Building a Team

Building a team can be a difficult task. For sake of clarity, teams exist at the teacher, building and central office levels. Each level has their own set of roles, responsibilities, and challenges. When developing a team, it is important to have a process in place to ensure you select the best candidate for the needs or your organization.

When building a team, we sometimes look for people who are just like us. People who have a similar set of beliefs; similar personalities; and sometimes similar educational backgrounds. When evaluating candidates for hire, we sometimes think, “this person is just like us. They’ll fit right in.” A candidate who fits right in your team is probably not the right candidate.

-To have and keep in one's grasp- held the reins tightly.

The first step in developinga team is to evaluate the your needs. This starts with a leader’s own self-awareness. A leader must consider current strengths, and identify areas in which a team may not be as strong. Once these areas are identified, start developing a candidate profile to use as a guide when evaluating candidates. When filling an open position on a teaching, building admin, or central office team, you are looking for someone who brings strengths you are missing. Someone that will move your team forward. This sometimes means passing up on quality candidates that are too much like everyone else. In my experience, this has been difficulty, but necessary.

In my school, we have had teacher teams who lacked someone who was being innovative with integrating technology. Or someone who was really good working with data. When filling these positions, we sometimes had to pass on people we really liked, for people we really needed. It is important to include staff in creating the profile for the candidate you hire. This way, they will understand the need to pass on someone they really like, for someone they really need. This is a step in which I still need to improve in our process. We often discuss things we are looking for in a candidate, but I haven’t taken enough time to collaboratively develop a profile with our hiring team.

When filling an open position, it is important for leaders to be self-aware (of yourself and your teams); identify the needs of your team (especially what you lack); create a candidate profile; and select a candidate that will help move the rest of your team forward. Using this process will help guide your hiring decisions, and help identify candidates that will improve your organization.

What process do you use to fill an open position? What are some important steps your hiring teams follow?