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It’s time to reassess your teacher recruitment strategy

Great teachers are the foundation of your school, but are you doing enough to make sure you attract them?

To earn the attention of candidates today, it’s time for international school leaders to start thinking like modern marketers. (I know, that’s probably the last thing you want to hear, marketing is one of those words that make people squeamish, but it’s not nearly as complicated as you might be thinking.)

Prospective teachers start off as strangers to your school. Your hiring process has to work to attract, engage and convert them into candidates, new hires and, eventually, future employee advocates – a process often referred to as inbound recruiting.

Most international schools don’t have an inbound recruitment strategy in place (or if they do, they’re still in the early stages of developing it) which makes the opportunity huge for forward-thinking school leaders.

Here are several steps you can use to elevate your recruiting process this year, using the inbound methodology.

1. Develop your candidate persona

It stands to reason that in order to attract the kind of teachers you want working at your school, your careers page and job postings need to resonate with these particular types of candidates.

Your first step here should be to bring your ideal candidate to life by creating a persona (I recommend Beamery’s guide to help get you started).

To do this, you’ll need to get inside your ideal candidate’s head and understand who they are as a job seeker. So ask yourself the following:

  • What’s your ideal teaching candidate looking for in a job?
  • Where do they go to find out more about a school and to look for jobs?
  • What questions do they have about the position and your school?

You need to know the answers to these if you’re going to reach your candidate with the right messaging, at the right time. Not only will you know who you’re trying to attract, the answers you’ve gathered will form the basis for the content on your careers page and job postings, too.

Go look at Teach Away’s 2018 survey of over 12,618 international teaching candidates, to start with. What do candidates say they want? Yes, it’s a given that they’re looking for the right salary and bonus structure, as well as extra job perks like free accommodation and health insurance, but the answer is pretty simple: they’re really looking for professional development.

The best teachers want to learn. They want to grow their teaching skills. They want more mentorship. They want to be better teachers so they can make a difference to students at your school and grow in their careers. So ask yourself, is your recruitment content spotlighting the opportunities for development at your school? If not, are there blog posts, videos and social media content you can incentivitize your current teachers to create that will do the heavy lifting for you?

Here are some other ways you can find answers to the questions above:

  1. Survey your existing teachers – ask them what they like about working at your school and what their goals, motivations and interests are.
  2. Talk to everyone involved in the hiring process at your school about the kind of things they’d like to see in a new teacher and the way that they currently look for candidates.

2. Breathe some life into your employer brand

Now that you know who you’re trying to reach, it’s time to fill them in on why they would want to work at your school.

Looking for a teaching job in 2018 looks a lot different than it did in 2008. Back then, international teachers had relatively few ways to find out about what it was really like to work at your school.

Candidates nowadays have access to platforms, like Glassdoor and Reddit, that offer first-hand insights into your school’s working environment, benefits offered and information on the kind of compensation they can expect. They can even reach out to current teachers at your school over social media, like LinkedIn and Twitter.

This means it’s time to evaluate the information that’s currently available on your school website. How quickly can a teacher find out the information about the role and the context that they need to know when considering a career move overseas? Simply giving them the details they’re looking for, without forcing them to scour the internet, is an easy way to set your school apart from others in your region.

3. Make it easy for teachers find you

The candidate journey now takes place primarily online. Your recruiting strategy has to adapt to that.

While the careers section of your website should be a go-to source of information for candidates, international schools have a major opportunity to drive more traffic there by optimizing key inbound recruiting channels, like the following:

  • Education job boards
  • Google for Jobs
  • Social media

(Psst: You’ll also find a deep dive into where candidates go to find potential schools in our annual report.)

4. Know that inbound recruiting takes time

It’s not a case of running a single hiring campaign, job done.

Inbound recruiting is a long game and it shouldn’t stop at any point in the school year because – most candidates are taking six months or longer to find the job and schools that’s right for them. With 76% of international schools still opting to hire on an ad-hoc basis, there’s a golden opportunity for you to stand out as an employer of choice this year.

Even if you’re not looking to fill a position in the immediate or near future, you should still keep a careers page live on your school website and build your employer brand on the places candidates go to search for career opportunities.

5. Hone in on the inbound recruitment metrics you should be tracking

Pay close attention to your recruiting metrics – tracking things like qualified candidates per source, source quality, time to hire, offer acceptance rate, cost per hire will help you gauge whether your inbound recruiting process is effective…or if it’s time to switch things up.

Instead of chasing candidates and scrambling to fill roles last minute, imagine having a steady influx of qualified teachers, all eager to work at your school.

Sounds like the dream, right?

Done properly, inbound recruiting can make this dream a reality.

Ready to access insights and trends from 12,618 international teaching candidates?

Download Teach Away’s 2019 International Education Recruitment Report for free today.