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A costly business: schools spend up to £50,000 on headhunters for Headteachers

Posted by Hayley Robinson on 24/06/15 10:46

A recent article in The Guardian highlighted the desperate plight of schools when it comes to the recruitment of teachers and, more specifically, Headteachers. Using the example of a school in Mitcham, Surrey, creative recruitment methods including: a You Tube video, social media campaigns, press advertising and a higher salary offering, failed to result in applications for the role of Headteacher. The article goes on to claim that the situation is so bad that many schools are being forced to resort to expensive headhunting methods, with fees ranging from £15,000 up to £50,000. All this at a time when school budgets are being squeezed and the education sector is entering a severe talent shortage with fewer entrants to the teaching profession and the pressure on Headteachers greater than ever.

With this in mind, is it time for schools to start thinking differently when it comes to recruitment? Rather than placing the same old advert in the TES, how about starting to take some inspiration from the commercial world of recruitment? How about using more ‘untraditional’ media? Using podcasts and videos will help your message go viral.  Could schools be recruiting more successfully if they had an internal recruiter? Perhaps sitting on their governing body? Or even offering incentives for referrals amongst teacher colleagues could be another way to bolster recruitment.

Rather than racking up a huge recruitment bill by having to advertise for the post numerous times, it’s time to start thinking creatively and approaching recruitment strategically. By acting collaboratively, either within the Local Authority or a Multi-Academy Trust, the benefits are far greater and the package for prospective teachers and Headteachers far more compelling.