How to Win The Hiring War: Real Talk About Staff Compensation

Kris welcomes two outstanding ladies in the field of early childhood education, Donna Jensen, who owns The Learning Station and who many of you know as “Coach Donna,” along with Audrey Pallone-Bugeja, owner of Little Scholars Preparatory School. They dive into the hot topic of how to win the hiring war and how to keep, find, attract, and retain A-level staff in today’s environment. They each share their background in the child care industry and give examples of success stories in both hiring and finding their competitive edge. Donna and Audrey talk about the importance of treating your school like a business and not a hobby, why knowing your metrics matters, and how offering a competitive wage isn’t the only thing that matters, but it’s still of utmost importance.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:  

  • [1:29] Donna lives in Myrtle Beach and owns The Learning Station, which is growing by leaps and bounds. She started in the industry in 1981 and talks about her key to successful expansion

  • [3:03] Audrey started with a small center in downtown Lansing and grew Little Scholars Preparatory School basically from the ground up.

  • [9:15] As a coach, Donna not only experiences what’s going on in her center but talks to people across the country almost on a daily basis.

  • [14:09] Child Care leaders have to run their business like a business, and not an expensive hobby.

  • [15:57] Donna and Audrey discuss how maintaining school excellence includes maintaining a strong culture and leadership, and you’re not going to get a chance to show the applicants and new teachers what a great culture you have if you don’t even offer a wage that can be taken seriously in the market.

  • [18:39] We have to stop schools from being a revolving door because the children are who suffer most.

  • [25:35] Audrey talks about how her A-Team has pulled other A-Team players onto their team.

  • [27:05] How can we raise prices in a way other than just tuition?

  • [31:39] Donna talks about really learning that you have to watch your metrics and you have to know your numbers

  • [32:22] We must be aware of how much it costs every time you bring in a new person – how much money and time (which time is money) is spent throughout the entire recruitment, onboarding, and training process. 

  • [40:23] Your staff is the most important asset that you have, and the quality of their work can make or break the program.

  • [44:26] Audrey talks about the collaboration of being enrolled in the group and how great it is to know that she has a network of other owners.


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