EDCI 6215 Effective Recruitment to Meet Your School's Needs


WELCOME

Welcome to "Effective Recruitment to Meet Your School's Needs". This course is intended to develop knowledge and skills in the recruitment and selection of staff to provide the best quality teaching for students. It will encourage both experienced and inexperienced staff to examine the school's current approaches and practices to meet its particular needs.

The course is divided into four modules:

  • Analyzing your staffing needs
  • Marketing your school to potential employees
  • Appointing the right person
  • Selecting and interviewing staff

As you work your way through the course you will:

  • analyze the staffing profile and needs of the school
  • research the national context for teacher recruitment and models of good practice from other fields
  • review school materials and documents, eg, marketing materials, job descriptions, staffing structures
  • propose new models and practices for recruitment
  • develop your own understanding of the principles of successful recruitment and selection

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PREPARATION

You'll find it useful to look through school documentation, such as the staff handbook or the personnel manual, to seek out examples of job descriptions and any documents on recommended practices.

Find out contact details for the organization/s or individuals that the school uses for personnel support.

Don't be surprised if some data is not accessible for reasons of confidentiality. You can overcome some of these difficulties by asking for anonymous, aggregated data or by seeking the permission of staff beforehand. If you are not the head of school, make sure that you have their authority to request and collect this information.

You'll also find it handy to collect examples of recruitment materials from other schools, perhaps your feeder schools or your local competitors. Or you could send away for packs from third party organizations.

It would be sensible to let colleagues know that you are undertaking this course as you will need their cooperation and participation in a number of the activities and tasks on this course.

It would also be useful to look at research guidance documents and best practice examples from your professional associations and organizations.

COURSE STRUCTURE

This is an independent study program which means your individual starting date and due date are based on your date of registration. Your instructor will advise you of this due date.

This is an interactive online course. Although you will be able to complete some of it just by sitting in front of your screen working through the online material, we will regularly ask you to reflect on what you have learned, and put ideas into practice.

  • Activities - exercises or reflections for you to carry out in front of your computer screen. Unlike a Task, there is no specific end product, and you'll always be able to complete them on your own.
  • Tasks - similar to Activities, but requiring you to put your learning into practice in a specific situation in school.
  • Forms - use to collect the information learned.
  • Resources -

    a) Resource FORMS: Has PDF forms to help you answer questions in the Student Books

    b) Resource FURTHER READING: Includes clarifications about the module.

    c) REFERENCE LINKS: Has links to websites referred to in the module.

    d) DEFINITIONS: Has definitions of terms used in the module.

    e) BIBLIOGRAPHY: The bibliography is located at the bottom of this page that includes books you may check out at your local library.

  • Student Book- for you to record your reflections and send to your instructor.

STUDENTBOOK

At any time you may email your instructor with questions or problems you may be having with the material or the web site.

How do I get the Student Book to my instructor?

You will need to email it to your instructor. Download and save the document as described below and then you can enter your own text into the Student Book word document. Your instructor will expect a version of your Student Book as you complete each module. These can be saved by you in your files as well as being sent to your course instructor via email as an email attachment.

How do I save and name the Student Book?

You cannot type your answers on this web site. You must download your Student Book template which is a word document, by clicking on the download link below.

For your Student Book, please use a text document or a Microsoft Word document and type your text there. Title the document like this:

  • NAME OF CLASS
  • NAME OF TEACHER
  • YOUR NAME
  • DATE
  • MODULE1

[NAMEOFCLASS_TEACHERSNAME_YOURNAME_MODULENUMBER.doc ]

like this

6208_DRCLARK_JOHNDOE_MODULE1.doc

Save the Student Book on your computer and complete the assignments on the document and then email it to your teacher.

 

INDEX

DOWNLOAD STUDENTBOOKS

RESOURCES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

REFERENCE LINKS


Module 1: Analyzing your staffing needs.

MODULE1A Intended learning outcomes for Module 1

MODULE1B The changing face of staffing

MODULE1C Activity 1: Mapping the school staff

MODULE1D Activity 2: Identifying key factors in your staffing

MODULE1E Activity 3: Factors affecting recruitment

MODULE1F Task 1: Summary of school-specific staffing issues

MODULE1G Activity 4: Sources of staff

MODULE1H Task 2: Staffing situation profile report

MODULE1I What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 1

MODULE1J Congratulations

Module 2: Marketing your school to potential employees.

MODULE2A Intended learning outcomes for Module 2

MODULE2B Introduction to Module 2

MODULE2C Activity 5: Identifying sources of information about your school

MODULE2D Activity 6: What makes a good school website?

