THE BLOG
07/16/2014 10:01 pm ET Updated Sep 15, 2014

3 Tips for Using Video Interviews to Hire Great Teachers

Hiring the great teachers you need is far from easy. This is especially true if you're looking for K-5 talent, because the market is currently flooded with candidates. In fact, some estimates predict America is turning out twice as many elementary school teachers than are needed each year. This means your team is likely to be inundated with resumes for every open position you have.

The problem isn't drought, it's a flood. Yet, you know it takes more to excel at your school than just the right credentials. Cultural fit is extremely important for any teacher, whether they're a recent grad or a seasoned pro. According to the The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 46 percent of teachers are gone within five years. A lot of this can be chalked up to poor cultural fit, but this fit can really cost you. In fact, the commission estimates teacher attrition costs the economy upwards of $7 billion a year.

The classroom is going digital, with 48 percent of teachers using tablets of e-readers in the classroom and more than one-third utilizing online lesson plans. Yet the digital revolution hasn't trickled down to the hiring techniques many schools and administrators use.

The video interview can be a powerful tool to cut through the noise, connect with the right person, and collaborate with your team. Here are four tips on using video interviewing to find the perfect teacher:

Using the One-Way Video Interview
In a one-way video interview, candidates answer the questions your team has provided with brief video answers. This gives you the ability to standardize questions across a large pool of candidates and more easily compare candidates against each other. The major benefit of one-way video interviews, however, is their nature as asynchronous in time.

This means, if you know immediately a candidate isn't the right fit for a position, you can merely move on to the next talented person. This allows you to save plenty of time in the hiring process, especially when you're snowed under with talent. But it also helps you focus on the right people instead of wasting untold time connecting with the wrong people.

In fact, research from the Aberdeen Group showed it's possible to watch 10 one-way video interviews in the time it takes to perform just one single phone screen. With twice as many candidates for every open position, one-way video interviews can help you stop wasting time on the wrong teachers.

How to Propose a Video Interview
Of course, video interviewing is a fairly recent phenomenon. How do you get candidates comfortable with the idea of interviewing on film? First of all, consider the increasing importance of technology in the modern classroom. A whopping 74 percent of teachers pegged technology as a huge motivator to student achievement. To be able to utilize this technology, however, you'll need a more tech-savvy kind of teacher.

While video interviews aren't extremely complicated, if your candidate can't figure out where to point his or her webcam, they might not be right for the job. After all, STEM jobs are growing at nearly twice the rate of every other sector, which is why more STEM teachers are needed. Proposing a video interview can be another way to weed down on the huge stream of candidates filling up your inbox. If the candidate can't troubleshoot a video interview, it might be time to move on to the next person.

While sending out your video interview invites, include a little text explaining why video interviews are useful for employer and candidate. Explain how it gives you a more personal insight into candidates faster, and suggest candidates use the opportunity to show off their personality and communication skills, both absolutely necessary for teachers. If candidates understand the benefits of the video interview, they'll be more likely to embrace the practice.

How You Can Collaborate
Collaboration is needed in every hiring process, especially if you want to find the right teacher for your school. The sharable nature of video interviews actually somewhat eases collaboration. One-way video interviews can be viewed at any time, for any duration, and on your favorite mobile device.

Meanwhile live video interviews, where you connect with the candidate in real-time, are automatically recorded. This way, you can share the recording with anyone who couldn't make the interview but should still have a say in your hiring process. Increased collaboration can help you avoid high turnover of teachers who just don't fit into your school and recruit the brightest talent ready to motivate students and fellow teachers.

With so many candidates vying for positions, finding the best person might sometimes feel like searching for a needle in an endless haystack. New technology like video interviewing is easing the burden, by helping those in education hiring connect with the very best teachers.

What do you think? Have you used video interviews to hire? Share in the comments!

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Learn more about using video interviewing for education hiring and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.