8 Effective Strategies to Recruit Teachers This Spring

It’s hunting season for school administrators. Typically when you think of hunting season you think of the colors of autumn and the cool crisp air of fall. For school administrators though, hunting season begins in the early spring when college students are graduating from teacher education programs, and experienced teachers can be wooed to your district before new contracts are signed.

Let’s stay with this analogy of hunting and recruiting teachers for a moment. Over the past 50 years the sport of hunting has evolved and changed utilizing every advantage imaginable from the clothing, weapons, game calls, scent block, and a multitude of technological tools ranging from cameras to mobile apps. Meanwhile, the demand for effective teachers has never been higher, yet districts operate without any modern strategies to recruit effective teachers beyond replacing job postings from bulletin boards in the teachers’ lounge and local colleges to district websites. Effective teacher talent acquisition should be one of the largest priorities of any school district. Without formal teacher recruitment strategies there is no real direction for evaluating successful recruiting pipelines, managing the message you convey to potential applicants, and quickly identifying teachers who have the ability to help your district pivot in this new era of education. If your teacher recruitment strategies are as modern as the mimeograph, these teacher recruitment strategies may be useful for you.

1. The essential first step of recruiting is first knowing who you are. What are the core values of your district? It is substantially easier to recruit and identify candidates who will be a good fit for your district if you share the same values and vision. Do the core values of your district really influence the everyday decisions made throughout the district and are they job related? If so, share those values on your job postings page and advertisements for open positions. Doing so will allow potential applicants to identify with your district and its vision. Consider using teacher hiring tools that are able to identify candidates whose values fit the values of your school district. Millennials are entering the teaching ranks and research has shown they are not solely focused on jobs that pay the most. This new generation of workers are looking for a higher purpose in what they do. Inspire them by sharing your values and purpose.

2. Tell your story. Interested teacher applicants want to know more about the district they may work for. Put together a slideshow or video that shares your district’s culture on your district’s employment web page. Share your district’s earliest beginnings, struggles, triumphs, and major milestones. Finally share your vision for the future and how the potential applicant can help take you there. Teacher applicants who perceive they are a good fit for your district are more likely to be drawn to your school if they personally identify with it.

3. Set up a lightning rod event in your district. So what is a lightning rod event? Career fairs are a perfect example of a lightning rod event. At these events job seekers all converge to one location in efforts to find a potential employer. However, for those recruiting at job fairs, there are a few issues with these types of venues. The first issue is competition. Job fairs are full of other school districts that are vying for the same teachers. Your school district has to compete attention among many other school districts.

Instead, you may consider hosting your own venue. Do this before job fairs ever start (think early February and don’t forget about fall semester graduations). When new teachers are graduating college they are often short on supplies and practical knowledge. Consider asking teachers in your building to pool unused supplies, books, and materials to share with new teachers, or ask community businesses to help donate supplies. School districts could provide workshops, led by existing teachers, to help instruct new teachers with valuable skills such as classroom management skills, lesson planning, technology training and planning for the first day of school. Advertise these types of events at nearby colleges and through social media. Collect personal email addresses from those who actually show up. Try to avoid collecting college email addresses since those will likely expire when the student graduates. When teachers self-select to attend an event and you have provided them with valuable tools and resources, you have already entered into a relationship with them. Later you can use their email addresses to directly recruit/market open positions. This type of permission marketing (recruiting) can be very effective.

4. Use effective teachers and administrators as ambassadors/recruiters. Great education professionals often have opportunities to present to large groups of effective teachers. Make sure that anytime teachers, principals, or superintendents are representing your school at a large venue where other schools are gathered they take a moment to tell the district’s story and share a little bit of the district’s culture. When other teachers (and possibly administrators) see some of the best and brightest of your district their interest in the district can be piqued. Before attending the event or your district IT group to set up a landing page (an informational webpage that collects user information) to thank attendees for their interest in your district. Ask them to share their contact information so you can let them know about future openings and initiatives in the district. Use an auto responder online mail service to collect email addresses. This will allow you to broadcast messages to a group of potential future teachers and administrators. The auto responder sites can show you how many people see your message and are interacting with the material. To make finding the web site landing page easy and less intrusive at a conference event, put the link to your landing page on a QR code in your presentation or on brochures that are distributed at the event. This is an easy and effective way to recruit to large gatherings of effective teachers and another direct marketing/recruiting strategy that is substantially more effective than simply posting an open position to the masses.

