Over recent years we have seen that recruitment timelines are getting earlier and earlier. Where it used to be the case that many northern hemisphere schools would start recruitment in the first quarter of the year, the race for great candidates means that schools now start recruiting in the first term of the year.
Schools are trying to outdo each other to get access to the best candidates: so they have to start sooner.
The reality is that school recruitment is moving to an always-on approach.
I am sure that if you have a school careers page, you get interest and speculative applications all year. How do you handle them? Does your email system have one of those dreaded auto-replies, “As we receive so many applications we can only reply to you if you are successful.”
Unfortunately most schools are not considering their recruitment all year round. Recent research (here) shows that only a third of school heads claim to have a year-round recruitment presence. This is despite the fact that the majority of teachers start their job search at least half a year in advance.
Schools who recruit have in the past been constrained by time and by money.
Time: your recruitment and HR teams don’t necessarily have the time to be reviewing speculative candidate applications throughout the year.
Money: if you want to promote your vacancies online or at face-to-face events then you can only afford a limited amount of appearances due to the traditional pay-per-item charging.
We’ve spoken to small groups of schools who have been spending more than US$100,000 a year on recruitment costs. Not on staff salaries or benefits. But 100k on paying agencies, and associated recruitment fees. To us this seems incredible when there are smarter, simpler, cheaper ways to hire great staff.