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Tony Jerisha
Tony Jerisha

Analytics, Best Practices, Forecasting, Trend Analysis, Hiring

3 Easy and Effective Ways Public School Districts Can Use Analytics When Filling Administrative Positions

Posted on Apr 6, 2017 11:42:39 AM

Much has been written about the impact hiring has on an organization’s success - how to find, attract and hire the right people, and how to reduce turnover. Many successful organizations often cite their ability to hire and retain the right people as one of the top drivers of their success. School districts are certainly no exception to this and over the years I have assisted many districts leverage data and analytics as they navigate through the search and transition process when there is an administrative-level vacancy such as a Superintendent, CFO or Principal.

Here are 3 ways you should consider employing data throughout your hiring process:


Whether in coordination with a third-party search firm or conducting the search yourself, your team should build out the job description as well as any specific strengths and characteristics that would be important to succeeding in your organization’s unique situation, culture, etc. Additionally, you should discuss any target organizations to prioritize in the search. Particularly in the public education space where peer information is readily available, Forecast5 clients can leverage 5Sight to very easily:

  • Identify peer organizations with a similar environment, current situation, trends, and potentially facing similar challenges (such as increasing/decreasing enrollment or declining revenue).
  • Identify peer organizations that are performing at the level you expect from your district.
  • Identify organizations that have recently turned their performance around or have seen significant improvements in performance (signs of strong leadership).
  • From the list of targets, use 5Sight to collect a list of potential candidates by Position, Experience, Degree and Salary.

Share these lists and review them internally and with outside search partners to identify and prioritize targeted organizations and candidates.

Learn how you can measure your district's "academic return on investment" with data analytics

Candidate Screening

In the screening process, review recent district performance of candidates that have applied for your opportunity. 5Sight can help you:

  • Build a 5Sight analytic workbook that looks at the performance trends of the candidate’s district and/or attendance center.

Are they currently facing similar challenges, experiencing similar trends, and in a similar environment?

Do they stand out as a high performer?

For example, in a Principal search prepare building-level trend and benchmark analytics around, enrollment, staffing and student performance. For a CFO or Superintendent, prepare these analytics at a district level and include financial analytics around Revenue, Expense and Fund Balance.

Use your findings and insights to shape the focus of subsequent interviews, reference checks, etc.

Interview Process

In the interview process, when it is appropriate, give each candidate an opportunity to review YOUR district’s recent performance considering your strategic goals and as compared to your peers and offer them an opportunity to share their insights. 5Sight users can:

  • Develop a short, analytical story about your district’s performance at a high level. Touch on multiple areas of data so you can evaluate their ability to connect disparate data sets together. (example: include Enrollment, Revenue, Spending, and Student Achievement trends into an analytic story-board).
  • Share the story with each candidate being careful in the explanation to not add much commentary or opinion (you don’t want to influence their own analysis).
  • Ask the candidates to interpret the analytics, summarize their understanding, and discuss their initial insights around potential areas of strength and areas of opportunity (challenges). It can also be useful to have them discuss how they would communicate this story to various stakeholders such as board members, staff, or the public.

Are their analysis and ideas aligned with the district’s strategies, culture, etc.?

Do they show a personal view that using data in decision making is important?

Did they show creativity in any ideas they’d share in addressing challenges?

Alongside your current search, interview and hiring process, these techniques should help you identify your strongest candidates and make the right hiring decisions for your district. Let us know how they worked for you and best of luck!

Tony Jerisha is the Client Services Director for Forecast5 Analytics, Inc. where he is responsible for providing clients the support, training, and product experiences they need to be successful. Prior to joining Forecast5 in 2013, Tony spent 10 years with CCH (a Wolters Kluwer business) in various leadership positions including National Retention Manager where he oversaw client relationships across the U.S. and helped the organization bring multiple technology innovations to the tax and legal markets. Tony has received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of St. Francis and his Illinois CPA certification.

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