Teaching is in crisis with 30% of teachers planning on leaving in the next 12 months and more unfilled training places than ever before, according to latest figures from recruiter Randstad UK.
Despite an annual budget of 700m the government has missed its teaching recruitment target for four consecutive years and the number of subjects with unfilled training places for 2015-16 rose from 14 to 17.
To try and plug the growing skills gap, schools are increasingly turning to recruitment agencies to implement a more strategic recruitment plan, dealing with vacancies proactively rather than reactively.
The advice received from such agencies varies from just simply sending CVs, through to consultative advice and planned recruitment.
Jenny Rollinson, Randstad Education MD, said:
“This drive towards using recruitment agencies to fill teaching roles can be attributed to the growing skills shortage in the sector.
“By relying on recruitment agencies, schools can undertake a much more targeted recruitment drive, reduce wasted time weeding out unsuitable candidates and fill vacancies ahead of time rather than reacting to them when they arise and being left with gaps on their teaching staff.”
Almost half of teachers planning on leaving the profession cited poor work/life balance as the top reason (47%). It was also a major factor when it came to accepting a job (71%) alongside location (72%). Salary was important for 57% along with 49% who felt flexible working and strong management were a consideration.
Ms Rollinson said including all these tangible and intangible factors in a school’s employer brand would make them more attractive to potential candidates. Working with recruitment agencies would also allow them to build their employer brand and increase their offering.
She added: “Schools can’t always compete on salary. Even though automatic pay progression has been abolished and they have more autonomy to set pay now, budget constraints mean sometimes there isn’t much room for manoeuvre.
“By creating a compelling employer brand schools can draw upon all the wonderful benefits staff can enjoy that go beyond salary. As our figures show, salary isn’t the most important factor when accepting a job but things like location, work/life balance and flexibility are. To reverse the current teacher brain drain, schools need to show they offer all those things, not just financial reward.”
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