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56 – Education Recruitment Agencies with Alli Arney

Recently we announced the launch of Teacher Career Coach’s sister company, Qualified Team Solutions, an education recruitment agency focused on matching candidates with a passion for education with roles in EdTech companies. We quickly learned that many members of our audience have never worked with a recruiter before, so naturally they had many questions. In this episode, I interview Alli Arney, one of the main team members behind Qualified Team Solutions, to help answer your biggest questions about working with a recruiter. 

Listen to the episode in the podcast player below, or find it on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Working with Education Recruitment Agencies with Daphne Gomez & Allie Arney

Daphne Gomez: 

Welcome to The Teacher Career Coach Podcast. I’m your host, Daphne Gomez. On episode 48, we announce the launch of Teacher Career Coach’s sister company, Qualified Team Solutions, or QTS for short. QTS is a recruiting agency with the goal of matching candidates with an enthusiasm and passion for education to the ed tech companies that align with their values. What we quickly learned after launching was that many members of our audience had never worked with an education recruitment agency before.

So naturally, there were a lot of unanswered questions. In this episode, I interview Alli Arney, one of the main team members behind Qualified Team Solutions and Teacher Career Coach to help answer your biggest questions about working with a recruiter. Hey, Alli. It is so good to have you back on the podcast.

Alli Arney: 

Thank you for having me. 

Daphne Gomez: 

For everyone who did not listen, Alli Arney is one of my favorite team members that’s worked with Teacher Career Coach since the very beginning. And she’s actually a past guest on the podcast, which is episode 29, where she came on and talked all about writing a resume and what a teacher can do to write a transition resume. But she’s coming on today to share her expertise about recruiting and working with recruiters in general. And Alli, do you mind sharing a little bit about your background working in this capacity?

Alli Arney: 

Sure. So I graduated college with a degree in psychology and ended up my first real big girl job was in recruiting. I landed with a third party recruiting firm. That basically means I worked as the middle person between candidates and companies looking to find the right hire. So I got to play corporate matchmaker. It was fun. So I got into that. I specialized in placing HR, did a lot with operations positions, admins, executive admins, executive roles, and leadership, some accounting, just a little bit of everything. And really grew my HR knowledge and experience from there.

Daphne Gomez: 

That’s one of the that I always talk about when people are looking for advice on resumes, advice on best practices when it comes to interviewing and they start to ask people that may not actually have knowledge when it comes from a hiring perspective. So for example, let’s say someone has an instructional design position and they got that position and they’re starting to give advice to others who are looking for instructional design positions. They might start giving resume advice or interview advice.

What I always say is those are great former teachers to ask for specific skill sets. Like, what skills did you learn? What platforms do you use? But when it comes to interviewing and hiring, that’s a completely different industry in itself. Someone with recruiting experience like yourself, you have experience working with probably hundreds, thousands of hiring managers knowing what’s best practices overall for a variety of positions, variety of companies. What would be some of the ways that you see recruiters actually work with candidates and help candidates go through the hiring process?

What are some ways that education recruitment agencies help candidates during the hiring process?

Alli Arney: 

Yeah, all recruiters are not made equal first and foremost. So it’s important that you find one that matches your personality and works with you from the direction that you need to be worked with. Everybody functions differently and receives support differently. So in general, your recruiter should be giving you interview preparations. Some insight into the personality of who you’ll be meeting with, how many people you’ll be meeting with, the general types of questions they’ll be asking, how to handle salary questions. All of those things.

They should help you update your resume or guide you through that process so that you’re sending the client or the company an updated good quality resume that matches what the client would be looking for. Specifically, if they’ve worked with that client before, they would know the types of hot buttons that the client looks for in a resume too, which is really helpful. Any industry insight, they should be able to help you decide what new skills to learn and pick out different strengths and weaknesses to highlight for yourself. I think that’s one of the most challenging pieces and sometimes you need a completely unbiased third party to say, “Hey, here’s some that I think you should highlight about yourself.

Daphne Gomez: 

I noticed that you said a second ago that not all recruiters are made equal. I feel like we connected really quickly and something that I’ve always noticed about you is your patience, your grace and your huge heart. You really care about people. You care about every single person that you work with. And that is how you actually communicate and support people and the Teacher Career Coach course. I’ve seen how you did that, which is ultimately why we decided to create a recruiting agency, which is Qualified Team Solutions. What can you say to our audience about how Qualified Team Solutions may be different than other recruiters or recruiting companies?

How is Qualified Team Solutions Different than other Education Recruitment Agencies?