MODULE2E Task 3: Surveying the staff

MODULE2F Activity 7: Defining your USPs (Unique Selling Points)

MODULE2G Activity 7: Defining your USPs (2)

MODULE2H Task 4: Establishing the cost of recruitment

MODULE2I Activity 8: Using commercial websites

MODULE2J What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 2

MODULE2K Congratulations


Module 3: Appointing the right person.

MODULE3A Intended learning outcomes for Module 3

MODULE3B The job description

MODULE3C The person specification

MODULE3D Activity 9: Creating a job description

MODULE3E Activity 10: Researching examples from other organizations

MODULE3F Task 5: Analyzing job descriptions in your school

MODULE3G Task 6: Consulting staff

MODULE3H Activity 11: Discrimination and data protection issues

MODULE3I What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 3

MODULE3J Congratulations


Module 4: Selecting and interviewing staff.

MODULE4A Intended learning outcomes for Module 4

MODULE4B Introduction: Selecting and interviewing staff

MODULE4C Activity 12: Your own interview experiences

MODULE4D Activity 13: Good questioning techniques

MODULE4E Task 7: Observing an interview

MODULE4F Activity 14: Evaluating other selection techniques

MODULE4G Activity 14: Evaluating other selection techniques (2)

MODULE4H Task 9: Organize a mock interview

MODULE4I What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 4

MODULE4J Congratulations


Module 1: Analyzing your staffing needs

Module 1a- Intended learning outcomes for Module 1

By the end of this module you will have:

  • acquired the knowledge to produce a clear view of the staffing profile of your school
  • developed an understanding of the different factors that affect recruitment and how they apply to your school
  • acquired the skills and knowledge to identify possible sources of staffing to meet the school's needs
  • developed the skills to produce a report on staffing issues and present this to the leadership team, principal and board members

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Module 1b- The changing face of staffing

Teaching was once considered a job for life and while teachers were mobile between schools, most stayed in the profession until retirement age. Teacher supply has also been relatively steady since the 1980s but, in certain problem areas, turnover rates are increasing. A number of factors contribute to this picture:

  • younger teachers coming in with a more flexible view of their career path in and out of the field of education
  • teachers choosing to leave the profession before retirement age
  • teachers leave the profession to take up other employment
  • more teaching positions created and more jobs available in education-related fields

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Module 1c- Activity 1: Mapping the school staff

Our approaches to recruitment tend to be short-term - we react to the immediate needs of the school. It's easy to overlook the need to set aside time to plan, and before we know it the hurly-burly of the recruitment season is upon us. At a time of shortage, time to plan may seem a luxury, but it's advisable to look ahead. In fact, in times of shortage it's essential to see what sort of problems might be looming over the horizon. Your school setting may make it relatively easy to look ahead, eg, if fixed-term contracts are the norm.

There are some factors that can support forward planning:

  • contract renewal dates
  • changes in school structure or population
  • performance evaluation leading to contracts not being renewed

Now go to your Student Book (1) and try to answer the questions there about your school's staffing profile. You will return to these questions in the next Activity, so don't spend too long on them now.

(Remember, whenever a link appears, like 'Student Book (1)' above, you should click on the words to go to the student book download.)

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Module 1d- Activity 2: Identifying key factors in your staffing

Open and read Resource 1: Key factors, where you'll find a number of common factors influencing recruitment.
How many of these factors did you identify for your school? How many others on the list apply to your circumstances? You may want to revisit your responses in Student Book (1) and make appropriate changes.

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Module 1e- Activity 3: Factors affecting recruitment

The factors affecting recruitment can broadly be classified into three categories:

  • salary and conditions
  • local circumstances
  • school profile and structure

It's important to know the part each element plays in your school. You'll be able to influence some factors more than others.

Have another look at your Student Book (1), and Resource 1, and then in your Student Book (2), list the five to seven key factors that affect recruitment in your school. Underneath each factor, state whether it was salary and conditions, local circumstances, or the school profile and structure. Then grade each factor with a score from 1 (high) to 4 (low) in terms of the school's ability to influence the issues. This should give you a focused view of where your school could concentrate its recruitment efforts.

If you need some inspiration, Resource 2: Current difficulties in recruitment may give you some additional ideas. Note down in your Student Book (3) any general trends or differences and anything new that you hadn't yet thought of or considered relevant.

