Recruitment in the education sector can be highly complex. A combination of highly specialised job functions, the regular need for temporary cover, increasing student expectations and fierce competition for talent can create a uniquely challenging scenario. This is not to mention the funding pressure that many institutions find themselves under with the constant need to invest in infrastructure, teaching, support services and more. 

The recruitment of teaching staff in itself is one side of the coin, but behind the scenes are an army of support staff operating in HR, marketing, employer engagement and a wide variety of roles. Further and Higher education organisations are highly complex operations and the challenge of recruitment in this sector mirrors this.

Training Providers, Colleges and Universities invest a great deal of time, money and effort in showing potential learners why they should want to study with them and the value proposition placed in front of student applicants is often a well-oiled machine. This is not unique of course; organisations in all sectors invest similar effort into their sales pitch and right they should. What is often overlooked is the value proposition placed in front of potential staff. Why should they want to work there? What makes it the place they should take the next step in their career? This employee value proposition (EVP) is one of the most powerful tools in the recruitment of professionals in any sector and in those where the competition is high, often makes the difference in hiring the best people in your field and leaving positions unfilled – a scenario educational organisations can ill afford.

For organisations such as these, recruitment can be a real challenge. If we look at a particular example, in this case, a teaching role, we can see how the sector faces unique challenges. Picture a scene where the Civil Engineering lecturer of a large UK FE college moves to another city to take up a new position there. In-house recruitment teams or localised agencies are often unlikely to have access to another similarly qualified individual looking for a new job at the time of need. Nor are they likely to be able to provide appropriately qualified temporary cover at short notice. While the search goes on locally, the university cannot run its courses and paying students miss out.  

This scenario can be seen when we look at a wide array of highly specialist roles which educational institutions need to fill and keep filled. Standard recruitment models implemented by localised, regional agencies are not built to service this type of need and nor can they scale at times of greater need.

How the outsourcing model can help

There are a number of ways in which the outsourcing recruitment methodology is designed to answer many of these challenges, and various models of operation which suit different scenarios. The two key operating models of the outsourcing approach are typically Managed Service, in which the agency takes ownership of elements of the client’s recruitment process in an ongoing arrangement, and Project Delivery, with offers a tailored solution to organisations going through transformational change. 

Key benefits of using the outsourcing approach

Reduced cost and time-to-hire

Reducing operational cost is never far from the top of the list of an organisation’s priorities and when handled poorly recruitment can drive operational costs up significantly. Failed talent searches, losing out on candidates at a late stage and investing time and money in multiple solutions can quickly add up. All of this is can be mitigated when you reduce your time-to-hire, the more efficient a recruitment process the cheaper it is. The outsourcing approach consolidates recruitment efforts into a single channel and provides significant efficiencies.
 

National remit

The talent sourcing issues faced by local agencies and in-house teams are easily mitigated by the scale and scope of the resources available under the outsourcing method. The talent pool available and the wide breadth of expertise means that whatever role becomes available and in whatever location, the right candidate can be found in short order. Traditional, local recruitment methods, such as advertising roles in local newspapers and media, are simply not fit for purpose. A modern approach is required.
 

Pipeline building

While the outsourcing model helps with the recruitment of highly specialised professionals such as human resources, legal, marketing, employer engagement and teaching staff, it doesn’t stop there. Filling the role once is great but with pipeline building, you can have access to a shortlist of potential candidates ready for when you need to provide short-term cover, replace a departing member of staff or need to build your team.
 

Access to candidates at all levels

A further benefit of the outsourcing approach is the access to professionals at all levels, particularly in more senior roles. Finding the right candidate is never more important than when recruiting for senior roles. The talent pool is shallower at this level as requirements become more niche. By outsourcing to a recruitment provider with a wider operation you can gain access to the executive level recruitment expertise and the candidate pool that comes with it.
 

Building and utilising your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

The employee value proposition remains one of the strongest tools available to any organisation looking to build their team. A good outsourcing provider can help to both define your EVP and more importantly sell it to potential hires. This involves developing a keen understanding of your organisation, your values and priorities, your message and what makes it a great place to work. This can then be translated to candidates - often the key factor in their decision to take on a new role.
 

How Page Outsourcing can help

PageGroup is a global leader in Professional services recruitment, specialising in over 25 core disciplines ranging from Marketing and Legal to Human Resource and Sales. Page Group recently launched its fourth global brand, Page Outsourcing which utilises the wide-scale presence and expertise of PageGroup and focuses both on supporting organisations experiencing transformational change, ranging from expansion, re-organisation and M&A’s (projects), and on organisations looking to simplify and streamline their recruitment strategy.

We currently work in partnership with over 500 establishments specialising in the education, apprenticeship and executive training arena and have placed well over 1000 people into this sector.

We also partnered with The Leadership Team, one of the UK’s premier executive consultancies who specialise in growing, building and managing businesses. This means that we can assist with business development activities, non-levy and advanced learner loan contracts and with making the most of the opportunities presented by the apprenticeship levy.

Together we have an unprecedented capacity to tackle any recruitment challenge you are faced with, not least the complexities which training providers, colleges and universities face.

If you would like to discuss any of this in further detail or to learn more about a bespoke Page Outsourcing solution please get in touch with one of our team.
 

Dale Hampshire
Business Development Director
T: 0114 270 3752
E: [email protected]

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