Alli Arney: 

Recruitment as a field, it does get a bad rep sometimes because there’s the good, bad and the ugly. But there really are with everything. I’ve certainly had terrible customer service at restaurants, but I still go out to eat. So from that perspective, I think it’s easy to judge or go into a situation assuming that you’re going to have the same experience that all of your friends have had, because you’ve probably heard the bad experiences at that restaurant or at that place or that recruiting firm.

And with recruiters there are bad recruiters just like bad, anything in every industry. I think what makes them quote-unquote bad would be sometimes they are easily persuaded by the dollar rather than the goal of getting someone a great opportunity. I certainly don’t want to say I sound like I’m better than anybody. That’s not what I mean, but that truly was my heart. Money’s awesome. I plan to have plenty of it one day, but I still had to sleep at night – I had to make decisions for my candidates and for my clients that were the best long lasting decisions.

I truly believe with Qualified Team Solutions you have the same heart Daphne, you’re so passionate about helping people. You’ve been through the nightmare that teachers are living and you have all of the fruit on the tree to help them progress into a new career. So I think bringing together these passions of people who have been there, done that and just want to help people not have to reinvent the wheel is exactly what QTS is about. I won’t say that that’s different than every recruiting firm out there because there are great and phenomenal recruiters out there. But I believe that’s what makes us unique is you’re guaranteed to have an experience with QTS.

That is about heart, is about the right ethical decision for you, for the company that is not about the dollar bill first and foremost. It’s about putting teachers or former educators making them former educators so that they can go on and pursue careers and take that passion and transition into a new industry. So if there’s still phenomenal people within the world of education, but they don’t have to be in the classroom, they can become in different capacities and grow their skills and use their skills.

Because a lot of teachers they’ve blessed the classroom in a lot of ways. Now it’s time for them to go bless the industry in a lot of other ways. I think that’s what QTS is so excited about is just helping people find those matches. I believe ed tech companies specifically are excited about that too. They just need that bridge to find those right candidates. And that’s what QTS… That’s the pillow we rest our head on at night. So we’re obviously excited. I get fired up talking about it because I’m so excited to see the difference that we can make for companies and for candidates out there and ultimately in the world of education.

Daphne Gomez: 

Exactly. One of the gripes that I hear so many teachers talk about is they start to work with recruiters. Recruiters reach out to them on LinkedIn about potential opportunities and then when it comes to talking a little bit about their experience, what they’re looking for in a new position, the recruiter isn’t really listening and then they give them job opportunities that don’t align with what their goals are. Some job opportunities that are somewhat condescending, somewhat insulting.

And then also they either get ghosted or just flat out told, “We’re sorry, we’re not going to work with you. You don’t have the experience necessary.” And it starts to weigh on them. It starts to hurt their ego and it makes it where they don’t want to work with any other recruiters in general. So how does a recruiter actually help a candidate? They are able to actually sit and full-time really work and search for the right opportunities. Is that…

Alli Arney: 

That yeah. I mean, I use that term corporate matchmaker a lot as a describer of what recruiters do because the recruiters job and every company structure a little different. There’s always a salesperson involved that goes and finds the clients and all those nuances, but we’ll just call them all recruiters for the sake of the conversation. Recruiters are supposed to find the opportunities, find companies or clients that have a position open, they need filled. They’re supposed to learn about the company culture, learn about the job descriptions, the hard skills, the soft skills, the potential for grow growth, the salary range, the potential for salary to grow, bonuses, perks all of the nitty gritty.

When you’re scanning through a job description, all the questions that you have in your mind. I wonder what their lunch break’s like. Are people hanging out or is everybody in their cubes still working? All those questions that we have, a recruiter should in theory know those or is most of those. That’s their job is to find out all of those pieces so then they can come back and find the person that fits that piece. The puzzle piece, the best.

So in essence, a recruiter should function like a puzzle maker or put together or really find the right fit from a culture standpoint, from a job skill standpoint, from a potential growth and succession and planning standpoint, and be able to put all of those pieces together. That being said, recruiters are doing that for a lot of companies and a lot of candidates at the same time. So give your recruiters some grace. And if you call them and they don’t answer, don’t call them back in an hour. Don’t call them back the next morning. Wait 48 hours, then call them again.

