Talent Talks

EdFuel’s blog on all things talent.

EdFuel’s Guidance on Virtual Sourcing and Hiring
Kerri-Ann Nesbeth & Mary Mason Boaz
April 6, 2020

Even before COVID-19, teacher recruitment and hiring were a daunting challenge for schools and organizations seeking to hire diverse, high-quality talent and for candidates looking to find the right position. In the current climate, schools and organizations are now needing to make all recruitment and hiring efforts virtual.

We’ve heard from many of you about these concerns and at EdFuel, it is important to us to provide responsive support to the education sector whenever and however we can. To that end, we wanted to share our curated best practices on virtual recruitment, which includes sourcing and hiring candidates, for those of you who are facing these challenges during this time of uncertainty.


Our top three tips for effective virtual sourcing of diverse, high-quality candidates include casting a wider net with job postings, bolstering employee involvement and investment, and attending virtual hiring fairs. See below for specific tactics related to each strategy.

Job Postings: Cast a Wider Net and Make Your Postings Pop

With more potential candidates working from home, now is the time to ensure your open positions are posted in as many places online as possible. In addition to posting to the sites you typically gravitate towards, ensure your postings are listed on subject-specific and even diversity-specific posting sites. For example, looking for a diverse math teacher? Try posting your position on the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators and Educate ME Foundation job boards. [Read More]

Cortney’s DEI Spotlight:  Designing Inclusive Talent Systems with “Bringing Your Whole Self to Work” in Mind
Cortney Graham
December 18, 2019

Do you remember that time you laughed and joked about the latest meme floating around Instagram with your favorite coworker, letting your hair down and turning your “professional persona” off for a bit? After “getting your life” at lunch, you later transformed back into your “professional” persona for your big pitch to the leadership team?

It’s something that many people do, almost organically, when transitioning between home and work or friend and current/potential colleagues.  But why?  In a work environment, particularly in the education sector, where “bringing your whole self to work” is encouraged, this shouldn’t be necessary. There’s a name for this conscious, sometimes unconscious, shift in behavior: code-switching. Code-switching is defined as the “process of shifting from one linguistic code (a language or dialect) to another, depending on the social context or conversational setting.”  The term code-switching can also be used more broadly to describe subtle shifts in how individuals express themselves in different spaces.

The author of Bring Your Whole Self to Work, Mike Robbins, says: “When we don’t bring our whole selves to work we suffer – lack of engagement, lack of productivity, and our well-being is diminished.  We aren’t able to do our best, most innovative work, and we spend and waste too much time trying to look good, fit in, and do or say the “right” thing. For teams and organizations, this lack of psychological safety makes it difficult for the group or company to thrive and perform at their highest level because people are holding back some of who they really are.”

In the final installment of our DEI series, this month we are exploring the concept and importance of bringing your whole self to work in relation to code-switching, and the potential bias that can emerge as a result. [Read more]

Ben’s DEI Spotlight: Lessons From Ithaca City School District’s Equity Strategic Plan
Ben Crosby
November 21, 2019

This month we are exploring opportunities for system leaders at the beginning stages of creating an “equity strategic plan” for their organization, drawing lessons from Ithaca City School District’s equity strategic plan. First published in 2005, Ithaca’s plan is built around an ambitious yet unambiguous goal – to eliminate race and socioeconomic background as a predictor of student outcomes and success within its schools. The district’s multi-faceted equity plan outlines various focus areas in organizational development, data infrastructure & analysis, strategic professional development for staff, and community partnerships. Given the wide variety of activities and stakeholders named in this particular plan, what general lessons might we draw for creating an equity plan at your school district or organization? 

Ithaca’s Student Equity Goal: Eliminate Race and Class as Predictors of Student Success
Ithaca’s overarching equity goal — eliminating race and class as predictors of student success — is emblematic of equity objectives shared by many school districts and education organizations. Ithaca’s equity plan also names two critical assumptions that make equity work different from other types of strategic initiatives; the fact that this work is fundamentally collaborative in nature (involving stakeholders both inside and outside the organization) and that it rarely progresses according to a “linear, sequential plan”. To this end, Ithaca names a variety of both internal (eg. district staff) and external (eg. families & community organizations) stakeholders as being critical to the success of their plan. They also acknowledge that various elements of their plan will be pursued concurrently, with “different workgroups focusing their efforts on different parts of the plan at the same time”. Finally, they leave many implementation elements of their plan blank or undefined, presumably to be fleshed out later by those stakeholders responsible for bringing this equity work to life inside their district over the years to come. Despite being more than 30 pages long, their plan includes few concrete dates or timelines, instead focusing on “statements of need” and high-level development goals across a wide variety of equity focus areas. [Read more]

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