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Where to begin ...10 Steps before starting to recruit instructors:1.) Define your organization (What is your mission? What are your goals? Are you focusing on outreach or racing?).2.) Consider the environment where your program is run.3.) Consider the population and demographics of the students to be served.4.) Consider how closely managed your instructors will be.5.) Decide how many instructors you will need.6.) Come up with job descriptions for each position.7.) Decide what certifications candidates must possess.8.) Consider what type of diversity you want on staff (You may want a mix of entry-level and experienced instructors, as well as a mix of instructors who have come up through your program and instructors who have come from other programs.)9.) From decisions and considerations made in steps 1 through 8 develop a realistic budget for instructor salaries. If the budget you develop is higher than the organization can afford, you may need to reconsider steps 1-8. (Some managers may be given a budget up front. If that is the case, consider your budget as your first step and keep it in mind while going through the other steps.) Basically, know what type of candidates you are looking for!10.) Make yourself attractive to instructor candidates. Define why instructors would want to work at your organization over others. What is your competitive advantage? More $? Program reputation? Flexible schedule? Overtime opportunities? Great location/facility? Great resume builder? Etc ... Recruiting Instructor Candidates:Where to look for Instructor Candidates• From within your own program• Local sailing programs• Local high school and/or college programs• US Sailing Instructor Job Bank• College Sailing Job Bank: (www.collegesailing.org)• www.sailingscuttlebutt.com Classified Ads• Work of Mouth (Often times your instructors will be able to find more instructor candidates than you can.)
Looking for Instructor Candidates In-House vs. Out-HouseAdvantages of recruiting In-House Candidates are easy to find. Candidates understand how your program is run and the surrounding environment. You have a strong understanding of the candidates sailing ability, personality, maturity, etc. The candidates probably do not require housing.Disadvantages of recruiting In-House Candidates have trouble looking outside the box (i.e. they are less likely to bring new ideas to the program). Candidates are only as good of sailors as the program made them, therefore candidates can only teach to that level. Club/Organizational Politics may come into play when selecting, hiring or firing instructors.
Advantages to of recruiting Out-House Candidates come in with fresh ideas and are open to change. Candidates may come from a program with more advanced instruction. Candidates are less likely to be involved with club politics.Disadvantages of recruiting Out-House Instructors may not be familiar with your program and the environment. It is tough to assess candidates sailing ability, personality and teaching abilities during the hiring process. Instructors may require housing which may be an extra cost and/or liability to your program.
Retaining Staff MembersFrom the time hired ...Communicate - Instructors need to know what they are signing up for. Be honest in job descriptions, dates and compensation. (E.g. If there is a weekend you need instructors to work, make sure they know about it before they accept the job. If you tell instructors that they will receive a bonus, make sure there is money in the budget to give them the bonus.) Instructors becomefrustrated and are more likely to burnout when presented with surprises.
Team Build - The closer your staff is, the better your program will be and the greater likelihood of your staff returning next year. Building a close staff can be done by doing team building exercises during staff orientation, cookouts, staff outing, competitions, etc. Make sure they are having fun and getting along with each other (A tough job from the managerial position).
During the Season ...Listen - A lot of time instructors know how things are going better than you do. Listen to their advice and make necessary changes. This will not only make the program and work environment better, but will make the instructors feel empowered.
FUN - Instructors are usually on vacation from school and they want to have a fun relaxing summer. If they are not having fun, chances are, neither are your students. Do not over work them or over manage them. You do, your program will suffer and your staffwill not want to return next year. Reward - Give credit where credit is due. Both internal and external rewards can have an impact on instructors' decisions to come back or not. A paid morning off for an instructor when you are overstaffed anyhow, can go a long way!Regatta Leave - If possible, give instructors time off for regattas. This helps remind them that sailing is more of a hobby than a job. Keep them passionate about the sport!
At the End of the Season ...Praise - Let instructors know how they impacted students over the course of the season. Use specific examples and let them know how proud you are. Let them know that the program would not be possible without them.Gift - An end of the season gift can go along way in showing how much instructors are appreciated.Get together - Make sure the last experience together is a good one. You do not want instructors to leave with a bad taste in their mouth. Have a staff cookout or something of the sort.Between Thanksgiving and Christmas- Make an Offer - Make returning staff members an offer before they even start to think about next summer. Ask for an answer by a specific date. This may prevent instructors from shopping around. They will feel a little pressure to make a commitment and stick to it.Promote and/or Give Raises - Make the instructors feel important. If you can not offer them a pay raise, what other type of benefits can you offer them? If you do not feel an instructor deserves a raise, do you even want to hire them back?Keep in touch - If instructors see you as a friend and not just a boss, they will not want to let you down.Be a resource - E.g. - If an instructor asks for a recommendation, be sure to put time and effort into it. Do it in a timely manner. Show them respect and they will do the same for you.Bonus - Holiday or signing bonuses can help sway instructors' decisions. Remember, these are typically college students who could use a little extra cash during the winter season.