Staff Hiring

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This training isn't a fool proof method but insurance to increase the chances of having a strong team which helps have aa successful summer.

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Give a brief self background Overview of the training - Why are we here? how many have a summer staff horror story We all have some summers that are more successful than others. Do the attendees have residential or commuter programs? Give examples of years that have been challenging –present on time, - tell Kandice story as an example of the comfort that sometimes exists in alumni And finally, I’m going to walk you through, step by step, a useful process to hire summer staff So, let’s jump right in

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Audience participation

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Participants will be able to

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We will primarily be discussing the hiring of summer staff, but some of these methods can also be employed for academic year staffing, as well.

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We’ll take a few seconds to think about these questions, but some adjectives that come to mind for me are Dependable - Hardworking – no one wants to have coworkers who are slackers - Responsible Competent Flexible Teamwork!!!!! Sound Judgment Independent thinking when warranted Now, the question is, how do we translate these charateristics into seeking a viable TC candidate?

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Briefly discuss the overall process and note that we will go into each of the steps in detail (including the expected goal of each step) Invariably, when we hire folks outside of this process, they are the staff member that we have the most problems with Each subsequent step of this process builds on the previous, as a means to narrow down the field of applicants. By the time you get to the group interview, you should have a good, solid number of candidate who you would like to see their team aspects. On thing I willl note, is that this is a time consuming process. It is not something you can do in a week. I can be accomplished in a month, but not in a week.

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One cautionary tale about hiring project alumni Be mindful of their age in relation to the current participants – meaning don’t hire students who have just completed their freshman year (talk about other ways to use them but even in the office can cause problems) Alumni can also be a problem if they participated before a rule or policy shift Remain objective, but go with your gut, sometimes an alum who was a problem student can be an excellent tc, particularly if their struggles were academic and not behavioral, but at the end of the day if they aren’t a good fit, they just aren’t a good fit Expected outcome of this step is to have a large enough pool of applicant

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The first example is from Berea College – note that You want applicants to know : minimum age/credit requirement (recommend at least sophomore status) If its residential, that to program includes extended hours That the position is first and foremost one in which they must set the example for high school students

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This isn’t an academic exercise, so doing a little shopping is appropriate – it falls under “why reinvent the wheel?” If you have a background in education, ultimately you may realize that a job application is just a part of one big test So let’s examine some applications Only a fool would ask someone to give them a recommendation that won’t give a favorable recommendation. – rating sheets are a better choice, but even they are subject to people wanting to portray the applicant in the best light.

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1. The things I would like to highlight in this first sample application: It’s important to be able to contact applicants – you may even want to ask the best method of contact (students don’t check e-mail) Important to get major or subjects they can tutor - References – what will you be asking the references; but know that asking for references puts more work on your end because you Past experience – maybe they don’t have any, doesn’t mean you can rule them out as a staffer 2. I would be caution in requesting SSN – you don’t need it unless you hire them Unless you are communicating via snail mail, only one address is necessary – and the absence of city, state and zip may later present a problem This is a very broad writing prompt – which will also require more work on your part in reading through for the answers to this list of questions No recommendation request, 3. Posted deadline - very useful Consider asking about disciplinary action Employment history or resume, not both – almost prefer to see resume as it will help the applicant in the long run if they don’t already have one Better use of question/answer than the second app Asks for references and recommendation 4. Provides general info about the program and the position Intention was to get a writing sample more than looking for the actual answer – could use more targeted questions

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Not everyone interviews well! But there are also those folks who seem to have all of the right answers, but who get on the job and don’t quite work out. From the initial interview, you really want to weed out the folks that are clearly not a good match – maybe they are only looking for summer housing if you are a residential program, or maybe they are not a good academic fit and don’t have any other summer plans available due to their academic standings Having students come in for a one-on-one interview is a good opportunity to assess candidates in basic areas, but it also serves as a good time for you to give a real overview of their responsibilities and what a day in the life might be like – not to scare anyone away, but there is nothing worse than getting into week 2 and feeling that they can’t handle the responsibility and resigning

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I would also delve into their perspectives on rule breaking, following directions, maybe inquire about how they viewed themselves as a teen or what their parent would say about them vs what their friends would say about them.

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You may also want to give them a specific scenario, something that you may have had a problem with in the past or something that you want to use to gauge their response – Sometimes I will use a picture of students doing something funny, but inappropriate or against policy – Niles wrapped in TP, boys in dryer, etc I use these images to gauge their sense of humor because although we want them to be able to appropriately manage students, but must also have a sense of humor to survive the summer

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Describe this portion: While the candidates can frequently come up with appropriate answers Sometimes, its better to expose the candidates to the students – this allows for the students and the current staff to evaluate the candidates Require the candidates to do something – tutor, teach a lesson plan, something that wil require them to interact with your participants Give candidates randomly assigned topics to present to

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Individual Presentation – candidates have 2 – 5 minutes to provide an instructional lesson to their fellow candidates Two options - Give candidates randomly assigned topics either in advance of the day or on the day of the interview to present examples - how to change a flat tire, prepare a meal, how to carve a pumpkin,

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Individual Presentation – candidates have 2 – 5 minutes to provide an instructional lesson to their fellow candidates Two options - Give candidates randomly assigned topics either in advance of the day or on the day of the interview to present examples - how to change a flat tire, prepare a meal, how to carve a pumpkin,

