The summer survey is in. What are the biggest bugbears in the job hunting process for school staff?

– 65% of our surveyed teachers said that schools should modernise by accepting electronic application forms
– 61% said all teaching jobs should be advertised online.

We asked our registered candidates what changes schools and MATs can make to compete for the attention of the best teaching candidates. Here are the top 4 lessons for school recruiters:

Issue 1: job adverts not appearing on searches

Our teachers and support staff told us that the most frustrating part of searching for jobs online sites is that too many irrelevant results are returned on searches (30%). Next is lack of salary details (14.2%) followed by job adverts missed because they don’t include the key words candidates are searching for (13.8%).

How has the tech moved on?

Firstly, as the recruiter, you must understand that the online job advert you are creating is a webpage to which you need to drive traffic. The first step is to choose an online job board with a niche target audience like Next, make sure the search system is really working hard for you. Title and location are the first and most important fields.

Thankfully, new search algorithms on modern sites like ours can now ‘crawl’ the title first then the body of a vacancy webpage to find the keyword or key phrase searched for; it also cleverly interprets search phrases to serve up other linked matches so candidates don’t miss any relevant advert.

Relevant is the critical word here. School recruiters can really use this technology to their advantage by tailoring the vacancy adverts far more specifically – use the vital phrase in the job title and brainstorm to narrow down all the terms your ideal candidate might be searching for.

Issue 2: Schools not acknowledging job applications

23% of our respondents were frustrated by lack of acknowledgement or response to job applications. Shoddy and impolite practices like this do damage to your brand and render your hard work and costly advertising void as they instantly ends your relationship with someone with whom you had successfully engaged in conversation.

How has the tech moved on?

Automate your first acknowledgement then follow up the email with at least one personalised communication telling the candidate about their position in the hiring pipeline and next steps.  An Applicant Tracking System will allow you to do this very easily.

Instead of losing keen candidates into a black hole, set up a talent pool for CVs and applications to be drawn upon in later years. That under-experienced NQT that applied today will have a very valuable set of skills in three years’ time. To maximise your candidate engagement, create a community for your employer brand by including them on school newsletters and inviting them to follow your social networking feeds.

Issue 3: Lack of additional information online about you as an employer

When asked what three things would make you more likely to apply to a vacancy, a huge 60% of respondents say that a school career site would make them more likely to apply. The information they are looking for first is: professional development opportunities (53.6%), information about your CPD provision (45.6%) your ‘fair workload’ policy (45%).

The issue here is that applications can take two hours to complete so job seekers will do research and cherry pick which few employers to spend their precious time on.

How has the tech moved on?

The vacancy advert they find is their first touchpoint with your ‘employer brand’ so now you need to offer additional examples if you really want to be the one they commit their time to. A career site or school profile page that showcases your unique selling points and gives positive testimonials from existing staff is the minimum that a candidate would expect to find. In addition, your proactive recruitment strategy should include a well-maintained social media profile which allows for two-way conversation.

Issue 4: Excessively long application forms deter applications

A huge 57% of our respondents cited long application forms as the most arduous part of the job hunting process.

How has the tech moved on?

There is really no excuse now for recruiters to drive away keen applicants with demands for paper forms. Quite simply, if candidates can apply to you in twenty minutes, you will hear from more of them. If your advert was written well enough, they will be relevant.

The top methods preferred by candidates applying to schools were ‘quick apply’, where information is drawn instantly from your Eteach profile (34.7%), followed by direct CV upload (23%) or via electronic online school form (19.2%).

CV upload, ‘quick apply’ and a customisable online application form are all included as part of the Eteach suite of tools for full licence holders.

To discuss how Eteach could revolutionise your recruitment and vastly increase the amount of relevant applications you receive per advert, contact us today.

Author: Katie Newell

Katie Newell

Katie Newell BA(Hons) PGCE is an ex-primary school teacher, Head of Maths, Head of Year five and languages specialist. Katie qualified in Psychology at Liverpool then specialised in Primary Languages for her PGCE at Reading. Before teaching, Katie was a financial commentator and is now the Content Manager for and Katie feels passionately that teachers are the unsung heroes of society; that opening minds to creative timetabling could revolutionise keeping women in teaching, and that a total change to pupil feedback is the key to solving the work life balance issue for the best job in the world.




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