Can you trust a computer to help you recruit teachers?

Recruitment has traditionally been done on paper, and face-to-face. In fact, think back to the last time you recruited anyone, or found a job. It’s likely that much of what you went through hasn’t changed in decades. Yes, that paper document might have become a PDF, and the job ad might be on a website, but ultimately the process hasn’t evolved. Until recently. With the march of the machines, the question is, can you trust a computer to help you recruit teachers? The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why:

How has teacher recruitment changed?

Wherever you look, teacher recruitment has challenges. In ‘home’ countries most governments are working hard to recruit and retain good teachers. In the International School world, demand for teachers continues to grow rapidly. We’ve explored the reasons for this here (Why are there so many international schools?).

We know that about a fifth of all international school teachers look for a new job every year.

There are 100,000 teachers changing jobs at international schools every year

Tomorrow's new recruit could be halfway across the world today

We have a fast-paced world where recruiting next year’s teacher is no longer as simple (if it ever was!) as putting out an advert and selecting from the handful of excellent replies.

Large school groups can receive 100+ applications for every vacancy each year. Even imagining only 10 vacancies, that’s 1000 applications to review.

In fact, in a recent survey, just the process of attracting and reviewing candidates took up 50% of a school’s time spent on recruitment:


It gets even more complex when we look at the spread of teaching staff across the world. At Searchality we work with schools and teachers across 166 countries. There are now around 10,000 international schools. So tomorrow’s new recruit could be halfway around the world today.

This article was first written before the travel complications of the COVID-19 pandemic. With face-to-face recruitment suspended for at least a year, digital tools have proved their worth around the world.

Technology creates more time for humans

So, how can technology help schools to recruit teachers?

One task that computers are very good at is spotting patterns. A computer never gets tired of reading CVs. A computer isn’t intrinsically biased for or against anything. A computer does a brilliant job of filtering. We know this already.

Just search for “today’s weather” and from around 3 billion possible results, Google instantly shows the forecast where you are. All of us use algorithms to help find what’s relevant to us and our needs now. (As an aside, interestingly “weather” isn’t one of the top reasons that teachers move abroad to teach. However, anecdotally, many love the climate in whatever new home they adopt).

When it comes to recruitment, it mystified us why so many HR teams and head teachers still have to wade through endless piles of applications to find the shortlist of potentially perfect candidates. It mystified us so much that we did something about it and Searchality was born.

At the heart of our approach to international school recruitment is the fact that hiring staff is a very human business. If you’re hiring teachers, you want to understand how they teach, how they interact, how they adapt, motivate and engage students, parents, and other staff. In short, you want to ask questions of the best candidates to understand them. We give you time to do that. We take care of finding you those candidates, quickly.

How to find the best teachers for your specific needs

We know that every school, every location, and every job is different. If you’re recruiting you want to be able to specify your ideal person. At Searchality you can. You can define experience, curricula, nationality, languages, sports and hobbies, family structure and more. Or leave many items open and see who you can find.

Our algorithms rapidly check your needs against our global database of teachers. In fact, we check for suitable candidates almost 50 times a day and instantly let you know.

The power of this is that you never need to read a CV from someone who does not suit your needs. Everyone we bring to you is already on your shortlist. They fit what you said you needed. It’s quick and incredibly simple for you to set up.

Every candidate has a resume formatted for you in the same way. You get to learn all about them and we’ve even let candidates upload a video of themselves to add even more information. We only bring you candidates that already have at least 2 references available, and we reconfirm these every year.

Here’s an example of some of the information we collect.

Searchality finds your ideal teacher quickly

Because Searchality filters candidates for you so effectively, you get more time to understand the best ones.

But we’re also realistic. We know that some people don’t trust algorithms (even if many of us find our way around the world with Google maps!). A recent Harvard Business School article identified that, although computers can provide outstanding recommendations, people don’t always trust them. The recommendation is superb, but perception is not.

Our approach is that we’ve trained our computers to do the hard work on selecting a shortlist, so you can do the important work of interviewing the best. You and your team’s human skills get to be used faster. You’re no longer shuffling papers looking for the needle in a haystack, you’re investing time interviewing brilliant potential new colleagues.

We even make it simple to schedule interviews. At Searchality, we know that recruitment can happen at any time during a year. (Some schools are even hiring for critical roles 2 years in advance). With our approach, you can click to connect quickly to a candidate any time.

When you invite a candidate to be interviewed, we send fuller details of your school and the role to them. They have a chance to review the details before they commit to the interview: so you also save time filtering out candidates that aren’t right for your proposal.

International school recruitment has changed. Has yours?

In today's digital world, schools must evolve how they hire. Or risk getting left behind.

Kevin Ruth, ECIS

The growth in international schools globally means that more teachers are needed in more places than ever before. It’s almost impossible for schools to find the best staff using old-fashioned methods of screening CVs and hunting for the ideal candidate.

Searchality makes it simpler to recruit teachers. If your school is ready to change, find out how we can help. (You can sign up and test us free too. We know you’ll like what you find!)

In the same way that you can use a computer to navigate around obstacles on a map, Searchality’s advanced algorithms make it simple to seek out the best teachers around the world. We make it fast, smart, and affordable. Now, to check on the power of algorithms let’s check what today’s weather is doing. Isn’t technology wonderful!


The smarter, simpler approach to hiring

For schools, Searchality helps find the best global talent for international school jobs worldwide. Read more about how we’ve transformed recruitment for schools.

If you’d like to know more about how we’ve built Searchality to make the search for a new school job much simpler, faster, and better, read more about how we help candidates.

Register now