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Human Resource Management Essay: Key Challenges in Attracting and Retaining Workforce in the Education Sector


Task:There are two choices (will be announced) for Essay 3 – for example, the ‘X’ sector, or the ‘Y’ sector.

You will write an essay on the key challenges in attracting and retaining a workforce in your selected sector.

Your essay will draw on at least five themes from Week 1 to Week 11 of this unit, being those most relevant to your selected industry sector.

Your essay will draw on the academic literature (including the articles from ‘Reviewing the Literature’ you developed for Assessment 2), and develop an argument applying that literature to your selected sector.

You must cite at least ten (10) relevant peer reviewed journal articles, and 3 chapters from the Nankervis et al. (2017) textbook. You can cite other academic references such as books, conference papers, and book chapters but these will NOT be counted as part of the 10 journal articles


The education sector of the economy consists of the group of institutions that aims at offering education to the young people and children in educational settings. Human resource management is equally important in the education sector for the proper integration and maintenance of the teaching staff in the institutions such that these institutions can easily achieve their purpose along with meeting the goals behind their establishment. Therefore, it requires dedicated and talented teachers and competent business staff for performing various day to day activities. HRM can be defined as the process through which such important people are attracted, trained, motivated, evaluated, compensated and retained for a longer period of time (Nankervis et. al. 2017). This essay focuses on the key challenges involved in attracting and retaining workforce in the education sector.

Challenges in Attracting and Retaining Workforce in Education Sector

The increasing competition in the market is making it difficult for almost every industry to attract and retain the workforce. There are a number of challenges faced by the organizations in the context of attracting and retaining the workforce in the education sector. A number of tools and techniques are involved in attracting the potential candidates for the purpose of filling the vacant positions. Then after conducting various interviews, reference check, medical check and background check, the candidate in selected for the concerned job position. On the other hand, employee retention refers to the organization’s capability of retaining its employees for a longer period of time. The workforce of the organization is its most important asset as it plays a great role in the organization effectiveness. Therefore, it is essential to ensure their retention by providing favourable environment to them (Sheehan, et. al. 2016).

Generally the recruitment strategies in the education sector are untargeted, hyperlocal or non- existent. In other words, such strategies are unable to attract the talented teachers in the workplace either because no efforts are made for attracting the candidates or no benefits are offered to them. Moreover, there is no strategic recruitment of diverse candidates along with the non- existence of the supportive and inclusive environment. These days, the employees do not want to work in such sectors or organizations where any kind of discrimination is made on the basis of caste, creed, colour, etc. Therefore, the employees are not attracted towards such sector and look out for better opportunities in the market (Evans & Leonard, 2013). The context of human resource management provides that agile and flexible perspective is required to be undertaken wile handling the external environment of the organization. The increased number of opportunities are the result of globalization of economies. The HR strategies and planning should be undertaken in respect of the recruitment strategies such that the teachers are attracted towards the educational institutions. For this purpose, talent attraction and selection should be given due important by the educational institutions and schools. For candidates should be selected who are fit for the organization, environment and job. The talent is basically attracted from the outside or external sources in case of education sector. The sources include recruitment agencies, advertisements, online talent attraction, social networking sites, etc. The selection decision should be made after conducting the interview, background checks, medical examination and employment tests. The cost of making the wrong decision should be kept in mind while making the selection decision (Dalayga & Baskaran, 2019).

The teachers working in the schools and other educational institutions in the rural areas are not provided opportunities for their professional development. Moreover, they are also not provided the access to professional learning systems in order to support their constant growth. This creates a challenge for the education institutions in attracting talented workforce. Such teachers utilize their knowledge for getting a job in some other sector where they get immense growth opportunities for further updating their knowledge. A number of opportunities are available for the teachers in the urban areas, therefore, such teachers prefer to teach in these areas for getting various benefits (Cerna & Chou, 2019).

The unrealistic and unclear expectations of the employees working in the education sector creates a major challenge in employee retention. The candidate must be therefore, given a realistic job preview otherwise it may lead to increased employee turnover in the future due to unrealistic expectations. However, some issues arise when the employees are not provided proper training which is needed on order to build the relevant skills which are critical for their roles. Moreover, the lack of diversity in the education institution also creates a challenge in the retention of teachers for longer time period. Therefore, the educational institutions should ensure the participation of diverse people and should offer the needed support to them such that they can perform their roles well (Kelly & Fogarty, 2015).

The teachers further suffered from lack of credible field experiences before moving into actual classroom for performing the role. The lack of proper field experience creates trouble for the teachers and therefore, they are unable to survive in the educational institution for longer time period. This, in turn, increases the employee turnover in the educational institutions in spite of their knowledge of the subjects. High turnover of the teachers result in lack of cohesiveness in the curriculum, instability of schools or educational institutions and a major fall in the teaching standards (Dalayga & Baskaran, 2019).

