Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Employing Staff 101

What gets a bit sickening at this time of year is the grab for staff for the next year. Interesting that the MOE needs 1500 more teachers to fill the need in the 1 to 15 ratio business (this is another can of worms i want to open on another day-doesn't hattie say class sizes don't matter?).  The teachers are needed in Akld but most of them are in Chch, Dunedin or Wellington. So we get on the big grab, taking anyone with successful teaching experience, anyone who speaks clear english, anyone who was trained in NZ, anyone who has lived in NZ for a bit, anyone who is white....? there I said it, its true ask my Sth African friend, no, no and no all day long in her applications..... It sounds really sad but seems to be a reality, schools grab after one interview, one phone call and offer positions on the spot. My experience in interviews has been that all of those interviewed have either just had or are going to another interview. Usually they have been offered a job and want an answer right away. 
I'm actually looking for someone who wants to be at my school, the problem is that we rate ourselves so high, that we think the best will come to us.
Not True.  If you don't get on the grab, those who don't know your school is amazing will just pass you by. So here are my tips in trying to nab those great teachers who have been offered jobs elsewhere, and persuading them that you are the best option.

In the initial phone call, say that you feel it is really important that teachers look at all options and rule out schools which don't fit for them, tell them that you want a teacher who wants to be happy and feels that the leadership team is one they want to work for.

Say that you hate how schools offer jobs immediately, when they cant be certain that the teacher has had the opportunity to think things through.

Tell them you want applicants to be able to judge you, against other schools and their management teams.

Tell them you know that everyone offers jobs, and that you are looking for someone who wants to look past their first offer to be sure they are happy with their decision.

Its important to get this in and said, before they say to you that they have another interview or that they have been offered a job already.

Ok so they get to interview: after the usual questions ask a few "other" questions.
What are your expectations of leaders in a school.
What type of leadership do you look for in a school.
These questions are there to tease out those other people who interviewed them , perhaps they were those greasy "job offer" type Principals. (you know)
After this ask about other jobs, other interviews, other offers. Have a piece of paper on the table that others in the interview can touch, if touched by your fellow interviewers then this person is a yes.
Now to close you can say that you can offer them a job, but you haven't spoken to the others in the room but you are so impressed that you want to make an offer, however I would like to give you time. If you want them and don't want to offer because its too greasy, say you are keen to have them but you want them to have time to accept. People shouldn't be bullied into a decision, and id like you to think about things, and I will let my DP to get back to you. Hinting that you are keen and want the person but will get someone else to do the small stuff.

They might leave having not accepted but you have the hook in the mouth just wind slowly.
One other thing, give a quick brain model test, that gives you a snapshot of the thinking type you are employing, this impresses the shit out of the applicant and can provide useful information for you.
If you are rejected then you were too greasy, your management team are stuffy and controlling, and you should all join an accountants firm.

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