Complicated application forms and arduous recruitment processes are deterring teachers from applying for jobs according to 3,000 teachers surveyed as part of new research published today.
A radical overhaul to the teaching recruitment processes employed by most schools is needed if we are to stem the flow of teachers leaving the profession, reports Eteach, the UK’s leading education recruitment providers. They found that 40% of education professionals felt the most off-putting factor in applying for jobs was the time it takes and the laborious process they are forced through just to apply for each role. More than half of them drop out of the application process as a result[i].
The latest findings follow a year of stark headlines highlighting the ongoing teacher shortage facing UK schools, with 37% of education institutes across England’s maintained schools already facing a teacher shortage[ii].
The new research also revealed that most teachers find applying for a role too onerous; even a simple expression of interest via lengthy application form often takes more than two hours. Forty percent of those surveyed cited lengthy application processes as the second biggest turn off facing them when looking for a new job, coming close behind location of the school.
Eteach founder and CEO, Paul Howells, a former teacher himself, said:
“Schools have not adapted their processes to account for the current shortages. In fact they may well be making the situation worse by asking a scarce resource to jump through unnecessary hoops in order to find their next role and to further their career. Our research also shows that schools are, in some instances, making it very difficult for already hardworking teachers to apply for new roles at a time when they should be making it easier. This may well make the teachers feel undervalued and it’s then that they choose to leave the profession altogether. Schools are unwittingly exacerbating their own recruitment crisis.
“Imagine you are looking for a new Maths teacher for your school knowing that this type of professional is in scarce supply. You then proceed to make it difficult for them to a) find the application form online and b) submit the forms and documents efficiently. You then add the imposition of pre-application referencing, psychometric testing and audition style demonstration lessons. This makes the candidate experience far more stressful and difficult than it needs to be.
“What about safeguarding I hear you say? This should in no way be compromised but should be incorporated into a structured and well thought-through application process with the candidates’ needs very much in mind.
“It is essential we wake up to the life balance, professional and technical expectations of today’s teachers by making the process much more welcoming and more efficient. By reviewing and overhauling antiquated processes, we can make the whole candidate experience a positive one, especially during this turbulent period.”
The Education Landscape report is a combination of independent data and third party insights for school leaders and is free to access at Eteach.com[iii]. Other issues covered within the report include the impact of workload and working hours on our already “flat out” teachers.
[ii] State of Education Survey 2016, published by the Key Support Services Ltd, p28.