Adapting your recruitment to suit apprenticeship schemes

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This week is National Apprenticeship Week and here at ResourceBank we’re no strangers to apprenticeship schemes.  Over the past 6 years ResourceBank has managed apprenticeship recruitment for Vector Aerospace, an industry leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft operators around the globe.

Apprentices are not experienced job-seekers and companies need to adapt their recruitment processes to reflect the specific needs of the apprentice candidate.  We have a dedicated team of experienced apprenticeship recruiters and here are their top 5 tips to recruiting apprentices:

  1. Right place, right time. It’s all about advertising in the right places for the right audience. The vast majority of apprenticeship candidates have grown up in the social media age and you need to think about where you can best attract and engage them using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  2. Homing in. You will need to look at colleges/schools in the local areas. Many companies will look at arranging to attend colleges/schools to present to existing students to engage them in their apprenticeship programmes. With Vector, a lot of the local colleges and schools that offer Engineering as a subject were very keen to be involved in this.
  3. Extracurricular. Adapt the interview questions to suit this calibre of candidate. Engage with them to understand their drives, passions and ambitions. This gives them a chance to talk about their hobbies and out of school activities, such as, hockey or cadets or repairing mopeds on weekends.
  4. First time. Engage with candidates to make the feel at ease, and remember that for many this will be their first ever recruitment experience. Give them guidance on the answers you would expect to hear during the interview and support by giving advice on how to structure their answers.
  5. Keep talking. Remember to stay in contact with apprenticeship candidates as you will need to maintain their engagement throughout the process. Update them often and remind them of the fantastic opportunity and the process each time you have contact.

Apprenticeship recruitment processes seem over-complicated and lengthy and for many candidates there is a lot going on in their lives, especially if they have recently gone through or going through exams.  Company recruiters need to show empathy but also maintain structure and control of the candidate journey to ensure minimal candidate ‘drop outs’ and ensure a thoroughly motivated apprenticeship intake with a positive view of your employer brand.

What’s your experience of successful apprenticeship recruitment?  How have you adapted your processes?  Please feel free to join in the discussion on our LinkedIn page.


Sophie Hesbrook

ResourceBank is a leading provider of outsourced HR, Recruitment and Talent Solutions to companies in the UK and Europe. Our services include staff assessment, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search and human resources outsourcing (HRO). 

If you would like to know more about the products that we offer in relation to apprenticeship schemes please contact Sophie Hesbrook by email sophie.hesbrook@resourcebank.co.uk.

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