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5 Incentives to Attract and Recruit Top International Teachers

5 Incentives to Attract and Recruit Top International Teachers

BY clements-worldwide

Last updated January 25, 2022 6 minutes read

By Maria Castillo Diaz, International Schools Advisor at Clements

Finding and retaining top talent has become more complicated, especially for international schools around the world trying to recruit teachers. That’s especially true in high-risk countries, where it can be harder to convince people to live and work in those areas.

However, these risks shouldn’t stop your international school from recruiting talented teachers. In fact, you can entice them with competitive incentives that add meaning to their work and outweigh potential risks.

So, what are those incentives? Your international school may have some already. Others you might have to invest in. Here’s how you can make your international school, no matter where in the world you’re located, stand out:

1. Foster an Outstanding School Culture

International schools have children from around the world.
When you’re recruiting for your international schools, teachers may look at how happy the students are because if they have the support they need, the staff will likely have theirs.

When recruiting international educators, you may want to review your school’s core values and ensure they accurately align with those you want to hire. Before finding the right candidate, you may want to ask yourself:

Answering these questions can give you a better understanding of where your international school stands with these candidates.

You may also want to evaluate your school’s administrative operations. Are they good at planning ahead? Are they empathetic? Do they value school staff on all levels? This article from EducationWeek can help you understand the differences between a good school administration and a bad one. When teachers are interviewing at your international school, many will weigh their opinion heavily on how your administration runs the school, as that can make or break their experience working there.

You can also foster a great school culture by investing in resources that support both students and staff, especially for students new to an international environment. Some of those resources can include after school activities, mental health resources for struggling students and paraprofessional assistance to close student achievement gaps.

2. Be in a Desirable Location

International schoolhouse in a city with a park and garden.
When it comes to recruiting international teachers, your school’s location can really make or break their interest.​​​​

Each international educator has a different idea of what a “desirable location” is. Some may want to work at a school near other expats from similar backgrounds. Others will want to fully engrain themselves in the local culture and take in everything it has to offer.

Even if your school’s location isn’t as desirable, there are accommodations you can invest in to make it safer and more appealing. For instance, if your school is in a high-crime area, you can invest in strict security standards to protect both students and staff.

When interviewing prospective staff, make sure you’re honest about the location you serve in and any prevalent risks. Many will appreciate your school being honest and upfront about the circumstances. Additionally, it helps you screen out the right candidates for each position.

3. Provide Comprehensive Benefits

A group of international schoolteachers value good insurance benefits.
When international schools have comprehensive benefits, attracting and recruiting the right educators is much easier. 

A solid and comprehensive benefits package is crucial, especially for attracting top international teachers. But, how do you know what types of benefits they’re looking for? Consider where your school is located and the liabilities your staff faces. And no matter where your international school is located, teachers want a school that provides comprehensive group healthlife and disability insurance coverage.

And if your international school is located in a high-risk area, you can offer insurance benefits they may not have thought of but are absolutely necessary, like political violence or kidnap/ransom insurance. Even if you’re in a safe area, when you show you’re prepared for anything, you’re demonstrating to prospective staff that your school cares about their safety and well-being.

4. Subsidize Their Living Costs

International teacher with a Brazilian flag teaching math to his students.
Recruiting the best teachers for your international school can seem like a challenging feat, but it doesn’t have to be.

A common theme, especially in the United States, is that teachers are underpaid. Unfortunately, their salaries aren’t much higher at many international schools. At the same time, there are other unique advantages your international school can offer that a domestic one can’t.

Subsidizing your staff’s living costs can help free up their income and give them more financial security. Plus, if your school is in a country where the cost of living is much lower, they can stretch their money a lot further than they could in the United States. So, what costs can you subsidize for current and prospective staff? Your international school could financially assist them with:

What’s affordable for your school will likely depend on your current budget but offering any of these can garner attention from the right people.

5. Create Linear Paths for Career Development

International schools have children from around the world.
For teacher recruitment, providing a “linear career path” can mean many things. 

International teachers, like many others, want upward trajectory in their careers and what that trajectory looks like can differ from educator to educator. That’s why figuring out what opportunities your school can and should offer can be challenging.

You can start by developing pipelines that allow staff to work their way into administrative roles. Or, if they decide to switch international schools at the end of their contract, you can create programs to help launch their career to their desired international destination. And if they want to return to domestic schools, help hone and grow their skills so they can move into higher paying roles.

Invest in the Right Resources and Attract the Talent Your School Needs

By investing in the right resources and highlighting the perks you already have, you stand a better chance at attracting and recruiting the world’s best international teachers.

No matter where your school is located, Clements Worldwide can help you find, build and create the right insurance packages for your international school. That way, your staff can live and work abroad with peace of mind. Check out our International Schools Insurance page to learn more about coverages available to your school.

Contact our international schools team to set up a free consultation today!

And if you’re an individual educator looking to buy your own international insurance, we have solutions for you too. Learn more by checking out our International Teachers Insurance page.

About the Author: Maria Castillo Diaz has been part of the Clements Worldwide Team since 2017. She works with International schools in Latin America and Africa. Originally from Venezuela, Maria has been living abroad since 2002. As a member of the International Schools Insurance team, Maria’s mission is to be able to offer expert advice and long-term sustainable solutions to the international school community that fits their needs and budget.

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