Tuesday, December 21, 2021

You did the right thing, believe me its true, and it can happen to you (Paul McCartney)

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

As I've said many times before, I feel very blessed to be working with so many outstanding people in my campuses. In my prize-giving speech I mentioned many of them.

And I've mentioned previously how rare this feeling has been in my career of nearly 40 years in the profession.

I think part of this is the process we go through with new hires to ensure they are talented, personable, of good character and a good fit for the culture.

Even though it's Christmas week, a few of my colleagues and I have still been going through the interviewing process for 2022 starting positions. Real dedication to get it right is the common theme for our process.

That swings both ways - I've always thought that I need to be right for the school I apply to, and the school has to be right for me.

To get that right fit, I like to have an informal meet and greet with each applicant (preferably in person rather than on zoom). That gives me and my trusty lieutenant(s) a chance to explain our context a little, get a feel for them as people, answer any questions they have, and show applicants around to get a feel for how they interact with students and any other staff we meet along the way.

For me, their soft skills, their attributes as a person, their potential fit within the existing team, their receptiveness to change trump their individual skill in the position.

I don't want a new person coming in to be brilliant at their job but have no ability to work well with other staff.

We short list from there for a formal interview with a wider panel that includes a Campus Administrator (a person like a Board Of Trustees member in the state system).

That bit is crucial because we all see applicants with a different lens.

This process needn't take long - during the last few weeks of the term we have secured five new staff across the Gisborne and Hastings' campuses, with one role still needing to be filled in the new year.

That's pretty stunning given the current job market where there are plenty of applicants, including tyre kickers, for each advertisement. 

Having gone through this hiring process this term, I feel very confident that we have new employees who match that aim - they are right for each campus, and the campus is right for them.

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