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Applying directly to schools

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by VashtaNerada, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. VashtaNerada

    VashtaNerada New commenter

    Do good schools give less considerations to applications made directly through their website rather than through a recruitment organization? For a teaching couple, the recruitment companies can be so expensive, and I don't mind doing the legwork myself if it does not put us at a disadvantage.
  2. w1185299

    w1185299 New commenter

    Search associates is free in the uk
  3. VashtaNerada

    VashtaNerada New commenter

    Alas, I am not in the UK, so the cost is USD 225 per person.
  4. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    All recruitment is free in the UK. You're not allowed to charge for the service
  5. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    I thought that you had to register with Search Associates (which has a cost) before you could attend their fairs - including the UK ones.
  6. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    Then maybe try teacherhorizons. They are free for all. Some here don't like them but I found the really good and much more personal. Secured my first job with them and had several interviews for the next one but decided to go for something advertised on good old TES only.
  7. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Back to the OP's original point.

    Schools do prefer direct recruitment over agencies as the total cost is reduced - the agency will get a fee, whereas a direct application will not. However, so many people use Search, ISS etc that cutting that off completely is a risk (though more and more are doing this.) Search is free if you have a UK address, but charges if you don't - with that, you get one fair free of charge but have to pay for the others. UK based agencies like teacherhorizons or Teachanywhere don't usually charge candidates.
  8. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Schools do like the convenience of Search and the other quality agencies. Applications are already vetted and include all the info needed. Whereas private applications are hit and miss. And usually require me as the recruiter to do extra work.
    So, no, it’s not as simple as preferring one over the other. If I have ample applications on Search for an open post, I’ll probably focus on those. If I am having trouble finding suitable applicants on Search (which is very rare), I might pay more attention to the private applications.
    It might seem unfair but the truth is that I’ll be spending at least twenty hours a week on recruiting, for the whole season until I make all my hires. Anything that lessens the time burden will be welcomed!
    Search also lessens the burden for applicants. Worth considering.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  9. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    All right, maybe 20 hours a week is somewhat exaggerating. Definitely over 10 each week, and there are definitely weeks where 20 is just a starting point. In my defense, it's been a loooong week, full of recruiting. Good news: I hired the toughest position I need to fill this year. Yes, she was found through Search.
    mermy and Mr_Frosty like this.
  10. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Must admit, I prefer the approach via an agency too. As a candidate it takes away the hassle of identifying jobs and applying a myriad of times.

    Gulfers, good to hear it's going well for your school. Out of curiosity, from your perspective what do you think it is about your school which is attracting people?
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  11. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Long hours, low pay, and a boss who spends lots of time on TES?

    I'd like to think it's some combination of some of the following:
    • we have a unique context that is very attractive to some (off-putting for others)
    • recent tangible evidence that the school is on a good track
    • we pitch the opportunity to make a contribution to the school's development and pathway, not just be a cog in a wheel
    • money is decent with lots of opportunity for saving or living an extravagant life, your choice
    • cozy lifestyle with nice community
    • we're developed enough that you don't have to invent everything for yourself, but not stuck in a rut.
    We also have some very real recruiting challenges, but I won't go into those unless you send an application.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  12. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    Not the OP but thanks for the insight into the work that goes into recruitment in (some) schools. It's easy to forget, as a candidate, that the people in schools have a whole lot going on and waiting an extra few days (or more) isn't usually that big a deal.
  13. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    We're all in this together. Symbiotic relationship, or co-dependent, I cannot say.

    Indeed. Not all schools work quite so hard.
    This week I also had a direct application from someone with a very spotty background. His most recent post was described as something like "teaching assistant to a private tutor", which had apparently kept him going for several years. He included contact details for only 2 referees, one of whom had been this individual's uni professor 25 years back. The other was equally irrelevant. Before I could even reply "thanks but no thanks", I had another email: "Thanks, but I must take myself out of the running. I've been snapped up by a school that felt I was such a strong candidate, they didn't require an interview."
    If I revealed the name of the school, heads would nod and all would make sense. (Some details have been changed to protect those in need of protection.)
    Mr_Frosty, theintlteacher and mermy like this.
  14. motorhomer

    motorhomer New commenter

    Thanks gulfgolf but I didn't want to work for your school anyway. And why is my yoga coach irrelevant as a referee? It's also been quite a few years since anyone described me as 'spotty', how rude!
    tb9605 and gulfgolf like this.
  15. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Gulfgolf has given a very informative account of it from a recruiter's perspective. As a teacher, I got a job at a "good" school via TES advert rather than an agency. I also got an interview and offer from another school that I'd just sent a speculative letter to. So, I guess if you have the confidence in your own abilities and experience, and can show that on paper initially, then don't be put off applying directly.

    That said, I also also the TH agency mentioned above, and they got me two interviews as well as saving me from wasting time applying to other schools who they knew were looking for something different to what I can offer. For me, that is the big advantage of agencies - they are more likely to save you wasting your time, and thus spare you the pain of rejections from places (unbeknownst to you) that you were never right for.
  16. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    the good thing with agencies is that schools can look for you. well, you definitely can on Search, I don't know about the others. I was actually doing this today. we will be contacting 3 people this morning that has not "directly" applied but have their profiles open on Search.

    there is nothing wrong with direct applying. remember though that the "good" schools will use the network of contacts they have before going to agencies. I often get emails from other people in other schools saying, "do you know of a ................. teacher? we are looking for one for next year".
  17. VashtaNerada

    VashtaNerada New commenter

    Appreciate the insight offered here. I recognize that it's probably worth the money, but it's not an insignificant amount for a teaching couple, so I'm glad to hear from somebody on the other side of it to help make the decision.

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