The high turnover of teachers is mainly found in the disadvantaged schools where the students belonging to the poor and underprivileged background study. Researches further provide that lower job satisfaction level is experienced by the teachers in those schools which have large number of non- white students belonging to low income backgrounds. Therefore, there are higher chances that the teachers leave the school as a result of less favourable working condition. In simple words, the lack of resources and the ineffectiveness of principal lead to higher dissatisfaction of the teachers and impact the employee retention of the educational institution. In order to lower the rate of attrition of teachers in case of disadvantaged schools, efforts should be made for the purpose of increasing the satisfaction level of the teachers through increasing the resource allocation and adjusting various tangible and intangible factors associated with such schools (Grissom, 2011).

Another challenge in attracting and retaining the teachers is due to the fact that the distant and rural regions does not offer much education relating to mathematics and science to the students. However, these subjects are the main areas of interest for the educators. Therefore, the teachers are hindered from working in rural education systems for a longer period of time. While considering the education sector of urban areas, it can be concluded that the teachers suffer from the problem relating to lower pay. The teachers in the urban area are required to lead with high cost of living, which is not possible with the help of lower pay. This leads them to switch to those educational institutions that offer higher pay and other benefits along with providing immense growth opportunities for their professional development. The same situation are suffered by the teachers working in the rural and remote areas. Therefore, steps should be taken for the purpose of increasing the monetary benefits provided to such teachers in order to motivate them for serving these areas (Handal et. al., 2013). This can be linked with human resource planning in changing environment. HR planning is concerned with creating a bridge between HR functions and strategies through the formulation of plans that provide the desired outcomes and are responsive to the changes taking place in the national and global industry environment. With the help of this type of planning, the job satisfaction level of the teachers can be maintained by considering the high cost of living of the region. Moreover, it will also be helpful in providing training to them such that the teachers can perform their role in a smooth manner. They will also be evaluated from time to time for various rewards and appraisals based on their performances (Reilly & Williams, 2016).

The problem of lower pay faced by the teachers can be managed through the implementation of strategic reward management system in the workplace. Different rewards can be offered to the teachers from time to time in exchange of their work contribution as they attach positive value for the organization. The reward can be extrinsic, intrinsic, financial or may be in the form of development and social reward. All the educational institutions should develop a strategic model for reward management that will be based on the dynamic environment, vision, HR strategy and plans, strategic business plans, and remuneration strategies and processes. Moreover, such rewards should be clearly communicated to the teachers and other academic staff in order to encourage them to perform with the best of their capabilities (Mabaso & Dlamini, 2018).

All the teachers look for stability in their careers while working for any school or educational institutions. However, the contractual agreement for the teachers acts as a disrupting factor and therefore, does not allow them to develop attachment towards the community or school in which they are teaching. The teachers look for stability and this means that they want to continue working as a teacher. However, the contractual agreements works by eroding their sense of belongingness towards the community. In simple words, the contractual agreement does not allow to build a meaningful relationship between the educational institution and the teachers and therefore results in high turnover of employees (Plunkett & Dyson, 2011). The educational institutions should consider the workplace negotiation processes as this will assist the management in gaining a proper understanding regarding the nature of conflict in the employment relationship. It will further help in providing knowledge about the negative consequences of the conflict such as lack of flexibility, breakdown in communication, divergence from core issue, heightened emotions and increased competition. Therefore, steps should be taken by the management in order to resolve the contractual agreement related conflict between the teachers and the management. This can be done internally with the help of a workplace representative or a third party mediator. Negotiation will be helpful for the teachers in resolving their problems relating to the agreement and coming to a mutually acceptable solution. This, in turn, will further lead to employee retention and reduction in employee turnover (Evans, et. al., 2016).

Therefore, it is important to ensure the job satisfaction level of the teachers working in different educational institutions in order to attract and retain them in the workplace. Job satisfaction can be provided by offering professional growth opportunities to them along with providing superior support and higher rewards and recognition. Moreover, there are both intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors involved in the process of academic retention. Teachers also leave the profession when they face salary disparities. This is due to the fact that the job satisfaction is regarded as the most important aspect by the academic staff for the purpose of staying motivated within the job. The teacher are also dissatisfied from their current job if they do not have the needed confidence in their academic leaders in the context of their development and growth (Kamal & Lukman, 2017).

