Hiring matters: exploring administrator perspectives of how teacher hiring and cultivation can impact student learning

The purpose of this study was to investigate how educational leaders understand talent acquisition, talent development and motivation, and talent retention and how they support the educational achievement of all students. This qualitative case study sought to explore the improvement of educational achievement and success of all students with a focus on teachers. This study had three guiding research questions: How do educational leaders define teacher quality? Do educational leaders use an equity lens when they recruit, hire, place, develop, and retain teachers? If so, how? In addition, there were two sub-questions that helped to shape interview protocol and data analysis: What barriers do educational leaders face during this process? To what extent do educational leaders look for teachers with cultural awareness? Five current school principals from the valley region of California were recruited for this study, using a semi-structured interview protocol. Data was coded and analyzed using thematic analysis with the aid of Dedoose (version 8.2.3, 2019) software. The findings revealed that principals were not involved in collaborating with district administrators regarding recruitment practices and strategies of their district. This study indicated that principals focused on both personality and professional attributes when selecting high quality teachers. Furthermore, this study suggested that teachers need on-going professional-development opportunities initially and throughout their career, but obstacles such as time and funding impede a principal’s ability to provide professional development offerings to their teachers.