Top tips for attracting the right candidates

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When it comes to taking on an apprentice, making sure you attract the right candidate is important for many reasons. It will ensure that you are happy with the individual, they are the right fit for the business, and also that they are happy in their role and organisation, which is much more likely to deliver years of happy service. 

We spoke to our Recruitment Manager, Sarah McQueen, on her top tips on how to attract the right calibre of apprentice.

More than money

While it’s by no means the only incentive to attract high calibre apprentices, offering a competitive salary is important. Apprentices will know what they are worth, so make sure you are in line with market conditions.

Further to this however, one of the most frequent questions we get asked is what the prospects of a job are. Is there progression to higher qualifications such as a degree? Is there a clear path for career progression?

These are of course important questions for the employer to consider as well.

It’s vital that as an employer you are honest about the opportunities that will be open to the apprentice. Don't be tempted to overpromise just to secure an apprentice – there are plenty of candidates out there that will be looking for the type and scale of role you are offering.

Keep in regular contact

Another aspect that is important is to keep in touch with candidates. Be clear at the beginning of the process how long the application process will take, so candidates don't lose interest if you take some time to get back in touch with them. 

Tell your story

It's a competitive environment when it comes to attracting high calibre and the right candidates for your apprenticeship vacancies. So make sure that you sell the benefits of your company. Not only will this make apprentices want to work for you, it will also ensure that candidates fully understand the type of experience they will get in their role. Consider using video clips to tell your story, and promote these when you advertise the role as a source for interested applicants to find out more about you. Attend careers fairs to speak first hand to candidates, which is a great way to start dialogue and answer any questions apprentices may have.

Why not ask your existing apprentices to share their experiences? This could be video case studies, written articles on your website, or in person at career fairs and exhibitions. They’ll be able to give their valuable perspective of what life is like at your company, and encourage like-minded candidates to apply for your vacancies.

Plan your interview process carefully

Traditional interviews don't always give candidates the best opportunity to shine. Try to incorporate different elements into your selection process – for example, group exercises allow individuals to show different characteristics such as good team player, strong leader, good organisational skills. This will help you find the right candidate for the needs and requirements of your vacancy.

How we can help

As EEF’s full time recruitment manager, I’m here to help you through the apprentice recruitment and selection process. The team and I work closely with careers advisors as well as individuals to source candidates and match them to suitable potential opportunities.

Talk to EEF about starting or getting more value from your apprenticeship programme. Call 0808 168 5874.

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