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3 Ways Boards Can Help Recruit and Retain District Staff

School board members can help districts recruit and retain staff. The key is to know your role and how to best support district administration throughout the process

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The pandemic left all kinds of organizations — including public schools — facing challenges hiring and retaining staff. According to a poll by the National Education Association (NEA), 55% of educators are more likely to leave or retire from the profession sooner than planned due to the pandemic.

There are three areas your board can focus on to help the district be more effective in recruiting and retaining staff.

1. Know Your Role as a Board

It’s important that school board members understand the vital role they can play. “Focusing on how employees are valued in the district can be an important role of the board,” said Amy Campbell, director of TASB’s HR Services division. “Their actions and words provide leadership in the district.”

To help you better understand your role, consider reviewing some key policies:

  • BAA — Board Legal Status: Powers and Duties
  • BJA — Superintendent: Qualifications and Duties
  • DC series — Employment Practices

Another thing the board can do is set a tone for positive culture. Campbell stressed the importance of the board’s role in focusing on how employees are valued in the district. 

2. Provide Structure and Funding to Support Recruiting and Retaining Staff

According to Campbell, most districts have roughly the same process for posting and filling vacancies. Many districts haven’t reviewed or refined their hiring process in years. Some processes might be outdated and slow. In this increasingly competitive labor market, effectiveness and efficiency are important.

“The board can support district administration in streamlining the hiring processes by allocating funding to help that,” said Campbell.

Another thing that the board can do to assist in this process is to ensure that staff are being compensated properly. “Providing competitive pay increases to keep your current staff is important,” said Campbell.

While pay is not the only thing that will help a district in hiring and retaining staff, it is a critical element. This is especially true when you’re competing with neighboring districts and other businesses for the same talent pool.

3. Ensure a Culture Is in Place To Support Staff Members

One important role of school leaders is to make sure that the culture of the organization is seen as supportive by staff members. The board, working closely with the superintendent, needs to make sure plans, systems, and procedures are in place to monitor the district culture. One tool that can be used for this purpose is an employee engagement survey.

“Employees love to be asked how they feel about their work,” said Campbell, elaborating that TASB works with many districts to do employee engagement surveys. “It’s one way for a board to have a huge impact on employee retention.”

But an employee engagement survey is just one piece of the puzzle. To make it meaningful, the survey must honestly assess district issues and concerns, then leadership must focus on improving those areas. When done properly, these surveys are a vital tool for improving your district.

TASB’s HR Services team can help improve your hiring and employee retention process. You can reach them at 800-580-7782 or