The quest is on for the replacement of Mrs. McBaine*, Twinkletoes Early Childhood Centre’s* Director for the past 14 years. She has manifested her intention to migrate to another country, thus, leaving her post vacant. This paper analyzes her Director position and presents a recruitment process adapted from Pilbeam & Corbridge (2006).
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Upon learning of the director’s job description and required qualifications of candidates interested in taking over her position, a job advertisement is created to attract qualified candidates. They are thoroughly screened if they have the right educational qualifications and work experience. These do not necessarily have to match Mrs. McBaine’s education and work experience because her credentials as the center’s pioneering director and the teacher are unmatched. Shortlisted candidates go through the selection process of testing and interviews until the most qualified and most suitable candidate is chosen. This successful candidate is then oriented of what his/her job tasks will be and thoroughly trained for it until such time that he/she can confidently assume the director’s position.
Education has become a priority for parents because they see its value in the lives of their children. Not only does a good education provide a solid foundation in the overall development of individuals, enabling them to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to survive the challenges that life may present to them, but it also provides several opportunities to enhance their personality. Nowadays, education begins early, as parents realize that early childhood education offers children so many advantages in terms of their cognitive, social, physical, emotional, and creative development. Much of the quality of the early childhood program is dependent on the director of the center and the teachers handling the curriculum. Thus, it is essential that their competence is unquestionable and that they all possess the relevant knowledge, skills, abilities, and other qualities (KSAO) necessary for their jobs. This paper focuses on the job of the Early Childhood Centre Director and what it takes to find the best person qualified for the job.
Prepare a thorough job analysis, job description, and person description based on the job. Include the major KSAOs. NB: Describe how you collected the necessary information for the job analysis.
Twinkletoes Early Childhood Centre’s director, Mrs. McBaine, has informed its Board of Directors of her intention to migrate to New Zealand to be with her husband who is based there. She has headed the school from the time it opened in 2000 and has done an excellent job in maintaining the high quality of its program, and its operations. She is ready to train a new director and explained the scope of her responsibilities and the key knowledge, skills, abilities, personal and professional qualities that her replacement should have to qualify for her position.
From a thorough interview with her about her job, a job analysis of the position she is currently occupying has been conducted to guide the recruitment process of the best candidates for the position. Job analysis is “the process used to collect information about the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, outcomes, and work environment of a particular job” (Heathfield, 2011, para. 1). Most organizations with efficient Human Resource Management strategies practice job analysis to improve their organizational performance (Cascio, 1998). It is envisioned that the relevance of job analysis in connection to human resource performance will be more pronounced that more organizations will conduct it so they gain competitive advantage (Anthony et al., 2002; Dessler, 2003). People with higher levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) tend to be better job performers (Safdar et al., 2010). Thus, jobs must be analyzed well as to its nature, the relationships it entails as well as the job outcomes.
The job description of the jobholder, Mrs. McBaine was carefully laid out during the interview with her. This job description comprises the roles and responsibilities that her position as Early Childhood Centre Director entails. These are key determinants in estimating the experience, education, skill, etc. that the job requires.
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Managing a children’s center requires an overwhelming amount of patience and skill because of all the roles and responsibilities involved in operating it to reach optimal quality. Mrs. McBaine, the director of the center shall be named the job holder for this job analysis. Her job is to oversee the day-to-day operations of the center, from checking that supplies are available and well-stocked to ensuring that the center is well-staffed to serve the children. She also creates and manages the budget and other financial concerns as well as entertains and interviews parents who are there for their children, or who are interested in enrolling their children soon. These are just a few of her responsibilities, and her main role is to ensure that the children’s center operates smoothly.
Apart from managerial tasks, her knowledge and wisdom on strategic planning are shared with the staff when they brainstorm and plan for the center’s program and events for the children. Being an early childhood educator herself, she mentors other teachers and is on hand to serve as a reliever when a teacher is absent.
