Updated: Feb 5, 2020
by Victoria Graves
So, what are the recruitment consultants responsible for here at Inspiring Teaching? And what makes Inspiring different to other recruitment companies? Here we look at what a typical day looks like for our team of recruitment consultants.
Recruitment is all about matching clients (primary schools, secondary schools, SEN Schools and PRUs) who need teachers or teaching assistants with our candidates (teachers, Cover Supervisors and TAs who are looking for a job).
In order to do this, we need to speak regularly with our existing clients, and when we find new ones, to understand what particular requirements for staff they have. It is not just a case of filling a gap with anyone but in order for it to be a successful placement, we need to match a job with an educator who fits the job specification (subject, seniority, role, level, experience) with a good cultural fit for the school. Personality, attitude to teaching and location plays a role too in a successful match.
The only way to do this effectively is to know in great detail both our clients and their requirements, and our candidates. For this reason, we spend a lot of time visiting people face-to-face, followed up by phone or video calls, often speaking to more than forty people a day.
We have split up the geographical area we cover and different consultants look after different areas, letting them focus their attention on building really good network with schools and candidates within their area.
At school, we will be speaking to the head, deputy head, office manager, finance manager or in bigger secondary schools, a cover manager who deals specifically with recruitment. We spend time visiting the schools that we deal with, because by seeing for ourselves where they are located (are easy they are to get to by public transport, do they have parking etc), what they are like (the size of the school, number and type of pupils, does it look very ordered or less structured, casual or formal, modern or traditional) and by meeting the key personnel and getting an idea of the general culture and atmosphere, we are much better equipped to find exactly the right person to fill their vacancy. We can then also confidently describe where to go and whom our candidates will meet.
We tend to make our calls to schools between 7 and 8.30am in the morning and after 4pm to fit around with the school day. We try to call candidates at lunchtime or at the end of the day, especially if we know they are currently working, so as not to interfere with classes.
On a typical day, we will make some speculative calls to schools we have heard, or can guess that they might, have some recruitment requirements but most of our new schools come to us by way of a referral which is a sign of what great relationships we have with our clients and candidates, that they think enough of us to recommend us to others.
We will discuss their recruitment requirements, which we add to our management information system with all the relevant role information which we can then match with the details of our available candidates.
We then obviously speak to a lot of candidates: when they first come to us we need to ‘onboard’ them which means getting to fully understand their background, experience, attitudes and what types of roles they are looking for (permanent or short-term, types of role and school, and locations).
We meet everyone face to face, either in our central London offices or somewhere more convenient for them for a detailed interview, to really get to know them, their skills and what they would be best at.
We also need to make sure all the correct checks are done, such as DBS, QTS and very importantly follow up on their references.
Next in the process is finding suitable roles to put them forward for, and coach them through the process of heading for the interview process, which can be different depending on the role and the school: it might be a panel interview or in some cases, a trial teaching session.
When they land the job though, it doesn’t end there. We keep in touch with them to make sure they settle in fine and everything is going to plan. Special educational needs teachers and teaching assistants generally have many good qualities but often keeping up to date with their timesheets isn’t necessarily one of them, meaning we might need to call and chase them up on submitting them each week but this also gives us an opportunity to check in and make sure everything is going well.
They often have their ears open at the school and can potentially alert to any news that the school might need some more help elsewhere (eg. someone leaving or circumstances changing) so we can get in touch with the relevant contact to enquire whether we can help.
What we love about the job is the variety of people we can deal with. In one day we could be speaking to, or meeting, someone from a faith school, a small independent school in an upper class suburb and then a state school in a less affluent area plus multiple different candidates who all have their own story to tell.
It’s never quiet or dull.
When we spoke to one of our consultants who have previously worked elsewhere, he said what he liked about working at Inspiring is that there is a lot more autonomy for the consultants and as long as you are doing your job well, meeting targets and placing candidates, you are more free to express your own style of working, compared to other companies where your work can be micromanaged and have scripts to follow.
It is a very friendly environment to work in, both with Inspiring colleagues but also our candidates and clients, and the level of service we offer our candidates and clients is superior to elsewhere. We make ourselves available to chat after usual business hours as we understand that this is more convenient for some people, and good and effective relationships are the key to our job.
If you work at a school who has a need for TAs, SEN or teaching staff, or if you are a special needs teacher or teaching assistant and fancy a change of scene, please contact Callum and the team at Inspiring Teaching on 020 3773 6005 or email email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.