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  • Writer's pictureRadar Talent Solutions

3 Challenges Schools Face When Hiring Support Staff

nutrition staff

First, let’s define support staff. Support staff are non-teaching roles. With this type of role, you must be aware of what’s happening in the job market. 

There’s a lot more competition in the job market these days. Schools are not only competing against other schools, but every company in the private sector. Support staff are not licensed, which means your school is competing with Chipotle, Starbucks, Target, Amazon, and any other private employer for potential candidates. Many of these corporations are offering very generous benefits packages and pay that school districts can’t match.

There are districts that will only hire staff to work from 2:15pm to 5:45pm or from 1:45pm to 6pm. If those specific hours don't meet that candidate's exact needs, they're not going to apply. I assure you that if that candidate goes to Starbucks, they will be accommodated to a schedule that fits their needs and usually, there are more hours available in the private sector than the public sector. The specificity of hours and the total number of hours is a challenge. 

We work with many districts that are hiring nutrition staff and after school care staff. There’s always a goal to merge the position of nutrition staff, which may work from 10am to 2pm, with after school staff, working 2pm to 6pm. However, there are bureaucratic and organizational challenges that get in the way of that. For example, if a candidate working more than a certain amount of hours, you may need to provide benefits. Organizationally, the school doesn’t know who will finance these benefits. We've lost some really good candidates because we can't figure out these questions, which are hard to resolve in a large organization. 

These challenges are solvable and the first step is to solve the three big issues mentioned in our article 3 Strategies to Overcome Staffing Shortages.



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