Guidance to School Districts on Hiring and Recruitment During Social Distancing and School Closures

Covid-19 Updates for Districts

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Office of Teaching and Leading created this resource to support school districts in recruitment and hiring during social distancing and school closures.

Due to concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, many districts may experience difficulty with conducting typical recruitment and hiring activities. Recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control recommends cancelling or postponing events where more than ten persons will gather and where social distancing recommendations cannot be obtained. At job fairs and job interviews, it is customary to be in close quarters for up to or more than an hour, to shake hands and exchange documents in person. Districts may consider the use of virtual job fairs, virtual job interviews and other virtual recruitment activities while social distancing measures are in place.

Virtual Job Interviews

Districts may consider conducting virtual job interviews using a video conference tool in place of in-person job interviews in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Members of the interview panel can join virtually from separate locations and exchange notes and make hiring decisions on a separate video conference.

Video conferencing tools may be utilized to offer candidates the opportunity to deliver example presentations, sample teaching lessons or demonstrate work samples in roles where a hiring exercise is necessary. In the case of sample teaching lessons, it is not advisable to assemble actual students. However, members of hiring panels may be encouraged to ask questions that are to be expected from students in that grade level or subject area.

Districts may utilize informational webinars and virtual office hours to provide follow-up information, answer frequently asked questions and provide personalized support in the recruitment process. While in-person meetings may not be possible, online meetings, phone calls and emails may provide prospective talent with the personalized attention that demonstrates a welcoming workplace environment.

Virtual Job Fairs

School districts may consider utilizing video conference technology and breakout rooms in order to conduct virtual job fairs. Virtual job fairs may be a budding best-practice to use with ‘Gen-Z’ hiring prospects, according to multiple sources regarding recruiting candidates into the teaching profession. The enclosed resource provides additional information about the logistics of how to conduct a virtual job fair for a company, which can easily be applied to a school district talent strategy. Districts may opt to have multiple school leaders and teachers facilitate breakout rooms or sessions to help candidates learn more about the culture, support and experience of serving in your local district.

A virtual platform allows for the use of media such as pictures, video clips from families and highlight reels of the accomplishments of the school districts to share with prospective candidates. An electronic to collect contact information and conduct follow up recruitment activity may be developed and utilized.

Please visit the MDE’s Educator Talent Acquisition webpage for more information and for an email list of staff contacts: