Recruitment in the Teaching Service

Applicant consideration

School recruiters are encouraged to think broadly about the benefits of a workforce with diverse skills and perspectives, which represents the community that we serve. Thinking about this at the beginning of the recruitment process will enable school recruiters to consider whether they wish to target some groups in the recruitment process – for example, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants, or applicants with disability. It will also assist in being mindful of using inclusive language in job advertisements and position descriptions, to encourage a diverse range of applicants and avoid any stereotyping.

Ensuring recruitment processes are inclusive is critical to achieving a diverse workforce. School recruiters and selection panel members at the department are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Inclusive recruitment e-learn module in LearnED (login to eduPay required). The inclusive recruitment module helps school recruiters to better understand unconscious bias and provides practical steps for managers to ensure an inclusive recruitment process. The Inclusive Workplace Guide is also available on the Schools Policy and Advisory Library to assist principals/managers to create inclusive and respectful workplaces.

Consistent with existing recruitment policy, the diversity of applicants’ backgrounds and capabilities should be viewed as an attribute and should in no way diminish the assessment of the applicant’s suitability for the position and the selection process must be undertaken in an inclusive manner. For example, if an applicant prefers a phone interview and other applicants prefer a video interview, this is acceptable.

Panel members should be aware that the department has a positive duty under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 to provide reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate discrimination and a duty to provide reasonable adjustments for people with a disability. For example, explain each step of the recruitment process and make it clear you’ll offer reasonable adjustments if needed. The best way to do this is to ask the applicant what they need to perform at their best throughout the selection process. Understand that an applicant with a disability may find some assessment methods harder than others. Work with applicants to make the process equitable and inclusive.

The selection process

The selection panel will need to consider alternatives to meeting face-to-face to manage the various elements of the selection process (i.e. shortlisting, interview, referee checks, ranking and assessment, completing selection documentation). To allow these processes to be undertaken effectively, the following should be considered:

  • ensure panel members have a shared understanding of how the selection process will be conducted
  • ensure panel members have the necessary technology available to conduct the selection process, and a contingency where tools (i.e. video conference) are not able to be accessed, such as the use of phone calls
  • communicate with panel members using online tools
  • use secure means of communication for sharing notes to maintain confidentiality
  • the use of electronic signatures may need to be considered

Tips for interviews

When planning and organising each interview, the following should be considered to improve the experience and functionality of the process:

  • provide each shortlisted applicant with the options they may select for the interview, such as the use of an online tool or a phone interview. The same option does not need to be used for each interview
  • consider preparing a guide or links to assist with how to access, set up, and connect to the online tool
  • be patient with applicants, as everyone has different abilities with their use of technology
  • check what reasonable adjustments may be needed for the applicant for the interview
  • recommend the applicant find a suitable location for the interview that is quiet and isolated
  • suggest the applicant give themselves time prior to the interview to set up their connection if using an online tool
  • advise the applicant that they should prepare and approach the interview as they normally would if it were to be conducted face-to-face
  • if the applicant wishes to provide additional documents to support and assist them with their interview responses, they may provide those to the panel prior to the interview

During the interview process, the following may be useful to assist with the effectiveness of the interview:

  • explain how the interview will be conducted, and establish etiquette with asking questions and providing responses
  • have each member of the panel introduce themselves by name each time they speak if the interview is being conducted via phone.

Further assistance

Further information, advice or assistance on any matters related to recruitment in schools is available by:

Chapter on recruitment considerations in the Teaching Service

Reviewed 07 January 2024

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