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How Employers Can Benefit Students & Young People By Offering Holiday Jobs

by Andre on July 29th, 2014  Andre

It’s always been a Catch 22 situation for both the employer and the applicant when it comes to employing students and young people. Employers commonly complain that they can’t find suitable candidates with the relevant work or life skills to fill their vacancies and, in turn, students and young people complain about the fact that they can’t find work because employers reject their applications due to lack of experience. How can they get relevant experience, they argue, if they aren’t given that opening chance to prove themselves in the workplace?

So with both employer and applicant feeling less than fulfilled by the situation, what are the steps that can be taken in order to not only get young people, students and graduates into the workplace, but to get them into the workplace and making a valuable contribution to the future success of companies? The government are making attempts to address the situation by introducing traineeships and apprenticeships as both a way to get young people into work and to provide a structure that employers can add to their recruitment strategy.

Depending on the type of company it is, one way that can help to ease this situation is by taking on students and young people for holiday jobs or other seasonal work. In doing this, employers could both benefit their firm and and the future employability of the staff they employ for carrying out seasonal work. Students often look for employment as a way to both fund their studies and gain work experience and holiday jobs, especially summer jobs, are one of the ways they look to gain employment.

Why Offer Holiday Jobs And Seasonal Work?

It’s not a case of employers having to choose one strategy over the other when it comes to recruitment and staff retention. Using a variety of strategies means employers could recruit and come into contact with some of the country’s best young talent and hopefully harness that for the future. Young people and students are increasingly choosing different paths into employment and career development so employers need to be able to attract talent via a variety of routes.

Summer jobs opportunity to give students and young people a chance to prove themselves

Many summer jobs and seasonal roles exist because that’s when a company is at its busiest. Most of these roles tend to be entry level jobs where staff are recruited to roles that they can begin work with a minimal amount of previous training or experience. So, in this sense, offering summer jobs can give students and young people with little or no previous work experience the break they might be looking for. In turn, the employer and the company get to fill temporary vacancies with keen young people and students who are looking for holiday jobs.

Investing in seasonal staff can pay dividends for the company

Some companies may only operate seasonally – summer activity camps, for example – while others operate throughout the year but require extra staff at certain busy times such as summer or Christmas. Investing in staff who are employed on a seasonal basis by treating them as a valued part of the company and training them effectively means students and young people develop workplace skills that can be built upon in the future. Investment in seasonal staff pays dividends for the company because it can also improve staff retention. Students and young people who do summer holiday work for the firm and who feel valued are more likely to return when temporary staff are once more required and this can benefit the company in a number of different ways.

  • It can reduce recruitment costs for companies when theses companies have a bank of reliable young people and students to draw on. They can be invited back to cover the busy periods such as Christmas or summer.
  • In turn, this can increase productivity for the firm because returning staff are already familiar with the company layout, routines and they know what is expected of them. Little or no induction is necessary and returning staff can just get on with the job in hand and work effectively.
  • Employing students and young people in summer jobs and other seasonal roles can be a valuable talent spotting exercise. Many companies who recruit students and other seasonal staff go on to offer full time, permanent positions to the most talented staff. This can be in the form of apprenticeships, graduate programmes or other positions such as team leaders or supervisors. Again, this is a cost saving and time saving exercise in recruiting the best staff and it can be good for staff retention because the employee already knows the company and has accepted the role because they want to work there. In this sense, there is an opportunity for the employer to build up a sense of loyalty to the company by offering summer jobs and other seasonal work to students and young people.

Does your company’s recruitment strategy for getting young people and students into summer jobs and seasonal work ensure you are not potentially missing out on the best young talent?

When it comes to getting young people and students into summer holiday jobs or temporary roles, a more hand in hand approach in offering roles might mean a company can spot and, more importantly, retain students on a more permanent basis after graduation, developing them to suit the company’s needs and increasing success. While this obviously requires a strong application and show of commitment from students and young people, could there be more room in your company’s recruitment strategy or could tweaks be made to make sure you get those people. While larger companies tend to have a robust and well established recruitment strategy, small and medium sized enterprises could really tap into this pool of young people out there who are struggling to land seasonal jobs.

For example, a student blogger recently wrote this piece in the Guardian about how she was finding it impossible to get summer jobs. While she is searching for vacancies and applying for roles, she says she is constantly knocked back (or in some cases, she has received no reply or feedback, at all) for summer jobs because she has a lack of experience. There are lots of young people and students out there who could possibly fill temporary roles and really shine in the company.

Offering summer holiday jobs or other temporary roles to students and young people gives them many transferrable skills that they can then add to their CVs and use to develop their career. Whether this is developing basic skills by offering entry level jobs or offering more specialised temporary roles to students who might be studying relevant subjects at university, job offers can really boost the morale of young people which in turn can benefit the workplace.

Offering summer jobs to students means they could increase their chance of really boosting their salary when they go on to forge a graduate career. Much of this post has considered staff retention as a possible benefit of summer jobs but many companies obviously only require temporary staff. Students are ideal for these roles. They get to work their summer, the company gets to fill their vacancy and the students gain real experience for their CV.

Even offering entry level summer jobs in any type of role means students and young people can start to grasp a firm knowledge and awareness of the working world. This can be the most basic of skills such as when to take breaks and how long for, an awareness of appropriate clothing for the job they are doing, how to answer phone calls, how to address seniors within the company and how to manage their time, both within the workplace and outside.

Practical skills in the workplace are key to young people’s and students’ future development when it comes to employment. Summer jobs and other temporary work is ideal for this so they can boost their confidence, boost their self-esteem (especially if they have been trying to find summer jobs for some time and have received many rejections), learn how to work as part of a team and even develop leadership qualities.

These news skills can either benefit the company for the temporary period of employment or, they can be developed later if permanent roles are offered within the firm. There are many other benefits for companies in employing students and young people in temporary or part time roles. If you are keen to tap into this type of recruitment, take a look at our reasons for giving job opportunities to students and young people.

