-
 Outline of Research Based Face-to-Face, Print, and/or Virtual Strategies to be used to Recruit Educators.
 Outline of Research Based Face-to-Face, Print, and/or Virtual Strategies to be used to Recruit Educators.
 
Introduction: Recruitment of excellent and successful teacher prospects for our educational institutions and in particular the retention of educators is absolutely critical in providing educational excellence for our students, and as a result we must be vigilant and savvy in our approaches to successfully accomplish this feat. In order to succeed in this endeavor we must plan on the front end by looking at successful and open recruitment strategies, enhancement of induction and professional development components, ways to retain teachers via incentives, opportunities and the like.  The following outline suggests ways in which we can be effective in the recruitment process for our respective school districts and communities.
 
I.                   Recruitment Fairs
A. Local- Development of Educational Partnerships at secondary, postsecondary institutions locally for the purpose of educating young people or prospects about the benefits of majoring in Education and identifying prospective recruits or candidates for the purpose of hiring in the organization is absolutely essential.  As a former school superintendent, and principal, I have discovered that searching, selecting, and investing in your local talent to be an invaluable tool in terms of excellent and key factors in teacher retention and success in your respective district.  This is a means of giving back to the community and I have found it to be a successful measure in retaining teachers because of their great interest in their community and giving back to the community that has given them so much.  I have experienced this in both the rural and urban areas, and particularly in the rural areas where it is particularly hard to find excellent teachers if they are not from that area. Research shows that over 200,000 teachers leave the teaching profession annually costing the public school system approximately $5 billion dollars annually (Alliance for Excellent Education 2005).  I am confident that nurturing local talent will minimize, if not eliminate this problem for your district, if implemented strategically in the aforementioned areas.
B. State-Visitation of all major colleges and Universities in the state at annual statewide recruiting fairs held at various educational and business institutions statewide is very paramount.  This opportunity allows you to showcase your schools, district and community to an audience at the state level who are not familiar with your district and community, and this will also afford potential recruits with the opportunity to gain immediate access, insight and knowledge of whether your organization and the community you represent are an attractive fit for what the applicant is looking for in terms of lifestyle and potential for success. In your recruitment efforts one must always seek to get the most qualified applicant in terms of education, as well as fit for the organization and community.  There will be a plethora of outstanding candidates at recruitment fairs to choose from and you must have a plan of action to seek, interview and select those that fit your district, and respective school needs. 25% of what is typically considered to be a teacher effect may actually be a school (match) effect (Jackson, 2010).  In my experiences as a Superintendent and Principal, I focused on building my district and schools with the most experienced and highly qualified teachers and this worked for me.  However, one must be aware of his or her district and or school limitations in terms of the attractiveness to the district based on the demographics of the community as a whole.  Research shows that teachers are more likely to move to schools with higher achievement and fewer minority and poor kids. One must be mindful of this in the recruitment process.
C. National-Visitation- Visitation of all major colleges and Universities in the nationwide at annual recruiting fairs held at various educational and business institutions throughout the nation.  This opportunity allows you to showcase your schools, district and community to an audience at the national level who are not familiar with your state, district, and community, and will offer potential prospects immediate access, insight and knowledge of whether your organization and the community you represent are an attractive fit for what the applicant is looking for in terms of lifestyle and potential for success.  However, one must be aware of his or her district and or school limitations in terms of the attractiveness to the district based on the demographics of the community as a whole and the track record for success in retaining educators as well as what the research says.  Research shows that there is more teacher turnover in high poverty and high minority schools.  These factors must be considered in your recruitment approach or plan as you recruit for the best fit or match of prospects for your district. The goal should always be to provide stability in the district by maintaining and developing educators to their highest levels through effective induction, professional development, mentoring and the like. However, it is critically important that you select those potential candidates whom you feel are the right fit and will benefit from your district’s mission, professional development, and upward mobility opportunities. In recruiting prospective applicants make sure that your complete district as well as community portfolio is conspicuous in displaying all of your accomplishments of the district, opportunities for advancement, demographics of the community, tourists’ attractions and the like.  Also make sure that the websites of the district and community for online access are available for individuals not familiar with your community on a national level.  This enhances communication and provides a convenient access for applying for positions within the district as well as the community, and this will aid your cause of getting the right match of individuals wanting to be a part of the organization based on their research, interests and desires.
 
