School principal recruitment and selection in Montana

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


Schools nationally have reported concern about shrinking candidate pools for principal candidates. The problem addressed in this study was that the relationship between recruitment and selection strategies used by Montana school superintendents and existing standards for principals was not known. The purpose of this study was to describe and examine the relationship between principal selection strategies utilized by Montana schools in the selection of a new principal and nationally agreed upon ISLLC standards for knowledge, dispositions and performances required of principals. From examination of reported selection strategies used in Montana schools and the recruitment and selection literature, a recruitment and selection model was developed for the hiring of quality principals. Two parameters guided development of a model and strategies for recruitment and selection of principals. One, effective recruitment strategies identified in the literature and examination of existing recruitment strategies reported by Montana school superintendents. Two, effective selection strategies identified in the literature and examination of existing selection strategies reported by Montana school superintendents. As found in the recruitment and selection literature, there is an emphasis on strategies utilized in the corporate world for CEO recruitment and selection. Data generated from Montana school superintendents regarding hiring practices for principals revealed that Montana’s administrative shortage parallels national reports; the absence of fully developed recruitment procedures for attracting potential candidates, including minority and female candidates; limited use of succession or internal “grow your own programs;” and, limited training for hiring committees. Two factor analysis of variance tests on selection data revealed significance in several areas; however, differences should be interpreted with caution due to small cases sizes. Factor analysis was used to examine respondent perceptions regarding the use of the ISLLC standards in recruitment and selection and resulted in the identification of two factors accounting for 46.32% of the variance. This study resulted in the development of a recruitment and selection model that integrates professional development of principals with recruitment and selection practices based on the ISLLC standards. Aligned hired practices contained in the model provide Montana schools with a process that will guide their hiring of quality principals.




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