5 Ways SMEs Can Retain Staff And Harness The Best Young Talent

by Andre on July 17th, 2014  Andre

Many of the companies that look to recruit students, graduates and other young people via the services offered by E4S are SMEs. Whatever the size of the company, whether it is a larger corporation, a medium sized company operating in a few different locations or a small family business, once new staff have been recruited to the team, obviously, the hope from there is that this person becomes a valued member of the company and stays around for the period of their contract, possibly progressing upwards through the firm.

Staff retention is a key ingredient for the success of any firm, large or small, but small and medium enterprises face different challenges to corporate firms when it comes to ensuring their staff stick around. There are lots of staff retention strategies that SMEs can pull from the larger firms and adapt to their own needs, but this is not the only way SMEs can retain their best staff. SMEs can also develop and make use of completely different strategies that work to their advantage; strategies that celebrate the fact that the company is a small or medium enterprise.

So whichever positions the company is looking to fill – part time jobs for students, temporary summer jobs and other seasonal work, apprenticeships, school leaver programmes or even graduate programmes – what are some of the staff retention strategies small and medium enterprises can use to ensure the future success and continued development of the firm?

1. Small and Medium Enterprises Can Recruit As A Small Company To Attract The Right Candidates

Right from the outset, as soon as vacancies are posted, small and medium enterprises can promote themselves as a smaller company in the job advert, pointing out what this means in terms of working as part of a more close-knit team. Working for SMEs is not for everyone, so by making sure potential candidates are aware that the vacancy is with an SME as soon as the vacancy is advertised, it should save valuable time and money. Those students, school leavers or graduates who do apply for the job are more likely to be applying because the company is an SME.

There are lots of ways small and medium enterprises can make sure they are making the most of their recruitment for staff retention. For more tips on developing recruitment strategies that could help attract and retain the most talented staff, employers can read the E4S blog post, How to Recruit The Best Students and Graduates and Make Sure You Retain Them.

2. Small And Medium Enterprises Can Adapt And Utilise Staff Retention Strategies Used By Larger Companies

Strategies used by large corporations can also be adapted by small and medium enterprises to encourage staff to stay with the company rather than being tempted away elsewhere. Investing in staff development makes team members, whatever their role within the company, feel valued.

Training courses

While bigger companies very often have their own in house training and development, SMEs can possibly make use of courses available locally that will benefit staff.

For example, some of the biggest bar and restaurant chains in the United Kingdom have their own structured in-house staff development programmes where team members can learn about food hygiene, branch management or leadership skills for supervisory roles. While smaller and medium-sized restaurant companies probably don’t have the access to funds for this type of training, they could send their staff on basic food hygiene courses that are being run locally and perhaps offer pay rises upon successful completion.

Structured Apprenticeships

If the SME has a commitment to employing young people and school leavers, another way to really show investment in their development is to perhaps offer the opportunity of doing relevant apprenticeships to those staff. Employers can read more here about how more companies are benefiting from offering apprenticeships to school leavers and young people.

Seeing the value in offering student jobs

Even for students who may be working as part time waiting on staff, doing bar work or working as a kitchen assistant, investing in their development can make them feel a valued member of the company and this in turn encourages loyalty. The knock on effect could be that at busier times such as Christmas and special events, it should be easier to encourage team members to work extra hours and even take some leadership responsibilities over younger or more inexperienced members of the team. It’s worth noting that lots of students choose to stay on at the company where they have had student jobs even after they have graduated. Employers running small and medium enterprises can read more here about reasons to offer job opportunities to students.

3. Small and Medium Enterprises Can Have The Advantage Of Faster Career Progression

And this is a further way that small and medium enterprises can encourage talented staff to remain within the firm. With larger companies, it can be more difficult for even the more ambitious employees to get promotions and progress through the company. SMEs have a different dynamic where staff may need to be more flexible in the workplace rather than solely working within one department. This can mean skills and talent are spotted more easily and staff can progress through the smaller companies much quicker. Students who were working part time whilst at university may have shown strong leadership qualities and choose to stay on after graduation. Likewise, school leavers who may have done Apprenticeships with the company could be attracted to remain with the firm if the option of career progression is there.

4. Small and Medium Enterprises Can Leverage Flexible Working

As of 30th June 2014, employees have the legal right to request flexible working from their employer, based on hours and location. Previously, this right was only extended to parents and carers. Employees have the right to request this once they have been working for the company for a period of at least 26 weeks and although employers do not necessarily have to grant it, it is going to have an effect in the workplace. (For official guidance and further information about flexible working, please visit the gov.uk flexible working overview.

So, how could flexible working benefit SMEs and help with retaining the most talented staff within the company?

Small and medium enterprises are likely to be a more close-knit ‘community’ than larger corporations who are employing thousands of staff and, because of their size, smaller companies often actually need staff to be flexible. Since the change of law came into effect, although there might be more official administrative work to get through for company owners if staff members choose to exercise their right to flexible working hours, it can be easier for the whole team to sit down and arrange working hours that will suit everyone and the company, too. Some employees may have very specific needs with regards to working hours and employers running a smaller company may have quite a bit of leeway in responding to those needs more effectively than those working within the larger firms.

Many large companies already operate a flexitime system which means employees are given the opportunity to commute to and from work outside the traditional rush hour times and also work extra hours to build up ‘flexi days’ where there is no need to go into the workplace. Depending on the nature of the business small and medium enterprises could give staff the opportunity to work from home on occasion or swap shifts with other team members, for example.

Because of the size of the company and therefore a smaller team of staff, other employees may be more likely to do their best to fit around other staff members’ requirements, especially if there is a friendly ethos within the company and a give and take approach. Employing students to do part time work, while at the same time investing in their development, could mean you have reliable staff to go to when you need people to cover busy periods or to cover extra hours when other staff need to change their hours of work. Students often prefer flexible working hours so that they can fit their job around their study and, of course, they are often free to cover busy holiday periods such as Christmas and summer.

5. Small and Medium Enterprises Can Create And Benefit From A Friendly Team Atmosphere

For larger firms with thousands of staff, their challenge can be greater than that of the small and mediım enterprises in creating that friendly atmosphere where staff feel valued, and personal as well as professional needs are met. This is an area where SMEs can actually celebrate their size and have more advantage over larger corporations when it comes to retaining their best staff.

