An Inside Look at Kelly Education’s Hiring Process

What you can expect at every step - from application to onboarding.

So, you’re ready to apply for a job and start working with Kelly Education. Great! 

What’s the full application and hiring process you should expect to complete? The better you understand the steps and timing of this process, the better you can manage expectations and find ways to shine at every stage. 

Read on for an overview of what you can expect during our process, along with some helpful tips.

Step 1: Choose the role you want.

Between the teaching and non-teaching jobs open at most schools, you may be considering a variety of roles. The process is similar, whether for substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and tutors—or for office, custodial, and cafeteria workers. However, specific roles have some unique steps or requirements you’ll need to meet, which we’ll cover.

If you know the position you’re interested in and where you want to work, the first step is to apply directly to a Kelly job posting—which is the fastest way to begin our process. If you’re not quite sure which role suits you best, you can open apply, and a Kelly Education recruiter will contact you to discuss your options and what we have available.

By applying, you’re just telling us that you’re interested and giving us a way to start communicating with you. There’ll be more info to come!

Step 2: Complete a prescreen.

After applying, you’ll be asked to complete a quick online form confirming you meet the minimum requirements. This includes basic questions like, 

  • Do you meet the educational and age requirements? 
  • Can you work certain days of the week if a district requires it? 
  • Do you have transportation to and from work? 

After answering, submit your answers to move forward.

Step 3: Attend a group info session.

Your next step will be to attend a virtual group interview, which lasts about 30 – 45 minutes, and typically includes a small group of other interested candidates. Once we receive your application, a recruiter will send you a link to self-schedule your interview. Schedule yours sooner than later to get you on the road to work faster. 

At this session, a recruiter will overview each available position in your area. Instead of a formal interview, this session is more focused on sharing information to see if the roles are a good fit, and to walk you through the pre-hire requirements for each role, so you can evaluate whether it’s a fit for you.

Come ready to ask any questions you may have. This is a great opportunity to get all your questions answered. Also, be prepared to respond to a few situational examples to gauge how you, or others in the session, might handle real-world situations in an educational environment. This interactive session will be a great indicator of whether a role in education is right for you.

Again, rest easy—this is an early preview, not a final decision. In fact, many people start with one area of interest. But after learning more about all available openings, they decide to take another type of role - which is all good! We just want to find your best option.

Step 4: Finalize your application.

At this point, if you didn’t apply on our job posting or complete an application in step 1, your recruiter will ask you to do it now. If you’re changing the type of role you want, you’d update that preference now.

We’ll use this finalized info to customize your next steps with the right onboarding and screening required for your specific job. About 99% of the people who complete an application move on to the next phase. You’ll be assigned an onboarding specialist who will reach out within 24 hours to begin the more formal onboarding and hiring process.

Step 5: Onboarding and background check screening.

This phase typically takes the longest to complete. 

Requirements to work in schools or other education institutions differ from state to state and sometimes even from location to location. But you don’t need to figure this out on your own. Your Kelly onboarding specialist will help you get ahead in the onboarding process by identifying which requirements will take the longest in your area so you can start on them first. 

In some states, you can complete all these steps online. Your onboarding specialist is certified in all the criteria for your state and will provide a checklist to help you manage priorities.

Depending on your location and the role you’re applying for, the entire onboarding and screening process can take anywhere from 3 days up to 3+ weeks. This timeline also depends significantly on how quickly you’re able to respond and provide what’s needed.

Potential steps and timing can include:

Action Approx. time to process Tips to note
Pre-hire Paperwork 15 - 30 min Standard forms.
Pre-hire Training 1 - 1.5 hours Self-led access online. Some states may require additional training.
I-9 Form 10 - 15 min Need your driver’s license / SSN
Health Screening (if required) 3 days TB: 2 appointments required
Education Verification 3 - 5 days Transcripts showing highest level of education
Licensing or Verification (if required) 1 - 3 days Typically for teaching roles only
Finger Printing 3 - 10 days 15-min appointment
Drug Screening 1 - 3 days As required
Background Check  3 - 7 days Can be delayed by court backups


Again, the items on this list you’ll be responsible for depend on your desired role and state. 

Typically, there are more requirements for instructional roles like paraprofessionals or substitute teachers than for custodians or food service workers in the same locations. And if you need more time to work on licensing requirements (as many often do), we can start you in a job with fewer requirements while you work on those needed for teaching roles. 

The bottom line? We’re here to find ways to make it work for you, and we have creative ways to allow you to earn a paycheck while moving toward your ultimate position.

While this phase may take the longest, you can also save yourself the most time here by completing your checklist without delay. Be proactive. Your onboarding specialist is there for support anytime. But they can’t complete the steps for you. The sooner you do, the faster you’ll get working.

Is training provided?

Making sure you feel confident and prepared is as important to us as it is to you. Our free, pre-hire training is required before you can go to work. Training programs are customized by role, so you get all the detail you need for the job you’ll be performing. Custom training modules are provided for substitute teachers, paraeducators, early childhood educators, food service, custodial, and nurse or clerical positions. 

For example, topics for instructional positions include:

  • Student Developmental Stages • Working with Paraeducators • Ethics & Professionalism • Legal Obligations • IEPs, Accommodations & Behavior Plans • Social Behavior • Classroom Technology • Preparing & Starting the Day • Classroom Management • Bullying & Harassment • School-Specific Policy & Procedure • Classroom & School-Based Incidents • Student & Personal Safety • Dismissal/Finishing the Day

Whatever work you do, we want to make sure you’re comfortable in your role from day one.

Are there any upfront costs?

When costs arise, they are typically for teaching licenses, TB tests if needed, and fingerprinting. Depending on the state and requirements, this could cost anywhere from $50 to $250. 

The rest will simply take your time and patience. Licensing usually takes the longest. But once your fingerprints clear, we can likely start you in a job that doesn’t require a license—so you can start earning income while pursuing your license.

Step 6: Welcome, orientation, and scheduling.

Once you've fully completed the state requirements, you’re ready to start working. 

You’ll get a welcome email from us with a link to your online orientation session—again, customized to your specific role. This can be completed at your own pace and isn’t required before beginning work. You’ll be introduced to your talent advisor. Going forward, your adviser will be your main contact for any questions you may have - on or off the job.

You'll receive a second email with information on how to access and use our online scheduling tool. Here you can view and accept available assignments and keep track of your time. It can take a day or two for the system to generate these emails. If you don’t see them, check your spam folder for both.

We’re here for you.

We understand the process may be a bit more than you expected. But we want you to know that you aren’t navigating it alone, and we’re here to guide you and make you successful. Always feel free to call one of our regional 800 numbers to speak with a recruiter, an onboarding specialist, or a talent advisor with expertise in your area. We’re all here to help you get to work as soon and smoothly as possible.

Be sure to share this article with anyone you know who wants to get started in a job in education!

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