Finding the Right Candidate for SEND Role

One of the biggest challenges facing schools and senior management teams is finding the right staff to fill their vacancies. Most departments simply don’t have the time and resources to sift through hundreds of job applications and if the majority of them are irrelevant or underqualified, finding the right candidate can be a frustrating process.

We caught up with Amy Allen, founder of www.senploy.co.uk, the UK’s first SEND specific jobsite, who shares her top five tips for finding the right candidate.

Sell Yourself

Recruitment of strong candidates is a two-way process, something a lot of organisations overlook. A huge part of attracting the right people to your business is explaining to them why it’s such a good place to work. Highlight the benefits of working for you to potential employees in your job advertisement – holidays, benefits, culture, ethics, working environment and people are all elements that might be attractive to the right person.

Define Your Perfect Employee

Visualisation is a powerful tool in the search for applicants. Try to envisage what your ideal candidate is like – asking yourself questions like: What are their likes and dislikes? What do they read? Where do they shop? What skills do they have and what motivates them? Creating a ‘persona’ can help you get into the mindset of those with similar traits, skills and experience.

You can use this to guide you as you write a job description targeted specifically to them and ultimately it will help you find the right person more quickly and efficiently.

Search for Transferable Skills

Try not to overlook those who have an employment history that could have given them the skills needed for your role, but who aren’t currently working in SEND. Determination, empathy and willingness to learn are just as important as experience when working with people with special educational needs or disabilities. This is especially true if the job is entry level. Some candidates find it difficult to express why they want to move to a different sector or role on their CV, so at Senploy, we’re trying to share ideas about how to do that via our blog and when we’re interacting with candidates signing up.

Find Your Niche

I’m a firm believer that niche generates quality. We only advertise roles within SEND roles, which means we only attract candidates who have a real desire to work in this specialised environment. In narrowing your pool of candidates to just those who are relevant and interested you may have less applicants, but the aim should be quality over quantity. And who wants to waste time and money sifting through irrelevant CVs?

Shout About Our Industry

At Senploy, we’re passionate about bringing more capable, qualified and enthusiastic people to work within SEND organisations. That’s why we’re making it our mission to showcase how rewarding and satisfying helping people with special educational needs and disabilities can be.

Our industry has so much to offer potential candidates, be they straight out of education or looking for a career change. There are some brilliant benefits too – clearly defined routes for career progression, school holidays, flexibility and part time hours being just some of the perks of working in a SEND school or mainstream school with SEND individuals.

Amy Allen is the founder and managing director of www.senploy.co.uk, the UK’s first jobsite dedicated to recruitment in the SEND industry.

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