 
Outline of Research Based Face-to-Face, Print, and/or Virtual Strategies to be used to Retain Educators.
 
Introduction: In any organization the goal is to have stability in recruiting, enhancing and retaining outstanding personnel.  Successful school districts employ various creative strategies in an effort to not only maintain the best educators, but to enhance them as well.  As a former Superintendent and Principal, I can attest to the success of my districts and school as a result of stability of outstanding successful educators.  According to research, teachers leaving the profession nationwide which has become a major problem, compounded with 200,000 teachers transferring to different schools annually (Alliance for Excellent Education 2005).  Research states there is a link between teacher experience and student achievement improvement within 5 years (Goe, 2007).  These research facts are indicative of the importance of consistency and stability.  In addition according to research studies, teachers are more likely to move to schools that are more closely to their homes.  This must be considered in your selection process if this is a key factor in creating teacher turnover. It is critical that we recognize the problem of teacher exodus and employ strategies to retain the best teachers and diminish and ultimately eliminate this disturbing trend.  The following outline will detail some effective measures in creating stability in retaining outstanding personnel and this should always be a top goal in your organization.
 
I.                                     Professional Development
 
A.   Opportunities for Growth-Every Organization needs to place a high priority on professional development based on the mission and needs of the organization in developing outstanding teachers and enhancing of academic excellence. One of the key factors in teacher retention is excellent student achievement. Research states that teachers are more likely to move to schools with higher achievement.  Higher achievement has a direct correlation with professional development in enhancing the competencies of your educators based on meeting and enhancing the individual and collective needs of the staff, organizational goals, mission and beliefs, and ultimately providing the resources and tools necessary to enhance the needs and creative measures and desires of the students.  This ultimately benefits not only the teacher, student and organization, but the community as well. In successfully retaining teachers, there must be an alliance or partnership with institutions of higher education of learning to better prepare teachers for urban and rural school settings.  You are constantly learning your trade and your professional development collaboration via the higher institutions of learning in providing resources, inservices, training, and teachings regarding your fields of study and environmental circumstances of your district are important to the development and success of the educators and the stability and retention of personnel for the district.
B.   Teacher Distribution/Transfer-In an effort to get the best results of all teachers, administrators must make conscious and fair efforts where possible to have the same level of consistency regarding the academic class rolls as opposed to overloading a new teacher with lower academic achievers.  Research says that typically new teachers are placed with students who are academically behind those of more experienced teachers (Fullerton 2010).  We must avoid putting our teachers in situations not conducive to their readiness levels of success which ultimately will lead to frustration and departure.
C.   Budget- Every organization should included in its budget, professional development funding for the enhancement of educators and ultimately this results in both student and community success.  The general fund budget should be predicated on the goals and mission of the organization, student success and ultimately this stems from excellent professional development. All priorities in the district should be focused on student success.  It should be the organization’s goal to have and retain a professionally certified and highly qualified staff at all times and in particular making sure all critical needs positions such as math and science are filled with certified personnel. Critical needs positions are those positions where there is a shortage of personnel nationally and these individuals are in high demand. Research says that high valued-added math teachers are more likely to stay in teaching in the district and they are not more or less likely to transfer to schools (Fullerton, 2010).  As a result of these trends, and maintaining the objective of having a highly qualified workforce in every area, the district should have components in the budget to address recruitment and performance incentives in maintaining its edge in procuring rewarding and retaining the highest level of personnel and creating stability for consistency and excellence in education.
D.   Mentoring- All personnel in the district and particularly new teachers should have access to a strong mentoring program where mentors are assigned to new teachers to enhance successful development and provide for encouragement and support through challenging times. Mentoring can be established within the district and or with collaboration with other nearby districts in just offering different perspectives to both your inexperienced and experienced teachers. In most instances mentoring within a school district is an unpaid assignment, but if you can get creative in your budget and offer supplements for this assignment, this will serve as a motivation, as well as appreciation to reward those excellent mentors in your district who have been loyal, successful and will continue to serve your district so valiantly.  This in itself becomes a successful retention strategy in an immeasurable way. In many instances a strong mentoring program can be the difference between a success and failure in the classroom as well as the district as a whole. In every school district there should be support to new teachers available via a comprehensive intensive Induction Program, along with Professional Learning Communities and Career Ladders for teachers.  These programs allow school leaders to support teachers in enhancing their success, and provide incentives in enlarging their borders, thus symbolizing and embodying collaboration, trust and ultimately success.
E.   Evaluation- A strong evaluation system combined with a strong professional development allows teachers to grow, develop and enhance their skills, thus resulting in students, the organization and the community being the true beneficiaries.  The evaluation process is formative in that helps you to grow and enhance your own, and it is summative in a positive way in providing opportunities for advancement for those whom have proven themselves worthy, and have reached a level where they can assume more responsibility in impacting the district at a higher level with greater magnitude. In a research study evaluators found that the impact of incentives on teacher turnover is significant. Evaluators found that the probability of teacher turnover fell as the magnitude of the TEEG Bonus Award increased, while the probability of teacher turnover increased sharply among teachers receiving no bonus award or a relatively small award (National Center on Performance Incentives, 2009).  This clearly shows a correlation between retention and bonus incentives and if possible this needs to be incorporated in our evaluation process to reward merit.
 