Strong Leadership From Employers Where Staff Feel Valued

One concern about the new law regarding the right to request flexible working hours is that it could possibly cause resentment and divisions between staff in some companies. This might occur if one member of staff is awarded the flexible hours requested while another staff member’s request is refused. However, if employers in smaller and medium sized companies can create a friendly, team atmosphere in the workplace where staff feel valued and feel able to put their opinions forward, this type of potential situation could be eliminated. This means the possibilities of good staff retention are increased.

Holding Regular Staff Meetings

Also, within this framework of employees feeling valued and working in a friendly environment, depending on the size of the company, employers of staff within SMEs can hold regular, informal staff meetings where staff can update each other on progress in their work. The employer or senior staff members can also update staff on development or expansions within the company so that the staff feel a part of this progress and feel involved.

Holding Staff Social Get Togethers

Again, depending on the size of the company, small and medium enterprises can also make staff feel valued by organising staff get togethers where everyone attends. This quarterly evening out or a group lunch out of the workplace, paid for by the company. In this way, SMEs can build a strong team spirit amongst their staff on both social levels and professional levels in a way that large corporations are unable to and this encourages loyalty towards the company which increases the chances of staff retention.

A happy team of staff can mean that even if a company’s best talent is considering a move elsewhere to progress their career, they might feel reluctant to move away from that ethos and choose to remain in their current position. Indeed, if a small or medium sized company develops a reputation in their field for having this type of work ethic within the firm they could even find themselves with no shortage of high quality applicants when vacancies arise and a team of staff that are happy in their roles and keen to stay exactly where they are.

While the challenges faced by SMEs are different to those of larger national and multinational corporations when it comes to staff retention, by adopting clever recruitment strategies and building a sense of loyalty within the company, employers can actually turn the fact that they are a smaller firm into an advantage rather than a disadvantage.

Traineeships – What They Are And Why They Can Be Beneficial For Employers

by Andre on April 28th, 2014  Andre

Traineeships are the new kid on the block when it comes to government initiatives. Starting last year in August 2013, traineeships are aimed at getting young people and school leavers into the workplace and providing them with the tools and training necessary for the building of a successful career by either progressing onto apprenticeships, other employment, and sometimes further education. Traineeships are aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 24 years old.

Many employers have been finding that when they are doing their recruitment for young people, many of them have little or no experience to draw upon to get the job they applied for. This can be right from the application process with covering letters and CVs, to interview techniques, to previous work experience. This also means that some potential young recruits have little idea of what is expected of them once they are in the workplace.

As an employer looking to recruit staff to carry your company forward in the future, you will no doubt realise that much of the United Kingdom’s best young talent is slipping through the net because of this. Some young people may have been unemployed for some time and are on benefits and lack confidence, while others may have only recently left school and just need that little extra help to give them a kickstart to get them into the workplace.

That’s what government traineeships are all about and your company could benefit by adopting traineeships as a part of your overall recruitment strategy.

Traineeships: What is expected of you as an employer?

First of all, if you did want to integrate traineeships into your company’s recruitment strategy, let’s take a brief look at what would be expected of you as an employer:

Pre-agreed structured programme lasting at least 6 weeks up to a maximum of 5 months

On providing a young person with a work placement as part of their traineeship, you, the trainee and the training provider you are working with will design an individual, structured programme that best suits the needs of the trainee and your business. There will also be a written agreement outlining this training with dates for when feedback will be given.

Structured opportunity and purposeful activities

Traineeships are all about providing purposeful activities (rather than merely observing other staff members) for school leavers and young people do further prepare them for the workplace. If your company offers apprenticeships, the activities you opportunities and activities you offer could help towards progressing the trainee from traineeship to a place on your apprenticeship programme.

Long enough placement to develop new skills

The length of the placement will be discussed at the beginning between you, the training provider and the trainee and must be long enough so that the trainee can come out at the end with new, practical skills that allow them to develop in the workplace.

Traineeships provide a mentor and feedback

As a company, you would provide a designated mentor for the trainee. This mentor will give regular, structured feedback. Traineeships are designed to be flexible so the length of the traineeship can be extended or shortened depending on how your trainee is progressing.

Traineeships can include the start of a vocational qualification

If it is suitable for the young person, you can assist them in the beginning of a vocational qualification. This would be especially useful if you are hoping to later transfer your trainee from traineeships to your apprenticeships programmes.

Traineeships offer the trainee a meaningful exit

After the traineeship is complete, ideally, you will be in a position to interview the trainee and offer placements on apprenticeships or other jobs within your company. However, it is not essential that you have these vacancies. If you have no vacant jobs or apprenticeships, you will provide the trainee with a meaningful exit interview, professional references and put them in touch with relevant companies and organisations where apprenticeships or other work can be found.

What Are The Advantages For Employers Who Provide Traineeships?

So, if your company does offer traineeships, what’s in it for you? Why go to the bother? Let’s take a look:

There is no financial cost for you or your company

Well one advantage of of offering traineeships is they are government funded. Government funded traineeships mean there is no financial cost for your company as they pay for the training and you can even advertise your traineeship vacancies for free on the apprenticeships.org website. There are no wages for traineeships but you are strongly encouraged to help trainees out by helping with travel expenses and food costs. Being in a position to recruit the best staff can be a costly affair. Adding traineeships to your recruitment strategy can be a good financial investment for the future.

Providing traineeships means you will be in good company

Large multinational companies such as Siemens and Virgin have embraced traineeships as they see them as a fantastic way of harnessing young talent. Some companies have assessment centres for their apprenticeships and some young people and school leavers narrowly miss out on places but don’t return to try again for a placement. This is the talent that was slipping through the net. Offering traineeships to those young people means the company can prepare them for apprenticeships and for the workplace and not miss out on that talent.

Traineeships provide an opportunity for both the employer and the trainee to decide if this is the right placement

Apprenticeships are a commitment for both the employer and the apprentice and traineeships provide a means whereby the employer and the trainee can make a decision as to whether the role and the company is a best fit for them. Traineeships are flexible for employers can adapt roles so that young people can fit into the company and benefit it more easily. Government traineeships can be a win win situation both for school leavers and employers and integrating them into your recruitment strategy can improve staff retention.

