Best Studio Practice: Getting Your Hiring Process Up to Speed
November 29, 2001

Running a business means dealing with employees and, as the saying goes, it’s hard to find good help. Every studio director wants good teachers who care about the students and have a love of dance and a knack for teaching. The problem is figuring out which job applicants are most likely to give you the right combination of those qualities. There’s no easy solution, but there are ways to narrow the field while learning as much as possible about each person who applies for the job. Keep reading for tips to a smoother-sailing interviewing and hiring process.


1. Always have prospective teachers fill out an actual application form to ensure you have uniform information about the candidate, no matter how elaborate or simple their resumé is. Use this information to guide your questions, if you decide to schedule an interview.



2. Find out why each potential hire wants to teach at your school and ask about their preferences in dance style, class size, age group and other teaching duties. Make sure any new hire has a teaching style compatible with other instructors at your studio, as you want to find the best match for your studio’s needs.



3. When narrowing down your list, learn more about each possible candidate by checking their personal references and calling previous employers. Question their office behavior, ability to work with others, work ethic, reliability, promptness and amount of absences. But don’t be surprised if former employers aren’t willing to discuss the details.



4. Post-interview is also a good time to review any portfolio and video materials submitted by the applicants. Look through each with a careful eye, paying close attention to their performance and choreography. And remember, not all professional dancers necessarily make good teachers.



5. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential hires to a few lucky prospects, invite each to teach a mock class at your studio to observe their teaching style. Especially pay close attention to how they treat the not-so-good students or those who are having trouble learning a certain step. After the class, ask the dancers for their opinions. Listen carefully to their comments and concerns. Proceed with caution if there are any immediate personality clashes.


Parts of this originally from “Help Wanted” by Stacy Smith.


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