This year, many international schools are encountering hurdles in finding, attracting, and hiring the best teachers. A smaller pool of qualified faculty, paired with more open teaching positions has switched the power dynamics and empowered candidates to be more selective than ever.
The job market has increased only slightly in the last five years — just 13% according to an ISC Research report.
As we head into the teacher recruitment season, virtual job fairs and Zoom interviews have become the new normal. But we also know from working with international schools in more than 100 countries, a school's website can make or break the decision to apply. Positive first impressions are very, very relevant to recruiting new hires, not just new students.
So, have you looked at your school website with prospective teachers, faculty, staff, and leadership in mind? Here are four best practices for faculty recruitment that will help ensure your international school is attracting the best candidates:
- Make sure it is easy to find prospective faculty information.
- Provide as much relevant information as possible.
- Make them want to be a part of your story.
- Show teachers it's more than just a job
1. Make sure it is easy to find prospective faculty information
How long does it take to find your school recruitment page and what’s it like once you get there? Is your employment page hidden in your website footer or deep in your site navigation? It sounds obvious, but make sure it’s easy to find.
Phrases like "Join Us" and even "Prospective Faculty" are easy starting points. Having a prominent spot on your website is critical — whether it be in the main navigation, a call-to-action, or an intuitive menu item. Here are some examples from schools around the world.
Hong Kong International School also focuses on faculty recruitment. Their website has a call-to-action on their scrolling homepage that invites prospective staff to learn more.
2. Provide as much relevant information as possible
This seems obvious, but so many schools don’t share all the great reasons faculty would want to join. From current job openings and benefits to life on campus and in the city— this is all critical information prospective faculty want to know if they are going to consider your school.
Your communications team should work with Human Resources to create content that sells, including:
- Your school's diverse faculty and its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Information about the recruiting process, any search committees, and how they evaluate candidates
- The position's description, details about the search process, and any hiring decisions
The International School of Luxembourg is a good example with interactive calls-to-action that engage and inform prospective staff.
Walworth Barbour American International School hits a home run with its "Working at WBAIS" page, which is full of the perks and benefits of working at AIS Israel. Check out its music video of staff dancing to “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” You can't help but want to work with this fun group.
And with its recent website redesign, Tanglin Trust School includes a beautiful Careers page, complete with details about the school, life in Singapore, and the culture of the community. "The primary goal of our website was to continue to grow Tanglin’s reputation as a world-class international school, increasing enquiries from prospective families in the process," said Tom Evans, Tanglin’s director of marcomms, admissions, and community relations." We also wanted it to increase engagement with the community, prospective employees and our wider alumni network.”
Teachers spend days, nights, and weekends at school — showcasing your campus can also be a big selling point for your applicant pool.So much of your school’s content that's used to recruit prospective students can be reused or tweaked to attract prospective hires. It’s of course not all about the salary and the benefits — it’s about fitting in .
3. Make them want to be a part of your story
As an international school parent of three children, I can attest to the fact that teachers are the heart and soul of the school. They spend long hours during the day and often travel with clubs and teams on the weekend — many international schools will tell you they are a family. So does your school sell that value or some other value?
Knowing who your potential colleagues are and what they are passionate about can be a critical decision point for some. And there's nothing more authentic and honest than staff and students giving their perspectives, like this video from UNIS Hanoi.
4. Show teachers it's more than just a job
Becoming a teacher is more than just a job — you're joining a caring, supportive community that's united in helping children grow. As a teacher, you're making a difference, whether it's in front of a classroom, giving back to your local community, becoming a mentor, or developing new passions.
Show your prospective faculty that when you join your school, it's an opportunity to grow professionally and personally, just like Frankfurt International School has done on its faculty page.
Saigon South International School shares this sentiment on its career page, including a great video featuring the voices of its teaching staff.
Great faculty and staff are the bread-and-butter of any great school and showcasing your hiring process, your team, and all things employment on your website will help you hire right-fit teachers saving you time and money. And most importantly, by recruiting top faculty that match your mission and values, your community will benefit and thrive. Improving your international school's website should be top of mind for the new recruitment season, as it may be the only way prospective faculty can get to know your school.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As part of Finalsite's marketing team, Debbie has worked with international schools for the past 10 years while living in both Asia and Europe. She helps schools understand how they can maximize their web presence while partnering with Finalsite. As a parent of three children who graduated from IB World Schools, she has keen insights into the marketing and communication needs of international schools.