Your K-12 Recruiting Questions: Answered!
There are many questions that keep K-12 recruitment professionals up at night: shrinking talent pools, candidate ghosting, and open vacancies that are getting harder and harder to fill are just some of them.
We recently talked with a group of education recruiting professionals, and they weighed in on what the most important topics in K-12 recruitment are and how to tackle them head on. Here are some highlights from our discussion — along with the solutions that will have the most impact on recruiting top talent for your schools and districts.
Question 1: Is Retention the New Recruiting?
Short answer: YES. The number of teachers leaving their profession within the first 5 years is huge, and they are ripe for the picking from other school districts, industries, and even companies in the private sector.
A recent Strategy Analytics survey of HR professionals at K-12 districts across the U.S. found that the top HR challenges in K-12 education this year include retaining teachers, boosting employee morale, and hiring new talent. In fact, only four out of 10 HR professionals said they were able to retain more than 90% of their most valuable talent. Respondents also said that teacher morale and retention had the highest impact on their talent operations.
So, while your focus should definitely be on recruiting new teachers, don’t lose sight of the ones you already have. Find creative ways to foster an environment in which your teachers and support staff feel consistently seen and heard. Professional development should also be a top priority, and not just an afterthought. Invest in training and development opportunities for current employees so that they feel empowered to take ownership over their roles and responsibilities, and be sure to communicate that to all the candidates in your pipeline so they have something to look forward to. Use a multifunctional tool like Brazen’s platform to offer fun and captivating virtual engagement events to train current staff across your district in a scalable, affordable, and flexible way to further differentiate yourselves from the competition.
Question 2: How to Speed Up Hiring without Sacrificing the Candidate Experience?
No matter if you have a centralized or decentralized recruiting system in place, successfully connecting with candidates at every step of the application process is a fundamental part of personalizing the candidate experience and keeping engagement levels high all throughout. The easiest and most direct ways to speed up these conversations for the benefit of your candidate relationships (as well as your principals’ and talent acquisition professionals’ limited time) is via the implementation of recruiting technology such as Customer Relationship Management Software (CRMs), Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs), text messaging tools, and complete hiring event platforms (like Brazen’s) that can effectively manage communications between you and your prospective applicants.
As a best practice, ensure that your solution of choice is set to contact potential candidates at least once every 3 days with relevant updates and next steps via their communication method of choice (i.e. phones, email, text, etc.). Also make sure that the main contact person at different stages of the funnel is clearly identified and reachable in case applicants have questions about the process or the school. Scale up personalization by dividing pre-developed informational materials among specific candidate types. And lastly, set up alerts to notify your recruiting team when someone has (or hasn’t) been reached out to in order to make sure nobody slips through the cracks. Follow these tips to deliver an increasingly speedy and consistently excellent candidate experience.
Question 3: What’s the Best Way to Remove Barriers to Teacher Hiring?
One of the the top ways to successfully build a stable and strong talent pipeline for the future is through “Grow-Your-Own” (GYO) programs that target high school students, community members, and paraprofessionals as future teaching and support staff. The reason? Home-grown teachers and education professionals have a higher retention rate than non-home-grown ones because they already have an existing connection to the schools they strive to work in. However, many aren’t even aware that such programs even exist. To help them out in their goals to become great educators for your district, host virtual awareness events within your community and partner with local accreditation institutions and universities to reduce the classic barriers to entry to a teaching degree through tuition cuts, credits, and alternative certification programs for interested applicants. For young aspiring teachers in middle school and high school, consider starting curriculum-based clubs like Educators Rising that will get them started on the right path to a career in education sooner. Then, once you’ve got a great pipeline of talent emerging from these programs, engage them with tailored virtual events to help build your employer brand and affinity to join your district. With some time and patience, your efforts will pay off!
With these frequently asked questions about teacher recruitment, these innovative and insightful solutions from education recruiting can help you address the challenges of the teacher hiring crisis.
If you would like to learn more about how the Brazen platform can help you reach more candidates, convert them into new hires, accelerate your recruitment processes, and boost teacher and employee retention, sign up for a quick demo today!
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