But if you do want to make the leap of faith, how to hire great teachers – and not end up with nightmare scenarios – is probably the most popular question I’m getting now.
And, along with Tip no.3, it is probably the second biggest mistake I see people making.
The thing is that there is a huge worldwide shortage of *great* teachers.
They are just so hard to find and if you get one, treat them well! 🙂
So if there aren’t enough great teachers around …. what’s my top Ninja Tip here?
Don’t hire teachers! 🙂
As I said most great teachers already have a job (or are starting their own school), so you have to ask “Why did they leave their last job?”
Sometimes of course it is a legitimate reason.
But very often we see it being because of clashes with the previous school owners.
And these clashes are usually one of two things:
a) Bad personalities. (Either the teacher or the previous owner)
b) Differences in teaching methodologies.
You might *think* you’ve told them how you want to teach, but what they’re thinking is “Nah, I’ll do it my way” 🙂
I’ve seen so many owners make this mistake.
It *will* happen.
And anyway you don’t want mediocre people.
That is the definition of stress.
What you want are *great* people.
So how do you hire great people?
The rule, and this applies to any hiring anyone not just teaching, is always…
Hire for personality. Train for ability.
It doesn’t matter if they have zero teaching experience, in fact if you’re doing Genki English this is probably a plus point as it’s so different from everything else, but hire for the one thing you can’t train for … an amazing personality.
Believe me if you hire someone who has all the qualifications in the world but doesn’t have the right personality, it’s going to be heartache all the way!
But if they have the right work ethic, smile, attention to detail, ethics and dedication, you can train them up in no time!
Ninja Tip: For training someone up, get the book “The EMyth revisited” it will show you how to simplify everything you do so that anyone, with the right personality, can pick it up. It will also save you hours and hours by helping you streamline your business.
Ninja Tip 2: Even before you hire *always* be keeping an eye out for amazing people. Just like when you buy a red car & suddenly every car you see on the street is red, when you start thinking about people with amazing personalities, work ethics or dedication you suddenly start seeing them all around. In the coffee shop, in the cafe, on campus, ex-students, parents, wives or husbands of students, university returnees. They are all over.
But keep your eye out well before you need to fill a position.
That way you’ll have a list of possible candidates in your head already when the opening comes around.
Don’t rush in
Then the second rule is (and this one comes from bitter experience, everyone I know, including myself, has made this mistake!!) …
Hire slow. Fire Fast.
Take your time. Get to know them. Fill in classes yourself if you have to.
I know it’s tempting, but never, never, never give someone a job just because you “have to” fill a teaching position.
You don’t “have to”. You’ll find a way.
And that way is *not* by hiring someone who isn’t perfect.
Believe me you will regret it.
Get the *perfect* person, not the nearest, for the job and they will not just fill it, but they will exceed all your expectations.
Ninja Tip: This is one more reason to keep your eyes open well before you actually will be hiring.
And finally, if they don’t work out, do fire them.
I know emotions (and laws) come into this, but we all make mistakes.
And it’s not the teacher we have to think about, it’s the kids.
If the teacher isn’t suited to teaching, they have to go.
They will be happier elsewhere, you’ll be happier and the kids will be happier.
I know it’s hard, you think they’ll change, but they won’t.
Hire slow. Fire Fast.
I’ve seen so many owners go from quivering masses of stress and sleepless nights, to happy, relaxed human beings just by getting rid of that problem staff member.
You need to do it.
Remember we’re in a different industry.
We’re not selling widgets. We’re guiding kids to their future lives.
Your school is where they come to gain their energy, their positivity, their passion for learning and their ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere.
They deserve the best, teachers who have all the passion and energy you do.
And you deserve someone who can take your vision for your dream school and make it a reality and often a reality that is even better than your biggest dreams.
You guys are all my team, and your staff are all your team.
And for team Genki English we want superstars all the way.
When you get those superstar teachers, cherish them, nurture them, be strict with them and be there for them.
They will be your diamonds, your superheros, your inspiration and your guides on this amazing journey!
OK, those were my top tips, what is your best advice for hiring great teachers? Do let us know in the comments! 🙂
Good luck and be genki,
P.S. Do check out that EMyth book, it’s how you will write your training course.
P.P.S. If you’re wondering how many people you’ll need eventually, keep in mind the rule of 7. In any business if you have 7 people reporting to you, that is a full time job. No teaching, that’s full time managing. And it will usually take 7 teachers to match the teaching work you can do (because you’re so amazing! 🙂 Well, that and because it’s your baby so you are more passionate. ) So the next goal line is 7 teachers with you managing them. Then when you get near to 7 teachers, you need to hire a professional manager. Each manager will only manage and not teach. They will manage a maximum of 7 teachers each and report to you. So once you pass the first 7 teachers the next goal is 7 managers (a full time job for you to manage them) x 7 teachers per manager = 49 teachers. See, I told you it was a never ending rabbit hole! But that is a million dollar company. If you want it. My advice? Stay small. No teachers. Just you. And 120 students.