We know the score. The statistics surrounding teacher recruitment make for bleak reading.
Workload, low morale, poor pay, increased bureaucracy and lack of CPD opportunities, all leading to ‘the perfect storm’ for the recruitment of teachers in the UK and schools across the country facing a disillusioned pool of existing staff and an ever-shrinking prospective one.
We know that marketing will not provide the answer. Marketing will not suddenly transform the deep rooted flaws within the teaching profession. However, what it will do, is ensure that your organisation is as well placed as possible to reach a wider audience and to create a positive impression for prospective candidates. In such a competitive marketplace, this is essential.
We are working with Local Authorities, MATs and schools up and down the country who are taking a proactive approach to teacher recruitment. Here are our top recommendations for creating solid foundations for an effective approach to teacher recruitment.
- Collect feedback from existing staff - whilst some of it might be hard to hear, addressing any ‘weak’ spots from the perspective of teachers will have dual advantages in the long run for both recruitment and retention.
- Develop your employee value proposition (EVP) - what makes your organisation different to any other and why would a teacher want to work there? This should incorporate your rewards and recognition policy as well as a career development programme. Teachers are looking for more than just a job, they want to know they can build a successful career and that they will be adequately recognised as they progress.
- Reach wide - a simple advert in TES will be expensive and offer limited return as it becomes lost with the thousands of other adverts recruiting for the same positions. Use a multi-channel approach to reach as wide an audience as possible. This should include social media sites such as LinkedIn as well as networks and partners - remember that existing teachers will know other teachers, encourage a recommend a friend scheme and push this out to all staff, governors and families.
- Get creative - consider campaigns that will stand out from the crowd and don’t be tempted simply to repeat what’s been done before (Especially if it hasn’t worked!) Look for opportunities such as hosting recruitment events or providing work placements for PGCE students.
- Think long term - whatever plan is proposed to address the teacher recruitment crises, the outcomes will not be fast so it’s important to have a long term strategy. Identify students who demonstrate an interest, passion or capability for teaching and encourage it. Provide them with work experience and consider the return on investment in offering a bursary or grant for their training - remembering the expenses associated with recruitment costs and supply teachers.
However, all of this effort will be wasted if a candidate’s experience at interview is a negative one. The small actions can make the biggest difference; greet them with a smile, offer them a coffee/tea and give them a tour of the school. Reinforce the message that your school is the place to be.