How To Hire Great Online Teachers

Teacher recruitment isn’t simply a repetitive task. It is a crucial component of building and sustaining an online teaching business. 

I strongly believe that there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation that guarantees a risk free hire every single time. But I do believe that implementing the right strategies and mindset toward recruiting teachers, will allow you to increase your chances of finding the right people for your business!

Marika Boje, Head of Recruitment at The Really Great Teacher Company

In many ways, one would think that recruiting teachers is the same as recruiting top performers in any other field. There are a few key exceptions to look out for that are not so obvious:

  • Online teaching has opened the world in many ways. Teachers can now engage students from multiple countries in a single classroom setting. They therefore need to have a refined understanding of cultural differences and how that can impact learning.
  • Teachers must also be able to tailor their lessons to accommodate the different goals that their students set for themselves, and be cognisant of how these differ between student audiences that could consist of adults or children (and their parents).
  • Finally, the world of online teaching requires teachers to be tech savvy, whether this includes being able to operate on various digital platforms or navigate different methods of learning such as mobile or digital classroom.

Here are some tried-and-tested recruitment strategies that will set you up for success in your hiring process.

1. Centre Recruitment Practices Around Sound Data

Smart recruitment starts with knowledge of the bigger picture. Your most actionable goals are based on a thorough review of your business’ recruitment and hiring data. This can be challenging if you rely on paper-based recruitment or have limited access to documented recruitment information. 

If you do not have adequate recruitment software built around your business needs, now is the time to invest in some. You will still be able to set your recruitment objectives without one but may be ill equipped to track your progress against past performance and future goals.

On the flip side, you can have a very sophisticated recruitment system, but not have the knowledge to use the data appropriately. Knowing what trends to look out for can help you to be successful in recruiting the right candidates for your roles.

You can find patterns in your recruitment data that will be able to tell you where your recruitment is doing well, and which areas need improvement. It can be especially helpful to look at year-on-year trends or monthly trends over the last year. A few specific questions and measures to look at include:

  • Retention rates from the previous year vs overall retention rates
  • How long does it take to hire a teacher (time-to-hire)
  • Applicant experience
  • Qualified candidates per source
  • Source quality
  • Cost to hire
  • Offer acceptance

After working through your data, prioritise the specific areas that your recruitment team needs to focus on for the next year or the next project. Even though you can set and work towards “stretch goals”, your overall recruitment goals should always be realistic and attainable and backed up by a measured tracking of results.

2. Know Your Target Audience and Where To Find Them

Once you have a good understanding of your recruitment needs, you need to identify where you will be able to find your ideal teacher. Do adequate research in terms of different methods in different countries (depending on where you need to find your teacher base).

A few general sources are:


Online teacher recruitment has become so global that it is imperative that you search for teachers on the internet, as this is the place where teachers look for jobs first. Potential sources or approaches include educational job boards, Google Ads and social media platforms.

Career Days and Job Fairs

Finding teachers at university career or job fairs is still a good bet. This source may not yield immediate results if you are looking for experienced teachers, but include this as one of your sources if you are looking to the future and to recruit a steady pipeline of teachers pro-actively.


Teacher networking is probably one of the most reliable sources for recruiting online teachers. Nobody knows your company better than your teachers! They can be great advocates for your company and its culture, and additionally, an effective teacher referral program can double up as a great way to incentivise and retain great teachers. It is important to note that any inbound recruitment tool takes time and is intended for year-round recruitment.

A Trusted Teacher Management Partner

Utilising a trusted recruitment or teacher management partner is also a consideration for many companies, who want to save on the effort and and expense of setting up their own internal recruitment departments.

Most online teachers will lose count of how many different online schools they apply to. And to top it off, quality candidates only spend as little as 10 days on the job market on average.

It is therefore crucial that your application process is efficient and as user-friendly as possible. Be clear on the minimum requirements for the role, and what next steps to expect.

3. Develop Your Own Teachers

Take advantage of your long-term recruitment strategies by developing your own teachers.

Train graduates to become fully fledged teachers in your company by providing them with internships or roles where they can build their online teaching experience. Also, offer teachers opportunities for promotion. It is a great way to retain your top performers at a fraction of the cost of recruiting someone externally.

4. Offer Personal and Professional Development Support Programs

The best teachers want to learn. They want to be better teachers so that they can make a difference in the lives of their students and grow in their careers. 

A great recruitment strategy is to minimize your resources used on recruiting for attrition. Retain your top performing teachers by offering them opportunities for further personal development or professional advancement. If your teachers are happy and fulfilled, it creates a great culture and company that will be sought after by teachers.

5. Build an Applicant Pipeline

It is almost always better to draw from a robust talent pool nurtured over time, than attempting to build one from scratch.

A smart way to go about this is to look at attrition trends over time to determine a projected monthly recruitment need. This can save time, money, and resources.

6. Use Compelling Recruitment Tools

To earn the attention of candidates today, international school leaders need to start thinking like modern marketers. Prospective teachers start off as strangers to your company. Your hiring process must work to attract, engage, and convert them into potential future hires and then, ambassadors. 

Invest in a recruitment system that will make it easy for candidates to apply to your company, and at the same time can provide you with the necessary candidate information and data to propel your recruitment forward.

Build a brand that teachers want to identify with. 

Simply dumping content online without a consistent strategy is not going to help to attract applicants. One way to attract people to your business, is to have a functional website with lots of blogs and informative teaching content. According to, businesses that blog regularly can enjoy on average 55% more traffic to their websites

A corporate identity can also resonate with the right crowd, especially when showcased in the right places on social media platforms.

7. Individualise Your Teacher Recruitment Practices

This is a tool that can separate great schools from the rest.

Even though it can be difficult when recruiting a big volume of teachers, it really can make a big difference to take an individualised approach to interviewing.

In a Mattersight survey, 80% of respondents said that they would choose one job over another based on the personal interactions during the job interview.

Think about automating your recruitment in places where it will be most effective, while keeping a human touch.

8. Invest Time and Money in a Good Onboarding Program

To help teachers truly shine in the virtual classroom, it is important that they are supported after they have been hired. 

Providing the appropriate support during onboarding, will make a teacher feel confident in their decision to join your company and reassure them that they fit in with your culture.

Prioritise Your Recruitment Strategy

To conclude, prioritise your recruitment strategy to save time, money and valuable resources. In turn, you will also create a flattering perception of your business that will attract talent and help your business to grow.  

Marika Boje, Global Recruitment Director