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May 1, 2010
Vol. 67
No. 8

Recruiting Generation Y Teachers

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Leadership
One morning I received an urgent call from a principal who needed a special education substitute. I knew of a recent graduate who had just joined our approved substitute list who was available right away. How did I know? On Facebook the evening before, I had seen by her updated status that she had some time on her hands and was looking for work. A quick text message to her resulted in an even quicker response, "C U soon." She was in the classroom within an hour. Thanks to social networking, a hard-to-fill vacancy was staffed at lightning speed.
Because Generation Y lives and breathes on the Internet, it makes sense to adapt our teacher recruitment process accordingly. Here are a few ideas to make sure your school district is ready to recruit the new generation of tech-savvy teachers.

Your Web Site

As a first step, take a moment to look at your school district's Web site through the eyes of a teacher candidate. Is it welcoming? Is there lots of information on the great work your teachers and students are doing? Does your district appear to be a good place to work?
Then turn your attention to the human resources section of your Web site. Is it easily accessible and well designed? Do you advertise your jobs there? Do you give candidates clear instructions on how to apply? Do you provide information about your benefits and compensation plans that attracts candidates? Is your message to future employees friendly and welcoming?

Your Application Process

Is your district's application process Gen Y–friendly? Do you encourage candidates to apply online and then correspond with you electronically? Or are you still rifling through voluminous piles of paper applications? If you are, now is the time to explore electronic application programs. You will be amazed at how inexpensive and efficient some of these systems can be.

Your Recruiting Process

Where are you looking for your candidates? Are you still running advertisements in the local newspaper? Have you noticed how slim the Sunday want ads have become? It's not only because of the economy—it's also because recruiters are finding it less expensive and more effective to use electronic media to advertise open positions. Try advertising your vacancies on your district's Web site or on one of the many electronic education job boards.

Your Virtual World

Have you thought about using social networking tools to reach your candidates? Such sites as Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, and Second Life enable you to post announcements, send messages to large groups of people, or hold virtual recruiting events.
Consider logging on to one of these sites to see how it might work for you. It's an excellent way to network with candidates and with those who might refer candidates to you.

Beyond Recruitment

Recruiting is only the first step. As our employee base continues to change, so must all of our systems, including orientation, induction, and professional development. And for Generation Y, all of those systems will need to be available 24/7 and infused with technology. They need and expect it. After all, they are 21st century learners.

Wendi Lee Foltz is Director of Personnel for Avon Grove School District in West Grove, Pennsylvania.

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