As director of your dance studio, you have a multi-faceted role that requires plenty of skills and oversight of many areas. Managing your staff is one of those areas you probably didn’t anticipate taking up so much of your time — especially if you have a high staff turnover rate. Not only does high turnover translate into the need to spend time and energy finding and then training a replacement, but with decreased stability and loss of favorite dance instructors, some students will drop out, decreasing the available funding.
It’s a vicious cycle. But, thankfully, it’s one from which you can break free. There are some things you can do to lower your employee turnover rate. And that starts with the hiring process.
Being Selective About Candidates
As particular as you are when it’s time to plan for every detail of that upcoming dance recital, it’s even more important to be selective about prospective new employees; after all, they’ll have a much more far-reaching impact on your dance studio’s future. Remember that as important as dance skills and teaching ability are, you also want to make sure to find quality candidates that reflect the kind of attitudes and character qualities you wish to instill in your dancers. For one thing, you want your instructors to model those traits. For another thing, you want to add new members to your team that will positively contribute to the environment and goals you want to create and achieve.
Of course, you also need to find candidates that have the skill sets required by the position. One way to avoid wasting time sifting through unqualified candidates is to be specific in your job description. While you may receive fewer applicants that way, you’ll be sure to attract suitable candidates with your carefully crafted posting. Define both dance and teaching skills and experience required as well as the specific responsibilities the position will require.
Being Cautious About Hiring
Once you have a pool of qualified applicants, you need to set up interviews. During the interview process, aim to get the candidate talking and get to know him or her as well as possible. You may wish to get more details about previous dance studio experience and other qualifications. Always ask open-ended questions that require more than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Feel free to extend the interview to include asking candidates about their ideal recital or career goals. You may also want to request a demonstration of teaching a particular skill; if you plan to do so, though, be sure to inform candidates ahead of time so they can be dressed appropriately.
Make sure that a potential candidate does more than meet the qualifications for the specific position, but that he or she also meshes well with your dance school’s culture and the other employees on your team.