Both the rural and the urban educational institutions should not take the risk of losing their teachers and their talent. If they leave the institution then it has the possibility of creating a negative impact on the rating of such institution among the different universities operating in the world. Therefore, it is very important to ensure the strategic management of the recruitment and retention of the academic staff. Differential reward system should also be implemented for the high performing staff in order to retain them within the institution. In case of rural institutions, the availability of all the needed resources should be ensured such that the teachers do not face any trouble in performing their job (Kamal & Lukman, 2017). Furthermore, the theme of talent retention and development should be taken into consideration for understanding the importance of retaining key people in the organization. Career development programs should be organized for the teachers as these are beneficial for them as well as for the educational institutions. Retention factors such as challenging and interesting work, flexible work arrangement, reasonable salary, good supervisor/ manager along with empowerment and autonomy will play an important role in this regard. Moreover, it will also cover proper induction and orientation for the teachers for the purpose of familiarizing them with the work, organization and the work unit. It will reduce their anxiety and will develop positive attitudes, long term commitment and job satisfaction. It is continuous process and therefore, follow up and evaluation is very important. Various learning and development programs can also be undertaken by the educational institutions for maintaining effective job performance level and the achievement of organizational goals. Such raining programs will be helpful for the teachers in acquiring new skills, knowledge and abilities and will assist them in accommodating the changes in their job roles (Naim & Lenka, 2018).

Therefore, it can be concluded that HRM is equally important in the education sector for the proper integration and maintenance of the teaching staff in the institutions such that these institutions can easily achieve their purpose along with meeting the goals behind their establishment. This essay discussed about the challenges involved in attracting and retaining workforce in the education sector.

The untargeted, hyperlocal or non- existent recruitment strategies of the organizations in the education strategies makes it difficult to attract talented teachers. Also, no growth opportunities are available to them for continuing their working in this sector. Moreover, the lack of diversity in the education institution also creates a challenge in the retention of teachers for longer time period. The lack of proper field experience creates trouble for the teachers and therefore, they are unable to survive in the educational institution for longer time period in spite of their knowledge. The teachers are given lower pay for the services offered by them. This make is difficult for the teachers to bear the high cost of living. Therefore, it is important to ensure the job satisfaction level of the teachers working in different educational institutions in order to attract and retain them in the workplace. Therefore, the educational institutions should undertake different HRM strategies for talent attraction and selection, reward management, talent retention and development, HR planning in environment changing and workplace negotiation processes.

Cerna, L., & Chou, M. H. (2019). Defining “Talent”: Insights from Management and Migration Literatures for Policy Design. Policy Studies Journal, 47(3), 819-848.

Dalayga, B., & Baskaran, S. (2019). Talent Development Practices: Does It Really Matters. International Journal Of Academic Research In Business And Social Sciences, 9(6), 896-906.

Evans, A. B., Carter, A., Middleton, G., & Bishop, D. C. (2016). Personal goals, group performance and ‘social’networks: participants’ negotiation of virtual and embodied relationships in the ‘Workplace Challenge’physical activity programme. Qualitative research in sport, exercise and health, 8(3), 301-318.

Evans, B., & Leonard, J. (2013). Recruiting and Retaining Black Teachers to Work in Urban Schools. SAGE Open, 3(3), 1-12.

Grissom, J. (2011). Can Good Principals Keep Teachers in Disadvantaged Schools? Linking Principal Effectiveness to Teacher Satisfaction and Turnover in Hard-to-Staff Environments. Teachers College Record, 113(11), 2552-2585.

Handal, B., Watson, K., Petocz, P., & Maher, M. (2013). Retaining Mathematics and Science Teachers in Rural and Remote Schools. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 23(3), 14-30.

Kamal, M. Y., & Lukman, Z. M. (2017). The relationship between attracting talent and job satisfaction in selected public higher learning institutions. International Journal of Management Research and Reviews, 7(4), 444.

Kamal, M., & Lukman, Z. M. (2017). Challenges in talent management in selected public universities. Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 3(5), 583-587.

Kelly, N. & Fogarty, R. (2015). An integrated approach to attracting and retaining teachers in rural and remote parts of Australia. Journal of Economic & Social Policy, 17(2), 1-19.

Mabaso, C. M., & Dlamini, B. I. (2018). Total rewards and its effects on organisational commitment in higher education institutions. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 16(1), 1-8.

Naim, M. F., & Lenka, U. (2018). Development and retention of Generation Y employees: a conceptual framework. Employee relations, 40(2), 433-455.

Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Compton, R., Coffey, J. & Shields, J. (2017). Human Resource Management: Strategy and Practice. Cengage Learning Australia.

Plunkett, M., & Dyson, M. (2011). Becoming a Teacher and Staying One: Examining the Complex Ecologies Associated with Educating and Retaining New Teachers in Rural Australia? Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(1), 32-47.

Reilly, P., & Williams, T. (2016). Strategic HR: Building the capability to deliver. Routledge

Sheehan, C., De Cieri, H., Cooper, B., & Shea, T. (2016). Strategic implications of HR role management in a dynamic environment. Personnel Review, 45(2), 353-373.


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