Retaining Substitutes Differently

School districts across the country are struggling to fill positions. This problem has highlighted the need for districts to maintain a pool of reliable substitute talent to bridge the gap and fill vacancies. Just as it’s been difficult for school districts to fill their full-time positions, so too has it been problematic to keep substitutes coming to work to support their students when they need it most. As it continues to be challenging to keep substitutes coming back, perhaps school districts need to do things differently to retain their valued substitutes.

That’s why ESS retains substitutes differently. We understand the importance of retaining substitute staff to provide consistency in your schools. ESS invests significantly in employee retention and satisfaction initiatives so that your substitutes keep coming back to support your students.


We offer a variety of employee perks to both attract new candidates and keep current employees happily working for ESS. Through our Career Kickstart Incentive, we help candidates begin their education careers with ESS by compensating them for some of the costs required to acquire the necessary credentials. We also pay current ESS employees $100 through our Refer a Friend program for every friend they refer who gets hired and meets minimum qualifications.

Every ESS employee enjoys the convenience of weekly pay and direct deposit, and we offer a 401(k) plan for employees to invest in their future economic security. As an added financial benefit, ESS employees are provided discounts through an employee discount program.

ESS also offers comprehensive, affordable health care benefits to employees and their families regardless of hours worked. Voluntary insurance options such as dental, vision, and life insurance are available as well.


Each month, we raffle more than $1,000 worth of exciting prizes to substitutes who meet certain work frequency and performance qualifications. We also raffle gift cards during Substitute Appreciation Week in May and American Education Week in November, and employees are automatically entered into each day’s drawing if they work an assignment that day.

To further demonstrate our appreciation, we offer cash incentives to substitutes who work in hard-to-fill schools or on hard-to-fill days. Substitutes willing to support our districts when they need them most deserve to be recognized, and we’re committed to rewarding them for that extra effort.


On top of our investments into employee perks and appreciation initiatives, ESS also provides its substitutes with an unparalleled support network for their day-to-day needs. As soon as a candidate applies to ESS, they are carefully guided through the application and credentialing process by an ESS representative. Our team walks them through every step and helps them acquire the credentials they need to start working in the classroom.

Once substitutes are hired, they have access to our expansive employee engagement team. These specialists are available during extended office hours to assist with questions on job details, help with being placed with assignments, technology questions, and general support. The ESS human resources team is also available daily to assist with benefits, pay, and more. And finally, ESS substitutes are supported every day by their local ESS management team. This management team directly oversees substitutes and their work in our partner districts, and they’re available to provide hands-on support and assistance whenever necessary.

Doing Things Differently

When you partner with ESS, you know that your substitutes are being supported, invested in, and happy to continue working in your schools. We know how crucial it is to maintain a quality substitute pool to provide your students continuity in the classroom – that’s why we’re committed to giving you the support you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how ESS can promote substitute retention in your schools and provide a full-service substitute program that does things differently.