International Schools Face Recruitment Challenges Amid Expanding Market

International schools worldwide are experiencing significant recruitment challenges this year due to a shrinking pool of incoming teachers and an expanding job market that offers educators more choices. Schools that persist in using traditional recruitment methods are the hardest hit, struggling to attract and retain qualified teachers.

Increasing Demand for Experienced Educators

Experienced international school educators are in high demand. With many teachers’ contracts ending, these seasoned professionals are carefully considering their options before committing to contract extensions or new placements. This trend has compounded recruitment difficulties for schools, as teachers have the leverage to explore a variety of desirable opportunities.

Growth in Teacher Employment

Recent data from ISC Research highlights the growing demand for teachers in international schools. From January 2018 to January 2023, the number of full-time teachers in global international schools increased by 13%, rising from 556,150 to 626,800. In South-Eastern Asia, a particularly attractive region for international educators, teacher employment surged by 28%, climbing from 52,430 to 66,880. Conversely, in Western Asia (excluding Egypt), where the market has remained relatively stable, teacher employment grew less significantly. Nonetheless, the number of teachers in international schools in this region is substantial, currently standing at 154,970.

Valuing Local Educators and Promoting Diversity

International schools are increasingly recognizing the value of local educators. These teachers bring essential cultural understanding and local language skills to the classroom. Although most schools employ only a small percentage of local teachers, data indicates this number is gradually increasing. Additionally, there is a growing awareness of the need for greater diversity within teaching staff. However, many international schools still rely heavily on educators from a limited number of source countries, and while changes are occurring, progress is slow.

Adapting to Recruitment Challenges

In response to the ongoing recruitment challenges, many international schools are adjusting their strategies. According to ISC Research’s remuneration data, some schools have revised their salary levels to align with the broader market trends and enhanced their benefits packages to remain competitive. To retain current staff, schools are offering incentives such as time-sensitive renewal bonuses and generous contract extensions.


International schools must adapt to the evolving recruitment landscape by embracing innovative hiring strategies and offering competitive remuneration packages. For educators seeking new opportunities, now is an excellent time to explore the diverse and rewarding roles available in international schools. 

If you’re an experienced or new educator looking for your next challenge, consider joining EDU Passport’s EDUJobs hiring pool. With access to a wide range of international teaching positions and support throughout the recruitment process, EDUJobs can help you find the perfect fit for your skills and career aspirations. Join EDU Passport’s EDUJobs hiring pool today and take the next step in your international teaching journey!

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