In this article, the director of TutorsPlus, a Tutoring Agency based in Geneva, Switzerland, talks about how they recruit and retain their team of fantastic tutors.
It’s a multi-pronged approach!
Prospective tutors can fill in a ‘become a tutor form’ via our website which then comes through to our Human Resources email account. We take care to read each form carefully and, as we are a small team, we can quickly identify if the applicant has the skills we look for.
Sometimes, we headhunt depending on what our clients are looking for. We might, for example, find ourselves with a particularly high demand for Primary tutors in Zurich, in which case we could advertise via Social Media and use our contacts. We have recruited some of our most long-standing tutors this way.
Often, existing tutors refer their colleagues. We find that once a tutor is up and running and appreciates the professional approach of TutorsPlus, the benefits and the flexibility, they are keen to recommend us to other suitably qualified and experienced tutors.
What skills do you look for in your tutors?
Having Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is a huge bonus, but we do sometimes consider tutors who don’t have a formal teaching qualification if they demonstrate excellent subject knowledge, other relevant qualifications and prior tutoring experience.
As the vast majority of our clients are studying towards their IB, we look for teachers with IB experience and those who are official IB examiners or course advisors.
At the end of the day, we genuinely want to provide our clients with tuition which will help them and/or their children reach their goals, and appropriately qualified and experienced tutors are the key to achieving that!
As well as the above, we look for tutors who are flexible, enthusiastic and have excellent communication skills. Our tutors need to be able to communicate regularly with the office as well as their clients so everyone is up to date.
Talk us through your recruitment process.
Once we have established that we are interested in bringing a tutor onboard, the director of TutorsPlus personally interviews the candidate. During the interview, we discuss the candidate’s skills, experience and motivations for wanting to tutor as well as their availability. We also talk the candidate through the system we use here at TutorsPlus to match tutors with clients and explain some of the admin processes.
Of course, we also discuss our hourly rate: we have worked hard to offer a pay rate which appropriately rewards our tutors and is fair and competitive.
If everyone is still keen, our HR gets involved.
We are committed to offering our employed tutors a contract with social contributions, maternity cover and insurance as well as only employing tutors with a Criminal Records check clearing them to work with minors. We also require references from previous employers and we absolutely require all these documents before any tutoring can take place.
It’s really important to us that we stick with these requirements and don’t cut corners so our clients are guaranteed peace of mind when booking through us.
You employ a number of ‘career tutors’ and have a very high staff retention rate for the industry. What’s your secret?
In short, we value our tutors and work hard to keep them staffed and motivated and to communicate regularly. We offer professional development training, seminars and encourage our tutors to share best practice and attend events (such as the Love Tutoring Festival of course!)
We welcome contributions from our tutors to our blog, and any training they may wish to offer.
We also organise meet-ups whenever we can, our annual summer picnic being a particularly important event for those tutors based in Geneva. Even though the world has gone ‘online’ in a big way, we still feel it is important to meet in the flesh whenever possible so we are not ‘faceless and nameless’.
Tutoring can at times be a lonely career and we feel it is of utmost importance to promote a team spirit and support each other.