Traineeships mean employers could get the pick of the best young talent

All employers want to find the best staff for their businesses and they want to retain that staff. Some school leavers may just need a bit of practical work experience while others may have been unemployed for some time and could have low confidence as a result. Of course, this doesn’t mean they couldn’t be a valuable asset to your business. By offering traineeships to young people and school leavers, employers can find good young talent earlier and develop their skills to best suit the company’s needs. Setting up a system whereby the employer regularly recruits a variety of young people and school leavers means you could, over time, build up a pool of high quality young recruits to carry your company forward into the future.

Traineeships are likely to attract young people and school leavers from the local vicinty and this can be good for staff retention

By setting up traineeships within your company school leavers and young people who live locally can benefit from this and this in turn will benefit your company. By using traineeships in your recruitment strategy, rather than outsourcing or recruiting staff from outside the local area, traineeships give you the opportunity, as an employer, to take a good look at what potential talent is available within your local area.

This could benefit your company in various ways. First of all, school leavers and young people who live locally are likely to have some awareness of your business – especially if you are a prominent employer within your local community – and will therefore have a basic idea of what you are about.

Recruiting locally by means of traineeships also means your new young trainees may feel more ownershşp of their post rather than them just entering a random workplace where they have no real idea of your ethos. Whether you are a big firm or a small firm, it’s likely that school leavers and young people will at least have heard of you and will be able to relate to you and your business more easily.

If you can, in turn, develop their skills and offer them mentoring and support as part of the government traineeships initiative, then this means you could build up a young and loyal staff that have been recruited locally. In the long term, this might well be a perfect solution to your staff retention problems. Young people who enter your company via traineeships and then progress to apprenticeships or other jobs where they are given training and opportunities to attain qualifications, are far more likely to stick around in the future, thus benefitting your firm considerably.

Government traineeships can also benefit your existing team of staff as well as your new young recruits

A further advantage to employers who choose to add government traineeships to their recruitment strategy is the extra benefits to the staff who already work there.

When you offer young people and school leavers the opportunity to do traineeships within your company, you need to assign a mentor to those people to give them support and structured feedback at regular intervals. These mentors will typically be a member of your existing staff and because traineeships are so individualised and flexible, this does not need to be the same member of staff for every trainee. Depending on the size of your company, the number of departments you have and the number of trainees you take on for each area, you can assign different mentors for different trainees.

What does this mean for your company? It means that not only are you choosing to fulfil social responsibilities by providing government traineeships and opportunities for school leavers and young people, but you are also creating opportunities for your existing staff to develop or improve their mentoring and coaching skills. Again, adding traineeships to your recruitment strategy can be a win win situation as you recruit the best staff via traineeships and also improve your staff retention by valuing your existing team in allowing them to add new mentoring skills or develop existing ones. When staff feel valued, they are more likely to stick around in the future and this helps in the future of your firm.

Traineeships are a stepping stone for both young people and your firm

As an employer, you naturally want to recruit the best staff and retain them. While it is not essential that traineeships lead on to apprenticeships, traineeships and apprenticeships do go hand in hand. If you can find and develop the best young people to carry your business forward, adding traineeships to your recruitment strategy alongside your other strategies could well build your company more than you could have imagined. Also, at the same time, you are giving opportunities to school leavers and young people that they may never have had the chance to act upon before traineeships came into fruition.

If you are not already taking advantage of apprenticeships in your recruitment strategy, take a look at a previous E4S blog post about how employers can benefit from implementing apprenticeship and school leaver programmes.

Why More Employers Are Benefitting From The Implementation Of School Leaver Programmes And Apprenticeships

by Andre on February 21st, 2014  Andre

The future of your business is down to the talented staff you employ and your recruitment strategy is crucial in attracting the best young applicants for this. Upon recruitment, it’s all about training the young people you have recruited to meet the future needs of your business. So how are methods developing over the coming years and what can you do to make sure your company is recruiting, developing and retaining the best young talent out there?

For various reasons, such as the increasing costs of going to university, for example, firms now need to look at the way they recruit staff to make sure the company continues to work effectively and remains competitive in the 21st century. For many years, Britain has existed in a culture that the only way for young people to have a successful career is to get good A-level results, go to university and then begin a career upon graduation. This means, in the past, many companies had to rely upon the creation of effective graduate programmes and could not really acquire Britain’s brightest talents until they had graduated from university in their early 20s.

However, thanks to various developments such as government initiatives, the increasing cost of going to university for students and also the drive of employer’s in exploring new avenues in sustainable recruitment, that culture is slowly being eroded and other options can now be considered both by school leavers and employers. It’s a win win situation for both employers and employees.

Apprenticeships and school leaver programmes now offer school leavers and other young people genuine alternatives for career success rather than the traditional university route. Nowadays, in 2014, just because a young person chooses not to take the university route, it doesn’t mean they can’t have a bright career ahead of them and this, in turn, has led to a more marked shake up in traditional recruitment strategies. While graduate career programmes are certainly still valuable for the future success of firms, businesses are now starting to think about how they can adjust their recruitment strategy so that they tap into the even younger talent that’s out there and have good staff retention in the future. Setting up school leaver programmes and / or apprenticeships within the company are proving to be an effective way of doing this.

Apprenticeships And School Leaver Programmes Are Changing Image

As far as the traditional university route is concerned, we are still in relatively early days when considering alternatives to this. However, speed of change is picking up pace and the perception that there is no career success unless you go to university is slowly disappearing. Does your company’s recruitment strategy take this into account?

Apprenticeships and school leaver programmes are increasingly being pushed as, and seen as, a way to drive the the economy of the United Kingdom forward by creating a committed and highly skilled workforce for the future. Depending on the nature of your business, adopting one or both of these recruitment strategies means you shouldn’t miss out on some of the best potential young talent out there. In using these schemes, many of the top companies in the United Kingdom  are snapping up some of the brightest young people in the country and are providing high quality training for them to contribute to the continuing development of their firm. These days many young school leavers either don’t want to to study full time at university or they cannot financially afford to do that. Offering School leaver programmes and / or apprenticeships are just two ways that your business can make sure it doesn’t miss out on these people.

