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Struggling to Recruit Teachers? Here's How Charter Schools Use Branding to Improve HR Goals

Why Great Branding and Storytelling are Important For Efficient Recruitment



While charter schools have to tell one story to parents, it has to tell a different story to potential teachers. Great branding molds all stories – culture, values, mission, and more – into a cohesive image. A company’s brand image accounts for 16% of the reason why people choose to work where they work.



Source: The Guardian

For a school, attracting and retaining teachers is a challenge. This is why investing in your school's branding leads to efficient teacher recruitment.


Why is Employer Branding Important?


While working with charter schools, we’ve identified a few tools that help with employer brand storytelling. Employer branding is the combination of functional, financial, and psychological benefits provided by the school and identified with the school. Employer branding is meant to convey the identity of the charter school, the working culture, and why it is valid for a potential teacher to choose you.


Employer branding should

  1. attract the right talent,

  2. repel talent that won’t fit, and

  3. help the existing teachers and staff create a deep sense of loyalty to the school


Again, your school's logo has little or nothing to do with your brand. Teachers want to know what your school stands for and represents. If the story you tell aligns with the values teachers developed through their schooling and previous experiences, then you have the opportunity to attract perfect teachers that will sell out for your cause.


Educational brands help our clients create brand stories that tackle a myriad of problems charter schools face.


  • Shortage of Skilled Teachers: Shortage of Skilled Teachers: Motherhood, the pandemic and subsequent increase in virtual teaching, and the increase in competition have created the perfect storm for this shortage. Employer branding will help attract the right talent.

  • Attrition: Sometimes, schools are telling the wrong story, or no story at all, and spend time and resources attracting befitting teachers that will eventually quit. A strong recruitment strategy managed through brand storytelling will help you attract and hire ideal teachers - teachers who are passionate and enthusiastic about the brand and their role in your mission.

  • Competition: Being an attractive brand for prospective teachers gives your school the bargaining power, due to the demand other schools also have for teachers. Branding helps your school create the factor of desirability among potential job offers.


Whether you’re a small school or a fast-growing school, establishing an ideal brand story representing your qualities, goals, and culture will go a long way to seed your school in the mind of prospective teachers – which leads to an efficient recruiting strategy.


What Should Be The Employer Branding Strategy for Charter Schools?


Remember the chapter on the 7 pillars of branding? We’re going to refer back to those for all of our strategic objectives because everything needs to line up with the story we’re telling potential teachers. You can’t just rely on your school’s mission and vision statement anymore.


Educational brands partners with our schools to create recruitment strategies to help principals build successful employer brands. While investigating a school's recruitment strategy, here are the questions we’re looking to answer so we can help them define their branding strategies and align them to suit the needs and wants of their teachers.


  1. What is the promise you are offering to employees? Salary addresses the usual suspects such as skills, experience, and education. What is that you offer in return for your employees’ enthusiasm, passion, energy, and dedication?

  2. What is your brand personality? Do you offer sought-after qualities like flexibility, creativity, and innovation to your employees?

  3. How do you want to treat your employees? In return for their hard work and passion, employees love to be recognized and valued. How will you recognize and appreciate your employees?

  4. Can You Improve Employer Branding? Even if you’re Apple or Google, employer branding can always be fine-tuned. Here are some ways to improve the process.


Turning Teachers into Brand Ambassadors


Your existing teachers and staff are the people who can best promote your brand, just by sharing their sense of pride in being part of the school you’re building. Teachers effectively communicating your brand is a great way to project your image and attract their other teacher friends to want to come work for your school.


And during your interviews, try to understand why candidates chose your school to interview with. Also, ask them why they chose to work for their past and present school employer. Pay attention to emerging themes, which may help you create a strategy to build your brand and recruit effectively.


Employer Branding Tools

With our clients, we are heavy into using LinkedIn and Instagram as effective ways to promote the school’s brand and reach your target audience. It’s also nice to have a recruitment package in a well-branded folder. Include brochures and other marketing materials that share your story. Also, create a nurture drip email campaign that tells your story before and after the interview. And if budgets permit, don’t be shy in giving candidates swag that they can take home.


In Conclusion


All in all, a school is a community product that serves its customers (students and parents) through the best talents and the best technologies available. Teachers want to associate with schools that are culturally and socially responsible. A great brand tells your story, which is woven into your employer's branding. This brand has to be created, nurtured, and developed. Brand management will surely help to lure your perfect teachers.



ACTION STEPS Are you finding it difficult to recruit talent? Are teachers coming and going like a revolving door? If yes, then you might need to analyze your employer branding before putting more time, energy, and resources into your existing recruitment strategy. Review your school’s values and goals, and how they are communicated to and embodied by your team.

  • Are your school’s values and goals visible in all branding collateral?

  • How does your staff carry out your school’s mission on a daily basis?

  • Highlight one value/goal per month within all faculty

  • meetings, team functions, and in-classroom activities as a reintroduction and reinforcement to your school’s vision.

  • Use LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to share your recruitment story



 

Educational Brands guides schools with a wide range of brand strategy and marketing communication challenges. Partnering alongside charter management organizations and their networks, we work closely with school principals and their staff to provide expert insight and practical day-to-day guidance to ensure they develop achievable plans, stay on track and achieve their strategic goals.


To schedule a discovery call, click here.




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