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Team building activity - allows candidates to exhibit their leadership style, frustration tolerance and ability to follow directions examples – mixed up puzzle tower activity

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Circular format of seating Group Q&A - circle format – allows everyone in the circle to see everyone else (almost) A group interview is usually designed to uncover the leadership potential of prospective employees. A subject is introduced and the interviewer will start off the discussion. The goal of the group interview is to see how they interact with others and how they use their knowledge and reasoning powers to win others over. Participants have an opportunity to discuss issues related to the role of a tutor-counselor. A volunteer chooses a card from the bag, reads the statement, question or scenario aloud to the group and shares his/her reactions to this statement. If appropriate, the volunteer should also indicate whether he or she agrees or disagrees with the statement and why.   You want to think of things that have happened in your program that TCs needed to respond to as a means of seeing where their heads are – knowing that if they are going to get training to hone in on the appraoches you would prefer they take After the volunteer has completed his/her comments, he/she will facilitate a discussion on this issue with the rest of the group for several minutes. Then the card is put aside and the next participant chooses a new card from the bag.

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Time tables tend to slip, so make sure the candidates know that they may need to stay a little longer than the end time, or give them a later ending time so that they will think they got done early

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Whether you use all, or none of these steps, go into the process with a deliberate goal, to hire the best team possible. This means that at some point, you should see the candidates and their interaction with each other! The successful summer program is a team effort and the wrong team members will make for a painful summer, where you and your other full time staff have a harder job than necessary.

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In light of the access staff has to students, it is always in your best interest to determine what your institutions policies are on background checks for staff. I know the process is labor intensive, but it comes with its rewards. It helps to build the team concept early, giving the staff an advantage over those who are interviewed and hired and meet their co-workers for the first time at training. In the case where you have a lot of returning staff, its is always good to include them in the group interview, not for rehiring, but as another set of eyes to evaluate the candidates. I’d like to leave you with this thought – After al lot of exposure….

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Effective Hiring in Your Upward Bound Program Ensuring a Pleasant Summer

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Overview Why are we here? Shared definitions and assumptions Brainstorming Beginning with the End in Mind

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Why are you here? New to UB/UBMS Previous staffing horror story Other reasons

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Learning Objectives List the 5 steps of effective summer staff hiring Visualize characteristics of effective summer staff Create documents to facilitate summer staff hiring Understand the desired outcomes of the hiring process

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Shared Definitions Tutor Counselor Tutor Counselor Residential Tutor Tutor Mentor Advisor Any individual , normally traditional college student aged, employed by your institution as an employee in the Upward Bound department, charged with the supervisor, mentoring and/or tutoring of Upward Bound participants.

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Brainstorming What characteristics do you think you should see in an effective Tutor Counselor? What are the important aspects of your UB Summer Component?

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An Example of the Hiring Process Recruitment The Application Initial Interview Student Exposure Group interview

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Recruitment Where do you find viable candidates? Host institutions Area colleges and universities Other TRIO Projects Other UB Projects Target schools Alumni of your project

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Position Descriptions Sample TC Position Description 1 Sample TC Position Description 2

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The Application Readily available samples from your colleagues are available on the internet. Translate the desirable traits into an assessment

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Sample Applications Sample Application 1 Sample Application 2 Sample Application 3 Sample Application 4

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Initial interview Sample Questions What type of student were you in high school? Tell me how your friends would have described you. What do you see as the role of the Tutor/Counselor? Sometimes, enforcing the rules means you come off as the bad guy, would you have a problem enforcing the rules of the program?

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Sample Questions cont’d. Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a problem with no rules or guidelines in place. Give me an example of when you had to settle a dispute between two individuals. Do you make mistakes? Are you comfortable sharing your mistakes with others?

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Sample Scenario As stated in -the Upward Bound handbook which is provided to all students upon entering the program, "Male students may never be in a female student's dorm room and female students may never be in a male student's dorm room." On arriving to work, you are informed by the Residential Director that during the 1:00 a.m. security rounds, a male student was observed leaving the dorm room of a female student. What steps would you-take as a tutor/counselor to deal with this situation?

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Student Exposure

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Group Interview 2 parts Individual Presentation Team building activity Group Q&A

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Individual Presentation 2- 5 minutes to present a topic in an explanatory manner Self selection of topic or assigned Provide other candidates an evaluation form so they can evaluate each other during their presentations

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Team Building Activity

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Group Q&A: TC Talk TC Talk What will be the most difficult aspects for you about being a role model for UB students? A fellow TC frequently allows students in their room unsupervised. As a peer, I should address this situation with the TC. At 3 a.m., you decide you would like a snack from the vending machine in the lobby. On your way, you encounter a student who should be in their room. What should you do?

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Sample Schedule 1:00 Welcome; Purpose and Objective; Introductions and Getting Started  1:15 Activity 1 Group Teach  1:45 Activity 2 The Tower  2:15 TC Talk  3 :00 Wrap Up

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Tying it All Together Preparation makes for a better outcome 5 step process – each step provides additional information on the suitability of the TC candidate

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Wrap-Up and Next Steps Additional Considerations After a lot of exposure, you will be able to get a pretty good idea of the candidates abilities and how they might fit into the needs of your team

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