Just respect the fact that you’re not their only candidate and that’s not the only job they’re recruiting on. You’re not the only person calling them. And if they’re always on the phone, updating you to tell you that they don’t have any updates, they’re not getting the job done. They’re calling clients trying to place you too. Because even if they don’t have the right opportunity available, they’re reaching out to their clients and marketing you. They’re advocating for you saying, “Hey, we’ve got this great candidate. This is his or her skillset – this is what they bring to the table. This is why they’re awesome and a great fit for your company.” They’re actively trying to place you.

So give them some grace. If you feel like you’ve been ghosted, really take a look at how long it’s been since you’ve talked to them. If it’s been longer than a week or two, then maybe send them an email and follow up. Let them know that you’re still available. Nothing’s changed in your status. If you’ve had other interviews or actively interviewing with another company, just let them know that you have some things going on. Just give them the updates, but give them a little grace too.

Daphne Gomez: 

That’s a really great segue into my next question, which is, if somebody applies on… Let’s say Qualified Team Solutions has a job opening and they submit their resume. Should they start reaching out to the recruiters or should they be way for the recruiters to actually contact them?

When should candidates reach out to an education recruitment agencies directly?

Alli Arney: 

I would wait for the recruiters to contact you. There’s a lot of great things about being bold. And if it’s a position that you genuinely feel you match that job description 100%, reach out, but that’s not going to be every job. So at that point, if everybody only reaches out about the jobs that they have met 100% of those pieces, then it’s not unrealistic for the recruiter to call back. But if everybody that applies to QTS is calling to say, “Hey, I submitted my resume.” And they don’t give the recruiter the chance to take a look and get through that pile of hundreds of resumes they’re getting a week, then it can almost put a bad take in the recruiter’s mouth.

You want to start off on the right foot and that foot needs to start with respect, which is respecting their schedule, their timeline. And on the flip side, I understand that candidates want to feel respected in return, which in the world of a job search means some sort of answer. Let me know that you got my resume. Let me know that I exist. I 100% get that. Just give them time. If it’s been a little while and you haven’t heard anything, go for it. But don’t immediately pick up the phone and say, “Hey, I just sent my resume.” It hasn’t even come through the system yet. So just give grace. That’s the best thing that I can say. Give grace, give patience give time, but they’ll get to you for sure.

Working with Education Recruitment Agencies with Alli Arney

Are their fees associated with recruiting companies?

Daphne Gomez: 

One of the things that I hear a lot of teachers concerned about is not really wanting to work with a recruiter because they think that eventually it’s going to cost them money. A fee. Is that something that you’ve seen ever happen with recruiting?

Alli Arney: 

So there are two types of recruiters. There are headhunters and there are recruiters, corporate and third party. Headhunters are where you pay them a fee and say, “Hey, I paid you now go find me a job.” You would know upfront if that was going to happen. With a regular recruiter, that should never happen. They should never ask for money from you. It should be a situation where they are paid by the employer. So paid by the clients. The companies pay them to find the right candidates. So no it should ever cost you anything.

Daphne Gomez: 

How can a candidate actually stand out when working with a recruiter to make sure that, like you said, we have limited resources. As a recruiting company, we only have a certain amount of jobs to fill. Maybe it’s two within this week, maybe it’s 30 within this week. But if we have thousands of other people applying to the same positions, what would make a candidate really stand out to a recruiter?

What makes a candidate stand out to education recruitment agencies?

Alli Arney: 

Taking the time to update your resume first before you submit it. I know sometimes we get really excited because we see a job that we’re excited about. We feel like we’re a great fit for it. And so we just send the resume that we have, especially if someone has come from the world of TCC and found QTS that way, you have the resources. We know that. So your resume should be, I wouldn’t say should. It is greatly helpful to the recruiter if you have already put some time in to do your transitions, to update it, to look like the type of position that you are pursuing.

If from glancing at the resume, the recruiter cannot what type of position you’re pursuing, it’s going to be very challenging for her to separate you from some of the other candidates as well. The ones that will stand out that phenomenon, I forget the name of it, but it’s basically where… It’s like a psychology center. Anyway, it’s a phenomenon where let’s say you want to buy a Mustang that’s yellow and you make that decision, and then all of a sudden you feel like now you see Mustangs that are yellow, everywhere.

And you’re like, “Does everyone drive this car? I’ve never noticed this before.” There aren’t suddenly a new volume of those cars on the market. It’s just suddenly you’re noticing them. It’s the same thing when a recruiter is going into their database, their applicant tracking system to look at resumes. If they’re going to look for an instructional designer that has worked with Canvas, LMS, then if they see that on the resume at first glance, it stands out it’s very clear cut, that’s who they’re going to call.

