Recruiting and Hiring
Hiring an employee, even if it's someone to help you out on those days when you need to take care of your own personal business or you are too ill to look after the children, is making an investment in your business. When you hire someone to work for you, you will invest time, money, training, and trust.
There is a lot to think about when you're hiring someone. It's an important process you should put some time in to examining your needs and to hire and recruit in a systematic, legal way.
Publicizing a Job Opening
When most people think of hiring an employee, they tend to think only of classified ads. But there are several ways to let people know about your job opening:
The most common means of advertising is in newspapers, which are relatively inexpensive and get quick, good response. Trade magazines or newsletters are more expensive and generate less response, but can be used effectively for recruiting people from other parts of the country if there is a lack of qualified caregivers in your area. Other popular forms of advertising include radio and online posting.
With regards to online posting, please take a moment to visit child care online's Job Posting Board featured in our Career Centre. The Career Centre offers a lot of great advice and links to help your with resumes, interviewing, child care jobs and wages, employee retention, and so much more.
This involves going to places such as local colleges or schools to find and attract job candidates. It can also include personal referrals.
If you tend to hire frequently or you need to hire several employees at once, this is a good route to use because they do a lot of the legwork. It can be expensive, though.
Writing a Job Advertisement
Once you've chosen where you want to advertise, you're ready to draft an ad. If you have a job description, this will give you a basis with which to start. You can use main points from your job description in your ad and save yourself some time trying to figure out what to say.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you're drafting a job advertisement: including the right information in your ad and avoiding the use of discriminatory language, for legal purposes.
Some handy tips: Tell enough about the job so that those reading the ad can decide whether they are interested and qualified. Give the job title along with a brief description of duties. Use your job description. List the minimum education, experience, and skill levels that are acceptable. Don't overuse abbreviations that make it difficult to read or understand the ad. If you must use them, stick with the simple ones. Remember, writing it right saves you and applicants a lot of time and energy. They want to find the right job as much as you want to find the right employee, and a clear, specific job ad goes a long way toward that end.
There are ways that you can create a simple job description without spending a lot of time researching and writing. For example, you can make a list of activities to be involved on the job, and you can rank them in importance.
Just jot down a key word or two for each task that will clearly mean something to you when you use this information to write your job description. For example, a task would be "greeting parents and children." Rank the task in terms of its importance. List the activities involved in doing each task. For example, using "greeting parents and children" as the task, activities might include answering phones, welcoming families into the facility, helping the children say good-bye and getting settled in, etc.. List the skills necessary to perform that activity. Using the example above, skills might be "pleasant and outgoing personality," "knowledgeable in dealing with children and families (if an E.C.E. or Child Development training is not required)," "a working knowledge of the business."
Preparing beforehand is the key to a successful interview. Here are some steps to take: Narrow your selection to three to six candidates to interview. The more you pick, the more time it will take. Decide where you will hold the interviews, which would probably be at your home or facility so the applicant can get a better understanding of your business. Prepare questions to ask the candidate. Good questions will allow you to take good notes. Be sure to allot plenty of time for the meeting. You don't want to rush. Unplug the phone or do whatever you have to in order to make sure that you are not interrupted during the interview. Go over the resumes and compare each applicant's background with what you need. Practice asking questions. It will make the interview process a lot more productive.
After you've collected information about applicants and done an interview or two, you're ready to check the background of your most promising candidate.
As liability is high when working with children, you'll want to be particularly careful about doing a thorough background check, including a check of criminal records to the extent permitted by law. For more information on how to do a proper background check, consider the following: employment references, personal references, education records, driving records, criminal records documenting the reference check. In the child care field you would be well-advised to follow through on all of these methods.
Be upfront during your interview and tell each applicant that no employment offer will be made until satisfactory reference checks are made. Then call or write to each reference given. A call will generate a better real-life description of the candidate than a written response. Be aware that many employers are reluctant to disclose much about a former employee because they are afraid of being sued. Document all information that you receive. Also document unsuccessful tries at gathering information, to protect yourself from negligent hiring claims. Don't make a job offer until you've completed your reference checking.
Making the Job Offer
After you've done the necessary background checks and are prepared to offer a candidate a job, your offer should include the following information: the position offered, location and working hours, rate of pay or salary, benefits if applicable, starting date, any certifications you need to have on file, etc. For legal purposes, don't give a job to anyone without a written statement of the offering. It's okay to call a candidate to offer the position over the phone, but always have a meeting to sign the paperwork and ensure everyone is clear about the ABC's of the position.
After the Hire
After you've made the job offer and the candidate accepts it, complete the required paperwork as per your local employment standards regulations, set up personnel files, orient the employee and introduce her/him to the parents and the children in your care.
For more tips on interviewing and hiring employees or for posting child care or teaching position, please visit child care online's Career Centre.