Who does the recruiting?

recruiting in international schools Search Associates ANZ a recruiter interviews a candidate on Search Associates sign up day

Many people are involved in the recruiting process in international schools.

In many cases, the head of school is not the sole decision-maker. Human Resource staff, Principals, and Assistant Principals from different divisions within the school may all be asked to help in the screening process. Sometimes department heads and grade-level leaders are also consulted. This makes for a very collaborative approach to recruiting. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to talk with a number of different representatives from the school throughout the interview process. This is normal procedure. 

How is recruiting changing?

As the world has become more globally connected, it seems the job of a school recruiter is more difficult.

In the past, recruiters usually received applications via the post. Today, the popularity of international schools has increased and school HR departments (or the HOS) now receive thousands of applications a year. Sorting through these is a time-consuming process. It’s impossible to respond to them all.

Back when Nick worked as an administrator in Egypt, he tried to reply to all teachers who applied for a position, but soon realised this was not possible! The time commitment became too much. He scanned all applications for their suitability, but not all received a reply.

In many cases, this is still common practice. We advise candidates not to be discouraged if they don’t receive an acknowledgment, as the number of applicants is often overwhelming for many schools, especially those in smaller schools where administrators take on a variety of roles.

How a school searches for a new teacher

Many of today’s recruiters use a variety of sources to find the best teacher to fill their needs. They may choose to use recruiting companies, LinkedIn, word of mouth, other teacher recommendations, and possibly even run their own job fair. Search Associates has created APLi to cater to this avalanche of applications and to take some of the pressure off those who are responsible to source new staff.

recruiting in international schools Search Associates ANZ a man in the desert looking through binoculars

Your profile

No matter what method recruiters use to source candidates, here are some of the things they are looking for in an application before they decide to offer an interview –

  • Is the candidate’s information up to date?
  • Is their spelling and grammar correct? (Ask a friend to proofread your application).
  • Can it be read and scanned easily for highlights?
  • Is the candidate suitably qualified and have they uploaded their qualifications?
  • Are their references current and written on a school email address?

Recruiters read every application through the lens of child protection (International Task Force on Child Protection Recommended Screening and Assessment Practices for International School Recruitment). You can make their job easier by including relevant background checks, explaining any gaps in your experience, including all your past addresses and other key aspects that a recruiter needs to know.

Candidates who have completed their profiles and who are now in “Active’ status are searchable by all schools registered with Search Associates.

What should I do if a school contacts me?

If your name appears as a match, schools may reach out to you via your dashboard. Please respond quickly, even if the answer is no. If you are approached by a school and you have no interest in working there, we suggest you reply immediately as a sign of courtesy.  As an international school teacher, you definitely don’t want to close the door to future opportunities. We encourage you to be open-minded and go to interviews in countries you thought you would never consider. Besides the advantage of practicing your interview skills, many candidates end up in schools and countries they didn’t expect and thoroughly enjoy their experience.

Ultimately, the responsibility for recruiting and hiring staff in an international school rests with the school administration. The goal is to identify, attract, and hire the best-qualified candidates who are a good fit for the school’s culture and mission.


Discover a world of opportunity

Get in touch