Top Ten Things to Do When Bringing on a Staff Member You Didn’t Hire

With increasing staffing shortages and uncertainties, some school districts are moving to a more centralized approach to hiring. This means as a principal, you may be bringing on new staff members who you did not necessarily interview and hire yourself. 

Whether you hired someone or were “gifted” a staff member, you should onboard your new staff member accordingly. Planning for new teachers requires forethought and insight into how they’re feeling. Moving teachers to new schools could cause a lot of stress on the teacher, which is essential to recognize. Fortunately, we’ve developed ten ways to make the teacher transfer process smooth, even if you didn’t hire them.

How to Make the Teacher Transfer Process Smoother

Principals need to put themselves in the teacher’s shoes. They might have loved their last placement and aren’t excited about the move. Showing them they have the opportunity to have a positive experience at their new school can give them hope for a great school year. Ten ideas to promote a positive experience include:

  1. Call your new staff member as soon as possible after the placement is final to welcome them.
  2. Be real. “This is awkward since we haven’t met… but I’d like to hire you.” 
  3. Connect with the person who interviewed and hired the staff member and get information about the exhibited strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Set a meeting to get to know them.
  5. Communicate your school’s vision, mission, and leadership philosophy.
  6. Ask them why they wanted to work in the district and what they’re looking for in a leader.
  7. Get to know each other.
  8. Consider the new hire’s strengths and weaknesses and determine how to position them onto your team – get all sides excited about the new hire.
  9. If the hire was an involuntary transfer and it’s appropriate, you may want to share with your staff how hard that would be and to be overly welcoming.
  10. Remember, they didn’t choose YOU either. 

Expressing empathy and showing positivity through a sometimes difficult situation can make the teacher transfer smoother. However, while acting optimistic about the situation is helpful, it’s also essential to have honest conversations and good communication among the new staff and other staff members. 

Take Information You Learned About the New Staff Member and Act On It

Listen and take notes when you ask new staff members questions about themselves. If principals ask questions such as “what are you looking for in a leader?” it shows they are interested in doing their best for the new hire. 

If you ask these questions, you must be willing to make changes. You don’t need to change your entire leadership style, but occasionally it’s acceptable to make accommodations for new staff members who had to transfer away from where they’re comfortable. This is also a great opportunity for you to grow as a leader as you reflect on what your staff members need. 

The Modern Principal Can Help You Boost Morale With New Staff Members

While it’s important to ensure your new staff members who transferred to your school feel comfortable, it’s also vital to promote positive morale throughout your whole building. Check out our Morale Boosters to get started on improving relationships among your staff members. 

Continuously developing yourself as a principal can enhance your skills as a leader. For more tips on leadership in a school setting, listen to our podcast or connect with us through social media! 

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