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The 7 headaches of recruiting teachers in Canada

Canada is experiencing an unprecedented surge in candidates eager to join the teaching workforce and this is caused by a combination of a large number of Canadian’s graduating with degrees in teaching, and a considerable push for foreign teachers to join the Canadian workforce.

The large number of candidates applying for teaching roles is leaving many schools, colleges and universities with masses of CVs flooding their mailboxes and what seems to be the never-ending task of shortlisting them. The University of British Columbia received applications for double the amount of places it had to offer in 2014. The previous year, at the opposite side of the country, there were approximately 9000 graduate teachers in the Ontario area with only 6000 positions available for them.

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This is just the tip of the iceberg with the issues faced for Canadian Educational establishments, in addition to and because of this continuous surge of interest in teaching in Canada, the following difficulties present themselves.

  • Establishments in Canada are faced with a growing pile of problems almost as high and daunting as the CVs in their inbox. Primarily, the difficulty is how the HR department deals with the sheer volume of applicants. To filter out the serial applicants (those who are not suited to the role but apply in the hope of landing and interview) from the serious applicants is one dilemma, but manually coping with mountains of CVs, to shortlist and categorise in an effective manner is another.
  • It begs the questions of how long the hiring process takes, and whether the right candidate is ever thoroughly checked against other applicants before being chosen, or whether they are hired as a quick-fix because the process is taking too long in the first place. It seems unlikely that due care and attention has been put into each individual candidate’s information and speculation that a less-suited candidate has slipped through the system is common.
  • The cost of hiring is not only shown in terms of time; the monetary cost is also a huge issue. Due to the size of Canada, recruitment fairs are the norm as they give a centralised point for large groups of candidates to gather. From here, candidates find the schools they are interested in and then look to relocate when a role is secured. Schools sell themselves to crowds of candidates with the competition fighting for the same candidates from their own stalls. This takes time, money and training, but it categorically seems backwards. Not only are remote schools often forgotten, but those who can shout the loudest about their prospects will always come out on top.
  • Sending out letters or emails to individuals is not an option when hundreds of candidates are concerned. With a manual system, feedback to candidates will be at the back of HR’s mind and merely communicating confirmation or rejection will be enough of a problem to cause headaches.
  • With hundreds of CVs entering into the HR mailbox for each and every vacancy, it would take a serious filing system to keep all the candidates’ information on record. Fear of missing out is something that affects everyone involved in recruitment; however the prospects of keeping great candidates’ details physically to hand ‘just-in-case’ the right opportunity comes up, is just not a possibility.
  • How often is it that you wait hours for a bus, and then two come at once? This is HR’s nightmare when it concerns candidates. It can often seem that there is a drought in suitable candidates and then for one reason or another, there are multiple. To dispose of strong candidate’s information when they come in 2nd, 3rd or even 4th place post-interview is a waste that will cost time in the long run. Having a pool of these candidates which are available to access later down the line can save time and cost and even possibly negate the use of starting a fresh hiring campaign.
  • In Ontario, racial minorities represent around one quarter of the population, yet make up only a tenth of the teachers. In Toronto, racial minorities represent just shy of half of the population, yet make up only one fifth teachers (New Canadian Media). In short, equal opportunity measures are a serious problem in the Canadian school system. With current pressures on increasing the diversity of teachers in both a local and country wide scale, anonymity is essential in ensuring the most is done to ensure diversity.

 

In summary

Many schools in Canada only look for candidates with experience – this is not to say they only desire those who teach conventional classes on home soil; there are hundreds of Canadian teachers that travel across the world to places like East Asia to teach English. The prospects upon return are much better and the pay is extremely competitive. Many other Canadian teachers look for other teaching jobs such as in adult education or in tutoring. Canadian teachers are twice as likely to be employed in their fourth year of qualified status as they are in their first year (Transition into Teaching). Candidate tracking systems offer a solution to the ineffective ways of finding the candidates you actually want.

As the amount of teachers looking for jobs in Canada shows no sign of slowing in the near future, a solution is needed for the long list of issues that face schools looking to employ. Any company that is looking to recruit from a large pool of candidates is faced with the problem of being swarmed and missing the best fit for their role. Without using the right applicant tracking software it is impossible to capitalise on the advantageous positions that the employer is faced with when these swells happen. It is easy to relax and enjoy high volumes of applicants but they are a too valuable resource not to retain and invest in.

 

Check out this short video to see how an Applicant Tracking System can help to:

  • Make managing large volumes of applications quick, easy and trackable
  • Speed up the shortlisting process by narrowing down a search to pinpointing key words or key skills on an application form
  • Communicate with all candidates in mass at the click of a button
  • Seamlessly On-Board your chosen candidates
  • Build and develop an international brand that will stand you above your competition ina competitive market

 

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Ed Hull

Ed Hull is the Marketing Assistant at Vacancy Filler Recruitment Software. As a keen writer with a degree in History, Ed contributes regularly to the Vacancy Filler blog.

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