‘I don’t get high-quality applicants’.

We hear it all the time. I used to have the same issues myself. But here’s the thing: the applicants you get are a direct reflection of the quality of your recruitment process.

The first step, which we covered in Part 1, involves getting crystal clear about exactly who you want to attract to the job. The next step is about designing a process with that person in mind.

Once again, here are three levels of recruitment processes. Which one  best describes your school’s process?

You put an advert out that reads something along the lines of: ‘We are seeking to appoint a highly motivated KS1/KS2 teacher to join our dynamic staff team.’

To apply, the applicant needs to download a Word document and copy and paste information from previous jobs into it.

Once they’ve dealt with formatting issues, they send it to an email address along with a cover email, and they wait to hear back.

Your HR person is busy, so when they’ll hear back is not communicated and depends on what else might be happening that week.

This is the most basic type of process – unfortunately, it’s also the most common. So how can you improve on it?

This time, your advert describes the person you’re looking for so that when they read it, they think: ‘That’s me!’

Your advert text has three references to the candidate for every one reference to the school.

You focus more on the benefits they’ll receive from working with you, and the benefits have been specifically tailored around the people you’re trying to attract.

The application process has been deliberately designed to be simple and to manage expectations.

The candidate receives timely responses from your HR team and they know who to contact if they have any questions.

Things are looking much better compared to the Level 1 process, but there’s still work to be done.

Your applicants found your job easily. It came up on their Twitter feed, and when they looked you up, they found a school that cares about the same things they do.

They use your simple online application and get an email back the same day thanking them for applying and letting them know when they’ll hear from you next and when interviews will be held.

If they’re successful, each stage feels like a celebration. If they’re not, they’re given useful feedback.

You understand that applying for a job can be a stressful situation, and you’ve built touch points to help manage that stress along the way.

They leave the process thinking: ‘Wow, I’d definitely apply for another job there, and I’ll tell all my friends about it too.’

You understand that the NQT who didn’t quite make the shortlist this time may be your ideal mid-level leader in five years time, so you make sure they leave with a good impression.

What Does Your Recruitment Process Look Like?

These three stages demonstrate the possible approaches you can take to the recruitment process, with Level 3 being the preferred option.

Being honest, where does your own  recruitment process stack up against them? Could it do with an overhaul?

In Part 3 of this blog series, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the interview process and teaching observation. See you there!

Note: You might complain that you don’t have time to do all of this with the 101 other things on your list. But it’s a question of priorities. Putting a Level 3 process in place will dramatically increase your supply of quality teachers. How much of a priority is that for you?

Want to comment or start a discussion around any of these points? Tweet @letsfinded #schoolrecruitment