Observations from a teacher recruiter's chair

Observations from a teacher recruiter's chair

I currently work for a school that employs about 20 native-speaking teachers. I've been working for this school for nearly 15 years. I started at the school when teachers were directly employed by the school. In fact, for a few years, I was the only teacher to be employed directly by the school. All the old teachers left and the new ones were sent to us by an agency.

When teachers were employed by the school, they generally stayed longer and were a better bunch. They were paid more and got more holiday, etc. I definitely remember them being a happier bunch. When the agency took over, we would go through teachers like no one's business. They were paid anything between 30-41K. Teachers who were allowed to come and go got 30-33k a month, and teachers who had to be there all the time got about 37-41k. I was on about 48K at the time and got a lot more holiday and freedom.

This was a farang-run agency who I believe went under during the pandemic. I hope to god they didn't rebrand and that they're nowhere near schools anymore. What I remember of the 8 years working alongside these agency teachers is that most were miserable. The agency was always on top of them. Often berating them and trying to find ways to take money out of their salary. I could be wrong, and the teachers I spoke to could have been economical with the truth but when enough people tell you the same horror stories, it's hard not to believe. Honestly, some of the stories I heard made me question my faith in humanity. How an agency with two farangs in charge could not only be so bad at their jobs, but treat their staff so abhorrently, really bothered me.

My school now employs directly again and I have a big hand in who we employ. Our starting salary is 50K and we get nice long holidays. Sure, we get the odd bad teacher now and again, but for the most part, 90% of the teachers who work or have worked with us are happy. I had to basically beg my school to take onboard my advice on who to employ. I told them to avoid hiring younger teachers. No offence to younger teachers, but they generally don't care as much and treat the job like it's a working holiday. We usually look for teachers aged 30-60 who are settled here, with spouses, kids and a home. They always seem very grateful to have a stable income with very few hassles.

If you have any hand in employing teachers, and you're only interested in warm bodies in the classroom and paying the very least, you're going to attract the worst kind. Shame on you for doing that. But if you actually take the time to read cover letters, read CV's and try to get a feel for the person applying, your life will be so much easier. Sure, it's a hard slog at the beginning to find decent people, but once they're there, doing their job, being happy and and wanting to show their loyalty, you have such a great work environment. It's very much just common sense with a side of decency. For the most part we employ good teachers. I'm most definitely not a recruitment expert. I'm just not a scumbag who knows how to interact with my fellow human beings.

Brian


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