If they have to dig through a resume for it, they’re just going to keep going. And if they have time to circle back, they will, but the first people they’re going to stop on are the ones that their resume says exactly what they’re looking for. So it’s in important and it’s helpful. That’s the best way to stand out. So go ahead and do some of that work on the front end.

Advice for job seekers

Daphne Gomez: 

Yeah. I love that. It’s some of the advice that we actually give in the Teacher Career Coach course, which is what you said when people come from the course into the Qualified Team Solutions. It’s usually a little bit more obvious because those are the resumes that really stand out. But for those who are not in the course who are listening to this, and want to hear just some getting started tips, if I applied with my fifth grade teacher resume back in the past, and it just said, these are all the different things that I did inside the classroom.

I taught students and I kept track of records and I was a fifth grade teacher and I submitted that onto Qualified Team Solutions. No, one’s going to make the inference if I want to be in customer success and really work with people, or if I want to do instructional design, if I’m an outgoing personality and I like being in front of people. I like corporate training positions and the recruiter themselves, they don’t have the time to call every single candidate and say, “Hey, Daphne I know you probably are leaning towards a direction. Can we figure out what direction you’re leaning and then sort it?”

It’ll be easier to go in and see the 30 people, these are all looking for customer success positions. I can call them and follow up and see how they take LinkedIn more learning courses. Have they started freelancing as a virtual assistant or had even more customer success experience that they forgot to add to their resume. It easier to go in and dive into the people who have given you more to work with.

Alli Arney: 

100%. I’ve used this analogy before. I think I even used it on the last podcast. I’m sure I did. People probably already know which analogy is coming. If you have a student that doesn’t understand fractions, you do not continue to teach that student in terms of fractions, you would translate it into pizza or money or cookies or whatever that child is interested in. Something that they can relate to. You have to understand that corporate, they don’t fractions. They speak pizza.

So you have to go in knowing that if you know your classroom is not going to understand fractions right out the gate, you’re going to start with pizza, then translate it into fractions. Same thing here. You know corporate is not going to see your resume in terms of teaching. They’re going to see it in terms of pizza. So go ahead and start there and it’s going to help your recruiter get to you so much faster if they, like you said, don’t have to make those inferences. If they see pizza, they’re calling. So make your resume look like pizza.

Submitting a Resume to Educational Recruitment Agencies

Daphne Gomez: 

I know a lot of our audience probably is stuck in a little bit of a pickle right now where maybe they’re really interested in that getting started career, maybe. They’re interested in pursuing a sales position, but long-term, they may want to go into corporate training or learning and development, but that was harder for them to get into and they know that would be an easier stepping stone for them to even break into the ed tech field. What about those people who have two almost different positions that they’re applying for? What resume should they actually submit onto the Qualified Team Solutions website?

Alli Arney: 

I would say whichever one is most relevant. First of all, if there’s a job on the QTS website that you see specifically that peaks your interest, then obviously apply for the one that peaks your interest rather than just blindly submitting your resume and then pick the resume that matches that the most. If that situation doesn’t occur or you’re really 50/50, you don’t know which one you prefer more, then maybe play rock paper scissors with yourself. Just pick one and send it. But first attempt to submit the one that matches the role that you’re pursuing most.

Ask yourself, “What are some of the skills that I want to take into the next position?” And see what those align with most. If what you’re saying to yourself, for instance, if you’re between a customer success manager and an instructional designer, and those top three things that you’re looking at are, you still want to work people every day and training people in some capacity, you still want to be involved in education and you want to work remotely.

Well, if those are your top three things look at, for instance, training people. Do you want to be hands on in the classroom, just with adults? Do you want to be the one creating the material or do you want to be the one to teaching, “Here’s how you use this program. Just break down the nitty gritty and find what really matches your heart the most and submit the one even if it’s 51%.

Submit that one first and just move forward and the recruiter can help you pick out which one. It’s always great to put both fields on the recruiter’s radar too, because if you’re a 50/50 and they get something in else in that you’re interested in, they’ll still call you on that.

Daphne Gomez: 

So for people who are listening, who may have already landed their next career in an educational technology company, and they know maybe two years from now, there might be a higher up level position that might sound good to them. Right now, now they’re not actively looking for a role. Would you suggest that they still apply on our website?

Applying to QTS for advancement in your career

Alli Arney: 

Yeah. I mean, same thing. You never know if there’s going to be a great opportunity that pops up with working with different companies that are ed tech. We’re not just working on entry level positions. A byproduct as going to be them looking for higher level positions. We’ll start a conversation with a company, looking for customer success manager and find out that they need a director of sales or something of that nature.

