Case study: How this international school found one-in-a-million teachers with Teach Away

teach away international school of warsaw case study

The school: International Trilingual School of Warsaw

The problem in 5 simple words: Needed very specifically qualified candidates 🦄.

A quick school portrait:

A school with 450 students who are immersed in an environment with no bells and plenty of opportunities to learn multiple languages.

It all began 10 years ago with two students, one of them the founder’s daughter (so you could say - there has been a little growth!). It’s rare to find a trilingual school in Europe, and it’s the only trilingual school in Poland, setting it apart from local competition.

They focus on recruiting native speakers of the languages being taught and cater to students at nursery, kindergarten and primary levels.

What they mean by trilingual…

It’s complicated and a little bit unique. They don’t consider themselves a French, American or British school. Rather, students can opt to learn three of the five languages on offer (English, Polish, Spanish, French, Mandarin) in the following language sets:

English, Polish, Spanish
English, Polish, Mandarin
English, Polish, French

So let’s get down to it:

The International Trilingual School of Warsaw needs a very specific type of teacher. They can’t compete with the wages offered to teachers in places like the UAE or China, where there is no tax on wages. They have to look for licensed teachers who are willing to work for a lower wage, pay taxes and want to be part of their project and fit into the school culture.

Anna, the school founder, does most of the recruitment - and doesn’t feel comfortable delegating it, as she likes to make sure she’s recruiting the right teacher for the job.

The first step in fixing a problem is understanding it...

As the school has a very niche type of teacher they’re looking for, recruitment is tough. Warsaw doesn’t have a huge expat community she can dig into and it’s tough to compete against some of the international schools. The only recruitment they can really do for the kind of teachers they need is online.

Before stumbling upon us! The school was mostly using different ESL websites to recruit teachers. They were posting jobs on teach abroad sites like Dave's ESL Cafe, but the results were frustrating. The teachers just weren’t fitting the profile! They were getting plenty of ESL/TEFL teaching candidates, when they really wanted teachers who were certified to teach in their home country.

They’d also managed to locate candidates who were perfect matches but who weren’t willing to travel. It was a bit of conundrum because they had jobs to give and needed teachers, but they didn’t want to compromise and settle for the wrong sort of teacher just to fill a vacancy.

Something had to change!

The school’s founder wasn’t willing to settle for second best. She didn’t want to compromise on her ideal candidate and needed to find an online recruitment solution that would provide candidates who met very specific criteria.

Their desired teacher profile was as complex as teaching a toddler three languages!

  1. Licensed teachers in their home country.
  2. Genuinely enthusiastic and curious about being part of a multilingual/multicultural school - and creating trilingual students.
  3. A high level of flexibility!
  4. Experience embracing different curriculums and cultures.
  5. Don’t need to speak multiple languages fluently, but must have good English (regardless of other languages - as it’s the main language of communication).
  6. Native speakers of the language they are going to teach, e.g.:
    • English teachers - American, British, South African, Australian, New Zealand
    • Spanish teachers - Spain, Latin American
    • Mandarin - Chinese, Taiwanese
    • French - French, Belgian, Canadian

Not quite a meet-cute, but how we met:

Not a long story really - a good old-fashioned Google search sent them our way.

Tentative baby steps before the big plunge:

Rather than go all in, they posted their first ad with us (three years ago… oh the nostalgia!).

Given the struggle they’d been having locating the right sort of candidate, they were pleasantly surprised when lots of teachers that met their criteria started responding.

And now, three years and lots of teachers later…

They couldn’t be happier and have filled 80% of their English teaching roles through Teach Away. In fact (and yes, we’re quite proud of this) 35% of their current teachers were hired through Teach Away. They also plan to keep using our platform to hire the right candidates as they grow. So far, they’ve had no problem finding a teacher that’s the right fit every time they post a job.

After their initial job postings were so successful they signed up for our annual subscription - which gives them the power to take their time recruiting and create a pipeline of qualified teachers all year round.

The 3 biggest benefits of using Teach Away

Variety of candidates 🗺️

Number of applicants 🙌

Peace of mind 😌

So recently, we popped the big question 😳: “Are you looking for other recruitment partners?”

And thankfully the answer was no! They’re happy with the recruitment process and feel that it suits them down to the ground. Not only do they get plenty of candidates but they’re able to take control and make sure they are getting enough good teachers to fill their roles.

Recruiting teachers for so many languages is a long process, and they feel the vibe is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Needless to say, we’re chuffed and looking forward to helping this unique school continue to grow!

“What attracted me to Teach Away was that they worked with a large variety of clients - it wasn't only big American schools, British schools or large international school groups. As we are a small school, they give us the ability to attract candidates who consider very different positions - not only candidates looking to make a certain amount of money or work in a certain international system.”

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