5. Headhunting is the practice of actively recruiting an effective member of one organization to join a different organization. It is common in many different sectors, especially in business, but has not become a common practice in education… yet. Effective school districts search for creative ways to recruit teachers every year and often struggle to find high quality job candidates among the crop of recent college grads and job seeking veterans. Some school districts try to lure experienced teachers from nearby districts by promising better working conditions, higher pay, and better benefits. As a result, schools with fewer financial resources sometimes struggle to retain their most effective teachers. As districts feel more pressure to produce higher scores the competition for effective teachers will continue to increase. Most administrators have mixed feelings about this new environment of education, but it is a reality that must be considered as recruiting and retention strategies are developed.

6. Provide realistic job previews through online videos and interviews with teachers from all demographics on the employment page on your district’s website. Many applicants are curious about the working conditions, co-workers, student population, and general climate of the district. Select newer teachers and veteran teachers to discuss their experiences while working for the district. If possible, try to feature a diverse group of education professionals. Applicants will likely feel more comfortable when they see incumbents who are similar to their ethnic background. When applicants have a chance to preview the climate of their workplace it is likely they will try to envision themselves working there. If they perceive they are a good fit, you are likely to have a more committed applicant.

7. Consider using a referral program. Did you know referrals are one of the top sources of new hire quality in any industry? Your existing effective teachers likely know other effective teachers that work for other districts. This goes back to teacher recruiting strategy #3. You may be attempting to lure teachers from other districts, but it’s for the kids. Right? Some employers even offer rewards to employees when their referrals pass through selection processes and receive high initial scores. You can also gather referrals from parent teacher groups and local colleges (though I don’t know that incentives would be appropriate in those cases).

8. Use social media. Most districts have adopted the use of social media to interact with the patrons of the district. Consider sharing job postings on social media pages. Patrons may not look at school district employment web pages, but posting openings on social media sites could allow people to share your open positions with others in their network. Generally, school districts should try to cast a wide net when fishing for new talent. Posting on social media sites allows districts to broadcast openings to a much broader audience.

We hope you found a few of these teacher recruiting strategies useful. In an era of teaching that is constantly pushing teachers out of their comfort zones to become more effective teachers, it is time for school leaders to follow suit in their recruiting and selection practices. If any of the teacher recruiting strategies we mentioned in this post stretch you out of your comfort zone, use the link below to contact us and we will do everything we can to help you put together a teacher recruiting and selection strategy that will attract effective teachers to your school district. If the goal of your district revolves around providing high quality instruction to prepare students for their future, develop high quality strategies to recruit the best teachers in your market.

Mafia Wars Strategy Guide

What is Mafia Wars

Mafia Wars is a text based interactive game by Zynga that has taken the social networking sites by storm. The premise is to gather as many Mafia family members as possible, earn as much cash and loot as you can and level up in order to become the strongest family in New York and recently Cuba. This is achieved by doing “jobs”, purchasing properties, attacking rival Mafias and defending yourself from such attacks. All of these actions give you a payday and experience points which contribute to your advancement.

I personally play Mafia Wars on Facebook. I have never played such an addictive game in all my 39 years. Soon after I started playing I found myself sneaking peaks during the day to check on my cash flow, see if I’ve been attacked, or do a job or two. I can honestly say that not one day goes by that I do not interact with Mafia Wars. I finally decide to share my experience and knowledge of the game and perhaps gain a few more members in my Mafia crew.

At the end of this article is a link to my blog for more information.

Secrets and Strategy

The Larger the Mafia the Better

The first priority of any beginner is to concentrate on growing the size of his Mafia. Mafia size is what determines your strength and the acquisition of good bonuses. It is a good idea to try to get many players who are of high rank and levels as possible to join your Mafia, but do not limit yourself to just high ranking members because even the low ranking players add to your number of Mafia members which translate to strength. Also there is your Top Mafia to consider. These are positions in your Mafia that make up the top tier of your family. You need to appoint someone from your Mafia to fill each position in order to complete a crew and in turn gain bonuses from jobs and fights. You will want to fill these positions with high ranking veteran players because they are the ones who will provide you with the best bonuses. There are six positions to fill. These are as follows with the correlating bonuses dependent upon the which Mafia member you promote to that position:

Mastermind : More experience from jobs.

