CIS tips for hiring leaders for the future
By Pauline O’Brien & Alison Eaglesham

In Jane Larsson’s post What CIS will stop doing this year, she asks us to “imagine the possibilities” if we just take time to “stop doing, breathe, and really think about what we do”. Within the CIS Career & Recruitment Team, we accepted that challenge—we stopped, we breathed and devoted a great deal of time to think about what we do and how we can help schools recruit more effectively and successfully. We found ourselves returning, again and again, to the fact that we live in a world where change is the norm and some estimate that two out of three children now starting school will have jobs that don’t exist today.

Wow. Imagine the possibilities in that context. How do we plan ahead when we operate in school systems that were designed for the industrial revolution, not Industry 4.0? How can we most effectively help schools recruit leaders best suited to navigate the changes that are already happening and will continue to happen?

Our schools need leaders who can help shape the future of international education. School leaders who are responsive to change, interculturally competent, thoughtful and progressive. Fortunately, that’s precisely where we can help. We’re a team of five career and recruitment specialists in international education with the expertise and dedication to help our schools find the leaders of the future, and, to develop those who want build a career in international education. To thrive, we must constantly learn and adapt. At CIS, we regularly evolve our strategy and focus to address evolving trends and needs of our members to ensure that “imagining the possibilities” is as much a part of the everyday as we can make it.

With this focus in mind, as many schools start planning their next recruitment cycle, here are some of our top tips for hiring for the future!

Driving for diversity  

We all know that diversity is key to unlocking potential and building strong leadership teams and schools that reflect their diverse communities. Diverse and inclusive teams are more self-aware, can solve problems more effectively due to the broader skillset they bring, and they are more likely to understand and relate to the diverse communities they serve. School leaders need to act objectively and intentionally when building their leadership team to ensure there is a diverse group of people at the table. Consider the strengths, skills and areas of expertise that you already have in your leadership team, do you have any gaps or areas you would like to enhance?

Useful resources:

Connect your culture to your hiring practices

The influence of culture on our recruiting practices should not be underestimated. Culture may determine what you deem acceptable behaviour when it comes to eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, speech and so much more, all of which could affect your perception of someone during the recruitment process and ultimately who is hired. Consider what cultural beliefs you may have that are different to another and how might this influence practices in your school.

Useful resources:

  • School leaders can join us in Bangkok in November for a workshop to develop more effective and interculturally competent recruitment practices in your school, equipping you with strategies and tools you need to stay ahead in the increasingly competitive environment.

Focus on skills

Connections, recommendations and networking are all important strategies to recruit educators and leaders in international schools, but how often do we let the real talent slip through our hands? To ensure you hire people with the skills you need, you first need to understand the core competencies that are important to your school. Once this has been developed, you can build effective skills-based recruitment strategies to attract the candidates you need and identify skills and competency gaps more efficiently.

Useful resources:

Build a talent pipeline

The transient nature of international education can make it harder to ‘grow your own’ but the benefits of developing staff from within far out ways the negative of losing staff you have heavily invested in. Identify your current and future needs and build a succession plan for critical roles. Through performance evaluations, feedback and skills reviews identify aspiring leaders and develop them for these roles. They will be more likely to stay if they see a clear progression plan to help achieve their career goals.

Useful resources:

  • Take part in the CIS Head of School Compensation Survey so you can access the report that will help you consider how your compensation packages compare to those of other schools of similar size around the world and in your region.
  • The Faculty and Leadership Team Compensation Surveys will launch later this month!

Unlock your own potential

Are you recognizing your own leadership potential? Many people don’t put themselves forward for leadership positions, especially women, because they may not meet all of the listed qualifications or have the self-assurance they need to move to the next level. Consider the skills you have, look at a job advertisement that sounds appealing, and take note of the skills they require. Now write a short example to evidence how you have demonstrated these skills in the past. If you can highlight the value and wealth of your competencies, achievements and results, then why not apply?

Useful resources:

There’s more

In addition to all the resources above, there are several other events from CIS Career & Recruitment Services for you to choose from, not forgetting that we’re also happy to schedule a customised workshop at your school to help you develop your recruitment practices around pedagogical and intercultural practices. We pride ourselves on our personalised approach to recruitment and will tailor our services to support your school and find high quality educators and leaders for your positions. Get in touch!

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