Top Tips for Avoiding Recruiting Nightmares

Fusion Business provide HR solutions to the education sector and their HR Account Manager Lucy Hutton has recently undertaken a number of Headteacher recruitment campaigns for her schools. Here's Lucy's top tips for recruiting in your school:

1. Make sure you are clear on the requirements of the job and ensure they are listed in the job description and person specification. Do not rely solely on template job descriptions. Try and express matters in plain English. If legally challenged, you will have to explain how that particular candidate does or does
not meet the requirements in the person specification.

2. Use an application form rather than relying on CVs alone. An application form makes it harder to hide gaps in employment history and makes a fair comparison of candidates easier. It also ensures that the candidate has personalised their application for the needs of your school, and helps you to make safer
recruitment decisions.

3. If possible, consider asking technical competency questions during an interview to test whether or not the candidate really does have the necessary experience. More general questions such as ‘how would you influence change’ are easier to answer for those who are both practiced in interview techniques and good at making things up! It is much better to ask ‘give me two examples of how you have directly influenced change, what was the change, what was the impact?

4. Ensure your recruiters use interview forms, so that each candidate is asked the same questions. This ensures consistency in approach.

5. Take thorough interview notes and keep them for at least nine months. They may be used in evidence, so make sure that all comments about candidates remain professional and relevant to the interview process.

6. If you use equality monitoring forms, make sure these are not provided to those who are carrying out the interview process, so that there is no argument of bias if a candidate is not taken forward to the next stage. Also, no information about medical history should be given to the interview panel unless it is to make reasonable adjustments for the interview process.

7. Recruiters should receive training. Interviewing is a skill that not everyone has. Your school may also want to consider investing in equality and safe guarding training.

8. Make sure that you ask to see a candidate’s original examination certificates. It is surprising how infrequently this is done, especially with senior professionals.

9. Carry out enhanced DBS checks to verify employment history and suitability for working in your school. The safe guarding process is extremely important when recruiting new staff.

10. Take written references. Try to call the writer to verify that the reference is valid. It is not unheard of for employees to get friends to write references for them rather than the HR department or their line manager, or to write their own reference using their employer’s headed paper!


To find our more about Fusion Business and their excellent work with the education sector, visit their website


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