Best Practice: Hiring Tips and Advice

cup of coffee and group of cvs graphic for hiring tips blogpost

Best Practice: Hiring Tips and Advice

Hiring new staff can be a difficult process, particularly within childcare, which is why we have put together this set of hiring tips.  Whether it’s playworkers, admin staff or other key team members, finding the right person to fill the right spot is no easy task.  In this best practice guide, our hiring tips are going to cover hiring.  We have put these hiring tips together with our friends over at Energy Kidz, who have to regularly hire and manage hundreds of members of staff.  You may also find our free interview questions template helpful. You can access this for free by filling in your email address below, where you will also be able to subscribe to our newsletter.

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1. Ensure Your Ads Have a Strong Safeguarding Statement

When advertising your job openings for staff that are working with children, it is very important to have a strong safeguarding statement.  As you are aware, safeguarding is one of, if not the most important responsibility you have and by setting out your commitment to safeguarding right at the beginning of the recruitment process can deter potential unsuitable staff.  If you are hiring and a prospective candidate doesn’t understand your commitment to safeguarding from the get-go, then they may not necessarily be the appropriate candidate you are looking for. Every interview should include safeguarding questions, as a filter for your candidates. A good practice when recruiting may be to implement a section on safeguarding in the interview process. This will enable you to gauge a candidate’s current knowledge of safeguarding procedures which may then look to be topped up with relevant safeguarding training.

2. Be Creative Where You Post Job Ads

When hiring, your advertisements are probably going to be competing with a lot of other hiring positions.  Ideally, your position will be able to stand on its own but with so much noise, you may be missing out on potentially great candidates.  There are ways around this of course, including paying more for advertising, but one of the easier ways is to get creative with where you place ads.  For example, consider placing adverts in school newsletters, local shops and encouraging your staff members to refer someone.  Getting a bit clever with how you recruit can yield great candidates that you wouldn’t otherwise have gotten.

3. Do Thorough Checks

Always remember that a CV is effectively a type of advertisement, therefore, you should only accept Application Forms. If a candidate sends a CV, you will need to ask them to complete an application form before proceeding. If they are not willing to do this, then are they the right person for your business. The application form should always have questions around convictions, cautions, etc.

You also need to complete checks prior to the new employee starting work including Right to Work, DBS, Overseas Checks, Gaps in Employment if applicable, and, of course, two References.  Conducting thorough checks in these areas is very important, not only from a legal perspective but also in getting a good understanding of your candidates.

4. Interview Face to Face

Reading application forms, setting tests and having phone calls are all very good methods of evaluating candidates.  Yet nothing quite beats a face to face interview and should be carried out by two interviewers.  You may be tempted to forego interviews in the interests of getting a position filled, but this may cause issues in the long term. The interview is your opportunity to separate fact from fiction, and more importantly, determine if you can build a good relationship with the candidates.  You will be working with the successful candidate, after all, so making sure that you can get on with them in person is very important.

5. Don’t Recruit Friends, Family or Relations

A recruitment process that may lead to complications invokes employers who hire candidates predominantly because they are a friend/family/relation rather than reviewing the suitability for a role.  There are several reasons why this is not a good idea.  First and foremost is that work is stressful, especially childcare.  While it isn’t assured that working together will strain a relationship, it is more likely to.  Additionally, the person may not be anywhere near as committed to the role as you would want.  They could also just simply be bad at the job, hoping that working for you would be an easy job.  There are very many risks from hiring someone close to you, which are avoided by hiring someone new.

6. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

Childcare can be a stressful industry and being understaffed only makes things more difficult.  Having to turn away children because you are understaffed and struggling to cope is tough.  Just as with hiring family or friends, it can also be tempting to just hire someone to fill a vacancy.  This, again, can lead to longer term issues.  Having to hire someone, only to let them go early and starting the whole process all over again, can become a repetitive cycle if an unsuitable candidate is employed.  This will work out much more stressful than waiting to hire someone.  One of the biggest hiring tips we can give is that suffering understaffing a little longer is a better idea.

If you have followed all of these hiring tips, hopefully, that will make the process that little bit easier.  There is something else that you can help running your organisation go more smoothly.  That is join magicbooking. Magicbooking is an online booking, communication and payments system that can automate admin tasks and reduce stress.  To see more, book a free, no-obligation demo and see using the tool below.