Q&A with Steve Swaby - What is Education Sector Recruitment? The ins and outs.

Leah Cottham
February 9, 2024

As a former Educator turned Recruitment Consultant, Steve discusses his journey and passion for not just filling positions, but transforming employment within the education sector. Join us as we delve into Steve's expertise, exploring his unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and strategies that shape the recruitment process in this vital field. From navigating talent shortages to harnessing the power of networking, Steve's experiences offer invaluable insights for both job seekers and educational institutions.

Hello Steve, welcome to Hirecracker! Can you introduce yourself?

Hi there, I’m Steve – I’m 28, a dad of one, and dog dad of two.

From LinkedIn, I can see that you were once a teacher yourself. Can you provide an overview of how your path led you into being a Recruitment Consultant in Education instead?

Throughout my time teaching I came across so many members of staff that were either unhappy in their roles, losing their positions, or struggling to find permanent roles. When I came to the end of my most recent maternity cover, I had a real drive to change not only this, but the perception of working on supply and short term contracts in education.

What positions within the education sector do you typically recruit for?

A large volume of positions tend to be that of teachers and teaching assistants – those desperately needed first hand in the classroom to support students in their learning journey’s, but it’s not limited to this. From headteachers, to administrative staff, to after-school club leads, to cooks & cleaners, recruitment in the education sector covers from top to bottom.

How do you stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the education sector?

Education is embedded in me; a large volume of my family are teachers in different schools across varying key stages, so conversation is key to keeping up with the latest trends. Beyond that, who doesn’t love reading up on new policies and watching the news…

What strategies do you employ to identify and attract top talent in the education sector?

Finding top talent is always a challenge in any sector; ultimately, quality teachers know quality teachers – word of mouth and referrals are fantastic for finding top talent in education, but scouring endlessly through LinkedIn, CV Library, and attending student fairs / seminars in Universities is the bread and butter of finding the best teachers out there.

What challenges do you commonly face when recruiting for the education sector, and how do you overcome them?

There are a whole host of roles, but simply not enough staff to fill them! Schools are desperate for good, qualified members of staff to come on board and either support their children in the classroom, or around the school, and there is a scarcity of those people currently. Ultimately, the best way to overcome this is to just keep looking, keep conversations with schools, headteachers, universities and candidates going – they’re out there, it’s just about having the resilience to find them!

In your opinion, what are the key qualities that make a candidate successful in the education sector?

  • Having the right work ethic – challenges are going to present themselves from all corners in the classroom, but the main thing is to put on a smile and just keep going!
  • Being presentable – first things first, you’re the role model to every child in the class, and their main focus of the day; don’t just play the part, look the part!
  • Being willing to go above and beyond – Teacher? Counsellor? Medic? Actor? Sporting Specialist? Scientist? Musician? All of the above; going above and beyond will show a real care for the children, and is the main avenue to a success story.
  • A readiness to learn on a daily basis – nobody knows everything, not even a teacher; every day is a school day!

What advice do you have for educational institutions wanting to start their recruitment process?

Don’t be afraid, and just go for it! The education recruitment market has changed so much over the past few years, especially since the Covid pandemic, and now is the time to jump on board – there is huge talent out there, and recruiters are there to help you find it!

What would be a top tip for a candidate prepping their CV for a role within the Education sector?

Don’t be modest, and shout about your achievements from the rooftops – not every teacher / teaching assistant / or candidate working in education comes from the same place, and every drop of experience is valuable in some form. Showcase your talents!

If you are looking for a new opportunity or help transitioning to a job in the Education sector - we can help! Get in touch 07464 482 368, email [email protected] or check out our live vacancies.

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