Recruitment and Retention


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Make the Most of the Hiring Process 
Navigating the hiring process can be a daunting challenge. With limited time and resources, some hiring personnel try to move the process to completion as quickly as possible. Beginning with a clearly defined and thought-out process that is set down on paper will help the hiring process be the most efficient and gain you the most qualified employees.

When the process is not working as well as it could, the consequences can be: 

  • A “warm body” to fill an open position;
  • A dissatisfied educator with unfulfilled expectations; and
  • An educator whose skills, knowledge, and/or disposition do not fit with the school’s needs and who drains the time and energy of administrators and colleagues.

When the process is working well, the consequences can be:

  • A mutual decision-making process in which the school and the candidate play active roles;
  • A great match between the hired educator’s skills, knowledge, and disposition and the needs and culture of the school;
  • A new educator with realistic expectations about the school;
  • The transmission of school culture and norms to the newly hired educator;
  • A new educator who emerges from the hiring process with some beginning collegial relationships already established; and
  • All candidates, even unsuccessful ones, go away from the process with a positive regard for the school.

Creating an Information-Rich Hiring Process
Having multiple avenues for applicants and schools to gather information about each other’s attributes, can create a win-win situation for all.

What we know from the research:

  • New teachers who report that the hiring process gave them a comprehensive and accurate preview of their jobs also report being more satisfied with their jobs than those who say that they did not experience such a hiring process. (Liu, Edward, Hiring, Job Satisfaction, and the Fit Between New Teachers and their Schools, 2005)
  • Research has also suggested a relationship between the characteristics of the hiring process itself and a teacher’s perceptions of a job’s desirability. Researchers found that scores on a hiring process scale (which measured such process attributes as ease of application, length of process, and timeliness of screening) were the most powerful predictor of attraction to a teaching job in that district. (Liu, 2005)

Strategies for Creating an Information-Rich Hiring Process:

  • Develop a screening and interview process that provides multiple avenues for mutual learning between the hiring team and the candidate. The hiring process may include: 
    • Interviews
    • Classroom observations
    • Other faculty-life observations
    • Sample lessons

Selecting for the Best Fit
Hiring for the best fit requires finding a candidate with the needed skills and competencies and the attitude and values that fit with your school’s culture. Some schools choose to use disposition instruments that are available on the market to help assess teacher characteristics. The National Network for the Study of Educator Dispositions website provides links to papers, presentations, and handouts on assessing attitude and disposition.


The National Network for the Study of Educator Dispositions
Questions Candidates Might Ask
Questions for Candidates