The success of your preschool will largely depend on the quality of your teachers. Research has proven this to be true repeatedly. So if you’re currently looking for new hires for your child care center, choosing quality candidates is vital. In this post, we will discuss tips for hiring preschool teachers for your center.
How to conduct interviews of preschool teachers
Sufficient preparation should go into developing a list of relevant interview questions. Here are some examples:
- What has your experience been working in early childhood education?
- Why do you want this job?
- What are your greatest strengths? Greatest weaknesses?
- What types of teaching techniques and approaches do you use?
- How do you discipline children?
- If a child hits another child, how would you handle that kind of situation?
- What is your view of play-based learning?
Take these questions and write them down. You may also decide to add questions that relate to each applicant’s qualifications and work ethic. Also, add items that will give you insight into how your ideal candidate is likely to perform in the role.
How to attract quality candidates for your preschool
In order to attract quality applicants, it’s important to stand out from other preschools. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Offer competitive wages and benefits. The more your prospective teachers believe they can benefit from working at your school, the more likely they will be to accept your offer.
- Show appreciation for your candidate’s time. You can do this by offering applicants reimbursement for travel expenses, such as their meter fees or the cost of public transportation.
- Provide an attractive working environment. Here are a few things you can do:
- Establish a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.
- Ensure that each employee has a designated place in which to store personal belongings.
- Have a break room that is easily accessible and provides amenities such as vending machines or a microwave.
- Promote policies that are ideal for quality preschool teachers. If you offer your staff perks like flexible hours and the option of working from home, this might be more appealing to some prospective candidates.
- Equip yourself with an employee referral program. This will encourage your current employees to recommend friends who might be a good fit for the role. And if you already have a team of great teachers, this can greatly increase the number of applications you receive.
After the interview: How to narrow down your decision
If one candidate stands above all others, it might be easiest to offer that person the position without having to interview several additional candidates. But if you find yourself in a situation in which the majority of your applicants seem to be equally qualified, these steps can help you make your final choice:
- Compare each candidate’s resume and results of background checks.
- Consider the location. If one candidate lives unreasonably far away from your center, that could be a deal-breaker.
- Think about each candidate’s availability. If two are available for the same time, but one has more flexible scheduling and the other doesn’t, the choice here will likely be easier.
- You may also factor in your emotional reaction to candidates. If you are just not comfortable with a particular individual, it might be best to look for somebody else.
- Consider your gut instinct. Which candidate seemed the most qualified or felt right? These are usually good indicators of quality candidates.
If you decide not to hire a candidate, then here’s how to handle the situation
If you feel that any candidates are well-qualified, but you just can’t seem to find room for them on your team at the present time, here’s what you should do:
- Send a thank-you note or email. It’s important to let them know that they are qualified and appreciated, even if the position isn’t available to them at this point in time.
- Offer to provide a positive reference. If they are looking for new employment, this might be helpful.
- Invite them to network with you and your contacts within your industry. This can also help build connections that could potentially benefit both you and the candidate.
Hiring preschool teachers is among one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make for your center’s success. In addition to choosing someone with a solid background and training, you also need to consider each candidate’s “soft skills”, which refer to how they conduct themselves and interact with others on a daily basis. Always remember that good behavior is just as important as qualifications.
At LCCM, we offer helpful marketing tools for preschools. Whether you’re posting an ad to attract candidates or increase enrollment, we can help. Contact us today for more information about our services!