Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting
Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting
by: scotsnursery - 29-06-12 14:19
I am in the process of opening a new nursery in East Sussex. I am planning to manage the "back office" side of the business and want to recruit a manager who can focus purely on the efficient day to day running of the business and not have to be wrapped up in admin!
Although I have set up businesses before this industry is new to me so any advice on how best to find an excellent manager? Not sure if agencies, adverts or headhunting are the best way?
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 29-06-12 21:26
by: Tiggy D
I think you should get child care people involved BEFORE you start. If you make a bad decision now you'll have to live with it for years. If you buy a building with the garden some way away from it, you'll never have free flow for example. If you get a building with no storage space, your staff will spend 30 minutes a day just getting paper and toys from the attic or shed or wherever.
If you want any advice I could pop down. Tiggy750@yahoo.co.uk
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 29-06-12 21:46
Tiggy D - thanks for your post. We have had various experts working with us on properties, layout, OFSTED etc but I just wondered if anyone had any particular advice on managers. It is key that we get the right person with good experience who is willing to go the extra mile in the early days. I am inclined to go down the agency route but it's costly.
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 29-06-12 22:12
Don't go down the agency route! It will cost too much. Try adverts and interview in a panel. Good luck to you.
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 04-07-12 14:40
I agree with whmon - steer clear of agencies if you can, you need to be in control of the staff recruitment, and it's even more important with a manager. It took me a while to find the right person, I started advertising in October '11 and it took until February '12 until I found them and they were in post.
I advertised in my local paper, on Gumtree and got in touch with anyone I knew in the industry to spread the word about the vacancy. In the end I recruited via Gumtree (which I didn't expect!) My background is Early Years and hold a degree in it, therefore it wasn't such a big deal for me to wait and find the 'Right' person, however for sanity reasons needed help in running such a demanding business - having some time-off, even a afternoon or day a week is critical, I didn't take any time off for about 8 months and was exhausted by the end of it... I would not make that mistake again - it's too intense.
One thing to be aware of it the cost to recruit someone from day 1 (especially if they are full-time?) Since starting the nursery all the staff have had to muck in and do ALL jobs required, so you must be sure that your new manager is happy to take on more than just a '9-5' Manager job in the early days - that was really important to me, as staff support and keeping them motivated is critical but challenging especially in the early days.
Where have you been advertising so far?? If I can give any more advice just ask :)
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 05-07-12 10:30
Thanks for your wise words. It has been such a massive learning curve and we are not even anywhere near opening yet so I can believe how demanding it has been for you.
Unlike you I don't have any qualifications so it's not an option for me to be the manager, I need to have someone in place for opening. This too poses problems as until I have a manager I can't complete the OFSTD registration.
I have not actively looked for a manager yet but have put the word out within the people I know in the industry. I have also earmarked a few managers who I have met when doing some "secret shopper" visits to competitors so I may try to do some headhunting - have you ever tried this?
You have confirmed my thoughts that I need someone who in the early days is happy to go the extra mile and muck in with everything. Now all I need to do is find them!
I really would like someone who has lots of experience and for the right person am happy for them to come in and put their stamp on the setting.
Now you have your manager do you feel confident to leave them in charge for periods of time? I know that I am going to need to be involved full time for quite a while but I am going to need to have the odd afternoon off here and there. Do you think that works when the nursery is so new?
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 05-07-12 13:26
It would be almost impossible to recruit a manger to run your business before it was established without seeing them actively in a day to day trial situation. I trial all my staff on paid 9-3's because I need to see how they communicate with parents children and the team. However I can understand your situation. Go for experience +++ backed up with qualification, ask for a hand written statement so you can see their hand writing, spelling and grammmer etc meet with them two or three times and get a feel for who they are and what they want. Finally they should be in post as a deputy with a Nursery already If not why not?? I have managed my own Nursery for over five years and only just starting to trust my established team on their own.
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 05-07-12 13:58
I do feel for you, it's a daunting situation, however it will get easier you just have to keep going till your through this part. I didn't do the "Secret Shopper" I know too many people in this line of work so would probably would have been caught out immediately - which would not have been a good start!!! Have you met any potential managers doing it though??
I agree that you need to get someone in with experience, the last thing you will have time for is to fully train a new manager in the job that you require them to do from day 1. It will be full-on and so much to do for both of you, it's important to be able to delegate tasks to them and be confident they know what they are doing and that they will do it to a high standard - the early days are so important.
In the beginning I made myself slightly indispensible (not a good idea...!) therefore when it came to taking time off with my DM in post (even a day) I did find it hard to let go as it had been me managing the nursery for 8 months working around 60 hours per week - That said, I now take every Friday off and have had a week away on holiday to re-charge my batteries. I couldn't be without my time off now (even though my ego took a hit to begin with that the nursery COULD run without me!!) If you can, I would start as you mean to go on, take a half-day or a day when you can - you are only going to be a phone call or email away. I still ask that my DM gives me a end of day handover email / or anything she is unsure off, to run past me, even if I am off. When it's your name above the door and you are working hands-on, its ultimately your responsibility for what goes on, but you do need some personal time.
If I were you I would advertise in every way you can for you Manager, in the local paper, on Gumtree, your website, also, if you have any new staff lined up you could tell them to pass on to any colleagues that they know of to apply?? Make you Ad as catchy and interesting as possible - to make people want to apply and get the job. I think for a lot of candidates it would be a fantastic opportunity to help establish a new nursery and put their stamp on it - my staff seem to think that anyway, they find it exciting (as there is never a dull moment!)
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 05-07-12 21:01
Are there local network meetings where providers get together on a regular basis?? You tend to get a mixture of providers PDN's, Childrens centres, pre schools, primary schools, etc. you might get some recommendations for good managers or just useful advice
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 06-07-12 12:24
RE: Recruiting a manager for a brand new setting - 07-07-12 18:22
Interesting to hear your experience, I need to find someone like you!!
I would really like the manager to have a say in how the rooms are laid out before any work is done but it's difficult as until we have got guaranteed planning permission it's difficult to recruit.
I think my LA has a vacancy bulletin so I will put an ad on there. I didn't think many people would look at this but maybe they do.
If there is anyone out there near to the East Sussex/Kent border that has managerial experience and fancies a new challenge let me know....
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