Donovan Group Insights

Hiring for 2023-24? Accentuate Your District’s Positives!

You have open positions, and you need people to fill them. But not just anyone—you need experienced, dedicated educators who walk into school ready to inspire young minds. You know who you’re looking for, but finding them isn’t always easy.

So, how do you get the right people on your team? Start by accentuating the positives. Who you are is who you attract, so if you promote a culture of positivity, the right candidates will come to you.

Benefits of accentuating your district’s positives

Accentuating the positives is key to finding the right team members for your school community. The positives can inspire more people to apply by demonstrating that great things come from your schools. They see what your district is all about, and they want to be a part of it. This gives you a wider pool of candidates to choose from, increasing the chances of finding someone who’s a good fit for your district.

Positivity helps you attract the right people. You don’t just want anyone in your schools. You want people who will educate, inspire and push students to be their very best. You want teachers and staff who walk into school every day with unwavering commitment and a passion for education. Quality candidates want to join a welcoming community where students thrive and achieve greatness. Show them your community is the one they’re looking for!

Accentuating the positives can also give you a competitive edge against other school districts. Prospective candidates are likely applying to several districts in the surrounding area. And if they receive multiple job offers, you want to be the district they choose. In order for that to happen, you have to stand out from the other options. Promoting the positives can encourage a good candidate to choose your district over its competitors.

State your mission, vision and core values

Prospective candidates need to see that your district has a clear vision for the future. They need to know which core values are guiding every word, action and decision within your district. Candidates are a good fit when their values align with yours, and stating them loud and clear can help you attract the right applicants.

State your mission, vision and core values where prospective candidates are going to see them. Many applicants will visit the “about us” page on your district’s website to learn more about your school community. This is a great place to state your values and mission statement. You can also post a written message from the superintendent describing what your district is all about and inviting new people to join the community.

While your mission and values should be clear to job seekers, your district needs to go beyond simply stating them on a web page. Prospective applicants want to see your mission and values in action. They should be evident in all of your district’s content, whether it’s an announcement, news release, video or social media post. Any district can talk the talk—it takes dedication to walk the walk.

Spread the word about exciting school events

Prospective applicants also want to be a part of an active, thriving community. Before they apply for a position, job seekers will likely browse through your district’s blog and social media pages to learn about the latest school happenings. Spreading the word about events like food drives, homecoming parades, track meets and charity concerts shows prospective applicants that your students are well-rounded individuals who achieve great things beyond the classroom.

Leverage the media channels at your disposal to advertise upcoming events and recap ones that happened earlier in the year. For example, your marketing team could design eye-catching social media graphics to get people excited about spirit week or the annual school fair. Blog posts give you more room to tell stories about talent shows, awards banquets and regional conferences from the previous school year. Every bit of good news is worth sharing, especially with those who might be joining your community!

Share academic achievements with the community

Student achievements reflect the quality education they receive. And that quality education stems from the outstanding teachers, coaches and staff who support your schools. Job seekers want to join a district that takes pride in its achievements and isn’t afraid to share them with the world. They want to work alongside fellow educators who are good at what they do and work hard to help students succeed. Sharing students’ academic achievements will show job seekers that your district is exactly where they want to be.

Stay in touch with what’s happening in your schools, and look for ways to share those achievements with your community. Post last semester’s honor roll list to your district’s website. Create a news release about the educator who won your state’s Teacher of the Year award. Share a throwback to your softball team at state conference in the spring. No matter the achievement, make sure prospective candidates know about it. And remember, no achievement is too small to celebrate!

Promote a friendly, inclusive learning environment

Educators want to work in an environment that’s healthy, both for themselves and for the students. Prospective candidates won’t apply for a position if they get the feeling they won’t enjoy working at that school. They wouldn’t want to be a part of a learning environment that’s detrimental to the students’ wellbeing, either. If a candidate gets multiple job offers, they’re going to choose the district they can see themselves working at for the long haul. Prove that yours is the one they should choose!

Stakeholder testimonials are a fantastic way to show job seekers that your district promotes a healthy learning environment. Prospective candidates are more inclined to trust the opinions of students, parents, teachers and staff because they’re present in your schools on a daily basis. Ask these stakeholders if they would be willing to share a few kind words about your school community. Place written quotes on your district’s career page, or create a video that you can share on various platforms.

Advertise support for teachers and staff

Support is critical, especially for new hires. It’s the key to not only gaining new team members, but also keeping them around. Your district needs to reassure prospective candidates that they would receive all the necessary support as they transition into their new roles. Teachers and staff need ongoing support, too, like access to online resources, mentorship programs and professional development opportunities.

As you start the hiring process, be sure to promote a supportive work environment where teachers and staff are set up for success. If you haven’t done so already, create a staff resources page on your district’s website, then post a link to it on social media. Advertise career fairs where prospective candidates can learn more about available positions. Show job seekers your district is there to help every step of the way.

Accentuate the positives all year long

Positivity is more than a means to attract quality candidates. It’s a habit your district should practice long after the positions have been filled. Always look for achievements and exciting news to share, and discover new ways to bring your values and mission statement to life. Job seekers need to realize that you’re not just putting up a good front. This is who your district really is.

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