Hiring in Child Care--The Decision

Over the past couple of weeks, we have talked about conducting pre-interviews to screen applicants and interviewing those applicants.  This week, we’re talking about making that decision of who to hire. 

With the interview completed and the applicant’s responses documented, the decision-makers need to take a few minutes to discuss the interview.  What did they like or dislike about the applicant’s responses?  Were there any red flags or anything that was particularly impressive?  Again, document these insights so that you’ll be able to remember them later. 

When time allows, start completing some sort of Staff Hiring Matrix that allows you to track each applicant’s qualifications and your impressions of the interview.  This matrix will allow a simple way of objectively comparing each of the candidates and identifying those who are among the top applicants.

Once you identify your top applicants, you can start calling references.  We always call at least 3 references, either business or personal references for each applicant we are considering.  While our own policy, and the policy of many businesses, is to provide nothing but confirmation of a former employee’s employment history, we still find many people who will give us much more information about an applicant.  Primarily, at this point, you are trying to confirm that the job titles, dates, and responsibilities that the applicant reported are accurate.  However, any other insights that someone might be willing to share about that individual provides you with just a bit more information about how that person might fit into your program. 

With all of the information gathered, you are ready to make your final decision.  Again, you can refer to the Staff Hiring Matrix to compare the top applicants.  One word of caution during this step is to recognize a general tendency to hire individuals that are similar to ourselves.  While being surrounded by a bunch of people that are like us may be most comfortable, this is typically not the best staffing plan.  Make a conscious effort to stretch yourself.  Don't hire someone because you feel a connection with them; hire them because they have good credentials, great answers to your interview questions, and really know how to do the job. 

Next week, we'll talk about extending an offer of employment and turning down the applicants that you did not select.

Misty