Mrs. McBaine reports to a Board of Directors, consisting of most parents. The board has the power to make final decisions on financial matters. Twice a year, Mrs. McBaine provides them with a financial report along with the forthcoming plans for the center and the budget that goes with it. She explains issues and concerns that need the board’s decisions and presents them with feasible options to help them make wise choices.
The jobholder’s list of responsibilities is classified into different categories which are enumerated and described as follows (See Appendix 1)
The jobholder plans the events and curriculum with the teachers and staff. She also assists them in arranging their class schedules, routine, and transition activities as well as how the children’s skills should be assessed. She approves specific class projects of the teachers as well as the center-wide activities and events.
The jobholder ensures the high quality of the program and only approves developmentally-appropriate practices in the center. She polices inappropriate activities and instructs the staff to do corrective measures.
Since the center’s philosophy includes the active involvement of parents, the jobholder encourages parents to be part of the program. She maintains active communication with them and addresses their concerns and considers their suggestions/ recommendations for the center. She also encourages teachers to conduct Parent-Teacher conferences to keep them updated about their children’s progress. The jobholder often facilitates parent meetings and short parenting seminar-workshops.
The jobholder ensures that the physical environment of the center is always clean, bright, well-ventilated, and conducive to children’s learning. She regularly checks on the state of the equipment and facilities and makes sure that the center does not run out of materials and supplies.
The job holder is in charge of hiring qualified staff and ensures that their training, evaluation, and professional growth are in place.
The jobholder oversees the finances of the center, ensuring that they stay within the planned budget for the year. She designs the tuition payment scheme and handles sponsorship, donations, fund-raising, and scholarship programs. She is accountable to provide the staff, parents, and the board of directors with a regular financial report.
The jobholder oversees the operations of the business. She supervises the marketing and enrolment of the children and makes sure they comply with licensing regulations and statutory requirements and is responsible that the center does not break any laws.
The jobholder maintains harmonious relationships with the community. She sources venues available for field trips for the children and involves the community in the center’s activities such as inviting some community members to be resource speakers or inviting the whole community to shows with the children as performers. She creates and maintains a social network within the community and beyond.
Considering that the jobholder is involved with so many duties and responsibilities, her ideal replacement should be knowledgeable in all or most of her tasks. The early childhood center needs a skilled leader who possesses very good planning and organizational skills as he or she practices multi-tasking. The candidate should be able to manage the limited time he or she has to complete all the tasks for the day. Social skills should also be excellent as the position entails much interaction with the parent clients, the teachers, and staff as well as the young children. The candidate needs to know how to establish and nurture positive relationships with the stakeholders of the center. Another important qualification would be effective communication skills in both verbal and written interactions.
The ideal candidate for the job needs to have a Masters’ Degree in Educational Administration and a BS Early Childhood Education degree. He or she should have vast teaching experiences especially in the early years as well as several years of experience in managing an early childhood center.
How would you recruit a suitable pool of applicants? Include an advertisement for the job
Recruiting a suitable pool of applicants may be done through spreading the word in universities, especially those offering Education degrees, as the students may belong to an educational network of teachers, schools, and administrators. Posters advertising the need for an Early Childhood Centre Director may be posted on the university’s bulletin boards.
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Newspaper advertisements may also be placed. The following should be laid out well in the classified ads section of major newspapers:
Early Childhood Centre Director
If you are a caring educational leader committed to the optimal development of young children, YOU may be just what this early childhood center needs….
Twinkletoes Early Childhood Centre needs a competent, experienced, motivated, and committed Director who has excellent organizational, social, and communication skills.
The center has been exalted for its high-quality programs for young children, collaborating with families in their growth and development. Each child that comes to Twinkletoes is offered the best care and educational program which is developmentally-appropriate for them, ensuring their optimal growth and development.
To sustain its high quality, the applicant for the position of Director should have the following qualifications:
- Masters Degree in Educational Administration
- Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education
- Professional License in Teaching
- At least 5 years experience teaching in the early years.
