ISC Research, the leading provider of data and intelligence on the international school market continues to predict a shortage in international school teachers due to the continued growth in the market. In a recent whitepaper, In the light of COVID-19: Analysis of the historic response of the international schools market to local and global crises, they again stress "there could be a fall in the supply of international teachers worldwide. Teachers may be less willing to live far from their home country and family, having experienced an extended period in which borders have been closed. As a result, international school leaders are beginning to consider their recruitment strategies and alternative options."
As we head into the teacher recruitment season while still in the midst of a global pandemic, virtual job fairs and Zoom interviews have become the new normal. But we also know from working with international schools in over 100 countries, a school's website can make or break the decision to apply. "First impressions matter" and you only have “7 seconds to make an impression” are very relevant with 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 tips that will help ensure you are 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.
- Host your own recruitment fair.
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.
Zurich International School places equal importance on prospective employees on their homepage, right next to prospective families. This makes the content easy to find.
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. In addition to content that sells working at your school, you may also want to include safety and health regulations you have in place to put prospective faculty members at ease about making moves during the pandemic.
The International School of Luxembourg is a good example with interactive calls-to-action that engage and inform prospective staff.
Storytelling works for recruitment as well. The Chinese International School in Hong Kong includes faculty videos that provide a nice personal touch.
Walworth Barbour American International School hits a homerun with their music video of staff dancing to the famous Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”. You can't help but want to work with this fun group.
And Tanglin Trust School includes a Day in a Life of a Tanglin Teacher and some nice calls-to-action on their employment page.
There are so many ways to display this information and so much of a school’s content used to recruit students can be reused or tweaked to fit in this area as well. It’s of course not all about the salary and the benefits - it’s about fitting in.
Teachers spend days, nights, and weekends at school — so showcasing your campus can also be a big selling point. Drone video footage of the campus along with an interactive campus map provides great visuals on the Anglo-American School of Sofia's website.
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. Keystone Academy spotlights teachers in these informative videos.
Rotterdam International Secondary School is making the effort to document the stories of their staff - which in fact is also a great selling point for parents who are looking to learn more about their children's teachers.
And there is nothing more authentic and honest than children giving their perspective as done in this video from UNIS Hanoi.
4. Host your own recruitment fair
The International School of Beijing has hosted an on-campus job fair during the past few years, but this year due to COVID, they will host it off-campus and are limiting invitations to applicants from within China due to the border restrictions currently in place. They have crafted pages on their website to showcase this event. Like with any event, in-person or virtual, a colorful page pop and call-to-action drive registration.
ISB's employment landing page is a great example of best practice as it incorporates information such as ideal profile, salaries and benefits, and testimonials.
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.