Outline of Detailed Steps for a Selective Interview Process for Prospective Employees
 
Introduction- The most critical component of the hiring process is the development of the interview process which must be predicated on the mission and strategic plan of the organization comprised of recruiting, screening, interviewing, evaluating and selection. The following information details the critical components of the Selective Interview process.
I.                   Screening
A.    Application Process-All applications must be carefully screened to make sure minimum requirements are met, and any issues or concerns with certification, ABI/FBI Background Checks, references, consistent employment, reasons for leaving and the like are carefully scrutinized.
B.     Diversity-In any organization diversity should be a high priority in selecting not only the best personnel, but personnel that is similar in your clientele being served in the community.  A diverse staff speaks volumes to students and your community in creating a harmonious environment, and providing excellent role models for students for encouragement and success.
C.    Interview with Principal and School Team Leaders- All principals should develop an Interview Team at his or her school for the purpose of giving input in the decision making process of selection of teachers and personnel. The interview team should be representative of the staff, parents, community and be well versed in the mission, values, expectations, of the organization, and human resource legalese.  However, it should be clearly understood that the principal will have the final say in this selection of the successful candidate to be recommended to the Superintendent and this decision should be supported by the Interview Team.
D.    Writing Component- In an effort to evaluate the total candidate a writing exam composed of a particular topic shall be given. This exam will measure the grammatical, composition and analytical skills of the applicant.
E.     Interview with Superintendent-Although I realize that this may be more practical in some districts than others, I was a firm believer as Superintendent of Schools I would interview each teacher my principals were recommending for hire so I could be very confident in my recommendation to the Board for employment.  On many occasions, I found this to be quite helpful in that I was able to find out critical information that the principal may have overlooked that would not make the individual or individuals recommended to be a good fit for the respective school(s) and district.
F.     Reference Check- It is extremely important to check references of the prospective employee in terms of his or her immediate supervisor professionally or via college internships, references from professional colleagues excluding relatives who are familiar with ones character, work ethic and potential, and last but not least, references should be ones who have worked with the prospective individual within 1-2 years and known the individual at least 2-5 years.
G.    Recommendation for Employment-The final stage of this process is for the Superintendent of Education to recommend to the School Board the prospective candidate for hire.  After consideration by the School Board, the Board will vote to accept or reject the Superintendent’s Recommendation.
 
 
Outline of Detailed Steps for an Exit Interview Process From Which Meaningful Information may be Gleaned to Learn why Educators are Leaving their Positions and Possibly Prevent Future Educators from Doing the Same.
 
