Every industry has its challenges. In early education (“EE”) industry, the challenge is to find and keep good teachers and directors. However, there are many EE companies that get and keep great teachers and directors for many years. These schools have very little staff turnover, and they are profitable. The primary key is to avoid looking for teachers and directors. Look for the teacher or the director. Then, repeat the process for every teacher thereafter. Once you have used your system to find one really good teacher or director, repeating your process will become much easier. Here’s how it works.
- Write the most detailed description of the most perfect teacher or director you could ever hope to hire. Leave the description alone for at least 24 hours. Go back and make the description better. Repeat this process until you can’t possibly make the description any better.
- Write the plan for finding this teacher. Include the places you’ll search and the tools you’ll use. For example, I will use my resources to…
- Search elementary schools
- Show her that your odds of making a difference improve when you teach children to learn earlier.
- Provide perks or benefits that she can’t get from her employer…like performance bonuses or curriculum autonomy.
- Make it clear to potential new hires that you are seeking exceptional people—not a body to fill the space. If someone responds to you, make sure they send in a detailed resume, a cover letter, and three references before you will schedule the interview. If they won’t do this work on the front end, they aren’t going to be better after you hire them.
- Apply for grants so your company can afford to pay more and get the better teachers and directors. (See our Links Page for a list of grants.) Grants are one of the fastest ways to transform a school. In 2015, we saw clients secure grants as high as $740,000 for a single center. This is a real option.
- Use social media to network in the education sector.
- Find out who your staff knows. If you have a “star” on your staff, chances are high they know other “stars”. Referrals from within the walls of your EE company are excellent places to find ideal candidates. Note, the quality of the referral is usually similar to the quality of the employee referring.
- Script your interview process. When you get that great candidate in front of you, be prepared to run a professional interview. Remember, if they’re good, they’re interviewing you too.
While you always have to be in ratio, one really good employee is worth three average employees. Good ideas, program improvement, greater profits…needed vacations come from hiring exceptional people—not the average. We know that in the real world, good people are hard to find…in any industry, but they are worth the effort if you want an exceptional company.
Again, we hope it helps.
Best to you…..
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