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Module 1f- Task 1: Summary of school-specific staffing issues

Extend your personal reflections on staffing by doing some research in your school. Look at recruitment, retention and turnover data for teaching staff over the last two years. Your principal, district administrator or school business office should be able to help you here. Do any trends emerge from the data?
Then analyze the age, gender and length of service (if known) of the teaching staff in your school - don't forget to include the leadership group. Make a note of your findings in your Student Book (4).

What issues in recruitment does this exercise highlight?

Consider your findings from this research, and the outcomes of Activities 1 to 3. If you're part of the leadership team, create a discussion paper for your next team meeting or for a Board personnel/staffing committee. If you're not part of the leadership team you can discuss your findings with your mentor or supervisor.

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Module 1g- Activity 4: Sources of staff

When teachers are in short supply, it's important to tap into all possible sources of recruits.
Much recruitment still consists of "recycling" existing teachers. There has been a growth in the use of agencies and e-recruitment.

In your Student Book (5), list all the sources that your school has used to recruit staff over the last three years. Think about the media used to advertise for them, e.g., newspapers, magazines, internet or professional recruitment firms. Make a rough guess of the cost of each source, and rate its level of success.

Click on Resource 3: Sources of recruits for more ideas, and if there are any there you forgot to mention for your school, return to your Student Book (5) and add them in.

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Module 1h- Task 2: Staffing situation profile report

Based on the work you've done in the previous Activities and Tasks, produce a report on staffing, including the following elements:

  • a short analysis of the current staffing situation in your school
  • a statement of your school's situation based on salary and conditions, local circumstances, and school profile, highlighting
  • the areas where the school can influence the issues
  • your preferred sources of recruits and the cost implications of using them
  • a list of priorities and actions

You can use the work already produced in other activities and pull the details together in Resource 4.

Present this report to the leadership team or discuss it with your mentor or supervisor - the research you did in Task 1 will give you the evidence to back up your suggestions. It could be useful to have a discussion about the report with Board members on the personnel/staffing committee

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Module 1i- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 1

Look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 1.
By the end of this module you should have:

  • acquired the knowledge to produce a clear view of the staffing profile of your school
  • developed an understanding of the different factors which affect recruitment and how they apply to your school
  • acquired the skills and knowledge to identify possible sources of staffing to meet the school's needs
  • developed the skills to produce a report on staffing issues and present this to the leadership team, governors and board members.

How much has this course helped you achieve these outcomes? Make a note in your Student Book (6) then e-mail your comments to your instructor.

Module 1j- Congratulations

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Module 2: Marketing your school to potential employees

Module 2AIntended learning outcomes for Module 2

By the end of this module you will have:

  • developed an understanding of the key messages in marketing for potential employees
  • analyzed your school's current approach to marketing
  • defined the factors that make your school special (its unique selling points)
  • researched various methods of recruitment and assessed their effectiveness

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Module 2B- Introduction to Module 2

At a time of staff shortages, teachers can be very selective and take their time to find a school that is exactly right for them. Teaching is competing with a range of other career opportunities, and most candidates are motivated by quality-of-life issues. Schools need to review the ways they sell themselves, to attract the best staff.
When teachers apply for information about a position, they often find that they are sent marketing materials designed to attract parents and pupils. Packs tend to concentrate on what is expected of the applicant - job description, person specification, duties to be performed. Schools rarely send out information that addresses the "what's in it for me?" (WIFM) factors. There is a range of 'hard factors', e.g., pay, relocation packages and academic success, and 'soft factors', e.g., working environment, CPD and school ethos, that can be used to make your school a more attractive prospect. You need to ask yourself if your school has a range of attractive options for new (and existing) employees, and if you do, are you selling them positively enough?

Positions may be advertized in newspapers or professional journals. Electronic advertising on recruitment and all fifty states' Department of Public Instruction Agency websites is popular as it is current and easy to access.

There may be school-specific factors that raise marketing questions, for example:

  • how can all school applicants access local knowledge about the school and its environment?
  • how can a school which has problems investigate ways to combat prejudice and present itself in the right way to attract the right staff to help it move on?
  • how do stable and successful schools review their materials to see if they've become complacent and outdated?

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Module 2C- Activity 5: Identifying sources of information about your school

It's important to realize just how many potential sources of information there are available to prospective school employees. Ideally of course, they message given about your school by all these sources should be consistently good.
In your Student Book (7), list the places where a prospective employee can go to get information on your school.

Once you've made a note of your initial thoughts, have a look at Resource 5: Sources of school information for some prompts. You might want to add to or amend your list in your Student Book (7).

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Module 2D Activity 6: What makes a good school website?

