What You Need to Know about Recruiting in the Age of Covid

If you’re contemplating or planning on recruiting during these unprecedented times, you’re probably searching for answers to some pressing questions:

    • Is it worth recruiting this season?
    • Should I stay put in my current position for job security?
    • Do virtual Recruiting Fairs hold a candle to the real thing?
    • Is the job market glutted with teachers who lost their jobs to Covid? 
    • Are schools hiring or being super picky because jobs are at a premium?

As a Community of International Educators, we collectively have answers to these questions, and MORE. ISR invites YOU to take a minute and share YOUR experiences and insights regarding today’s recruiting climate. Together we can piece together the information each of us needs to make informed career decisions in the age of Covid-19.

International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed
is what International Schools Review is All About!

Please scroll down to Share your experiences & insights

12 thoughts on “What You Need to Know about Recruiting in the Age of Covid

  1. I haven’t been overseas for a while because I am paying on my student loans for the supposed public service forgiveness after 10 years of payments… But life for a specialist teacher is getting tough in these parts. Add to that the climate of Trump supporters and sky rocketing cost of living and I’m not sure staying in the states is worth the pain. I never was patriotic at the best of times. I love big Asian cities and would love a chance at a decent paying post where my content area is valued and my holistic teaching approach is the norm rather than the exception.


    1. There are schools that are registered 501c3s that will be accepted for PSLF. I know because I work at one. 4 years to go!


  2. We opened a second campus this year in Beijing. Not all teachers have arrived yet so are teaching online but more are arriving each week.


  3. I’m currently in the Online Search October Fair and its been rather slim pickings. Schools are advertising jobs – but most seem to be in China, HK or the ME. I’ve been offered 3 interviews but they are all from Chinese bilingual or Chinese student schools (in China) which is not really my cup of tea at the moment.

    As such – it’s fair to say that there are jobs out there but the better and/or more popular schools seem to have mostly tentative positions advertised or taking the long game. I’ve requested a few interviews, but have heard nothing back (I have not been rejected yet).

    The semi-closed borders in China and most students being locals seem to have left a large shortage of qualified teachers at some of the better schools. Poaching has been rather rough at the less desirable schools and teachers who would normally not even get an interview as the ok to reasonably good schools got jobs due to the closed borders.

    Some of my prior colleagues and friends in China have privately complained about the level of staff coming into different schools after COVID. A few of the schools from China I’ve been in contact with seem rather confident that they will be able to get new staff into China for the 2021 school year.

    If I was currently at a school which was comfortable or bearable, I’d probably stay put for at least one year. But that’s just me.

    I’ve found the Virtual Fair very lackluster but I think half of it is due to it being so early in the recruiting season so schools don’t really know student numbers or teacher intentions. The Jan and Feb online fairs along with normal Skype interviews will give a better feel for what will happen in the rest of the school year.


  4. My school retained all staff and students and has been online for 8 months. Recruiting for next year. Plenty of jobs around. Schools that let staff go, pick the weakest links first.


  5. We kept all of our staff for this school year. Looking at reductions through attrition as staff leave and we need to rationalize. Hiring this year will be minimal, we are thinking, which is great for our students and continuity of instruction.


  6. My school announced permanent closure immediately after opening for the term. Never got in country. Still in transient location because I can’t get home. Some 80 applications out… results to date: 5 immediate rejections, that I didn’t fit the school profile (that’s recruitbabble for you’re too old, in case you haven’t figured that out) despite coming with my own health insurance… and about 70 no response at all. Four schools have been proactive in acknowledging, even though most were boilerplate emails, they are greatly appreciated (HR staff, note this: it’s an easy job to set up a rule to respond to certain emails automatically).


  7. Yeah there are plenty of new postings on all the big platforms, some unfilled from last recruiting season. Jobs are hardly at a premium. Happy hunting, everyone!


  8. Here is my take on the questions:

    1) Is it worth recruiting this season? If you are serious about going overseas or changing job locations and have done your DUE DILIGENCE, then, provided you have all your ducks in a row, yes. Please realize that even in a time of pandemia, you still need to be well prepared and informed, perhaps even more so.

    2) Should I stay put in my current position for job security? If you or your family are risk averse and highly home orien ted then yes. If, on the other hand you are up to a difficult but rewarding challenge and have done your homework thoroughly, then go for it.

    3)Do virtual Recruiting Fairs hold a candle to the real thing? This is a moot point because we can forget about in person recruiting fairs for the near future, however from my experience, virtual fairs can do the job, provided you have good internet service, present (dress, style, preparedness) at the interviews well prepared and with searching questions and get promised benefits in written form ( NOT just an e-mail) by letter. The best is still face-to-face but virtual is ac ceptable, but NOT for everyone.

    4) Is the job market glutted with teachers who lost their jobs to Covid? This is difficult to acertain but it would appear that the market, once international schools fully open, will be perhaps even more opportune and rewarding because of the number of teachers and staff who aren’t returning and have to be replaced as well as the number of new schools opening up. A recruiter can give you a better picture, and that is part of your due diligence.

    5) Are schools hiring or being super picky because jobs are at a premium? As I noted above, jobs AREN’T at a ¨premium¨just yet and probably won’t be. Schools MUST have a full compliment of staff to open their schools, if they haven’t postponed their opening dates already. There are so many local,country and national/international variables that it is all supposition at the moment so you need to do your research based on specific locations and conditions.

    Things are different but mostly the same for overseas recruiting so use your common sesne, do your due diligence and don’t make assumptions that aren’t valid or reliable or fact based.


    1. My school opened with 40 % more students and 25% fewer teachers. My teaching load went from 40 to 200 students. Not all schools are fully staffing during this online era!


  9. We haven’t actually managed to get to our new school for 2020 and they are already advertising for teachers for 2021.


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