Hiring the best teachers can be quite a challenging task. This doesn’t only apply to the education industry, but to all other industries as well. A fantastic CV does not always necessarily mean that the candidate is the right person for the job. Hiring a teacher comes with a bit more responsibility though, as teachers lay the foundation for children’s future. A teacher is usually the reason why a child will love or hate school and then there is of course the issue of what impact they have on a school’s reputation. We have all seen the movie Matilda and no school wants to end up with a nightmare like Ms Trunchbull!
Like all other things in life, there is a recipe to follow to ensure that schools hire the best teachers to fit the job description and the culture of their schools.
Determine clear hiring goals – before establishing what kind of candidate is needed for a specific teaching position it is very important for the school to identify the necessary skills, knowledge and experiences needed at the specific school. Every school has a different culture so it is not just about the right qualifications, but also about a certain level of emotional intelligence as well.
Start by reaching out to recent graduates – students who are fresh out of university are always eager to put their best foot forward and find their dream job. Their enthusiasm is unmatched and it is worthwhile to send an email to university career companies and offices to build strong networks with future and recent graduates.
It’s all about the job post – words make a lasting impression, so it is always important to write a very strong job post which is essentially the image you put out as an introduction to new applicants. Specific detail needs to be included in the job post and it is always a good idea to outline the job description as much as possible, as well as mentioning noteworthy achievements or projects of the school to ensure that top candidates are attracted.
Be unconventional and host an open day – it is a great idea to host an open day for potential teachers to come and visit the school and see what the institution is all about. They will have the opportunity to experience the culture at the school, as well as see how things are done in the classroom and what the school’s values stand for.
Vet potential candidates – when conducting an interview or pre-interview, make sure that the relevant questions are asked, specifically why an applicant is looking to leave their current position and what they would outline as a good lesson plan, which will give employers an idea of the skillset behind the candidate.
Finally, it is always important to check, recheck and check again. References will be a key contributor in making the right decision – whether references are previous employers or lecturers at a university or college. Some companies in the corporate world also implement trial days for their top three candidates, which will be a fantastic idea for schools to do as well. This will give the school and the candidate a feel for each other and see if they are the right fit for the job.
Rather take extra time in finding the right candidate, than hiring the first best that walks through the doors. A teacher is not just an employee, but a critical investment into a child’s future!