7 ways international school recruitment is changing – and how you can benefit

Published on 25th August, 2015 by Andrew Wigford. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

What does the future hold for international school recruitment?

How is international school recruitment changing? TIC’s Managing Director Andrew Wigford, shares his predictions on what to expect if you’re looking for an international school job this year – and advice on how to make this work for you.

1. The recruitment process will begin earlier

Most international schools start their major recruit campaigns for new staff in January and February ready for teachers to begin work in August. But expect to see more jobs for the 2016-2017 academic year being advertised earlier as schools try to secure the very best teachers. My advice is get registered with a recruitment specialist early (by November) if you want to have your pick of the very best international school job opportunities for next year.  And start reviewing job advertisements from December onwards.

2. More international schools will use recruitment specialists

Many of the leading international schools are moving away from using traditional job fairs to find new teachers. Instead, they are turning to recruitment specialists that can provide a more rigorous and planned matching process in order to find the best candidates for a particular teaching job.  Some schools work with recruitment specialists and then use job fairs as a chance to schedule a face-to-face meeting with candidates they are considering. My advice is don’t just rely on attending a job fair as that will restrict your options for finding jobs in good schools. Alternatively, or in addition, register with recruitment specialists too.

3. International schools will offer increasingly competitive packages and benefits

In order to secure and hold on to the very best teachers, international schools are offering more competitive salary and benefit packages to the most ideal candidates. So if you have the skills a school needs along with great experience, international mindedness, and a personality that suits the school, then you can expect to be offered some great benefits such as accommodation, gym membership, air flights home, schooling for your children, pensions, medical coverage, and more. My advice is look carefully at the benefits, as well as the salary you are offered, before making a final decision on a job offer

4. International schools will offer incentives for good teachers to extend their contracts

As an increasing number of local children are enrolled (an average of 80% of children attending international schools today are locals who will not expect to be relocating), schools need to increase the stability of their teaching staff.  This means there are more rolling contracts and incentives for the best teachers to stay put once their contracts come to an end. My advice is think about your reasons for selecting a school and a location so that you can benefit from this option if and when it arises.

5. There will be an increased demand for skilled teachers

International schools are increasingly looking for highly skilled and creative teachers, and seasoned leaders with a successful track record. In particular, they are looking for teachers with recent experience of working with National Curriculum of England, International Baccalaureate programmes, or increasingly popular curricula such as the International Primary Curriculum. They are also looking for teachers who have gained rigorous professional development, teachers who are specialists, and teachers who have the right personal qualities to cope with moving and working overseas. My advice is make sure you have these qualities and skills and highlight them clearly on your CV or resume.

6. New recruitment companies will emerge

As the number of international schools around the world continues to increase at a significant rate, so too do the number of companies providing recruitment and job appointment services.  Good quality recruitment companies will have experts who know the international schools and will be able to advise you in a knowledgeable way. They will be approved members of leading international school associations such as COBIS and EARCOS. They will only represent international schools with a good reputation or that are accredited schools. This support should be free to you as a teacher, without any restrictions or limit on the number of companies you can register with. My advice is do your research before registering with recruitment companies and work with those with the best reputation.

7. Teachers will have more choice when applying for jobs

There are currently 7,945 international schools across the globe teaching in the language of English (according to ISC Research) and this number is continuing to grow. This means more opportunities are becoming available for skilled teachers to work in virtually every country around the world. My advice is don’t restrict your search to a particular city or country. Instead, spend some time thinking about which region of the world you would like to live and work and start your job search there.

Andrew spent 16 years teaching and leading in international schools. He launched TIC Recruitment in 2006 to provide the level of expert support that he couldn’t find when he was applying for jobs. TIC Recruitment has a team of specialist staff who work with individual candidates to provide a helpful, knowledgeable service throughout the entire process of selecting, applying, interviewing and accepting an international school job. Simply register free with TIC to start accessing support, advice and regular updates about forthcoming international school teaching jobs.

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Andrew Wigford

Andrew is Managing Director of TIC. He has been involved in international education both as a teacher and Headteacher for over 25 years and has worked in Germany, Colombia and Austria. He set up TIC recruitment in 2005 to help teachers find great jobs in great international schools.