Talent management comes to public education

iStock_000014592789XSmallPublic education has many lessons to learn from Fortune 500 companies about the importance of talent management, according to Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC), a group formed this summer to transform public education’s approach to human resources.

The new organization recently released case studies of the human resources practices of 5 large urban school districts: New York City; Chicago; Boston; Long Beach, CA; Fairfax County, VA. SMHC has also done case studies of Minneapolis, Minnesota’s “Q-Comp” program, and national organizations Teach For America, The New Teacher Project and New Leaders for New Schools.

The case studies describe current human resources practices in 8 areas: recruitment, selection, induction, mentoring, professional development, compensation, performance management, and instructional leadership.

Among the findings of the case studies:

  • Urban districts were able to fill every vacant position with new strategic approaches to recruiting. These include working with local universities on programs that include tuition reimbursement, summer fellows program, and “grow your own” initiatives to train teachers and principals for districts.
  • Early Hiring/No Bumping are some improvements districts are making in their practices. One of the challenges urban districts often face is being able to make job offers to well-qualified candidates in a timely manner. Districts have moved up the budget calendar and transfer schedule so hiring decisions can be made in the late winter and early spring, rather than late summer. Seniority “bumping” is being eliminated in some districts, though senior teachers are given the first opportunities to apply for open positions.
  • Districts are using a variety of “screener” systems designed to identify individuals who might be good teachers, though the predictive power of the instruments is limited.

Strategic Management of Human Capital website, http://www.smhc-cpre.org/resources/

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