How to Create Job Descriptions to Attract Great New Teachers

Vol. 15 No. 5

academicleadership eletter Vol16 No5 jobdescription

Hiring can be one of the most time-consuming and nerve-wracking aspects of your job as an academic leader. You may consider dozens of applicants for each position. It’s hard to know—does this individual align with our mission? Will he or she match our school's culture? Will this person help advance their students and fellow educators?

The first step in a successful hiring process is creating a comprehensive job description that attracts the right applicants. Craft each job description to accurately portray expected responsibilities, education level, and characteristics. Also focus on what sets your school apart from others in the marketplace to ensure you find the right person to fill each position.

State Your Difference-Maker

What makes your school special? Your difference maker starts with your mission—the foundation on which all school decisions are based. Include your mission in the job description. Remember that a job description also serves as a sales pitch for your school. You want qualified, capable, mission-appropriate applicants who want to work for you. Sharing what drives your school’s mission attracts the right candidates while letting inappropriate candidates know they wouldn’t be a good fit, saving everyone time and effort.

Share Duties and Characteristics Required

Your job description should include of expectations for a person in this role. However, don’t make it overly detailed to the point where it becomes complicated to read or understand. Keep it to five to seven bullets covering the main responsibilities of the position. Remember to include the phrase “and other duties as assigned” to reflect the flexible requirements of any position.

In addition to the job duties, include characteristics the ideal candidate should possess. For instance, must the person be able to collaborate easily and naturally with others, because your teaching model depends on it? Must this person be self-directed, or would you prefer someone more reliant on instruction? Does this role require someone who can work well under pressure, or is planning in advance a must?

Consider your answers to these questions. Include them in your description so applicants understand not only the duties of the job, but also the characteristics needed to succeed.

Outline the Full Application Process

Be upfront about the full application and interview process. Include how candidates should submit their applications; whether you will conduct phone interviews, in-person interviews, or both; and a rough time frame of when applicants will hear about next steps. Transparency during the interview process ensures all participants know what to expect.

Cover all of your bases in your job description to find qualified, mission-appropriate teachers who will make a difference at your school.

Additional ISM Resources:
The Source for Business and Operations Vol. 14 No. 5 10 Compliant Midyear Hiring Practices
The Source for School Heads Vol. 12 No. 9 Attracting Exceptional Teachers

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
Vol. 33 No. 10 Characteristics of Professional Excellence: Faculty Interviews

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