6 Best Practices for Recruiting Top Teachers
Hiring staff is a critical part of school administrators’ jobs, but when you have a position open at your school, the recruiting process can feel intimidating. How do you find candidates with the skills you are looking for? How do you make sure that they’re the right culture fit for your building? And how do you ensure that your school and district environments are attractive to potential employees?
In the wake of staffing shortages, retaining and hiring educators is critical. Here are six simple recruiting tips to help find your perfect candidate for your school.
1. Write a compelling job description
Looking at a long list of responsibilities and qualifications can honestly be a bit of a drag to a prospective candidate. But on the other hand, a job description that is too vague or too flowery can also be off-putting. To find the right balance by focusing on spicing up your standard job description to be a more appealing read. Sell the role and the district within the description—the opportunities the role offers, upcoming projects the position will be involved in, and specific benefits of working in your school or district that really make it shine.
Think about why someone would want this job when writing a job description. A rock star candidate is going to apply for a rock star job posting—one that sounds exciting but is also straightforward and clear with what the expectations are for the role. Putting the effort into creating a topnotch job description will be worth your time.
2. Post the job opening on your school/district website and on online job-search boards
It’s standard practice for schools, districts, and companies to post open positions on their websites, and almost all positions are posted on online job boards. LinkedIn is a great place to post openings, as it is a large professional site built for networking, job opportunities, and career development.
Depending on what type of opening you are hiring for, there are also numerous professional organizations that have career pages on their websites. Finally, there is no shortage of education-specific job boards to consider posting your opening on. Just a couple to consider are K12JobSpot and SchoolSpring.
3. Tap your existing staff for referrals
Good people know good people, and your staff members are your most important resource when it comes to recruiting! Always ask employees to share openings with their broader networks. It has been proven that individuals hired by a company through employee referral have a higher retention rate than other external hires. Offer an employee-referral bonus as extra incentive for your employees to spread the word regarding opportunities at your school. The more employees who can share information about your opening by word of mouth or on social networks, the richer your candidate pool will be.
4. Partner with local colleges or universities to hire recent graduates
Most colleges have a career center that is always looking for open positions to post and networking opportunities to offer their students. Many of these career centers also host career fairs you can attend to connect in person with new graduates who may be a fit for your organization. This is a great way to connect further with your community, tap into local talent, and build your reputation with college students, recent graduates, and the postsecondary institution itself.
5. Treat your candidates (and current staff) like gold
First impressions are everything, so make sure that every interaction with a potential staff member is positive. Strong candidates have many options to consider, so everyone needs to be polished, timely, and pleasant when interacting with potential new hires. Remember that they are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them!
It’s also important as you go through any interviewing and hiring process to check in with your current staff to make sure that everyone is feeling supported and appreciated. If your candidates can see that their work environment will be one where they are valued and where their well-being is prioritized, they’ll be more eager to accept a position there. Keep an eye out for signs of burnout, and don’t be afraid to ask your teachers directly how you can better support them during the year.
6. Think outside the box
Have an instructional role for which you just can’t seem to find the right fit? Did you know that you can partner with companies (like us!) to take the stress out of recruiting teachers? Through our fully accredited virtual school, EdOptions Academy, we can provide a state-certified virtual teacher for both long- and short-term needs. Whether you are fulling a known staffing need or addressing openings that come as a surprise, EdOptions Academy offers over 400 state-standards-aligned courses and rolling and as-needed enrollment to help you ensure that students are provided with a rigorous, flexible, and seamless learning experience.
Want to learn more about the instructional services, specifically those designed to support high-impact tutoring and instruction? Check out the EdOptions Academy webpage and available instructional services.
This post was originally published August 2018 and has been updated.