How Do You Recruit And Retain Teachers?

We believe that teachers are doing one of the most important jobs there is: educating our future. That's why it's so vital to find and retain the best teachers you can—those with the passion, dedication, and drive for helping students learn and develop the skills they need to thrive.

But, increasingly schools are finding it more and more difficult to recruit and retain teachers. We likely don't need to remind you of the reality of the teacher shortage: enrollment in teacher prep programs has declined by more than one-third since 2010; each year, about eight percent of teachers leave the profession entirely; and math and science positions are particularly hard to fill in most states in the country. 

For these reasons—and many others—developing effective strategies for attracting and retaining teachers is of the utmost importance. In fact, that’s why we created XR Technologies—because we believe in a future where all students have equitable access to a great education… and we want to help schools get there! Let's dive into some strategies to help you find and keep stellar teachers for your school.

How do you Recruit in Education?

Competition is tough, so your hiring strategy for teachers needs to be tougher. We've compiled a list of teacher recruitment strategies, including tracking data, starting early, developing pipelines, and building a talent community to help you get started.

Track and Understand your Applicant Data

One of the first things to do is analyze your applicant data. If you're using an applicant tracking system (ATS), you can easily automate this process. Otherwise, make sure to include information on your application about how your candidates heard about the job opening. After gathering enough data, you can understand where your applicants are coming from. In other words, your data can provide insight into which recruitment strategies are the most effective. Then, you can put more muscle behind those strategies that are working, and evaluate and improve the others.

Start Early

The earlier you can start, the better. To the extent possible, encourage the reporting of retirement, voluntary transfers, and resignations to take place early in the academic year so you have a good understanding of how many hires you’ll need by early spring. By starting early—and ideally earlier than other schools in your region—you can gain access to top candidates first. What’s more, research from the Learning Policy Institute suggests that more teachers of color may be available for hire earlier in the year, helping to ensure equity and diversity, both of which are important factors in recruiting teachers for the 21st century.

Develop a Pipeline

Building out pipelines is one of the best long-term recruitment strategies there is—and one of the most rewarding, too! By setting up pipelines, you can achieve continuous access to current and future educators alike.

Employee Referrals:
Referral programs aren't exclusive to education, but they're a great way to build a pipeline. Ask your current staff members to share your job openings with their peers. You might even consider incentivizing teachers whose referrals result in a job offer with a bonus, gift card, or other gift.

Partnerships with Universities:
Getting in front of new teachers is so important. You want the pipeline in your area to know your school is a great place to work! Develop partnerships with local colleges to visit classrooms, attend hiring fairs, and share job postings with their career center. 

Inspire Young Students:
Especially for secondary schools, inspiring young students to become teachers can develop a long-term pipeline. Consider adding Grow Your Own and other teacher-prep programs to your offerings to better connect with young, aspiring teachers.

Build a Talent Community

You’re probably not hiring every great candidate that you meet with. Neither are the other schools in your area. And that’s where a talent community can come into play in two important ways. First, maintain positive relationships with those educators you can’t hire right now. Reach back out to them if a position opens up they may be interested in. Second, work with your area schools. This might sound counterproductive, but by developing relationships with other schools—those that are in your district and even those that aren’t—you can work together to attract great teachers to your area.

How can Teacher Retention be Improved?

So once you have quality teachers working at your school, how can you help keep them? Building out a formal plan with proven practices is easier said than done, but it works. And while there are many different ways to retain teachers, a sample teacher retention plan may include offering competitive salaries, building out an onboarding program, and providing mentorship for new teachers. 

Offer Competitive Salaries and Benefits

Teacher salaries and benefits certainly impact the supply of teachers overall, as well as the teachers you can recruit and retain. According to data compiled by the Learning Policy Institute, teachers are more likely to quit when they’re employed at lower-paying schools and districts. Districts and states should work together to increase overall wages for teachers, especially in those areas where salaries are disproportionately low as compared to the cost of living. States and districts might also consider other innovative compensation benefits like housing incentives, for example.

Build an Onboarding Program

Helping new educators—whether they’re novice or veteran—feel connected to their school and their community is important. An onboarding program will, of course, provide information about school policies and rules. But an effective program will take it a step further with programs and initiatives to help new hires connect with existing teachers, get acclimated with the school climate, and develop a sense of community and support. Consider creating a new hire support committee to connect with new teachers and have fun little mementos or even developing a community information folder with fun things to do for teachers new to the area. These little gestures can go a long way.

Provide Mentorship and Administrative Support

For novice teachers, the idea of taking on a classroom all on their own can certainly feel overwhelming at first. That’s where formal mentorship programs can help. By matching new teachers with veteran teachers, you can help ensure the novice educators don’t feel as alone or overwhelmed. They’ll have someone to go to for guidance, support, or even just an ear to listen. Helping new teachers have positive experiences in their first few days, weeks, and months can do a lot to help them feel positive about the work they’re doing… and ultimately retain them.

XR Technologies: Your Partner in Math Education

We know that schools are having a challenging time finding teachers—especially for math. That’s where we can help. XR Technologies is an all-in-one process as a service for schools, providing instruction, data, software, curriculum, talent, and secondary support for our partner schools. Our service is built around a partnership model where we take care of the math so you can focus on your vision for your school. Interested in learning more about our process? We’d love to find out more about your needs and how we can help!


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