July 7, 2015
New York City is perhaps the most competitive market for qualified, high-potential teachers and school leaders. There are dozens of high-performing charter schools, big name private schools, and innovative traditional public schools. Additionally, many schools and Charter Management Organizations have well-established recruitment efforts, generous salary and benefits packages, and strong name recognition.
In the 2015-2016 school year, the newly minted network talent team, headed by Chief of Staff, Kathleen Quirk, and assisted by Recruitment and Research Associate, Sarah Fox, worked to centralize hires across all six schools. To compete in this environment, Partnership Schools had to stand out by telling our story in a way that enticed the best and brightest to apply and, ultimately, accept our offers.
This meant creating and managing a robust system with the goal of recruiting and onboarding the best mission aligned teacher and leader talent with a deep commitment to Catholic urban education.
To that end, five levers were identified to use from the network-level to drive recruiting efforts: Brand Development, Broadcast Sourcing, Network Sourcing, Selection & Positioning, and Performance Planning.
Through the process, the talent team identified specific criteria to assess the candidates, including: mission alignment, receptivity to feedback, scrappiness, content knowledge, a joyful presence and connection with students, and a steadfast commitment to urban education and the belief that all children can succeed.
Unsurprisingly, the search for the school leadership positions used the network sourcing lever. The pool of aligned candidates for roles as Principals and Deans in our schools quickly proved to be finite and the team doubled down their efforts searching for "passive candidates" – those not explicitly “looking.” Among these, were the top three principal candidates and the two deans hired from outside the network.
As a related Partnership article details, our national principal search, which included over two dozen candidates was successful – Mr. Dukes has taken on the role of the St. Mark principal. (Read: National Search Yields Outstanding Leader for St. Mark School.)
As the reputation of Partnership Schools develops, teachers and leaders stay and grow professionally, a solid pipeline for recruits should also evolve. Eventually, excellent candidates will regard a position with Partnership Schools in the same competitive landscape as our better known schools.