Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla

“Hire for tomorrow, you’ll get through today” – hiring a stellar staff at #PLA2020

The staff of a library can make or break the patron experience. In an increasingly online world, patrons are searching for interaction and positive experiences at their library. How can you hire the best staff possible, and treat staff departures as an opportunity, not an emergency? Things to consider:

  • This before hiring: Who is your customer and what do they need?
  • You should hire for the person first, the position second.
  • Remember that you’re hiring for the whole library, not just for one area.
  • Depending on the person’s experience, their degree (or lack of a degree) is less important than their skill set.
  • Reconsider your job titles! Do people who are applying to your jobs know what your job title describes? Do they connect with it?
  • Recruit outside the normal channels: look at people who give exceptional customer service, like retail employees, theater workers, hospitality workers, etc.

Another big takeaway was to have a plan for what you will do when each member of your staff leaves. If someone leaves, does their exact position need to be replaced? Or is there a different way we can use that person? Treat staff departures as a chance to build the library, or department, of your dreams!

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