Competition for teachers is fierce and expensive. In fact, many schools and organizations pay thousands of dollars each year to third party talent sourcing sites such as Linkedin, Indeed, and Glassdoor to help them find quality candidates. And sometimes this search can feel more ‘luck of the draw’ than strategic. It’s a numbers game many schools find themselves trapped in. But at the end of the day, whether you’re a leader of a single school or a recruiter for a large district or network - and whether your budget is limited or overflowing - you need to know the return on investment (ROI) of your valuable recruitment dollars.
ROI Defined in General
ROI measures the efficiency of an investment. If we’re talking stocks, for example, ROI is the net gain in the value of a stock you purchased prorated over a specific time period. But in teacher recruitment (and all talent recruitment, for that matter), there are a few ways to measure the efficiency of the money you spend.
Recruitment ROI Defined for Schools
There are three calculations we recommend schools use to i) evaluate overall recruitment efficiency and ii) directly compare the efficiency of spend across third-party recruitment services.
Cost per Application (or Resume)
At a minimum, schools should know their cost per application, defined as total outreach spend divided by the number of applications (or resumes) received over a period of time. Total outreach spend includes non-personnel spend related to recruitment outreach (e.g., third-party services, job fairs, travel costs, job posts) and could also include personnel spend (e.g. % of time spent on candidate outreach, travel time).
(Outreach budget + third party tools + % of outreach associates’ salaries) / # applications received
Hot Tip: Use this value to compare the overall cost-effectiveness and efficiency of your recruitment efforts and spend year over year.
Key Limitation: It’s a broadest measure of your talent funnel and doesn’t provide any detail on quality of candidate or differentiate between harder to fill content areas.
Cost per Qualified Application
The goal of recruitment is to hire. And to hire teachers, you need applicant volume, but more importantly, quality applicants. For every teacher opening you have to fill, you will likely need between two to five qualified applications - depending on the pool and the competition for teachers - in order to find that right-fit candidate for your school. The most essential ROI performance measure you need to track is your cost per qualified application.
It is important to distinguish between your Cost per Application and Cost per Qualified Application. Your qualified applications are the applications you decide merit moving beyond the resume screen to the initial step in your hiring process (i.e. the phone screen).
(Outreach budget + third party tools + % of outreach associates’ salaries) / # candidates invited to demo lessons
Hot Tip: Feel free to define “qualified” however you want, just make sure that it is consistent year over year so you can easily compare the metric. For us, we define “qualified applicant” as a candidate who passes the initial resume screen.
Key Limitation: This calculation doesn’t differentiate between the cost of quality applicants across different roles, grade levels, or content areas, but you can definitely do that by better attribution of your outreach spend and applying the same calculation.
Cost per Hire
Cost per hire is also an important metric to track. Cost per hire is often the bottom line for many hiring managers and recruiters, but be careful not to discount the value of having qualified applications. Even if a qualified application doesn’t turn into a hire, both having that person’s information and that person now knowing about your school are invaluable; you may be able to resurface that lead at a later date.
(Recruitment team salaries + third party tools) / # teachers hired
Key Limitation: This is the bottom line, but recruitment is also forward looking and you need to spend and work to continue to build a pipeline of great teachers, even if you’re not hiring them now.