Top tips on preparing employers for interview
Many people think it is all about preparing the candidate for interviews when it is just as important to help prepare employers. The interview process should be seen as a crucial part of the recruitment process, as the questions asked will determine whether the employer gets the right answers they are looking for.
It is best to be organised at every step of the way, why not draw yourself up a timeline showing the stages of each process you are planning for eg
- Date job was published
- Decide on a date for advert to close- this should be included in your advert
- Date for short listing
- Set dates for interviewing
- Set dates for working interviews ( if applicable)
- Date for making final decision.
It is advisable to include dates for short-listing and interviewing within your application packs so that people are made aware and are available if called for interviews.
Before the interview process think about what system you may be using to help you shortlist as this has to be seen to be fair and legal. It may be helpful to use a scoring system and use this against the person specification and the application form.
When you have received application forms check for any gaps in employment and make a note of these and any dates that do not add up. You can ask about these gaps during the interview as you should not discriminate against candidates who have gaps in their employment eg to have children.
Here are some tops tips to help employers get ready for interviews
- Decide who will be on the interview panel during interviews
- Decide on questions to use during the interviews
- Do questions involve candidates to demonstrate their skills and knowledge eg explain how you would set up a creative activity for a two year old?
- Is there questions relating to safeguarding children’s safety and welfare
- Will you be using any other form of tests or practical exercises- this could include literacy or numeracy test/task
- How long are you setting yourself for the interviews – It is best practice to be fair and give all applicants the same amount of time.
- Don’t forget to offer to make reasonable adjustments for any candidates that require this- this should be offered prior to interviews
- If anyone has disclosed spent convictions or police warnings, cautions you will need to discuss this further during the interview
- Obtain all details of reference
After interviewing decide on your next stage of action, will this be working interviews to see how applicants get on in the working environment?
After all the stages ensure you have documented the reasons for making that final decision and received all references, as your recruitment process has to follow a legal process, if not this could lead to someone saying they were treated unfairly.
Is your Recruitment process legal and effective?
All Early Years Settings must have a robust recruitment policy and procedure; this policy should be in place to safeguard children’s, welfare and safety as well as adults and parents.
When creating a recruitment process it should include key legislation such as the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Equality Act 2010 and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 as well as the requirements within the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the EYFS. Including this legislation is highly important in ensuring your recruitment process is legal and effective.
When advertising for new recruits it is imperative that the advertise states your commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Many adverts also include the following statement ‘The successful applicant will require an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check’
It is important to check all relevant documents such as application forms, job description, person specification to ensure they are up to date with current legislation and guidance changes. When recruiting new employees ensure you have both the job description and person specification for each role in your setting and that both these documents are given to new applicants.
Applications forms, Job descriptions and person specification all hold important information for those new employees and existing employees who apply for roles within the setting; therefore it is crucial when devising these documents that settings think about what should be included in them.
If creating your own application forms ensure these are clear and only include the information that is needed to carry out the job such as education, qualifications, experience and skills.
As an employer ensure you fully understand the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 in regard to health or disability issues.
The Equality Act 2010 prevents employers being able to ask applicants about health or disability questions before making a job offer, knowing this information ensure you are following this within your recruitment process.
Also ensure you have a system in place to monitor the diversity of your applicants.
Will your Safer Recruitment Procedure pass the Ofsted approval?
Having a thorough Safer Recruitment procedure is crucial in Early Years settings, this is due to safeguarding children’s welfare. The procedure identifies people who might pose a safeguarding or welfare threat.
During any Ofsted inspection Ofsted will evaluate how well early years are meeting statutory safeguarding requirements in keeping children safe, of which this is mentioned in the New Common Inspection Framework. Part of this thorough inspection will involve an Ofsted inspector looking at settings safer recruitment procedures and ensuring the right steps are in place to safeguard children.
It is advisable to familiarise yourself with the below documents as these contain more information on what your setting should be demonstrating in regards to safeguarding requirements
- Common Inspection Framework
- Keeping Children Safe in Education
- Working to Safeguard Children
- Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years
When employing and making decisions about the suitability of new employees what checks and evidence do you obtain before employing this person?
Below is what must be included in your safer recruitment procedure
- Check criminal records – Carry out an up to date Enhanced DBS check
- Check barred lists and prohibition checks
- Obtain up to date references
- Early Years providers must keep records of all people working including volunteers and students who have regular contact with children
- A prohibition from teaching check
- Checks and copies of professionals qualification
- A check to see if person has rights to work in the UK
- Further checks on people living or working out of the UK
A document that Ofsted will check to see if settings are meeting the statutory requirements is the Single Central record, this record holds important information about the suitability of people working with children. Make sure this document is up to date with no empty boxes as having an uncompleted document can affect your overall Ofsted grade.
As part of settings safer recruitment procedure all new employees should be given a full induction process outing child protection responsibilities and procedures that are to being followed if they have any concerns over a child’s safety or welfare
Check your Safer Recruitment procedure to ensure it is thorough and passes the Ofsted approval.
Why social media is crucial in your recruitment drive
Social media networks can play a significant role in helping you finding the right employee. No matter what job title you are recruiting for, it is about attracting the right staff that makes the difference between a successfully nursery.
Many nurseries look at advertising jobs in numerous of places eg local newspaper, jobs websites etc, but have they thought about using social media as a powerful source of conveying their message.
Helpful guide on using social media
- Communicate with current staff- Ask your team what it is they like about working at the nursery. This information can be used on social media to send a clear message to new recruits.
- Create some audio material- Talk to your team about making some audio videos about them talking about why working at the nursery is such a great place. This visual material is perfect to use on social media and it will attract those ideal candidates
- Create a targeted ad. Facebook ads are a great way to promote many things such as your website, your actual Facebook page, but why not use it to promote your vacancy to. You will have to add your vacancy to your website. Try and make your ad stand out, use a personal video with information, a link to job description and an application form.
- Look at other ways to connect with potential candidates- Have you ever thought of using LinkedIn, this can be effective when recruiting more senior roles. It is a great tool to connect with other early years professionals and it enables you to keep an eye out on people moving or relocating. You can create a business page on LinkedIn and advertise your vacancies; it can cost more than Facebook however it can be more targeted.
- Keep recruitment in mind- Whether you have vacancy to fill or not always keep recruitment in mind. Use social media as a way of making your team feel valued and always remind parents and staff about what a great place this nursery is to work at.
Have a look at using social media during your recruitment process and see what you get in return.