Decrease your workload and boost team morale.
For colleges and universities experiencing high turnover rates, the strain on current staff is undeniable. The longer it takes to hire replacements, the more the burden falls on your existing talent to manage additional duties—oftentimes leading to burnout and decreased employee satisfaction. Hiring interim staff members to take on tasks remotely can relieve your student-facing staff members to deliver high-quality service where it is needed. It can also help foster a positive working environment by allowing employees to focus on tasks they specialize in, rather than spreading themselves thin.
3. Fix problem areas.
Not all staffing issues require a full-time solution. If you ever have an audit finding that requires critical attention, need a revamp of your document review process, or would like assistance with year-end reconciliation reports, our financial aid consultants have experienced it all. By leveraging short-term assistance in problem areas, your institution can be sure that a solution will be provided by subject matter experts who have extensive experience in these areas. We can also create and enact policies and standard operating procedures for current and future staff to follow so small problems don’t become large problems.
4. Train new permanent staff when hired.
Once your institution finds and hires permanent staff, Attain Partners remains committed to ensuring a seamless transition. Our team gladly assists in training new hires to get them up to speed quickly. By entrusting this responsibility to experienced interim staff, your institution can maintain operational continuity without compromising the quality of service provided to students and staff.
Attain Partners is Your Team for Excellence and Speed
As you head into a new academic year, remember Attain Partners strives to be a resource that will help your staff maintain compliance without disrupting customer service.
Want to learn more? Contact us now to learn about our interim staffing service for financial aid offices.
About Attain Partners – Interim Staffing for Financial Aid
Drawing on our deep and talented pool of financial aid experts, Attain Partners helps place interim talent into higher education institution financial aid offices to ensure operations continue to run smoothly. We will provide you with several qualified candidates and work with you to select those that best fit your operational needs as well as your style of work and culture. With over 20 years of industry experience, Attain Partners has the expertise to help your institution stay competitive throughout the application process, ensure timely funding for students, and maintain compliance.
About the Author
Meghan Sutton is a Senior Associate in the Strategic Transformation Services Group at Attain Partners. Meghan has extensive experience in higher education, specifically working in financial aid for the past 5 years. She has experience in onsite management of financial aid offices as well as knowledge of regulatory requirements of financial aid programs. Meghan holds a Master’s Degree in Management from The Catholic University of America.
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