A Study of the Recruitment of Teachers in a Rural School Division in Southeastern Virginia
This is a case study of how one rural school division in Virginia used continuous process improvement to change the way it recruited teachers. The report includes the step-by-step process used by a team of school personnel to: (1) gain support of upper-level management, (2) define the current process, (3) analyze the current process, and (4) redesign the recruitment process.
Team members were the vice-chairman of the Surry County School Board, the principals of the three schools located in Surry County, the Clerk of the School Board, the Central Office Receptionist, twenty-seven teachers, one individual from each of three rural school divisions, and the researcher. All participants except the twenty-seven teachers and the individuals from the three rural school divisions were interviewed individually to collect data to define the recruitment process that was in place at the beginning of the study. The twenty-seven teachers completed a questionnaire that addressed how teachers became aware of positions available in Surry County Schools, factors that influenced them to accept employment in Surry County Schools, and other employment offers from neighboring school divisions. Telephone interviews were conducted with the three people from the rural school divisions not located in Virginia. The purposes of these interviews were to collect data for benchmarking and to collect examples of strategies that could become a part of Surry County Schools' teacher recruitment process.
Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics. The Continuous Process Improvement Team examined and analyzed all data from the individual interviews, the teachers' questionnaires, and the telephone interviews. The team's analysis included: defining the current teacher recruitment process, identifying factors that affect the recruitment of teachers in Surry County, identifying "root causes" for concerns with the process, and developing changes to improve the process.
The new teacher recruitment process is a centralized process with personnel assigned specific responsibilities. In the new process, strategies are identified to eliminate problems that existed in the old process, and an evaluation component is included.