We are all aware of the current difficulties in teacher recruitment. We’re in the midst of a teacher shortage with less new trainee teachers being recruited and more experienced teachers leaving the profession year on year. In the current climate, schools are finding it more difficult to fill roles and are becoming increasingly reliant on supply agencies. Here’s a few things you can do to make your school vacancies more appealing to job-hunting teachers and make your job advertisements stand above the rest.

Keep it Simple

  • Keep job descriptions clear and concise. You don’t need to ramble on in long paragraphs as most candidates will skim this and could actually turn a candidate off reading further.
  • Make sure you have a bulleted list of key tasks and responsibilities of the role, setting out clearly what you expect.
  • It’s also a good idea not to just copy and paste the entire job descriptions from previous advertisements, it makes your vacancy adverts seem impersonal.

Two men in suits shaking hands.

Sell the Role

  • Emphasize benefits of the role. Many teaching roles will be similar in terms of responsibility- what could attract candidates to your school over another?
  • Consider flexibility. More and more teachers are looking for flexibility in their jobs and actually value flexibility and job satisfaction over pay. The DfE are also encouraging that schools make room for more part-time and job-sharing roles to help close the gender pay gap and help mothers returning to work. Your school should consider being more open to these types of roles in order to attract valuable, experienced candidates who may be put off by a full-time position.

Sell your School

  • Why should candidates choose your school? Why is your school better than others in the area?
  • With so many teachers struggling with stress, many teachers are prioritising positive work environments and job satisfaction over pay. Your school should have a strong ethos that really cares about its staff, or you’ll be writing even more job adverts over the coming years.
  • Express the culture of the school, the energy and emotive anchors that connect your best staff to the school. Retention is driven by intrinsic factors, not extrinsic promises, so describe the interaction between co-employees and especially how the schools leader/s work and communicate with their teachers.
  • Show that you care about staff wellbeing. Extraordinary numbers of teachers are leaving their jobs due to workload induced stress and mental health issues. It’s likely that some of your candidates will be leaving their current school because they are unhappy in their current role- how is your school better?
  • Similarly, if you’re attracting newly qualified teachers, they will want to know they will be looked after as many training teachers report poor mentoring and support as a reason for leaving placements.

A woman sat at a desk typing on a laptop.


Do Your Research

  • It’s a good idea to find out what your staff want (and give it to them!) There’s only one way to really know what prospective staff want and that’s to do your research. It may take some effort but it’s worth it to improve your school’s environment and make it more appealing to those considering applying.
  • Try sending out an environment and values questionnaire to your staff. Find out exactly what they really value about their work place, then use 3-5 of the highest correlating points and embed these in your vacancy advertisements.

Attracting staff during the current teacher shortage isn’t easy. Writing effective job descriptions to attract teachers is one thing but retention of staff is equally as important. By putting the time in to improving the working environment and truly valuing your workforce is the best way to not only attract teachers but ultimately retain them. A school with a truly positive culture and learning environment will shine through for prospective school staff.


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