Taking the step to bring an apprentice into your business can be exciting.
Before you start planning their training or routes to progression, you’ve got to get the right candidate in the door!
In this guide, we’ll be teaching you the very best ways to advertise an apprenticeship to get the most suitable person for the job.
How to Advertise your Apprentice Role
Before you get writing up that stellar job description, you need to decide where to post it! The government offers a free portal; this is a great way to put your job description out to an interested audience.
There are also private job boards that you can post, which can garner you more applications from a more specialised field of candidates. You could use these to reach local candidates, for example.
The advantage that the government’s apprentice portal has over these mainstream job boards is that it is targeted solely to apprentices. This leads to fewer irrelevant applications and saves you time when sifting through them.
However, more potential applicants will tend to browse more generic boards than the specific one for apprentices, so consider posting on both for a higher quantity of applications to choose from.
Give the applicants a reasonable amount of time to apply for the job and give a clear closing date. You may also want to ask for supporting information to help you to make a decision on the shortlist. For example, if the role is time sensitive then you may wish to ask when they can start.
Making the Role Attractive
Using the framework of the apprenticeship, you can start to build up the roles and responsibilities that the member of staff will have. Put your own flair on the elements of the job description that are most relevant to the job that you can offer.
You don’t want to overload the potential candidate with too many details, so order the roles and skills in order of importance. Bullet points are useful to break this up into more digestible chunks.
Although not all apprentices are young people, this may be the first experience that they have in the workplace. Take this into account assessing the skills that you’re looking for.
Focusing on the people skills and qualities, rather than the experience, can encourage more candidates to apply. Part of your role as an employer is to polish the apprentice and teach them the skills they need to be successful.
Tell the apprentice what they can hope to learn and what you can offer them too. Think about the target audience that you want to reach, what would appeal to them?
Reveal information about the training they will receive and the routes for progression within the company, as this will show what you’re bringing to the table as an employer.
Some applicants may have preconceived notions that apprentices are there to make cups of tea for the boss! Dispel this by giving the job description a clear purpose and destination.
Giving an Accurate View of the Job
Now that you’ve given a top-level view of the role it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. Most candidates will want to know what their daily routine will look like, because they want to understand what the job really entails.
Clarify how much time each part of the role will really take up. If they have a preference over what they spend the bulk of their time doing, then this makes things clearer for them. This also helps to weed out some candidates that wouldn’t be as satisfied in the role or are less experienced in the main responsibilities.
While you might want to spice up your job description, you don’t want to mislead candidates into applying. Even if they make it past the interview stage, the chances are they won’t want to stick around in the long term if your description of the job was misleading.
If you’re not the person monitoring the new apprentice or working with them directly, then you may need help from the person that will! The entire team can pitch in on the traits and responsibilities that they feel should be on the description. Take their advice if you want to create a truly accurate representation of the role.
Getting the Right Candidates
After you’ve posted the job and brought in some applicants, it’s time to refine the shortlist. Again, consider that apprentices may be less experienced than the usual applicants that you have. They want to train within the job, so look at their extracurricular activities and personal traits.
Take notes as you chat to the candidates and let them know when you’ll be in touch to arrange a face to face interview. If they don’t make it through to the next stage, then it’s preferable to give them feedback so that they can improve.
Some employers feel that they don’t have time to give feedback, but they’re missing a trick! With services like Glassdoor offering a sneak peek into the interview process, it’s always preferable to position yourself as an employer that is desirable to apply for.
If you wish to keep the unsuccessful applicant’s details for consideration in future, then be sure to ask their permission. You may be earmarking them for another position, but you need to have their permission to do so. The initial intention that they had to share their details with you is no longer there, so refresh this by checking if they want to be considered for new positions.
To Interview and Beyond!
In the face to face interview, you’ll get to learn more about the candidate. How they present themselves and their timekeeping will form your first impressions. In the questioning stage of the interview, many employers have a more relaxed approach to the questions that they give to apprentices.
Asking open questions and directing the conversation makes for the best interview for both parties. Once the conversation begins to flow, you can connect with the candidate and really assess their character. You can also check out our guide to interview questions for inspiration on how to proceed.
When closing the interview, invite the candidate to ask you questions. This gives you a bit of insight into their thinking on the role too. Finally, let them know when you’ll be in touch regarding their application.
Once you’ve picked that superstar candidate for your business, reach out to extend them the job offer. It’s normal to get a verbal acceptance before sending out a written offer. You should complete this promptly and lay out all the terms in an apprenticeship agreement.
As with the previous interview stage, you also want to feed back to those that have been unsuccessful.
Advertising an apprenticeship is the first step to bringing in and training a brilliant asset for your team. This journey benefits the apprentice and the company greatly, so use your apprenticeship levy before you lose it!
Get in touch with our apprenticeship team to learn about how we can help you satisfy your training requirements.