Agencies - What they dont tell you....

Are you an NQT? Chat to other NQT's here.

Moderator: TeachersTalk

Agencies - What they dont tell you....

Postby GavinT24 on Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:36 am

Recently started looking into teacher recruitment agencies?
Have you been working with/for agencies for a while?

Whatever your answer to the above, I'm willing to bet that you've had various 'opportunities' thrown your way by agencies and further to that, I'm betting that you’ve been left in the dark about where those opportunities have progressed to, if at all.

If you're disillusioned with how agencies treat you, or you simply don't understand why that 'amazing opportunity' your an agency talked to you about has evaporated into nothing, here is where you can be set straight as to the how's and whys of agency behaviour.

To kick things off, I'll come out and say it: I am an agency... in fact, I'm the Director of an agency and call me a whistleblower if you like, but I think it's time that teachers and schools were told the truth.

Agencies are private business who profit from working with public sector organisations.
That doesn't make them evil - the public sector has been outsourcing to the private sector since its inception.
Now that's out of the way and we're all comfortable knowing that agencies are businesses, let's go on.

Agencies are a luxury service to schools - we're expensive (compared to directly employing staff). Our premium cost means that our teachers often walk on a knife-edge when working at any school. You must therefore make sure your agency tell you as much about the school before you go. Sadly, many agencies don't know much about the schools they work with (!!!!) so I suggest going to the schools website.

Agencies try to register as many teachers as possible; this gives them a database full of teachers in reserve. Unless you call them and develop a relationship with individual consultants, they may well forget about you. Sad, but true.

Don't be afraid of being a bit pushy. Agencies tend to make a decent amount of money from getting you a job, so NEGOTIATE your rate. Don't go crazy, but I'm almost positive you can squeeze at least an extra £10+ per day out of them.

DONT PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO DANGLED CARROTS - On first contact with an agency, I bet you've heard a similar line to this:
Agency: "'I found your CV on 'x' job website and was wondering if you're still looking for a job?
Teacher "Yes."
Agency "Ok. And you're a Maths teacher, right?"
Teacher "Yes."
Agency "Great, I have a school locally to where you live that needs a Maths teacher for a Temporary contract, it'll probably be 2 terms in duration but I think it will become Permanent."

I can tell you that in 90% of the roles agencies are asked to fill by schools, they are TEMPORARY ONLY and the chances are that if there is an eventual requirement for the school to recruit Permanently, they will likely advertise it regardless of having a Temporary teacher in for 2 terms. Many maternity contracts turn into permanent vacancies, but due to the high rates and the fact that most agencies charge around 20% of your prospective MPS salary as a 'release fee', schools tend to prefer to not touch agencies for Permanent recruitment.

Agencies dangle carrots in order to get you through the door to register. Fact. Don't be mislead, agencies are able to occasionally find you a Permanent job, but they mainly handle Temporary roles for schools.

I hope this all made sense, I'd love to answer any questions that you've been wondering about... no holds barred - we're an agency with nothing to hide so dig away.....

Just Registered
Just Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:53 am

Agencies - What they dont tell you....



Re: Agencies - What they dont tell you....

Postby NatalieJayW on Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:21 pm

Hi Gavin,

Lovely refreshing "whistle blowing" post. I am also in the Education Recruitment industry and have been for 4 years and thankfully all the pitfalls you have mentioned I have seen done, learnt from them and taught others what not to do. Don't you find that people (or companies scarily) that operate like that do not last long and thankfully get weeded out. I do like your frank talk about how schools have been outsourcing to the private sector, we have to make money and some (most?) schools do not want the hassle of having to do all the compliance that comes with taking a teacher on their books for 1 days supply or even a term.

I just wanted to make a comment on the temp to perm part of your post. I agree that most the roles we get as an agency are temporary or contract positions, but any decent agency would see that long term, repeat business is more important that making 20% of a annual salary. The company I work for would not even charge 20% unless it was a very specialist one off role that involved a lot more cost that the "norm". Thankfully all staff are given the "power" to look at the whole picture i.e. how long has the teacher/support staff been in situ?, how much business does the school/education facility give us? and then see if a deal can be given or done.

In particular the branch I work in are one of Hampshire's preferred suppliers of teachers and support staff and part of that SLA is that after a teacher/support staff have worked 12 week in a full time contract (or part time equivalent) then the school get a free handover should the school want to take someone on their own books.

Its good for school staff to be aware of what to ask, some recruiters are too quick to take advantage.

Branch Manager, Southampton
Just Registered
Just Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: Agencies - What they dont tell you....

Postby polly on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:33 pm

I too work for an Educational Specialist "agency" and I do agree that while some companies are misleading when recruiting staff for their books not everyone is. We tell everyone that contacts us, and that we contact, that the bulk of the work is day to day supply with some long term contracts and that temp to perm jobs are whilst possible, rare! We then ask what they want specifically from us and in return offer them honest advice and tell them if registering with us would be a waste of their time! Wasted time makes no-one any money.

I don't believe in misleading the candidates at all as it wont get you anywhere in the long run. We have many candidates that have worked with us for a long time and recommend candidates to us and are very loyal to us, in return we offer them honesty, our loyalty and competitive rates of pay.

I think with the economy the way it is, although supply demand has lessened due to the budget restrictions on schools, it will pick up again as the pressure mounts with less staff in the schools - they still need to be able to provide a service to the pupils and they need to staff to do it!

So, I think my advice to NQT's is to spend time talking to agencies before registering and be honest with them about what you want, and the decent ones will be honest with you. THERE IS WORK OUT THERE FOR YOU, just be clear about what you want and when.

Nottingham Branch
Just Registered
Just Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:22 pm

Re: Agencies - What they dont tell you....

Postby ginayang on Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:45 am

Dear Gavin,

This is Gina from Hays Education Shanghai office, I too work at a recruitment agency. I agree with Polly that if you ask consultant directly and share with us your concerns and requirements, we would be happy to share with you everything we know in terms of the job scope, salary package..etc. and give you our honest opinion.

II must say, Education in China is booming especially this past decade. In case if you are not aware, educators are held in high regard here, parents place a lot of emphasis on education and would hoping their children can be one step ahead of others. We need excellent educators who are passionate about education and have got a lot to offer to shape our future.

Warmest Regards,

Gina Yang
Just Registered
Just Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:32 am

Return to NQT Chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest