It’s hunting season for school administrators. Typically when you think of hunting season you think of the colors of autumn and the cool crisp air of fall. For school administrators though, hunting season begins in the early spring when teacher of teachers from teacher education programs, and experienced teachers can be wooed to your district before new contracts are signed.
Let’s stay with this analogy of hunting and recruiting teachers for a moment. Over the past 50 years the sport of hunting has evolved and changed utilizing every advantage imaginable from the clothing, weapons, game calls, scent block, and a multitude of technological tools ranging from cameras to mobile apps. Meanwhile, the demand for effective teachers has never been higher, yet districts operate without any modern strategies to recruit effective teachers beyond replacing job postings from bulletin boards in the teachers’ lounge and local colleges to district websites. Effective teacher talent acquisition should be one of the largest priorities of any school district. Without formal teacher recruitment strategies there is no real direction for evaluating successful recruiting pipelines, managing the message you convey to potential applicants, and quickly identifying teachers who have the ability to help your district pivot in this new era of education. If your teacher recruitment strategies are as modern as the mimeograph, these teacher recruitment strategies may be useful for you.
1. The essential first step of recruiting is first knowing who you are. What are the core values of your district? It is substantially easier to recruit and identify candidates who will be a good fit for your district if you share the same values and vision. Do the core values of your district really influence the everyday decisions made throughout the district and are they job related? If so, share those values on your job postings page and advertisements for open positions. Doing so will allow potential applicants to identify with your district and its vision. Consider using teacher hiring tools that are able to identify candidates whose values fit the values of your school district. Millennials are entering the teaching ranks and research has shown they are not solely focused on jobs that pay the most. This new generation of workers are looking for a higher purpose in what they do. Inspire them by sharing your values and purpose.
2. Tell your story. Interested teacher applicants want to know more about the district they may work for. Put together a slideshow or video that shares your district’s culture on your district’s employment web page. Share your district’s earliest beginnings, struggles, triumphs, and major milestones. Finally share your vision for the future and how the potential applicant can help take you there. Teacher applicants who perceive they are a good fit for your district are more likely to be drawn to your school if they personally identify with it.
3. Set up a lightning rod event in your district. So what is a lightning rod event? Career fairs are a perfect example of a lightning rod event. At these events job seekers all converge to one location in efforts to find a potential employer. However, for those recruiting at job fairs, there are a few issues with these types of venues. The first issue is competition. Job fairs are full of other school districts that are vying for the same teachers. Your school district has to compete attention among many other school districts.