Introduction- Exit interviews provide an opportunity for the organization to enable transfer of knowledge and experience from the departing employee to a successor or replacement, or even to brief a team on current projects, issues and contacts. Good exit interviews should also yield useful information about the employer organization, to assess and improve all aspects of the working environment, culture, processes and systems, management and development, etc., in  anything that determines the quality of the organization, both in terms of its relationship with its staff, customers, suppliers, third-parties and the general public. The following information outlines components and discussions of opportunity that can lead to successful Exit Interviews
I.                   Reasons for Leaving- In every organization the leaders or supervisors must ask the question why one is leaving his or her previous position for employment in another organization. This is the perfect opportunity for the employer or supervisor to create an open dialogue and speak openly, candidly, and respectfully as to why the employee is seeking another opportunity and what could have been done to prevent the employee from leaving the organization.  This is a great time to provide feedback in a non threatening venue on the positive and negative experiences the employee has encountered and some suggestions for improvement in the organization to enhance employees. The aim of this meeting should be positive and cordial.
II.                Letters of Intent- Every organization must plan for the future by having employees submit Letters of Intent for the next school year.  This can also be a format of an exit interview in the sense that you establish your planning for next year knowing who is returning and who is not. This gives the organization notice or perception of an exodus of employees and the reasons why they are not returning. For those not returning you can use this opportunity to discuss their reasons for not returning and provide feedback as to what their plans are and how you can be of assistance in helping them move forward.  It also gives you the opportunity to receive honest feed back as to what needs to occur to make the organization better, more attractive, and prevent premature exits if this happens to be the case.   All of these discussions will be either at the school or district level with the immediate supervisor of the employee(s).This can be gleaned through the planning process for the next school year by having employees fill out intent forms for their plans to return or not return for the next school year.  This gives the organization notice or perception of an exodus of employees and the reasons why they are not returning.  These forms are completed and should be reviewed and discuss at the school or district levels with the employee’s immediate supervisor.
III.             Expectations of the Individual and the Organization- It is very important that potential candidates understand the expectations of the organization and the organization understands the expectations of the individual.  In this conference you certainly would like to know if the individual’s professional goals, expectations and needs were met, if the time spent in the organization was rewarding, and what could be done to attract them back or make the organization appealing for other top notch candidates seeking positions of employment. In other words, our goal is to make sure we gauge how our organization is meeting the needs of its employees and to take constructive criticism in regards to what we can do better if we lost a good employee as a result of something that was in our control. 
IV.             Transitional Plan- The employer or supervisor will work to establish a transition plan with the employee and his or her successor in securing continuity of excellence.  The supervisor and the outgoing employee will work collaboratively in devising timelines, disseminating information, training and arranging a fair exodus for the employee to transition from the current organization to his new job as well as making sure all responsibilities and knowledge for the employee’s successor are met as well.  In this process it is a collaborative and positive effort with the goal being for the employee to leave the organization in good standing, as well as on a positive note, and the for the supervisor to provide the necessary assistance for the employee to transition into his new organization or next career if this is the case.
V.                Upward Mobility-The district should have an organizational structure that encourages upward mobility if indeed teachers or educators are ambitious and desire to enlarge their borders.  This should be discussed with all prospective applicants and employees via an exit interview so they are fully clear that the district believes in advancement and awards excellence in performance.  We certainly do not want to lose employees as a result of not being competitive and offering opportunities of advancement to measure excellence.  This is something we would like to certainly gauge in this interview and modify and correct if necessary.
VI.             Competitive Salary Schedule and Benefits- The organization should pride itself on providing excellent salary and benefits for all employees and make it known this will always be a high priority in the district.  An organization must assure all of its employees that it has a sound budget and will continue to make sound decisions to enhance the professional development and financial benefit package of its employees competitive. If possible an incentive plan to pay for employees to pursue higher degrees and or a policy to pay off student loans if one works in the district for a designated period of time should be incorporated in the budget.  We want to know the employees views of our district in regard to financial security.