Compared to apprenticeships, school leaver programmes are relatively new to the ‘alternatives to university scene’ and are dynamic in that companies who adopt this recruitment strategy are continually developing the structure of the programmes to increase their effectiveness and to make sure they are still attracting the best young applicants. School leaver programmes are fast becoming more popular with both employers and employees as they become more well known and many of the businesses that set up school leaver programmes in the past are now increasing their intake of young people onto the programmes. This is both because there are more applicants each year and because businesses are finding them to be an effective recruitment strategy both for attracting new talent and for staff retention. Is your company in the mix when it comes to employing talented school leavers?

School leaver programmes are not suitable for all industries and perhaps employing school leavers on an apprenticeship scheme would more benefit your business. Apprenticeships are slightly different to school leaver programmes in that they have a long and established history in the United Kingdom. As far as apprenticeships are concerned, this has been both an advantage and a disadvantage. They are traditionally associated with young people – usually males – learning a trade, and as such, have struggled in the past to shake off their blue collar image.

While this perception still may exist in the United Kingdom amongst some people (the parents of some students still think of apprenticeships in this way and consider university to be the best route for their child), government efforts to extend and promote the range of apprenticeship schemes and rethinks in recruitment strategies by many top employers are changing this. School leavers are now seeing apprenticeships of all levels as completely viable alternative entries to a successful career rather than needing to study full time for a university degree.

Many of the United Kingdom’s employers are realising this and have adapted their recruitment strategy to implement existing apprenticeship schemes and also to develop new ones that will both help drive their business forward and attract the best young school leavers. Is your company’s recruitment strategy set up to attract young people onto apprenticeship schemes that could in turn develop their skills, improve your staff retention and drive your firm forward in the future?

How Are Employers Using School Leaver Programmes And Apprenticeships To Their Benefit?

For some sectors, it’s not a case of having to decide which is the best between school leaver programmes, apprenticeships and graduate programmes, but rather a case of working out how all three of them can be implemented into the company recruitment strategy so that the most suitable candidates are found for the right jobs and careers. Because there is a programme of training, development, mentoring and further qualifications involved, loyalty to the firm and staff retention is also improved.

Finance

Many big employers in the United Kingdom have been able to take all these options into consideration and implement them into the company. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are considered to be one of the ‘big four’ auditors in the United Kingdom and are a good example of a company who have incorporated school leaver programmes and higher apprenticeships, as well as their graduate programmes, into their recruitment strategy. By running a higher apprenticeship scheme, it is companies like this that are helping to get rid of the blue collar image of apprenticeships that we mentioned above.

It’s also evident that PricewaterhouseCoopers can see value in their schemes. They think there is room for a variety of recruitment strategies and development schemes because they now have talented young people from various economic and academic backgrounds coming to their firm via a variety of routes. Accountancy companies are well known for making use of school leaver programmes to develop and train their young staff and some of these are now well established with stiff competition amongst school leavers for places. PwC have taken this further and are now also working with other smaller companies in helping them to develop their own apprenticeship schemes so that they too can benefit from taking their young recruits through a structured programme where both the apprentice and the company benefit. The apprentice receives nationally recognised training and qualifications and the company therefore benefits from having a better qualified, more skilled recruit.

Law Firms

In the United Kingdom, there is a long tradition of how young talent breaks into the world of law. This has usually been a student graduating with a degree in law and then going on to work for a law firm until they became fully qualified. However, some firms are now thinking outside of this tradition as they realised they were losing out on talent of young people who couldn’t go to university, on many occasions due to economic reasons.

Described as a groundbreaking change, in April of 2013, the Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services was launched. It is a real break from the traditional university route into law and successful completion of the apprenticeship gives young people a qualification that is equivalent to the first year of a degree – it is known as CILEX (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) Level 4. The CILEX Level 4 means law firms in the United Kingdom can still tap into the talent of young people from less wealthy families; those who opted out of university for economic reasons. The CILEX Level 4 has given law firms real alternatives in recruiting the best young people and more law companies are taking it up across the United Kingdom. CILEX Level 3 has already been developed and firms adopting this apprenticeship also.

This shake up in recruitment for law firms has also meant changes in the way law companies run their day to day business. Whereas before, highly experienced staff and partners were spending lots of time on administrative work, much of this can now be passed on to young apprenticeships who are learning on the job and the more qualified people can concentrate on their tasks. Law firms are finding big benefits in the recruitment of young people through apprenticeships.

Looking Forward – Is Your Company Making Use Of School Leaver Programmes, Apprenticeships Or Other Means Of Getting The Best For Your Firm From Young Recruits?

At the moment, it is only the larger United Kingdom companies in a few sectors that have developed school leaver programmes for those students who choose not to go onto full time study at university. The retail, finance, engineering, hospitality & tourism, accountancy and IT sectors are all areas where school leaver programmes are to be found. They are rapidly increasing in popularity with both school leavers and the companies themselves and increased competition for places means these firms get their pick of the United Kingdom’s best young talent.

Retail giant Tesco, are constantly assessing their recruitment strategy and they are currently experimenting with a pilot school leaver programme that takes on school leavers at 16 years old. This is a tailored programme that aims to take those recruits right up to store management level over a period of a few years while gaining recognised qualifications at the same time. Companies such as Tesco are finding benefits in recruiting young school leavers because they come with less ‘baggage.’ They are finding it is easier to mould these young people into the company leaders of the future.

Accredited apprenticeships provide a national structure for the development of your young staff  where they gain on the job training combined with job related qualifications that are studied for outside of the workplace. If you are unsure as to whether your company could make use of an apprenticeship scheme within your recruitment strategy, take a look at this list of types of apprenticeships. Also, for more detailed information about what an apprenticeship might entail, you could also read our student page, What Is An Apprenticeship?

Naturally, as an employer, you want a recruitment strategy that allows you to find the best young people to work for your company and never has the choice been so good for both recruiters and school leavers and students. You want the best staff and these days, that doesn’t necessarily have to be a team solely made up of university graduates. Thanks to school leaver programmes and apprenticeships, your company now has the opportunity to employ a mixture of people from a variety of backgrounds and each will bring something different to the table.

