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May 30, 2024

9 Strategies for School Administrators Navigating the Teacher Recruitment Process

School administrators have a long history of seeking strategies to help navigate the tumultuous task of aligning high-quality staff with the needs of the students they serve. From navigating certification requirements, and steering a job market that is increasingly competitive and highly demanding to onboarding new hires, the challenge has never been greater. Just like reading a map, navigating one’s way through the teacher recruitment process can be confusing and even with the best intentions, can result in heading off course. Considering the map of strategies below, school administrators can navigate the journey with increased confidence.

  1. First, school administrators must have a clear vision and focus on their identified needs. Just like the tide, recruitment needs will ebb and flow. A school must remain anchored in its people. Therefore, identifying and communicating the importance of empowering and investing in people helps school administrators chart the course for excellence in working to provide quality educators for each and every student. Assessing the needs based on student demographic data, any necessary specializations, ratios, and certifications should be considered when identifying the needs. 
  2. Writing clear and compelling job postings will help serve as one method in which to attract staff members. Being certain to highlight school cultures and values within the job descriptions is one additional way to positively market opportunities. Be clear and specific in outlining the qualifications and expectations associated with each position.
  3. While traditional job postings through newspapers, local media outlets, and websites can be helpful, it is important to consider additional venues such as social media. The use of multiple platforms allows school administrators to cast their net wider to candidates. Leveraging alumni networks, partnerships with local higher education institutions, referrals, and educational networks are also worth consideration.
  4. When candidates have successfully applied for positions, being certain to have established criteria for the candidate evaluation, the review of resumes and supporting documents can assist in providing efficiency in the review and hiring process. Conducting initial phone and/or video interviews remotely may assist in expediting the process as well. Structuring interview panels that are representative of the culture of the school is a great way to reinforce positivity and inclusivity about your school. Intentionally crafting interview questions that speak to behavioral and/or situational scenarios helps provide candidates the opportunity to share their knowledge as well as provide insight into their cultural fit and pedagogical approach.
  5. School administrators need to be mindful of demonstrating inclusivity throughout the recruitment process. Ensuring equal opportunity for all applicants and implementing bias-free hiring practices will assist in promoting diversity in the teacher workforce.
  6. Once candidates have been narrowed, verifying work history and credentialing is an important component of navigating the recruitment process. This ensures any of your hiring decisions do not take you off course. Completing due diligence by contacting references and conducting background checks in compliance with all regulations is a critical step in the process.
  7. Extending offers professionally and promptly will ensure your candidates understand you value the attributes they can bring to your school. Presenting competitive compensation packages and the opportunity to negotiate terms of employment is an opportunity for you to continue to communicate and establish your expectations for professionalism and performance.
  8. Providing onboarding and continuous support through orientation and onboarding programs helps to ensure your candidates are able to establish a strong foundation in their new role. Offering mentoring and access to professional development opportunities will help shape continuous growth and improvement. Being mindful to create a supportive environment for new hires will also help with the development of critical professional relationships and the opportunity for collaboration which is so critical to the work of teaching and learning.
  9. Lastly, intentionally implementing strategies for teacher retention by soliciting feedback and promptly addressing any concerns will help ensure the retention of talent. Consideration for recognizing and rewarding teacher contributions to the larger school community will also be beneficial in helping to anchor talent in the school community.

Recruiting and retaining quality staff is one of the most important aspects of being a school leader. Working to ensure students have the opportunity to learn with and from quality individuals who are passionate about helping others is one of the core components of establishing a positive learning environment. By following the tips, school administrators are sure to be able to cast their nets wide and remain on course while aligning the best possible candidates for quality learning.


About the Author

Dr. Bridget Amory holds a Doctoral Degree in Leadership and Innovation as well as a Master of Education in School Leadership and Instruction. With a background in educational leadership roles, Dr. Amory is currently the interim superintendent of Mildford School District and the Director of Student Learning.

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