The transfer window is a source of much consternation within the education sector. For schools, it means a staff for the next academic year must be finalised in May; for principals, it means having to deal with last-minute departures without the opportunity to hire a replacement; and for teachers, it means being forced to wait months at a time before accepting a position at another school.
The issues caused by the cyclical nature of teacher recruitment are clear to see, but with no signs of changes to the system on the horizon, schools need to find a way to make transfer windows work for them.
In this blog, we investigate how schools can tailor their advertising campaigns to make use of the transfer windows — or to be effective despite them, depending on your perspective.
Timing is Everything
Due to the transfer windows, hiring teachers is unlike recruitment in most other sectors. Traditionally, job seekers will search for a new position on a regular basis and only stop once they have been successful with an application.
For teachers, these specific transfer periods mean that their search for a new job is far more concentrated and subsequently more predictable. Equipped with this helpful knowledge, your school should be maximising its exposure and focusing its advertising around these predetermined times.
The first step your school should take is to make sure that all your open positions are listed on your preferred job sites, both generic and education-specific, in the lead up to the transfer window opening.
Additionally, if your school has a presence on LinkedIn — which is a crucial tool for teacher recruitment — posts advertising your vacancies and featuring links to online application facilities should be scheduled regularly in the lead up to and throughout the transfer window to maximise your reach.
Utilise Multiple Platforms
During transfer windows, every school is competing to attract the best candidates for their vacancies. The content of your advertisements and the quality of your offering are important factors in winning the battle, but what good is a really attractive proposition if no one sees it?
Exposure and reach are key to the success of any advertising activity, and your campaign to recruit the best school staff is no different. Putting your advertisements in front of as many interested eyes as possible means spreading posts and messaging across multiple channels and platforms.
From all forms of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to job sites, including generic platforms and those designed specifically for teachers, you should be spreading the word of your vacancies through every relevant channel.
Maintain Year-round Communication
Although the transfer windows restrict transfers to taking place at certain times, during which your rate of communication should be increased, that doesn’t mean you should forget about advertising vacancies in between windows.
Maintaining regular communication and continuing exposure while the transfer window is shut is a great way to remain relevant and at the forefront of teachers’ minds.
During this time, when teachers are not necessarily searching for opportunities and being bombarded with options, just one of your adverts can be enough to catch their attention and make your school the first they think about when the transfer window reopens.
Capitalise on Out-of-window Interest
While you may not have everything in place to accept applications outside of transfer windows, or you aren’t sure which positions will become available, it is crucial that you capitalise on any interest shown in your school by prospective staff.
How do you do this? Capture their information in a contact form, store their details, and communicate with them when your vacancies are listed.
The most effective method of capturing information is to host a careers-related contact form on your website. Then, signpost prospective staff directly to the form, request that they fill it out, and contact them when a job becomes available.
This gives you a direct line of communication with staff who are actively pursuing a job at your school — the best type of lead. With the right communications, you can convert these interested educators into your next team of full-time teachers.
A Recruitment Campaign That Works
With a campaign that acknowledges the limitations of recruitment in the education sector and uses the restrictions to its advantage, you can put your school in pole position for the best candidates and most talented teaching staff.
If you would like some help in putting together your school’s next recruitment campaign, our team would love to help. Get in touch with us now to find out more.