The Academy of Woodlands ATS
“Ofsted inspector very impressed with our applicant tracking system”
- 463 pupils
- 108 service staff
- 23 teachers
- 1 solution
Providing nursery and primary education in addition to offering its local community some high value services makes for a challenging set of recruitment requirements. CVMinder has enabled Paula, Office Manager, to:
- Save time when advertising new vacancies
- Gain wider access to applicants
- Improve recruitment outcomes
- Impress Ofsted during their recent inspection
- Meet the Academy’s compliance and safeguarding obligations
The Academy of Woodlands has been rated as either Outstanding or Good over recent years. As a turnaround Academy, the passion of the Headmaster, Nic Fidaman, has been instrumental in the Academy’s development, success and growth. The Academy is very supportive of the local community offering a number of facilities including a coffee shop, dance studio, gymnasium and floodlit football pitch. Due to the expansion of the Academy and its community facilities, there has been an incline in recruitment activity.
Paula Hollands is the Officer Manager at The Academy of Woodlands. As an early adopter, she has been using CVMinder ATS for three years and the system has allowed her to:
- Recruit for all vacancies across the variety of services provided by the Academy
- Manage all the Academy’s vacancy advertising
- Ensure all safeguarding criteria is met
Prior to implementing CVMinder ATS, the Academy advertised all the schools vacancies via eTeach, an education specific Job Board. Adverts provided applicants but Paula faced key issues:
- Inbox overload, especially for non-teaching vacancies
- Direct applications via post and other sources had to be handled separately
- Difficulty in Identifying any previous application history
- Relevant safeguarding information wasn’t easily captured at the time of application
- Shortlisting had to be completed after closing date
As the Academy expanded, Paula faced an increase in the number of vacancies. Her workload was increasing in other areas too, so managing every element meant risking losing good candidates to the detriment of the Academy.
The Academy of Woodlands decided to invest in the software solution to help alleviate the challenges they were facing. Paula and the team were given a demonstration of CVMinder ATS and saw the benefits from the outset,
“XperiSoft demonstrated CVMinder ATS and we found this extremely helpful. It seemed really easy to use and it became clear that we could solve some problems we hadn’t yet thought about.”
By making applications electronic and integrating CVMinder ATS with the Academy’s website, people could download and return their application online.
“If somebody is interested in working for us, we can have them register their details and find them easily in the future. In fact, CVMinder ATS will alert them with appropriate vacancies so that’s less work for me” explains Paula.
One of the biggest issues for the Academy is that recruitment isn’t continuous so any system had to be really simple to use.
“I don’t need to contact XperiSoft very often because the system is so easy to get along with, but if I do need help with anything, they can see what I see and they can show me what to do. The service is excellent.”
It seems that Ofsted took an interest in the Academy’s recruitment process during their most recent inspection. Paula showed their inspector CVMinder ATS with a particular focus the pre-employment checks, tracking of safeguarding documents and the storage of historical data.
“Ofsted’s inspector was very impressed with the system and the overall recruitment process within the Academy.”
A number of CVMinder ATS functions have helped Paula to save a great deal of administration time. She can create advertisements from templates, attach regularly used documents and application forms with a click and avoided a great deal of repetition in the process.
“One function I have found extremely beneficial is the ability to clone an old advertisement. Many of our vacancies have the same job description, with just a few differences like the key stage they will be teaching. I can’t clone a vacancy on eTeach, but I can copy my cloned advert from CVMinder ATS. CVMinder really saves me time when posting new vacancies.”
Improved communication with candidates
CVMinder ATS has improved the speed and accuracy of communication with the school’s applicants. Previously, it wasn’t easy to track post and email correspondence, but Paula now communicates with all applicants via CVMinder. She gave an example of how the communication trail has helped with a previous applicant query,
“A nursery officer applicant was offered an interview via CVMinder ATS. Not having seen it, she called to ask how her application was progressing. I could clearly see via CVMinder ATS that I had emailed her on a specific date but she claimed not to have received it. It transpires that she had given an email address that she doesn’t access each day, so I advised her to update her details for future reference on her CVMinder account. It was great to have the information to hand and avoid any bad feeling.”
Marketing to a wider audience
CVMinder ATS allows Paula to analyse a vacancies traction and make changes where necessary. Recruiting for teachers within the area has proved difficult at times, but with CVMinder ATS the school can track where the applicants come from. Seeing individual referrers has helped Paula to develop some new industry connections and they have since registered on CVMinder, expanding the reach of each Academy vacancy.
Paula believes that any School or Academy would benefit from using CVMinder.
“It is concise, easy to use and, critically, helps us to ensure safeguarding within the recruitment process.”