Having had the student lifestyle experience, both socially and academically, for at least the previous three years, your graduates may well be more mature and possibly have more developed social and communication skills on top of their university degree. Your young school leavers on the other hand, whether via a school leaver programme or an apprenticeship, have possibly been chosen from a large pool of applicants (some companies receive over 100 applications for each available place on a school leaver programme). In theory, this means you have been able to choose from a number of suitable applicants and train them directly to the requirements of your firm. Whichever background they are from, all your young people are driven and your investment in them should pay dividends for your company in the future.

Staff retention is a priority for most companies out there and making sure you employ the best staff in the first place is the most cost effective way of doing this as well as the fact that it will save you a lot of time. Whether you have established graduate training programmes, school leaver programmes, apprenticeships or other staff development schemes for your company, you still need to consider the best people for the job. Take a look at our essential interview questions to help your find the best employees.

10 Reasons Why You Should Give Young People A Student Job Opportunity With Your Company

by Andre on January 21st, 2014  Andre

Reasons To Recruit Students

Depending on the type of business you run – you might do bulk recruitment for seasonal staff over busy periods such as Christmas or summer, for example, or your recruitment strategy might just be to recruit staff as and when vacancies arise in your company. Whatever the case, there are probably many students and young people out there who would jump at the chance to be awarded a part time student job, seasonal work or even full time work (some students may be looking for jobs whilst doing a gap year) with your company.

Whatever your recruitment strategy, the process can be costly and time consuming so it is obviously important you get the right people who are reliable, hard-working and who are going to make a positive contribution to the development of your business. Students can make up a valuable part of your existing team whether it is on a temporary basis or for a more long term role.

1. Providing Jobs For Students Means You Are Giving Back

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how students are going to benefit you and your company, let’s first consider how, by employing them, you will benefit them and in turn, the future workforce of the United Kingdom.

Many companies are now starting to employ university students and even young school leavers because they can provide them with necessary training and give them valuable on the job work experience and transferable skills. Some of this is done more formally in the guise of apprenticeships or school leaver programmes but students can also pick up valuable skills from the casual, seasonal or part time student jobs you might have available, too.

By providing jobs for students, you are making your contribution to their future. Depending on your company, you might be able to train them in a formal qualification where certificates are awarded (basic food hygiene, for example). You are loading them with experiences they can transfer to their CV for future job applications and, of course, if they work well for you, you can provide them with a glowing reference to back up what is written on the CV. And of course, making student jobs available means you will be easing the financial burden on the young people working for you while they are studying.

Not sold by the altruistic argument? Okay, read on to find out what’s in it for you, the student job recruiter…

2. Students Can Be Flexible With Their Time

More and more these days, companies need to stress the importance of flexibility when recruiting staff. If you have the type of firm that requires staff to have a certain degree of flexibility with their time, these can be ideal jobs for students. Many degree courses only need students to be in university for a few hours a week and, in lots of cases, that’s the only concrete demand on the student’s time. The rest of the time, they could well be the ones you call on when you need staff to cover illness, holidays or busy periods.

3. Many Students Have Good Communication Skills

When in tutorials and lectures students are encouraged to discuss aspects of their specialism. Some students might be in debating societies or spokespeople for groups they are members of. The fact that most students have an active social life should not be ignored, either. An active social life develops confidence and social skills. Advertising jobs for students as part of your recruitment strategy means you could end up with a team of young staff working for you who are able to communicate well with customers, with other staff members and also with representatives of other firms who deal with your company.

4. Students Tend To Be Resilient Individuals

Staff retention is always a concern for employers – the last thing you want to do is to spend time and money on a recruitment drive, award people the jobs and then lose a number of them because they just can’t handle the job.

Students are young people who are often living away from home for the first time. When they first went to university, they were in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar people. Chances are they have overcome homesickness, they are missing friends and family but they’ve also made new friends, they’re fending for themselves and they’ve had to accustom themselves to a whole new way of study.

All of this means if you include jobs for students in your recruitment strategy, you might not be employing someone who is going to quit their job at the first sign of the going getting slightly tough.

5. Providing Student Jobs Could Be Good For Your Staff Retention

Obviously, many companies have staff retention in mind when they plan their recruitment strategy. When you interview young people who are looking for student jobs, they are likely to enter your company in an entry-level role on a part time or seasonal basis.

Whether you have apprenticeships, school leaver programmes, graduate trainee programmes or management training in place at your firm, the students you employ could be the people who go on to fill these roles on completion of their studies. This means the time and money you spend on graduate recruitment could be reduced. You already know the qualities and strengths of your employee and they are already familiar with the workings of your business.

Staff retention is important for companies – having a good team of employees you can trust to carry the firm forward and help it succeed in the future. Good staff retention begins with recruitment strategy and the questions companies use to interview applicants. So, if you do decide to include employment for students in your recruitment strategy, how do you make sure you are getting the best students to match the needs of your firm? For some ideas and tips, take a look at my blog post about essential interview questions to find the best student employees.

6. Providing Employment For Students Can Inject Innovation Into Your Company

Young people and students, especially university students, are under the tutorship of some of the leading minds in the United Kingdom, if not the world. The knowledge those tutors have passed to their students can in turn be used to benefit your company.

And even if your student is not yet at university, they are young – they have grown up in a technological environment that is changing at rapid pace. Young students can be an asset to your company because, even on an informal, social level, they are constantly adapting to technological advances and have no fear of change. You might find they can input a few ideas to your firm that you had never considered previously.

7. Students Usually Have High Quality Analytical and Problem Solving Skills

Whatever subjects they are studying, during their study time at college or university, students are regularly given tasks which require them to look closely at a particular situation and come up with an informed, reasoned opinion about it. This might involve reading and essay writing, or it might be in the form of hands on, practical tasks. Whatever the case, these are valuable, transferable skills that can easily be carried forward into all types of seasonal and part time student jobs.

And, when it comes to the problem solving skills that students might possess, these are not just developed from the academic side of their life. Throughout their time at college and university, students learn to think on their feet; developing creative methods of trying to be more resourceful with their limited funds, for example. In your workplace, this could be a definite advantage when difficulties or regular daily challenges arise because your student staff should be able to rise to those challenges and be excited by them rather than fearing them.

