How to easily fill your new teaching position

CLARE RYDER • 22 Sep 2020

The much talked about national teacher recruitment crisis has been ongoing for several years. It is the culmination of increased pupil numbers, an increased number of teachers leaving the profession and record lows of people training and staying in a post beyond their first 2 years.

Teachers cite workload, burnout, stress, change in standards, curriculums and reducing budgets as contributing reasons for leaving – and this historically has had a direct effect on recruitment.

A recent report by the BBC outlined that in recent years, the number of people training to become secondary teachers had fallen and attracting teachers to roles was becoming a “substantial and growing challenge”. However, since the COVID pandemic, more people are applying to train as teachers as they reconsider their careers in lockdown. People are now choosing teaching as a ‘secure’ career option during the pandemic. Edu-blog-stats-2 1Recent figures released by UCAS, the university admissions network, showed more than 21,000 graduates had applied to teacher training programmes since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, a rise of 65% on the last five years.

The increased number of people training to become teachers will help fill the national teacher shortage in the longer term, but with the deadline for teacher notice periods looming, what can you do now to fill your teaching roles with experienced teachers?

Engaging careers site and job adverts

What makes your school stand out from all others?  And why should teachers apply to your school?  It is important to utilise the careers section of your website to share information with candidates about what it is like to work in your school.  What are the values and culture and what are the benefits to their career progression and their work/life balance? 

All this information should be conveyed to potential candidates on the careers pages and include images and videos to really bring the role (and the school) to life.  It is useful to include ‘day in the life of’ videos from existing staff or a tour of the school.

Images and video convey so much more information than text alone; if you are not already creating video content to attract candidates, then you are missing out on a golden opportunity.

Video job adverts and workplace stories are shared 20x more than text-based adverts. Job seekers and potential hires want to see authentic videos of colleagues too, and these are 10x more effective than videos of recruiters. The best bit is that you only need a mobile phone to start creating video content.

Two stage application process

We know that applications for teaching roles require lots of information from the candidate for compliance purposes, but you could consider obtaining this information in two stages.  As a first stage, candidates can register their personal details and submit a CV perhaps along with their equal opportunity/diversity information to ensure their initial application is simple and quick to complete. 

Two stage application processes have resulted in conversion rates of applications of up to 76%.


This will provide the recruiter with enough information to either move the candidate forward to the interview stage or reject. For those candidates taken forward, they can submit their compliance information such as reference, full education history etc at a later stage in the process, perhaps when they are at a more positive stage.  This approach has resulted in conversion rates of applications of up to 76%.   

Video interviews

Video interviewing has grown in popularity over the last 2-3 years but has exploded into the recruitment arena since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Many organisations are using video interviewing to continue the interview process remotely whilst still retaining a personal and professional approach – and Education is no exception. 

Co-ordinating teacher interviews with Head Teachers/Heads of Department can be challenging so using video interview provides much more flexibility as to when the interviews can take place.  Having a candidate’s CV and notes or questions you want to ask open on the screen at the same time can be useful and does not distract from the interview.

Regular communication

One of the biggest complaints from candidates across all sectors is the lack of communication from potential employers. Many updates can be automated using your Applicant Tracking System to keep the candidate informed about their application progress without any manual intervention from recruiters.  The Hiring Manager can also be kept up to date with progress, informing them of key activity taking place and remove the need for update calls into HR/Recruitment teams.

Talent pools

There are often occasions where you may interview several candidates for a position and find yourself with a candidate who is a very close second at this stage, sometimes referred to as a silver medallist. Building up talent pools of these candidates for future recruitment can be incredibly beneficial in recruiting quickly for new or replacement positions. 

Take the opportunity to communicate with those in your talent pools throughout the course of the year, keep them updated with school news and ensure they are kept engaged ready for the next opportunity.

Finding the solution

We all know that recruiting in Education can be a challenge but following the steps outlined can really help to make the process of recruiting your next hire much easier.

To see how others have improved the recruiting process read our success stories.

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