If that’s the path that you’re headed down, by all means, let us know that. Reach out, submit your resume and if something pops up, great. And we feel like you’re a candidate that we can market to some of our clients, we know that they have that coming down the pipeline and you may be at the right time to transition. We can also market you for those things too.

Daphne Gomez: 

That’s a great answer. I want to even dive in a little bit further into what we do when it comes to working with the client, because we have candidates and the candidates are you listening right here, the audience, the teachers and former teachers. You’re the job seekers and you are who we’re trying to place, but ultimately who we really work the closest with would be the clients, the education companies themselves. How does a recruiting company actually help an education company source and find the best candidates?

How do recruitment agencies help an education company find the best candidates?

Alli Arney: 

If it’s the right partnership between a company and a recruiter, it’s more of an organizational development type of relationship. So the recruiter can come in and say, “What are your challenges?” They may just have a challenge on their team. Maybe their team’s not getting along the right way, or they’re not keeping people the way they want to. They’re just not meeting their quotas, whatever it is. And the recruiter can be that problem solver for them and say, “You know what?

You need somebody that can come in and be a leader and have this flare for data analytics, and be able to look at this and see where the deficits are and automatically know what type of process improvements to put in place for this. Teachers do that all the time. They look at student data and they say, “Wow, there’s a gap here. We need to reteach something. We need to reassess and recover unit for whatever that may look like.

It’s kind of that concept. Recruiters come in and see where the gaps are. How can we find a person to fill your position that also fills the lacking needs that they have? And so they’re really diving into their culture, figuring that out. Or if a company has a really solid culture, making sure that you understand that, so then they can find the candidate and then come and have those conversations during interviews with the candidate. What’s your personality? How do you get with people – how do you handle conflict? How do you approach a challenging conversation, all that kind of stuff.

Matching the right candidate with the right position

It’s so important to be very transparent with your recruiter about those things from a more personality standpoint too, not just say what you think they want to hear, because they’re going to put you somewhere based on those answers. So if you’re saying something just because, and I’m not assuming anyone’s lying, that’s not what I mean, but we’re all guilty of getting so excited about a position that we talk specifically about the pieces that align with what they’re saying. And we force ourself to fit that puzzle piece in. If you force your puzzle piece in, then you find one piece left at the end of the puzzle that doesn’t fit anywhere else.

And that’s going to be you by the time that you get six months down the road in a position because you squeezed yourself in and oops. You don’t actually really fit that culture. So the recruiter’s job is to mediate all that and make sure that they’re able to find the right fit. But they’re also talking to the client, preparing them for the interviews, advocating for that candidate. This is why they’re a great fit. Just as much as they’re telling the candidate, here’s the types of questions they’re going to ask you in helping prepare them.

Doing that on the other side, they’re debriefing both a candidate and the client after an interview. What went wrong? What went great? How are you feeling to both parties? And then many times I have been able to go back to a client and say, “Hey, I just talked to Sarah, and she is so excited about this opportunity, but she hasn’t interviewed in 12 years. And man, she feels like she really let her nerves get to her. Did you feel like she was nervous?” And the client’s like, “Yeah, I was not really sure if it was her personality or if she was nervous.”

She stumbled over her words a lot and didn’t really fully answer the questions. Great! Would you be willing to give a second interview and allow her to work on her nerves a little bit? We’re all human. It’s an awkward situation. People get it, but that recruiter can be that advocate and that mediator for you too.

Professional interviewing tip

Daphne Gomez: 

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I love that. The recruiter basically works as an extension of someone who works at that company. The company has a position that needs to be filled and they probably have a lot of candidates. It’s hard to get to know who’s going to be the best candidate within a 30 to one hour window. Especially when we’re not all entirely our cell during that. Our resumes reflect who we are and we do so with honesty. But also many of them may end up looking somewhat similar, some stand out, some have a couple more years of experience and this way or that way. But when it comes down to it, the recruiter has a real connection with any of the candidates.

They’ve gone through this process. They’ve had more opportunities to actually work and talk to the candidates. And to understand who’s going to be a better fit for the position. What makes QTS different than other education recruitment agencies is we understand the pedagogy and the mission of these companies.

