How to write a good advert

Tips for effective recruitment

Below some helpful advice on recruiting; from how to produce great adverts, to ideas for interview questions, ensuring you attract and recruit the best talent.

Hiring - Attracting best talent for your school

Investing in the right people leads to success, so don’t just rely on gut feelings in recruitment. Here’s how to recruit the best?

Increasing exposure

The first thing to do is know how to find them. Although newspapers and websites are still the first ports of call for most job advertisers - and applicants - they are not the only way of finding out who is out there. Word of mouth can be a very important way to get the news of a vacancy out in your locality. Many schools invest in welcome packs for student teachers, collecting their details for their contact lists. Students also share information on social networking sites about schools where they have worked.

Attracting applicants

Once you have found potential staff, next it is a matter of attracting them to you, especially if you are recruiting in shortage subjects. Candidates now know more about their entitlements, in terms of support and pay and conditions, than ever before, and it is not unusual for teachers to withdraw a job application if they were unimpressed by the level of organisation and efficiency that they encountered on the day of interview or the lead up to it. It is a cliché to say that interviews are two-way, but schools forget this at their peril.

The right fit

When it comes to who a school chooses to recruit, it is difficult to give any unequivocal advice. Most teachers (and other staff in school) have a sixth sense about who will fit in and be successful. That said, it often takes people a while to settle in and it is easy to forget that even the best newly qualified teacher is not the finished article. It is also worth remembering that the person you see in the staffroom is a different character from the one in the classroom, which is why many interviews sensibly include the requirement to see people teach.


  • Be inventive, social media can spread the news
  • Show yourself, your school and your department in its best light
  • Watch candidates teaching
  • However good the candidate, they will take time to settle in your school

10 tips to writing a great recruitment ad

  1. Make your headline standout - make sure your headline is clear, concise, and informative.
  2. Get the reader involved - talk about the position in terms of ‘you’ and ‘your.’ This helps potential candidates mentally picture themselves in the role.
  3. Simplify - use short sentences and simple language.
  4. Layout - make sure the ad is easy to follow, and the key information stands out.
  5. Culture - include interesting information about what it is like to work at your school, which will help to set you apart from other prospective employers. Videos and pictures work very well here, especially if you include interviews with teachers.
  6. Application process - make sure it is very easy for the candidate to apply for the role: offer online as well as postal options.
  7. Closing date - make sure to tell people when they have to submit their CVs by to be considered for the role. This will save time for you and potential candidates.
  8. Make the post application process clear- make sure the ad states the next steps, when you will get in touch with candidates and when the job commences.
  9. Benefits, benefits, benefits - really stress the benefits of the role, the location, the school and the package in order to sell the position.
  10. Be committed - If you aren’t, the candidates won’t be!

10 things to avoid in your recruitment ad

  1. Spelling errors - typos annoy people and they can perceive you as not caring about the details.
  2. Role rather than person - talking only about the role depersonalises the ad.
  3. Too long - people won’t read the ad.
  4. Layout - confusing or overdesigned ads are distracting to the reader.
  5. Poorly written - prospective candidates may misinterpret the role and apply for it, wasting your time and theirs.
  6. Job description too general- Be specific about what you want in a candidate in order to eliminate under or over qualified people.
  7. Too many requirements - Make sure the requirements in the ad are absolutely needed to carry out the role, as candidates will disqualify themselves from applying.
  8. Fonts - no need to use fancy fonts or italics - they are all harder to read and distracting.
  9. Boring - boring description of role or ideal candidates
  10. Gender biased words - avoid using gender-biased words in your ad like handyman.

10 things that should be included in all recruitment ads

  1. Job title - what is the title of the role?
  2. Remuneration Package - details of the salary and any additional benefits including tax benefits, accommodation, insurance, car, etc.
  3. Location - where the job is located?
  4. Employer name - who you are?
  5. About you - tell prospective candidates about your organisation, your staff, and any other relevant information that can help them decide whether they should apply for the position.
  6. Job description - details of what the job entails; including responsibilities, objectives and minimum experience / education. It is useful to indicate whether the role is full or part-time, permanent or contract.
  7. Ideal candidate - the attributes, education and experience the ideal candidate will possess.
  8. Response instructions - what the candidate needs to do next - apply with CV, covering letter, presentation, etc.
  9. Contact details - who to contact, by when, how to contact (usually include email and post options).
  10. Start date - when you need the role to commence.

20 great interview questions for teachers

  1. Why did you choose to teach this particular age range?
  2. What can you bring to the role that other candidates may not bring?
  3. What is your impression of our school/organisation?
  4. What is the most difficult piece of feedback you have ever had to give, and why?
  5. Describe a good lesson / describe a lesson that did not go well. What were the reasons for this?
  6. How would you motivate a reluctant child?
  7. Have you had experience of a very high attaining and very low attaining child in your class?
  8. What strategies do you use to manage children with special educational needs?
  9. How do you use technology in the classroom?
  10. What does your classroom look like?
  11. How would you prepare for your first day of school?
  12. What do you think is the best way to motivate pupils?
  13. What ways do you assess and evaluate students?
  14. How would you deal with an irate parent?
  15. Bullying is often a serious issue that has to be dealt with in all areas of work with children. In your experience, what is the best way to deal with it?
  16. Tell me about a time when a child or young person behaved in a way that caused you concern. How did you deal with that?
  17. Give an example of how children have benefited from contact with you.
  18. How will you develop yourself as a professional teacher?
  19. How would you like to see your career develop?
  20. Who do you look up to and why?

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