Having your own website is essential. School websites vary enormously in quality and sophistication, and while the amount they tell you can vary, you will gain an instant impression of a school from your first online visit. A good website can be a very powerful marketing tool, especially when you are trying to attract staff from a distance. It may be their primary source of information, before they have any contact with the school.
Visit the websites of at least five other schools. You can type the name of a school into a search engine like Google. If it has a website, it should appear early in the list of results. Choose a mixture of schools, some similar to your school, some different in demographics, size and location.

While looking at each site, imagine that you're thinking of applying for a job at the school. Jot down on a piece of paper your thoughts on the following factors:

  • the overall appearance of each site, including your first impressions
  • the usefulness to potential employees, e.g., does it take you straight to vacancies? Is it up-to-date? Can you apply online? Does it give you enough information about the school?
  • the attractiveness to potential employees, e.g., what is the tone of the information? Does the school offer any benefits?
  • how these sites compare with your own school website (if you have one)
    any ideas you could use on your own website


Then, go to your Student Book (8) and try to summarize your thoughts on what makes a good website.

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Module 2E- Task 3: Surveying the staff

Interview five colleagues who've arrived at your school in the last year (if possible), asking them the following questions:

  • What information did they receive about the school when they first expressed an interest?
  • What other information were they able to gather about the school?
  • What did they think of the information they received?
  • Was any of the information a key factor in persuading them to apply for the job?

Print out some copies of Resource 6: Staff survey sheet to help you record their answers. Ideally, choose a range of staff members, i.e., new arrivals, locally hired, long term expatriates. Obviously, this might not be possible in smaller schools, but talk to as many different types of recruits as possible.

Once you've done the interviews, note the key points from the responses in your Student Book (9).

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Module 2F- Activity 7: Defining your USPs (Unique Selling Points)

Marketing is said to be more successful when you can identify the things that make your product (your school) stand out above the competition. These are your unique selling points (USPs).
This is particularly useful when there seems to be very little difference between one school and another. It can also be useful when you feel that, in conventional terms, your school might not have as much to offer as another, for example if you are a school in a difficult location.

However, by looking at the positives - for example, the challenge of succeeding against the odds, the ability to really make a difference to the lives of the local community and enhanced salaries, you'll attract a particular kind of teacher who thrives on that sort of challenge. It's about defining your positives and actively selling them. Have a look at Resource 7 to see a good example of this.

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Module 2G- Activity 7: Defining your USPs (2)

Now reflect on the following questions and then write up your thoughts in your Student Book (10):

  • What are your school's USPs?
  • How does your school address the "What's in it for me?" in its job advertisements? Click on Resource 8: Addressing the
  • WIFM angle to help your thinking.
  • What target audience do you consider when recruiting - is your school's marketing material 'one size fits all'?
  • Does your school's marketing material match your USPs?

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Module 2H- Task 4: Establishing the cost of recruitment

Now it's time to do some more research in school. Print out a copy of Resource 9: Recruitment costs to note your findings and estimates on the following issues (if you don't know where to go to get the information you need, you may have to ask around a bit).

  • Find out if your school has an annual budget for recruitment and if so, how much it is.
  • Find out how much your school has spent in the last year on advertising for teachers (and where it has advertised).
  • Find out the approximate amount spent on recruitment fairs and agencies.
  • Investigate expenditure on brochures and website developments. These do not have to be for recruitment, but they give an indication of possible costs.
  • Make a note of any hidden costs to recruitment, such as candidates' travel expenses.

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Module 2I- Activity 8: Using commercial websites

Visit at least five teacher recruitment websites (you'll find a selection in our Reference section) and comment on your findings in your Student Book (11). Things to look for include:

  • How easy would job hunters find them to use?
  • What features you could incorporate into your school's approach?
  • How useful would they be to your school in recruiting staff?
  • How much would it cost to advertise?

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Module 2J- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 2

When you have worked through the Activities and Tasks in this module, look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 2.
By the end of this module you should have:

  • developed an understanding of key marketing messages for potential employees
  • analyzed your school's current approach to marketing
  • defined the factors that make your school special (its unique selling points)
  • researched various methods of recruitment and assessed their effectiveness

To what extent has this module helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make a note in your Student Book (12) than e-mail your comments to your instructor.

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Module 2K- Congratulations

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Module 3: Appointing the right person

Module 3a Intended learning outcomes for Module 3

By the end of this module you should have:

  • developed an understanding of good practice in writing job descriptions and person specifications, and their importance in the overall recruitment process
  • reviewed and analyzed practice in your organization, including consulting staff
  • put forward new models for the use of job descriptions and person specifications

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Module 3b- The job description

A job description should give a clear view of what's expected of a potential applicant. Its clarity (or lack of) sends a very strong message about your approach to staffing.
In international schools, job descriptions will be more pragmatically related to the particular needs and traditions of individual schools.

