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According to a study released by MetLife, Inc. in March of this year, there are two significant trends in staffing that could change the way in which schools recruit: Roughly one third of 1,003 teachers surveyed had careers outside of education before entering the classroom, and more than half indicated that they combine part-time teaching and other roles within the school or district.

As the pool of teachers and their roles change, so must your organization’s recruitment strategies in order to most effectively appeal to prospective staff. Consider a review of your current recruitment strategies to ensure that your efforts are on target:

  • Start by looking at current processes—are you reaching out through referrals? Partnering with schools? Posting positions online?
  • Tap into the experts—the newest members of your team—and ask for their input on what appealed most to them about the job and what recruitment efforts resonated with them the most. It may also be useful to connect with those prospects that turned down an offer to find out why.
  • Conduct research of the success and failures of other districts or schools in your area and compare and contrast with what your educational institution is doing. Learn from others’ mistakes and follow in the footsteps of what they are doing right.

Then, develop or revise your recruitment plan accordingly. Dr. Nedra Atwell, professor in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at Western Kentucky University, suggests that the best recruitment plans for educators include the following:

  • Input from a strategic recruitment planning committee, made up of district officials or university board members, principals or deans, and teachers
  • Marketing and outreach strategies
  • An evaluation of the hiring process
  • Financial incentives, like hiring bonuses

And, of course, you’ll want to identify new tactics. Present these ideas to get the brainstorming started:

Partner with a local college or university
Join forces with post-secondary institutions to plant a seed with soon-to-be educators while they are still pursuing degrees. Some schools have found opportunity in establishing in-depth partnerships that offer university students hands-on classroom experience while the schools benefit from low-cost classroom assistance and relationship building with potential employees. Other schools establish partnerships on smaller scales, such as tutoring, after-school programs or resources like library access and volunteer support. No matter which way you look at it, an ideal partnership is one that offers experience to university students and exposes the campus to your school or district, while allowing the opportunity to prepare and seek the best potential educators to recruit. Ensure that once this partnership is established, your school or district promotes its benefits to the university students—build buzz by distributing informational flyers on campus paired with a memorable giveaway like an Apple-Shaped Pen or brightly colored SportPacks.

Offer something unique
Your school may not be in a position to offer hiring bonuses or overly competitive paychecks but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer other incentives. Differentiate your school and your staff in some other way to entice recruits. Try implementing a mentorship program that pairs teachers new to the field with seasoned staff members or offer packages or bundles of off-site professional development opportunities to staff as a yearly incentive. Think outside the box to offer a benefit to employees that’s realistic for your budget.

Cast a net far and wide …
Especially considering that more and more teachers come to the field by way of other professions, it may be time to begin posting positions in a wider variety of places than ever before. It would also make sense to appeal to this new pool of candidates in a different way—choosing wording and language that resonates the most. Attend job fairs beyond the education circle, post to community job boards, and send branded giveaways like a plush Owl or a Memo Book with Pen and Paper with applications to local university career development centers. Harness the power of social media to get the word out as well as to listen for and scope out potential candidates.

… but don’t forget to look right in front of you
Your volunteers, teacher’s assistants, after-school care providers or even parents serving on the local Parent-Teacher Association may very well hold the potential to become referrals or apply themselves and are just waiting for the opportunity. Be sure to let them know of any job postings and encourage them or others they know to apply. Provide a small gift, such as a Mug or a T-Shirt, as a thank-you.

As trends in education and hiring shift, so should your recruitment plan. Staff recruitment tactics should also be revisited from time-to-time to ensure your school’s efforts are relevant and appealing. It won’t be long before high-quality candidates come knocking!

Teacher Magazine: New Directions in Teacher Staffing.Education Week American Education News Site of Record. 29 Mar. 2010. Web. 07 May 2010.

Attracting and Developing High-Quality Teachers.Education.com | An Education & Child Development Site for Parents | Parenting & Educational Resource. Web. 06 May 2010.


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