Cast your net wide

Summer prep: proactive candidate reach – 5 ways your school can cast the net wider this year

The single change you need to make to take control of your recruitment for the new academic year, is to approach it with a proactive strategy. A school that often resorts to costly ‘fire-fighting’ recruitment needs to spend time now (not money) updating their methods. If you can apply your lower cost options such as online advertising more effectively to cast your net wider, you can get more response out of less advertising spend whilst dramatically cutting your need to fall back on headhunter fees.

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So what behaviours can schools adopt now? 

1. Groundwork.

Firstly, back up your ‘employer brand’ with a career site. Our candidates tell us that applying for a teaching job often takes an incredible 2 hours. As a result, they will now research schools thoroughly before choosing whom to apply to. Adverts must be backed up with information about you elsewhere. Start by creating a career site, separate from your school’s parent- and child-facing website, dedicated entirely to positioning you as the employer of choice. Our members benefit from a bespoke career site build in our annual licence.

2. Establish a social media presence.

This is about being visible farther and reminding teachers you’re there. Professional marketers know that recruitment needs to start long before the candidate applies for the job; it needs to start before they even know they want a job, so we nurture the passive candidates. On a monthly basis, around one third of our 1.6 million teachers become ‘active’ and, because we’ve kept in touch, they search the job board. Celebrate achievements and grow community with your social media profile. Our customers get exposure to our niche following of 20,000 teachers.

3. Use cheap or free resources to reach out further.

A typical advert on our online job board gets seen by around 400 teachers, yet with social media enhancement, that normally increases to over 800! Firstly, have every parent and teacher in the school share that vacancy. Teachers know teachers and parents are local. Gone are the days when you should be ashamed of having vacancies. Make parents aware that if they fill that vacancy, the cash left is a school trip!  

“Make parents aware that if they fill that vacancy, the cash left is a school trip!”

4. Start a talent pool/talent bank.

Large employers build a community of people who have already thought ‘I could work there’. Why not use Talent Pooling software or simply create your own manual methods to retain and organise candidate details to consider them for future vacancies? That means previous job adverts double their return: providing you with a free pond of brand advocates from which to fish an already receptive candidate. Candidates can register on your career site year-round.

5. Investigate suppliers who give you more bang for your buck.

Using an education-only job board for your advertising will give you a large but specific audience nationally and internationally. Look for a job board annual licence that gives high value for money – ours includes a bespoke career site for your school and also gives unlimited advertising that includes leadership vacancies.

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Author: Katie Newell

Katie NewellKatie is the Content Manager for and, publishing thought leadership and research results to our 1.6 million candidates and 7,000 member schools. Katie is an ex-primary school teacher, Head of Maths and Head of Year 5 and languages specialist as well as a former PR commentator. Katie feels passionately that teachers are the unsung heroes of society; that a total change to marking culture is the key to achieving a work-life balance for the best job in the world; and that homework is a rubbish idea.

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