If it’s a stem-based education company with a mission to make sure that there’s equity in stem education. We’ll be able to sort through our candidates and see who has experience in all of those different subject matters. They’re going to be happy to pursue these types of positions because it’s something that speaks to their heart. It’s an area that they’re actually an expert in. But they’re able to utilize those passions in a new way. Which the company themselves are looking for candidates that not only are experts. They also want someone who’s going to be passionate and stay there for a very, very long time.

Placing candidates in their specific area of expertise

Alli Arney: 

Absolutely. That’s something really important to remember that your recruiter… I like that phrasing. It is kind of an extension of that company. They have to make the right decision for the company, just as much as they have to make the right decision for you. I don’t know if you’ve ever fired anybody, but it stinks. It is not fun. It’s not easy. It is heart wrenching, your stomach is in knots. I understand that if your recruiter comes to you and says, “Hey, you didn’t get the job, or I’m not going to be able to submit you for that position. You’re just not the right fit.” Please don’t take that personal.

They’re doing the right thing. What they feel is the best thing for you and for the company. And just as much as they’re the middle person as well as they are an extension, they are stuck in the middle. There’s been plenty of clients and candidates where, I love the candidate. I believe they’re a right fit. That’s why I sent them over, but after getting some feedback, maybe the client shared something that made me realize you know what? That’s really not the right fit and I just wasn’t able to fully place that person in that position with good conscience for the client or for the candidate.

So understand that when they make those tough calls, it’s so much easier for an applicant tracking system to just not respond than it is for a recruiter to say, “Hey, we’ve spent a couple hours talking and I have to give you bad news.” It’s so challenging, but they’re doing it because that’s what they feel is the right thing. But at the same time, just as much as they’ll cry a little with you, if you don’t get the position, they’re going to be the first ones to celebrate with you when they’re offering you that position to you and cry many conversations with candidates, as they’re crying, because out the offer and it’s so exciting and emotional. And you really have this cheerleader in your corner to help walk you through that process.

The Real Estate Analogy

Daphne Gomez: 

I think that there’s this saying or something that my real estate agent, when we were looking for a house says, every time you lose an offer on a house, it’s because your actual dream house, your actual perfect house is going to be right around the corner. Once you find that house, once you finally get to buy the house, that’s what was meant for you and you’re going to be happy, but just wait for that process. And it’s easier said than done. Lots of tears, lots of frustration, it’s never going to happen for me and that’s exactly how I felt in the job searching process as well.

There were so many times that I thought this company, it’s the perfect fit for me. I think I can do it. I did a really great job at that interview. Oh, they didn’t hire me. I’m devastated. And then when I finally did get my first role, I realized, that was the perfect job. I’m so happy looking back, didn’t take those other opportunities because it just got better and better with each interview until I really did find a perfect match. I know that it’s so frustrating to hear that from the other side, because you’re like, “Okay, I hear you optimistic lady over there, but it really is the truth.”

And the recruiters, it is in our best interest to find you a position because let’s reveal some of the curtains, we are financially incentivized to actually place you in a role, the right role for you. And that’s where the other recruiters who may potentially put you in a position that’s not a great fit for you. They might rush you to say, “No, you should take this $18 an hour position even though you told me that you needed something $30 an hour, but this is the best position for you and you need to take it. This is all you’re going to get because they’re still getting a financial incentive to put you in that position.”

And so know that if you are not getting a response, if we are giving you that feedback, we’re there to really help you grow and to really find that dream home for you, that perfect job for you. We’re doing so with your best interest and hoping to help coach you along the way.

How do education recruitment agencies get paid?

Alli Arney: 

For sure. I mean total transparency, we don’t get paid until someone’s successful in the role. You have to successfully start and be there for a couple weeks before we even get paid. So that’s part of staffing for direct hire positions. Direct hire means, yes, we guide you through the process, but you are directly on the client’s payroll. You’re not our employee. You are the company’s employee. You work straight for them, all things go through there. We were just the avenue that got you there. Other recruiting firms, and there’s great opportunities that are temp and temp to hire, but they get paid for every hour that you work.

It doesn’t matter if you get fired three hours in, they’re going to get paid for the three hours that you worked. So there is a little bit less incentive for a strong lasting match. Sometimes it’s more about just the match. Again, there are certainly good recruiters that they look at it from this perspective all the time, whether it’s a four hour temp gig or a four year gig. They’ll still look at it. So don’t necessarily think they’re all out to get you, but there are perks of working with QTS who’s a little more incentivized for the long game. Our long game’s strong.