Unsatisfactory job descriptions are often simply a list of tasks, without any real insight into the skills required, the relationships you might be required to manage, or the conditions within which you might be required to work.

Remember that job descriptions can be used for other purposes too, such as:

to reorganize staff responsibilities
to produce a more rational and acceptable salary structure
as a basis for performance management and target setting
to identify training needs

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Module 3c- The person specification

The person specification is an additional aid to the recruitment process, especially as a means of ensuring objective short-listing to avoid discriminatory or inconsistent practice. It's also a clear indicator to applicants as to whether it's worth their applying for the post.
It's good practice to split the specification into 'essential' and 'desirable' qualities. The desirable category is particularly important in deciding between candidates who are otherwise equally matched.

You should only invite for interview those candidates who meet all the essential factors. If you invite candidates who do not meet the essential factors, either these factors can't be essential, or you run the risk of appointing someone who can't do the job. Making sure candidates fulfill all the essential factors can be particularly sensitive if you are dealing with internal candidates.

The person specification usually includes the following elements:

  • qualifications
  • experience
  • skills and knowledge
  • competences
  • personal qualities - motivation and individual expectations
  • relevant comments about presentation and additional essential aspects

When listing personal qualities try and avoid clichés such as 'enthusiasm, sense of humor, hard working' and so on. No applicant in their right mind will deny that they have these qualities. Using approaches such as Belbin's Team Roles Analysis may enable you to pinpoint exactly the right skills for the position and for the team that they'll be working with. For some positions a diligent, thorough teacher who likes to see things through, may be just what you need to complement a team full of creative 'ideas' people who are good at seeing the big picture and at innovating, but may not be so good at seeing a project through to the end. Similarly, if you have a 'safe' team who don't like taking risks or diverging from tried and tested methods, they might benefit from working with someone who has broader horizons and doesn't mind experimenting with ideas.

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Module 3d Activity 9: Creating a job description

In your Student Book (13), jot down the essential elements that you would expect to see in a job description.
When you've done that, check Resource 10: Elements in a job description. After reading Resource 10 you may wish to amend your entry in your Student Book (13).

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Module 3e- Activity 10: Researching examples from other organizations

Traditionally, organizations have drawn up formal job descriptions that can be updated and revised when required. But some organizations find that these rigid job descriptions are impractical. They believe that job descriptions should be allowed to evolve naturally and be flexible, particularly at times when recruitment is difficult.
But most organizations still prefer the more formal model, and most applicants still expect a formal job description to give a flavor of what's expected of them.

Go to your state's Department of Instruction recruitment website. Select a sample of the jobs posted and make notes on the different job description formats. Choose a teaching position, principal's position and a district level position. Print out the grid in Resource 11 to jot down your findings while you are browsing the site. The following questions might help:

  • Are there any standard features?
  • Is there much evidence of cliché and generalities?
  • Are there any elements worth noting because they are interesting or particularly informative?

You may want, as a comparison, to visit a website for non-teaching jobs. Are there any common factors across all types of recruitment sites? Do any particular models appeal to you?

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Module 3f- Task 5: Analyzing job descriptions in your school

NB: You should always obtain permission before using people's job descriptions for any activity, as there may be data protection and/or sensitive issues involved.
For this Task, you're going to need access to six job descriptions of positions in your school - two at each staffing level: teaching position, middle management and senior management. Try to get hold of the person specifications as well. In many cases, the two are together in the same document.

(If you have problems obtaining real job descriptions from your school, we've provided two for you: Resource 12: Head of school person specification and job description and Resource 13: Teacher job description.)

If possible, find a job description for a recent arrival and a longer serving member of staff in each pair. Include your own job description at the relevant level in the samples.

Using Resource 14 to record your findings, analyze the job descriptions, looking in particular at:

  • key components
  • differences and similarities between each other
  • differences and similarities between these descriptions and examples of good/interesting practice seen in Activity 10
  • opinions - do you feel they give a real flavor of the job? Are they boring? Are they just a list of tasks or accountabilities?

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Module 3g- Task 6: Consulting staff

Organize a seminar consisting of the group of staff whose job descriptions you surveyed in Task 5.
You might want to take with you some examples of other job description models you gathered in Activity 10. Also, you might want to look at Resource 15: Belbin's definition of team roles for some more inspiration for job description content.

