There’s a big mistake that is making it hard for lots of schools and education organizations to find the best people for their openings. Good news! It’s really easy to fix.

Every educator knows you have to have some sort of plan in place to execute a great lesson. Similarly, you can’t hire great people without having a plan. Too many organizations think it’s enough to just post a job announcement without having a plan for what they’ll do with those applications once they start coming in. Doing so risks:

  • Looking unprofessional to candidates
  • Being in misalignment with team members who need to take part in the selection process
  • Confusion around the ideal candidate for the role
  • Wasting candidates’ time and your organization’s time + money

See below for the oh so easy fix!

Initial Steps

  • Questions to consider:
    • What goals/outcomes need to be met in this role?
    • Who will this position report to? Who will this position manage?
    • By when would it be ideal for this position to be filled?
    • Who is the hiring manager – or final decision maker – in hiring for this position?
    • Who should be part of the interview process to provide input on each applicant’s candidacy for the role? (Consider which team members this role’s work will closely impact, who on the team has expertise in the content this individual will lead, and if there are external partners whose input is critical to this person’s success in the role)
    • What is the budgeted salary range for this role?

Job Description

  • Whenever possible, match the job responsibilities with those things that this person’s performance will be measured against.
  • Remember that announcements and descriptions are two different things.
    • Announcements are used for posting the position on your organization’s website and other sites to attract prospective applicants. They provide an overview of the organization’s history, mission, vision, and values, as well as overviews of the role, qualifications, job responsibilities, and application instructions.
    • Descriptions are used to detail all the responsibilities of a role. They are typically used for internal purposes and are designed to align with those of other team members/colleagues.
  • Include the reporting and management structure for the role.

Selection Process

  • Along with other members of the selection committee, make a list of all the things you want to know about prospective candidates to determine potential fit. Then: Divide this list into “must haves” and “nice to haves”. The “must haves” will form the core competencies for the role.
  • Determine which interview techniques (i.e. phone interview, at home performance task, in-person questioning, in-person performance task, reference checks, etc.) you will use to test the core competencies and nice to haves.
  • Create a scoring rubric for each stage of the interview process that clearly outlines what a candidate needs to do at each stage to advance to the next stage.
  • Prepare a guide for each stage of the interview process that includes interview questions aligned with competencies with space for interview participants to take notes and candidate materials.

 Miscellaneous Tips

  • The interview process is as much about the candidate getting to know your organization as it is about you getting to know them. Put yourself in the shoes of the candidate and assess what impression the process gives off about your organization’s structure, leadership style, opportunities for growth, room for failure, etc.
  • Establish a clear timeline between each step in the interview process and communicate the timeline/general next steps to candidates.
  • Maintain regular communication with candidates throughout the interview process.
  • Though slight tweaks to the interview process are inevitable, it is always ideal to establish as much clarity as possible BEFORE starting to move candidates through the interview process. Doing so makes the process more efficient and professional for the hiring team and candidates.
  • It is helpful to pre-determine materials about your organization that candidates can review before advancing in the interview process. These might include key articles or documents available on the organization website or as email attachments to candidates, information about organizational core values/mission/vision and/or an overview of salary and benefits structure.