Once an ethically diverse team of applicants has been identified, interviewed and subsequently hired, it is the job of all members of the K-12 staff to work hard toward retention. Retention is an important aspect, perhaps the most critical aspect of any solid recruiting strategy.
Why is retention so important? Administrators will spend thousands of dollars training someone during the course of their career. They will also shell out thousands during the recruitment and selection process. If the individual's they end up hiring are happy and stay in the positions they are recruited for, then all of this money is money well spent. If however the turn over rate is high, an educational organization stands to lose a great deal of money that can impact future recruiting programs and strategies.
Retention strategies should focus on providing all members of the staff with a warm and supportive environment that acknowledges and accepts an ethically diverse environment (Spangler & Wicox, 2000). A key aspect of any solid retention program is also support for professional development and career growth of new hires (Web & Norton, 2002).
To that extent the administrators should work toward developing a system for promoting employees internally and encouraging continuing education and support of individual's personal aspirations and goals with regard to education in general.
The recruiting strategy for a K-12 facility should incorporate a broad range of opportunities for new hires and full fledged staff members to develop, analyze and even participate in ethically diverse programs and activities. The organization should promote diversity by regularly scheduling diversity activities and maintaining a strong commitment toward diversity over the long haul.
Certification/Classification large body of research supports the notion that ethically diverse institutions are more likely to attract and retain ethically diverse candidates than more homogenous ones (Spangler & Wicox, 2000). Because of this fact alone it is critical that all K-12 organizations work to establish and maintain an environment that is diverse, certified and classified.
Attracting diverse candidates in and of itself is not enough. An organization also has to assure that candidates are properly trained, certified and classified. To uphold the highest quality standards of education requirements for certification and classification must be evaluated, assessed and established prior to the recruiting and hiring process. It is critical that all candidates are evaluated with regard to their skills and abilities.
Part of the retention strategy should incorporate continuing education protocols to assure that once hired staff maintain their classification and certification as changes occur in education and requirements.
To promote the highest possible ethically diverse staff, it may be important for some organizations to offer a program that helps potential candidates acquire certifications or classifications when necessary. This is part of a strong training program. All educational organizations committed to excellence and diversity will develop training programs that focus on diversity and certification or credentialing as a whole.
There are many critical components of an ethically diverse recruiting strategy. K-12 organizations must work hard to attract a diverse population by creating an open community that fosters communication and supports ethically diverse outlooks, perspectives and groups of people. An organization can achieve this by reaching out into the community, training employees and networking whenever possible.
A diverse community is more likely to attract and retain diverse applicants than a non-diverse community. If a K-12 community is not diverse but seeks out diverse candidates, the best way to assure that candidates respond to their efforts is through a sensitivity and awareness campaign. The organization will have to work toward opening the lines of communication, networking, and creating an internal environment that embraces diversity and puts the minds of diverse applicants at ease during the selection and hiring process.
No one element of this recruitment strategy is more important than the other. Rather, all elements of an ethically diverse recruitment strategy work together to assure a commitment to excellence and to foster a diverse and supportive environment that promotes diversity to the highest degree possible. Just as the parts of the recruitment strategy work together, administrators and staff must work together collaboratively to foster diversity in the K-12 environment.
Spangler, M.S. & Wixon, C. (2000). "Strategies to achieve a diverse faculty and staff."
AAHE Bulletin, American Association for Higher Education. 4, November, 2004, http://www.aahebulletin.com/public/archive/june1.asp
Webb, L.D. & Norton, M.S. (2002). "Human Resources Administration: Personnel