As the demand for teachers continues to increase and less people want to join the profession, it is clear that there are serious problems which need to be addressed. With a 7% decline in teacher training course applications and a predicted £3bn funding shortfall in 2019, schools need to look closely at their recruitment processes and ensure these are as efficient as possible. If you want candidates to apply, you need to know what they want and expect from the recruitment process. This knowledge can be valuable for hiring into the profession and if you are struggling to recruit, these are some aspects to think about.
1. Build a strong brand
Candidates will generally only apply for jobs where there is sufficient information about the school/role. This is particularly prevalent for teachers, who are only likely to apply to a role which offers them the right culture, a competitive salary, benefits and development opportunities. If you don’t have sufficient information on your careers page or your social media platforms, they will be unlikely to bother applying or may find the wrong information elsewhere. It is important to keep your careers pages as detailed as possible, with as much information as possible to entice the candidates to apply to your school. Take the time to ensure your careers page reflects your brand and that your brand is a positive one.
2. Advertise your vacancies
You know you have an open vacancy, but how do candidates find them? These days, it is not really enough to just advertise your teacher vacancy on your website, you need to be prepared to get ahead of competitors and this means making it easy for candidates to find you. Social media is a highly effective way to do this, as you can show candidates what it’s like to work in your school and maybe even hold a question and answer session with other teachers.
3. Simple application process
Candidates don’t really want to spend hours filling out forms and applications – most people have other things to be getting on with and this can be highly off-putting. If you want to increase your pool of candidates, keep your application process short and concise. You should only ask candidates to fill out information which is completely essential, otherwise you are highly likely to put them off. In a difficult market, it is important to make the process as simple as possible.
4. Set expectations
One of the main bug bears for candidates is not knowing when to expect feedback from their application, so make sure you set the expectations from the offset. A simple automated response can be enough to do this. For example, you may want to let them know to expect a response within a set period of time. If possible, provide feedback to every applicant so they know why they are not being considered for interview. This will help to ensure you have a strong brand and you never know, they might come back to you in the future when they have the necessary qualifications and experience for the role.
5. Ensure flexibility
It is not always easy for candidates to attend interview when they have a full time job, so give them a good degree of flexibility and you will greatly improve your recruitment efforts. For instance, you may want to consider offering interview slots early morning, in the evening or at the weekend. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but if you can be flexible, you will increase your candidate pool. In a profession where it’s notoriously difficult to recruit, it is worth looking at other ways to accommodate candidates.