6 years at Academic Appointments, ‘where has that time gone?’ - A Blog by Lauren , Head of Permanent Recruitment

Actually, when I think about it the question actually is ‘how did we fit it all in?’

In those 6 years I’ve watched the company grow from 7 to 20+ members of staff. I’ve got married. I’ve become a ‘Head of’. I’ve had a baby (now an 18 month old!). I’ve gone from Candidate Attraction Manager to Head of Talent to Head of Permanent Recruitment. I’ve interviewed 1,343 education professionals.

Reflecting on those 6 years I’ve learnt so much about the education profession. My background prior to Education Recruitment was Commercial Recruitment and prior to that Marketing. During my years as a college, then university student I worked in retail. I value those years hugely as this is where the foundations of my customer service skills were laid and at the core of every step of my career has been customer service, never more so than now as Head of Permanent Recruitment.

The knowledge I’ve acquired on the education sector has got to be credited to those 1,343 Education Professionals I’ve interviewed. Really that’s over 1,343 hours of picking the brains of teachers, support staff and education leaders on their individual experiences. Every person I’ve interviewed has taught me something about the sector, the biggest learn is that it never stands still so I make an effort to keep learning and keep abreast of changes. I need to be able to relate to the changing challenges that schools and education professionals have.

This continuous conversation is essentially what I love about my role, talking! Talking to school recruitment decision makers, talking to education professionals, and finding out what they need and what their requirements are. I enjoy speaking to school contacts about their vacancies and who the best fit might be as well as speaking with education professionals looking for their next career move. The real joy is when these two aspects fit together resulting in a very happy school, excited for their new appointment to start and an equally happy education professional eager to start the next chapter of their career.

‘Guidance’ is the Academic Appointments permanent recruitment service, I genuinely believe that it can change the way permanent recruitment is done in schools. It simply makes life easier for schools and for education professionals thinking about their next move.

Essentially from the schools perspective ‘Guidance’ is a more cost effective and time efficient alternative to paying up front for advertising. Why pay over £2k with no guarantee of making a successful appointment? Especially when you have to do all of the time consuming relevant admin yourself. Why not have someone dedicate their time to finding the right person for your vacancy, present a shortlist to you (including a short video of the applicant along with CVs), and vet the applicants for you? All you then have to do is interview, make the decision and pay the fee upon successful appointment. No money wasted on unsuccessful adverts and a lot less man hours involved.

From the Education Professional’s point of view ‘Guidance’ is a dream. You may know exactly what you want your next move to be but seem to be too busy to find all of those hours needed to apply to a post. You may be quite happy in your current post but interested in progression opportunities, but only in the right school. The only investment made from the candidate’s perspective initially is time to tell me what you’re interested in hearing about: post type, location, school type, remuneration. I will then work proactively to speak to schools who fit the bill and put job opportunities in front of you.

This is exactly why an advertising alone recruitment campaign can be a waste of money- the best candidates aren’t always looking. They want to hear why the school and post matches them! An advert doesn’t pick up the phone and point out why it might be a good fit.

I love that ‘Guidance’ is backed with so much investment. It makes me feel even more motivated in my role.

We’ve invested in advertising. Not only to advertise vacancies through online jobs boards but on the TV too!

We’ve invested in the top Linked In access levels for worldwide targeted candidate searching.

We’ve invested in Video interviewing. Launchpad is a video interviewing platform that we’ve partnered with. Schools can actually set questions pertinent to them, the applicant answers these questions on video and the school contacts receive a link to watch the short video in their own time. This can be extremely beneficial (in addition to the CV) when making a decision on who to progress to the interview stage.

This service is all about forward planning, I will certainly help schools to recruit when an advert has failed, but the whole point of the service is to get it right first time and to make life easier.

If you’re a school who would like to discuss future vacancies I’d love to hear from you.

If you’re an education professional interested in finding out about permanent opportunities I’d also love to hear from you.

I wonder what will be jam packed into the next 6 years?

Lauren Llewellyn

Head of Permanent Recruitment

0113 390 1008 lauren@academicappointments.co.uk



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