INA Weekly Brief

6 Tips for Hiring the Support Staff That Will Grow Your Business + Make You An Industry Leader

May 29, 2017
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Finding the right support staff is critical to building your business for so many reasons. While you might already offer services independently, hand-picking the right people to passionately deliver those services on your behalf is another story. In this blog post, we’re going to explore six ways to hire the best support staff that will grow your business and make you a leader in the childcare industry.

Recruitment

The first step to finding the right candidates to represent your business and provide services on behalf of your business is developing an in-depth recruitment process.

  • To begin, you need to create a job listing that accurately and creatively depicts the job for which you are hiring, keeping in mind the ideal applicant that you’d like to attract. Focus on highlighting the unique benefits being offered for the position, the daily tasks that will be expected, and of course be as intriguing as possible when mentioning the compensation. Your goal here is to catch the interest of your ideal candidate so when you decide where to post the job, be mindful of what websites your dream employee would frequent. Once you’ve created your post and published it on relevant sites, you’ll begin receiving applications and resumes. The next step is crucial!
  • Take some time to perform a thorough investigation into the digital footprint of your top five candidates. Check out their social media platforms, Google their name, and identify any potential issues or conflict with the core values of your business.
  • Once you’ve completed a digital and social media screening of your candidates, the next step will be to contact their references and gain an even deeper insight into their previous work experience, work ethic, and whether or not they are considered eligible for rehire. With strong references and no red flags online, you’re now ready to take your top five candidates through the interview process.

 

Hold a Traditional Interview

Once you’ve recruited a solid collection of candidates, the next step will be to hold the first interview.

  • A traditional one-on-one interview is most common, sometimes performed with more than one interviewer, and this process seems to allow for a more personal connection for all involved parties.
  • When you’re recruiting for remote positions, the first interview may not be in person and may be conducted on Skype. Throughout this interview process, whether you are interviewing the candidate in person or over video chat, be mindful of each detail that you can perceive about the candidate as you interview them: are they dressed professionally and well-spoken? For remote interviews, are they in a quiet, professional setting? Are they prepared for the questions you have for them and are they presenting themselves as a capable, eager and knowledgeable candidate?
  • During this interview, you should get to know candidates with deep-rooted questions that reflect the culture of your company. The only way to know if this person is a good fit is to ask the right questions, ask for examples of times when they’ve provided exceptional service in the industry, ask leading questions that require the candidate to express themselves organically.
  • Find out your candidates’ passions, dreams, conflict management skills, and ask them questions about their interactions with former co-workers and/or families with whom they have worked.

 

Do More Than One Interview

From the first interview, you can glean a lot of information about your candidates, but is it enough to make a hiring decision? For most positions within the childcare industry, we want to be extremely thorough in our screening process to ultimately protect the most vulnerable.  

  • We perform background checks, confirm their eligibility to legally work in the U.S., dig into their past work experiences, so we definitely want to do a second interview.
  • During this second interview, you can recap information from the first round, and you can work on getting to know your candidate even better. You can get a sense of whether your candidate is being genuine, as well as how passionate he or she truly is about this position.
  • This second interview may be worth booking a flight to meet the candidate in person. At this point, after an in-depth first interview and a proper screening of their digital footprint on social media and within online communities, you have likely reduced your list of potential hires to a manageable size, making it worthwhile and feasible to conduct in-person second interviews.
  • For this final look into your candidates, you’ll want to ask more detailed questions about their current work environment and what they are looking for in their next position. Work to identify any potential conflicts with their hopes and expectations for the job, and what you and your company are able to offer and provide.
  • This is the time to solidify your initial thoughts about the candidates, identify any new information about them, and ultimately decide whether or not they are in fact the ideal applicant for the job.

 

Listen to Word of Mouth

The best way to know more about a candidate is to hear what others say about him or her.

  • If this is someone you know through another affiliation, find out what that person or group thinks. Within the childcare community, reputation is everything. Whether you’re an agency hiring internal support staff, or you are recruiting for a nanny or NCS, or even if you’re a service provider hiring remote contractors: the candidates that you’re considering likely have a reputation within the industry.  The more research you can do into their past work experiences, the better.
  • Join Facebook groups, parenting communities, etc. and investigate any and all feedback that can be found about your potential new hire. If you’re looking for the right person for the job, then you won’t want to skip this step!

 

Look for Uniqueness

The right person for the job is undoubtedly someone who will bring value to your company. Look for a candidate with aspirations for growth within the childcare industry.

  • Listen to his or her goals and thoughts or questions about potential growth within the childcare community.
  • When you are recruiting for support staff roles, you will be looking for compatibility with existing staff members and a general sense that they’ll both add to, and take from the culture and diversity of your team.
  • When hiring for a nanny or NCS role, is this person merely looking for just another job, or are they committed to the childcare industry, passionate about working with kids, and do they have a proven track record of standing out due to their excellence? Have they invested their free time in furthering their understanding of the industry, continued their educational trajectory by attending classes and training seminars? These are the childcare specialists that stand out, and these are the candidates that you want to present an offer to.

 

Trust Your Instincts

Odds are, you’ll have a gut feeling about your candidates.

  • Emotional intelligence and instincts are a priceless tool in the hiring process, so trust them! While everything can look great on paper and sound great during an interview, your instincts will pick up on things you might not be consciously mindful of.
  • If you’re looking for the total package in a candidate, always trust your gut when it comes to making the final hiring decision.

Finding the right person can be difficult, but at the end of the day, using these tips will help you find the person who will help to effectively grow your company and help you to stand out in the industry. If you’re looking for someone who will add value and experience to your company, then try these six tips for hiring the right support staff.