Reviews of recruitment agencies in the international sector
Many websites advertise jobs in the international sector. Which site might suit a candidate best depends on their qualifications and experience, and career aspirations. Some specialise in specific regions, whereas others might advertise jobs specific to a particular curriculum type e.g. IB/MYP/PYP, IPC, Cambridge International, IGCSE/A Level or American Standards-based curriculum. There are a handful of international schools that might use Australian, Canadian, or another model, but these schools are less prevalent in the international sector.
It’s fair to say that the Times Educational Supplement is the market leader when it comes to recruiting for British schools. Their core market schools in England but they have an extensive international section too. Many British Schools Overseas use TES as their main platform for advertising, but it is also commonplace to see IB jobs offered on their platform. It’s probably fair to say that international schools seeking to hire British or Irish teachers are likely to advertise on TES. Given the fact that they are a British based market leader, it is no surprise to find many adverts for teachers who have taught English National Curriculum/IGCSE/A Level.
To my mind, they have about the best website in the industry. Their format is user-friendly, and their search engines are uncomplicated. TES have tipped their toe into extended their service beyond just carrying job advertisements on behalf of third-parties through their partnership with Smart Education which exclusively deals with the Australian jobs market.
I am the world’s biggest fan of LinkedIn. I make regular posts and interact with colleagues in the education sector on an almost daily basis BUT I am not a huge fan of their jobs section. I find it to be cumbersome, and not responsive to the sort of searches that I like to make. There are far too many variables, and often a focused search conjures up a list of jobs that aren’t all relevant to my area of interest. Having said that, LinkedIn has an amazing reach and is a wonderful way of interacting with potential employers and other influencers in the international education industry.
Search Associates are one of the most recognised names in the field of international school recruitment. Their services are focused on the sector meaning and if you sign up to their site you are assigned an account manager who oversees your job search journey. Their website is easily navigated and user friendly. You can view their job adverts in full without signing up as a member of their site, which is great for teachers who are casually perusing the jobs market. (Which incidentally is a very wise practise even if you are happy in your current post. It’s always sensible to know which schools have a large turnover of staff!)
Search Associate predominantly advertises jobs that target teachers with experience of American Standards-based education, or PYP/MYP/IB.
The International Educator (TIE) is a long-established player in the international sector and predominantly serve teachers with experience in North America. Their website is fairly busy, but not too difficult to navigate. The sting in the tail is that you need to pay a 30 USD fee to sign up to view any sort of detail of any of the advertised jobs. ait might be worth it if you are an American teacher or administrator but I wouldn’t recommend using their paid service if you don’t have experience in the US sector.
Teacher Horizons is a free recruitment service for teachers. They, like so many in the industry, make their money by charging schools for their services. They have an extensive database and advertise jobs across the world. The site is very easy to navigate through a drop-down menu, and it’s straightforward to sort jobs by role, location, and academic system. To my mind, they have one of the most user-friendly websites in the international sector. You do have to sign up to view more than the basic job details but the process of doing so is easy. They are responsible for the personal information they collect and don’t send their clients mountains of spam emails, as some of their competitors are prone to do. Like Search Associates, they assign a recruitment officer to clients and they continue to support teachers through the onboarding process once they have secured a position. Overall, they offer an excellent service to teachers in the international sector.
TIC is very similar to Teacher Horizons in the fact that their site is simple to use and navigate your way through. One of the strengths of their platform is that you can read full descriptions of the advertised jobs without signing up to their service. This is great for candidates just wishing to browse through the available jobs. Their database is not as extensive as some of their competitors but they do offer a global reach. Like others in the industry, they assign recruitment advisors to candidates who show an interest in their advertised positions. As their scale of operations isn’t as extensive as some of the other agencies, it means that candidates receive an impressive service from their assigned agent.
Atlas Teachers are a relatively new recruitment agency in the field of international education. They are based in Central England. They are partners with BSME (British Schools in the Middle East) but this is not their only area of operations, as they also recruit teachers for jobs in Europe, Far East, and Central Asia. They have a fresh and responsive website with a very modern feel, which is refreshing as many other agencies have static websites. The beauty of their website is that it looks good, and it is very easy to navigate. As a new player in the market, they do not have the same sized database some of the established brands, but the early signs are that they will continue to grow and develop.
Teach Away is more than just a recruitment agency for teachers, as they offer courses and teacher certification as well as a teacher recruitment service. They are a Canada-based agency but also have offices in the US and the UK. Their website is easy to navigate and they have an impressive database of available jobs. It’s fair to say that most of the jobs advertised on their website are in the Middle East and China, but this isn’t exclusively the case. Once a candidate has created an account and submitted a CV/Resume it is possible to avail of their “Quick Apply” feature which is a useful tool. Moreover, it is possible to view extensive job details on the site without signing up or logging in, so it is a good website for casually browsing what jobs are available in the international sector. Rather worrying is the fact that there is little communication after one submits an application through their website and no follow up from a recruitment agent. For this reason, it might be better to use an agency that has better standards of customer service than Teach Away.
