SVG Talent Architects

New year resolutions

It’s the first week of January and like many of us I have been thinking about my new year resolutions. Having launched Talent Architects last year, my focus this year is delivering the mission; helping schools to become great places to work. Despite all the turbulence around us with the election, Brexit, new Ofsted framework, education funding etc one issue remains a challenge and that’s the recruitment and retention crisis in our sector. For any school leader wanting to buck this trend and attract and retain great people this should be your list of resolutions.

1. Focus on Leadership, Culture and Climate of your school. This is the number one of my four pillar model and THE most crucial to tackle. Always remember that most people leave a boss not a school. Make sure all your leaders know this and become the leaders people want to stay for.

2. Have a plan. I am amazed how many schools and school groups do not have any kind of written ‘People’ plan. We all have school development or improvement plans and financial plans – yet both these are totally reliant on great people management. Make the development of a written People plan a top priority. You plan needs to be clear about your vision (what kind of employer you want to be); your current state (what it is really like to work at your school right now, strengths and weakness); your strategic priorities (both short term and medium term) and your capacity to get there (both leadership and your HR function).

3. Invest in a decent HR function that has the capacity and skills to help you develop and deliver your People plan. In many schools HR is very low level and reactive and this is not going to provide you with the help you need to be a great place to work. This may cost you money short term but look at your People costs (recruitment, supply, turnover, absence, poor teaching) and you will have many ways you will reap back on that investment.

4. Make sure that CPD. Flexible working and Well-Being are at the heart of your People plan. All the evidence tells us that these are the issues that matter most to teachers and leaders – and are also beneficial for support staff.

5. Modernise how you recruit and treat potential employees like ‘customers.’ Stand out in the recruitment market by having a great website that has a focused area on working at your schools; an easy to access recruitment process and a customer service mentality toward job applicants – your reputation depends on this.

With these in place you will have a Happy New Year when it comes to attracting and keeping great people. If you need any help contact me