Washington College transitions to Paycom for student employees, but at what cost?

By Noah Newsome

Elm Copy Editor

On Monday, Sept. 5, students were informed that Washington College would no longer be using WebAdvisor to manage student employee timesheets.

Paycom, a new payment processing system, would be filling this role instead.

While updating the systems used by the College is nothing new, several students were puzzled at the timing of the transition.

Many new and returning student employees already made use of WebAdvisor for the first payment period of the semester, only to be told that they would have to learn a new system two weeks after they settled into their jobs.

For first-time student employees who just learned how to use WebAdvisor, the switch proved jarring.

“I think it was switched at an inconvenient time. I feel like I had to learn the system all over again,” sophomore Maddie Fernandez, a Writing Center tutor and George’s General, said.

Training with the new system was also mandatory for all students, with two sessions on Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and the third offered on Sept. 8 at 8 a.m. These times conflicted with students’ classes. The announcement that these training sessions were occurring was sent out one day before the first two sessions, leaving students little time to adjust their schedules.

For sophomore and Writing Center tutor Miranda Parish, the training sessions did not fit her schedule.

“I didn’t like them. I thought they were at awkward times. I would’ve preferred earlier notice with a widespread email,” she said.

Technical difficulties even led to one of the sessions being pushed back an hour. The second session on Sept. 6 was supposed to be at 1:30 p.m. rather than 2:30 p.m., with this change being communicated to students mere minutes ahead of the originally scheduled time. Some students who could have made the 1:30 p.m. time were frustrated, as the new time conflicted with their class schedule.

While the timing for these sessions may have been inconvenient for some students, they were informative and provided much of the necessary information required to use Paycom effectively.

According to Fernandez, the training was “easy to understand, easy to follow.”

The transition to Paycom may have come with some growing pains, but the application itself is much more convenient than WebAdvisor. Paycom has a mobile app that allows you to take care of business on your phone.

While it was still possible to use WebAdvisor on your phone through a web browser, the lack of a dedicated mobile app made this more difficult.

JobX has also been retired by the College, as Paycom has features that allow users to search for jobs. This combination of features made the student employment process easier for both employees and employers.

“Overall, I think it was a good idea put forth by the college to make student’s lives easier, but it would’ve been more appreciated if it happened at a different time,” Parrish said.

The sudden switch in platforms may leavesome students reeling, but overall the change appears to be a positive one. Paycom is a more accessible platform for student employees, and the process of logging hours and looking for jobs is much easier now.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Caption: Washington College switched from WebAdvisor to Paycom for student employees to track hours worked. However, the change was made a few weeks into the semester, a change that confused many students.

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