Guide the discussion of the group using the following questions:

  • Do the current job descriptions give an accurate picture of what these employees actually do?
  • Do the descriptions have any particular strengths and weaknesses?
  • What use is made of these job descriptions? Ask individual staff members.
  • Are they attractive and informative to potential applicants?
  • What are your colleagues' views on the examples that you have produced?
  • What suggestions do they have for improving the school's approach?

Through the discussion with the group and building on your research and activities, produce a new model for job descriptions within the school, for consultation with your line manager. You may want to record your notes and reflections in your Student Book (14).

 

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Module 3h- Activity 11: Discrimination and data protection issues

It's very important to work within your country's anti-discrimination and data protection legislation. Read Resource 16 for more information on these increasingly important factors in recruitment.


Are you confident that your school adheres to the legislation when recruiting staff? Write up any thoughts you might like to raise with colleagues in your Student Book (15).

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Module 3i- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 3

When you have worked through the activities in this module, look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 3 and record your evaluation in your Student Book (16) than e-mail your comments to your instructor.
By the end of the module you should:

  • understand good practice in writing job descriptions and person specifications and their importance in the overall recruitment process
  • have reviewed and analyzed practice in your organization, including consulting staff
  • have put forward new models for the use of job descriptions and person specifications

BACK TO INDEX


Module 3j- Congratulations

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Module 4: Selecting and interviewing staff

Module 4a Intended learning outcomes for Module 4

By the end of this module you should:

  • understand the principles of organizing a good interview
  • understand and have practiced interview techniques, by observation and participation
  • be able to undertake a training-needs analysis within the school for interviewing and selection of staff

School staff spend their energies – quite literally – in dealing with and caring for young people, somehow knowing that this is time well spent. Most teachers and support staff feel that this attention brings pupils closer to achieving their full potential. It’s this that brings many people into the profession into the first place. But it’s both sustaining and exhausting.

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Module 4b- Introduction: Selecting and interviewing staff

You and your school will have invested a lot of time and money in preparing for interviews - marketing the job, producing materials, short-listing the candidates, setting aside your own work to take part in the day and paying the expenses to the candidates. But things can still go wrong on the interview day if it isn't planned and prepared for.
Giving candidates a good professional experience - even if they are not ultimately appointed - is another part of the positive marketing message you can send out about your school and how you value people. Thorough preparation and relevant selection procedures will help you to get the right person for the job and help avoid the situation that Currie warned us about in the Foreword, " ...it can be a costly process that sometime results in failure".

Very rarely are school staff trained in interview techniques - we tend to learn as we go along, drawing on other experiences such as performance review training. Part of this module will deal with identifying the extent of training needs within the school, but the emphasis will be on putting the principles into practice.

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Module 4c- Activity 12: Your own interview experiences

Think back to your own experiences at interview, either as an interviewee or interviewer. Try to remember the reasons why you thought an interview went particularly well or badly. We're not after any bad responses you might have given - think more about the logistics and running of the event. Then, in your Student Book (17), list six features of a good interview and of a bad interview.
When you've done that, read Resource 17: Some features of a good interview. You may then want to add to or amend your features in your Student Book (17).

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Module 4d- Activity 13: Good questioning techniques

Imagine you're interviewing a recently qualified teacher in a subject of your choice for a job in your school. You may well have experiences to draw on. Draft ten questions to ask and record them in your Student Book (18). Some of the areas your questions might cover include:

  • their motivation for choosing your school
  • what they know about the job they are applying for
  • their previous experiences
  • their approach to teaching and learning
  • the pastoral/tutorial role
  • classroom management
  • working in a team
  • their strengths and weaknesses
  • their aspirations

You might want to discuss other areas, such as extra-curricular activities, but whatever you ask you must be very aware of equal opportunities issues and the kinds of questions you are not allowed to ask. Most importantly, you must know exactly what are you trying to learn by asking a particular question.

Once you have your questions, read Resource 18: Some types of question and check them against your own.

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Module 4e- Task 7: Observing an interview

Arrange to attend a forthcoming interview as an observer. Any level will do - it doesn't have to be a teaching position. Gain the permission of all parties beforehand. Devise an observation checklist based on your findings from the course to date. Resource 19: Ideas for an observation checklist should get you started.


Use your checklist to record your comments on the interview. Remember to share your findings with the interviewers after the event.

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Module 4f- Activity 14: Evaluating other selection techniques

In addition to the traditional question and answer session, you can ask candidates to do a range of other things. What you ask them to do depends on whether your selection processes happens on site or away from school.
To help you with this Activity, print out Resource 20, which lists some of the alternative selection techniques used by schools when recruiting staff. For each technique, note brief responses to the following questions:

  • Do we really give enough thought to the purpose of the activity?
  • What are we trying to find out?
  • What criteria are we going to use to assess the task?
  • Is the task appropriate for the level of the position?
  • How do we ensure equal opportunities are adhered to?
  • What are the shortcomings of using this method?

