We’re all aware of the UK’s education recruitment crisis and this shows no signs of changing anytime soon. With this in mind, schools need to be thinking more and more about how they can improve their application experience when recruiting staff.
You might already have all of the bases covered in terms of a job description and person specification, but these do little to show what your school has to offer in real terms. If you really want to recruit the best teachers, an engaging candidate pack is a way you can set yourself apart from the competition, sell the school and even get candidates picturing themselves in the role!
A full rebrand can be time-consuming and expensive, but if candidate attraction is at the top of your list, it’s well worth investing in a well-designed candidate pack containing useful and inspiring content. This will show off your school’s values and show what you can offer as an employer.
Take a look at some of the bespoke candidate packs our friends at Ambleglow has created for schools across the UK, including an example pack they created for ‘Ambleglow Academy’.
Here are 8 reasons why a candidate pack is ideal:
#1 Telling your school’s story
Get specific about who you are as a school, your values and expectations. The Headteacher can give an overview of the working environment, perhaps talk about plans for the future and outline any professional development available to applicants.
A candidate pack also gives you the chance to show your school facilities, you can add hyperlinks to positive feedback online and show engaging images of teaching in progress.
#2 Providing a consistent brand
With the increase in available jobs, has come an increase in competition. This is why schools are spending more on their branding than ever before.
Consistency across all of your branded materials shows that you care about how your school is perceived and by offering candidates the most user-friendly and enjoyable application process, you’re streamlining what can be a laborious task. Make sure that your candidate pack branding and copy are up to date though!
#3 Defining how your school is different
If there are other great schools in your area, you might like to talk about what makes you different. Talk about what is unique about your school’s personality, your success stories and any areas you excel at.
#4 Being a ‘one-stop-shop’ for school information
Most UK teachers are in their late 30’s and incredibly digitally savvy. They do not want to hunt for information when they apply for a role. This is why it’s so important to have everything in one place.
A candidate pack is also a useful tool for schools themselves, as you are more likely to receive applications from people who have a feel for the school before applying. They will have asked themselves questions like:
- “Do I identify with the school values?”
- “Will I have access to the teaching facilities I would like?”
- “How easy is it to travel to the site?”
#5 Showing that you understand your audience
Add a range of testimonials that give an overview of why teachers love working at your school. Applicants are far more likely to listen to their peers, and if the staff are enthusiastic and supportive, candidates will be more likely to apply.
#6 Showing your benefits
A benefits section with infographics can give applicants a visual guide to rewards and perks. We would always recommend making this page visual with clickable links especially if you have a benefits hub on your school website. If your school has offers such as free lunches, access to the gym, discounts on fees or a professional development plan, you need to be shouting about it!
#7 Showing the transport options via a ‘Getting here’ section
Applicants can often dismiss a role if they see the location as being difficult to travel to, particularly if you are located outside of the main town. A ‘getting here’ page is a great way to show transport links, maps and school sites.
To give an example, Woldingham School is based in the former Marden Park, 700 acres outside Woldingham village. You might think the school would be tricky to get to, particularly from London, but this is not the case. With access to their own train station, Woldingham provides a 35-minute connection to central London.
Agreed, not all schools will have facilities like this, but providing details of the transport options you do have available and adding a map, or directions instantly makes the school more accessible to candidates.
#8 Showing ‘How to apply’ and the application process
If you have an applicant tracking system (ATS), it’s important to ensure that candidates are being redirected via the correct routes. A well-formatted ‘How to apply’ page can funnel your applicants to your application page via live links and allow your ATS to gather data. Also, if you don’t have an ATS it’s always more convenient to have all of your applications coming in via the same route.
So, there we are, just a few reasons to make a candidate pack part of your recruitment offer.
Take a look at this success story, for Wellington College, where Ambleglow created them a digital and hard-copy candidate pack showcasing the benefits of working at this highly-academic school to senior teaching staff. Get in touch with Ambleglow for more information on how they can create a candidate pack for your school.