Before the Advert Goes Out, Get the house in Order

When someone comes around to visit I clean and tidy. It’s a natural thing to do. You want to show your best side, don’t you? This week we are talking about putting your house in order. And our visitors are job applicants. Of course, it is all a bit more high stakes than inviting someone around for dinner. As a result we are going to have to spend a little more time sorting things out.

Get Organised

We mentioned before that there are some key things that need to be sorted before you put out your job advert:

  • have a meeting with your senior staff. Decide what you want and need.
  • put the dates firmly in the calendar- not your diary, the school calendar, of course.
  • make sure that the information for candidates is ready to go.
  • make sure the webpage is ready to visit.
  • pre-write the form letters/responses.

Get the Senior Staff Together

The Meeting

I got together with Leonard and we wrote a first draft of our job specification and our people specifications. We talked this through in depth because we don’t want to put people off who might have something to offer. We also don’t want to waste time looking at applications from people who can’t or won’t take the job in the end. That all went into a special page we put on our webpage.

Teachers Wanted Page

That page will be where candidates are directed from the advert. You will notice that we were clear about the dates of the interviewing and application process. We want it all to be quick and efficient from the moment we put the ad out. You can see it here: Teachers Wanted.

When all the information for candidates is ready to go it will include:

  1. Information about the school
  2. A personal letter from the directors
  3. the person and job specifications in more detail than on the webpage
  4. an application form.

People who want the job will take the time

We are going to ask them to send the application in by post. I know that sounds old-fashioned, but we do not want mass email speculative applications and there is something old-fashioned about our personal style anyway.

The Personal Letter

Have a look at the personal letter. It tries to give a feel about us and the school. It doesn’t matter how much you say things in academic language, people will breeze over it. The personal letter is essential for this type of application.

We are not going to go over the application form on Wednesday in the podcast, but there are some questions we need to answer:

  • Are we confident that our information on the teachers wanted page and in the letter encourages the right people to apply?
  • Are we confident that we discourage the wrong people from applying?
  • Are we clear enough about the type of school it is?
  • Are we clear enough about the person we want?
  • How much more detail should we put in the job description? I guess a part of this is negotiable since there will be components that are not 100% predictable, such as second subjects.
  • Jumping ahead, do we get successful candidates to sign off on the job description when we offer them the job?

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