When I first started as a Director, I was so excited. After all, I was now the one who had the opportunity to hire and fire. At the time, I had no idea what that meant, but I was excited. As my team grew, hiring new staff began to consume my life, and it felt like a full-time job. First, you have to know where to find quality candidates, and then you have to ensure you were hiring the best staff for your center.
No matter what type of program you manage, I can guarantee that hiring is a HUGE part of your job. There is no way around it; either your program will grow, and you will need more people (like a center I am currently coaching) or someone will leave, and you will have to replace them. Being proactive about hiring is key. I tended to have a few ads floating around even if I didn't have an opening.
After five years of overseeing a team of over 50 staff, I have learned a few tips about hiring and where to look. I have put together a list of the top five ways you can find top quality child care employees. As you read through my list, look out for new ideas and areas that you haven't thought of yet and give them a try.
I almost always had an ad running on Indeed, and it helped me find many great employees. What I love about Indeed is that you can just set a budget, and they will market it for you. It is a great way to put your center out there and find quality candidates.
We all know that "word of mouth hires" are always the best. Having someone who already knows the person is major benefit. I would take this to a whole new level, and I would ask EVERYONE I knew, multiple times. I found that very often, on the second or third time I asked, they would finally think of someone. To clarify, I am not advising you to harass people, just be determined and don't be afraid to ask more than once.
We already talked about word of mouth, and although this might seem similar, this is taking things to the next step. At one point, I was finding it especially challenging to find quality candidates. I told my current staff I would give them a $25 gift card if they referred someone, and I hired them. Surprisingly this actually worked, and I was able to hire a few new staff this way.
There are two major ways to utilize local colleges for hiring. First, you can simply attend a college job fair. This is a great way to get your name out there and meet some students looking for work after graduation. Second, you can post ads around the college. Usually, these ads are free and depending on the school near you, often you can reach students who study ECE, which is a huge win. This may not be available at all colleges, but I would definitely reach out and see if this is an opportunity for you.
A great way to find people is to run Facebook or Instagram ads. Better yet, have your current team share the add or create a post of their own! Social media is super useful for passing along information. Don't forget to use it when you are seeking new staff.
I hope that these ideas give you a newfound hope in terms of hiring. Hiring can be exhausting, and it is easy to become overwhelmed and hopeless fast. I am here today to say, "You got it, you can do it." Keep your head up, and keep thinking of new ideas! When you are proactive about the hiring process, you can help limit some of the stress, and it allows you more time to find quality people.