2021 is turning out to be a year of surprises. Not least of which is the winner of the Cadbury Bunny tryouts, Betty the Australian Tree Frog from Florida. I’m a fan for life of Betty’s after watching the audition video.
Maybe unsurprisingly, up until recently this recruitment season had all the excitement of a bread sandwich. Jobs were down 50% from normal, schools were slow to interview and offer and the uncertainty of new variants hit pause at just the wrong time for hiring. Many teachers and school leaders decided to stay put and budgets were being scrutinised.
However March saw a real change with new jobs being added daily in the key areas (where there are most international schools) of the Middle East and China. Schools are still cautious about hiring, with most candidates having 2 or 3 stages to the interview process, and most unwilling to consider CVs from teachers without their curriculum experience. But it’s still a refreshing change from the lethargy of January and February.
Most schools in the Middle East are only hiring for confirmed and justified roles. There are a larger number of candidates available now wanting only Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so schools there have the pick of many excellent candidates and competition is quite fierce. Schools are selecting only teachers who have the exact qualifications and experience they seek. On a positive note, Dubai and Abu Dhabi seem to be showing more flexibility regarding bachelor degree matching, though you will still have to have sufficient relevant university coursework for the job so get your transcripts ready.
Kuwait is opening up now, and we think it will continue as the end of 100% online teaching comes to a close. Degree matching is still an issue in Kuwait with the Ministry being quite prescriptive in what bachelor’s degrees teachers have.
Schools throughout the GCC region, having had to cut tuition due to online teaching, are watching the bottom line and most are rejecting teachers with dependent children due to cost.
As the season progresses and more late-comers enter the hiring fray, we believe there will once again be a teacher shortage (good for those still looking) but hope it doesn’t come too late when no teachers are actually available to fill the jobs. Core subjects are most in demand whereas non-core subjects such as Drama, Art, Music, PE, and languages as well as Humanities are not due to budget cutbacks.
Up until the past few days, border closures due to new variants put fear into Chinese school hiring managers. They would only consider the ever-shrinking pool of teachers already in China, whilst still keeping their strict quality levels. So thanks to the law of supply and demand, there are still many jobs available, as they are practically impossible to fill.
We are now hearing that borders in China are opening up, albeit with longer visa lead times and a requirement for the Chinese covid vaccine, so watch this space and cross your fingers (mine are). This will be great news for teachers who want the combination of high salaries and low cost of living.
Southeast Asia is still slow due to border closures and an economic downturn. Latin America is largely unchanged, as is most of Africa but these are two regions with small numbers of international schools and thus small numbers of vacancies. Europe has few vacancies as most teachers are staying put with the added complication of a third wave of Covid and unpicking new Brexit related restrictions for British schools.
2021 has brought a real shortage in the number of jobs for teachers who are bringing their school aged children with them. Why is that? There are two reasons- financial pressure and border closures. Most international schools are fee paying schools, and some areas of the world, notably the Middle East, Europe and South East Asia, have been hit financially by the pandemic. Many schools have lost enrolment and most are feeling uncertain resulting in cost cutting measures. Families of teachers represent a cost and risk. Free school places that could have garnered a fee, more expensive housing and increased bills as well as a risk because the more people who are potentially unhappy the higher the chance of the placement failing.
Border closures have also affected families. In China, for instance, PU letters needed to get an entry visa are not yet being given for dependents causing most schools in China to avoid hiring teachers with dependents not already in China.
Everything may change in the future. If nothing else, the past 12 months have told us that uncertainty is the new norm. But given the current climate, I don't expect a large number family friendly jobs to appear on the horizon so if you get one, grab it.
You have about 10-15 seconds to impress an international hiring manager with your CV/Resume. Here's 2 ways you can stand out.
First, you need to realise that many people sifting CVs won't always read past the first page of your CV. They receive hundreds, if not thousands of CVs, so you cannot expect them to make it to page 2 or even 3 if their interest is not piqued and they see a potential match from the very start. So make sure that the top half of your CV contains your most recent job and that your work history reads from the most recent backwards in time. You want the first impression they have of you to be your most recent, relevant job. Make sure your job role is clear - what subject/level teacher are you? They will want to see a match to their job.
Second, under each job please resist the temptation to list your job description. Every hiring manager knows the role of a teacher is to plan, teach, liaise with parents and attend meetings. Instead use this space to list what you accomplished in the role. Did you get very good results with a particular class? Did you coordinate or train other teachers? Did you teach to the highest academic levels? Did you have English language learners in your class and did you run after school clubs? Using numbers, data and specific accomplishments will make a huge difference. Do not list your job description- it falls flat because we all know what a teacher is supposed to do. We want to know what you did to make a difference. .
