There are fewer teachers looking for jobs each year, and demand for them (especially in secondary schools) is set to rocket over the next 3-4 years. Is it now time for schools to rip up their existing templates and routines, change the way they recruit and learn from other sectors?
Last year only 85% of the teachers needed were recruited to secondary ITT programmes in England. As if that’s not bad enough, it was the 7th year in a row targets weren’t met. Recruitment in some subjects were especially bad – with less than half the Physics or Design and Technology teachers needed in training. And there’s also the falling number of over-50 teachers and the growing attraction of international teaching jobs and other graduate careers to consider.
Why do schools still rely on the same job adverts (the ones demanding ‘outstanding’ practitioners), make people fill in enormous application forms and insist on them attending an interview on one specific day?
Here are my top ten tips to create a ‘new recruitment journey’ for your school:
- Throw out your old recruitment process – simply advertising using the same format in the same publications won’t work in the current market
- Work out your ‘employer brand’. Take some time to research why someone would want to work at your school (rather than others in your area)
- Find and tell stories of successful current staff (in writing or on video) to back up your messages
- Create a ‘careers’ page on your website that sells your jobs rather than just providing forms to fill in
- Write job adverts in the first person (‘we offer…) and focus them on what makes you a great employer, not what you want from an applicant
- Try to simplify your application forms – what do you really need in order to shortlist, and what can you ask for later?
- Be flexible about your recruitment process – not everyone can make every day for an interview for example
- Make sure to sell your school on the interview day, and don’t make the experience negative for the applicant
- Be creative with your job offers – would flexible working or enhanced training opportunities persuade someone to choose you over another school?
- Once you’re recruited a great teacher, work hard to keep them.
The result is the ‘new recruitment journey’ – see below!
Simon Hepburn’s book ‘Recruiting Teachers’ will be published on May 4th 2020 – it explores all aspects of the ‘New Recruitment Journey’ and offers detailed advice for schools facing the ‘teacher recruitment crisis’.