In a previous blog the importance of staff retention was discussed and how important it is to have ‘actively engaged’ staff. There are times however either through staff leaving/retiring or business expansion that you will need to recruit new staff.
There are steps to be taken when recruiting new staff members to your ‘dream team’ and you should always follow the ‘Recruitment Policy and Procedure’ that you have in place to recruit the most suitable and qualified individuals to fulfil the needs and to best support your Childcare Service.
Additionally, there are other actions you may wish to consider for good practice. You will probably decide to advertise the vacancies in the usual places, but, have you considered asking the children to design a poster to advertise the vacancy? As discussed in a previous blog about staff retention having Actively Engaged staff is vital, why not include staff members in the short-listing process, or in informing you of the characteristics of a good team member. If you are involving staff members in the short-listing process it is a good idea to remove personal information (that is possibly on a cover page) so that each application is judged on its content (and not the person). Please make sure you have a way to identify which cover page belongs to which application.
Once you have short-listed the applications, you may wish to ask the applicants to attend your setting for a ‘trial’. Doing this has two main advantages:
Firstly it gives you an opportunity to see how they interact with your existing staff team.
Secondly, and probably most importantly, the children get to meet and interact with them. Make sure you gain feedback from the children as to what they thought of their possible new Childcare Practitioner / Playworker.
You may also wish to consider having at least one child on the interview panel, you may be surprised at their insights. Children’s participation is not only important in activity planning in your setting but also in staff recruitment. Those looking after children have a direct impact in a child’s life and they should have involvement, where appropriate, as to who that person is.
Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs can support you in how to enable children’s participation in your recruitment process, whether that is from a Childcare Business Development Officer or delivery of an ‘Involving Children in Staff Recruitment’ in club workshop (discounted rate for members)
Allowing both staff members, children and young people to Actively Engage in the process will enable you to build your ‘dream team’ all the more quickly.
Nicole Lovatt, Regional Manager, North Wales