School Business Affairs September 2020

30 SEPTEMBER 2020 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS HUMAN RESOURCES A lthough it is too early to tell how COVID- 19 will affect school and district hiring in the long term, it has brought to light the importance of having robust and vetted backup plans. Today’s climate makes it hard—if not impossible—to conduct business as usual when recruiting and hiring staff. Traditional in-person career fairs and recruitment events are not an option, yet schools still need to fill criti- cal personnel openings. Shifting to digital recruiting is one way for schools and districts to meet this need. The following best practices and tips can help districts attract and hire the qualified staff they need for the coming school year. Optimize the District Website The website, which provides a window into the district, can undergo some simple changes that will make a big difference in drawing qualified candidates. With the majority of Internet traffic coming from mobile devices, ensure that the site is mobile-opti- mized so those who view it from mobile phones or devices have the best possible viewing experience. Traditionally, mobile-friendly sites have larger fonts, easy-to-access drop-down menus, and more thumb- stopping content that help people easily navigate the site. A mobile- responsive website adapts automati- cally to fit the size of the device used to view content; this feature ensures that candidates can navigate and complete the application form on small screens. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your site ran higher on search results and show up before other webpages and potential employers for job seekers. Creating a strong meta description—the short summary that appears under the organization’s website title during a search will improve your page ranking. This description should entice visitors to the site to drive clicks from the list of search results. For this rea- son, the section should be customized for the user with engaging, action-oriented words. Shorter is better: 155 characters or fewer. Connect with Candidates Adding live chat on the website can increase the number of candidates applying for positions. Providing candi- dates with the opportunity to ask questions about the district, the positions, or items not included in the job descriptions in real time provides a more positive candi- date experience. During off-hours, candidates can leave messages with expectations of a subsequent response. Meaningfully connecting with candidates via video and social media can provide a broad perspective and Going Digital with Recruiting and Hiring Moving the recruiting and hiring process online doesn’t mean lowering standards or quality. By Mike Teng FIZKES/STOCK.ADOBE.COM