10 Steps to Finding and Hiring the Best Child Care Center Staff
Unfortunately, very hard work and pretty low pay are not terribly attractive to job seekers. On the other hand, caring for and working with young children does sound great!
Hiring new child care center staff is unquestionably a difficult job. Hiring a new, hardworking, dedicated staff member is even harder. Let’s examine some steps that you can take to find this “diamond” for your center. This may seem like a lot of steps to complete, but many of them you will only have to work through once and then just update. It’s good to put in the work up front so that you can limit staff turn over by hiring the right people from the start.
Step #1: Be really clear in your job posting. Never “sugar-coat” the job expectations. You may end up luring in a candidate that has no intention of working as hard as the job requires.
- who you are – how long in business, size of your company, mission in serving
- what you are looking for – full or part time, hours, degree required
- who you are looking for – skills required, temperament
- what you pay (a range) and when the job starts
- how to contact you – email a resume, come in person at a set time. (Note: if you do not require your workers to use a computer fluently, should you expect them to be computer fluent for the job application?)
Tell applicants you want:
- a resume or work history
- information on any child care education they have
- state clearance form completed
- statement of why they want to work for you – what do they bring to you and the children
Step #2: Advertise in far-reaching reputable websites and publications. Check pricing as it varies greatly. Free is not always best, but the most expensive won’t necessarily prove to be the most fruitful.
Step #3: Prepare a checklist of how you will evaluate each candidate. This can be as simple or elaborate as you like.
Step #4: Accept and review applications. Complete the evaluation checklist for each.
Step #5: Schedule a phone interview with the top 5 candidates. Schedule – don’t just call and expect anyone to be ready for an impromptu job interview.
Step #6: Personally interview at least 3 candidates. Tell them in advance that it will be a two hour interview.
- Spend a few minutes one-on-one with the candidate to see if he/she is even a viable candidate. Be careful not to always judge a book by its cover.
- If you feel good about this candidate, have the candidate spend a good hour in the center, talking to staff and interacting with children.
- Then, meet with the candidate and ask them to reflect on the job they saw.
Step #7: Make your decision about who to choose. Make the job offer and be sure to talk about a probationary period.
NOTE: You have put in a lot of work to this point. Don’t drop the ball and let it all be for not.
Step #8: Provide orientation to the new employee. Cover every step and don’t assume the new person knows anything. (You know what they say about “assuming”.)
Step #9: Conference with your need staff member every day for the first week (5-10 minutes) and 2-3 times a week for the next month. This is a critical piece to (1) keeping an employee and (2) finding out why an employee would leave / where you went wrong in Steps # 1-8.
Step # 10: Keep great notes each time you do this so that you do not repeat unsuccessful avenues.
So, can you uncover the real employee from the interviewee? Many people interview very well but then don’t do as well on the job. Steps #6-9 will help you to ensure you are hiring the person you thought you were.
It is a lot of work to hire a new employee. A lot of work. But there is no getting around it. You have to have employees to run the center. The better the employees, the better the center. This will be, for sure, one of your hardest jobs.
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