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  • Notes from a Head

Recruiting during a crisis

With so much going on at the moment it often feels like recruitment is an added stress that we don’t need to have in our lives. Knowing that a valued member of staff is leaving your team can put a lot of pressure on you to recruit some equally as good, or hopefully, even better.


Our tip for making life that little bit easier when recruiting is to spend more time at the planning stage. A good job description leads to a good job advert, a good job advert leads to better fitting applicants, better applicants leads to better interviews and better interview lead to a better appointment.


Right at the beginning of the recruitment campaign we recommend asking yourself the following questions:

  • What does the ideal candidate for my role look like? Often this isn’t the same profile as the person leaving the role.

  • Who are the key stakeholders in the recruitment campaign? It is important to keep these people regularly updated, making sure they can attend the key dates such as shortlisting and interviewing.

  • What will be the recruitment process? Will you start off with a video interview or a telephone call for example. Every detail needs to be considered at the start of the process rather than during the campaign.

  • When does the candidate need to be in the post? Can you fit a recruitment process into this time frame? If not, what will you do to shorten the campaign?

  • What cultural fit do we need to recruit for? Consider what cultural fit you have and what cultural fit you want to have.


We spoke with a local Headteacher to ask them what they consider when they are recruiting:


“The realisation that one of your brilliant team is leaving is not fun and the words ‘big gap’ come to mind. However, mindful that the show must go on, we dip our toes into the recruitment market and sally forth.


When it comes to the advert, keep it simple – no need be overbearing about the high standards you’re expecting as your applicants will know about that. Say it straight how your school is and try to write something short and snappy that stands out from the rest. Be positive.


Consider the selection process. How do you get through the pile of applications and be ready to short list for interview? Have next to you the job spec and think about the children you have and what gets a positive response from them in their learning. Be open minded. Will this applicant work well alongside other staff and bring something that is missing from the current portfolio of skills? Are they honest about skills they want to improve? Trust your own instincts.”

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