If you are just setting up your online academy, it may be sufficient for you to put on multiple hats at once – the business owner, the content creator, and even the teacher. But as your academy grows and you start getting more students and roll out more courses, finding teachers will be an unavoidable activity.
Why? Your students expect to get individual attention even for online courses, and one person alone simply cannot manage everything. The competence of the teachers you hire is also a determining factor of your academy’s reputation because they are the ones who will be in direct contact with your students.
In this blog, we will discuss all the steps you need to take to finding teachers and hiring the best ones for your online academy.
How to find teachers?
Here are some of the best practices for finding teachers for your online academy –
Put up ads on education-specific job boards
You can initially look for candidates on some of the most popular job portals and professional networks, including LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster. But if you would like to narrow down on people who are specifically looking for teaching jobs, you should try out education-specific boards. It makes no sense to get hundreds of resumes only to find out that 10 of them are relevant. This is why niche portals do the trick. For example, you can check out Shikshacentre or local websites and newspapers for finding teachers in your locality.
Reach out to recent graduates
Most people who just graduated and are looking to start their teaching career and are more eager than most people who are already in the business. You don’t want to lose the chance of hiring these enthusiastic people. Get in touch with colleges and alumni organizations to build a strong network with future and recent graduates.
Referrals are one of the most effective means to recruit people as you are not letting a complete stranger into your team. Your colleagues are more likely to recommend people who they think will fit right into the culture of your institute.
Attend job fairs
Keep track of job fairs happening in your locality and attend the ones that you feel will help you. Meeting prospective candidates in person is a great way to set expectations, promote your academy. Also, consider hosting an event yourself or taking part in educational events. This will give you more leads.
How to attract candidates?
The pandemic situation has sent many online academies and even educational institutes on a hiring spree – the demand for teachers has gone up. It has become difficult to attract and retain qualified teachers. Below are some ways you can differentiate yourself from the competition –
Research about salaries
One of the most effective ways to attract teachers to join your online academy is to offer competitive salary packages that are above the industry standard. You should clearly mention how much you are willing to offer in your job posting on LinkedIn and job portals. If you offer additional benefits like insurance, include that too.
To arrive at an attractive compensation package, you need to do proper research about the salaries offered by other online academies in your geography. Go to sites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and even LinkedIn to get an idea of what prospective hires might expect from you.
Design a benefits package
Any employee, including teachers, now expect their employers to offer benefits other than salary and health insurance. For example, it may be difficult to promise flexible working hours or additional time off. You can, however, help them progress in their careers by:
- Creating mentorship programs where you can bring in very experienced teachers to advise your teachers.
- Sponsor any certifications your teachers might want to do.
- Encouraging and building individual career paths so that every teacher can grow in their area of specialization.
You can even have a one on one conversation with prospective employees. This will help you to learn about their motivations and the benefits they would like to get from an employer. Once you have understood these, you can build a benefits package around these and attract the right talent.
Establish a strong digital image
The internet is the first place where people look for jobs. Hence it’s important to build and maintain a standard for all your digital touchpoints. This is because people will judge you based on the quality of your website and social media handles. On your website, provide answers to all questions that a prospective employee might ask you. On the career page of your website, explain your institute’s teaching methods by sharing videos and pictures, and testimonials of your culture. Keep this content updated.
Qualities to look for in a teacher
The teachers you hire are literally the face of your business. Hence, you should look for skills that are above the basic requirements, like a college degree. Here are some of the most important skills to look out for:
Teachers should be able to communicate with students flawlessly. They should be great listeners and speakers at the same time to effectively pass on the information to students. General communication skills are also important because they have to mingle on a daily basis with you and the other colleagues.
Openness to Feedback
Teachers should not be headstrong and should be open to constructive criticism and feedback from peers and even students to adjust their teaching techniques accordingly.
Your teachers should be able to make the most out of the resources available to them. They should also keep their cool and find quick solutions at times of stress.
To keep students focused, teachers should employ creative methods and not stick to the standard ones. Using tools like Kahoot is a good start.
After classes are done, teachers should be well organized to take care of all the backend activities like keeping student records and updating the study material.
A genuine passion for learning
A great teacher should also be a great student. He/she should always keep themselves updated with advancements in their field of specialty. They should also familiarize themselves with new teaching methods and tools.
How to evaluate candidates?
After you’ve arrived at a pool of finalists, it is time to make the decision. The person you choose should be the best for your students. Here are some ways to evaluate their teaching skills:
- Give them assignments to create a syllabus or a short lesson using video, PowerPoint, or any other multimedia tool.
- Simulate scenarios by describing challenging incidents and ask them to describe how they will handle those.
- Check references from their previous employers or if they are recent college graduates, get a reference letter from their university departments heads or principal.
What after you’ve hired them?
Your job doesn’t end after finding teachers. Check-in regularly to see if they are able to do their job properly and if they have access to everything they need to do so. Especially during the initial days, it would be advised to take some of your time to personally help them familiarize themselves with how your academy works.
Further Reading: How to teach an Online Course That Students Want
What is Learnyst?
We are a group of individuals who set out to create a platform for educators to start their online education businesses. Using our platform, you can custom-build your course from the ground up and then host it on a website and mobile app that is custom-built for you. Your website will be SEO optimized right out of the box – enabling you to get better organic traffic from search engines, including Google. This is one of the many things Learnyst has to offer. To know more about us and how we can help you scale your online education business, drop us a note!