Hiring teachers with diverse professional backgrounds can better your students and community.

Recruiting for professional diversity in schools

Diversity is critical in schools. With rising numbers of student populations that come from varying cultural and educational backgrounds, school administrators must understand the importance of hiring professionally diverse teachers. This means looking for individuals with different training, degrees and levels of experience. To gain a staff with an assortment of professional histories, here are some recruitment tricks:

Take stock of current teacher skills
The Wall Street Journal noted that it's necessary to establish if there are any gaps in your current staff before beginning the recruiting process. You can start by listing each educator's name and then noting particular skills and abilities. Perhaps one is bilingual, while another does a great job at communicating with and motivating kids who aren't doing so well in school.

"Professional certifications can contribute to staff diversity."

Add these skills as well as professional backgrounds, like if someone has earned a certificate in American Sign Language or educating gifted students. Once you've created a comprehensive look into your current staff, see if there are any areas you'd like to enhance. Maybe you need someone who has a lot of experience in teaching reading, which might prove helpful in improving your students' grades. 

Look for different specialties
Everyone who applies for a teaching position at your school has some sort of degree. While this is important, you'll need to look further to learn about each specific program. For example, one university teaching program may offer courses on standardized testing and how to plan for the Common Core or other exams. This could be a benefit to hiring the particular applicant. When doing interviews, be sure to discuss the person's school history more in depth than to learn where they graduated. One potential hiree may have spent a lot of time on project-based learning, while another has extensive knowledge of teaching to kids who have hands-on learning styles. These more niche abilities are what make applicants stand out, and you should take them into consideration when hiring.

professional diversity, teaching, educationEducation students may volunteer to lead SAT or college-prep courses.

Ask about volunteering opportunities
Many education students seek to expand their professional repertoire and education skills through volunteering. Schools, community centers and other town resources like homeless shelters often accept assistance from student teachers. You can learn about these opportunities by asking job applicants about their volunteering backgrounds. Each organization that teachers may spend their time at offers different skill sets and experiences that they can easily apply to the classroom. These abilities may include working with people from different cultural and class backgrounds, building a curriculum that promotes better standardized testing scores and even providing homework help to students who are English language learners. 

Talk about the educator's professional interests
When you are passionate about something, you're much more likely to put an effort into gaining new skills and becoming more specialized within a specific area. Teaching applicants who have professional goals and interests may pursue continued education and training to learn more. Educators truly have to adapt and grow as technology and the school system itself changes year to year, so delving into their interests will help you hire those teachers who offer the professional diversity you are looking for.

Post job listings outside of general websites
Craigslist, Monster.com and LinkedIn are all common places where administrators post job listings. While they are OK sites to start, you're going to find a general crowd of teachers who offer similar credentials when applying to your post. A good place to start looking for educators with specialties is on the job boards of particular universities. Look for colleges with more niche teaching degrees, like those for gifted education or ESL, and then post job listings there. The potential applicants you want to hire will have a better chance of seeing the postings this way, especially if you ask for certain skills.

Content presented by TalentEd, the leading provider of talent management solutions to recruit, hire, develop, and retain the best teachers and school leaders.