46. Meet a Recruiting Phenom: Pauline O'Brien from International Schools Services

Educators Going Global

Feb 16 2024 • 1 hr 15 mins

Who is the go-to resource for the lowdown on the current state of international school recruiting? Thanks to an introduction from super-connector Laura Light, we were fortunate enough to connect with one of the best-placed people for answers to our recruiting questions. Pauline O'Brien is the Global Recruitment Business Strategy Development Director at International School Services (ISS).

We peppered Pauline with questions to help our listeners deepen their understanding of where things stand concerning recruiting and other trends in international education.

Pauline has 20+ years of experience in professional recruiting, client service, and school board relations in international education. She has designed multi-faceted learning opportunities for international schools, which include competency-based recruiting strategies, skills-based interviewing methods, and STAR application profiles.

Pauline has served on the International Task Force for Child Protection and has been a board member of Women’s Business Initiative International and ACCESS in the Netherlands.

Originally from Ireland, Pauline resides with her family in the Netherlands, where she studied international business in Dutch.

The guiding question was, "What are recent changes and trends in international school recruiting?"

Here are some of the many topics that Pauline spoke to:

  • Pauline's background in the corporate world brings new perspectives to how international schools approach their work.
  • Child safeguarding continues to be a key trend.
  • Recruiting should be about evaluating candidates' skills and aptitudes.
  • Pauline mentioned some of the services that ISS offers,  including learning materials to help with recruiting. Listen to the interview with Nadine Richards and Dana Specker Watts for more on this.
  • We compared virtual fairs during the COVID lockdown with in-person recruitment fairs.
  • The recruiting "season" is now year-round.
  • ISS is working with schools to diversify their recruiting outreach.
  • ISS offers orientation activities for first-time applicants at its fairs .
  • Be ready with targeted, relevant questions during interviews. Our profiling tool can help with this.
  • Veterans: avoid being overconfident - so much in recruiting has changed recently.
  • Many international educators left China during the COVID lockdown; some are now returning.
  • We discussed the nature of so-called “hardship posts”.
  • A few related trends concern health insurance, well-being, support for staff, PD, and crisis management.

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Music: YouTube. (2022).
Acoustic Guitar | Folk | No copyright | 2022❤️. YouTube. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOEmg_6i7jA.