Recruitment for School Leaders

1. Promote the district (or community school) as an attractive workplace for school leaders.

2. Establish high and unyielding standards in identifying school leader candidates.

3. Develop relationships with diverse potential applicant pools, and be able to document those relat

4. Implement programs to identify and develop future school leaders.

5. When unable to find enough desirable school leader candidates, consider redefining or dividing th


1. Promote the district (or community school) as an attractive workplace for school leaders.

    Identify and evaluate existing marketable characteristics of school leadership in the district (or community school) and consider ways to increase incentives that are appropriate and feasible for the district (or community school).
    • Compile desirable district (or community school) characteristics that can be communicated to potential applicants 
      (e.g., compensation systems, leadership opportunities, professional development options).
    • Know the research; low relative salary and high stress and demands are consistently cited as deterrents to the principalship.
    • Let candidates know about how available opportunities, such as that to be an instructional leader, can help them to facilitate change.
    • Ensure that the description of the district (or community school) and incentives offered are accurate.

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    Market the position within the district (or community school) and beyond LEA boundaries in order to increase the pool of qualified candidates.
    Expand the search beyond LEA boundaries to generate a larger and more diverse applicant pool.

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2. Establish high and unyielding standards in identifying school leader candidates.

    Set LEA recruitment targets aligned to an appropriate goal, and monitor progress.
    • Refer to Ohio Standards for Principals when setting targets related to principal quality.
    • Use recruitment goals to judge where the LEA has been successful and where it needs to improve.
    • If the district (or community school) has a successful recruitment record, use it to help to strategically market the district (or community school) to future applicants.

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    Identify school needs before beginning a search for candidates.
    • Refer to Ohio Standards for Principals when setting targets related to principal quality.
    • Use recruitment goals to judge where the LEA has been successful and where it needs to improve.
    • If the district (or community school) has a successful recruitment record, use it to help to strategically market the district (or community school) to future applicants.

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    Provide equal access to high-quality teachers for all students, especially students from low socioeconomic or minority backgrounds.
    Consider that students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds often need not just equal but greater access to high-quality school leaders.

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3. Develop relationships with diverse potential applicant pools, and be able to document those relat

    Why It Is Important
    • LEAs can reach potential candidates by developing relationships with diverse institutions and organizations that prepare leaders.
    • By hosting internships, providing mentors, and supporting research, LEAs can foster the development of early, meaningful connections with candidates.
    • Supporting leadership development also helps to generate a more qualified and better prepared applicant pool.
    • LEAs then can market opportunities directly to individuals identified through these channels.

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    Create partnerships with universities and traditional administrator-preparation programs.
    • Consider hosting internships and providing mentors. These arrangements allow LEAs to reach out to potential candidates before they secure administrative positions.
    • Use university partnerships to create a “research loop” in which the LEA can shape university preparation programs and provide researchers with opportunities to assess needs and collect data geared to improving school leader quality.

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    Explore partnerships with alternative administrator-preparation programs.
    • Consider the importance of on-the-job training such as internships as well as traditional coursework for school leaders in the district (or community school).
    • Form relationships with potential candidates by allowing participants to observe or work within the LEA.

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    Develop ongoing relationships with individuals, organizations, and groups that can serve as sources of information, and provide recommendations for qualified school leader candidates.
    Strategically use these relationships to create a wider pool of applicants for LEA recruitment.

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4. Implement programs to identify and develop future school leaders.

    Why It Is Important
    • “Grow-your-own” programs can be vital tools in succession planning because such programs allow LEAs to identify and groom future leaders before the need to fill vacancies becomes urgent.
    • Efforts to identify and develop future school leaders can range in size and scope (and can include partnerships with universities and other outside preparation programs), depending on the needs and budget of the LEA.
    • Differentiated staffing structures can give teachers and other staff members leadership experience within the school or district, which can improve learning, morale, and retention.

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    Establish programs that support teachers in developing leadership skills and applying for school leadership positions.
    • Consider all possible roles for teacher leadership, including mentors, master teachers, coaches, curriculum developers, department chairs, policy group leaders, Teacher-Based Team (TBT) leaders, or other positions.
    • Create positive, collaborative work settings that allow teacher leaders to emerge and gain valuable leadership experiences.

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    Provide aspiring school leaders with mentoring, coaching, and other professional development opportunities.
    • Through such initiatives, strategically focus on encouraging promising candidates who typically would not pursue formal leadership training.
    • If the mentoring of aspiring school leaders takes place in the context of a university or principal preparation program internship phase, work to engage in the process and ensure that the mentor program is well executed.

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5. When unable to find enough desirable school leader candidates, consider redefining or dividing th

    Why It Is Important
    LEAs may make changes to the parameters of the principal or other school leader positions that were originally specified without lowering standards or expending significant resources.

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    Consider changing the roles and responsibilities of the position, including the use of alternative arrangements such as job sharing or the use of school administration managers.
    Consider the current key deterrents, such as the number of working hours or the breadth of job responsibilities of the principalship and other school leadership positions.

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Last Modified: 4/9/2013 3:50:09 PM