When it comes to giving your childcare centre the edge, great staff is the key. You can have the best facilities or an outstanding program, but if parents don’t trust or connect with your carers and teachers, they aren’t going to want to leave their children with you. Essentially, your staff are the public face of your business, so you want the best.
So how do you go about attracting the cream of the crop? Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula, but four handy recruitment philosophies should set you on the right path to staffing success.
Great teachers = great centres
If you only have one mantra, this should be it. If your staff are unhappy, you’ll have a high turnover and the best talent certainly won’t want to work for you. It’s a vicious circle, but you can turn it around.
Create a positive workplace by implementing initiatives such as integrating employee appreciation into the day-to-day routine, and involving your staff into the big vision. You’re more likely to retain good staff, and that in turn will attract high quality new staff.
Look for talent in the right places
Don’t just put an ad on a mainstream job site and hope for the best. Consider using these sites, but also look into advertising on specialist job boards aimed at early childhood education. That way you know you’re hitting a market that is specifically looking for childcare work, not just any old job that comes along.
Consider posting on LinkedIn, or even do a search for candidates with childcare backgrounds for a little proactive recruiting. Use your existing network of staff (or even parents), as they may know great people looking for work, and even think about offering a referral bonus or finder’s fee.
Know what you’re looking
Your first thought might be “I need a great new teacher for the pre-school room”, but really that’s just a vague wish. It isn’t telling you what you’re really looking for. So clarify to yourself what you really want.
For example, “a teacher with at least three years’ experience teaching the kindy program, who is also a fantastic communicator who can liaise effectively between staff and parents.” And make sure you get the message across when you’re recruiting, as you’ll be much more likely to attract the best candidates.
Ask the right questions
You want to make sure that the people you hire are passionate about what they do, and are specifically looking for work in the childcare industry – not just for any job to tide them over until they find ‘something better’. If possible, use the application process to screen by asking respondents to answer specific questions, such as ‘what attracted you to this field’, and ‘what can you bring to XYZ Centre’.
Make them a key part of an interview, as a great applicant will be able to focus on what they can offer you. And don’t waste the interview process asking vague questions about strengths and weaknesses – drill down to questions asking how they would deal with specific situations they are likely to deal with.
There are some fantastic childcare staff out there, just make sure you put the effort into getting them to work for you.
One of the ways you can ensure your staff get more time to focus on the kids rather than manual administration of payments is by using the right payments provider. Over 60% of Australian childcare centres trust Ezidebit direct debit for their fees. To learn how our payment solution can become part of your business strategy, simply call 1300 763 256. You can find out more about Ezidebit solutions here.