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Recruiting Superstars

Recruiting Superstars

By In News and Updates On February 16, 2017

Recruitment is one of the most critical roles of school leaders. Our people are vital to the effectiveness of our school. You may have recently heard the mantra that it is PEOPLE and NOT PROGRAMS that ultimately impact on student learning. However, I would add an additional P to the mantra – PRACTICES. Success in school improvement comes through GREAT PEOPLE consistently implementing AGREED PRACTICES identified to meet the needs of their learners.

Even a great program will have limited, if any impact, if it is poorly implemented or delivered by people with low level skills.

Recruiting the right people is paramount and has a huge impact on outcomes and school culture. Some Principals feel frustrated with the very limited opportunity they have to recruit a new staff member and even more frustration with the limited input they have in selecting the successful candidate. However, the impact of just one appointment into a team cannot be over stated.

The most important decisions that leaders make are not what decisions, but who decisions.

Who refers to the people you put in place to make the what decisions. There can be no doubt, who decisions are vital. Ultimately, who failures infect every aspect of our professional and personal lives. The importance of making the right appointment is especially important for leaders in education.

Most Principals receive little if any training in effective recruitment processes. Often the focus of training is on ensuring the recruitment process is fair and equitable and therefore safe. Little emphasis is placed on actually making sure we find the BEST person.

I recommend reading “Who – the ‘A’ Method for Hiring” by Jeff Smart and Randy Street. Their process for identifying ‘A’ players is clearly laid out in a four step process that would add significantly to successful recruitment processes in schools.


Scorecard – the scorecard is a document that describes exactly what you want person to accomplish in a role. It is not a job description but rather a set of outcomes and competencies that define a job done well.

Source – finding great people is getting harder but is not impossible stop Systematics sourcing before you have slots to fill in short you have high quality candidates waiting when you need them.

Select – selecting talent in the hay method involves a series of structured interviews that allow you to gather the relevant facts about a person so you can rate your scorecard and make an informed hiring decision.

Sell – once you identify people you want on your team through selection, you need to persuade them to join.

The scorecard provides real clarity about the actual position. Rather than interviewing for a good all-rounder, we should be recruiting for the specific role that we need fulfilled. If you’ve defined the position correctly from the outset, you should be looking for narrow but deep competence.

It is also important that we ensure that we have the best possible pool of candidates. Superstars are in demand and can afford to pick and choose which school they work. To attract (and retain) superstars, it is more important than ever, that school leaders position their school to be the ‘Employer of Choice’. You can find out more about accreditation as an ‘Employer of Choice’ here.