- At least 3 years experience in school administration
- Excellent Communication, Social and Organization Skills
- Knowledgeable in Curriculum Design and Classroom Management
- Knowledgeable in Teacher Training
Interested and qualified applicants may email their application to:
Applications should be submitted by 30 November 2014 quoting the post title Centre Director TECC/01 and enclosing the names of three referees.
Describe how you would select the best candidate. Include how you would assess and measure the candidates in terms of their ability to do the job. Also, apply the measurement issues of validity and reliability.
Selecting the best candidate for the job entails a tedious process of elimination. Upon receiving the application of interested applicants, these shall be screened and short-listed based on the essential qualifications and criteria necessary for the position. The short-listed candidates shall be summoned for testing and interviews, both one-to-one and panel interviews consisting of the hiring team, headed by Mrs. McBaine. The interviews will determine if the candidates have the knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as the attitude and disposition for the position and if they will fit with the early childhood center.
The tests, which include ability and personality tests, will determine the candidates’ aptitude for the job. The results of the tests and initial interviews will further cut down the number of applicants to only those who are best suited for the position. Reliability of the tests is based on how consistent the applicant is with the results across all his/her tests over time. Validity is determined by the truthfulness of the candidate to the results of the tests and interviews (Rees & French, 2010). The reliability and validity of this screening process may or may not predict the candidates’ quality of their actual performance when they are already hired, however, it gives an idea about the candidate’s tendencies and preferences.
The final cut of applicants shall undergo more thorough interviews consisting of hypothetical, behavioral, stress, structured, and semi-structured questions to determine how they respond to various situations they may encounter while on the job. The applicants shall also be assessed on their knowledge, skills, and abilities in early childhood care and education through curriculum planning, role playing scenarios, planning events for the center’s calendar, and role-playing possible scenarios with parents, teachers, and children. They will also be asked to create a teacher training module. They should refer to their stock knowledge, common sense, and draw from the wisdom of their previous work experiences. The top applicants shall be called for a group discussion and panel interview and will be evaluated as to who is the best in how they participate in the discussion and how they carry themselves. The answers of the candidates based on their knowledge and experiences determine the validity of their statements. As long as they are truthful in their answers as they recall from their own subjective experiences, then they are considered valid (Winter, 2000). The panel members, including Mrs. McBaine, then deliberate on their decision as to who is best suited to replace her.
The successful candidate is then called for a job offer when he or she is provided the details of the job, the policies of the center, and his/her contact details, while the unsuccessful candidates are sent letters of regret along with valuable feedback of their application for their benefit.
Once you have selected the candidate, what would you do next to maximize the chances of his or her success?
The successful candidate shall work very closely with Mrs. McBaine as he or she is trained for the job. The first event of the newly-hired director is an orientation of the early childhood center and the tasks he or she is to undertake as a director. Mossman (2005) contends that job orientation is essential to the new employee because it communicates to him or her that the organization is committed to his or her success. Klein (2000) defines orientation programs as “a form of employee training designed to introduce new employees to their job, the people they will be working with, and the larger organization” (p. 48). These may take the form of formal training programs, informal orienting activities by peers or supervisors, or a combination of both. In the case of the new center director, Mrs. McBaine, being the veteran director of the center, shall initiate her replacement’s orientation to help ease him or her into the new duties and responsibilities that she will transfer to the new director.
A tour of the whole center is accompanied by information about what goes on in each area and an introduction to the people who are assigned to various areas. Mrs. Baines shall instruct the new director to do job shadowing. This means the new director follows her around and observes everything she does on the job, freely asking questions about the tasks involved in the job. There will also be set schedules when they both sit down and do actual training such as discussing detailed plans and schedules and how things should be done. Mrs. McBaine may constantly pose questions and scenarios to the new director to assess if he or she knows the answer or what to do in certain situations. She then guides him or her towards the right answers.
The transition stage is crucial in developing rapport and earning the trust of the teachers, parents, and children of the center. As the new director shows more competence and confidence in his or her new position, he or she shall be given more opportunities to interact with the stakeholders. This period of ‘scaffolding’ with Mrs. McBaine should develop their one-ness in their vision, mission, and goals for the center.
