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Why Your Next Hire Should Be a Teacher

Updated Feb 22, 2023

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Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. Think back to your school years. Who was your favorite teacher? What did you like about that person, and what made them so special? It probably comes down to something like their personality, creative and caring nature, or ability to make learning fun and achievable. Whatever the reason, it’s no surprise that good teachers can have a significant impact on young minds.

But did you know that good teachers can have a lasting effect on adults as well? Some companies are tapping into the talent that former educators bring by employing them to teach their staff. Don’t worry; these teachers aren’t going to make you relearn algebra. Instead, experienced educators can translate their skills to your human resources department to help with some crucial tasks — namely, onboarding and training new hires.

Importance of effective employee onboarding and training

A successful employee onboarding process is one of the most important elements of the employee life cycle. Experts say an effective onboarding period should last at least three months. Although the statistics vary, the quality of the onboarding process can impact how long a new hire stays with a business. Effective onboarding is a long-term investment that plays a key role in employee retention, performance and job satisfaction. 

For example, HR software company Kallidus found that employees are 2.6 times more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace if they feel they had an exceptional onboarding experience. Furthermore, 70 percent of workers who had an exceptional onboarding experience said they have “the best possible job.”

High levels of employee engagement and job satisfaction are linked to higher performance, productivity, attendance and morale. In addition to onboarding, continued employee training and development are vital to employee retention and overall satisfaction. Workers value continued development and the chance to gain new skills over time. To ensure onboarding and training are among your company’s strengths, you may want to consider hiring a teacher.

TipBottom line

If you’re looking for ways to improve your onboarding process, check out these onboarding best practices.

Benefits of hiring teachers to onboard and train employees

Teachers have a range of valuable qualities that can translate to many aspects of operating a business, such as marketing and project management, but educators can be especially beneficial additions to your HR department. BestColleges even lists training and development manager and HR manager among the top 10 best jobs for former teachers.

Here are a few reasons why teachers can make great HR employees, especially when it comes to onboarding and training team members.

Teachers know how to simplify complex processes.

Educators have extensive experience in catering teaching methods to different learning styles. They understand how to simplify complex problems and theories for their students. [Read related article: 5 Ways to Improve Transfer of Learning in the Workplace]  

When new hires go through employee onboarding and training, they are often inundated with an overwhelming amount of information. Educators have the skills to break down that information into useful chunks for new hires to retain. Teachers are typically familiar with common workplace technology as well, making them equipped to educate new hires on not only your business processes but also unfamiliar software.

Teachers are flexible and innovative.

Innovation and flexibility are skills that many educators possess. Most schoolteachers run their classes with limited resources, forcing them to think creatively to give their students the best education possible. When student conflicts arise, teachers are tasked with successfully managing conflict resolution.

Creativity and problem-solving skills are assets in HR roles and highly desirable skills. If a new employee runs into an issue during their training or development process, the teacher you’ve hired would be a great resource to help them troubleshoot and overcome the problem.

Teachers have good communication and interpersonal skills.

Educators’ professional careers revolve around effective communication. They have strong written and verbal skills, and they know how to put together presentations and training plans that are centered around how people learn. Someone who understands how to communicate and interact with your new employees can have a major positive impact on how new hires progress through their onboarding and training process.

Teachers are structured and detail-oriented.

If you hire a former educator to run your training and development plans, you can expect them to meet their goals and deadlines. Teachers are used to setting and meeting year-long goals, and they have experience developing structured lesson plans with day-to-day objectives that ultimately achieve those long-term goals.

This type of structure is essential for implementing effective onboarding and training strategies across your organization. You want a leader who can carefully plan onboarding and development objectives for each new hire — and actually follow through on those objectives regardless of the hurdles that may arise. This is critical, because addressing employee development during new-hire onboarding makes employees 3.5 times more likely to say their onboarding experience was exceptional, according to Kallidus.

Did You Know?Did you know

The past few years have been especially tough on teachers. According to the National Education Association, 90 percent of educators are experiencing burnout and 55 percent of educators are considering leaving teaching earlier than they originally planned. These trends could present a hiring opportunity for your business.

Limitations of hiring teachers to onboard and train employees

Although former educators can bring many talents to your HR department, not all teachers will be the right fit for your company. This is partially because adults and children learn differently. Although adults and kids do have some similarities when it comes to learning — for example, they like receiving positive feedback, and they need to understand the relevance of difficult concepts to retain information — if you hire a former educator who taught solely young children, they may need to freshen up their teaching strategies to be effective in educating your team of adults.

For example, adult learners understand the material better if they know what’s in it for them. They also have a variety of life experiences that they can draw from to help learn and remember how to solve certain problems or situations. An educator who is used to working with young, fresh minds may find it difficult to make the transition to teaching experienced adult students.

Another limitation educators may struggle with is the differing speeds of learning loss. Children excel at learning concepts to use at a later time, whereas adults need to utilize their learned material immediately or else they tend to forget it. The adult mind is an entirely different beast, and an educator who cannot adjust their methods for older learners may find it challenging to be effective in this role. 

Although we expect educators to put aside stereotypes and not engage in discriminatory practices, the reality is that teachers are just as susceptible to unconscious bias as anyone else. Educators who don’t embrace diversity, equity and inclusion may not be the best fit for a modern workplace. Lastly, while prioritizing training at your company with the help of a teaching professional is a noble endeavor, make sure you don’t scare employees with this TRAP.

FYIDid you know

When hiring a teacher for your business or filling any role, you’ll want to avoid this costly salary mistake.

Getting the most out of teachers in HR roles

Teachers are used to working within clear, defined guidelines to meet their goals. When you are interviewing or hiring a former educator for your organization, it can be helpful to clearly outline their future responsibilities and the overall objectives of the company. It can also be beneficial to have the educator you hire go through your formal onboarding program themselves so they can see what your current processes are and learn the ways of your business.

Then, they can use their skills to improve your onboarding and training programs. Keep in mind that although educators might need you to tell them what to do (for example, what are the organizational goals you want to accomplish through onboarding and training?), they don’t need you to tell them how to do it. Once a teacher understands your objectives, they can use their own knowledge and teaching experience to strategically develop onboarding and training plans that will meet the needs of your employees and strengthen your HR department.

Skye Schooley
Staff Writer at
Skye Schooley is a human resources writer at and Business News Daily, where she has researched and written more than 300 articles on HR-focused topics including human resources operations, management leadership, and HR technology. In addition to researching and analyzing products and services that help business owners run a smoother human resources department, such as HR software, PEOs, HROs, employee monitoring software and time and attendance systems, Skye investigates and writes on topics aimed at building better professional culture, like protecting employee privacy, managing human capital, improving communication, and fostering workplace diversity and culture.
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