It’s no secret that schools want the very best educators, but it’s also no surprise that some schools leave this until the last minute. It’s rare that good teachers are lounging around with their feet up, so it’s important that schools actively seek, recruit and support the best educators in the industry. A good recruitment process is about having higher standards and making sure your new hires have them too.
Save your school the trouble of a last-minute hire that doesn’t quite fit the bill by putting a little thought into how you hire. A rewarding recruitment process results in hiring great teachers, who will be willing to go the extra mile for your students. Trust us, you want to avoid the teachers who lunge for the last-minute jobs or will literally accept any offer! Nobody wants to be the school that just about anyone could get a job at.
We've rounded up some of the most common mistakes we see schools making when they recruit new teachers.
Mistake #1: Rushing to recruit teachers at the last minute
We really can't emphasize enough how much of a mistake this is. Teachers aren’t just looking for jobs once a year, which means you need to be advertising jobs all year round. Chances are good teachers who are looking to move schools are plotting their next steps in advance. They will be scoping out schools, researching online and making sure schools don’t have reputations for bad practices – like firing teachers for no reason just before the end of their contracts.
This means that good teachers know the schools they want to teach at and have probably compiled a wish list of the schools that appeal to them. So, If you haven’t built up a reputable brand for your school online, many teachers won’t take the chance of signing with you, or worse, they may not even know you exist.
The market is competitive, so simply posting a job offer on a website when you need someone won’t pull in the best people. It’s all about being proactive with your school’s marketing.
Everything is online these days and you’re not simply competing with other schools. There’s also bloggers, vloggers and everyone in between spreading information about bad contracts and poor conditions. Teachers are receptive to this, and if you’re not building your school’s reputation online, then you may be lumped in with the schools that are treating teachers poorly.
Teachers who travel to teach are taking a big risk. Many of them will make the decision based on the little information they’ve gotten from the internet. So when you’re building your school’s recruitment strategy, think about what might reassure a teacher when they inevitably Google you.
Here are a few ways you can promote your school online without spending any money or having to consult an expert:
- If your school doesn’t have a social media account, it should. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but teachers will like being able to do a quick search to see the facilities or a little extra information about school events. You know your school does amazing things… now, you need to make sure the internet knows too.
- Get current teachers to review your school online – every school has a couple of educators that are stalwarts. Why not incentivize them to post a review on a social media account or on teachers’ boards. A good review can’t hurt your chances.
- Use education job boards because that is where teachers will look first. An active presence on a reputable teaching job board may give your job offer weight and mean your school’s name is hanging out in the right places.
Mistake #2: Not advertising everything a school has to offer
If you put all your emphasis on salary and curriculum and fail to consider career progression and accommodation, you will be missing out on attracting a good deal of excellent candidates to whom these elements are most important. Make sure you are covering all your bases and offering a truly fantastic opportunity to teachers thinking of taking up a role at your school.
Look no further than your current teaching staff for inspiration. Why are they still there? Maybe you can take a quick lunchtime survey and find out what they consider to be the perks of the job. You might be pleasantly surprised.
We’ve had teachers who stay in schools for reasons as seemingly silly as the delicious lunches, to things as big as the staff atmosphere and support from fellow educators. Every school has something to offer, you just need to have a long hard think about what you’ve got to give, and then make sure prospective teachers know all about it.
It’s worth taking a look at job advertisements outside of the teaching industry too, this will give you an idea of things smaller companies can offer as “perks”. Maybe your school can borrow some of these and add them to your job postings. Anything that makes you stand out is a win, we see a lot of schools sticking to the same script, and a bit of creativity can go a long way when it comes to taking the plunge.
Mistake #3: Not highlighting the school's location
You need a math teacher. You want the best. If your school is positioned at the base of Kilimanjaro or on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, it is likely that there will be a significant number of math teachers who would be extremely excited to come and work with you. If you want to attract teachers from outside your local area, do not be afraid to sing the praises of your location.
Our research shows that a passion for travel is hands down the top reason that teachers choose a career overseas. Think like a tourist board and give yourself an advantage over other schools in attracting talent. Even if you don’t have a stunning national park or a bustling city to sell your school on, think about what you do have and who this might attract.
A school in a quiet village in rural China may not seem like a prospect that will attract everyone, but to a city dweller tired of the noise and pollution, it could be paradise! Work with what you have and show off your school to attract the widest range of excellent talent.
Mistake #4: Focusing too much on salary alone
The conversation between teachers and schools needs to involve much more than salary. If all your school does is tell teachers how much you pay, then it’s likely that not all good teachers will consider your position. Teachers interested in your school will consider multiple factors and it’s important to remember that money is only one.
We’ll admit that salary is important to most when choosing a job. But it isn’t the end-all and be all! Teach Away was founded on a passion for education and we connect quality teachers with quality schools in exotic locations. As former teachers and educators, we believe every child deserves a good teacher and that drives our business. If you are focusing on the salary, you are missing the whole point.
Here are some other things you might want to plug in the recruitment process: Your fantastic ethos, world-beating team, enthusiastic students or state of the art facilities. Don’t lose sight of what makes you great!
The key takeaway
So there you have it, it’s all about branding your school as an amazing opportunity for teachers. Our research shows that 97% of teachers select their roles online, many of these from recruitment specific sites.
If you’re not sure how to go about getting the best educators, partner with someone who is. Choose a partner who not only connects you with great candidates but helps you develop your recruitment strategy.