With teacher shortages plaguing many school districts and states, there has never been a better time to examine the benefits of working with a substitute teacher staffing agency. From easing the need for year-round recruitment efforts to the efficient ongoing management of substitute employees, partnering with a quality agency relieves you of not only the hiring process but also the administrative burden of maintaining an effective substitute teacher pool. Here’s how.
1. Substitute Teacher Staffing Agencies Make Staff Acquisition Simpler
Ensuring an adequate pool of substitute teachers to cover the typical annual absences is a complex process. From projecting anticipated need to recruiting suitable candidates, there is a great deal of time and effort required. Depending on the job market, this can keep your HR staff busy around the clock and throughout the year.
The current job market is plagued by challenges involving both supply and demand. With localized teacher shortages tapping substitutes to fill classroom vacancies and greater job availability in a variety of other industries, the supply of substitute teacher candidates is severely stretched. At the same time, demand for substitutes has increased due to those same classroom vacancies and an uptick in contractually mandated in-service training. The result is fewer substitute teachers available in many districts with fill-rates reaching unprecedented lows.
Faced with these multifaceted challenges, school districts are turning to education staffing agencies like ESS to simplify the acquisition of qualified candidates. With 19 years of service to education institutions across the country, we combine educational experience with human resource expertise and business acumen to deliver customized solutions for more than 700 school districts in 24 states.
With managing school absences as our “bread and butter,” ESS has perfected the substitute teacher hiring process. Experts in recruiting for hard-to-fill positions, we employ creative and innovative means to recruit and hire the best candidates available. When presented with your school district’s stipulations, our recruiters utilize a variety of strategies and resources to locate and hire the most qualified candidates, helping you build a personalized substitute teacher database that meets your district’s needs and specifications.
As an experienced staffing agency, we have the hiring process down to a science. We will seamlessly transition your existing staff and recruit additional talent to meet your needs. Our staffing specialists will take your substitute teacher checklist and prioritize your specifications in our recruitment efforts. School district administrators can rest assured that all substitute teachers have been thoroughly vetted and credentialed before reporting for their initial classroom assignments.
Our hiring specialists recruit year-round, applying national resources and wide-reaching strategies while keeping abreast of state and local requirements for substitute teachers. They stay the course in recruiting an applicant pool that has both the depth of qualified generalists and breadth of specialized skills and certifications. School districts can be confident that all substitute teachers have met local requirements and passed necessary background checks. In addition, credentials such as teaching certificates or temporary permits are validated and up-to-date.
2. Substitute Teacher Staffing Agencies Ensure a Better Substitute Pool
After recruiting, selecting, and processing the most qualified candidates for your substitute teacher pool, the next critical phase is providing the comprehensive training required to ensure they are classroom-ready. This component is best planned and implemented by veteran educators with significant experience in both instruction and classroom management. Providing the needed training makes the difference between good substitute teachers and great ones.
ESS employs a team of experienced educators and administrators to conduct rigorous, face-to-face training carefully designed to meet the needs of your district. We know that with comprehensive training in best-practice instructional strategies and developmentally-appropriate classroom management techniques, your substitute teachers will report to their job placements with the confidence and skills to guarantee that learning continues despite inevitable teacher absences.
Proactive Classroom Management
In order to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment, substitute teachers must possess the leadership capacity to command a classroom of students. And since each age group and classroom culture is different, substitutes must be well versed in classroom management. ESS introduces all substitute teachers to best practices in classroom management, helping them understand students’ developmental characteristics and providing strategies to handle special needs.
Implementing Meaningful Instruction
Beyond providing a responsible and commanding presence in the classroom, you no doubt expect learning to continue during teacher absences. ESS expends the time and energy required to cultivate substitute teachers who support your instructional initiatives and have a desire to make a difference. Through training in best-practice instructional techniques and incentives that reward exceptional service, we convey their implicit value and encourage each substitute employee to enthusiastically embrace their classroom duties and responsibilities, giving their very best efforts for your school community.
Encouraging Professional Growth
Whether they are professionals making a career change, college students, or retired educators returning to the classroom, substitute teachers have a variety of previous life and work experiences. ESS understands that substitute teacher education is the key to success for each of them. Beyond the mandatory introductory training, we offer on-demand, specialized training geared toward preparing substitutes for a variety of learning environments, including a separate track for special education.
3. Substitute Teacher Staffing Agencies Take Management Costs Off Districts’ Plates
The benefits of partnering with a substitute teacher staffing agency don’t end when trained staff are deployed to your schools. Instead, a dedicated regional manager and local operations team continues to facilitate the smooth implementation of your program. In addition, we work to inform and empower district teachers and administrators to ensure they gain the maximum benefit from our partnership.
Our local team will continue to provide daily leadership and hands-on support throughout our collaboration. By providing ongoing oversight of your substitute teachers and assuming many of the required business office, payroll, and human resources management functions, we relieve your district of these administrative burdens. Our integrated system allows us to develop custom reporting and analytics according to your specifications, thus allowing for the efficient and ongoing analysis of related data.
Efficient Resource Management
As stewards of the district’s financial assets, school finance officers have a responsibility to make informed decisions. And with personnel as the major categorical expense, examining options for managing district substitute teacher service makes good sense from a financial perspective. Engaging a substitute teacher staffing agency to manage this important subset of your personnel, provides relief from the many hidden costs that accumulate when hiring, training, and managing substitutes for long-term employment.
A Sound Alternative
The employment of substitute teachers brings a host of hard and soft costs that strain district finances, but it is also challenging from a management standpoint. With substitutes reporting for short-term assignments in different buildings and classrooms every day, managing their schedules, timecards, and disciplinary actions can prove difficult and demanding on district resources. Luckily, employing your own substitute teacher staff is not the only option. The move to partner with a staffing agency brings no less loyalty or dedication from your substitute teachers but does relieve the district of the details and tasks involved in their day-to-day management.
Sustaining Long-term Success
The success of your district rests in large part on the caliber and dedication of the employees in your classrooms impacting student achievement. So when your teachers are absent, you want the most highly trained, effective professional educators ready to step in. The advantage of partnering with a substitute teacher staffing agency is the intense focus that is placed on nurturing these essential educators. From offering competitive wages and desirable benefit options to building collegial relationships and supporting professional growth, ESS takes pride in sustaining experienced, long-term substitute teachers who are ready to make a difference for your district.
Why to Partner with a Quality Substitute Teacher Staffing Agency
The advantages of partnering with a substitute teacher staffing agency are multi-faceted and enduring. With escalating personnel costs and looming teacher shortages, this fact has never been more relevant to school districts of all sizes. From conducting a continuous and robust recruitment campaign to providing supportive, ongoing management, the right staffing agency can be your long-term partner in this essential but increasingly challenging school administration task.
Contact ESS for an in-depth analysis of your substitute staffing program and a customized solution to your most challenging concerns. From finding the most qualified candidates to getting them classroom-ready and providing meticulous oversight, ESS will save you time and money by supporting quality staffing for the long-term.