Make the most of next hiring season with a fall stepback

Written by 
Lauren Dachille

Make the most of next hiring season with a fall stepback

Though hiring is never really complete, fall can be an important time of year for some reflection and improvements before the hiring season picks up steam in the spring. Creating an annual “fall stepback” to review key data from last hiring season is the perfect start. 

If you’re new to the idea of a fall stepback, you may be wondering: what data should I be looking at? We suggest starting with four fundamental pillars.

Recruitment strategies

Rather than repeating the same recruitment strategies year over year, it’s important to look back at last year’s applicant pool and understand where your most effective applicants came from. We recommend looking at a report of all new hires broken out by applicant source, to see which sources were most impactful in yielding new hires. Are there any recruitment activities that were resource-intensive but did not yield many new hires? If you’re trying any new recruitment activities this hiring season, be sure to set a goal for new hires generated from each, and measure your progress throughout the hiring season. 

Staffing efficiency

Looking back at last year’s teacher hiring data, what percentage of seats were filled by the first day of school? Or another way to think about it — by what date were your classrooms fully staffed? If you had a goal for either of these metrics last year, did you achieve it? Fill rates provide valuable data, as teachers hired earlier in the season tend to perform more effectively, and we also know that teaching vacancies on day one of school are detrimental to student learning. Once you have a sense of your historical data, you can set an overall goal for the coming hiring season, with 3-4 key milestones you’d like to hit along the way.

Applicant experience

In today’s hiring climate, candidates — especially those for hard-to-staff roles — have their pick of positions. You can set your organization apart with a user-friendly online application and an efficient, high-touch hiring process. One way to measure your success here is to measure the average time from application submission to offer for new hires last year. For some organizations, this process may be as short as two weeks, while for others it may be as long as two months. Getting as close as possible to the two-week side of the spectrum will involve training and supporting school-based hiring managers and measuring success both overall, and by school site and position type.


Research tells us that students in high-need schools are most likely to start the school year with classroom vacancies. For this reason, it’s pivotal that you measure staffing success not only across the board, but also broken out by individual school or school type. How many qualified applicants per vacancy are you seeing across different schools? From there, you can focus your recruitment supports on the schools having more difficulty — that might mean giving high-need schools earlier access to candidate pools, or featuring those schools in your early hiring events. 

Hosting your fall stepback

Once you’ve set your goals for the hiring season, the next step is to structure your fall stepback and supporting rituals and processes throughout the hiring season. We suggest hosting a fall stepback meeting with the HR/Talent team first, to align on key goals and metrics for success, and then hosting a training for hiring managers that helps them understand their role in meeting these goals, and how your team will support them. From there, you can set a quarterly progress update for all stakeholders, as well as a recognition program for the HR/Talent team members and hiring managers who are going above and beyond to ensure all students start the school year with an amazing teacher at the front of their classroom.

How Nimble can help

Did you know that Nimble’s pipeline dashboard provides you with all of the above data and more? For more information on how to leverage our pipeline dashboard check out this tutorial or contact us at

Lauren Dachille
Founder & CEO @ Nimble