Hays UK jobs and employment blog


The ideal candidate journey for education professionals

By Paul Matthias, National Director of Hays Education

Education professionals are more likely to apply for a role if the application process is easy and provides personalised functionality and communication. Read on to find out what employees look for when applying for roles, as well as potential road blocks commonly found during the application process that would prevent your organisation from attracting the best education talent.

We surveyed a range of candidates and hiring managers as part of our What Workers Want 2018 research, and have used this information to help you meet future employees’ expectations before they even come through the door.

This information is based on feedback across a number of sectors, including but not limited to education. Find more information on the What Workers Want Report here.

1. The initial search phase

We have identified what the majority of professionals look for when searching for a new role below:

  • 82% of potential employees want to know their future employer will invest in staff development
  • 73% want to see a public commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion(ED&I)
  • 76% of candidates will only apply to an organisation that can show them they have a clear career plan
  • 63% see the people and culture of an organisation as the single most important consideration
  • And 61% of candidates say they would be discouraged from applying to an organisation upon reading negative employee reviews.

2. The application

When applying for a role, 98% of candidates are happy to provide a CV, highlighting that this is an effective format for employers to use.

However, applicants do not want to just submit a CV and not receive any feedback; 69% want maintained contact during the application process, and 57% of applicants are only willing to wait up to one week after submitting their application to receive confirmation before looking elsewhere.

3. Decision time

Education candidates are using their interviews and any interaction they have with organisation’s as an opportunity to decide whether or not this is the place for them. You can help them decide you are the right employer for them by:

  • Showing them their working environment such as the classroom; 87% of education professionals say it is important to see where they will be working ahead of accepting a role.
  • There are some additional factors to consider to ensure you do not lose a potential top candidate, for example:
  • 70% of professionals only want to have two interviews, highlighting the importance of a quick yet in depth interview process.
  • 47% of applicants have been deterred from a role due to lack of preparation by the interviewer, which emphasises the importance of a first impression and the difference this makes to your candidates.

4. Joining the organisation

Once they have accepted the role, applicants have the following expectations:

  • Wanting to receive a welcome pack before starting their new role, with 70% of candidates placing high importance on this.
  • 68% of applicants want to be able to confirm role expectations prior to start date, allowing them to feel prepared and confident when they begin.
  • 89% of applicants highlighted the importance of having someone to contact leading up to their first day.
  • 20% of new starters have left an employer within the first year because of a bad on-boarding experience, highlighting how it is not just about employing the best talent, but working to retain them.

Overall – make your education professionals feel valued, even before they are a member of your team.

For more information and help tailoring your application process, request a full copy of the What Workers Want 2018 report here.

To discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Paul has been with Hays since 1999 and the National Director of Hays Education since 2007. He is responsible for leading experts from 40 offices across the UK who specialise in recruiting for Early Years, Primary, Secondary, SEN, Further Education and Leadership staff on a daily supply, long term supply or permanent basis. His extensive experience is invaluable to ensuring schools, colleges, nurseries, academies and MATs have access to the best possible candidates.


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