Get More Out Of Your Candidate

Get More Out Of Your Candidate

How do you get the best out of supply teachers and temporary school staff?

Aspire People will always endeavour to send you a supply teacher, technician or school office member that is reliable, intelligent and has a ‘can do’ attitude.   However, it is vital that schools and academies recognise the importance of supporting and welcoming supply staff so they work to their full potential and ultimately want to return again.

Elaine Bane, Information Services Manager from Shenley Academy, outlines “how to get the most out of your temporary school staff”

1. Its vital that you outline to the agency the kind of candidate that suits your school, the calibre of supply staff  you expect and what sort of skills and qualities they must hold.

2. Always get feedback on every candidate. Not only can this help the agency identify the type of candidate that suits the school but it helps the candidate to learn. It’s vital that you give candidates a chance to learn from their mistakes rather than just dismissing them.

3. At Shenley, we always do our best to treat supply staff as if they are our own, regardless of whether it is a short or long term contract.  All are given photographic identity and lanyards saying ‘staff’, so as not to single them out as temporary visitors.  It is also important to make them feel welcome in the staff room, we want our supply staff to come back as this provides our pupils with the continuity they need.

4.  A good Induction can make the world of difference. I provide all our supply staff with a folder that has information enclosed about discipline, our on call system, times of the school day, room codes where appropriate and most importantly with such a large sprawling site as ours, a map of the school! Not only does this make a candidate feel welcome but it helps them get the most out of their day.

5. Each department has a Faculty Support Manager (FSM), who will ensure that the supply teacher has access to the appropriate rooms, cover work and any necessary materials.  If the absent member of staff has not been able to provide cover work, the FSM will have done so as part of their role.  When supply staff arrive at Shenley, they are met by the Cover Manager, who will then ask the FSM to come and meet them and show them around. Without the right tools a candidate cannot do their job properly.

6. We ask that all our Shenley staff phone in before 7.45 am, so that we can arrange appropriate cover and work.

7. Always ask your supply staff how their day was! The simple things make the most difference and feedback can help to improve your own cover process.

Ultimately, there is one piece of advice I would give to schools. Find a recruitment agency that will take the time to meetwith you and actually listen to what your school needs.  Show them around and let them get a feel for the kinds of pupils within the school. This way your consultant will have a great chance of matching the right candidates to your school. You can build trust up with the agency and in the end save so much time.  Some years ago, Shenley Academy’s predecessor school had a poor reputation among supply staff.  That has now changed completely!  When ever Aspire People send a candidate to us, they love their day, if there is ever any negative feedback I always act upon it.  Now they all say they would be happy to come back to Shenley Academy and nothing makes me prouder.