I'm actually not against this in principle, but there is a marketing issue to consider. Schools need to consider, manage and in many cases improve their reputation as an employer. Doing this will of course also help you find the great teachers that will make a difference in the classroom.
Here are some ideas to help with this process:
1. Highlight and communicate the achievements and success of your teachers. Schools that have successful teachers are usually good schools to work at. Encourage staff to write about their training and development and to enter for awards.
2. Create a great employment package. Schools have the opportunity to offer a wider range of benefits than ever before, from childcare to healthcare, cycling schemes to IT. Ask your current staff what they value the most or what they'd like to have added.
3. Set up a 'talent bank' and keep in touch with them. Most schools get a large number of unsolicited applications. Very few, in my experience, do anything more than store then in a filing cabinet. Some will get back in touch with applicants when a relevant job comes up. I'd suggest creating a quick email list and sending them occasional updates and of course vacancies.
4. Make the application process user-friendly. Making applicants jump through too many hoops when applying just reduces that number that you will have to choose from. Think carefully about how much information you are asking for, and try to make your application form as similar as possible to others so applicants can focus on writing a good cover letter rather than reformatting everything.
5. Think carefully how the interview process will 'sell' your school. Don't invite 10 teachers to interview and leave them sitting in the staff room for hours while others are interviewed. Give candidates time to meet key members of staff, especially the department they will be working in. If your school has particular issues (especially anything highlighted in an OFSTED report), take time to explain to candidates what the school is doing to help.
6. Don't just focus on the 'best' candidate. When recruiting it's possible to quickly focus on the one candidate who seems to be the best, and ignore others. But in the new world order, the 'best' candidate might be testing a number of schools and you might hire someone else!
7. Not really a marketing issue, but you need to make sure you treat your teachers well. One school was recently described to me (by a parent!) as 'good for students but not for the teachers'. If teachers are put under too much pressure or if turnover is high, or if senior management don't back their teacher up on issues such as behaviour, word quickly gets out!
If you'd like to read more about employer reputation management and have deep pockets, I wrote a wider academic article on the subject for Strategic HR Magazine 8 years ago (before I became a teacher).
Please add your ideas below by leaving comments!
*PS: I'm one of the few teachers I know to have done this. I turned up as a PGCE student for an interview to be told that 'the other teacher hadn't turned up for interview' (I should mention I teach Chemistry and this was when we were still in the economic boom). I went through the usual interview processes and was offered the job at the end of the day.
I summoned up all the courage I had to do something I'd been told not to do by every teacher I'd spoken to. 'Well', I said, 'I have another interview tomorrow and I'd like to wait until then before letting you know', This, of course, is the teaching equivalent of Oliver asking for more and I half-expected to be marched off the premises. However, I am grateful that the Head involved let me go to the other interview - of course I turned down the other school and took her job!