- Marketing and Communications
This blog is from one of COBIS' Supporting Associates.
By Debbie Eisenach, International Marketing Manager at Finalsite
With the booming international school market, we have all heard the statistics on the projected teacher shortage in the coming years. Combine that with a global pandemic, country shutdowns, and travel restrictions, recruiting quality teachers for the next school year might be more challenging than ever.
But, we have seen school leaders perfect the art of going 100% virtual for learning and admissions, so virtual recruiting should be easy. Whether your school participates in a virtual fair or works with a professional recruitment firm, all roads eventually lead prospective staff to your website.
The Basics - Best Practices
Have you looked at your website with prospective staff in mind? Schools spend the majority of their time recruiting prospective families, but it’s important to realise that teachers are the key pillars of any great school. Having a boring recruitment page does a disservice to your school, and it is also a disservice to prospective staff.
The sayings “First Impressions Matter” and you only have “7 Seconds to Make an Impression” are very much relevant with recruiting.
Is your employment page hidden in your website footer or deep in your site navigation? It sounds obvious, but make sure it’s easy to find. Make sure you cover the basics too - from openings and job descriptions, to benefits, and other pertinent information. Instead of listing all the benefits in an individual job posting, share that information at a higher level on your site.
The Kellett School covers all the basics including a main navigation element, a comprehensive recruitment landing page, clear instructions and compelling content.
In this example, the International School of Luxembourg opted to provide access through photo interactive content blocks providing a colourful and engaging user experience.
Beyond the Basics - Elements of Your Story
Just like storytelling helps schools recruit new families, the same can be said for new teachers. So what are the components of a good recruitment story?
1) Teachers are the Main Character
Teachers are the heart and soul of any school and typically spend long hours during the week at the school and often travel with clubs and teams on the weekend. Many schools will say they are like a family so getting to know other “family” members is essential.
Keystone Academy provides in-depth information of members of their faculty including video interviews.
Chadwick School’s interactive staff directory is both clever and informative, providing both professional and personal information about their team.
2) The Setting is Important
Understanding what local life is like outside of the school is also important when moving around the world. What’s the weather like, the food, housing, doctors? Helping prospective staff understand life in this new environment is important for ensuring a good fit. And, this information can be repurposed for onboarding new teachers upon arrival.
Many schools already have this information, it’s just not website ready. The International School of Beijing created a landing page to showcase life in their city. This extra touch goes a long way in finding the right teachers.
3) Themes - Happy Themes Work Better
Zurich International School’s slider highlights an array of teachers sharing their authentic stories. By focusing on positive, happy experiences, prospective staff will easily be able to picture themselves on your team.
4) Putting All Together
There are many ways to tell a story and every school has their own story to tell. Some people prefer videos over text, so why not bring your story to life with a video? This exceptional video from Saigon South International School informs, engages and delights prospective teachers.
Tanglin Trust School showcases both Day in a Life and Teacher Stories on their page, which offers an authentic, people-first approach to the school’s recruitment efforts.
This visually appealing and well-structured landing page from the International School of Basel pulls it all together nicely as well by answering the essential question of “why should I choose to work here?”
There are many ways to tell a story and every school has their own story to tell. Start investing time and resources in your website recruitment pages now in order to ensure that you hire teachers, who are a good fit for your school and will enable you to continue to succeed in the ever growing international school market. Whether virtual or in person, the work you do now will not only benefit this recruitment season but also benefit in the years to come.