Why you shouldn’t neglect candidates during the notice period
A talented teacher has just accepted your job offer. Great! They now need to work their notice period at their current school and while they do, you can forget about them and focus on other things until they’re an official member of your staff. Right?
Wrong! Sure, a skilled candidate has accepted your offer at your school, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not going to change their mind before their start date. Let’s explore some of the reasons why this might happen – and what you can do to prevent it:
Competition from other schools
We all know that there’s fierce competition for top talent among schools in the UK, largely driven by the current teacher shortage. There’s nothing stopping another school poaching your candidate by offering them a higher salary, better benefits and perks, or more scope for personal development, for instance.
Their school makes a counter offer
It’s possible that the candidate’s current school will make them a counter offer they can’t refuse, inspiring them to stay put. This offer might involve more money, a promotion or some form of training.
Ultimately, counter offers are made for the employer’s – not the candidate’s – benefit, as it takes a lot of time, money and resources to on-board an employee. And, of course, no school wants to lose top talent.
If the candidate lets you know that they’re received a counter offer, there’s no harm in talking openly about it with them. It could be worth raising the point that accepting the counter offer might not make them happier in their role, and the same reasons that encouraged them to leave in the first place could very well resurface after just a short period of time.
They simply change their mind
There’s a chance a candidate might simply have a change of heart. For instance, they might decide that the commute is too long, they don’t feel ready for the step up in their career, or something in their personal life may make them go back on their accepted offer.
Keeping in contact with your candidates
One of the best ways you can prevent a candidate from dropping off before starting at your school is to keep your school fresh in their mind through regular contact.
Ultimately, you need to provide an excellent experience to your candidates from the outset – long before they join you. This so-called pre-boarding process might involve you sending essential forms for the candidate to fill in or your school handbook to browse, but you also want to get them excited about joining your school. There are many ways you can do this, for instance:
- Send them the school newsletter and/or updates
- Encourage them to follow your school on social media
- Share inspiring staff, school or pupil stores
- Create and share a ‘day in the life of’ or ‘welcome’ video
- Invite them into the school to meet the team, or even to a social event
All of these will help the candidate to see how they’re the right fit for your school and its culture, and confirm that they made the right choice in accepting your job offer.
Have you ever lost a candidate during the notice period? If so, what tactics do you think would be most effective in preventing this from happening?