Teaching the Private Sector About Social Media Recruiting

I’m thinking you’ve got a branding challenge if you’re trying to attract people to work in the inner-city — as public school teachers.

The New York City school system, a 2009 ERE Recruiting Excellence Awards finalist, is doing something about it. The department of education, which has to hire 4,000-7,000 teachers every year, or about 7% of its workforce, wasn’t happy with the quality of the teachers it was recruiting. It redid its brand to try to attract passive candidates who are high achieving, intellectually curious, and highly motivated.

It came up with an “I Teach NYC, Because it Teaches Me” motto to use on its website and elsewhere. The “elsewhere” includes a Twitter profile, a wiki for teachers and applicants, and a Facebook fan page launched June 2008. That Facebook page exceeded 3,000 page views per week during the peak time at the end of August 2008.

With the Ad Council, it also made videos — like the one I embedded below that made me wish my math and music classes in school were a lot more fun.

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After about months of the branding initiative, it’s a tad too early to judge the quality of hire being generated. What we do know is that about half of the school system’s Facebook fans are over 25. These are folks who have work experience, and are exactly who the system’s trying to attract.