Every school district has the need each year to hire great teachers and most, especially larger urban school districts, find that to be a major challenge. They spend significant dollars on recruitment efforts, but still face massive problems achieving this goal.
The solution is not to spend more, but to change when you hire for teachers. Research shows that the best teachers are hired early, between March and June. However, many school districts hire the vast majority of teachers in July and August. As a result, these districts are losing out on the best teachers simply because of timing.
I worked with a group of schools within a large urban school district to change the timing of their hiring. The previous year, these schools hired 48 percent of their teachers between March and June. But after implementing an early hiring strategy, the client hired 70 percent of their teachers during the same time period. The results were astonishing. They hired a record number of great teachers, 35 percent more than the previous year, and principals were amazed at the overall quality of their recruitment class. Many of these principals said it was the best recruiting class they have ever had.
While simply hiring earlier sounds easy, it goes against all our current practices. I tell my clients all the time – to achieve better results, you must possess the resolve to change the way you have traditionally done things in the past.