K12 Human Capital Management Market Map

by Jen Wu

Image for post
Image for post

Most agree that effective teachers are the most important ingredient for enabling high-quality education. Unfortunately, providing high-quality teachers for all students is challenging. Our public school system faces teacher shortages in select geographies; in subject areas such as STEM, special ed, and bilingual education; in middle and high schools; and in high-poverty schools. We also struggle to hire teachers who reflect the diversity of our student population. Exacerbating these challenges is the high teacher attrition rate in the U.S.; every year 8% of teachers turn over.

Given these challenges and the mission-critical role of teachers, improving people practices at schools has significant potential for impact. In business, we see an increasing focus on hiring, developing, and retaining high quality employees as a key competitive advantage. In larger and more progressive enterprises, the traditional function of “human resources” has evolved into “human capital management,” (HCM) as the purview of HR broadens to include not just record-keeping and compliance but also performance. This transition has driven changes in management practices that touch the entire lifecycle of employees from hiring and onboarding, to employee engagement, career advancement and growth. Managers are encouraged to develop employee-centric, team-based cultures that empower employees to be collaborative problem-solvers and to drive their own career development. These innovative management practices translated into 402 investment deals in human capital technology startups in 2016, a record number, according to CB Insights.

We’re starting to see hints of the same forces at work in K12. Given complex requirements unique to K12 employees — e.g. certification verification, collective bargaining/contract renewals, substitute teaching workforce management, and education policy compliance — districts often rely on K12-specific solutions. Historically, HR information systems have been back office workhorses whose main functions are to manage employee records, payroll and compliance. Our market map highlights how some K12 HRIS players are broadening their offerings to become human capital management platforms that manage recruiting, evaluation, and professional development. In addition, the map highlights innovative point solutions that optimize or rethink just one aspect of the K12 employee management process, e.g. recruiting or managing substitute teachers. In addition to mapping the K12 space, we also map HCM solutions in the enterprise space as potential leading indicators for K12.

2017 Market Map of K12 Human Capital Management Solutions


  • We see human capital management as an area with high potential for impact

Written by

Closing the Opportunity Gap. Empowering educators and families. Inspiring children.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store