Back to school: Engaging the best teaching candidates

Back to school: Engaging the best teaching candidates

Education is an area where high-quality candidates are in great demand, and competition for the best teachers is fierce.

As the new school year begins, schools and educational institutions across the country are gearing up to welcome new students and teachers. With the ongoing worker shortage adding a layer of complexity to the hiring process, it's more important than ever to attract the best teaching candidates and build a diverse and inclusive teaching staff.

Engaging the best teaching candidates requires a multifaceted approach that focuses on diversity, storytelling, technology, and values-driven recruitment. By leveraging these strategies, schools can build a strong team of educators who are passionate, creative, and dedicated to their students' success.

In this blog post, we'll explore some strategies for engaging top teaching talent and building a strong team of educators.

Look for Candidates from a Range of Backgrounds

Diversity in the classroom is essential for creating a welcoming and inclusive learning environment, as well as useful for accessing new approaches to creative problem-solving and teaching styles.

To attract teaching candidates from different backgrounds, schools can focus on outreach programs that target underrepresented groups. This could include partnering with community organisations, attending job fairs, and creating job listings that explicitly welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Employer branding is also important for demonstrating that your educational establishment values diversity. This means being clear about your approach through images, wording, and messaging. It’s also worth being direct about your intention to diversify your talent pool within your messaging; saying that you want to increase diversity within your team shows a willingness to improve and invites people of different backgrounds to apply.

Use Narrative Techniques

Recruiting top teaching talent isn't just about listing job requirements and qualifications. It's also about telling a compelling story that speaks to a candidate's values and aspirations. Schools and educational establishments can use storytelling techniques to highlight their mission and values, showcase the impact of their work, and create an emotional connection with candidates.

In education, the soft benefits of the teaching professional are especially important, as publicly funded institutions are less likely to be able to negotiate pay. Spotlighting existing staff members and their stories and progress within the school can be inspirational and highlight the progress and story that new members of a school’s teaching staff can carve out for themselves.

Tap into Technology

Innovative technology solutions can help schools streamline the hiring process and attract top teaching talent. This could include using social media to promote job listings and engage with candidates, creating video job descriptions, and using AI-powered tools to screen resumes and identify top candidates.

Digital right-to-work checks are a good option for recruiting teaching staff, as they not only offer a more convenient screening option for both employers and candidates but also provide enhanced ID verification, which has been proven to be more accurate and spot more advanced fake documents than in-person checks. In educational institutions, where safeguarding is at the top of the agenda, it’s vital to know your staff are who they say they are.

Look for Soft Skills and Traits in the Interview

When interviewing teaching candidates, it's important to look beyond their qualifications and experience. A great teacher is someone passionate, creative, and dedicated to their students. Schools can use behavioural interviewing techniques to identify these traits and assess a candidate's fit with their school culture.

Examples of soft skills that are important for teachers include communication skills, empathy, adaptability, and teamwork. To assess a candidate's soft skills, you can ask behavioural interview questions that require the candidate to provide specific examples of how they have demonstrated these skills in the past.

Additionally, you can observe how the candidate interacts with others during the interview process and ask for references who can speak to the candidate's soft skills. By taking the time to assess a candidate's soft skills, you can ensure that you are hiring a teacher who will not only be knowledgeable in their subject area but also be able to effectively communicate and collaborate with their students and colleagues.

Sell Your School's Mission and Values

Attracting passionate and motivated teaching candidates requires more than just a competitive salary and benefits package. Schools can highlight their mission and values, showcase the impact of their work, and create a sense of purpose and meaning for potential candidates. By doing so, they can attract teachers who are truly committed to making a difference in the lives of their students.

How can Reed Screening help?

Whatever the make-up of your team, when hiring it’s important to ensure that risk is minimised through thorough screening. With over 60 years of experience in recruitment, and over 9 years of experience as screening specialists, Reed Screening is ideally placed to advise your business on the best way to ensure that new hires are a boost to your company’s performance.