Tue 18 Jul 2017
Creating a strong working team is crucial for any nursery. “Teamwork makes the dream work”, as they say and it is especially true in the childcare industry. It creates a happy environment, good working conditions and continuity - the essential combination to having a reputable and sought-after nursery.
Every parent looks at a nursery for a number of reasons, but most importantly, they want their children to be in a safe and happy environment. To achieve that though, the right team has to be in place. In a way it is like a football team: you can hire the best and most qualified people, but if they are not able to work as a team, performance will dwindle.
So what steps can nursery owners take to ensure that they build and retain a strong team that gel and work together?
The most important thing is listening to your current staff as you want those already working in the nursery to be happy with the new team member. It is worth talking to them and approaching them initially, as one of them might know someone qualified to fill the new position. You can offer bonuses to those members of your staff who bring on new staff as it will encourage both the existing and the new staff to work together and enjoy their workplace.
The next best thing is trialling temporary staff and seeing if any of them would be a good permanent fit. Sometimes you are in need of permanent staff, but making sure you have the right candidate is more important in the long-run. Therefore it is worth being patient and making sure you have the right team to back you up.
You can always recruit new members yourself or via an agency. Interviewing and assessing candidates is usually the most challenging part. Often you will see CVs where the candidate looks perfect on paper, but on the day of the interview all expectations fall apart for various reasons. It is a time-consuming task too - looking at CVs, arranging interviews and meeting candidates can take more hours than you actually have available. So if you are doing everything yourself, it is worth getting the nursery manager involved to shortlist a number of CVs for your consideration. Then together you can interview the candidates and make the final decisions.
If you are using an agency, make sure you provide them with as many details as possible so they are not wasting your time with unsuitable candidates. Minimum requirements, orientations, years of experience and salary are just some of the things you should provide your agent with. If possible, try to build a long-standing relationship with an agency who gets to know you and the nursery, so they know exactly what type of candidate you are looking for. This helps them to identify those who not only have the right skillset, but who will fit into the existing team and environment.
No matter which way you choose to go, it is an expensive venture. Therefore it is well worth putting some time and thought into finding the right candidates for you. In return, if all things go well, you will have a happy team that will bring more clients and more little busy bees to your nursery.
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