8. Students Are Completely Familiar With Working Under Pressure To Meet Deadlines

Again, it is about keeping in mind the transferable skills that students are developing while they are at college and university. Whether it is course work, meeting assignment deadlines, completing exams within the given time or solving practical problems in a controlled environment, these are all deadlines that students must meet on a regular basis. And often, particularly with exams, they are expected to submit quality work within a given space of time in a stressful situation. Indeed, some students even thrive from working under this type of pressure.

Whatever type of company you own or run, making space for student jobs in your recruitment strategy means you can draw on the students’ abilities to work under this pressured environment. Maybe you need your staff to reach particular targets such as sales targets. Or maybe you need your staff to be able to remain calm and confident in potentially volatile situations such as crowd control. Students tend to be relaxed under pressure because this is a part of their daily life. Give them a student job with your company and you could see the benefits quickly.

9. Students Tend To Be Good Team Players

All companies need staff who are able to work together as part of a team to get tasks done and contribute to the growth and development of the firm heading into the future.

Students can be good team players for a variety of reasons. They might play as part of a college or university sports team; in which case, they will know all about the importance of camaraderie, helping others out when needed and falling into the team where necessary. This is a valuable transferable skill to take into the workplace if they are given student jobs with your firm.

On a day to day level, students are in the classroom or other place of education, working in groups with fellow students on a regular basis. These could be young people they wouldn’t necessarily be friends with outside of the classroom and yet they make a good team in completing set tasks to a high standard. Students are able to adapt to working as part of a team with people they may be unfamiliar with – because at university, they are in an environment where people have come to study from all over the United Kingdom (and even different parts of the world) and these young people are from different walks of life.

In many cases, students will be living in a student house or halls of residence with other people of a similar age. Working together as part of a team to make their accommodation function – being considerate to others, being mindful of their different habits and activities and working through inevitable disputes – means students should be able to fall into your team in the workplace relatively seamlessly.

10. Students Can Make Effective Leaders

Obviously, if you have vacancies at your company and you want to advertise jobs for students as part of your recruitment strategy, it depends on the nature of your business whether or not a student or other young person would be suitable for a leadership role. For example, students can make effective team leaders in seasonal roles such as summer activity camps and they can also make very successful leaders in customer assistant roles or in catering positions. Their strength is in their diversity.

Students need to be accountable to themselves, as well as their supervisors, while completing their studies, making sure their time management is effective and taking charge of their own finances. Skills such as this that are developed naturally can be used to good effective in leadership roles in the work place.

In Conclusion

These are just ten of the reasons why your company might benefit if you have student jobs embedded into your recruitment strategy. If you would like to recruit young people, students or graduates for any openings you have at your company, take a look at the e4s employer page to see the packages we have available. Registration is completely free. Click the following link to find out more: Recruiting Students. Simplified.

How To Recruit The Best Students Or Graduates AND Make Sure You Retain Them

by Andre on November 30th, 2013  Andre

The success and growth of all firms is ultimately down to the quality of the employees working there and so, when you are on your next recruitment drive, you need to make sure you get the best people for the job. The young people, students and graduates are out there and many of them could well be the ideal person to fill your vacant positions. As an employer, you will know that recruitment can be expensive, time consuming and, at the end of it all, you still may not have found the person or people you really need. So how do you make sure you attract the best applicants for your job or career vacancies and retain them long term for the future success of your firm?

Be Innovative

Innovation in recruitment is essential in not only attracting the best applicants to fill your vacancies; it also aids sustainable recruitment. Making your company more visible and accessible to those you are hoping to recruit in the future means your applicants will know more about your company and its ethos beforehand. When you are recruiting further down the line, this means you are more likely to attract young people, students and graduates who will be proud to be a part of your company and so they are more likely to remain in the job longer.

Just as your firm will be hoping for innovation and dynamism from your new young recruits, they in turn will be looking to work for a company that is equally innovative and dynamic. And, when they stay in the job, this ultimately means you save time and money in the future.

Have you studied your recruitment policy recently? If it doesn’t match the image of your company, make some changes to it so that it reflects what you are about and ensures you are attracting the best applicants for your roles.

Consider Doing Your Own Recruitment

Outsourcing your recruitment to recruitment companies can be invaluable when you are pushed for time but there is also the risk that you could end up with a batch of candidates who don’t exactly match your requirements. This means you either don’t fill your vacancies or your new graduate recruit disappears as soon as they receive an offer that more suits them.

Many companies are now mixing different strategies and treating their recruitment as a long term, ongoing process rather than a one-off drive when the need arises. Rather than taking a shot in the dark and inviting people for interview purely from what that person has written on their CV and application form, they are getting to know young people, students and graduates over a period of time via a variety of sources. These days, thanks to the internet and the ever-evolving world of social media, that task has been made even easier, and it means you can also build your brand as a good employer.

So what are the strategies you can employ for more targeted and sustainable recruitment?

Leverage Your Online Presence

These days, an ‘online presence’ is not just about having a static website that just sits idly on the internet, buried somewhere deep down in the Google rankings. The use of different online strategies such as jobs boards like E4S, and social media channels and integrating those with your company website, should be an integral part of your online presence. After all, social media is where all those young people, students and graduates are hanging out online these days and those are the people you want to reach.

Your own company website is a valuable recruitment tool

First of all, have you got a ‘Job Vacancies’, ‘Careers’ or ‘Work For Us’ page on your website? This makes you immediately accessible to young recruits. What’s on that page? How are you making your company look appealing to potential applicants?

One very effective way to make your company look fun and dynamic is through staff testimonials. A few short videos from your young staff members where they describe their typical day, the challenges they face and what they most love about working for your company will go a long way in building trust and appealing to other young people you might want to recruit. Choose a person from each department who is willing to talk on camera, right from entry level jobs through to people on your graduate programmes, if you have them. Students and graduates are more likely to relate to people who could well be the their fellow team members and colleagues.

Videos such as this can be stored on YouTube and embedded into the recruitment page on your company website.

You could also have your own jobs board on your website. If your vacancies arise as and when, make sure they’re visible on your website. If you have set recruitment dates for big groups of temporary staff (for example, if you need extra hands over the Christmas period or you run a company that employs lots of seasonal summer staff) are these clearly visible on your website? And because you are doing your own recruitment, you can tailor these vacancies to attract exactly the type of people you want in your company.