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Module 4g- Activity 14: Evaluating other selection techniques (2)

In most schools, the people most likely to be involved in interviewing are senior managers, middle managers and Board members. Sometimes other staff become involved for development purposes. Few school employees have had any formal training in selecting and recruiting staff, yet 'getting it right' at interview is becoming more and more crucial.
Devise a brief survey of school employees who've been, or are likely to be, involved in interviewing and selecting new staff. You can use Resource 21: Training needs survey if you wish. A simple sheet can be slipped into people's school mail boxes or emailed over, filled in quickly and returned to you to collate. You need to make clear to people what the purpose of the survey is and what you intend to do with the information.

From the responses, draw up a training plan for these staff. You'll need to research costs and work out the best way to deliver the required training, whether it's in-house training, buying in an independent consultant, buying in support from your personnel services provider, or sending people on external courses. You'll also need to take specific school factors such as budgets into account when making recommendations.

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Module 4h- Task 9: Organize a mock interview

Organize a mock interview, to give you some interviewing practice. You'll need volunteer interviewees. Students on teaching practice are often appreciative of the chance to practice. Use the questions you produced in Activity 13, and ask another colleague to observe your performance as an interviewer using the observation schedule you devised in Task 7.

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Module 4i- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 4

Now that you have worked through the activities in this module, look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 4.
By the end of this module you should:

  • understand the principles of organizing a good interview
  • understand and have practiced interview techniques, by observation and participation
  • be able to undertake a training needs analysis within the school for interviewing and selection of staff

How much has this course helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make a note in your Student Book (19) than e-mail your comments to your instructor.

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Module 4j- Congratulations

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RESOURCES

Resource 1: Click to download

Resource 2: Current difficulties in recruitment

The difficulties a school faces with recruitment obviously vary from school to school but often include:

  • local circumstances and living conditions
  • access to home country
  • safety and health risks
  • fewer available teachers in shortage subjects and for positions with responsibility (including head positions)
  • late resignations
  • increasing long-term sickness absence
  • expansion of curriculum, e.g., specialist status
  • changes in professional etiquette, e.g., being beaten or outbid by other schools as applicants shop around for a better deal or staff are headhunted
  • increasing numbers of staff leaving the profession
  • fewer graduates being trained for your specialty
  • increased competition
  • high cost of living in the area where your school is located

Resource 3: Sources of recruits

Sources of most recruits:

  • other schools in local area
  • local universities
  • internal candidates
  • recruitment agencies, including e-recruitment
  • returnees
  • supply teachers given permanent contracts
  • cold calling
  • sharing of "surplus" candidates at interview

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Resource 4: Click to download

Resource 5: Sources of school information

  • School prospectus
  • Accreditation or other inspection reports
  • League tables – if this applies to your school
  • Staff handbook
  • School website
  • From a parent of a child at the school
  • Local and/or media coverage – could be directly about the school or about the area where the school is located
  • Comments and opinions from staff teaching at the school
  • Comments and opinions from university staff visiting the school
  • Information sent out with the application form
    By visiting the school.

Resource 6: Click to download

Resource 7: Click to download

Resource 8: Addressing the WIFM angle

  • Does the material address the applicant directly as 'you' or is it in the third person?
  • Is the tone friendly and welcoming?
  • What is the first thing that the applicant reads – what the school can offer or what the school expects?
  • Are the job description and person specification a list of demands and expectations, or opportunities and challenges?
  • Are salary details up-front? Have you mentioned the salary range available?
  • If you are hoping to attract young teachers, have you mentioned any incentives that may be available?
  • If you are attracting aspiring or existing managers, what sort of continuing professional development (CPD) can they expect, e.g., financial support for further accredited learning?
  • Do you include full information about the tax situation and all other benefits?
  • Do you offer help with accommodation, childcare, travel and visas?
  • Do you talk about your current staff and what they have achieved by working at your school? Do you include comments from, and pictures of, your current staff?
  • Is your recruitment material differentiated by ability and learning style? Is it exactly the same for middle managers, young teachers and senior staff?
  • Is it well presented?

