Educational Equity Newsletter – April 15, 2021
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Hiring the leaders you need
As schools return from Spring Break, many of our clients are entering a season of making decisions about key roles on their team for the next school year. Some are hiring for new leadership roles, others are replacing vacancies as staff prepare to leave, and still others are thinking about the roles that may shift unexpectedly over the next three months as people re-enter the workforce job hunt.
In our sector, a lot of attention has gone to hiring teachers well (as should be the case!). What hasn’t always gotten the attention it deserves is how to hire leaders that build culture, hold a high bar for excellence in their work, develop people, and contribute to the equitable and antiracist organizations we’re working to create.
Many of our clients are asking us questions like:
- How do we find the leaders we need in the timeline we have?
- How do we test to make sure they can do what we need them to do?
- How can we avoid being dazzled by decoy criteria that don’t actually translate to results?
Get clear on what you need.
One of the ways hiring managers get in trouble is by skipping the crucial step of discerning what you need in a hire to meet your goals. Sometimes this looks like using an existing job description to get a role posted sooner or over-relying on a firm to do the heavy lifting of hiring before deciding what you’re looking for. We understand that busy schedules can make it difficult to pause and reflect, but make sure you take the time to choose (and customize) 4-6 must-have criteria for each role.
Test for strengths in equitable and inclusive management.
At the leadership level, most of the job is getting work done with and through others in a way that’s inclusive and equitable. Most leaders could use continued development in this area. It’s dangerous to assume that having years of experience, managing in an organization respected in our sector, or even being able to talk about equity translates to effective and equitable practice. Instead, plan to test for these must-haves using scenarios, role plays, and rigorous reference checks to prove people can do what they say, especially when it comes to racial equity and inclusion.
Mitigate bias in your selection team.
In our sector, we often default to preferences and traditions in our hiring decisions, rather than focusing on the actual requirements of the job. We also assume that seasoned interviewers are naturally calibrated on what “good” looks like. Both of these mistakes cause us to bring bias into our hiring decisions, which disproportionately impacts BIPOC staff and others at the margins. To mitigate bias, use standardized interview questions and rubrics to evaluate candidates and brief all interviewers on the must-haves for the role before their interviews. As a leader in conversations about candidates, you can draw people back to data in their rubrics related to the must-haves, rather than generalities about the candidates like “she was great!” or “they weren’t a fit!”
Hiring Leaders for Racial Justice, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Thursday, April 29 at 4pm ET
Rather than new content, this training will be a deep-dive and application of the topics above, with time for practice, feedback, and related questions. Register here.
And, save the date for our upcoming workshop on May 20 at 4pm ET. Registration link to come.
Sign up for a training today!
Whether you are looking for a training on project management, support as a manager who identifies as Black, Indigenous, and/or Person of Color (BIPOC), or an overview of the basics of people managing, we have something for you. Check out our latest training offerings here.
Need more support?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about our coaching and training services for leaders in the education sector. We look forward to hearing from you!