Tips on preparing for a recruitment surge

The slow start to this year’s recruitment period looks set to gather pace. Here Tes recruitment editor Grainne Hallahan gives her top three tips to help stand your school in good stead.

Grainne Hallahan

Staff movement

The beginning of the year has certainly picked up where December 2020 left off. Schools are again on the front line, supporting vulnerable children and adapting to new restrictions, where the only constant seems to be uncertainty.  

With so much on the plate of educators right now, it’s understandable that staff recruitment hasn’t been as prevalent these first few months of the year as we’d normally expect.

Tes have largely reported an increase in retention so far this recruitment window, but many are already planning for a spike in the coming weeks and months as restrictions are lifting around the world. With an eye on a potential late surge of recruitment activity this year, here are my tips on how you can better prepare your school for things to come.

1. Streamline your process

If you’re forced into making appointments at short notice, the last thing you want is a clunky process slowing you down. Anything you can do to streamline things will be welcomed by all involved.  

It may be that candidates are still unable to visit the school for first-round interviews, so fine tune your online interview questions and tasks. Can you ask for candidates to prerecord lesson introductions to help identify strengths and weaknesses for discussion with the panel?

2. Encourage transparency

We’ve all had enough nasty surprises over the past 12 months, so don’t let last-minute resignations sneak up on you. Make sure staff feel comfortable enough to share their career plans.

Many staff will have partners no longer tied to the office, or will have a renewed desire to be closer to family. Encouraging these conversations in one-to-one meetings with line managers allows you to put contingency plans in place early.

3. Market yourself

While school visits remain difficult, those candidates will be doing the majority of their research online.

Audit your school website and make sure everything is up to date, especially any candidate-facing pages or contacts. It’s a terrible start to a job seeker’s journey to have an enquiry email bounce back.

Look at social media accounts to see if there’s anything there that would appeal to a would-be teacher.

How Tes can help you plan for unexpected recruitment costs 

Don’t let strong staff retention through the winter give you a false sense of security as you approach the looming spring and summer resignation deadlines. Many school leaders are planning for a spike in the coming weeks and months as restrictions start to lift. Our fixed-cost Recruitment Subscription packages will allow you to stand out from the crowd.

Speak to our team about packages available to help you get prepared and ahead of the competition.