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Smiling educator and children together at the blackboard in kindergarten or preschool

Hiring, Onboarding and Retaining Staff

  • April 18, 2023

With the current market conditions, hiring, onboarding and retaining educators is harder than ever. Unfortunately, the Early Childhood and Care (ECEC) Sector is no exception. A lack of suitable applicants, candidates not showing up for interviews paired with a high turnover rate in a competitive workforce are just a few of the issues providers are facing.  

By ensuring that your ECEC business has the right processes in place, you can attract the right educators, keep them happy and make them stay longer. Let’s look at some tips that will help you navigate the challenges surrounding hiring, onboarding and retaining your ECEC staff.  

Hiring

When on the lookout for educators, these techniques can help widen your candidate pool.

  • Write accurate job descriptions – Clearly outline your expectations and daily responsibilities.  
  • Follow up with candidates methodically
  • Seek for feedback from current employees and get them involved in the hiring process – ask for referrals.
  • Send reminders before interviews and have the first one over the phone
  • Ensure you’re posting listings far and wide – job sites (Seek, Indeed, LinkedIn), local Facebook groups, your website, and in your newsletter.
  • Make it easy for candidates to apply.
  • Having multiple application and lead forms on your website
  • Minimise your required fields on your applications
  • Re-evaluate job requirements to be less restrictive  

 

Onboarding 

Retaining great employees starts with a well thought out onboarding process. Start with an easy to follow digital training manual. By providing in depth training, you’re giving your new staff members the best chance to put forward your centre’s core values and understand your expectations.

Throughout the onboarding process, ensure your new hires are taken care of– introduce them to each staff member, organise group lunches, provide them with company merch; overall make them feel included and comfortable.  

Assigning a mentor can also be extremely helpful for new hires as they have someone they can turn to for advice.

Retention

Retaining great talent starts with a smooth onboarding process. Now that you’ve mastered that, it’s time to focus on keeping staff at your centre for longer.  

Consider restructuring your benefits to include incentives for current staff members. This could be a monetary bonus to employees once they reach anniversary milestones at your centre or days in lieu.  

Offering tools and technology to reduce friction and make your staff’s job easier. Tools like our CCMS save your staff hours each week through automated billings, digital daily notes, attendance tracking, communicating with parents, automations and more.

Creating a brand, mission and vision statement can help employees understand your centre’s purpose and focus. This also helps them get a better understanding of what values they should portray day-to-day. For example, Kangarootime’s core values are: kindness, thoughtfulness, resilience, relentless, and integrity. With our core values guiding their everyday acts, our employees make a conscious effort to promote them both internally and externally.  

Finally, be sure to show recognition to your staff. Show appreciation when they go the extra mile and succeed. Make your staff feel valued and they will in turn offer better quality care to your customers. Recognising and celebrating your employees’ accomplishments publicly will promote a positive work environment. You could implement an employee of the month program to highlight key performers. This will make them feel valued but also encourages your other staff to go above and beyond.  

By following these tips and techniques your childcare centre will be ready to thrive now and into the future!

Free ECE Staff Onboarding Checklist

Download this onboarding checklist to help your admins through the centre staff onboarding process. Fill out the form below and we’ll send you the template via email.

Keen to learn more about Kangarootime? Join a quick 5-minute webinar to get a feel for our software. In this presentation, we will give you an overview of our features. You’ll be able to interact with our product consultants and ask questions along the way. Register here and select a time that works best for you. Join a 5-min walkthrough presentation!

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