It’s easy for a school to become so focused on student enrollment and community building that they may overlook the importance of effective teacher recruitment. A school is only truly as good as the teaching team that works within it. For this reason, boosting the recruitment of competent and skilled educators and then retaining them is absolutely crucial.
In this article, we’re going to explore five strategies schools can use to increase teacher recruitment, which will help to build a team that can carry the school’s message forward and build its philosophy into a workable reality.
1. Start the recruitment process early
It may sound extreme, but as a school begins a new academic year in the fall, the process of the following year’s recruitment should already be getting underway. We’re not saying make final decisions or anything, but plans need to be laid down.
Set out a strategy early for which recruitment fairs you will attend, which online channels you will use to advertise, and what positions are likely to need filling. You may not be 100 percent certain on all these things, but you have to start early if you want to secure the best teachers and safeguard your next year’s faculty and teaching needs.
2. Attend job fairs
While online recruitment is certainly viable, and an essential channel for finding talented teachers, you will also need some more traditional avenues. Job fairs are still popular and well attended by superb teachers, and participating in a job fair will give you a chance to get your school’s name and brand out there.
Attending a fair will also provide the opportunity for teachers to meet your school leadership and other senior teachers in person and to gain better insight into working life there. The in-person touch still has tremendous power compared to a pure online impression.
3. Create an internal pipeline
One of the best sources of talent may be your existing pool of staff members. For example, a high school shop teacher who wants to transfer into elementary arts may be both better qualified and better placed to take on that role than an outsider. Internal hires know your requirements and how the school works. You also have an existing rapport with them.
Alternatively, you could find great hires through staff referrals. Teachers get to know other teachers via professional development events, conferences, and even simple social channels. One of your existing team members may know the perfect person to fill that middle school homeroom position, or an innovative and skilled physics teacher looking for a new challenge.
4. Offer a competitive package
This one has as much to do with retention as it does with recruitment. While teachers aren’t usually in it for the money, they can still be attracted by it. They’re human, after all. Having said that, a competitive package isn’t just about money, it’s also about growth and potential. If you offer them a package that includes a role in which they can grow professionally and a strong support platform, then you will attract some of the best candidates.
Salaries are easy to deal with. Teachers tend to care more about what lies beyond that number.
5. Create a clear pathway for entry
When teachers understand how their hiring, orientation, and first-year are all going to work, they are much more likely to accept a position. Well-designed and visually engaging introduction materials with a clear and unambiguous explanation of intake, orientation, and training processes will go a long way toward making a teacher confident enough to sign a contract.
Recruitment means little without retention
Never forget that recruitment is merely the first step, and retention of talent should be the real foundation of your recruitment strategy.