Wheelman : Use less energy on jobs

Buttonman : More bonus on attacks

Bodyguard : More bonus on successful defense

Safecracker : More cash from fights

Bagman : More cash from jobs

Here are some tips on recruiting Mafia Wars family members. I have included four recruitment strategies. I’m sure there are more and I do welcome any ideas you may have, just leave a comment and perhaps I can include it in future updates. The four methods I have used are as follows:

1. Invite Existing Network Friends to Play

This is the first thing you want to do. Ask any of your friends on Facebook or whatever social site you play Mafia Wars on to join your Mafia. If your friends have no interest in playing it is okay. You can just tell them that they do not need to play but just subscribe to the application and become part of your family because what is important is the number of Mafia members you have. If they are your friends they really shouldn’t mind doing this because it really does not affect them in any way to become a part of Mafia Wars.

You can even use the built-in Mafia Wars invite and select all your friends. After you press send you will be given the opportunity to also write a personal message. I would suggest you do send a personal message that way it will not look like they are being spammed

2. Forums/Groups

This option is a great and can garner you many family members. You can go to any forums that you frequent and post a link to your profile and the Mafia Wars recruitment message found on your “My Mafia” category on the Mafia Wars interface. Remember to also write a little personalized message. Also there are many groups dedicated to growing Mafia Wars families and I find that it is probably the best way to recruit members. All you have to do is go to the groups tab on your Facebook profile and click on it. After you are taken to the groups page type in a search for Mafia Wars. Many groups will come up. You can join one or all if you want and you can either follow the instructions that they give you or go directly to the comments section at the bottom and write a message for people to add you to their Mafia. You can provide your profile link and Mafia Wars invite link or you can simply just write “Add Me Please”. A person who reads these comments will click on either your provided links or your name and add you as a friend. When you accept their friendship you should go to your Mafia Wars and invite them to join yourself (that’s the respectful way) or you can wait until they invite you. After you post your message you can also go through the comments and seek friendship/Mafia Wars members yourself by clicking on their links or names. I strongly advise you to always add a little message whenever you request a friendship such as, “For Mafia Wars” or “Mafia Wars”. This helps the potential friend to distinguish the request from spam and authentic Mafia Wars requests. You can grow your Mafia without limits doing this as long as you have the time and the determination.

3. Other Social Sites

You can also use other social sites such as MySpace to recruit since many people who have Facebook accounts also have MySpace accounts. In fact Mafia Wars is also available to play on MySpace. There will invariably some who are not members of Facebook and your recruitment may entice them to join and play Mafia Wars through Facebook.

Another site that can be utilized is Twitter. The best way is to use the “Tweetlater” and with the auto-welcome you can paste your recruitment links. The only problem is that you have a limited space to do so. so you you may have to use a service such as tinyurl.com. There you can change any long link to a shorter link which will be easier to fit in places where space is limited for long urls.

4. Blogs

This method involves looking for people who have blogs dedicated to Mafia Wars. There you can request their friendship and also take advantage of their suggestions to grow your Mafia. Many also give you the opportunity to advertise through comments similar to a forum. The bonus is that these blogs are usually from avid Mafia War players that have tons of experience and can offer you some great tips and strategies that will give you an advantage in the game.

Inventory

The inventory in Mafia Wars is extensive. There are many weapons, armors and vehicles to purchase, loot from jobs and fights and receive through gifting. I will be talking about looting and gifting later but for now I will just touch upon the inventory that you can purchase.

In he beginning you will have to make a little money from the only job that does not require a weapon. After you build up a little cash you will need to start purchasing weapons in order to complete other jobs. I suggest that in the beginning just purchase what you need to get jobs done. When you have graduated a couple more levels you should then start buying multiples of every weapon, armor and vehicles. You should do this because the way the game works is that it gives every member of your mafia 1 weapon, 1 armor and 1 vehicle to fight with. So the more you have, the better equipped your Mafia is, and the better equipped they are the better the chances of you winning the fight. Keep in mind however that you will need to also at this time start investing in some properties which I will now discuss.

Properties

Properties are important because they will provide you with a steady income that you can reinvest into our inventories and into more properties. I will tell you right now that Mafia Mike’s Bars are the best investment. They are affordable and give you the most money for your investment They also do not require upkeep or protection from being robbed. The only catch is that you must have certain amount of Mafia members to purchase one and they number increases after every buy, so that is another reason why you need a large Mafia. I suggest that you purchase as many as you can get your hands on. All other properties can also contribute to your cash flow and you really should purchase some when you can. I personally do not like the Italian Restaurants or the Rent house the return is just not that good compared to the price you pay for them. I would rather save up and invest that money elsewhere such as 5-Star Hotel and Mega Casino which do have larger payouts and help build up your cash flow. Keep in mind though that if you are going to purchase these larger properties you are going to need a large and well equipped Mafia in order to fend off any heist attempts.

