Recruitment Matters, with thanks to Sam Freedman

Sam Freedman recently published an excellent thread on Twitter in which he discussed how organizations could improve their recruitment processes to make then fairer. Boards would benefit from reading Sam’s thoughts. They could evaluate their own school/MAT’s recruitment processes using this thread. It would also give them useful tips when they are on interview panels for heads. I am copying and pasting the points Sam has made. You can read the thread (and the resulting discussion) using this link.

  1. Short job descriptions that are absolutely clear what the job is and what the requirements are. In clear English. No “you will need to strategically integrate synergies across networks”. If you can’t do this you don’t know what the job is.
  2. If you know you are going to appoint an internal candidate, do not go external. It is deeply unfair on all the people who will spend time and effort on an application and possibly interview so you can show a Potemkin process.
  3. If you can do a blind recruitment process then do. Get an administrator to remove names, email addresses and photos from CVs/covering letters so as to avoid unconscious biases.
  4. When inviting people to interview give them the full information about the whole process. How many interviews? Dates? What will they have to prepare for each of them? Let them know the whole potential time cost upfront rather than stringing them along.
  5. If you can do your best to avoid formulaic interviews with standard questions with each one asked by a different person. A few competancy based Qs are fine but don’t make them your whole interview. They’re often not very revealing.
  6. As much as it’s true for the candidate that it’s a good idea to make it more of a conversation, it’s also a good idea for you. Have a structure but leave space for follow-ups; tangents etc… (you have to think more in this type of interview – that’s good).
  7. If you ask for a presentation or piece of work then be thoughtful about the amount of time you give for it. Remember that not everyone can drop everything over 24 hours and write something. It will disadvantage parents/carers etc…
  8. When the interviews are over and you’ve made a decision tell everyone as soon as possible. Making people wait days because you’re a bit busy is cruel. This is a huge deal for them. If there’s a delay tell them and tell them why / how long.
  9. When you’ve hired someone, send them stuff/talk to them before they start. Give them an induction timetable; tell them about initial projects. Much easier for people to start well when they can start to picture their first few weeks. THREAD ENDS

    CODA: lots of people saying – put the salary on the job advert – which I completely agree with. Not doing so increases pay inequality and just means you’ll get to the end of the process and some of your best options may not actually do it for what you can pay.

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