Over the last several months, Nimble has been working alongside customers and friends to ensure a smooth transition to a remote hiring process. Many have shared fantastic ideas and resources for facilitating hiring and other core HR functions during this challenging time. We’re compiling these and other suggestions and resources — along with some of our own survival tips as a fully remote company — to help HR and Talent teams adjust to the crisis.
Sign up here for a consultation to learn more about how Nimble can facilitate streamlined virtual hiring in your organization.
Nimble is hosting a series of live events to help K-12 leaders share best practices and learnings for virtual talent management.
Presented by Nimble, Kickup & Upbeat
When: Wednesday, February 24 @ 1pm ET
Covered: Tools and strategies K-12 HR and Talent leaders are using to stay ahead of the curve on recruitment, development and retention during the pandemic (recording here)
Presented by Nimble & Insight Education Group
When: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 @ 12:30pm ET
Covered: Virtual recruitment tips and tools to set you apart, examples of excellent virtual events, strategies from top tech companies.
Presented by Nimble & EdFuel
When: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 @ 2pm ET
Covered: Facilitating successful demo lessons, aligning your hiring profile with a virtual process, and spotlighting your school or organization while remote. (recording here)
Presented by Nimble & TNTP
When: Thursday, April 23, 2020 @ 1pm ET
Covered: Projecting resignations, retirements and overall vacancies, recruitment strategies that work well virtually, and training and norming for your remote selection process. (recording here)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for event resources & materials!
In order for your team to be successful, you’ll need some tools to communicate in real-time. Here are the free tools we recommend:
If members of your team are still online but working remotely, we recommend downloading Slack, which is a chat tool that any organization can use for free. For their paid tiers, they have significant discounts for nonprofits and education organizations. Here’s a quick guide to getting your organization started in Slack.
If you’re missing the benefits of face-to-face meetings, take advantage of Google Hangouts, which is always free if you use G-Suite, or Zoom’s offer of free service for schools. To make setting up a meeting in Zoom completely seamless, we recommend downloading the Zoom Scheduler Chrome plug-in, which allows you to schedule Zoom meetings directly from your calendar.
Additionally, Microsoft Teams is now free through January 2021 and Skype is a resource that can be used for free for video meetings to other Skype accounts. Teachers may also consider using Skype in the Classroom during this time to support remote learning.
With both chat and video tools, we recommend sharing out guidelines to your staff on expectations for responsiveness during the coming weeks. Guidance for video meetings might include things like whether cameras are on, muting while you aren't speaking, and finding a location with minimal distractions.
It’s the height of the hiring season, and though some schools may be out for this month, or even the rest of this school year, schools must continue next year’s hiring if they want to open next year fully staffed. Many Nimble partner districts have embraced remote interviews, demo lessons, and recruitment events.
There are several tools now free to districts to facilitate remote interviews. For example, Zoom (video calls) has made their premium service free to schools, and Calendly (scheduling) has made their Zoom and GoToMeeting integrations free for everyone.
For remote interviews, we suggest sending clear directions to candidates so that they know what to expect and how to use the technology. Here is some sample language used by some of our district and charter partners (feel free to make a copy of this google document and personalize it to your organization).
It’s also important to set expectations and provide support for hiring managers. Here is sample language used by some of our partners. Make sure to remind both interviewers and interviewees to test their tech prior to the call.
Now that school visits are off the table in most places, many districts have moved to an online demo lesson format. Check out a case study with 5 tips for virtual demo lessons here.
Remember to give candidates clear guidance on what a successful demo lesson looks like. DC Public Schools has kindly shared their teaching demo guide, which you can access here. Adjust all guidance to reflect social distancing guidelines (e.g. for those recording novel teaching demos they will likely need to do so without an audience). Here are some additional resources you can point candidates to or use as inspiration to develop your own demo lesson guidance.
Second, decide on the structure of your organization’s demo lessons (or provide some options and suggestions to principals). Teaching demonstrations can be recorded or completed virtually. Many districts also provide the candidate with feedback to see how they incorporate that into their lessons.
There are various ways schools might structure demo lessons:
Scenario 1: Live demo, incorporating feedback
Applicants do a demo lesson (typically 5-15 minutes) during a live video interview to a panel of interviewers who play students; feedback is delivered in real time by the school leader and the lesson is delivered again with feedback incorporated. This option can typically be done within an hour long video interview, although it may be a strenuous interview for candidates. Remember to leave time for them to get to know the hiring managers and school-based teams as well.
Scenario 2: Video demo upload
Applicants record and upload a 5-15 minute teaching demo video, followed by a live interview where they discuss areas of improvement with the school leader. For this option, experienced teachers may have a real classroom video, while new teachers may record a simulated lesson — this sometimes makes an apples-to-apples comparison challenging. Also with this option, the hiring manager cannot evaluate how effectively the candidate incorporates feedback.
Scenario 3: Combination lesson
Applicants conduct a live demo lesson as part of the video interview; feedback is delivered at the end of the interview, and the candidates then upload or email a revised demo lesson to the school leader as a follow up. This can also happen in the opposite order, with feedback being delivered prior to the interview. This scenario makes the initial interview demo less burdensome to the candidate and leaves more time for him/her to get to know the school-based team during that conversation. However, it can slow the feedback loop since the candidate may have homework after the interview, which must be revisited by the interviewer(s).
With each of these scenarios, the organization should consider the burden of time and stress on the candidate, equity across teachers (for example newer versus more experienced teachers; those with more or less access to tech at home), and the time requirements for the hiring team.
If you use a live format, it is helpful to provide guidance to school-based teams on how to conduct effective demo lesson interviews. Here is some sample guidance for hiring managers.
Check out this fantastic guest post on the Nimble blog by Kelly Gleischman of EdFuel. This guide provides a template for 3 types of virtual recruitment and hiring events, along with suggestions for tools to help with each.
KIPP has also shared some excellent guidance for hosting virtual hiring events, which can be found here.
Below we highlight some tools that are useful for talent and HR teams, along with general opportunities that may be relevant to other teams within your organization.
• TNTP has assembled a full guide for managing talent virtually. It can be found here.
• Urban Schools Human Capital Academy has put together a Slack community (join here) for sharing questions and resources.
• The Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University recorded a webinar on the financial impact of COVID-19 on schools, including on items like teacher retention and staffing costs, pensions, etc. View or download the webinar here.
• The TN Department of Education has put out a School Closure Toolkit for Staffing (found here) that addresses common questions and provides procedures and considerations for HR.
• KIPP Foundation has made their COVID-19 resource bank available. This includes resources on academics, operations and IT, talent recruitment and HR, communication with students, families and staff, and more.
• Allovue (K-12 finance software) has developed a special free offering to support procurement and resource allocation during school closures. More info here.
• Bellwether Education Partners is offering pro-bono consulting to K-12 organizations trying to navigate operations through Coronavirus. Email them here for more information.
• Zoom has made their paid tier free for schools.
• Calendly has made their video conferencing integrations (with Zoom and GoToMeeting) available in their free tier.
• Hirevue has extended capacity for existing school-based customers.
• Loom is a screen recording tool that is now free for educators and can be used to record remote lessons.
• Here is a list of 40+ remote learning solutions that schools can now use for free.
• The charter network Achievement First has made all of its remote learning resources available online by grade level and subject.
• TNTP has compiled several tips and resources on how to make remote learning work. They are also offering free planning sessions for school system leaders.
• In this post, Charter School Growth Fund features useful and practical tools on how to structure remote learning and communicate with families.
• Amplify has made their K-5 remote reading program free through June 30.
• Chiefs for change is also accumulating a helpful list of resources for and from education systems here.