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How long does it take to short list?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by Lara mfl 05, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I've given up on one of my applications sent before half-term as I've received the 'Thank you but no thank you' from the second one which had a later closing date.
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You're being a tad unreasonable, don't you think? Especially given your statement on the average number of applicants per job - or foes your 'strategies for speedy shortlisting' include not actually reading each application?
    The head in each case has been on half-term too, though has almost certainly taken the huge pile of applications with her (which will be the reason for giving the end of the half-term as the closing date), read each one and made notes before preparing a series of gradually reducing lists. She'll get back to school tomorrow and either (a) meet with one or more governors to discuss and agree it or (b) if she has been delegated responsibility for shortlisting on her own, will give the shortlisted applications to her secretary in order that applicants can be invited.
    Bur just by way of illustration, why not give your own, single application to a friend ask them to read it and make notes and see how long that takes. Multiply that by just 100.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    And then get him or her to run a school at the same time . . .
    It's hard going waiting to hear, nail-biting time, I feel for you. And what makes it worse is that most schools nowadays don't acknowledge unsuccessful applications.
    No reply to job applicatio
    If you do get an interview, then open the Welcome thread and read the interview clickables, to help you prepare.
    And if you don't, then read the 8 steps to a successful job application thread.
    Best of luck!
  4. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    This is how heads could make it a LOT easier on themselves. Follow the practice of many businesses, and when you see a good applicant get on with things immediately. Don't wait for a closing date. Check the references, do the interview, and if it all pans out make the job offer and (if it's accepted) ditch the rest of the applications. On the advert just say until position filled, or if a closing date is given make it clear that applications will be considered on receipt. This is how it's done in many professions.

    There are several good reasons for this approach. If you get a good candidate you want to grab him before somebody else does. Also, there has been scientific research done which indicates that giving a person many more choices doesn't lead to a better decision - all that happens is that the person making the choice becomes flustered and unhappy.

    So, read each application as it comes in, and proceed with it if its any good. You will save yourself a lot of work and stress, and possibly make a better decision.

    To be really brutal about it, most companies that recruit professionals find the idea of waiting for a closing date,and then interviewing all of the short-listed on the same day, laughable.
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I bet they do. Do they governing bodies who insist on being involved and who thereby determine which days interviews must be held upon and recruitment policies driven by 'fair recruitment' principles?
    I thought not.
    UK and worldwide businesses aren't doing that well these days, are they? Taking on many staff, are they? So laughing at public sector recruitment practices isn't their best bet.
  6. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Middlemarch, your first point is very fair. And perhaps everything would run a lot smother if governing bodies stepped back a bit.

    Your second point doesn't carry any weight. Businesses have to compete and finance themselves. They are not (in general) funded by the taxpayer. So the current difference in recruitment is hardly unexpected - or in any way an indication of best practice.
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Indeed - but you were apparently indicating that the business way of recruiting was somehow better, which current performance doesn't support. At present most state schools are not free to recruit in the manner you suggest - do you really think they make things harder for themselves on purpose?
    Schools might be publicly funded, but they also have to perform via results from uncertain 'raw materials'.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    David - we are happy to read your contributions, but this is an advice forum where posters are hoping to get advice from the experts (and also from well-informed other posters, of course).
    The OP will, I'm sure, be expecting the advice from Middlemarch, a Head, and myself, to help with his/ application.
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    *** sigh*** slippery mouse. Start again
    David - we are happy to read your contributions, but this is an advice forum where posters are hoping to get advice from the experts (and also from well-informed other posters, of course).
    The OP will, I'm sure, be expecting the advice from Middlemarch, a Head, and myself, to help with his/her application. I'm just a tad concerned that you might be worrying people with these suggestions! It's fine as long as you make it clear that you have very little UK teaching experience, and no education leadership or management experience at all, and so these are just off-the-cuff (or off-the-wall!) ideas and not likely to be put into effect.
    I'd hate any poster to start panicking that this is something that might be going to happen here!
    You must remember that there's one big difference between education posts and posts elsewhere, in the public or private sectors. There are only 3 general appointment starting dates, and only 3 resignatiin dates,so selection is concentrated to fit in with these.
    Makes a whole lot of difference!
    Best wishes

  10. Thank you for your advice and comments.

    My intention was not to be unreasonable - I am just another of the unfortunate in the waiting game! I fully appreciate the hard work that must go into the shortlisting process.

    It was useful to have some insight. I guess I was just surprised to see on the application info that the closing date was Fri noon before half term and the interview date was Weds this week. I can't see how you can do that with so many applicants!?! So I assumed they would shortlist Fri and then notify applicants before half term. But perhaps not, perhaps applicants will have short notice for interview instead. The other job didn't state an interview date.

