This time of year is busy for school leaders as they forward plan for the new academic year. A key task at this time of the school year is the appointment of new staff that are good fits for your school will value add to the school’s teaching and learning agenda.
But how you you attract quality staff?
One of the first steps is writing your advertisement. But how do you write an effective teacher advertisement.
Even if you are using a recruitment firm (which is useful and sometimes cost effective) preparing for the advertising/recruiting yourself helps to solidify your expectations of teaching and learning in your school.
Briefly, here are my 8 steps to securing quality staff to your school.
- Be clear on your needs: The cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland offers simple, yet profound advice: If you don’t know where you are heading, it doesn’t matter which road you take! As a leader if you don’t know what you are looking for it will be difficult to distinguish between the CVs. If you are replacing a maths teacher, what are you looking for? Maths knowledge? Experience? Innovation? Charismatic? Firm? The Super Teacher? A clear profile of the type of teacher you desire should be established.
- Attract Teacher’s Attention: When writing your advertisement use a catchy headline to attract job seekers to read your announcement.
- Be Specific with the Role Description: To help differentiate the numerous CVs that come across your desk it is important to be clear about what the role entails. This ensures the candidate knows exactly what is expected of him/her if finally appointed to your school.
- What makes this role different to others?: Every school needs a maths teacher, but why would a prospective maths teacher choose your school? What is it about the role (and your school) that wants candidates to apply.
- Outline the School Vision: Every school has its own charter as they work towards fulfilling the vision of the school. You need teachers who can value add and help drive your school improvement plan.
- Be Clear on the Application Process: Prospective candidates are looking at multiple positions and if you are clear on how easy it is to apply to your school the more likely they will submit an application. Be precise on the timing, application procedures (eg cover letter and criteria to address), and shortlisting criteria. It also demonstrates a well organised school.
- Distribute your Advertisement: Whether using recruitment agencies or going it alone, the distribution of the advertisement is critical. Choosing the media for distribution (eg newspapers, social media, educational journals) to help increase readership is pivotal. Don’t discount your current staff and the word of mouth as a means for distribution.
- Interview Strategically: Once you have shortlisted your candidates, preparing for the interview is an important next step. Be prepared, write your questions for the interviewee based on the role description and seek questions about their previous roles as they relate to the role they are applying. Look for potential, takes notes to make comparative judgements against other candidates you interview and always follow up with the candidate afterwards; whether successful or unsuccessful.
Finding the right staff that fit your school can be an arduous task. However, having the right staff makes your school life a lot more exciting.