Apprentices are a fantastic way to build a future talent pipeline for your organisation – but, an effective recruitment process is key to ensuring you are able to hire the best available talent.

With that in mind we’ve focused on some of the top bug-bears when it comes to hiring apprentices and what you can do to ensure your recruitment processes are working for you, rather than against you.

  1. Meaningless job descriptions

What makes the difference between whether or not a candidate applies for a job? Sure, a great employer brand is important, but to really captivate applicants you need to create a job description that says what it does on the tin. Normally the first hurdle which businesses fall down on – in being informative, job descriptions often turn out boring, full of waffle and state the obvious.

A great job description inspires people to make a difference, giving them an overview of what success in the role looks like and getting them excited about the prospect of join in your business – remind YOURSELF of why YOU joined and portray that passion in the job description.

Don’t be afraid to give your business a personality by expressing your culture and values. At the end of the day, a good job description will attract people who will fit into your organisation.

  1. Seemingly unnecessary and endless processes

It’s increasingly common to see an increasing number of hoops that candidates are expected to jump through, before they can secure their dream job.

Top candidates are in great demand, so stop putting them off by requesting huge swaths of information up front and make applying easy!

Application forms can be a great way to identify if a candidate meets the essential or minimum criteria for the role. Killer questions will streamline applicants efficiently – after all, you don’t want to waste their time as much as yours.

Limit your application form to pull out the essential criteria you need to decide if the applicant will proceed onto the next stage – since if they make it through, you’ll have the opportunity to get all the other information later.

  1. Using dated methods for a tech-savvy audience

Understand the type of applicant you want to attract to your organisation – it is most likely you are recruiting 16-24 year olds who will fall into the category of Millennials. As the most tuned-in, tech-friendly generation to date, it is likely that video or Skype interviews will be best for assessing how well individuals of this age group will perform in your organisation.

However, it can vary from industry to industry – for all of our graduate clients, we conducted video interviews for most roles except technical roles since we found there was a substantial drop in the level of performance in these roles.

But using technology shouldn’t be restricted to formal assessments – Millennials have a powerful social media presence, so it’s essential to create an engaging recruitment process which isn’t restricted to the traditional methods of emailing, phone calls and careers events. Using Twitter, in particular, is proving to be hugely successful in candidate correspondence and FAQs.

  1. Assessing for experience, when they don’t have any!

Apprentices will be entering the job market with little to no experience – so exactly how will you assess their fit for the role? What many recruitment teams make the mistake of doing is to conduct competency-based interviews as they would for candidates with experience. Naturally, apprenticeship applicants will fall down at this stage, missing out on the employment opportunity just as the organisation loses the chance to mould the apprentice into a future leader for their business.

Rather than screening out candidates on this basis, switching to Strengths Based Interviews (SBIs) to look at what apprenticeship candidates enjoy doing and have a natural aptitude for – rather than what they can do or have done in the past.

Understanding what motivates a candidate at their core, SBIs identify levels of enjoyment which paint a picture of how well an applicant would naturally perform in that role. The more their strengths are aligned with the organisational values, the better they perform.

Taking into consideration our top tips for creating an effective apprentice recruitment process can make all the difference in finding the right talent to join your organisation – after all, apprentices may just become the future leaders of your organisation.