December 15th, 2016


Wilson Co. Hires Outside Vendor to Manage

Substitute Teacher Staffing

 Lebanon, TN— This spring, Wilson County Schools will begin contracting with a company, called Education Solutions Services, to begin managing its’ Substitute Teacher Program.

Over the past several years, Wilson County has experienced a tremendous amount of growth.  While the HR Department for Wilson County schools has done a good job keeping pace with the number of daily teacher absences, it’s a job that’s becoming tougher with each passing year.

Deputy Schools Director, Mickey Hall, says, “We don’t want to wait until there’s a major shortage of substitute teachers before we take steps to address the situation.  Some of our full-time teachers are already giving up their planning periods, on occasion, to cover other classrooms.  That’s fine, in a pinch, but we don’t want that to become our solution.”

As a part of the agreement, ESS has committed to a 95-percent fill rate for substitutes.  The move will also free up a full-time staff member, who’s currently dedicated to hiring and recruiting substitute teachers.  While several other vendors had submitted proposals, Wilson County ultimately decided to go with Education Solutions Services because of their identical training program the district currently uses, and experience in working with K-12 districts across the country.

Hall says, “ESS may be a relatively new company, but their owners are not new to education.  They have more than 3 decades of experience working with school districts in various capacities.  Their VP of Operations has spent the past 10 years, working specifically with substitute teacher staffing.  We think it’s a great fit, and we’re looking forward to the transition.”

Education Solutions Services – Hire Learning

Texas Region 11, Presentation Summary

Friday Sept 23, 2016

Thank you for attending one of the two interactive Hire Learning workshops at the ESC Region 11 HR Summit.  Rick and Wendy enjoyed meeting each of you and facilitating this Best Practices session.

In addition to the summary below of the two sessions, please follow the instructions provided to enter the raffle for a 2nd wine gift basket (Congrats to Melissa Rodriquez on the 1st basket!).

  • Send email to with the following information
    1. ESS motto – Every Day Counts
    2. Your first and last name
    3. Title
    4. Email address
    5. Phone number
    6. Which ESS session you attended


  • Email must be received by Tuesday September 27 end of day
  • Winner will be notified on Wednesday September 28 by email or phone




Question 1: What is your district’s best recruiting tool?

  • Writing relevant Job Descriptions – use “You will..”, write to the person not the job, read competitor job postings for ideas, use relevant and key words to enhance applicant search engines and attract right candidates
  • com – $200 for 2-4 postings; $450 for 30 day resume search
  • Employee Referral bonuses
  • Linked In – has “passive” candidates (80% of all candidates who aren’t looking but might be interested in right job);
    • Type job name into search bar, then look online to find out more (Free, Basic account);
    • experiment with key words and different combinations of key words to see which produce the best results;
    • encourage employees to keep their profiles current and to post your job openings as updates to their personal pages
  • Re-recruitment – for most qualified/experienced staff who leave – let them know they are welcome back
  • Make every employee a Recruiter – equip every employee with a company card stating company contact details and statement like “ we are always looking for dynamic, lifelong learners”
  • Cast a wider net – expand to include people who do not have all the skills you would like, but who have potential to contribute if they are trained
  • Experts say “the most suitable, qualified and talented candidates aren’t even looking” – If that’s true, how would that change how you are looking?
  • Measure to drive the right results
    • Performance/Quality of Hire – measure quality 6-12 months in to hire; list criteria and ask managers how the new hire meets each standard on a 1-5 scale.
    • Manager satisfaction – customer feedback to adjust or change the process
    • Source of Hire – data from percentage of new hires from each source but also with highest on the job performance and tenure by each source.
    • Referral rates – percent of new hires from referrals. Studies show referrals make better performing hires, lower cost per hire and lower time to fill ratios.
    • Candidate satisfaction – percent of new hires who are satisfied with the hiring process by a candidate survey

Question 2:  What is your district’s most effective reward or recognition technique?

  • 100’s of ideas on
    • flowers on day 1 of hire,
    • read appreciation letter at faculty meeting,
    • Pass-around trophy (GOAT – Going Over and Above, Giraffe – Stick your neck out, etc)
    • employee of the month
  • employees who feel recognized and cared about produce more and better work,
  • 55% of multiple surveys said that praise and attention from their supervisor would make an employee feel as if the company cared about them and their well-being (yes, trumping money, benefits and special events)
  • Communication so all employees feel like part of the in-crowd and are in the know
  • Interaction with and from leaders and administrators
  • Continued skill development
  • Kick recognition up a notch:
  • Write out the recognition as a personal note
  • Present it publicly and verbally
  • Combine note with a gift

Question 3: What does your district do to positively impact retention?

  • Principal support
    • Meet personally with new teachers
    • Use a Personal likes form to recognize throughout the year
    • Be available to listen – ideas and concerns
    • Assign new teachers to areas where they will succeed
    • Assign a qualified mentor to new teachers
    • Develop a culture of collaborative problem-solving
  • Retain high performing teachers
    • Offer monetary rewards
    • Provide non-monetary recognition
    • Manage workload through efficiencies that conserve teachers’ time to prevent work-life imbalances
    • Provide career growth opportunities in school leadership and teacher careers
  • Collect data on current retention plans to understand what options they care about
  • Conduct exit surveys to understand motivators and de-motivators
  • Top 5 reasons teachers leave the profession:
    • Funding
    • Administration
    • School climate and culture
    • Not feeling respected and valued
    • Lack of resources and support