Hiring And Retention Strategies For Daycare Managers

by admin on February 10, 2009

Literally thousands of Day care center directors rely on their gut instinct when making critical hiring decision. They say it’s actually an effective hiring and retention strategy, however, despite that many of them thinks they’ve made a great job out of it, evidence shows the contrary.

Many of these directors who relied heavily on their intuition to hire new staff can’t fully understand why they are always having trouble with high turnover and hard-to-manage staff. Even more are surprised and confused as to why the person they loved during the interview last week wasn’t the same person who started working the following week.

Yes there are really people who have a rare gift for sizing up a person, but really there are only very few of them, and maybe you are not one of them. If you doubt this, then just think of the last 10 people you’ve hired. How many of them had great resume? How many of them knew exactly how to answer in the interview? Or how many had great referrals? And how many did you just think was the answer to your prayers?

And now ask yourself these…

How many of those you hired lasted longer than 3 months? How many have wreaked havoc in your day care center? And more importantly, how many times did your intuition proved accurate? If you are just anyone like us, then your gut would probably prove you right only half the time. You might have just flipped the coin on this and the future of your day care.

Experts suggest that the cost of turning over a childcare worker is about $4000 to $6000 when you add up all of those replacement costs.

Just think about it, when you don’t consider playing on nickel slots with a $6000, why consider it when making hiring decision? This just make the childcare industry comparable to Las Vegas gambles on s Saturday night.

And similar to gambles, day care directors only tend to remember the times they win and blocks out the times they lost. Both are convinced they won because of their insight and equally convinced that they will surely win again despite the odds.

In general, child care owners and directors are some of the nicest people you’ll know – warm, trusting and they really care about the welfare of children. However, these same characteristics are not so helpful when making hiring decisions.

You have to keep in mind that the main criteria for hiring successful childcare employee is not about how “nice” the person seemed, or whether they’d be a good friend. You have to realize that being nice doesn’t mean that they’d be a good fit in the classroom and that friends tend not to make great employees. And it’s not even whether they have great credentials, some people with Master’s degrees refuses to help with mundane problems like bathroom leaks and others.

A good candidate needs to be behaviorally fit for the real world challenges of the job. There are actually a lot of proven behavioral tools such as pre-employment assessments and structured interviews that takes much of the guesswork out of the hiring process. These things all save time, frustrations and money.

The best tools should be specific to the position. You have to make sure that they are based on in-depth behavioral analysis along with people who really do the job. The assessment should also communicate the important job requirements for them to understand what is expected of them.

In today’s busy world, it is important to make sure that the results are returned in a timely manner to make sure that the best candidate haven’t accepted the competitor’s offer from across the street. Many behavioral assessments are available online so directors can review results even before an interview is scheduled.

And last, directors should make sure that the company they picked out has a proven track record. Ask for documents on the results achieved by clients who used their tool.

Consistent use of scientific behavior assessments proved over 90% accurate for hiring successful employees.

Attract the Right Candidate for you day care centre

After deciding on the tools to use for hiring your dream employee and preparing for their qualifications and remuneration package, are you ready to attract the right candidates for your day care?

How do you intend to hire your dream employee? It would be pointless to have the right job ready along with the right package if the candidate has no idea about it.

You can use 2 methods to spread the word on your open job positions – internally or externally.

Internal resources will naturally save you time and money on advertising the position.

* You may consider promoting staff from within the center like an assistant teacher replacing the position of the leaving teacher. This could always be the best option as you should also give your staff a chance to grow and develop before searching for an external candidate. This will also motivate and boost the morale of the staff as it shows your appreciation on their hard work.

* If you have several branch, you can consider transferring staff from one branch.

* You may also consider re-hiring other staff how had left before – they are already familiar with your system and you know the staff’s capability and character.

* If you have previously advertised for the post, review previous resumes and reassess if you can find a suitable candidate from the pool. Maybe you can speak to the second best candidate.

Only when you’ve exhausted your internal sources should you consider external methods of hiring.

* You may consider joining job fairs if you are looking to hire a huge number of staff.

* You may take up an advertisement in publications – classified page in your local papers or trade publications such as child care magazines.

* You can also use electronic advertising measures such as online job portals and child care provider’s forum and pages.

* Let you family and friends recommend potential candidates or post an open hiring in your day care’s notice board.

There are other methods of hiring but you have to keep in mind that this activity needs not to be an expensive on. Opt for cheaper alternatives but if you are in a real hurry, getting help form employment agencies and advertisement are the quickest.

See: How to start a daycare center

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Tom Shieh has written 323 post in this blog.

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