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Staff Recruiting

The economy is continuing to show signs of improving.  More people are expressing confidence that if they quit their current job, they will be able to find a better job.  That indicates that staff turnover will begin to increase and it will be harder to find the talent you want.

It has been long recognized that the high-performing organizations hire the best talent.  As the employment picture improves, it may become more difficult to attract and keep the best talent.  Attracting and keeping the best talent ensures that your sustainability will remain stable.  If you want to increase your parochial school’s sustainability, you will need to hire even better talent.

Effective hiring starts with the candidate pool.  Ensure everyone involved in the recruiting process (resume review, candidate qualifications, interviews, etc.) knows what to look for.  Of course, there are credentials that are important but everyone has those.  The best talent brings more to the job than just credentials.  Your recruiting team needs to understand what, beyond credentials, your average employee brings to the job.  Since you want to improve your portfolio of talent, the recruiting team also needs to know how to determine if a candidate is above your average.  Without this step, in an increasingly competitive employment market it will be hard to sustain your current standards for excellence or level of sustainability.

Your mission is effective because of the accomplishments of your staff.  Your recruiting team needs to know what you expect of your employees in positions comparable to the opening.  Because your parochial school is unique, your staff has unique accomplishments. A candidate’s ability to match and improve on those accomplishments is critical to preserving your uniqueness, competitive advantage, and increasing your sustainability.  At best, the candidate’s resume will only indicate the potential to meet this unique requirement.  Ensure your recruiting teams know what questions to ask to determine if the candidate can fulfill their potential and your expectations.

Most recruiting teams are satisfied when they find someone with the capacity to do the job.  Hiring someone who will also be an engaged employee helps to ensure they will enthusiastically use their skills.  Identify the attributes that set your most engaged employees apart from the others.  Train your recruiting team to screen for those attributes.  Part of this is the employee’s level of passion for the cause, mission, and students.  The highly passionate and engaged are easier to retain and motivate.  They also have a higher level of productivity and better quality work, which add to sustainability.

A staff opening creates as sense of urgency; it is hard to be patient. However, it is important to place the emphasis on the quality of the hire rather than the speed.  Your donors, students, board, and other staff members want you to find the best possible employee.  The best (skills and engagement) are harder to find but seldom cost significantly more. However, they are easier to retain and contribute more to the sustainability of your school than other employees.  The best are usually worth the time, effort, and expense.

Next Step:

Train your recruiting team

Search for the best

Be patient

The performance of your staff has a significant influence on sustainability.  A hiring misstep will reduce sustainability.  A misstep also reduces your school’s reputation.  It takes time to restart the search process and results in costs that could have been avoided.  Principals who are willing to be patient are also the deliberate, intentional, and disciplined leaders we all prefer to work for and with.

Recruiting new staff members is the time to put your best foot forward and be your best self.

Take It Further:

Help your board development committee use the same process when filling open board positions

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