Priority: Hiring Season

One of the most important things you do as the principal or assistant principal is to keep things calm. When others are beginning to panic, the seasoned leader keeps her head and in doing so helps others to relax, think more clearly, and act more effectively.

The most effective principals make things better by slowing things down, getting emotions under control, and keeping their work from being a frenzied rush.

That’s a great way to approach your work… except when it’s “Hiring Season.”

When it’s hiring season, you need to be working with urgency. There are only so many candidates for the positions you may need, and you need to prioritize this work. It’s complicated by the timing: hiring season comes when you’re registering students and families for the next school year, preparing your school for end-of-the-year testing, and doing the daily, busy work of the school. Maybe that’s why some leaders don’t get hiring season right— the other priorities are too much and you aren’t able to immerse into hiring because of those other tasks at hand.

If that’s you, here’s something for you to consider: what you do during hiring season is a gift that keeps on giving. If you do well, it’s a treasure; if you do poorly, it’s a gag gift. You can put in the time and energy needed to do well in hiring, or you are at risk for spending much more time correcting your hiring mistakes and cleaning things up. It’s SO much better to take time and hire effectively than to suffer through poor choices in hiring. Those poor choices can hurt your students, your teachers, and others’ perception of your judgment.

So, if you have people to hire, put other things down, read resumes, call references, host visits to your school. Either get busy hiring, or you’ll be busy next fall wishing you’d done better on the front end.

In the chart above, you’ll see a number of things to consider during the hiring process. First and foremost, make sure that you are connected at the hip to whomever works with you on Human Resources. Each system has their own nuances about the hiring process and you need to follow the policies and protocols that your system has in place. Beyond that, those who invest more time into a task are more likely to be effective in completing it. Don’t rest until you get your people in place, begin their transitional phase, and start to engage them in the culture of your school.

In 2020, school leaders should expect to spend more time than ever in developing the talent in your building to grow effective teachers and a top-notch faculty. You make that job harder than it might have to be if you do poorly in hiring. All of the time you spend now is time invested into getting the teachers and staff that will make a positive impact at your school.

© 2020. Dr. Mark Wilson

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