Safeguarding: Best Practice and Process for Safer Recruitment

Screen Shot of the Webinar

Recruiting agency Schrole, hosted a webinar about Safer Recruitment. Schrole manager Sam Crowley hosted Jane Larsson, executive director of the Council of International Schools, and Laurie McLellan, the director of Nanjing International School (China) and they answered questions about recruitment. Below are my takeaways from the webinar.

  • Laurie is always surprised by the lack of calls he receives from schools that his leaving teachers are hired by. This year he did not receive a single reference check from the 10 teachers who left and the rate of reference checks are only about 10%. Jane reminded all of us to make video/phone calls! References often do not document inappropriate behavior, challenging behavior, etc. and the only way to get these out is through conversations with supervisors who worked with them.
  • Laurie always follows up when he gets CVs that list “travel”, “study”, or “leave” to describe gaps on their resume. People telling the truth usually give easy methods of following up to confirm what they did during their gaps.
  • To get rid of bias and safeguarding, Luarie’s school has a policy of at least three people interviewing or meeting candidates.
  • “What is on your front door?” Having the code of conduct, documents regarding child safeguarding, etc. on the school website and advertisements, will deter predators who may not apply at your school and find an “easier” target.
  • Laurie feels that peer references are not important, and prefers only supervisors. Perhaps at big schools, it might have some value, but he suggests going beyond the three listed references most candidates.
  • The Head of School reference is very important even though they are not the direct supervisor. Laurie has a child safeguarding script that he only uses with directors.
  • CIS recommends using their “Managing Allegations Protocols” when someone in a school community is facing allegations of misconduct.
  • Sometimes people embellish their resumes, especially with their job titles or roles at the school. Follow up with people with vague or odd-looking responsibilities.
  • Online recruitment is better than in-person fairs regarding child safeguarding because we are spending more time with candidates before hiring them with online recruiting. Years ago, directors and principals needed to make decisions quickly at in-person job fairs.
  • Schrole Verify is a good service they provide to conduct police checks, verify credentials and do an internet search of candidates.

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