The decision to begin hiring apprentices is a positive move, but if the programme is ill-thought out, it can be tricky to get the right outcomes.
Before you kick-start the recruitment process, there are many things to consider when it comes to hiring apprentices – but our top tips should help you along the way.
- Firstly identify why you’re hiring an apprentice and put time and effort into designing a training programme which addresses the needs of both your organisation AND the applicants you wish to attract
- Once you have identified the outcomes, you’re ready to explore exactly HOW to provide the training.
An apprenticeship is a combined work-study alternative to attending university and upon completion of the programme, the applicant should achieve a certification whilst earning. Since university fees are at an all-time high, it’s easy to see why the apprentice route is becoming more attractive.
- Establish a working partnership with a recognised learning provider – if you are struggling with finding the right one, we recommend using the Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching Service
- Highlight the key skills and attributes you are looking for in the best suited candidate for the role and create a recruitment process which will effectively assess these qualities, as well as identifying if they would make a good fit within your company culture.
What is fundamental to remember is that although there may be a generic set of questions you would like to use, the techniques used – online testing, telephone or video interviewing, assessment centres or interviews, can be crucial in assessing whether a candidate REALLY has what it takes to join your company.
- After the foundations for the Apprenticeship scheme have been built, the next step is to start advertising your vacancy.
With the Government reinforcing the importance of Apprentices, there are multiple platforms which are easy and free to use online – in fact, AV Live is a new online tool allowing training organisations and other partners to display current apprentice opportunities specific to their chosen audience.
But you do not only have to restrict yourself to online platforms. Apprentices are typically aged between 16-24 years old so why not target schools and colleges? In fact, this could even lead to a sustained relationship over time and so, applications for your apprentice programme should start to pile up high.
- Finalise your hiring decisions and make them count – on-boarding is often overlooked but this final step in hiring apprentices could make all the difference in retaining your new trainees. Create an engaging on-boarding process but make it as simple as possible – apprentices need a lot of guidance and every assurance that they are doing the right thing.
You can achieve this by creating a mentoring scheme or holding an induction weekend, you may even find that hosting a parent or guardian event will encourage both apprentice and parent to see the benefits of your hiring opportunity to solidify any uncertainty regarding accepting an offer with your organisation.
Whether you’re hiring apprentices for the first time or just want to establish a best practice strategy going forward, in our experience addressing the steps above do make it that little bit easier to make better informed hiring decisions when recruiting for future talent.