The new director shall be trained in preparing early childhood programs and managing their curriculum. He or she will also work closely with the teachers and staff as well as the families of the children (Geoghegan et al., 2003). As part of the qualifications for the job, the new director should be knowledgeable about educational administration to further improve the efficiency of the center’s staff performance and the operations of the business (Sullivan, 2003). This director was also hired for his/her valuable work experiences as a teacher, so it is expected that the teachers of the center will be able trained and supervised, helping them to learn to move from good practice towards best practice (Rodd, 2006). This includes designing better curriculums for the children, as high-quality care and education are advocated for the children the center serves. Part of its philosophy is to provide equal opportunities to all children in the center so that each child is provided all the opportunities to maximize their potentials.
Effective leadership fosters “purpose, creativity, imagination, and drive’ (Shoemaker, 2000, p.41) in the people working for the organization. The new director should be able to use his or her effective leadership skills to develop innovative strategies that can motivate and inspire the staff to work better. They should be empowered to develop their potentials to the fullest and work towards a fulfilling career in the field of early childhood care and education.
As soon as Mrs. McBaine is confident enough for the new director to take the reins, she can gradually let go and let the new director assume his or her rightful place on a probationary status. Mrs. McBaine can just check up on him or her occasionally to see if the job is being done right. She can be part of the evaluating team that will determine if the new director is performing well and if he or she can be recommended for a permanent position.
Referring to the research literature, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the techniques you used in the above sections.
In finding the most suited candidate for the replacement of Mrs. McBaine as Twinkletoes Early Childhood Centre’s highly competent, pioneering director, a job analysis had to be conducted to determine what her actual job description is and the qualifications needed to be fulfilled candidates interested in taking over her job.
The techniques discussed in finding the new director of the center followed the recruitment process suggested by Pilbeam & Corbridge (2006). They organized the recruitment process as follows:
Attracting suitable candidates is the first process of recruitment. Taylor (2008) defines recruitment as a positive activity requiring employers to present themselves to the labor market as being in search of a suitable candidate so that they can maximize the pool of well-qualified applicants from which the employers can choose. Part of the recruitment process is posting advertisements. The advertisement shown above has a built-in screening technique that only qualified candidates can tender their applications. It already indicates the vacancy sought to be filled, which is a high-level position. It also enumerates the required professional qualifications that weeds out those who may wish to apply but are lacking in their education or work experience. A possible disadvantage of putting all the required qualifications might be a lack of applicants because of the perception that the standards for the job opening are too high (Rees & French, 2010).
Pilbeam & Corbridge (2006) explain selection as a process involving the application of appropriate techniques and methods such as testing, interviews, demonstration of skills and abilities, etc., to select, appoint, and inducting a competent candidate for the job. Such selection processes should be appropriate for the job to be filled.
Once the most suited candidate is chosen, he or she is welcomed warmly to the organization and made to feel a part of it. The orientation and initial training are meant to help the new director learn more about the organizational mission and vision, culture, language, history, and structure. He or she comes to better understand the basic workplace principles and policies (Klein, 2000).
Training and development of the new director follow the orientation. To ensure that his/her efficient performance is sustained, employee development systems should be put in place. Jacobs and Washington (2003) define it as follows:
“Employee development refers to an integrated set of planned programs, provided over some time, to help assure that all individuals have the competence necessary to perform to their fullest potential in support of the organization’s goals” ( 344).
Hence, the new director is ably guided in his/her new job and is provided with all the support so that he/she will succeed in the job and continue with the legacy of the former director, Mrs. McBaine, who has raised the bar of leading and managing the high-quality early childhood center.
Having analyzed an early childhood center’s director’s job and the tasks she is responsible for may have been overwhelming for a regular employee. It is no surprise that the qualifications required for this job include a high level of education, vast work experience, and a mature and positive personality and sense of professionalism. Mrs. McBaine is a remarkable example of an indispensable employee. It would be a great challenge to find someone to replace her.
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