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Recruiting Where the Candidates Are: How (and Where) Teachers Find Jobs

Human Resources

Graduation season is coming to a close, and the next generation of teachers will be entering the teaching workforce before we know it. For those with a classroom waiting for them in a few short months, the fun is only just beginning. Others might be spending the summer still searching for job postings — are they finding yours?

Read on to see if your recruiting strategies make your postings visible to job-seekers in the right places — or if they’re missing the mark.

The Internet reigns supreme.

One thing is for sure: job-seekers are turning to the internet first. Teachers report checking job boards daily for new postings and combing through district websites to find openings.

What teachers say:

“To find openings, I checked my state's job service website multiple times a week (every 1-2 days!).”

K12JobSpot is a site I visit daily. I also made a spreadsheet with all the districts I’m willing to drive out to, and found direct links to their employment page. I check those every day and apply if anything is up!”

Of course, teachers have to find your school district before they can look through your employment pages. One teacher wrote, I live in a somewhat rural area and have done teacher recruitment days, as well as an ole' fashioned google search of ‘schools in my county, my state.’"

What this means for you:
It’s more important than ever that your district can easily be found online, so invest in developing your district’s brand as an employer. A strong social media presence, streamlined website and job listings on third-party job boards can go a long way in helping candidates find — and want to work for — your schools.

You’ll also want to make sure that it’s easy for interested candidates to apply to work in your schools directly from your district website. They’re already spending a good chunk of time combing through your website’s listings — let them apply online while they’re already there.

Job Fairs are still a good bet.

The Internet might be beloved by job-seekers for sheer convenience and accessibility, but that doesn’t mean that job hunting has gone exclusively digital. In-person job fairs are still popular with new and veteran teachers alike.

What teachers say:

“I applied in probably 10-15 districts and went to 2 different job fairs.”

“Your best bet is to look at job fairs. Districts will go to them out of state if they need to fill lots of spots.”
What this means for you:
Recruiting at career fairs is still a viable way to find candidates. You’re able to market your district exactly the way you want to a wide pool of motivated job-seekers, show off why your district is a fantastic place to work and meet with interested candidates face-to-face.

We suggest trying out job fairs near and far to determine which ones net your district the best possible results. And for busier events where you might get overwhelmed — especially if you don’t have enough district representatives available to meet all the interested candidates — be prepared to have a way to capture teacher interest in your district. Technology can help you out here by letting candidates start applications right at your table or booth.

Some go the traditional route.

Any post about where educators find their first teaching job would be incomplete without the time-honored tradition of finding careers through student or substitute teaching. It’s a good way for new teachers to get their foot in the door through networking, while gaining valuable experience in the classroom.

What teachers say:

“Your best bet is to substitute if you haven't already been. That's how quite a few people I know got jobs in areas without large demand.”

“Even if you don't get hired right away, subbing gives you a lot of good experience as a teacher, especially if you place effort to actually teach the kids instead of sitting back and watching them chat. You'll not only network but you'll get experience in the actual classroom, which will make it less daunting for your first year teaching.”

What this means for you:
Keep building those existing relationships with your student teachers and substitutes — they could be wonderful full-time teachers in the future. When it comes to your substitute pool in particular, you can help develop their classroom skills through online substitute training courses and encourage full-time teachers to leave substitutes constructive feedback after an absence. Not only does this help them become better educators, but shows that your district invests in its people and their growth.

Applications are given out like candy.

No matter how an applicant finds your district, you can be sure that you’re not the only one receiving their resume. Many teachers said they sent out resumes and applications to dozens of districts (or more), as if they were taking a page out of Oprah’s playbook — “You get an application, and you get an application, everyone gets an application!”

What teachers say:

“I sent out to over 100 districts.”

“I sent a cover letter and resume to every one of the 125 school districts on Long Island. Then I sent one to the Archdiocese of NYC and to every Catholic high school on Long Island.”

“I sent out about 40 resumes (and this is for music = not many jobs)”

“My suggestion is to apply to anything and everything. You don't have the room to be picky. I did that, and am sure I applied to 60+ jobs.”

“Here's my advice. Apply everywhere.”
What this means for you:
When job applications are pouring in, make sure you have a system to help you stay afloat. You need to be able to easily collect and store the resumes coming in (without them cluttering up your desk), sort through them, painlessly find candidates with the most potential and keep all of their materials together. Find a way to make the entire process work for you with online applicant tracking software — otherwise, hiring is going to take over your every waking moment.  


About Annie Grunwell

Education Writer

Annie is a Content Marketing Specialist at Frontline Education with a deep and abiding love of learning, writing, and sharing knowledge.