The AMCIS vacancies service – providing a platform and niche target audience for school admissions, marketing and communications roles – is booming.
While that’s great for business for us, it isn’t necessarily good for the sector. I’ve said before in this column that new blood in the sector is a positive thing. However, repeat adverts for the same position are not.
“Appointments can go wrong when induction is inadequate.”
When schools come back to us because their advert hasn’t attracted the right calibre of applicant, they often failed to specify a salary, despite advice to the contrary. Even a salary range is preferable to nothing. Without it, your advert will fail to signify serious intent.
Some appointments are unsuccessful. Either the new member of staff makes a quick exit, or there is a mutual parting of the ways after a probationary period. But why?
Some “new to the sector” appointments are highly experienced sales, customer service and marketing individuals. Others are relatively new to any kind of workplace. My gut sense, backed by anecdotal evidence, is that when these appointments go wrong, it’s partly because of an inadequate induction to the “heart” of the school.
“High turnover rates also hint at deeper issues.”
No professional, no matter how impressive their career history, can be expected to hit the ground running without a thorough introduction to their new environment. Without an understanding of the school and their colleagues, how will your new marketing manager be effective? How can you be confident that your recently appointed admissions director will recruit the right pupils if all they have is a list of targets and little else?
Positive working relationships
A well-structured induction programme helps new employees understand their roles and responsibilities, the school culture, how they fit into the larger picture, and for schools to underline the support systems in place for their wellbeing. It also provides other staff – particularly teachers – with an opportunity to understand the nature of the admissions and marketing functions and sows the seeds for positive working relationships.
High turnover rates also hint at deeper issues. The demanding nature of some roles, coupled with high expectations, can lead to stress and burn-out. This year’s Confidence Index* found that 60 per cent of schools felt that persuading parents to consider an independent education is becoming harder.
A total of 60 per cent of respondents in admissions and marketing roles disagreed that teaching staff understood the value of a strong marketing team, and there were significant additional concerns about budgets, CPD and recruitment into these specialised roles.
A strategic approach that includes transparency in job advertisements together with high-quality induction and wellbeing support can make a significant difference to the retention of new, highly motivated and talented marketing and admissions staff.
*The Confidence Index is an annual ‘barometer’ survey undertaken by MTM Consulting mtmconsulting.co.uk