As the nation continues to battle the Coronavirus pandemic, schools remain open for children whose parents are classed as essential workers.
While schools might not be carrying out many of their usual, day to day duties, some will be using the time to focus on their recruitment efforts. Especially if there are vacancies to fill ahead of the new school year.
Recruiting in a crisis presents its own challenges for schools. So, we thought it would be useful to round up some top tips on how to deal with it.
Extend your candidate reach
Top talent won’t always be on your doorstep, so cast your net as wide as possible. Post your ads across relevant job boards – including Eteach, the UK’s top education-only job site – and social media channels for the best response rates.
When you narrow down applicants to interview stage, here’s where you’ll need to start utilising tech where you would typically meet people in person. Read our recent blog on how to successfully use tools such as video conferencing platforms during the pandemic.
Accept that competition is still fierce
Many other businesses have put their recruitment strategies on hold, but not schools. There’s still a lot of competition, so take some time to consider how you can showcase your school in the best possible way and differentiate yourself from the competition.
"These are strange and difficult times. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, recruitment across the nation has had to shift tact quickly; and The White Horse Federation is no exception. We continue to recruit excellent teachers for our Secondary, Primary and SEMH schools - remotely, in the knowledge that schools across our Trust will be in need of fantastic, inspirational educators for September 2020. We are building up our own Talent Pool and staying in touch so that when a vacancy arises or when Government rules are relaxed, and it's time for our schools to open again - we already have candidates to interview!"
White Horse Federation
In our own survey, more than 73% of candidates said that a strong employer brand and the quality of a school’s website was the top reason to apply for a job. So, use this as your starting point; make sure your school website is engaging, unique and up-to-date, and reinforce your website with a careers site that also conveys your school’s unique culture, values and USPs.
Turn to referrals
When used as part of an overall recruitment strategy, referrals can be a great source of quality teacher recruits. After all, your current staff are your best brand ambassadors – no one understands or appreciates the culture or benefits like they do.
As tech recruiter VHR notes, existing employees ‘will be able to provide a unique insight that will appeal to potential candidates in their demographics, and will be supportive of your plans to keep their employer going through difficult periods of change.’ Three ways you can inspire your staff to provide referrals include:
- Always show appreciation for your workforce – staff are more likely to recommend your school if they feel valued and are engaged with their job. Ask: could you be doing more to support and empower your existing team?
- Host a competition among your employees where the person who provides the most referrals over a set time period wins a prize.
- Encourage your staff to share vacancies on their social channels, specifically in relevant groups on LinkedIn. This will significantly increase the reach of your job ads.
Streamline your recruitment process
You want to make it as simple as possible for candidates to apply for vacancies – without sacrificing any of the important recruitment steps. Simple applications will help to limit drop-offs and instead, boost application rates.
Examine your existing strategy and see which stages can be either removed or adapted in order to streamline the process. Some things you might do include:
- Use customisable application forms where the candidate’s information is pre-populated in advance.
- Make sure ads are optimised so that candidates can apply from their mobile devices.
- Temporarily remove one interview stage if you’re confident you can accurately assess a candidate without it (such as pre-screening).
- Use one-click apply so job-seekers can apply for your vacancies with a single click.
- Harness applicant tracking software which lets you manage candidates and talent pools, both of which can speed up the time to hire.
If you feel like you need help recruiting during the pandemic and potentially beyond, we’d love to chat through our services and solutions with you. We’re continuing to work through the crisis and are here to answer any questions you might have, so get in touch today.