New teachers are looking for your district. Find out where.

Today, consumer relationships often begin online. Creating a multi-channel approach can ensure your schools are reaching audiences both on the web and in person.

When consumers scroll through online reviews, watch testimonial videos, or dig around a brand’s website, they take the sales process into their own hands. Today, the buyer, not the seller, is in control.

Looking for a new car, for example, millennials might ask car dealers for their best offer. But that’s usually after looking at online reviews, researching the car’s value and pricing on discount sites, and consulting with friends and family.

Forming relationships with consumers is still critical; the difference is that those relationships often begin online. Successful marketers have adapted to this change by creating a multi-channel approach­­­—a marketing strategy that meets their audiences both on the web as well as in person.

The same is true for recruitment. Today’s teachers are pulling out their phones to Google school districts, comparing compensation packages and checking regional housing prices before sending in an application.

So, we wanted to know how the majority of new teachers were learning about open positions. As part of our survey of 1,000 millennial teachers—a statistically significant representation of the 1.2 million nationwide—we asked each how they found their first job in their current district.

Our research shows that over half of millennial teachers first found their current position on the internet. About a quarter of them looked at online job boards, and an additional 25% found their positions on district websites. In-person relationships haven’t lost their value, though—over a third of teachers found out about their position from a colleague in the district. But, that doesn’t override the shift taking place. Popular forms of in-person recruitment like career fairs (9%), university connections (8%), and direct recruitment (11%) are being dwarfed by newer, virtual options.

We also asked teachers to provide open responses and, across the board, the call for digital platforms—online job boards, updated websites—was loud and clear.

“I believe school leaders should consider having an online presence that explains a bit about the school and the students,” one teacher advised. Others suggested posting student projects, creating user-friendly websites, and focusing on school culture. (For more, read What Do Millennial Teachers Want?)

Since online channels are now playing such a significant role in finding jobs, we wanted to see how teachers did additional research when making a career decision. To find out, we asked a series of true or false questions about their process for discovering more about a district.

The results show that, true to form, most millennials start their job explorations online. A whopping 81% reviewed a district’s website before accepting a position there. Of that number, almost half (44%) looked at these sites on a mobile device. If a district’s website doesn’t work on smartphones, it risks locking applicants out altogether.

After the website, prospective teacher hires are turning to search engines to learn more about a district. About 57% of teachers searched for more information about a district, and 46% specifically conducted online research on a school’s town or area. Only about 22% of teachers checked districts’ social media, which could be driven by the lack of school social accounts.

Teachers are eager to hear, firsthand, what it’s like to work in a district, so testimonials can be key to the decision-making process. Over half of millennial teachers surveyed reached out to current or former employees of the district where they applied—whether online or in person. Formal job review sites, however, haven’t picked up steam; only about 10% of teachers surveyed visited job review sites like Glassdoor.

Before they even fill out an application, millennial teachers are starting to form a relationship with your district through multiple channels—whether online or in person. And considering that about 36% of teachers surveyed used smartphones to research their current districts, it’s obvious that offering a mobile-friendly experience is also an asset.

Leveraging the right tools, school districts have the opportunity to take control of their online identities, but are they?

We asked teachers to indicate, on a scale of 1 to 7, how much their district’s online presence attracted them to their current position.

Of the answers we received, a staggering 85% were negative or neutral. For every teacher who chose a 7, indicating that their district’s online presence was a major pull factor, more than ten chose a 1, indicating that their district’s online presence was not a key recruitment tool.

With numbers like these, a majority of school districts seem to be relying heavily on outdated methods of recruitment. This may still work in some parts of the country, but not for very long. As millennial and even younger, tech-savvier Gen-Z teachers flood the workforce, more and more school districts will need to meet them where they are.


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