New Teacher Recruiting and Hiring

Posted By: Brian White AASPA Blog ,

The Survey

This Spring Auburn-Washburn USD 437 conducted a survey of 147 college and university students that were approaching graduation and preparing to start their careers in education.  This feedback helped us to better understand new teacher candidate needs and better serve new teachers starting their careers in education.  The feedback came from career fair participants at the various career fairs we participated in, but not necessarily all visited our school district booth at the fair.  It was important to us to collect feedback from all participants regardless of their interest to better understand overall trends and needs. 

Career Fair Booth - School district location is most important.

The most important factor that respondents considered in choosing which career fair booths to visit was the school district’s location.   85% of respondents cited this as a reason for deciding which booths to visit.  The next closest factor was the reputation of the district at 33%, followed closely by their research of the district at 31%.

Career Fair Information - Current job openings are most important.

Not surprisingly, the most important information that respondents were looking for at the career fair was current district job openings at 93%.  Other items with more than 50% of respondents were mentor program (60%), salary (59%), benefits (54%), class size (52%), and how to apply (50%).

District Careers Site - Current job openings are most important.

Similar to the information that respondents were seeking at the career fair, 86% would like to see information about current job openings on the district careers website.  Other items at more than 50% were salary (75%), how to apply (70%), benefits (68%), mentor program (53%), and class size (52%).

Candidate Research - School district website is most important.

By far the number one resource that respondents used to research school districts is the school district website at 86%.  48% of respondents utilized the fair to learn more about school districts.  48% also reviewed ratings sites such as greatschools.org and niche.com to research school districts.  44% talked to current district employees to learn more about the school district.

New Teacher Support - Mentoring program is most important.

76% of respondents said that a mentoring program was most important to support new teachers starting out in school districts.  Other new teacher supports strongly desired included professional development (67%), opportunities to collaborate (67%), new hire orientation (63%), flexibility in lesson planning (63%), and support with parent interaction (50%).

Informal Networking Event

When asking if respondents would be interested in attending an informal event to meet with recent teacher hires to learn more about their transition from school to teaching and working in the school district, 67% responded yes.

New Teacher Recruiting and Hiring Survey Summary

The school district’s website is the number one resource that new teacher candidates use to research careers, and must provide current and relevant information for new teachers.  This same information should also be available at the career fair and/or virtual career fair booth.  To take this one step further, it is also important to provide information that new teachers are looking for in support of starting their new careers as well. 

In addition to formal interview and career fair events, new teacher candidates are interested in learning more about careers through informal events.  School districts should consider hosting informal information events at locations that are convenient and accessible to aspiring teachers.  A local university or college coffee shop can be a great location to hold this type of event.