Recruitment is a bit of a minefield. Getting it right takes time and sometimes a lot of patience. By following the Axcis Guide to Good Recruitment Practice, you can increase your chances of finding that perfect candidate the first time. In part 6, I talked about effective interviewing. Part seven covers the process of Compliance and Induction.
The recruitment process doesn’t end when you have a verbal acceptance in place from your chosen candidate. Or even when you have a signed contract in hand. It is important to remember that your compliance and induction process should form part of your overall recruitment plan. In the education sector, compliance is especially important and more in-depth than in many other sectors.
What should your HR file contain for each new staff member? Although there may be some slight variation depending on the type of staff member or your own HR policies, in general staff in the education profession should have the following in their HR file before they commence work:
- CV/Application pack
- Interview notes (never throw these away!)
- References – Ideally a minimum of two confidential references from line managers
- Signed health declaration
- Signed equal opportunities declaration
- Signed employment contract
- Signed criminal record/cautions or convictions declaration, including pending or spent convictions
- DBS check
- Overseas police check (where relevant)
- Copies taken from original qualifications (where relevant, ie. Teaching Certificate), date stamped and signed
- Copies of ID, ideally two forms of photographic, date stamped and signed
- Copies of proof of address, ideally two from different sources dated within the last three months, date stamped and signed
- Copy of original visa, date stamped and signed (where relevant)
- Print out of List 99 check, on any previous names as well as current
- Copy of name change certification, date stamped and signed (where relevant)
- Evidence of registration with professional bodies (where relevant)
- Bank details/P46 etc. to set up payment
The induction process may vary greatly from one organisation to another, and some may consider it not to be part of the recruitment process. However, I do not feel that you can consider the process of recruitment to be over until new staff have been inducted into the organisation. Some of the things you may wish to consider as part of your induction process are:
- Ensuring that your new employee is aware of fire and emergency procedures, location of toilets etc – A guided tour is usually a nice way to begin the induction of new staff members. As the employer, you will want them to quickly feel at ease so taking a bit of extra time when doing this part of the process and introducing them around will help.
- Issuing staff handbook, staff lists, timetable and any other relevant paperwork or policies – if you don’t already have some form of staff handbook, it is a good idea to create one which can be regularly updated. This should contain all relevant policies and information about the school or company and will allow your new employee to familiarise themselves with these aspects without having to track down HR people and ask endless questions (so it will also save time – which as we know – is money!)
- Issuing of keys, pass cards, ID badges etc – You’ll need to keep track of these (perhaps by numbering and having your employees sign for them). This is because if your employee decides to leave you will need these items returned for security reasons.
What about temporary staff?
If you hire temporary staff directly, you will still need to follow all of the compliance and induction processes that you would for a permanent staff member (although contracts etc. might be slightly different). If you use an agency, be sure that you have asked them about their recruitment and compliance processes and ensure they are aligned with your own. Most agencies will be happy to share copies of paperwork or summaries of the compliance checks they have undertaken so you have something for your own files.
It is tempting to breathe a big sigh of relief and draw a line under your recruitment process as soon as the paperwork has been signed and timetables issued. But as an employer, it is in your interest to ensure that your new staff members are settling in well and being treated as part of the team. Why? Well, remember how much work that recruitment process was? How frustrated would you be if a couple of weeks in to the new job, they decide they are not fitting in well and decide to leave? What a nightmare that would be! And even teaching staff who are obliged to give a half term of notice can walk out! They may not get the best reference in the world but there is nothing to physically stop them from walking out of the job if they so decide. This is why, as the employer, it is in your interest to ensure that your new staff members are being looked after. This can be as simple as sending them an email to ask how they are getting on, or assigning them a “buddy” whom they can go to with any questions. After over a decade of experience working with schools, first as a teacher, and now at an agency, I have heard so many horror stories about poor treatment of new staff – and trust me – this is a fast-track way to lose a fantastic new employee. Here are a few examples to end our series; The Axcis Guide to Good Recruitment Practice:
“When I was an NQT (all those years ago) – there was a clear attitude from some staff members in my first school that “NQTs are not worth talking to because they’ll be gone before the end of the year” – for example, I was sent to help set up the exam hall one morning. I went to the senior exam officer and asked her what she’d like me to do to help. I was completely ignored! I thought that she couldn’t possibly have heard me – this respected member of the SLT. So I asked again… and was not even looked at. I was completely ignored! That made me feel somewhat unwanted to say the least!”
“A supply teacher called me once and said they wanted to leave their job. They had only been there a day! So, I asked why? The answer was telling: “Because I have to ask permission to go to the toilet – the school won’t give toilet keys to supply staff and it’s silly and embarrassing”. “
So, the message is clear – treat new staff as you’d want to be treated yourself – you’ve worked too hard to allow your fab new recruit to just walk out of the door for no good reason!
If you’d like to read more of our series on Good Recruitment Practice, the following articles are also available: