Crucial support in my leadership journey

Charley King was selected as the Headteacher for the new Brookes International School in Moscow by David Rose and the management team at Brookes Education Group (see story: New School, New Head).

Charley moved to this, his first whole-school headship position, from another international school in Moscow. Prior to working internationally, Charley taught in his home country of the UK, at the independent Hampshire Collegiate School.

TIC Recruitment helped Charley to find his leadership position at the Brookes School Moscow and has continued to support him in his recruitment of teachers for the new school. Here Charley talks about his experience of working with a recruitment company for his own job search, and towards his preparations for the opening of Brookes School later this year:

“This was my first experience of working with a recruitment company. I always knew that senior leader positions went through recruitment companies, but typically these companies offer an information pack and not much else. With TIC Recruitment it was different.

Two aspects of their support were instrumental for me securing the position at Brookes School. Firstly, their communication was excellent; there was always someone at the end of a phone, or email, and I received very quick responses to my questions. As someone who was looking for a career move, this was critical for me. If I couldn’t communicate with the school directly, I knew I could always talk with TIC, which was very helpful.

Secondly, I greatly appreciated having a single point of contact throughout the whole process. My recruitment manager at TIC, Amy was a great support to me. I didn’t have to chase her up for anything, or to explain anything twice. She knew her stuff and was always completely honest. I clearly knew where I stood, and she helped the whole process to run very smoothly.

My advice to middle leaders looking for their first international school leadership position would be to get on LinkedIn. I’ve managed to employ six people directly through this platform. Also make sure you have a decent recruitment service supporting you.

Recruiting teachers for Brookes School Moscow

Recruiting teachers for a school in Moscow can be challenging. This is partly because, for the first 6 months, teachers in Moscow are taxed at 30% which then drops to 13%. It’s great if you can get through those first 6 months! Many teachers are also concerned about the cold, the language and the politics. Once you talk to people who live and work in Moscow you get a better sense of what it’s really like; it’s not so bad!

Despite these potential challenges, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of applicants we’ve had, especially considering it’s a new school. Over 200 teachers have applied.

TIC has again provided a great service by attracting many good quality candidates, selecting the best applications, and getting references for me. Between September and December, I had a constant flow of batches of applications from TIC that met my specifications, that I could review at the weekend. TIC arranged interviews for the candidates I selected, and made the process very easy to manage. Again, I worked with Amy who knew what I wanted and turned things around very easily and quickly. The candidates hired via TIC are very good and I’m really, really pleased. TIC has been a huge support for me as Head in my first year.

Advice to leaders about recruitment

Pick one good recruitment company that you can rely on. Pick one, as two or three can make things confusing. By using one agency, you have time to develop a good relationship with them so that they know exactly what you need.

Don’t be forced into using an agency because of their hard sell. I liked that TIC wasn’t pushy. I approached them, they didn’t come to me. I had heard good things about the company and its Director Andrew Wigford from people whose opinion I trusted. I decided to use them because they came highly recommended. Some recruitment companies can be aggressive; they see my school is working with another agency and attempt to undercut. It’s not just about the cost. TIC is a professional outfit. They respect the customer, work hard to find candidates that exactly meet my criteria, and provide me and all the applicants with important one-to-one contact. That reflects well on my school, as well as upon them as a specialist company. I will definitely be using TIC again in the future.

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