- Posted by Team Helios
- On Mar 24, 2022
- 0 Comments
The teacher shortage crisis is real. There is no one working in K-12 education today that doesn’t realize that fact – or feel its effects. Human resource departments and school recruiters struggle to fill vacancies only to have more open up on a near daily basis. Everyone faces the same problem: amidst educational policy arguments, budget cuts, and COVID-19, how do you find and retain the best candidates?
While there is no one size fits all solution – we’d all be using it already if there was! – there are plenty of strategies that can create recruiting success.
Implement a School to Teacher Pipeline
School districts and charter schools around the country have begun to understand that the greatest pool of potential talent lies within the walls of their own classrooms. Programs such as Boston Public Schools’ Teacher Cadet Program are models for long range strategies for developing relationships with students who show an interest in teaching.
While this is no quick fix for the current crisis, there are numerous advantages to “grow your own” programs. These future teachers will be well acquainted with the culture and expectations of your district reducing the probability of culture-shock turnover. Perhaps most importantly, these school to teacher pipelines are an investment in the existing community.
Utilize Social Media
The traditional methods of teacher recruitment are hyper-local. Local job fairs and school and or distinct websites are the go-to for building a pool of applicants. In the current climate, it is vital that recruiters utilize every tool available – particularly social media.
The benefits of social media recruitment are ample:
- National outreach with limited spending
- Targeted recruitment of ideal candidates
- Established school or district branding
- Talent pool engagement
Attracting desired candidates doesn’t require an enormous social media presence. Starting with professional connections and promotion on LinkedIn can produce an extensive list of qualified prospects.
Create and Market a Strong Culture
Available jobs in K-12 education are plentiful, and many recruiters and HR departments find themselves competing with other districts and charter schools for the first time. Despite the issues surrounding staffing in the current climate, no school or district simply wants a warm body in a classroom. So, in order to attract and recruit the ideal candidates, intentional culture building is vital.
When investing in culture, give special attention to diversity, positivity, and actionable feedback. Job seekers are interested in working in places that value their time and expertise. Consider a marketing push ahead of job fairs and hiring surges that highlight positive experiences of students and staff. Show, don’t tell, your strong culture as often as possible.
Think Beyond the Traditional Interview
As your applicant pool grows, your focus may shift to hiring with an eye to reducing turnover. Which candidates are the best fit for your school or district – and how can an application and short interview make that clear? Many districts are moving away from the interview model and creating a more illuminating hiring process.
Some districts have begun to require portfolios that highlight a teacher’s experience and philosophy in action. Others offer opportunities for applicants to teach a mock lesson for an adult panel. These measures give a more accurate picture about how well a teacher will fit within the culture and expectations of a school than exam scores or a brief interview.
Higher Pay Leads to Better Recruitment
This is no secret. Teachers and educational staff are notoriously underpaid, and they are actively seeking greater compensation when job searching. This is frustrating for HR representatives and recruiters who are bound by an unchangeable budget. Indeed, it gives wealthier schools and districts an advantage over those with fewer resources. There is no simple solution.
If you’re bound by budgetary issues, spend time considering what benefits you offer that are unique. For example, do you offer exceptional health care? Paid maternity leave? Flexible time off? Where you are able, take a note from successful corporations and create benefits that attract and retain ideal candidates.
Paperless Solutions Streamline Recruitment
No matter which strategies you choose for recruitment, paperless HR solutions make the process significantly more streamlined. Imagine a one-stop shop to post job listings, review online applications, and even review and score applicants during the interview process. Additionally, with full integration, your successful recruitment will lead to an easy onboarding process. No mountains of paperwork. No endless filing and searching for reports. Your new hires can complete their packets right from home – leaving you with ample time to answer questions and help new hires get off to a great start. If that is your vision, learn more.