    Anyway, what will be will be. The whole world of "jobseekeing" isn't fair, but I feel at least the in education there are attempts to make it somewhat fair!

    Ah well. On with the next application......!
  11. I can write in paragraphs, honest.
    And it should be *jobseeking* and *that in education...*
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Point taken, Theo. It's certainly not my intention to frighten anyone, and I can see how the 3 appointment dates might influence things. My post was expressed as just a proposal. Yes, I don't have the management experience (or ever want it). But I feel that sometimes a detached perspective can be helpful.

    As a further (trying to be helpful) suggestion. Perhaps a move to 6 half-term based appointment and resignation dates might make things easier on all sides.
  13. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    You seem to be under the impression that we have a choice in this matter?
    Apart from anything this could lead to total chaos in schools - at least at the moment we know that people will only leave at the end of every term.

    As for speeding up the shortlisting process or interviewing a "good" candidate as soon as you see them?
    Well there are certain procedures which MUST be followed to make the recruitment process fair. But aside from those, a school is only as good as its weakest member of staff.
    One of the most important aspects of the job is to attract and secure the right staff for the school. As far as I'm concerned that's a process which can not and should not be rushed. Get it right and it pays dividends, get it wrong and it can wreck your school.
  14. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    No, since earlier replies in this thread I'm not under this impression. Hence my comment about governors/LEAs stepping back a bit, to allow more flexibility.

    I would think that having to handle almost all applications only 3 times a year, over a very short period of time IS a recipe for chaos.

    Fair to who? Is it fair to the students if a school misses out on an outstanding teacher because someone else snapped him up before the closing date?

    To come back to you first point, I realize that currently there may be little or no choice in these matters. But maybe it would be worth trying to get them on the table for discussion. Just because something has been done in a certain way for a long time doesn't mean there might not be a better way. Think about women's rights, Curlygirl, they only came about because [initially a small number of] people decided that the centuries long tried and tested ways weren't best.
  15. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Thanks for the lecture on women's rights but I'm pretty up on that stuff myself already.
    getting back to the original topic.
    Is it fair to a group of students who may have an excellent teacher, that they might be able to leave at any point during the year? Hardly. At least with the 3 points in the year schools and teachers know where they are with classes.
    Is it fair that a candidate may be shown around the school early on in the recruitment process, the head may take a liking to them and decide to interview them and the school may miss out on an even better candidate who comes to look round later in the week? No
    Is it fair to candidates who live/ work a long way from the school and are not able to visit prior to interview, if the head shows someone around and decides they will interview them before the closing date? No
    I have done a huge amount of recruiting over the years in a number of schools and the system we use at the moment has yet to fail me.
    Last year I had a large number of vacancies which all came up at once. It was hard work, and I lost a couple of weeks and weekends to recruitment, but it was worth it because we got exceptional and outstanding teachers.Which at the end of the day, is what it's all about.

  16. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Fair enough, if this is what works best for you, that's great, but it may not work best for other heads. You recruit for a primary school, but I should imagine that things are very different when you are the head of a secondary school trying to get a good maths or physics teacher.

    I'd be surprised if an excellent teacher just upped and left at anytime. Excellent teachers care about their students and so will hang in there until the end of the school year, or at least the end of the term, unless there's a very good reason why they can't.

    As for fairness, I can turn your argument around. Let's say that an exceptional teacher you had short-listed had been snapped up by the time you got around to interviewing. Is this fair to the students?

    I'm not saying that schools should be forced to do things the way I suggest. And I realize that they currently don't have much choice. But maybe they should have a choice - in life there is very seldom a one size fits all solution.
  17. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I'm a big believer in the recruitment process being a 2 way thing. If you do a good enough job of selling your school, the right candidates may even hold out for the job because they really want to work there. This happened 3 times in my school last year. I appreciate that secondary is different to primary, but can honestly say that this hasn't been raised as an issue amongst the secondary heads I know.
  18. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Thank you for your helpful suggestions, David, which I am sure we shall all bear in mind.
    To get back to the point of this thread - Scribbles - I guess that by now, Thursday, you have either heard good news or have realised that it's probably not going to work out for you this time.Have you made sure thar you'll receive notification of all the possible job vacancies by signing up to the JobAlert here on the TES website? It's a good idea to be as flexible as possible geographically when setting it up, and how about includiung independent schools in your selection too?
    You never knw what might come up!
    Best wishes
  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    If he thinks long and hard about his suggestions, he'll realise it works both ways - one 'outstanding' candidate snapped up by school A (who are entitled to snap him/her up as well, you know!) leaves school B to snap up another. Having 6 opportunities to resign and take up other posts would, as Curlygirly states, lead to chaos.
  20. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    You usually hear within a week but if closing date was just before half term then I'd give it til the end of this week.

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