SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — To Becky Dorman, the Sioux Falls School District is just beginning to use social media to recruit teachers and other staff.
“In a million years, I never thought we’d be (advertising) through Myspace, Facebook or Instagram,” Dorman said.
But the opportunities have evolved until now, “it’s a main place we needed to be,” Dorman said.
Dorman works in human resources for the school district. She’s old enough to remember when social media meant Myspace was the go-to online platform. Myspace has become less popular as other online and social media options and app have grown in popularity.
With Facebook and Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, Dorman said the school district needs to “stay on top of these things. We need to learn what app makes (the most sense).”
“I feel like we’ve done a nice job of rolling with the changes,” Dorman said.
The school district just hired 219 new teachers and 107 education specialists, education assistants and clerical staff.
Dorman said different social media and online approaches were used for teachers and other staff.
The district used its Facebook account to recruit education assistants.
“What we like to do is share a message that appeals to people who want to work with kids…,” Dorman said. “Facebook is what we use most and that seems to travel the best.”
“For the users of Facebook, we’re not finding 20-somethings on Facebook,” Dorman said. But their parents, their aunts or their uncles might be on Facebook, she said.
And the parents, aunts, or uncles may share the education assistant job opening with their friends and family members, Dorman said.
Facebook has also been successful with finding speech pathologists, for example, Dorman said. It’s a good net to capture those who may be thinking of a different position, Dorman said.
It’s also been successful for teachers, particularly in specialty areas, she said.
The district needed music instructors late this summer.
Facebook was a way to reach music instructors who weren’t working in schools but in education and music positions in churches and other areas.
The push was successful, she said.
As to future options, it could include TikTok. TikTok is a video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos on topics.
“A lot of people are on TikTok; myself, I’m not on TikTok,” Dorman said. “I know college students are on TikTok.”
The school district said 36% of its teacher hires were new to the profession, which means a portion of those could be recent college graduates and likely familiar with TikTok.
A variety of online publications geared toward recruitment say that TikTok launched an exploration for a pilot job service and recruitment program.
Whether or not the district would use TikTok or Snapchat or similar options to recruit teachers or staff is for future discussion, Dorman said.
The district has already had good luck with a more traditional online option by listing its teaching openings with several online job sites and the Associated School Boards of South Dakota (ASBSD) job sites.
When an individual searches online for South Dakota teaching jobs, an online job site and the ASBSD site are two of the most common sites that appear, Dorman said.
Once a potential candidate clicks on a site to learn more about a job in Sioux Falls, they are directed to the school district website.