Substitute Staffing Program Checklist

Staffing Management Doesn't have to be Rocket Science

The most successful substitute staffing programs are those in which the school district has invested time and resources into building a truly stand-out program. These investments lay the groundwork for a program that not only operates more effectively, but also encourages professional growth for substitutes and greater student achievement. Launch your substitute staffing program toward success by investing in the below areas. 


  • Recruit year-round to ensure adequate staffing at all times
  • Advertise through local newspapers, radio, billboards, and lawn signs
  • Place digital ads on social media, job boards, and your website
  • Use sporting events, local fairs, and interest groups to find community members
  • Target students at colleges and universities and attend career fairs
  • Recruit candidates within the district such as full-time applicants, retired teachers, and parents


  • Utilize an applicant tracking system to streamline hiring and minimize paperwork
  • Maintain digital records of all substitute certifications and credentials
  • Regularly audit substitute qualifications to ensure state and federal compliance
  • Host orientations for substitutes to familiarize them with the administration and procedures


  • Implement a training program developed and instructed by a specialist
  • Provide in-person trainings on lesson plans, classroom management, special education, and district policies to substitutes before they begin working in your classrooms
  • Host recurring trainings throughout the year and offer supplementary online training modules 
  • Have substitutes attend in-service days
  • Produce a training guide to reinforce training lessons and school procedures


  • Establish a contact person(s) for regular substitute communication
  • Follow up with substitutes after their first day
  • Solicit feedback from substitutes about their experiences after assignments
  • Ensure all teachers leave lesson plans and provide support kits that contain fill-in activities
  • Offer benefits and competitive pay rates to attract and retain talented educators
  • Observe and evaluate substitutes at work to promote professional growth
  • Utilize a web-based absence system to make accepting assignments easier for substitutes


  • Use the web-based absence system to collect data on absence entry and substitute job acceptance
  • Analyze the data for absence reasons, call out times, and frequency to boost teacher accountability
  • Anticipate substitute staffing needs through absence trend forecasting

At ESS, our mission is to identify and provide the most important elements of your staffing program needs. Not only do we specialize in recruiting and placing K-12 substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff, but we also excel in day-to-day management. In addition, we provide credential tracking and compliance, training, benefits and incentives, and web-based systems with data analytics – all while reducing strain on your district’s resources. ESS invests time and resources into your staffing program so that you don’t have to. Call 877.983.2244 to learn how a partnership with ESS could benefit your district.