Strategies for Attracting Fresh Teaching Talent

May 2024 by Tradewind Australia

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​It’s no secret the demand to fill Australian education jobs far outstrips the talent supply. A difficult mix of an ever-growing student cohort and a decline in initial teacher education commencements makes for challenging times for teacher recruitment.

But there is a strategy that will help you hire teachers you need to fill your open roles. It’s focused on engaging a burgeoning section of our workforce – Generation Z. Here are some key approaches you can use to attract Gen Z teaching talent, ones that speak to their values, aspirations and expectations.

Gen Z - Who They Are and What They Want

AITSL figures show that just 12% of registered teachers in Australia are aged under 30 (Gen Z's age range is 13-28). To lift that percentage, it’s important to understand this generation and what motivates them.

McCrindle research sees Gen Z as having five core traits:

1.       Digital – technology is firmly embedded in all parts of their lives.

2.     Global – the first generation to be truly global and always ‘linked up’.

3.     Social – hyper-connected to and shaped by their peers.

4.     Mobile – always on the go, from travel to careers.

5.     Visual–image–based communication wins overwritten.

Aside from monetary gain, the top things Gen Z want from their career are:

1.       Work-life balance

2.     Meaningful and impactful work aligning with their core values

3.     Strong work social connections

4.     Clear role progression pathways

5.     Ongoing professional development

The greatest blockers to success in their teaching roles are:

1.       Being overworked and stressed (39%)

2.     Leadership resistance to change (23%)

3.     Management structures/hierarchy (23%)

Offer Mentoring, Collaboration & Feedback

When you look at what’s important to Gen Zs at work, meaning, impact and strong social connections are all right up there. There are many ways you can nurture these within your school to create a culture that attracts and retains teachers. Here are two examples:


The importance of mentorship in early-stage teachers can’t be overstated. As these survey results from the Victorian Institute of Teaching show,80% of provisionally registered teachers felt their mentor helped them to develop, discuss and reflect on their practice; enabled them to understand what good practice looks like; and deepened their knowledge of their students’ learning needs.

When you consider almost half of registered teachers in Australia have between one to three decades of experience, that’s a lot of mentorship advice Gen Z could benefit from!

Action point: Review what you offer in this area and what tweaks you could make to ensure it's comprehensive. Also, consider whether your mentors could benefit from additional training to enable them to be more effective in their roles.

Collaboration and Feedback

Gen Z greatly values collaboration and teamwork, as well as having a voice. Many are also used to a high level of support and feedback around how they’re progressing in their roles.

Action point: Seek out and gather examples of teacher collaboration, particularly those that showcase teamwork and peer support, for your recruitment materials. Look at your feedback mechanisms – do they incorporate Gen Zs preference for visuals over written communication?

Look for Ways to Add Flexibility

While job flexibility tops Gen Z’s ‘wants’ list, teaching doesn’t naturally lend itself to remote and/or hybrid work. But what it lacks in this area, it more than makes up for in others. In attracting Gen Z teachers, it’s more about highlighting what they can have, versus what they can’t.

For instance, you can encourage teachers to use term breaks in a variety of ways, from paid upskilling in a teaching passion area, to taking an extended holiday. Part-time hours can also be a great incentive for early-stage career teachers, particularly those interested in starting their own families.

Provide Career Progression Pathways & Professional Development

Over 60% of Gen Z’s rate professional advancement in their top-three must-haves in a job. This suggests a few opportunities for out-of-the box thinking about career development.

One such option has been put forward by The Grattan Institute. They've proposed an intriguing option to lure young high achievers in their early to mid-career stages: establishing "Instructional Specialists" in schools to enhance teaching. These specialists would be paid at a higher than standard rate and limited to 5-8% of teachers.

Don’t Forget the Induction

Early-stage teachers need an immense amount of support in their first five teaching years. If they don’t get it, they're much more likely to quit. In 2020, just 61% of teachers with 1-2 years of teaching experience received a formal induction process, with it slightly higher for those with 3-5 years of teaching experience (66%). This means one in four early-stage teachers didn’t.

Action point: Review your onboarding and induction program and its effectiveness. Be sure to seek direct feedback from inductees. Often how they view induction programs is quite different to what leaders believe about them.

Make It Visual

McCrindle research also shows that before Gen Zs accept a job offer:

-        61% review the employer's website

-        59% research what other people are saying about the employer online

-        36% scroll through the employer's social media, specifically looking for workspace/work environment photos

To secure the Gen Z teaching talent you want, you need to meet them in these places. Create engaging videos or other interactive content that showcases your school. Ensure each example demonstrates your culture, your purpose and your impact.

It might be showing what your teachers do in the areas of environmental issues, social justice and global citizenship. It could be stories about teachers who have made a significant difference in their student's lives or in their communities. It may even be a TikTok to illustrate your innovative technology use within classrooms.

Get Further Education Jobs Support

Adjusting a few aspects of your recruitment approach to reel in more Gen Z teachers can help you meet the growing challenges in filling education jobs.

We can support you in this endeavour here at Tradewind. While we’re acutely aware of what top talent is looking for, we also have a vast network of vetted education professionals who love what they do. Please get in touch with one of our teacher recruitment specialists to find out more.