In a recent conversation about the newly established IPS Talent
Office and the need to attract and retain extraordinary educators,
administrators and staff, IPS Talent Officer Mindy Schlegel shared her
perspective on what key elements are required to meet the district’s goals
around strengthening our workforce.

 

1)   Among many states, Indiana is
experiencing a significant teacher shortage. As such, it seems it is
advantageous for school corporations to enlist the support of experienced
employee recruiters and developers of existing talent. Define the role of the
IPS Talent Office and describe some of the key services provided. 

 

“The
IPS Talent Office was created in 2015 to effectively develop intentional and
strategic approaches in talent management. It is critical for the district to
commit resources to attracting and retaining extraordinary educators for our
students.”

 

“The
Talent Office is responsible for districtwide recruitment and retention; we
develop and refine viable career paths and teacher leadership roles, pipelines
for acquiring talent, compensation strategy, and performance management
processes for the district. Our goal is to increase the quality, diversity, and
satisfaction of IPS teachers and administrators.”

 

Roles
include
:

Talent
Coordinator- collaborates with principals and organizes events to fill critical
vacancies; serves as a central contact for student teachers and university
partnerships.

 

Director
of Special Projects- champions recruitment and retention efforts; assists with
managing teacher career paths and evaluations.

 

Talent
Officer- leads the office and executes overall strategy for talent initiatives;
focuses on reengineering the current teacher evaluation process; builds
relationships with potential partners for creating new teacher leadership
opportunities.

 

 

2)   Describe some of the specific
challenges IPS is facing that impact our efforts to acquire and maintain
high-quality instructional, administrative and support staff. It is clear that
employee recruitment is a highly-competitive endeavor; however, share a bit
about your process for developing creative strategies to continue strengthening
teamIPS.

 

“The
district’s priority on recruiting and retaining talent requires time,
resources, and focus.  Given the current landscape of teacher shortages,
IPS must increase its capacity to attract and retain talented teachers and
school leaders – an area where we currently struggle.  Reframing our image
for current teachers, university partners and the larger community is critical
in order for us to attract and retain excellent educators and other
professionals.” 

 

“The
Talent Office is working to better understand teachers’ specific challenges and
perceptions through an upcoming Teacher Satisfaction Survey.  We will use
these results and conversations from future focus groups to help inform our
strategy in improving teacher retention. We’ve also launched a recruitment and
retention committee to tap teachers and school leaders’ best thinking on what
the district could be doing to advance our efforts.”

 

“We
are boldly creating new avenues for teacher leadership in IPS. The application
submission deadline for Recruitment Teacher Leaders and School-wide Change
Agents is due next week, but you can find more information here. This fall, we created an IPS
Residency Program for teaching assistants or other interested teachers to
attend Marian
University
, earn a Masters and become certified teachers in the areas of
Special Education and ESL.”

 

“On
the recruitment side, we are working to share the many positive stories of
being an IPS teacher by including IPS teachers in our recruitment efforts and
expanding our talent search outside of Indiana. Locally, we’ve spent time with
teacher prep programs, getting to know staff and leadership, and allowing them
to get to know IPS, our unique needs and challenges.”

 

“A
diverse team of teachers and school leaders have spent the past five months
assessing current evaluation processes and developing a new approach to
supporting, developing and evaluating educators for next year.”

 

3)      Discuss how educator diversity,
experience, specialty training rank among your efforts to attract new
employees. Also, describe how personality inventories and skills assessments
apply to the screening and matching process.
  

 

 

“IPS
school administrators have the autonomy to screen, interview, and hire teachers
that specifically fit the culture and initiatives of their schools. With every
school having its own unique environment, the Talent Office focuses on
attracting top talent that personify competencies seen in successful urban
educators; positive attitude, determination, reflectiveness, a belief that all
students can succeed, and cultural competence.”

 

“We
are also focused on increasing diversity to our applicant pool. In IPS, our
teacher population does not mirror our student population. Teachers of color
currently account for less than 25% of our teacher workforce, which is vastly
different from our students of color who account for approximately 75% of our
enrollment. We believe a diverse teamIPS expands our collective experiences and
perspectives, enabling our ability to serve our students more
effectively.  As such, we have targeted geographically close Historically
Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other out-of-state universities
that have high percentages of diversity among their graduates. In this way, we
are able to promote the district to a wider range of diverse candidates.”