Over the last several weeks, Nimble has been working alongside our customers 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 teams adjust to the crisis and continue next year's hiring.
If you have additional resources, corrections, or updates you think we should add to this guide, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance!
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. We'll be updating this section with sample guidance as we gather it.
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.
First, remember to give candidates clear guidance on what a successful demo lesson looks like. Here are some useful 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.
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.
• Urban Schools Human Capital Academy has put together a forum on 3/26 where talent leaders can discuss questions related to COVID-19 (register here) as well as a Slack community (join here) for sharing questions and resources.
• 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.
• 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.