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Keeping the after school program candidate funnel full

The following content is provided by Radar Talent Solutions as part of a recurring content series. Radar Talent Solutions is focused on supporting school districts or local governments with high-volume hiring strategies.

What is a hiring funnel, and why does every after school program need one?

Your program runs perfectly. You are fully staffed and can predict when someone will be leaving. They give you plenty of notice, and you’re able to find a new candidate to replace them. There are no callouts, no-shows, or attrition. Your community thanks you profusely for your service, and nobody is ever angry. Sounds like a a dream? It is.

Assumptions that lead to unrealistic expectations

What is described above is the expectation. However, expectations can only meet reality if we are aligned with the right set of assumptions. 

So, what are those assumptions leading to this unrealistic expectation? It is assumed that working in the public sector is a stable career, an entry into the middle class. It is assumed that one member of a household could support their family on the salary provided. It is assumed that an individual who comes to work at your organization would not need to find other employment to meet their basic needs. It is assumed that individuals coming to your organization will have stable job histories, professional references, and a burning excitement to start. 

Let’s unpack these assumptions. Do you offer a stable career where your new employee will not need to find additional employment? The federal government classifies the poverty line for a family of four at $30,000 annually. If you offer full-time employment, this would come to $14.42 per hour. 

This varies regionally based on the costs of living. It likely has starting wages above the poverty line but doesn’t offer a full 40 hours per week of employment year-round. This means the role you’re hiring for is one of a few gigs the employee will work for. 

Gigs vs. Jobs

We are using the word gig for a reason. A gig differs from a job in its temporary or casual nature. A gig is easy to start and easy to complete. It doesn’t have the formalities of applying or assessing for a job because everyone knows the temporary nature. And this is the paradigm shift. 

Your community’s baseline assumption is that you are hiring for a job. But you are hiring for a gig, using all the processes and qualifications of a job.

What does it mean to have a gig? It means mobility. You must work hard to get and keep your employees’ attention. It means a certain level of persistent attrition. And it means that you should recognize your opportunity for exactly what it is (a gig) but strive to build more (a job). 

Keep the funnel full, and you will mitigate the impacts of natural attrition

That brings us back to the title of this piece — building a hiring funnel. A funnel starts wide and narrows over time. Think of all the people who might be interested in working with you. 

Start at the top of the funnel, and as you move downwards, you will select individuals to move forward, or they will self-select out. Measure the time it takes to get someone from their interest to start and measure the conversation between stages. 

Try to predict your natural staff turnover rate and fill the top of the funnel such that you can replace that turnover with new employees. Always keep that candidate funnel full, and you will mitigate the impacts of natural attrition. 

 To learn more from Radar Talent Solutions, check out On Our Radar.


Adam Rosen, CEO and Founder of Radar Talent Solutions, is a seasoned recruitment strategist with a stellar track record in creating, scaling, and optimizing business programs. With notable success at Amazon, where he played a key role in recruiting over 100K+ drivers for Last Mile Expansion during the pandemic, Adam excels in navigating the delicate balance between human interaction and technological scale. His latest venture, Radar Talent Solutions, addresses school staffing challenges and has currently positively impacted over 4500+ Minnesota students. As he eyes national expansion, Adam's success lies in embracing the synergy between human interaction and technology.

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