Summit Learning Trust includes primary schools, secondary schools and a sixth form college. As well as providing an education for children and young people from the ages of 5 to 18, the trust aims to celebrate the diverse communities that make up their establishments.
The trust was looking to reduce the number of recruitment suppliers it used and, as a result, went out to tender via a public sector framework - the Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC). The brief encompassed a need to rationalise costs, improve the quality of candidates, introduce reporting, and develop a strong, productive account management relationship.
Reed submitted a comprehensive bid based on an analysis of the trust’s needs for a master vendor supply service - which we won.
From the initial commencement of securing the contract, the immediate challenge was to ensure we could build trust with the schools. Jennifer Cox, Recruitment Consultant at Reed, said:
“They already had longstanding existing relationships with other recruitment firms, so it was important for me to establish a rapport with the client and build a detailed understanding of their requirements”.
Likewise, another challenge Jennifer recognised was making certain she could establish a relevant candidate pool, with both quality and quantity of applicants to ensure the client was supported.
Before tackling the brief, Jennifer assessed and analysed Summit Learning Trust’s existing database to establish any gaps, then began searching for candidates to fill them. She also liaised with the client on a day-to-day basis to ensure any requests the team had in the meantime were dealt with.
However, to guarantee Jennifer was on the right track with the right calibre of candidates, she took the time to understand the client’s requirements by visiting all of the Trust’s schools and having detailed conversations with stakeholders.
Jennifer said: “Once I had established the type of candidates I needed to attract, it was important for me to utilise varying ways of identifying them”. Initially, she created and widely shared job advertisements highlighting the client’s criteria. Jennifer also utilised Reed’s database of high-quality professionals, who she knew would be suitable.
Once strong applicants were identified, Jennifer formulated their skills and strengths: “We created a talent pool of available registered candidates, to ensure that they were meeting the schools' requirements, and it also allowed us to build a portfolio of strong professionals.”
Once this was in place, Jennifer and the team scheduled regular service meetings with each school to review the quality of candidates we were supplying and to discuss if any improvements could be made, as well as continuing the dialogue to ensure any issues were addressed and actioned.
Since this service has been in place, Reed has placed several candidates into long-term positions and has helped improve the level of service Summit Learning Trust provides.
Alison Chapman, Procurement Officer at Summit Learning Trust, said: “It has enabled us to build up a good level of continuity of service in how we deliver our teaching and learning when teaching supply staff are required. We have also offered employment to some Reed candidates who originally started as temporary staff.”
Reed has also continually evaluated the service we provide. By having open discussion with Summit Learning Trust, we have been able to refine the process and as a result, received positive feedback from the organisation and the candidates we hire.
Asrath Ahmed, a Class Teacher employed through Reed, noted: “All my placements within the Summit schools have been great, both the staff and children in the school are amazing and wonderful to work with”.