Can you tell me about GSL Education?
GSL Education is an education recruitment agency founded about 20 years ago. We are currently based in London, Canterbury, Leicester and Manchester; the latter of which opened four years ago. In a nutshell, we provide short and long term staffing solutions for schools.
What do you do?
I’ve worked in education recruitment for about ten years in total, but I only joined GSL at the beginning of May, around the time we moved into Headspace. Most of my previous roles have been within special educational needs and disability (SEND) recruitment. With GSL, I work on the secondary team, so I personally recruit for secondary schools and colleges. A large part of my new role as senior consultant is building up the team, which involves coaching and mentoring junior team members. We will be looking to expand within the next few months.
Have you noticed any recent industry trends?
At the moment, there’s a massive shortage of teachers, particularly within the core subjects of Maths, Science and English. Another trend, is a shortfall of SEND specialists, so support staff who can provide one-on-one support for pupils with complex needs, such as ADHD and autism, who aren’t able to gain a place in a specialised school.
You conduct a lot of interviews for the agency. What are your hot tips?
Do your research! We do a thorough pre-screen so we gain a lot of preliminary information over the phone. Building rapport, eye contact and making the candidate feel at ease are equally important. Ask lots of open questions, because you’ll get all the information you want from these. Anything you pick up from the answers, you can then repeat back. For example, if a candidate mentions a desire to work at a special school in Bolton, and we have the availability, I can then go back to the candidate and offer them this opportunity. Ideally, you want the candidate to talk as much as possible, so that you can get the information you need.
How does it feel being on the other end of the interview process?
Stressful! I’m joking, it’s fine.
What’s your favourite thing about Headspace Manchester?
The look and feel of the place really stands out for me. There’s a really chilled out vibe. You guys are great, if we need anything, you’re here. But generally, I think it’s the whole ambiance of the place really. Everyone we bring in to interview comments on the space, and how it’s the most chilled out interview they’ve had, and the most chilled out office they’ve been to. It’s the little extras as well- waffles on a Friday, beers. It’s just nice to come to work when it’s a relaxed atmosphere.
If you could give one piece of life advice, what would it be?