Having Some Hiring Heartbreak? Check Out EdFuel’s “Best Practices: Selection and Hiring for Charter Schools” Resource

Mary Mason Boaz
August 29, 2018

Limited capacity for hiring?

Are you extremely busy? Do you have numerous responsibilities? Is it hard to find the time to amp up the rigor of your teacher hiring processes? You are not alone.

Hiring the right people can be challenging, especially when you work in an organization where capacity, funds, or other resources are limited. In education, we are often operating within those constraints while also doing our very best to get quality people in the door for our students.

EdFuel partnered with the Indiana Charter School Network and Illinois Network of Charter Schools to gather and codify best practices from across the country around teacher hiring and selection so that you can more easily and effectively refine your hiring practices.

To make it easy for you to access these best practices in one single place, the Best Practices: Selection and Hiring for Charter Schools paper includes:

  • Process guidelines: An outline of the key steps that need to exist in a rigorous hiring process
  • Hiring profiles: A strategy to align on non-negotiables and what you’re willing to give up in exchange for those
  • Interview guides: Built out sample interview guides with questions and scripts all aligned to hiring profiles to ensure you assess for those non-negotiables
  • Rubrics: A way to ensure you’re assessing for non-negotiables and to provide an equity check
  • Reference check guides: Often underutilized, this guide can help you make the most of your reference checks (which can be chock full of helpful information about candidates)


One of the keys to a strong selection process is pre-identifying the non-negotiable knowledge, skills, and mindsets that are critical for success in a specific position. If an organization does not identify these non-negotiables ahead of time, they run the risk of making hiring decisions based on subjective feelings. This can lead to quality and equity issues in the hiring pool. A hiring profile is the anchor that guides and aligns the entire hiring process.

Searching for the unicorn?

We know that teachers are the number one driver of student success in schools. We also know that hiring for teachers can be really challenging and the pressure to find the “perfect” hire can cause us to want to hold out for that person who has it all. We want the teacher who is a curriculum whiz, classroom management star, relationship builder extraordinaire…and the list goes on. We like to call this the “unicorn” teacher. Unfortunately, the likelihood of finding that “unicorn” is slim and many of us find ourselves scrambling in June to fill vacancies with teachers that are likely not the best fit for our organization or context.

Unicorns may not exist, but strong-fit teachers do!

Too often teams are looking for the “unicorn” teacher who has everything (which are as rare as the real thing) and they miss the boat on the strong-fit teacher who meets their prioritized non-negotiables.

A hiring profile pushes you and your team to think critically about what you’re looking for in a teacher and to identify AND prioritize the non-negotiables that lead to success in your context. Even more importantly, our hiring profile serves as a forcing mechanism for your team to determine what you’re willing to give up (or teach yourselves) in exchange for those non-negotiables.

“When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.” -Karen Martin, The Outstanding Organization

See a sample hiring profile below or find a blank template here:

While it certainly isn’t easy, hiring doesn’t have to feel impossible. Resist the urge to go in search of a unicorn by identifying and sticking to your non-negotiables and prioritizing what you’re willing to give up (or teach yourselves) in exchange.

If you’re looking for other great resources, check out our open source tools:
National Best Practices on Teacher Recruitment and Retention
Blueprint for Success Competency Maps
Guide to Job Embedded Training

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