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Finding Picasso (or the Art of Hiring)

by Dennis Vicars
January/February 2011
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/finding-picasso-or-the-art-of-hiring/5019716/

There is no greater economic indicator than enrollment numbers in early care and education centers. Accordingly, as FTEs (full-time equivalents) move up or down, the need for staff fluctuates as well. What does not change, however, is the absolute need for quality staff, regardless of economic conditions. The greatest challenge in early care and education is to find and retain quality staff. It represents over 60% of your costs and 100% of parent satisfaction, based on real and perceived measures of quality. Be that the case, let us not waste a great opportunity within a bad recession.

As most readers know, my motto has always been: “I am always recruiting, always interviewing, and always prepared to hire.” This strongly held management belief has usually led me to high-quality staff during good economic times when many believe that staff is unavailable, and it’s led me to better staff when the economy has floundered. If there is any good news out of this prolonged recession, it’s the increased availability of quality early care and education professionals.

I am amazed that a profession that prepares curriculum objectives, insists on lesson plans, and plans training for staff goes about recruiting and interviewing so haphazardly. All too often ...

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