Note: This was originally posted on LinkedIn in November 2014. School admissions season in Houston is August through January, with many deadlines in December.
Right now, Houston families are spending countless hours trying to find the right schools for their children. They are attending open houses and school preview events. They are making appointments to sit down with admissions officers and tour schools that they think might provide their children the best education Houston has to offer. Do you know who’s not doing those things? Your prospects.
It’s not that they care any less about their children’s education. In fact, it’s probably the exact opposite. They are busy focusing on what’s important to them right now where they are. I’m sure many recruiters have encountered the new hire who isn’t willing to move before the school year ends for fear of disrupting their children’s schooling. The only problem with that is when May rolls around, most of the premier schools, even the public ones are at capacity for the following year.
So what does this mean for recruiters?
At the very least, if you are serious about a candidate who would be relocating a family to Houston, you need to talk to them about their schooling options. Now—even before you make an offer. Yes, right now. Houston’s private and choice public schools have deadlines as early as December, some earlier, which means it is already too late for some schools. Kinkaid and St. John’s, two of the city's top-tier private schools, have September deadlines for their kindergarten classes. Houston ISD’s magnet schools are currently accepting applications, as are stand out charters, KIPP and YES Prep.
If your prospective hires don’t hear this from you, they may be missing opportunities that would make it easier to see themselves in Houston. By helping prospects see Houston as the right place for them professionally and for their family, you narrow the distance to ‘yes’. Think of this like the pre-decision support that’s offered to ex-pats. When the whole family can see a future for themselves in the new city, it increases the likelihood that they’ll stay once they relocate. The return on investment for such a small gesture is enormous. Of course, you could wait until you make them the offer, but why risk that falling outside of the application window?
To make this easier, here’s an email you can copy and paste to show your prospects that you are thinking about what matters most to them as they consider a move.
You don’t need to be an expert on schools to help your prospects find their way—you just need to know one. For more information about how you can get closer to ‘yes’ by helping prospects and their families see themselves in Houston, contact Crumbine Education Consulting.