Besides explicit statements concerning the institution that a teacher recruiter or HR rep make, there are some tell signs to look for when engaging recruiters. Bear in mind that these indicators are generalizations and observed trends that I have made over the years. Use them when vetting the best school for you because I guarantee that recruiters use social metrics when vetting you.
1. Contracts without on-site interviews
Although no one is excluding the possibility that the recruiter senses greatness in you and reads the reality of your skill set from the resume and cover letter, if he/she hands you a contract after a brief introduction without inviting you to an on-site in-person interview at the school in question, it is likely though not guaranteed that the school experiences high faculty turn over and is eager to lock teachers into contracts without requiring a sample lesson. One can speculate why, and I would encourage teachers to inquire specifically about turn over to ascertain the reasons for that.
2. Many questions about one issue
When recruiters press an issue, it is typically because there have been or are anticipated problems surrounding that issue. For example, numerous questions surrounding behavior management are your light bulb to clue you in that teachers have struggled with management at that school and that students overall or in particular require an exemplary display of presence and rapport. It behooves a teacher to ask a recruiter why there are so many questions about one area of the interview.
3. Choosy equals quality
If a recruiter is not overly eager for candidates, all the better because that means the school is in the unique position to pick and choose talent, ultimately creating a stronger team. Although you might not get a call back the initial year you apply, that school is worth considering in a subsequent year.
4. Aesthetics matter
Just like a teacher candidate ought to be professionally polished, so should the recruiting rep. The recruiter’s appearance is an indicator, albeit loose, of the level of professionalism expected of other staff and faculty. Elevating education to a profession starts interpersonally but manifests itself aesthetically as well. Hygiene, dress, and demeanor tend to follow attitudes and values. Make certain you seek out professionals in every sense of the word for future coworkers.
5. Interest speaks for itself
Employers admire tenacity; that goes without saying. Unfortunately, tenacity is only one trait of many that recruiters are hiring for. That being said, a recruiter will often deviate from the scripted questions and spend more time with you if he/she is truly interested. Do not mistake the time it takes a recruiter to answer YOUR questions as the expression of their professional interest. Allow them the opportunity to express interest and gauge to what degree that extends because interest speaks for itself.
Associate Director of Talent
Atlas Preparatory School
Colorado Springs, CO
The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.