We are hearing complaints from a number of schools about the large number of unscrupulous agencies that are sending your CVs around without notifying you. We have run into the problem a number of times especially in China and the Middle East, and schools are rejecting applications from us if you have registered with these ‘cowboys’.
What can you do? Be very careful of where you put your CV and who you send it to. For instance, if you register your CV with a site like Indeed or Linkedin without your privacy settings adjusted, anyone can download it. If you are in the UK or Europe you can report the agency for flaunting GDPR data protection rules but it’s impossible to stop a foreign company.
I recommend you always keep a list of where you have applied and uploaded your CV, and de-register with agencies that seem dodgy in any way. Keep your privacy settings strict on open platforms like Linkedin and Indeed. Only work with reputable, known agencies in countries with strict GDPR/data protection requirements like the UK and Europe, and those (like Edvectus) who guarantee that they will send you the information about the school before applying to it. Certain agencies are known for "CV Splatter" which means you register with them and they send your CV to hundreds of schools, unsolicited and without your knowledge. It wastes the school's time and only benefits the agency since they don't care what kind of school with which they match you. They are playing a numbers game, rather like those spam emails you get about the inheritance from that foreign uncle you didn't know you had. Schools don't like to be on the receiving end of that either.
One school Principal from an 'A list' school recently wrote to us and said, "Too many agencies are sending CVs of candidates without even telling them about the role they have shared their CV for. We will only work with agencies that are executing their job with recruitment best industry standards."
If you find that an agency is sending your CV to a school without your knowledge, write to them and de-register. It’s a shame if you are getting a bad name without having done anything, so guard your data!
Charter schools in Al Ain UAE are looking for experienced western teachers -Primary, Secondary Math, English, Humanities and SEN. Ask your consultant or read more and apply here:
Primary and Early Years
Early Years Teachers - Qingdao, China - August 2021
Primary Teachers - Qingdao, China - August 2021
Primary Teachers (UK) - Bahrain - August 2021
Primary Teacher (UK)- Selangor, Malaysia -August 2021
Primary Teachers - Nanjing, China - August 2021
Primary / Elementary Teacher - Kuwait - August 2021
Primary Teachers - Hangzhou, China - August 2021
Primary Teacher - Beijing, China - August 2021
Primary English Language Teachers (teaching children aged 5-7) - Brunei - 30th July 2021
Design and Technology Teachers - Kuwait - August 2021Ecology (Eco Literacy) Science Teacher - Dubai - August 2021
Secondary Design and Technology Teacher - Lagos, Nigeria - August 2021
Secondary Science/STEAM Teacher - Beijing, China - August 2021
Whole School ICT Computing Teacher - Nanning, China - August 2021
Secondary High School Physics / Chemistry Teacher - Kuwait - August 2021
Secondary Science (Physics) Teacher - Shanghai, China - August 2021
Secondary Science (Biology) - Qingdao, China - August 2021
Secondary Maths Teacher - Kuwait - August 2021
Secondary Maths Teacher - Vietnam - August 2021
Secondary Computing and Mathematics Teacher - Dubai - August 2021
Secondary High School English Teacher - Kuwait - August 2021
Secondary English Literature & Language Teacher - Selangor, Malaysia - August 2021
Secondary English Teacher (female) - Bahrain - August 2021
Secondary English Teacher - Dubai, UAE - August 2021
Secondary Teachers for English and History - Kuwait - August 2021
Secondary High School Writing Specialist Teacher - Kuwait - August 2021
Humanities and Business
Secondary Geography Teacher (UK) - Bahrain - August 2021
Female Secondary Business Teacher - Northern Emirates UAE - August 2021
Secondary Business & Economics Teacher - Hangzhou, China - August 2021
Secondary Geography Teacher (UK) - Bahrain - August 2021
Secondary Business and Economics Head of Department - Shanghai, China - August 2021
Arts, Languages and PE
Whole School Art Teacher - Qingdao, China - August 2021
Whole School Drama Teacher - Qingdao, China - August 2021
Secondary Music Teacher - Dubai, UAE - August 2021
Secondary Drama and English Teacher - Dubai - August 2021
Teacher of Music (UK) – Primary - Bahrain - August 2021
Secondary Spanish Teacher (US) - Kuwait - August 2021