If your school has teacher vacancies you’re trying to fill, you may have discovered that it’s more difficult than it was in the past. While a big reason is the ongoing teacher shortage, it’s also a problem of getting qualified teachers to the right openings. If the teachers don’t know about or can’t find vacancies that would be great for them, that leads to a dead end where no jobs will be filled. In addition, if position requirements or benefits are not clear, it can discourage teachers from applying.
The Brookings Institution observes that the immediate problem of positions going unfilled jeopardizes a school in many ways. Lingering vacancies create a cascading effect of increased class sizes, canceled course offerings, hiring of uncertified individuals for open roles, and decreased student achievement. These outcomes can make a school’s quality and reputation suffer, exacerbating the original problem and making it even harder to attract teachers.
Most schools have historically focused their marketing efforts on attracting students and parents rather than educators. They’ve often had their pick of teachers, with many qualified local candidates applying for open positions. With the decreasing supply of teachers, it’s getting harder and harder for schools to attract the right candidates and find a good fit for their teaching vacancies.
In some cases, it’s a teacher’s market, with qualified teachers having their pick of the best openings. Some schools are even having to market themselves to teachers who don’t live nearby, flying teachers in for interviews and assisting new hires with relocation.
Fortunately, there are several tools and strategies schools can use to improve their recruitment process. Putting some extra thought and effort into your job listings could mean all the difference in snagging the best possible candidates for your open positions.
On your own school association website, you’ll want to create a landing page for a dedicated section of job postings that is easy to navigate. Make sure the job descriptions, requirements, and application instructions are crystal clear, error-free, and without redundancies. You want to avoid making candidates wade through unnecessary or confusing content. Make it easy for them! Before you click “publish,” go over posts with a fine-tooth comb and then have a colleague or two double check them.
Make it pretty and friendly
Along with flawless content, your website interface should be visually appealing, intuitive, and user-friendly. Ensure that the website works well on mobile devices, since these days many teachers use smartphones or tablets for their job search.
Include all application process info, including required documents and deadlines.
Make everything digital, including form uploads, to save candidates time.
Be clear about whether your school has requirements beyond the classroom, like attendance at open houses or extracurricular events.
List all employee benefits, so applicants know the total compensation beyond just salary.
According to the National Education Association, the conditions underlying the shrinking pool of educators include burnout, low pay, and the accompanying general decline of education as a desirable career. By using this checklist, you’re anticipating what’s most important to teachers. And some candidates will be those who already have teaching jobs and are looking to make a switch. They are guaranteed to be busy and needing a streamlined and easy experience.
Filter in, filter out
With so many openings to choose from, teachers hunting for jobs can curate their employment search criteria to match precisely what they want. Your search function should allow them to easily find job postings that are relevant to them.
Make sure your job board has integrated filtering to help teachers search for that perfect role. Some recommended filters include:
Part- or full-time jobs
Temporary or permanent
Put yourself in teachers’ shoes when creating your job posts
If this level of attention to detail in marketing your school for teachers seems a bit much, think again. Competition for teachers is heated, and for the best teachers, it’s fierce. From a marketing perspective, schools need to act more like businesses competing for customers or for C-suite leaders. No detail is too small when you’re crafting a comprehensive, well-designed, and user-friendly job hunting experience for educators. Putting that kind of deep care and thoughtfulness into your job listings is a subtle but important way to transmit that your school is a quality institution that teachers should take seriously as a potential employer.