Evidence shows that teacher quality is the biggest factor in student success. However, for some time, K-12 districts have been dealing with hiring challenges including teacher shortages and stiff competition with other school districts. COVID-19 added new layers of complications like school shutdowns and an increased need for substitute teachers. So how do you continue building your teacher pipeline and interview pool?
Thinking differently and trying new recruitment methods will be key. One example is to embrace technology like video interviewing to make your district stand out, attract diverse talent, and hire the best teachers for your district. Read on for more ways to recruit more teachers this year.
The key to the best teacher recruiting is marketing your district. According to SHRM, having an employer brand can have a significant impact on your recruiting practices. But, if you don’t have an employer brand for your district, how do you create one?
First, make sure your school district can easily be found online and you have a modern website. Having and regularly updating a school social media account on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is also a great way to show candidates what your school community is like. If your school already has a social media account, make it accessible from your careers webpage so candidates can take notice.
Consider having a dedicated employer page on popular sites like glassdoor.com, which is used by candidates to check for salary and employee reviews. You can include photos and specific benefits to working in your school district versus the competition.
Posting outside of your usual K-12 job boards, such as on your state’s job site, can help increase your brand visibility and attract new talent. No matter what sites you post to, include consistent and compelling messages to demonstrate to potential teacher candidates why they want to work for your district.
It’s well known that employee referrals can lead to more qualified candidates. Engaging your current staff by including open positions in your normal communication channels like newsletters or announcements is an easy way to spread the word. A positive testimony by a current employee on social media can also go a long way to encouraging candidates to apply and may also help you identify interview questions for teachers that you should include in the hiring process.
Also- don’t forget your subs– make your current substitute teacher pool, who are already familiar with your district, aware of new openings. Also, consider further engaging your substitute teacher pool by inviting them to schools events, training days, or other opportunities for development.
The pandemic changed the landscape for the teacher pipeline, so it’s important to create strategies for your current and future needs. That might mean reaching out to teachers who recently retired or stopped working full time.
With many companies transitioning to 100% remote work, families have much more flexibility on where they choose to live. Therefore, advertising to and recruiting teachers from out-of-state or overseas could be more effective than ever before to build your teacher applicant pool.
Increasing BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) candidates has become a priority for many employers, and it should be one of yours too. EdWeek.org names research showing student outcomes increase when there are more teachers of color in K-12 schools. They also name ways to grow the candidate pool through programs that educate high school students about the rewards of a teaching career path at an early age.
Engaging non-teaching district staff into Grow Your Own (GYO) programs to help them gain the skills and education needed to become full-time teachers could bring more teachers who know the community and speak local languages.
Virtual hiring has become a go-to because it has many advantages for HR teams and candidates. Having a video interview solution in place can reduce the amount of time spent scheduling and reviewing applicants.
In fact, according to Greg Dietz, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Maine Township High School District #207 in Park Ridge, Illinois, “administrators can easily review 75 or more video interviews in one day.” Also, Greg said since implementing on-demand and live video interviews for teacher interviewing, “my district has realized an 11% increase in our applicant pool while posting 9% fewer positions,” and “were able to continue our recruitment and selection processes pretty much unaffected by the shutdowns that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Don’t forget about job fairs. While job fairs have moved to virtual experiences, they are still an effective way to build your employer brand and source top teacher talent. Consider hosting your own job fair in partnership with a vendor or promote a hiring week to increase awareness of open positions and drive applications.
To fill needs throughout the year, you should create an evergreen job description and listing so you have applicants when you need them. Taking it one step further, with on demand video interviews, you can create a virtual experience where candidates could apply and interview 24/7/365.
One definitive way to grow your teacher talent pipeline is to find ways to improve the candidate experience. Oftentimes, candidates find it discouraging to spend 1-2 hours on an application, send it into a black hole, and never hear back.
How can you set up template communications that keep candidates up to date on the progress? Better yet, what if every candidate received an on demand interview invitation upon application? Making the candidate feel like they have been given a chance will increase the likelihood the applicant would re-apply to your district (if not hired) and possibly, they would encourage other teachers in their network to apply based on their experience.
By employing live or on demand interviewing, potential teachers will no longer have to incur travel expenses, take time off of work, or even leave home, increasing the likelihood they will apply. This also opens your teacher pipeline and applicant pool to endless opportunities for diverse talent that meets your needs.
Innovation is a buzzy word. But if you aren’t modifying your teacher pipeline, recruitment, and interview processes to overcome current challenges, candidates will find school districts who are doing things differently.
In order to not lose out on extraordinary teachers who will change your students’ lives, you need to be willing to try new strategies to build your talent pipeline, whether that is modernizing your online presence, expanding reach to diverse applicants, or leaning into video interviews.
With remote interviewing software, like interviewstream, you can reach a broader talent pool and speed up your hiring process. Let’s talk about how your district can leverage our platform to find the right educators your students deserve. Click here to talk to an expert today.
Danielle is an Account Executive at interviewstream where she helps people provide an exceptional candidate experience and make better hires. Outside of work, she loves Chicago history, cats, reading fiction, and enjoys coffee with a little extra coffee. If you'd like to start a conversation or meet for a virtual coffee, feel free to give Danielle a shout at email@example.com.