Recruitment & Selection Checklist

The ability to attract and select high-quality staff is critical to the success of any talent leader. The below checklist is a starting point to help you gauge the health of your recruitment plan within the framework I use with clients. No strategy checks every box, but if you have a strong strategic plan and rigorous selection process, you should hit at least 80% of these both overall and within each section. 

Feeling overwhelmed? If your organization has very few of these things, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are my First Three – the first three things you should work on to build your recruiting systems and pipeline. 


1. You utilize a system to collect applications and track applicants through the entire selection process. This may not be as robust as you’d like or have all the capabilities you want, but it’s there (and no, it’s not in Excel on your recruiter’s computer that may or may not get left on a train). Applications aren’t disappearing or being eaten by bridge trolls. 


2. Hiring managers receive basic training to stay out of hot water legally. Your hiring managers may not be perfect or always make the best decisions, but they aren’t likely to commit any egregious errors during the hiring process that could bring a lawsuit or irreparably damage the org’s reputation. 


3. You track relevant data to drive your strategy moving forward. This should include data points such as the number of attendees at events, applicants and conversions from specific sources, time it takes to close a role, conversion rates throughout the selection process, average days in the selection process for candidates and offer acceptance rate. 

Ideal State

Vision, Goals & Strategy

  • Goals are aligned to overall talent philosophy and vision statement
  • Historical recruitment and selection data were utilized to set realistic yet ambitious goals that meet the organization’s needs
  • Goals are rigorous and have a clear impact on students across the organization (e.g. 100% of vacancies filled by the first day of school means no classroom starts the year with a sub)
  • Goals address the quality, quantity, and diversity of applicants, candidates, and hires.
  • Leadership and relevant teams buy-in to goals and played a role in developing goals (if relevant for their role)
  • Clear strategy is in place to achieve goals; includes specific tactics, milestones, metrics, and owners; recruitment strategy should include activities in the following segments, prioritized based on past data and results:
            • employee referrals
            • career fairs
            • org-sponsored hiring events
            • cold-sourcing strategies (e.g. LinkedIn)
            • marketing & advertising
  • An overarching recruitment and selection calendar is published for leaders to visibly see critical deadlines and recruitment/sourcing activities or events the team plans to complete

enabling Structures & mindsets

  • A team in HR/Talent dedicated to recruitment, screening, and selection
  • Clear decision rights for each selection stage; for example:
            • who makes final offer? 
            • who decides which candidates make it to final interviews?
            • how is salary set?
            • for candidate pools being divided across a network, how is it determined which schools see which candidates?
  • Organizational culture of “everyone is a recruiter”
  • Employer brand with aligned messaging on the website, printed materials, and social media

Process, Systems & Tools

  • An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is in place and is effectively used to:
            • manage candidates through the selection process
            • automate tasks and workflows 
            • send and automate regular candidate communications
  • Recruiters and hiring managers use a framework or tool to objectively measure candidates’ skills and fit
  • Selection process is standardized across schools (or across hiring managers) to ensure equity and quality control in hiring decisions
  • Candidates complete the selection process in less than six weeks (and ideally less than four weeks)
  • Clear process and plan for sharing (or not sharing) candidates across multiple schools or departments
  • There is a process to seek feedback from candidates about:
            • their experience interviewing
            • their rationale for their final decision (if they accepted or declined an offer, or withdrew from the process)
            • ways to improve the experience moving forward
  • Templates and forms for all standardized aspects of the hiring process:
            • Candidate communication templates 
            • Interview banks & rubrics
            • Performance tasks
            • Reference check calls or forms
            • Generating offer letters

Manager Training & Execution

  • Managers receive training and coaching on how to: 
            • conduct interviews and other hiring activities 
            • use org-specific processes and tools
            • sell their school/team
            • stay within legal and ethical boundaries when interviewing/hiring
  • Managers complete necessary hiring activities within the designated time frame

Staff Training & communication

  • Staff receive regular communications encouraging referrals and/or participation in other recruitment activities (e.g. posting jobs on their personal social media accounts)
  • Staff members participating in hiring activities receive relevant training (see manager list above for example)


  • Recruitment and selection data is analyzed for trends across lines of race, gender, age/tenure, disability, and any other demographic collected by the org
  • Discrepancies discovered through the above data review are addressed
  • Hiring managers and recruiters have participated in anti-bias training related to interviewing and hiring specifically 
  • Demographics of new hires reflect the student demographic
  • Recruitment activities include sourcing from places that are likely to yield high-qualified, diverse candidates (e.g. HBCU, job board for Latino Educators, etc.)
  • Job postings have been reviewed and scrubbed for exclusionary language, including critiera/qualifications that are not needed for the role
  • The selection process is regularly audited to eliminate discriminatory language or practices and add in more inclusive practices (e.g. adding closed captioning on video lessons candidates are required to review)
  • A salary range is shared in the job posting; application does not ask candidates for their salary history or expected salary

Impact & results

  • Quality of hires improves YOY OR sustains at the intended goal
  • Diversity of hires improves YOY OR sustains at the intended goal
  • >X% of vacancies are filled by the last day of the current school year (recommend 90%)
  • Last-minute summer resignations are filled within three weeks
  • Candidates report positive experiences with interviewing, even if they were not selected
  • Managers report positive sentiments about the recruitment process and quality of hires they made

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