Fighting

A large part of Mafia Wars is fighting, whether it is defensive or offensive. If you are going to be an aggressive player who will do a lot of attacking there are some things you should keep in mind that will give you the edge in your fights.

Choose someone who has a smaller Mafia than you.

Click on the Mafia member who you want to fight and check out is stats. The biggest tell will be his fight record. If he has a poor record then he is a good target.

Also when you check out his stats, always look at his weaponry. If it seems his weaponry is larger and more formidable than your own then I suggest trying another target.

Be sure to have large amount of attack skill points.

I personally take a more defensive approach to the game. I will at times pick a fight with a rival Mafia but it is not the crux of my game play. I like to build up my defense points more than my attack points. Usually I will keep it at 60/40, six defense for every 4 attack. I feel that I have more control that way because I cannot choose who attacks me so I like be prepared with a good defense, but with attacking I have control over who to fight and will choose only fights I am pretty sure I can win.

When you do choose to fight you can usually choose to a full blown attack, sucker punch someone, or rob their properties. These will depend upon the circumstances.

Attack: You will do this when you are pretty sure you will be able to win the fight.

Sucker Punch: This is usually done when the rival has attacked you or one of your family members and you are not able to attack because you are not strong enough. A sucker punch will inflict damage as warning that his actions are not tolerated. You should only do this if you are pretty sure that other members of your Mafia who are stronger will have your back or you will just incite a retaliation and you can get beat up pretty bad.

Robbing: Robbing is done usually to gain a lot of money and to punish a rival for an unprovoked attack. Robbing consists of attacking a persons property (ie) Mega Casino, 5-Star Hotel. You can actually rob someones property until you put it out of business. The robbed person then must spend a certain amount of money to repair and protect the attacked property.

Hit list: This is an interesting option. If you have been attacked and the attacker is stronger than you, you can put him on the hit list. You will be required to put up a bounty and any person can attack him and claim the bounty. The bounty that you put up will be have a fee of 20% of the amount that you enter. For example, if you put up $10,000 the available bounty for the hit will be $8,000. This feature is a good way to be able to retaliate for unprovoked attacks and that should be the only reason anyone should put someone on the hit list.

Skill Points

Skill points are what makes up your Mafia Wars character. You have five aspects to your character and skill points must be judiciously applied to each aspect. Skill points will basically determine the strength of your character. These five aspects are a follows:

Attack: This determines your ability to do damage to a rival and win more fights. The more skill points the better your attack ability.

Defense: This determines your ability to repel attacks from rivals.

Health: This determines your ability to survive fights. Every time you attack or are attacked health points will be expended. The more health points you have the fights you can engage or the longer you will be able to hold out in a long intense fight.

Energy: This determines your ability to complete jobs and level up. The more energy you have the more jobs you can complete and the faster you can level up.

Stamina: This loosely related to your health. Stamina points are used every time you attack someone. The more stamina you have the more attacks you can perform.

Collections

Collections are a neat little sidebar to the game. The premise here is that you have the opportunity to pick up certain items through jobs or gifting (which will be discussed later) and there are seven objects in each collection. When you are able to collect all seven objects in a particular collection you can then vault it and receive a bonus (ie) energy points, health points. There are at the time of this writing 16 collections.in the New York section and five in the Cuba section. This gives the game a little more depth and intrigue. The bonuses are not that mind-blowing so I wouldn’t kill yourself in trying to obtain them, but take them as they come. They have little affect on the overall strategy of the game but do provide for a little interaction with your Mafia family and gives a little added enjoyment to the game. I have provided a list of these collections and their bonuses in my blog which the link is provided at the end of this atricle

Gifting

Gifting in Mafia Wars demonstrates family unity and respect. There will be time when certain items are needed by someone in your Mafia and they will request them. These items could be for collections that the want to complete or weaponry that they would like to obtain. I strongly suggest that you gift when you can because there will be times when you need something and members will be more willing to gift to you when they see that you are a generous team player who has each members back. It is like the old saying “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”.

Conclusion

I hope that this guide helps to clarify some aspects of the game and gives some insight on how to play more effectively and efficiently. Mafia Wars is a great diversion from the mundane and is thoroughly enjoyable to play. The game is always evolving and as time goes on there will be additions and changes. I will try to always keep this guide updated to keep up with it’s evolution. Thanks for reading and good luck.