So, you have decided to seek the assistance of a substitute teacher placement agency to help you build a strong pool of quality substitute teachers. Where do you go from here? There are more than a few options to choose from when considering an agency, but how do they sort out and what exactly should you be looking for?
Determine the Quality of the Substitute Teacher Pool
With leaders that have experience in the K-12 sector, educational staffing agencies are uniquely qualified to understand the demands placed on teachers and administrators in 21st century schools. They know what to look for in substitute teacher candidates and how best to prepare them for the job. An education staffing and management company can partner with you to make your vision a reality.
The most important step is considering the quality of the placement agency’s substitute pool. Substitute teachers are a specialized subset of temporary employees. They will be tasked with ensuring the well-being of your district’s students and providing meaningful instruction in their teacher’s absence. This will require responsibility, organization, and resourcefulness. In addition, substitutes must be well-versed in a variety of instructional techniques in order to implement lesson plans prepared by the absent teacher. With these specific requirements in mind, it makes sense to consult an education-exclusive staffing agency that is experienced and highly-qualified in order to capitalize on their expertise in hiring, training, and managing education professionals.
Here are some things to look for when working with a quality substitute teacher placement agency:
- Find a substitute teacher placement agency with a proven track record and research their success stories
- Share your vision so that recruitment efforts may be customized to meet your needs
- Expect an expanded pool of applicants obtained through targeted outreach in the local community and at nearby colleges
- Look for 100% compliance with background checks and credentialing requirements in your state
- Weigh the savings of a full-service agency that handles the entire process from recruiting and hiring to managing schedules and payroll, thus relieving district personnel of all the related tasks involved in maintaining a professional substitute pool
- Ensure that your chosen education management company provides highly qualified substitutes trained in both engaging instructional strategies and effective classroom management techniques.
Capitalize on Technology Applications
Most substitute teacher placement agencies use an automated system for assignment scheduling, notification, and data analysis. Look for a company that uses cutting edge technology to streamline processes and optimize communication. Absence Management is one such platform that handles all aspects of the process from requesting a substitute to acceptance notifications, data analysis, and reporting.
Use of absence management software ensures efficiency and enhances communication capabilities for teachers, substitutes, and school administrators. Absence management, human resources functions, and payroll systems should be fully-integrated and customized to your needs.
Demand the Best for Your District
Even among education-exclusive staffing agencies, there are other merits to consider. One is the method by which they deliver professional development. Though most offer online, on-demand training modules, look for a company that includes face-to-face orientation with an experienced educator. This personalized onboarding process provides mentoring support and more successfully prepares new substitute teachers to work in your district.
Another possible plus is “glocalization”—that is, an agency that applies the benefit of broader corporate resources on the local level. With knowledge and experience gained in working with school districts across the country, these education staffing agencies implement the most innovative solutions through a local management team that supports district operations. Look for a company that is accessible to district administrators and responsive to local concerns.
In addition, look for an agency that makes an investment in the local area through community involvement. These companies exemplify a positive presence by providing sponsorships and supporting fundraising efforts. In leading by example, they give employees the opportunity to get personally involved with their district and its families through meaningful interactions such as volunteering and charitable contributions.
Put All the Pieces Together
With so many options when it comes to contracting a substitute teacher placement agency, it is wise to outline your goals and research the possibilities. An education-exclusive agency, like ESS, is a partner for the long haul. By ascertaining and understanding your goals, our team crafts a solution specifically designed to address your district’s needs.
From there, our operations staff invests national resources in your local area as they conduct on-site recruiting to build and train a pool of substitute teachers to meet your goals. Recognized for our customized onboarding process, we will prepare your substitutes to actively support the district’s instructional initiatives. ESS supports the relationship with your district staff every step of the way, inspiring confidence and strengthening the bond through transparent and socially responsible customer service.
Contact ESS to be your partner in building a pool of highly qualified substitute teachers that will support your instructional goals. With a proven record of success, ESS will work with you to make your vision a reality.
Phil has been supporting school districts across the country for more than 12 years. He works hands-on with districts implementing customized solutions to improve their substitute teacher and support staff programs. When he’s not increasing districts’ fill rates, Phil can be found swinging his clubs on a golf course.