According to Statistics Canada, almost 60% of children under the age of six are enrolled in some kind of formal or informal childcare, and employment in this space continues to be in high demand across the country.
But with organizations competing to attract the same small pool of candidates, focusing on recruitment process improvements is important to give hiring childcare providers a competitive edge.
Here are three tips to consider when searching for and recruiting the best childcare staff.
Navigate through the talent shortage
The Government of Canada plans to create 40,000 more affordable childcare spaces by 2020. Finding and retaining qualified caregivers is going to become an increasingly challenging task and hiring processes must be able to keep up with these industry trends.
It’s important for hiring managers to be constantly on the lookout for ways to get ahead of competitors. One option is to engage with passive candidates, those that are currently employed but would be a good fit for your organization and could be tempted to move for the right opportunity.
Another could be the introduction of a referral program, encouraging current staff to be ambassadors for your brand and recommend opportunities to their network - because great people know great people! Of course, all referrals must then go through the same pre-employment processes as any other candidate, but they’ll have come from a trusted internal source and will be starting their journey with you with a positive first impression.
Polish your employer brand
A study by Statistics Canada found that the characteristics of the individuals providing care is one of the top five reasons parents will choose a childcare provider, so making great hires that will create the best experience for parents and their children, has never been more important.
Building your employer brand - the way you a perceived externally as an employer - plays an important role in attracting the best candidates that align with your values and culture. Understand how you want to be seen by top talent, develop your employer brand image and leverage the platforms candidates use, such as social media, to ensure you are seen by them.
But remember that a successful employer brand is authentic and created from the inside out. Work on your internal culture to turn employees in natural brand ambassadors, selling your organization as a great place to work, on your behalf.
Vet your candidates
Properly vetting candidates is important to ensure they have all the right qualities, characteristics and qualifications required to care for children. Hiring managers must verify the candidate’s education, certifications and experience to ensure they’re a good fit.
Background screening potential employees is crucial when hiring for this vulnerable demographic, but many childcare teams lack the resources, time or expertise to complete the due diligence that will ensure caregivers are the best fit and are sensitive and responsive when it comes to working with children.
A lack of efficient and robust processes often makes it difficult to be absolutely sure the most trusted individual is hired. Automating essential processes like reference checking can ensure hiring managers are thoroughly vetting their candidates and hiring with confidence.