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teach away ignite school case study


Opening its doors in September 2018, Ignite School had a vision to be different from other US curriculum schools that had opened over the years in Dubai. Rather than simply adhering to a US curriculum, Ignite School would provide a truly American context.

However, with only weeks to go before they were scheduled to open, Veronika, the school’s Founding Director (and one-and-only recruiter), was still struggling to fill her 13 teaching vacancies. Despite trying a variety of recruitment methods, and being located in one of the most popular destinations for international educators, Ignite School was simply unable to find the teachers they needed.


The Challenge

In order to fulfil their promise of offering a truly American education, Ignite School needed to build a staff comprised of teachers with US citizenship, US teaching licences, and experience teaching the common core curriculum back home.

Upon moving to the United Arab Emirates in April, Veronika ramped up her recruitment efforts. A brief attempt at posting jobs on popular international career sites resulted in Veronika being overwhelmed with unqualified candidates.

Following that, an exclusive partnership with an established international education recruitment agency also failed to provide Veronika with the results she was looking for. The majority of candidates referred by the agency either weren’t properly qualified or weren’t interested in the opportunity Ignite School was offering.

By July, two months prior to opening, Ignite School had only hired three teachers and still had 10 vacancies to fill. Despite being under tight timelines to have staff in place for the start of the school year, Ignite School was unwilling to compromise on hiring the right teachers for their school.


Our Solution

An annual subscription from Teach Away turned out to be just what Veronika needed to change her fortune.

As she was looking to hire a large number of teachers, Veronika opted to sign on for an annual subscription. Rather than posting her jobs individually, this cost-effective solution enabled her to post all of her vacancies and hire as many teachers as she needed for one set fee.

Veronika recalled, “thinking back to my own experiences as a job seeker, I recalled how easy it was to find and apply for jobs I was interested in using Teach Away. I could quickly find a number of schools I was interested in and apply to them. It’s a more independent way of going about a job search than using a recruiter, where your career is essentially in their hands.”

By posting their jobs on Teach Away’s job board, not only was Ignite School able to increase the visibility of their jobs – they were able to get in front of the qualified teachers they were looking to hire. Even better, because candidates on the Teach Away platform have the ability to learn about and apply to the positions they’re interested in themselves, the applicants Ignite School received were interested in opportunities at the school and receptive to Veronika’s outreach.

On top of dramatically improving her candidate pool, Veronika found that Teach Away’s applicant tracking system put her firmly in control of the candidate selection process. “Unlike with recruitment agencies, Teach Away’s platform gave me the autonomy to choose the best candidates for my school. As a recruiter, I can look through each candidate’s profile, narrow down my applicant pool based on my own unique criteria, and decide how to proceed with individual candidates.”

With Teach Away, Veronika’s recruitment was solidly back in her own hands and not in those of a recruiter.


The Impact

When Veronika approached us in July, her previous recruitment efforts had resulted in only three hires in three months. Using the Teach Away platform, Ignite School managed to fill eight out of their 13 teaching vacancies in less than eight weeks.

That’s 60% of their total teaching staff hired through Teach Away.

According to Veronika, the three biggest benefits of using Teach Away are:

  • Access to more quality candidates –Teach Away provided five to 10 times more suitable applicants than traditional recruitment agencies. 
  • No time wasted – Because candidates apply directly (rather than being matched by a recruiter), applicants are informed, interested and highly receptive to outreach. 
  • A streamlined process –Teach Away’s online platform gives recruiters the autonomy to choose the candidates who are the best fit for their schools. 

With a little help from Teach Away, Ignite School was able to open its doors with a staff room full of teachers matching the exact criteria they were looking for.

With ambitious plans to expand the number of grades, and classes taught at each grade level, Veronika has lots of work ahead of her in the year to come. She’s confident she’ll find the 40 additional teachers she requires through Teach Away.


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