Resource 9: Click to download

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Resource 10: Elements in a job description

Job descriptions should follow a common format, although the layout may vary.
Essential elements of a job description include:

  • location
  • job title
  • grade/salary
  • overall purpose of the job
  • who the appointee will report to and work with
  • the scope of the job
  • tasks and accountabilities

It's advisable to include:

  • a general "other duties" clause in the tasks section e.g., "other duties may be required from time to time by the head of school, commensurate with the position"
  • a reference to conditions of service

Resource 11: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 12: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 13: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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Resource 14: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 15: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 16: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 17: Some features of a good interview

Interviews are more likely to be successful if:

  • all relevant parties in the school know what is going on – it's very disconcerting to arrive at reception to find out that no-one is expecting you
  • candidates have a clear idea of the program for the day and what is expected of them
  • candidates know where to go before and after the interview – it's best to have someone nominated to look after them
  • the room is laid out in advance to create an atmosphere which (as far as possible) is relaxed but business-like. Think about where to put the candidate's seat, eg, not facing direct sunlight
  • there is no barrier between the candidate and the interviewers
  • interviews start on time, with time left between candidates and adequate breaks for the panel
  • there are no interruptions
  • the panel members have prepared well and are fully conversant with the applications and all the details of the job

Resource 18: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 19: Ideas for an observation checklist

Is the room set out in a welcoming yet business-like way?
Is it light and well ventilated?
Does the seating allow the interviewee to see all the interviewers properly?
Will the interviewee be intimidated by the seating arrangements?
Do the interviewers appear well prepared? For example, do they have questions ready, know the running order, etc.)
Is the interview well-chaired?
Is the body language encouraging and relaxed?
Are questioning techniques varied?
Does the candidate have enough time to reflect as well as to reply?
Does the candidate have the opportunity to ask questions?
Are there any interruptions?
Does the interview finish in a well-rounded way?

Resource 20: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 21: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Author: Adair, John
Title: Effective Teambuilding (1987)
Publisher: Pan (Macmillan Publishers Ltd)
ISBN: 0330298097

Author: Bayne, Rowan
Title: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (1997)
Publisher: Nelson Thornes Ltd
ISBN: 0748735658

Author: Belbin, Meredith R
Title: Team Roles at Work (1995)
Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann UK
ISBN: 0750626755

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Author: Birks, Peter
Title: Improving the Two Rs: LEA Support for Teacher and Headteacher Recruitment and Retention (2000)
Publisher: NFER
ISBN: 0700530118
URL: http://www.nfer.ac.uk/emie/publications/reports_template.asp?Report=19

Author: Currie, D
Title: Personnel in Practice (1997)
Publisher: Blackwell Business
ISBN: 0631200894

Author: Fowler, A
Title: Writing Job Descriptions (2000)
Publisher: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
ISBN: 0852928661

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Author: Hindle, T
Title: The Essential Manager: Interviewing Skills (1998)
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
ISBN: 075130400X

Author: Martin, M and Jackson, T
Title: Personnel Practice (2002) (Chapter 4, Recruitment and Selection)
Publisher: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
ISBN: 0852929412

Author: Nathan, M
Title: Senior Management in Schools: A Survival Guide (1992) (Chapter 14, Promoting the School)
Publisher: Blackwell Education
ISBN: 0631180087

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Author: Preedy M, Glatter R, and Levacic R (Editors)
Title: Educational Management: Strategy, Quality and Resources (1997) (Chapter 23, James and Phillips, The Practice of Educational Mark
Publisher: Open University Press
ISBN: 0335197973

Author: Roberts, G
Title: Recruitment and Selection (1997)
Publisher: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
ISBN: 085292707X

Author: West-Burnham, J
Title: Managing Quality in Schools (sections on recruitment and selection, Chapter 8: Teams)
Publisher: Pitman
ISBN: 0273624075

 

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REFERENCE LINKS


For available teaching jobs and/or applicants actively seeking a teaching position in your area, visit your state's Department of Education website. Most University's also have a career placement service you can use as a resource or annual job fairs in which you might participate.

Below are agencies for overseas placement.

Name: eteach
URL: http://www.eteach.com

Name: Go Jobsite
URL: http://www.gojobsite.co.uk

Name: BBC Education
Description: The news page her often has up-to-date reports on issues in recruitment.
URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/

Name: jobsgopublic
URL: http://www.jobsgopublic.com

Name: TimePlan
URL: http://www.timeplan.com

Name: Times Educational Supplement
URL: http://www.tesjobs.co.uk/homepage.asp

Name: University of Northern Iowa
URL: http://www.uni.edu/placement/overseas/

Name: European Council for International Schools (ECIS)
Description: This site includes a full range of recruitment services.
URL: http://www.ecis.org

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