The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Your Application Process is Losing you the Best Candidates


The power has shifted. Teacher shortages are growing at an alarming rate and candidates have more choice than ever before. Schools can’t afford to think about recruitment as a side project anymore — it should be a priority. The best candidates don’t stay on the market long and there’s one area that lots of schools need to sharpen up: The application process.

The education recruitment landscape

In a candidate shortage market, candidate is always King. According to The Key’s recent ‘State of Education Survey Report 2016’, 37% of schools are facing a shortage of teachers — a challenge that is particularly noticeable in the South East (50%) and London (56%). With quality of applications (40%) and number of applications (21%) cited as the biggest challenge whilst searching for new talent, school leaders need to think about steps they can take to attract and retain A grade candidates.

Application attrition

According to Appcast, conversion rates (candidates who view a job ad and go on to complete an application) increase by up to 365% when an application process is reduced to five minutes or less. Speed and simplicity is of the essence as they also found that completion rates drop by almost 50% when an employer asks 50 or more questions versus. 25 or less questions.

So what does that mean? Put simply, you’re losing the best candidates by creating unnecessary roadblocks. We’ve found that it’s not unusual for schools to provide candidates with application forms upwards of 15 pages long!

An application form should be a fact-finding exercise to aid screening. Think about what you need to know in order to begin shortlisting and strip everything else out. Any further information can be gathered at a later stage.

Keep your candidates

A typical process looks like this: Place an ad, ask your candidate to complete a lengthy application form, shortlist candidates, interview them and make an appointment. This could take anywhere between three and four weeks and in this time, your candidates could be interviewing elsewhere.

Gerry Manolas, Ex-Deputy Head and now Key Account Manager for the Midlands at Eteach shared her advice,

‘In a candidate-driven market you need to make the process as easy as possible. The more application questions you have, the fewer the applications you’ll receive — It’s that simple. You need to streamline. If you simplify your application form and reduce the stages in the hiring process you’ll find you quickly gain a significant advantage over other recruiting schools. Speed up the process, secure the best candidates for your school.’

For free advice and guidance on streamlining your recruitment strategy, drop us an email at [email protected] with your phone number and one of our team will be in touch!