Tanglin Trust School (TTS)

With more than 90 years experience of providing British-based education to the international community in Singapore, Tanglin Trust School (TTS) provides a unique learning environment for children from Nursery right through to Sixth Form, through their Infant School, Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form College. Tanglin’s academic traditions and approach to teaching are firmly grounded in an enhanced and rigorous English National Curriculum, however, there are many aspects of school life that have a global focus and are contextualised to their location in South East Asia. Tanglin is the only school in Singapore offering both IB and A Level at Sixth Form, giving their students the opportunity to choose the best pathway for them.

Context

TTS has been using Sonru since September 2013 to recruit academic staff for their three schools. The recruitment process typically comprised of shortlisting CVs, reference checking and for the Senior School in particular, Skype calls. This was followed by a face-to-face interview with the CEO and the three Head of Schools who travel to UK to conduct the interviews. Given their limited and valuable time, the panel were repeatedly disappointed to spend 45-60 minutes interviewing candidates that were deemed unsuitable within moments.

TTS piloted Sonru both as an additional stage between initial application and the face-to-face interview and to replace Skype interviews and it worked really well with no unsuitable candidates making the face-to-face interviews. According to the CEO, “being able to see and hear the applicants without travelling miles to be there is very cost effective”. The quality of candidates is high and dependable and the Heads of School know they will interview quality candidates in the UK.

Key Findings

  • Video Interview Replaces Skype Calls
  • More Stakeholders Involved
  • Better Candidate Selection

Some of the Highlights

The Senior School had used Skype interviews in the past but found asynchronous video interviewing preferable because:

  • It is less time consuming than Skype interviews which can last up to 1 hour compared to less than 15 minutes for a Sonru video interview.
  • Given the number of overseas applicants, it overcame time zone differences and scheduling issues with staff no longer having to accommodate candidates in their own time – evenings and weekends.

Most of the applicants are based overseas and in the past there were issues with time differences and finding a time that suited both parties. This resulted in the team conducting interviews at weekends, giving up their free time and spending up to an hour on each interview. Sonru adds more flavour and shape to an application. Tanglin can now involve more people in the decision-making process and it’s less time consuming than Skype.

The initial online application form consisted of five knock-out criteria such as demographics, eligibility to vote in the UK and eligibility for a US travel VISA etc. Applicants meeting those five criteria were then asked two qualitative questions and subsequently around 150 were selected for Video Interview. The eight assessors agreed on a 15-point marking scheme with candidates scoring 9 or above being offered a place on the programme. Generally, the video interviews were assessed by one viewer unless a second opinion was required for borderline cases.

Asynchronous video interviewing also enabled more stakeholders (between three and ten people consisting of senior leadership and sometimes students) to be involved in the selection process which results in a better shortlist.

Shortlisting fewer candidates for the face-to-face interviews has enabled the Heads of Schools to be more targeted in the interviews so that limited time can be used to maximum benefit.

Furthermore, Sonru video interviewing has reduced their interview schedule enabling the Heads of Schools to observe candidates teaching to help with their final selection.

“Sonru enables us to involve more stakeholders in the selection process. As a result, we are able to get a much better feel for how candidates would fit into our team.” – Head of Junior School

“Sonru gives us the opportunity of sharing the interview experience with a wide range of relevant staff and even students.”  – CEO

Conclusion

Tanglin are very pleased with their completion rate of 93%. Technology is part of Tanglin’s strategic plan therefore Sonru is an important part of the test for candidates to be able to cope with technology they aren’t familiar with and to be able to adapt. The feedback overall has been incredibly positive.