Teaching Abroad is a London-based recruitment company that specialises in international teacher recruitment and offers jobs for TEFL qualified candidates. They have a simple to use website and it is easy to navigate. Rather strangely they do not seem to offer a facility where you can sign up to their service, which means you have to resubmit your CV/Resume each time you apply for a job. This at least encourages teachers to write supporting statements tailored to each job, and they do provide fairly detailed information in their job adverts. Notably, they stipulate the name of the school in their adverts which allows candidates to do some background research before submitting applications. Many of their competitors in the market advertise without naming the school they are recruiting for which can be frustrating, so it’s a thumbs up to Teaching Abroad in this respect.
eteach is a UK teacher recruitment agency that also includes an international section. I don’t find their website to be quite as user-friendly as some of the other agencies in the education recruitment industry, and it sometimes takes much longer to load than others. That could be because I’m accessing their site from China though. I’m not a fan of their search engine as it is not as well defined as some of the others, and too often contains jobs adverts in its results which aren’t relevant to the search. If I search for international leadership jobs, then I don’t expect to have to scroll past dozens of jobs in the UK, or middle leadership jobs to find the jobs I might be interested in. They do have a good follow up service though, and if you apply through their website it is likely that one of their agents will contact you and support you through the application process.
Work Away Recruitment are an Irish agency specialising in recruiting teachers for the Middle East and Far East. They have a decent database but their search engine could be improved to allow teachers to carry out more refined searches. They have a Blog section on their website, but this hasn’t been updated in nearly two years, which doesn’t really enhance their corporate image. I am yet to test their service by submitting a CV/Resume, so cannot comment on their after-application service.
EdVectus is based in London but also have agents in other geographical locations. They specialise in recruiting international teachers for the market in the Middle East Far East, particularly China. Their website is quite extensive but I am not a fan of their search engine as it is a little over-complicated and one is required to select too many fields when conducting a search. For example, there is no simple field for “Leadership Jobs” so if you are seeking such a position you are required to enter each type of leadership role you might be interested in one at a time. Their after-application processes are good and their agents are very supportive and friendly.
Seek Teachers have a very busy and disorganised website that is anything but easy on the eye. It is cluttered and is definitely not user-friendly. At face value, it looks like they have an impressive search engine facility but in reality, the search process is time-consuming and not fit for purpose. I have even wondered at times if Seek Teachers is a genuine recruitment agency. Over the years I have submitted applications through their website but I have never received a reply from one of their agents. Most other agencies have a policy of reaching out to potential candidates, even if they are not identified as potential hires for a particular job in order to assess how their experiences might suit other positions that may be available, or become available in the future. This not the case with Seek Teachers.
COBIS has a jobs section. It is powered by TES Online, so enquires are directed to a TES hosted website. It’s a quick and easy way to screen all of the jobs offered by schools accredited by COBIS.
IB School Jobs is a useful website for those seeking work in an IB school, whether it be PYP/MYP/IB-DP. The site is more extensive than a mere jobs board and offers other services to teachers. The site is easily navigated through a sidebar that operates as a search facility. There are detailed descriptions of the advertised jobs, with links to the schools so one can apply directly. The site also gives links to each school’s social media channels making it easy for candidates to find out more about the schools before submitting an application.
IB Connects is an American recruitment company based in a Washington DC. Unsurprising, given the name, they focus on recruiting teachers for IB World Schools. They have a simple and user-friendly website that is easily navigated. Many of the jobs listed are in US schools, but they also advertise jobs across the international sector. Their job adverts are detailed, contain links to each school’s social media channels and offer teachers the chance to apply directly to each school.
The Guardian jobs section has a fairly extensive section of international education jobs advertised on its website but is more focused on the education market in England and Wales. The Guardian Jobs isn’t a specialist advertiser of education jobs, and thus its search engine isn’t quite as tailored to the market as the websites specialising in education, but it’s not too difficult to navigate in terms of locations sort, although more frustrating when trying to search by position. The Guardian carries adverts from schools themselves and from recruitment agencies. Once in a while, it might advertise a hidden gem that may not be advertised on other websites, so it’s worth taking a look once in a while.
Once in a while, the Telegraph carries jobs aimed at teachers in the international sector, but it does not have the same range of jobs as the Guardian. Their jobs website is actually very similar to the Guardian one, unlike their politics (but that’s for another forum!).
Local Media in the country you want to work
If you are looking for a job in a particular country or region it is well worth your time looking up local media sources and websites. International Schools will sometimes only advertise in their host country so becoming familiar with the sites they most frequently advertise on is recommended.