Daphne Gomez: 

And when it comes to that, I think what a lot of people are probably curious about is when it comes to the pay that we would receive when we do the placement, is that actually coming out of, let’s say, they’re negotiating a contract and they would have potentially gotten the 60,000 contract, but because it went through us, they’re only going to get like a $55,000 a year contract. Is that how the pay scale actually comes when working with a recruiter?

Alli Arney: 

No. And that’s a great question. Because I have definitely gotten that question many times over the years. So companies have a separate budget for what they spend on recruiters, if they are using recruiters. So that comes from an operational side of things. That is not taken away from the overhead chart budgets that they’re using within their org chart. So if they plan on paying that position 60,000, they are going to pay you 60,000. They will pay us our fee out of another pot of cash. So no, that does not happen. We are not taking anything away from you. If anything, we are helping you because we’re going to be able to negotiate the right cost.

Daphne Gomez: 

And with the financial incentive that we’re able to receive, it means that we’re able to actually pay a team, to sit down research jobs, research companies, and keep fighting and advocating for you. Because with everything comes a return on time investment and we are able to actually fund people, sitting down and continuing to fight and advocate for this money or fight and advocate for your positions. Now I sound like I’m just money focused. Edit it out, Jonathan. (laughter)

Alli Arney: 

It’s part of it though. It’s part of it. The world runs on money. We don’t go to work because we want to have fun. Let’s be honest. We go to work because we have to get paid and we have to pay our bills. The same reason why we show up for work every day, we got to get paid. We just get to help people in the process. But the heart is what’s behind it. If you’re doing it for the right reasons, then you’ll make the right matches and same thing for the candidates.

They can come here and know that they’re going to be able to trust who they’re working with and whoever you work with, even if it’s not QTS. You need to make sure that trust with your recruiter is there. If you feel like that person is slimy and snakey, go find someone else. If you feel like they are shady or maybe money hungry a little bit, or they’re really pushing you for those positions that aren’t what you are looking for.

Or like you mentioned earlier, if you’re an HR manager and they’re trying to put you on the line at a factory, they’re not the right recruiter for you. That’s cool. Walk away. It’s just like trying on shoes. The next one one might fit better. You kind of have to find the right fit for that too. So just remember, trust is a big thing with it.

Working with education recruitment agencies vs. finding a job on your own

Daphne Gomez: 

One thing that we talk about in the course is not putting all your eggs in one basket. A lot of people listening right now might say, “Oh my goodness, there’s this company and their job is to sit down full-time and find me a job.”

What is your best advice for people for diversifying their job search strategy? Utilizing Qualified Team Solutions, but also potentially doing things on their own time?

Alli Arney: 

QTS is good at what they do, but I think of QTS as like a bonus. If they come around and they pop up with a perfect position for you, that is awesome. But you need to hook up with them. Make sure that they know what you’re looking for. Then you need to go right back to your job search the same way that you were. Networking, applying multiple times a day and week. If you only put in one or two applications, it’s like party rules. If you invite 10, eight will probably say they’re coming. You’ll probably hear back from like six and maybe four to six will show up.

It’s the same thing with resumes. You might get a response from one or two, if you’re putting in 10 applications. You don’t want to just put all your eggs in the basket for QTS, that’s one basket. That’s one application. They have access to a lot of companies, but they can’t guarantee to have the position that’s the right fit for you specifically. So count that as a bonus. And then keep networking, keep applying, then be super pumped up when they call you. It’ll be great. It’ll be a nice surprise.

Daphne Gomez: 

Would suggest our audience who are very enthusiastic, really appreciate our mission of helping match mission based companies with the best qualified education candidates, pedagogy experts, industry experts. How would anyone who’s enthusiastic be able to actually help support Qualified Team Solutions in getting started as a startup education recruiting agency?

Working with Qualified Team Solutions

Alli Arney: 

Yeah, I mean, just like any startup and even with finding a new position, networking is huge. People want to work with people that they know and that they can trust. So if you know of an ed tech company that’s hiring for positions, or you get a job in a new ed tech company, but you really appreciate what TCC or QTS has a been able to do for you and others throughout this process, a referral would be great.

An introduction to a manager, HR, whoever your hiring manager is and even just saying, “Hey this company really helped me out. I’d love for you to chat with them or pass along the information to us and we can connect with them ourselves if you’re comfortable with us saying, you refer to us.” But a referral, it’s the biggest compliment that we can receive. So that would be the most helpful one too. So [crosstalk 00:39:02] leads.

