How to Attract Young Talent

This is an extract from our full guide ‘How to Recruit Trainees, Graduates and Apprentices’.

Many businesses don’t take into consideration the full potential of young people. Recruiting them can be a valuable element of a holistic and very sensible strategy. You should bear in mind that they have the opportunity to bring in fresh ideas and have an array of new skills. There is also the chance to build a strong pipeline for future leadership.

Step 1: Clearly understand your target audience

The younger generation tends to job search differently to more experienced workers. Therefore you need a clear understanding of your target audience and their requirements. Look beyond the salary and into the bigger picture, such as training and progression.

Review the content of your adverts

It is important that you use appropriate language that matches what you can offer. Consider focusing on ability and personality traits rather than experience. For example, recruiting for an administrative assistant with 5 years of experience means you are automatically eliminating a large portion of young people. Consider if experience is necessary or if you can offer on-the-job training.

Words such as ‘trainee’ in the job title will attract young people. Steer clear of terms such as ‘school leaver’ and ‘junior’ as this could lead to age discrimination legislations.

Before you advertise, develop an efficient recruitment process

Recruitment Genius already assists you with intelligent ranking algorithms; automated video and telephone interviewing; distribution of application forms and managing all communication. Without us, be prepared to deal with a large response.

Advertise on all the UK’s best job boards

On average 93% of job seekers visit online job boards first before considering any other source. The biggest challenge is choosing which of the 2,000+ job boards to advertise on. Considering applicants only visit a minority of sites, you need a large budget to broadcast your message effectively. If budget is limited, services such as Recruitment Genius are an excellent option. For a flat-fee of £199 we can advertise your vacancy on all the UK’s best job boards.

Consider social media

Social media is a relatively new recruitment channel. Not only is it a cost effective and is a long-term strategy.

All online activity will have a direct impact on your brand so you should approach this with care. Develop clear guidelines for the use of social media in your business and there should be clarity regarding the sort of messages and information you want to send out.

Recruitment Genius already has a significant social media presence with nearly 50,000 fans on Facebook and nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter. Achieving this took a massive investment in time to generate content that attracts and engages job seekers. Only after a few years are our clients seeing the benefits.

Meet young people

Attend and present at graduate recruitment fairs, local schools, colleges and universities in your area. Find out what is available and take advantage of it. Meeting young people and telling them about your job opportunities is a great way to attract their interest and encourage applications.

Specific training can attract

Another fantastic idea is to offer specific training programmes such as graduate or apprenticeship schemes. Seek out national apprenticeship schemes and establish if they could help develop a talent pipeline for your business.

Step 2: Get the most out of interviewing

Bear in mind that most young people will not have had much experience at being interviewed; therefore enable them to perform to the best of their ability by taking the following steps:

Don’t close doors that should be left open

Do you really require an employee with a degree and several years of experience, or could a college leaver do the job? Make sure you don’t miss out nurturing true talent.

Focus on what they’re good at

Avoid using competency-based interviews as this could make it hard for them to shine. Rather than asking what they achieved in the work place, delve into their qualities and skills.

Discover psychometrics

Some trainees will have worked hard to excel academically; whilst others may not have worked so hard but still received great grades. Psychometrics can help identify people who will quickly absorb and retain your training. Recruitment Genius offers a quick and low cost General Intelligence Assessment (GIA) that accurately scores these specific abilities.

Step 3: Inducting your new staff

Starting any job is daunting, but it can be particularly overwhelming for young people. To make sure your new recruit settles in quickly consider implementing the following:

Have a clear induction programme

It’s a good idea to have a structured programme in place for staff when they first start.  This could consist of a meeting with their line manager to agree on details of their role and performance objectives. Moreover, it is also a chance to discuss important practicalities such as location of toilets, how long is allocated for breaks and fire safety information.

Support line managers

If your line management staff aren’t used to leading young people, they may need support and training to get the most from their new staff.  If this is the case, implement steps so they can manage to the best of their ability.

Step 4: Keeping hold of your talent

With the concept of ‘job for life’ becoming less and less prevalent, one of the key challenges is encouraging young people to stay.  Whereas employees from past generations tended to view a job as a long-term commitment, this ideology is changing. Young workers have fewer problems with moving onto pastures new.

One of the best methods to overcome this is to offer structured career development. If they feel they have a successful future ahead at your company, then they are more likely to stay.

To conclude

Attracting and recruiting young people is something that businesses and society could really benefit from. By following this guide, you have potential to finding and keeping hold of talent that will help your business succeed. Recruitment Genius is here if you need any help, from reaching out to the right people for your roles to selecting the best candidates.

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