No one is feeling the brunt of the current Teacher shortage more than Hiring Managers. With the new school year already underway, it’s likely difficult to be positive when you know the situation hasn’t changed all that much from 2022.
In such an environment, it pays to understand what recruitment trends look like in 2023. This can help you hit the ground running with your Teacher recruitment. Here are the top Teacher recruitment trends for the year ahead!
A Continued Focus on Work-Life Balance
Teaching is one of the few industries that can’t take advantage of hybrid working, but there are still many things school communities can do to help Teachers enjoy a better work-life balance.
Much of this is related to workload and this is expected to be a key focus when it comes to recruitment and retention this year.
To highlight the current state of affairs, a Monash university study anonymously surveyed close to 5,500 Australian Teachers about their work in 2022. Just over 85% of Teachers stated their workloads are unmanageable and over 70% said they wouldn’t stay in the profession until retirement. The top reasons given for wanting to leave current roles were heavy workloads and the impact this has on work-life balance, as well as diminishing respect, trust and appreciation.
When asked about making workload improvements, surveyed Teachers offered numerous suggestions. These suggestions included improving staff-to-student ratios to give them more time, a boost in targeted expertise to support complex student needs, and the big one – removing onerous administrative and accountability requirements.
In its Ten-Year Plan for Staffing in Public Education, the Australian Education Union agrees on all the aforementioned suggestions and offers additional solutions, such as:
reducing, delaying or abandoning new initiatives until workloads are more manageable;
implementing policies that ensure a ‘right to disconnect’ after hours; and
allocating work within the terms of industrial agreements so it can be completed within paid hours (possible solutions include a face-to-face Teaching reduction, time in lieu for structured school activities and a boost in pupil-free days for assessment and reporting).
When it comes to your schooling community, it’s a savvy move to consider if any of these suggestions are viable. It will go a long way towards helping enhance the work-life balance of your Teachers, and it’s a great employee attraction tool, too.
The Government Stepping up to the Plate
It’s been a long time coming but on December 15th 2022, Education Ministers across Australia finally agreed on a National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, providing a structured pathway to address national Teacher shortages.
Core aims are to improve Teacher supply, strengthen initial Teacher education, retain current Teachers, boost the profession’s perception, and better understand the needs of the future workforce.
An investment of $328 million will help to implement the action plan initiatives. Cash incentives are also being made to entice overseas Teachers to work in hard-to-staff Australian schools, and qualified Teachers are being prioritised in the Skilled Migration Program.
The states have been quick to jump on board with the action plan. For example, the Victorian government are offering public schools grants of between $9,000 and $50,000 to help them attract Teachers for hard-to-staff positions, as well as annual Teacher retention payments of $9,000, which are paid after the second, thirdand fourth year of employment.
With plenty of activities sure to occur from the action plan, it’s definitely a hiring trend to watch in 2023.
The Grattan Institute Top Teachers report shows that while high-performing Australian Teachers in their 20s are paid close to that of high performers of the same age in other careers, by the time they hit their 30s and 40s, their pay packet stalls. Conversely, their peers’ pay in other professions jumps – OECD research Sourshows Australia’s top Teacher salary is just 40% higher than the starting salary, which is well under the OECD average of 80%.
Salary is a bit of a touchy subject as Principals face a host of impediments in offering pay increases, especially those in the public sphere. The number three spot on our hiring trends for 2023 list focuses on what School Principals and Hiring Managers can do in place of offering big salary bumps.
Suggested solutions include:
Time off in lieu, especially if Teachers have a heavy administration burden
Subsidising childcare costs to help parents return to work
Paying registration and mandatory training costs for retired Teachers or those coming back from long-service leave
Improving workplace culture and happiness on the job (which nicely segues to the next point…)
A Focus on Culture
This trend centres on enhancing your workplace environment. It has a two-pronged impact – it ensures Teachers want to stay, plus it attracts new talent.
One way to improve your culture is to focus on Teacher appreciation. The Monash study collated responses from Teachers about what forms of appreciation they enjoyed. This included:
Recognition and reward from school leadership (even just a simple daily thank you helps)
Checking in to ensure Teachers are looking out for their mental and physical wellbeing
Seeking input about professional development programs directly from Teachers, and setting up individualised or group training plans accordingly
You could also think about ways of strengthening Teacher team bonds, as well as simple (or elaborate!) parent and student appreciation activities.
Once you’ve done all that hard work on your culture, be sure to showcase it to attract new talent. For example, post Teacher appreciation activities to your school website and socials, as well as highlighting what you do to support your Teaching cohort.
Expanding Hiring Parameters
The next recruitment trend involves tweaking your hiring parameters to allow you to draw from a deeper talent pool. Expect to see hiring managers placing a greater importance on potential, rather than experience, as well as increased efforts to reach out to former or retired Teachers to see if they’re interested in returning. Bringing back old Teachers will be much easier once you’ve made those great culture enhancements!
Other avenues are deepening connections with education providers and aligning with programs such as Teach For Australia.
Relying on Expert Help
As the demand for teaching talent continues its upward trajectory, Principals and Hiring Managers are reaching out to Teacher Recruitment Specialists to fill their open teaching jobs.
A Regional Victorian school shared that this year is the first time they’ve hired a Teacher through our Education Recruitment Team. Our specialists here at Tradewind Australia are certainly seeing increased interest, especially as it can be a more cost-effective recruitment method than going at it alone.
Recruiting Teachers in 2023
With deep experience in the education sector, we can help you to create targeted recruitment materials and ensure they actually get seen by the right audience.
We can also support you to reach out to both active and passive candidates, and be on hand to offer advice during the offer and negotiation process.