Principles of Good Practice: Hiring Process

View this PGP as a PDF file.

Preamble: The following principles provide common ground for interaction between independent school professionals and their many constituents (parents, students, colleagues at other schools, and the public). The NAIS Principles of Good Practice for member schools define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operations to guide schools in becoming the best education communities they can be, to embed the expectation of professionalism, and to further our sector’s core values of transparency, excellence, and inclusivity. Accordingly, membership in NAIS is contingent upon agreement to abide by the spirit of the PGPs.

Overview: The quality of the hiring process sets the tone for a mutually satisfying relationship between the school and the candidate and communicates to the candidate the spirit and values of the institution. The values that infuse these guidelines can be applied to any hiring process, whether that process involves the use of placement agencies or is fully managed by the school. NAIS encourages schools to adopt these principles and to share them with candidates as appropriate.

Principles of Good Practice:

The School’s Obligations

  1. The school has a stated procedure governing its hiring process and a strategic recruiting plan that includes strategies for seeking candidates who will add to the racial, cultural, and gender diversity of the institution.
  2. The school identifies means by which to advertise the position to various pools of potential candidates, including those not currently employed by independent schools, and makes current staff aware of openings as they become public and available.
  3. The school creates a complete job description for each available position. This description outlines the main responsibilities and expectations of the position, as well as any significant other activities that may be asked of the candidate.
  4. The hiring and interview process includes the people who will be directly involved with the candidate in his or her new position.
  5. The school and its representatives follow the laws that govern hiring practices and focus fairly and consistently with every applicant on the talent, skills, and abilities needed for the job, disclosing all information that is necessary for the candidate to make a well-informed decision.
  6. When inviting a candidate to the school, the school explains who is to be responsible for expenses and what the visit will entail.
  7. The school keeps all candidates informed about the hiring schedule and decision timeline.
  8. In performing its due diligence, the school performs appropriate background and reference checks to validate a candidate’s education and employment history, focusing on the ability of the individual to fulfill the professional duties of the position and to confirm the individual’s suitability to work with children. The school does not finalize the hiring of a new employee without completing a reference call with the individual’s most recent employer, after securing permission to contact that employer from the candidate.
  9. When making an offer to a candidate, the school provides all relevant information, including compensation, job expectations, and working conditions.
  10. The school affords candidates a reasonable period of time to consider an offer.
  11. When the selected candidate accepts the job, the school contacts the other candidates to notify them that the position has been filled.

The Candidate’s Obligations 

  1. The candidate discloses all information that is necessary for the school to make a well-informed decision.
  2. The candidate accepts an invitation to visit at the school’s expense only if he or she is seriously interested in a position.
  3. The candidate responds to an offer within a reasonable period of time.
  4. The candidate notifies the current employer as soon as reasonably possible of any plans to work for another employer.

Download a PDF of the complete set of NAIS Principles of Good Practice.

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