Being a school principal is not just about overseeing academic curriculums or managing student discipline; it’s largely about leadership and making pivotal decisions. One of the most critical areas I’ve navigated in my years as a principal is recruiting hundreds of employees. From teachers to administrative staff, each hiring decision has the potential. Here are some best practice recruitment insights that I’ve garnered over the years:
1. Look Beyond the Resume
While qualifications are essential, they don’t tell the entire story. I’ve met candidates with impressive resumes who didn’t fit our school’s ethos and vice versa. It’s vital to consider the intangibles: passion, adaptability, and cultural fit.
2. Involve Multiple Stakeholders
Recruitment should never be a solo endeavour. Involving a diverse group of staff members in the interview process can offer varied perspectives and reduce biases. This approach has helped me identify potential issues or strengths that I might have overlooked.
3. Prioritise Soft Skills
In an educational environment, soft skills like communication, empathy, and team collaboration can be just as crucial as technical expertise. Teachers don’t only impart knowledge; they shape character. So, it’s very important to gauge these skills during the interview process.
4. Continuous Feedback Loop After Hiring
I always ensure there’s a feedback mechanism in place. This helps in understanding if our recruitment strategies are effective and if the new hires are assimilating well. It’s not just about getting people on board but ensuring they thrive.
5. Commit to Long-Term Solutions
Quick fixes may be tempting, especially when there’s an urgent vacancy. But hiring in haste can lead to repenting at leisure. It’s always worth waiting for the right fit rather than settling for the immediate available.
6. Transparency is Key
Always be clear about the roles, responsibilities, and expectations. This not only aids in attracting the right candidates but also ensures there are no unpleasant surprises post-hiring.
In conclusion, effective recruitment is an art that marries intuition with strategy.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, keeping the above principles in mind can certainly steer one towards making informed and impactful hiring decisions.
Whether you’re in education or any other sector, remember that every individual you bring on board has the potential to define, refine, or redefine your organisation’s journey. Choose wisely.
Dr Paul Teys is an Associate specialising in Education. He began his career as a Mathematics and Physics teacher in 1984 and has been working in independent schools in Australia ever since. Paul has more than 40 years of experience, including 25 years as a principal in four schools across three states. Paul was a Director on the Board of AHISA, Chair of AHISA NSW, and he is the Chair of the Board of NSW Combined Independent Schools Sports (CIS). Using his expertise, Paul helps schools and principals leverage their strengths by coaching and mentoring principals and executive leadership teams, along with managing the professional learning and development of executive teams and executive leaders. Paul has considerable experience managing executive recruitment. Paul holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern Queensland, a Master of Education from Deakin University, a Bachelor of Educational Studies from The University of Queensland and a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Southern Queensland.
Dr Paul Teys
Tel: +61 418 610 402