Educational Equity Newsletter – May 28, 2020
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Preparing for a Remote Summer (Hiring & Onboarding)
As hard as it can be to admit, it’s likely that most educational organizations will be remote (or mostly remote) this summer, and that includes hiring and onboarding.
To help you plan, we have five tips for educational organizations preparing for your first remote hiring and onboarding summer.
Budget more time.
This may be a familiar echo from previous newsletters. Running a remote hiring process will require special attention to how you interview, how you assign and assess performance tasks, and how you evaluate candidates equitably. On a logistical note, you might need time to familiarize yourself with the technology you’ll use. For example, many videoconferencing platforms allow you to record meetings, which would allow you to re-watch role plays or include staff who couldn’t attend interviews to provide their thoughts at a later time. Block time upfront to hash out the details of how you’ll use your tech, who will be involved at what steps, and how you’ll evaluate candidates.
Refresh the must-haves.
Whether hiring someone new or reinforcing expectations with your existing team for a new school year, it’s important to get clear on and communicate the must-haves that define success in a role (including any that have changed given the new context of physical distancing). For example, we’re seeing a greater need to stress flexibility and adaptability, problem-solving, and other skills related to working and managing through ambiguity. When hiring, test those skills; when reinforcing expectations, make those must-haves explicit and support folks to meet them.
Plan for a fully remote summer.
As a leader, your people need you to cast a clear vision for prepping for Back-to-School season. Even if the country does open up, to meet the safety concerns and practical needs of your team equitably, we recommend you plan for all-remote staff events and onboarding this summer for a few reasons:
- It’s simpler than planning for two scenarios (in-person or remote).
- It doesn’t put the burden of deciding on individuals, which would have inequitable effects on people with less power, with marginalized identities, and/or special risk factors.
- It’s likely cheaper, as you’ll save money on renting space and providing full meals.
- It allows staff with unique circumstances (such as caregiving needs) to participate as fully as possible.
Simplify your onboarding.
Cutting corners on the onboarding experience might save you time at first, but it can lead to a rough start for many new hires and months of “figuring things out” that they could have learned immediately with a little more thought and intention. This is especially true for folks who have less access to power and staff with marginalized identities. Rather than starting with the full list of your onboarding tasks and trimming down to save time, we suggest you take a zero-based approach. Start from scratch and ask yourself:
- What are the onboarding practices that add the most value to the new hire experience?
- Why are they valuable? What do they teach and how do we know?
- How could we deliver these well in a virtual environment?
Here is our general guidance for onboarding during COVID-19 and a sample remote onboarding checklist you can tweak to fit your context.
Build in moments to connect and belong.
This will be a challenging back-to-school season. Creating opportunities to learn about each other and build trust will help your team establish goodwill to draw from during disagreements or moments of constructive feedback. This list includes virtual activities and discussions that help to build trust.
Training and Coaching
Thank you for all the work you are doing to make this summer a win for your organization! Here are a few ways we want to help:
No-cost COVID-19 coaching: If you need help thinking through your own plan for summer, you can request a no-cost COVID-19 coaching session here.
Upcoming webinar: “Centering Equity in Your Decision-Making” on Tuesday, June 2nd at 4pm EDT. Register here.
Coaching or training with The Management Center: Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you all the details about what else we offer!