Attract Qualified Candidates
Attracting qualified candidates requires both long-term planning and the ability to quickly mount a recruitment campaign for immediate needs.
When this is not working well, the consequences can be:
- No applicants;
- Applicants who are not a good fit;
- Not enough applicants to have a real choice;
- Settling for a candidate who is not a good match for your needs;
- Late hires; and
- Unfilled positions.
When this is working well, the consequences can be:
- Enough qualified candidates apply so that you can select a candidate whose skills, knowledge, and disposition most closely match your school’s needs;
- A more diverse educator workforce; and
- Applicants see the opening as an attractive opportunity.
Market Your District
Often school districts invest time and resources to develop a positive image in their community, among parents, and with students. They may have spent less time thinking about the image of their school district among potential job candidates or referrers of job candidates, such as personnel at educator preparation programs. An investment in marketing your school district as a good place to work can pay off in less effort required to recruit for individual positions and in more high-quality candidates applying.
Assess Your Current Marketing Materials
Gather together brochures, your website information, newsletters, fact sheets, letters sent to educator preparation programs, job fair materials, and any other materials created to market or educate the public about your district. Read through the materials from the viewpoint of a potential job applicant.
- Do you have basic marketing materials for your district?
- What will readers learn about your district from the materials?
- Are the strengths of the district clearly identified?
- Will readers learn why it is a good place to work and teach?
- Is there information that specifically targets potential job applicants?
- Do materials indicate how readers can find out about teaching and working in the district and about specific job opportunities?
Put into place strategies for marketing your district as a good place to work and teach:
- Make an inventory of your school district’s strengths as a place to work and teach;
- Make the most of your website for recruiting educators;
- Explore how other school districts use their websites for recruitment; and
- Develop marketing materials that specifically target potential job applicants.
Expand Outreach to Attract Potential Candidates
Expanding your outreach can increase the number of candidates who consider applying for your job openings.
- Advertise in local and regional classified ads. Consider expanding your geographical recruitment
circle by using the Education Career Fair Calendar
- Contact the career placement offices for Arizona teacher preparation undergraduate and graduate programs;
- Attend the Great Arizona Teach-In and work with other schools to host a job fair;
- Post your openings on the
Arizona Education Employment Board and other websites that offer educator job listings; and
- Use college/university job boards or job-posting services. For therapy services use the
Related Services Job Boards
Enlist Community Help in Your Recruitment Efforts
Efforts to enlist help from your local community can be effective at reaching potential candidates who are close to home.
- Include community stakeholders on your recruitment team;
- Make sure faculty and staff know about open positions and recruitment needs and encourage them to refer potential applicants;
- Let parents, PTAs, PTOs, and service clubs know about your job openings;
- Ask the Chamber of Commerce, Welcome Wagon, and realtors to disseminate your recruitment materials; and
- Ask your local media to cover stories about your recruitment efforts and needs.
Define Your Ideal Candidate
Before you seek potential job applicants, taking time to define the desired characteristics and profile of the type of educator you seek will help guide your recruitment activities.
Craft a Recruitment Message
Your employment ad may be the first impression an applicant sees of your school as a potential employer. Often school job ads are dry lists of requirements with little information about why an applicant might want to work at the school and little that makes a particular job stand out. Print ads and Internet listings are often limited in size because of the cost or the policy of the site, leaving little room for a full job description.
- Be sure to include links to your website where you can include a full job description;
- Use your website to include other information about your school that helps potential job seekers envision themselves teaching in your school; and
- Include some information in your job ad that indicates what the applicant will gain by working at your school.
Strengthen Relationships with Institutions of Higher Education
By strengthening your relationships with institutions of higher
education (IHEs), particularly those that offer educator
preparation programs, you can increase the likelihood that
undergraduates, graduate students, and other advanced learners
will learn about your district.
- Introduce your
district to representatives from IHEs through letters, phone
calls, and personal meetings;
- Explore opportunities
for students from IHEs to visit your school;
- Invite a
representative from an IHE to participate on your recruitment
and retention team;
- Explore opportunities
for collaborative projects between your school and IHEs; and
- Become a field
placement site for student teaching or practical internships.
“Grow Your Own” and
You can help to cultivate future educators among those with
whom you already have links: your students and others in your
- Encourage students in
your schools to aspire to teaching as a career;
- Consider becoming
involved in the Educators Rising Arizona;
- Consider those in
your community and school who could enter teaching through
alternative pathways such as:
special education assistants, school clerks, cafeteria
employees, security guards;
- Parents or
community residents who are active in the schools;
- Members and
leaders of the community who are active in education issues; and
retirees who are moving to your community.
- Learn about
alternative pathways to certification from the Arizona
Department of Education; and
nontraditional pathways to teaching programs: Teach For America
and Troops to Teachers.
Offer Incentives to Attract and Retain Educators
School districts around the country offer a wide variety of
incentives to recruit and retain educators. Incentives range
from community-based tokens of appreciation to state and federal
initiatives. The following is a list of potential incentives:
- Financial aid, loan
repayment, and forgiveness programs
- Grants and awards to
recognize and assist educators for special projects
- Signing bonuses
- Additional bonuses
for hard-to-fill positions
- Stipends for
- Retention bonuses
- Pay for performance
and market-based incentives
- Relocation assistance
- Counseling on home
- Housing subsidies,
discounts, reduced down payments, and/or lower mortgage rates
- Waiver for connection
of utilities and/or cable
- Waiver or reduction
for security deposit for apartment
- Tax breaks
- Bonuses for National
- Stipends for
- Tuition reimbursement
for an advanced degree
- Salary advances
- Induction with
mentoring for new teachers
- Free investment and
- All teachers assigned
a laptop computer
development incentive pay
- Priority placement of
children in child care centers
Resources (Click on the links below.)
- Teacher Intern Pathway to Certification
Ways to Market Your School, Education World, 2004.
York City’s Successful Alternative Route for New Teachers
White House Conference on Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers: An
accounting of a principal’s experience supporting
non-traditionally prepared teachers.
Effective Online Job Postings, Monster.com.
- Koenigsknecht, Scott
M., Impressions Count, School Planning &
Education-Related Personnel Preparation Program
Partnerships: Collaborating for Success at the Local Level,
Personnel Improvement Center, Practice Brief,
- Muller, Eve, Using Social Media to Recruit and Retain Qualified Special Education Personnel, Personnel Improvement
Center, Practice Brief, Winter 2011.
Count Grant Opportunities
Next Door Housing Program
Loan Forgiveness Program
ABC List: A Public Relations Tool That’s as Simple as
A-B-C, Education World, 2005.
to Teaching Program