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Staffing: What It Is and Isn't!

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The words recruiting, sourcing, selection, hiring, screening, posting, and staffing are often used interchangeably, but they all have different meanings and represent different parts of the larger staffing process. Even I say staffing at times when I really mean hiring. So what do these terms mean, how are they different, and where do they belong in the process? Here is a breakdown.

Sourcing is the act of uncovering the sources of high-potential candidates by reviewing information on current successful employees and unearthing data trends. Think of it as an internal study. For example, a district may research the backgrounds of their most successful teachers to identify trends in where they attended college or similarities in certifications and other experience. Through sourcing, organizations typically find that they're looking for potential hires in the wrong places.

Districts can then use this information to recruit high-potential candidates. An effective way to attract promising applicants is by working with businesses and other local groups to develop a comprehensive human resources branding strategy that showcases the district and community. Highly skilled recruiting organizations are always "looking" and not necessarily for a specific position. However, most organizations recruit for specific positions.

Making information about a job opening available within an organization and/or publically is called posting. With some exceptions, jobs are generally posted internally before they are announced externally. Additionally, depending upon the organization, posting may come before or after recruiting.

Screening refers to the work of reviewing résumés and cover letters in order to narrow a group of applicants. Talent managers should be looking for people who meet basic requirements. Some organizations will also call candidates during this phase to discuss the information on their résumé.

Selection involves using multiple measures to pick high-quality candidates. These measures could include reference checks, interviews, writing samples, in-box activities, knowledge testing, previous performance, or tools like TeacherInsight (Gallup), Haberman Star Teacher (from the Haberman Foundation), or even Wonderlic.

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The data gleaned through sourcing, recruiting, screening, and selecting candidates culminates in hiring. This is the formal offer of a job to a candidate, the candidate accepting, and the process of making the employee a part of the organization.

Many experts refer to staffing as the entire process that begins with sourcing and ends with hiring. But, this is only the beginning of the steps necessary to continuously develop and manage talent in schools and other organizations.

Do you know any districts that should be considered "best practices models" in staffing? Share your story.

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