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  • Conor Cotton

Differences in Early Careers Recruitment

How you recruit for, engage with and receive applications from young people into early careers roles will be completely different to that of more experienced candidates, who generally interact well with more traditional recruitment methods.


We have spent the last 13 years working within the early careers market and want to utilise what we have learnt to help employers, small and large, understand how you can best recruit and retain candidates when entering your company through apprenticeship, graduate or junior positions.


In our experience, here are the key differences between recruiting for senior posts vs early careers posts:


Firstly, the way you attract young people to your positions will be completely different. Just posting on job boards is no longer enough. Young people utilise different social media platforms, with 51% of 18-24-year-olds using Instagram and 37% using Snapchat. So, how do you make your brand stand out on a platform where posts disappear within 10 seconds?


Utilising paid social adverts is a good way to reach young people on these platforms. You can set demographics, which include age, location and interests, set your budget and your advert will then be shown to users who meet your criteria.


It is also worth noting that young people's skills, interests and passions are often different to their older counterparts, they have grown up in an age where technology is at their fingertips, gaming has never been so big and they can access any information in seconds with a single web search. The large majority of young people have basic IT skills from a young age and you will find that they will often pick up new systems far quicker than those who have been in your business for years.


For this reason, you may wish to consider reviewing your onboarding and induction process for this age group to ensure what you are covering is beneficial for them, allowing them to learn new skills, understand your vision and values.


Values are arguably more important than ever with young people being more sure than ever of what they care about. 76% of 18-year-olds rank climate change as one of the top issues they care about, so don’t be surprised if, during the interview process, they ask you what your company is doing to help tackle this challenge.


Whilst we are on the topic of passions and global issues, young people have grown up with the knowledge that they can change the world, believe us when we say they are ready to be the generation who makes a difference. Whether it’s climate change, race equality, inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ company or closing the gender pay gap, this is the generation that is willing to do the work to solve these issues.


We love to see it and you will find that you can have really in-depth, passionate conversations with a lot of young people about these topics. They are not worried about giving their opinion and will want their employer to support them. This could be done through time off for charity days, showing inclusion within the workplace and/or allowing employees to start their own community groups within the business to tackle issues they care about.


This brings us on to our last point, standard benefits are no longer viewed as benefits, they’re rights. Young people are aware of their rights and they want to know what else they’re getting in addition to what you HAVE to offer. We would recommend completing a review of your company benefits to see what you are offering that is truly a benefit. For example, statutory pension, the minimum number of days holiday per annum or sick pay is not benefits - they’re rights. What else do your employees get for their dedication and commitment to your company?


Keep an eye out for our next blog where we will discuss students opinions on benefits and what they’re REALLY looking for.



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