By Mira Majzoub
Working in international teacher recruitment amidst the pandemic was one interesting experience to go through to say the least. International teachers have changed their behavior on how they choose jobs as well as their will to relocate. The education world had to adapt and globally, schools switched to a completely new delivery system, e-learning. Almost a year into lockdowns and deconfinemt here are some of the views that we have gathered from different interviews held with school administrators and international teachers.
So, what do teachers prefer when it comes to new positions?
One could say that educators now prefer more flexible positions. Most candidates prefer online teaching even when it comes to international schools. In a sense, their experience is boosted in a shorter period of time. The MGH Institute of Health Professions explains how online teaching provides instructors with benefits such as greater engagement and learning with students, efficiency, and the ability to get to know students better. Instructors will now look for schools that provide an improved curriculum in online learning that caters to accessibility to students and co-workers. Moreover, the flexibility of online teaching also offers educators more time for self-development activities.
What happened to the yearly recruitment cycle at schools? What to expect?
Schools give a certain deadline for educators to either resign or extend their contract before an upcoming school year. With Covid-19 and travel restrictions everywhere, most teachers refrained from resigning their positions as it became uncertain if they can secure new ones due to the situation. Thus, there was a lack of vacancies and candidates in 2020. Future expectations include higher demand for candidates and competitiveness among positions and what schools can offer to international teachers. Based on a study by the Gatsby foundation, most international schools were busy focusing on e-learning rather than staffing. The upcoming cycle should fill the vacant positions for both years (2020 and 2021).
What can recruiters and schools do?
Having a pool of potential candidates in a specific area will provide insights and statistics on teachers looking for new opportunities. This means that recruiters should be ready for the new upcoming season by studying the demand of the market and researching available candidates. Schools will have to offer extended benefits to lure good candidates to their institution. They also have to establish a well-built curriculum tailored to online teaching. To top it off, providing teacher development skills and training will ensure teachers extend their contracts and remain at the same institution longer. Based on the Financial Times, providing teacher training positions may address the workforce shortages in the following recruitment cycle.
Contacting candidates will also be different. Most teachers prefer mobile-friendly applications to scroll through possible positions. It is also the easiest method to have a response. Boosting school presence on social media platforms will be essential. This way they will engage with potential candidates and enhance their marketing.
The future of teacher recruitment will remain unclear for the upcoming several seasons. Expectations will keep on fluctuating as long as teaching in itself is changing to adapt to the new era of education. The best to expect is there will be high competitiveness on positions among applicants, and schools will have to change their methods to attract new talent.