Business Owners Report: Educators Overseas

Christy_Grimste_Sign_020909_3Units

Your name: Christy Grimste

How many years have you been living life in the Foreign Service?

10 years

Where have you been posted?

Washington, DC; Ankara, Turkey; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, DC.

Briefly describe your career path:

I worked for the Department of State and the CIA in Washington DC before we went to Ankara. While in Ankara I began my MBA through the University of London.

What is the name of your business?

Educators Overseas

Briefly describe your business:

Educators Overseas is an international teacher recruiting company which places native English speaking teachers and school administrators in international schools, language schools, and state-run schools around the world.

Why did you start this business?

I started Educators Overseas in Ankara when I met an international school director and realized there is a huge shortage of international school teachers teaching abroad. This deficitĀ is projected to get even larger as more schools open in the coming years.

When did you start this business?

1 July 2007

What makes you stand out from your competitors? What makes your business unique?

Most international teacher recruiting companies require teachers to attend a recruiting fair to get hired. We leverage technology to allow teachers to be hired without having to travel anywhere. Schools interview teachers online and hire them directly that way. Teachers trust us to be their intermediary because we have their best interests in mind, so no in-person meeting is necessary.

How does your business fit into the Foreign Service lifestyle?

It is completely virtual and based on the internet. All employees work from home and include two other members of the foreign service – our head recruiter and our social media marketing manager.

What has been your biggest challenge with your business so far?

Marketing our business exclusively online has been hard – we want to stand out from the crowd, but the internet crowd is increasingly crowded.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

Being chosen as the exclusive provider for teachers for certain provinces and cities for state-run schools in China.

What resources have been particularly helpful to you when you were starting your business?

Articles about SEO, content management, effective customer service, efficient recruiting, international education partnerships.

Which resources do you use to maintain your business?

We use zoho.com to manage all our candidates as we take them through the recruiting, hiring, placement pipeline.

We use guru.com to find freelancers to do web work for us when we need it.

We use zoom.us and Skype to host interviews between candidates and schools.

Any advice for any EFMs thinking about starting their own business?

Take a good look at the current industry – who are your competitors, what do future trends look like, what value add can you provide? Make sure your business will fill a need (a need that people KNOW they have) or do something better (or cheaper). If it won’t, then it won’t survive.

Are you on LinkedIn?

Sure, find me here.

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