Asking “What If?” with Feather River College
Feather River College (FRC), a public community college in Quincy California, began working with PeopleAdmin in early 2022. When HireTouch announced they were no longer supporting higher education, FRC realized it was time to seek out a new HR program that could meet the unique needs of their campus. Dr. Natalie Presta, Director of Information Systems at FRC and winner of PeopleAdmin’s 2022 HigherEd Excellence Award, spoke with us about the decision-making process and her work so far on their PeopleAdmin implementation.
After evaluating several different vendor options, Natalie said, PeopleAdmin stood out because of the level of customer service her team experienced even during the initial demonstration process. “When I had very specific IT questions about our implementation, Matt [Guffey, Account Executive] set up meetings with leadership and subject matter experts who could answer my questions in depth,” said Natalie. “You never see that—the chance to talk to subject matter experts beyond the sales team, especially so early in the process.”
Having worked with countless vendors in previous roles, Natalie knew this was an unusual experience and took that feedback to the committee to support their decision to choose PeopleAdmin. With some turnover on the college HR team, Natalie ended up taking over the contract negotiation process, and was further impressed with the PeopleAdmin team’s commitment to finding solutions for the unique requirements for colleges and universities in California. “It was rare that we were already looking at possibilities and solutions when we weren’t even a PeopleAdmin client yet,” said Natalie. “We’re a small school, but PeopleAdmin was still paying attention to us—it’s amazing to feel like we really matter to this company.”
Feather River College is in the midst of launching Applicant Tracking System, Position Management, and Employee Records to support all of their recruiting, hiring, and onboarding needs. With the small HR staff at FRC, they added on Managed Services for extra support. Throughout the process, Natalie and her implementation team have been looking forward and asking “what if.” Should this become a district-wide solution one day? What integrations can we implement with Ellucian in the future? How can we continue to grow the FRC implementation in the long term? Natalie anticipates that her school will continue to change and grow, and PeopleAdmin is ready to grow with FRC.
Natalie’s positive feelings about PeopleAdmin were only reinforced recently at PeopleConnect Live, PeopleAdmin’s annual conference. “Everyone’s focus at PeopleConnect was on innovation and improvement,” Natalie mentioned. “In every conversation, I felt that the team wanted to hear customer ideas and talk about potential.”
Though Feather River just launched their new HigherEd Platform in December, Natalie has high hopes. “To me, it seems like PeopleAdmin will allow for more functionality for workflow in a digital format,” says Natalie. “I see my team and PeopleAdmin as innovators, and I’m excited that this will be a product that we can continue to integrate with other functionalities on campus.”
Natalie has a vision of digitization for her entire campus, and this is just the beginning.
“My view is that technology should be effortless,” Natalie said. “The user shouldn’t really know they’re using an interface or technology—it should blend into the background so they can do their job with ease, without focusing on a workflow. Ever since I joined Feather River College, I’ve been asking questions: Can this be fewer clicks? Can I securely integrate and get rid of system and process redundancies? Can there be fewer interruptions? Can every system talk to every other system? Can I make business processes so smooth that we can keep running when someone is away from work? That’s in line with the questions PeopleAdmin asks and the problems it solves in HigherEd.”
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