Finding great employees is a constant uphill battle for every employer in every field of work. Finding great employees for daycare positions poses its unique challenges in recruitment, but by following these five tips for recruiting great employees you will quickly find yourself with a fully staffed daycare.
To find great daycare employees, use these five techniques for active and passive recruitment.
Create a company culture that attracts great people
Internal and external referrals
Go to the source
Offer a great benefits package
Social media and job posting outreach
Before starting on our journey to recruit great people, we first need to establish what we are looking for and what it means to be a great daycare employee.
To start, they must be able to pass a background check and a drug test. This is a non-negotiable for any new hire and also serves as your first safe-guard in weeding out potential bad hires.
Each state requires different education standards for daycare employees ranging from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree, but higher education, preferably in an early childhood development field or equivalent, is ideal even if it isn’t mandatory.
Child care workers should also possess a set of nurturing attributes that include compassion, patience, desire to serve others, and the ability to flourish in a teaching role. The ability to effectively communicate and work with both adults and small children simultaneously is also a must.
Active vs. Passive Recruiting Methods
Our next step in mastering the recruiting process is understanding the two categories within which each method falls. Active recruiting is just as it sounds; actively seeking out new team members through postings, outreach, and soliciting referrals directly from current employees or through networking. Great companies are always actively seeking out outstanding candidates even when they are not in need. There is always a spot on the team for a great hire even if a position must be created, temporarily, to accommodate them.
Passive recruitment, however, works a little differently. Passive recruitment involves doing all of the things in the background which make your company desirable to work at. This involves things such as treating your employees well, offering competitive benefits, and creating a great working environment while upholding a high level of standards.
Now we are ready to get into the meat and potatoes of finding great employees to staff your daycare.
Create A Company Culture That Attracts Great People
Creating a fun, warm, and rewarding company culture is the first step in both actively and passively recruiting great employees. People need to love where they work and, daycare workers, in particular, need to feel like they are having a positive influence on others’ lives. Give your staff the tools, both physical and hypothetical, that they need to succeed and to provide a positive experience for those patronizing your business.
Not only does a strong company culture create happy employees and satisfied patrons, but according to Forbes “Many HR professionals agree that strong company culture is one of the best ways to attract potential employees. A positive culture gives an organization a competitive advantage.
People want to work for companies with a good reputation from previous and current employees. A company with a positive culture will attract the type of talent that is willing to make their next workplace a home, rather than just a stepping-stone.” A happy working environment won’t go unnoticed and will help lead to active recruitment through referrals.
Internal And External Referrals
The first place to start when beginning an active recruitment campaign is to look internally. Solicit referrals from your best employees. Knowing that they are invested in your company culture and believe in your same core values allows you to trust recommendations that they may make regarding candidates.
They will also feel compelled to ensure that whoever they refer will work out because they have bought into your company. Hiring internal referrals often also improves the work environment if you have multiple people working together that also share a strong bond outside of the workplace.
External referrals remain more murky water than the “sure thing” of an internal hire. External referrals primarily come from people in the immediate network that may work with you but not for you; thus meaning their core values and ideals may not align exactly with yours. External referrals often afford a low overall success rate, but still worth the effort in a pinch as at least you have somewhat of an idea of what you may be walking into.
Go To The Source
An effective form of active recruitment is the tactic of meeting potential new candidates at the source; college campuses. College students are constantly looking for work in their field of study, especially as they progress through their course work, and using them to fill entry-level positions is a win-win for both parties. Not only do they get experience and their first post-graduate opportunity, but you get a young and eager individual that is up-to-date on the most current practices and procedures while also being malleable in their role.
Offer A Great Benefits Package
Along with creating an outstanding company culture, implementing a competitive employee benefits package is an equally as important passive recruitment technique even more so in the daycare field due to a general lack of tangible benefits that are offered to employees as a standard. The intangible benefits of working at a daycare facility are numerous. The daily fulfillment of impacting a child’s life is enough for most working in this field, but offering tangible benefits such as healthcare and paid time off gives you a leg up in regards to both retainment and recruiting. Listed below are a few simple offerings to include in a basic benefits package that is both affordable for your business and attractive to potential candidates.
- Paid time off – This should be offered in three separate categories to include vacation days, sick days, and personal days. Vacation days can be either set or accrued throughout full-time employment. A certain number of sick days and personal days should be allotted based on a six-month or one-year rotating period.
- Health insurance – Offering health insurance is huge to employees these days and is often a deciding factor in choosing one job over another. Affordable healthcare options with the addition of health care savings accounts coupled with dental and eye insurance should be a standard in any employee benefits package.
- Retirement benefits – Not an absolute deal-breaker to include for most people, but offering a 401k program when you have enough employees to do so is a welcomed perk.
- Tuition reimbursement – There are a lot of factors that go into the decision to offer this type of benefit to your staff members. How many people do you plan to recruit from colleges or with college degrees? Are you pulling in enough revenue to make this a fiscally responsible option? Would you offer full or partial reimbursement and up to what dollar figure?
- Childcare benefits – Seeing as you run a childcare business it makes sense to offer childcare discounts to your staff.
- Wellness programs – Another hot topic in recent years. Can you offer discounted gym memberships, healthy meal plan options, or even things such as discounted yoga memberships to your staff members as a part of a comprehensive wellness package?
Social Media And Job Posting Outreach
Long gone are the days of putting up a hiring sign in the window of your business to entice candidates to enter and fill out paper applications for employment. Job posts as well as job seekers have taken to the internet and social media to search for their next career move. Not only can you reach a broader audience with digital outreach, but it can also cost your business little to nothing in the way of capital to mount a successful recruitment campaign online. Below you will find the basic strategy to implement a great online outreach program.
- Post articles at the right time to capture the most views. Refer to this article for the best times to post on each social media platform.
- Begin the conversation yourself. Ask the right questions of your followers and use clear verbiage about the jobs that you are offering and what they entail. Entice them by sharing your company culture and benefits package!
- Utilize the right keywords for the daycare industry. Search other daycare companies to compare postings and see what is and isn’t working for others. Small changes in offerings or verbiage have a big impact on views.
- Go back to basics. Update your website and social media accounts to advertise that you are hiring. Be clear about what you are offering and what details why candidates should come to work for you.
What is the standard amount of PTO to offer after 1 year of service?
The standard offering is one week of vacation, two sick days, and four personal days per year.
What if there are no colleges in your area to recruit from?
Attend local job fairs, career centers, or even organize your hiring event with other local businesses!
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
To learn more on how to start your own daycare checkout my startup course and documents here.