How to pick a good teacher recruitment company

Published on 18th March, 2015 by Gemma McSweeney. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

Make sure your recruitment agency is working for you

The number of teacher recruitment agencies has risen dramatically in the past five years, becoming one of the most popular ways for teachers to find jobs. But with so many recruitment agencies out there, how do you know if the one you’re considering has your best interests at heart?

A reputable recruitment agency:

1. Doesn’t charge you for the support it provides

Recruitment agencies should not charge you at any point. The company will be paid for their services by the employer – if the placement is successful. You should never have to pay to apply for a job!

2. Communicates with you as an individual

A good recruitment agency will talk with you to find out your skills and needs. Some agencies will just put you on their database without finding out anything about you. However, you will be offered the best job opportunities - those that are right for you - from an agency that gets to know you.

3. Provides the advice and guidance you need

Good communication between you and a recruiter will mean that you will then be given the most suitable advice and vacancies for you. That should mean no general vacancy alerts that aren’t relevant for you, but carefully picked job opportunities and appropriate advice to suit your requirements and experience.

4. Supports you through the entire job-hunting process

This might include advising you on your CV, helping you to prepare for interviews (face-to-face or Skype), and informing you in detail about specific jobs appropriate for you, including information about school locations, visa requirements, cultural expectations and more. A good recruitment agency (one that works closely with particular schools) may also be able to put you in contact with teachers currently working at a school so that you can get valuable teacher feedback. Detailed support is the hallmark of a reputable recruitment agency.

5. Works with only reputable employers

When applying for a position in an international school, it’s particularly important to know that the school has a good reputation and the employer can be trusted to look after its staff as well as its students. Reputable recruitment agencies only work with reputable schools; those that are accredited, that are members of respected associations or - for new schools - that have been well vetted.

6. Can negotiate salary and benefits on your behalf

A skilled recruitment agency with good relationships with the schools it works with will be able to do more than just find you a job. Where appropriate, your consultant will negotiate on your behalf to get you the very best salary and package.

7. Is honest and realistic with you

Some recruitment agencies will promise you the world. But honesty is always the best policy. Good agencies will tell you what you can realistically expect with your skills, experience and qualifications.

8. Visits schools and meets with employers

First-hand knowledge of schools is the best way recruiters can support both teachers and employers. For example, TIC recruiters visit many international schools each year to really get to know the schools, their leadership and recruitment teams, their teachers, their location and to meet with TIC teachers already placed. We walk the corridors and observe lessons, talking to teachers about what it's really like to teach at that school and what life is like in that city.

If you find a recruitment agency you trust, reconnect with your consultant for every job move you make.  It can make all the difference to have someone who knows you and who you trust for advice as your career develops. TIC has worked with a significant number of teachers over the years who have progressed in their job moves from a classroom teacher to a middle leader and on to a senior leader. 

If you’d like to find out more about TIC Recruitment, check out our Why Choose TIC? page. For helpful advice about being a teacher in an international school, check out our weekly blogs available in our Blog section. We also have new opportunities available every day in our Vacancies section.

You may also be interested in these informative blogs:
• Ten interesting facts about international schools…that you might not know
• Five things to consider before moving overseas
• Five great reasons to teach abroad in an international school

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Gemma McSweeney

Gemma is our Associate Director, having joined TIC in 2009. With over 15 years experience of recruitment and selection methods, she specialises in matching teachers and leaders with our international school partners. She has attended many international education conferences and has visited a number of international schools over the years. She uses this experience to best advise our teachers, leaders and schools and manage our team and UK operations.