Daphne Gomez: 

If any hiring managers made it to the very end of this podcast, by any means, or if this is something that you are thinking of pitching to your company that you’re working at, one great thing to know is working with us for the first few calls is going to be completely free for them just to find out who our candidates are, see what we have and just learn more about us. There’s not going to be a charge unless they actually end up going through and hiring one of our candidates.

Alli Arney: 

Absolutely. It’s a great process. We’re a lot of fun. We think so at least. We have a good time, but I think it’s special and you can bring two mission based companies together. That’s when you really start to have an impact. So we want to just extend our reach and be able to work with more people.

Daphne Gomez: 

Thank you, Alli, for all of your great advice, all of your support with this and for coming on and sharing more about out our company. Really excited for all of you, if you have not applied yet to go onto the website, qualifiedteamsolutions.com and submit your resume and look forward to having you back on the next episode, Alli, when we have you on inevitably in the next 50 episodes.

Final thoughts about the application process

Alli Arney: 

Thank you so much for having me on. I really am so happy to be a part of this mission and to be a part of the journey. And just a reminder to everybody, I know that this process is challenging and especially during holidays, you get this break and then you may have to go back to school or you’re just dreading it. Just remember, your time is coming. You just have to keep going. The only thing that stands between you and getting that job is you whether or not you quit looking or not.

It may take you 20 applications. Or it may take you one call to QTS. It may take you 200 applications. We don’t know what that recipe is specifically for you, but neither do you, but it may be the next one. That is the one for you. So just keep going, stay positive. Remember to keep your soundtrack in your head positive and not let all of the…

We’ll see a lot of family around the holidays, so remember to make sure that you’re keeping the right soundtrack playing in your head. Don’t let in any of those negative Nazis. We look forward to hearing from so many of you, all of you, hopefully in the new year with the new jobs that you’re receiving. The new exciting career paths that you’re on. So please, don’t forget to share that with us either.


Daphne Gomez: 

Thank you so much, Alli. 

Alli Arney: 

Thanks so much, Daphne, have a good one. 

Daphne Gomez: 

Huge thank you to Alli for coming on this episode. Once again, go to episode 29 if you want to hear Alli talk all about writing your best transition resume. Now remember, using Qualified Team Solutions has no cost to the job seekers and we’re able to work around the clock to find jobs that may never even be posted on LinkedIn and match them to the top candidates in this audience. We may be able to even help you continue to grow and advance your career after you’ve landed your first job outside of the classroom.

So make sure to update your resume to reflect any changes and re-upload it onto our website. If you’re already working at an education company that has staffing needs, we’d love to get in touch with the hiring managers and see if there’s any way that we can support there as well. And lastly, if this podcast has been helpful for you, please make sure to help us spread the word to other educators that it even exists. Leaving us a rating on Apple Podcasts helps us so much. I pinky swear, I read every single one of them. We’ll see you on the very next episode of the Teacher Career Coach Podcast.

Important links


Submit your resume to Qualified Team Solutions here.

Episode 29: Writing a Transferable Skills Resume

Modcloth for professional attire

If you’re leaving teaching…

If you’re just beginning to think about leaving teaching, brainstorming other options is a great place to start. But if you’re like many others, teaching was your only plan – there never was a Plan B. You might feel at a loss when it comes to figuring out what alternatives are out there.

Start with our free quiz, below, to get alternative job options for careers that really do hire teachers!

What career outside the classroom is right for YOU? Free Quiz

Taking the First Steps to a New Career

If you’ve already taken our quiz, it may be time for the next steps. I want to help you get some clarity in the options available to you. To know EXACTLY what you need to do (and not do) in order to get your foot in the door.

One of the biggest mistakes that I see teachers make is that they try to navigate this process alone. Often, they put off “researching” until the very last minute. Which sets them up for a very stressful application season – trying to juggle teaching, figuring out a resume, researching jobs, and hoping to nail down some interviews before signing next year’s contract.

You don’t have to do this on your own.

If you are considering a career change from teaching, I have a resource that can help you today. With the help of an HR expert with over 10 years of experience, I’ve created a guide to support you in the early stages of your transition out of the classroom.

In the Career Transition Guide, I’ll walk you through the factors to consider and answer those first-step planning questions including:

Career Transition Guide
  • A compiled list of over 40 careers that teachers can transition into
  • An overview of how to read job descriptions
  • How to evaluate the risk of leaving a full-time teaching job for the unknown
  • Example translations from classroom-to-corporate resumes
  • A checklist of everything you’ll need to do for your career transition (so you know you aren’t missing anything!)
  • and more…

Take the first steps on your path to a new career now for only $19 $9!


or click here to learn more

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