Resetting Post-Pandemic Expectations for the K12 Teacher Workforce

Caroline Chessia | August 17, 2021

School systems using virtual recruitment tools have a distinct advantage during this year's hiring season

K-12 school districts are shifting focus after the Coronavirus pandemic. Looking forward to the next school year, some schools will continue to offer remote learning, while others prioritize recruitment of mental health staff, or look to recruit more diverse teachers and administrators. While this year has brought unprecedented challenges, many of the changes we see going forward are positive. 

In particular, access to and adoption of different technologies are welcomed adaptations. One way school districts are implementing new technologies is through their recruitment process. Technology including video interviews allows districts to shorten their hiring time and simplify their screening process. As a result, administrators that adopt this technology have an advantage in finding the right talent before other competing school districts—especially as experts predict high turnover rates this year.

Post-pandemic, k12 districts need to focus on effective hiring methods, expanding their candidate pool, and hiring for new positions—such as remote only teachers. Virtual hiring solutions help combat high turnover rates by supplying a constant pool of candidates that aren’t necessarily in a district’s geographical range. 

Districts Need More Robust Recruiting Methods

Next year’s applicant pool for K-12 teachers has shrunk. According to CBS News, by February 2021, 38% of the 3.5 million public school teachers considered changing professions. The numbers are in: stress from hybrid teaching has caused teacher burnout rates to soar.

Schools were already facing challenges with recruitment and retention of teachers before the pandemic as K-12 instructors reported low morale and complaints about compensation. COVID-19 placed an added hardship on teachers as many were forced to choose between their health and their career. Although safety concerns have mostly subsided, recruiters still need to ramp up their hiring pipelines to ensure that a steady stream of qualified applicants is available to replace vacancies.  

Virtual Recruitment Strategies

According to Education Weekly, school systems using virtual recruitment tools have a distinct advantage during this year’s hiring season, which generally peaks in April and May. Simplifying the interview process through one way video interviews instead of lengthy screening calls gives time back to both the interviewer and interviewee. In addition, video interviews are useful for recruiting new types of teachers (for example, remote-only teachers) and candidates located outside your state.

Despite nationwide shortages, technology-based communication platforms have allowed districts to screen and interview teacher applicants efficiently. Many districts send out pre-recorded, one-way digital interview questions to candidates, who then record their responses on their own time. How those candidates answer those questions will help determine who makes the cut for an in-person interview.

K12 Positions that You Should be Looking to Fill 

1. Remote-Only Teachers

Some school districts believe there is no replacement for in-person learning. But others have embraced remote education programs in response to parent interest and a desire to innovate. If virtual learning becomes commonplace, districts will be able to widen their candidate pool.

More teachers are likely to apply to remote teaching positions as remote positions eliminate drawbacks such as commuting and childcare concerns. With the remote candidate in mind, incorporating video interviewing technology into your hiring process becomes essential. 

2. Nurses and Social Workers

Academic pressure, family issues, peer influence, and other demands have always taken their toll on students’ mental health. This, in turn, has led schools to recruit more nurses, counselors, and social workers. Guidance counselors have continuously voiced concerns over students’ mental health and have taken steps to reduce stress through mindfulness exercises such as “calm classroom”

In recent years, student anxiety has risen, and the threat of COVID-19 adds another level of stress for students.  As schools reopen, many students face increased anxiety because they haven’t seen the inside of a classroom in over a year. As a result, school districts all over the country are increasing mental health services and looking to hire professionals to help students adjust. With the current deficit of healthcare professionals, schools must innovate in their hiring practices to reach nurses and mental health workers.

3. Diverse Principals

While unrelated to the pandemic itself, 2020 also saw a rise in protests against racial injustice, highlighting the need to diversify everything from police departments to school leadership. In many districts, principal prep programs are waiving standardized test entrance requirements, expanding eligibility criteria, and providing grants and scholarships to cover the cost of the two-year training. 

Teachers in remote locations can take some of their courses online, which expands opportunities for racial, gender, and geographic diversity. When they have fulfilled their requirements, they will be qualified to enter their chosen districts as teaching candidates for hire. Locating these candidates and screening them becomes much easier 

Hire Top Teachers with interviewstream 

Over 125 school districts use interviewstream to hire new educators and school staff. With increasing teacher turnover and competition for a smaller candidate pool, why not start modernizing your hiring strategies? Get ahead of other school districts, increase recruitment efficiency, and save money. Ask for a demo today to streamline your K-12 teacher hiring process for the coming year. 

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.

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