Is your website up to date?

Also, when was the last time you spruced up your firm’s website? Young people want to know they’re going to work for a forward thinking, dynamic company that is going to excite and challenge them in their new role. Your website is an advert not just for what your company offers its buyers and customers but also an advert for future recruits. Does it look fresh and new? If it looks tired, dull and boring, potential young recruits could assume your company is tired, dull and boring.

Is your website mobile friendly?

These days, mobile phones are more likely to be smart phones and the number of young people viewing websites and social media outlets via their mobile is increasing. According to this research by NewMedia TrendWatch, by 2014, two thirds of the UK population will be smartphone users and the highest percentage of those people will be 18-24 year olds; your target student and graduate recruits. Your site must be mobile friendly.

Incorporate a blog into your website

Blogging is a highly effective way to drive traffic to your website and also build your online presence. You can use it to not only write about industry developments but also show daily life in your company. Ask young members of staff to write guest posts about their job, post about your social events or team building exercises and encourage comments and discussion. These are all good ways to attract and retain young people within your firm.

Job Boards

Did you know there is currently a rise in the number of young people using online job boards to look for work? Social media is going to be a big part of your online strategy but this should be interlinked with the use of job boards. A well written advert can still attract suitable candidates and therefore lead to good retention, especially if, like E4S, that job board is a trusted brand in itself and attracts students and graduates who are serious about looking for work.

A jobs board is a one stop shop for students who might be busy with last minute studies, essays and exams. You can link to your newly freshened up website from there and introduce your company to perfect candidates. And, if you have a good social media presence (we go further into this below), chances are, the young people looking for work might know your brand, anyway.

How Are You Leveraging Social Media?

These days, social media is more than just a tool for taking peeks at the profile of your potential employees to see what they get up to outside of work. As this article in HR Magazine says, although a recent survey of recruiters has revealed this still goes on, 77% of recruiters said they hired someone after finding them on social media.

Social media is free to use and also, more importantly, is packed full of young users. These are all the young people – school leavers, students and graduates – you can tap into and these are also the places for you to advertise yourself as a good employer to these young people. Also, if you are recruiting for particular roles and you have built up good relationships, your young social media followers are good referrers. They may well know just the person or people to fill your vacant positions.

Facebook

Have you got a company Facebook page? If not, they are easy to set up and this is a place where you can encourage interaction between your company and the people who like your page. It’s a good way to get to know the types of people you would like to recruit. Where necessary, you can also use your Facebook page to do targeted posts so that they reach people in certain geographic areas or people of a particular age group.

Twitter

Despite the fact you only have 140 characters to play with in any one tweet, as well as networking, you can also keep up with developments in your industry and follow recent recruitment trends. Twitter chats can also be organised between groups of people; a good tool you could leverage for remote recruitment purposes.

YouTube

Young people in the United Kingdom are watching YouTube videos more and more. All those staff recruitment videos for your website can be stored on YouTube and embedded into your website. YouTube is now also the number 2 search engine on the net so you shouldn’t be ignoring this as a tool for attracting students and graduates to your company.

Google+

Google+ has had a mixed response from many social media users but that does not mean you should disregard it. Google+ Communities can be invaluable for creating discussion and getting to know what young people are looking for from their jobs and careers. Either join different ones or set one up yourself. Google+ hangouts are free and can also be good for interviews if your candidate lives a long way away because you can speak face to face. You can have multiple people in Google+ hangout so they are a useful recruitment tool for more informal group chats if you need to recruit a number of people for seasonal work.

Other Online Tools to Consider

LinkedIn

Of course, LinkedIn is a valuable recruitment tool – it’s a social media outlet designed purely for that reason. It’s worth bearing in mind however that many users of LinkedIn in the United Kingdom tend to be professionals who keep their profiles up to date on there as a way of ‘passive job seeking.’ Depending on the type of vacancies you are recruiting for LinkedIn may or may not be useful to you.

Interviews

We have written about essential interview questions to find the best student employees, previously. So, once you think you have a school leaver, student or graduate in mind for your vacancy or vacancies because of all the online work you’ve done, utilise these interview techniques and at the end of all this, you could well have taken the perfect person onboard and you should be able to retain them for the long term.

In summary

Recruitment can be a nightmare for companies because it can result in lots of time, expense, the wrong recruit – and then the cycle begins again. Employ a long term strategy for your recruitment using a variety of strategies, such as job boards and social media, that work cohesively and you should be able to find students and graduates who want to work for you and, in turn, who you want to carry your company forward.

Promoting your vacancies at Careers Fairs

by Andre on October 12th, 2013  Andre

We are not content with letting students come to us – as part of our strategy to get you the best and most relevant candidates, we travel up and down the country visiting careers fairs at universities and colleges.

Lots of clients (from nationwide retailers to smaller businesses) ask us about how we get candidates to come to the website and apply for jobs.. and this is one of our most effective ways!

In the last couple of weeks we have visited (amongst others):

- Exeter University
- University of Manchester
- University of Westminster
- Royal Holloway University
- Sheffield University
- Oxford Brookes University
- University of Liverpool

Some of our clients attend specific fairs as well, so if you are interested in advertising with us, and see us at a stall, come and say hi and we would love to find out a bit more about your requirements.

Sheffield Careers Fair

Setting up at Sheffield prior to signing up over 350 students and promoting the website to a couple of thousand attendees.

Clients celebrate success following record visitor numbers to Employment4students

by Khai Le on August 1st, 2013  avatar

Employment4students, still the UK’s most visited jobsite for undergraduate work, celebrated a record breaking 563,573 unique visitors in its June 2013 ABC audit, a 51 percent increase from its previous audit.

This meant that the 7,412 part-time, holiday and graduate jobs, internships, and overseas opportunities added to our website in June were exposed to over half a million visitors. This is a significant benchmark in our quest to help clients source active and eager employees, as well as helping students find the most exciting and relevant jobs around.

The increase has also boosted E4S’ Alexa ranking – determined by a combination of average daily views from visitors and pageviews – showing that Employment4students is ranked the 3,238 most popular website in the UK, far above sites like Milkround (standing at 4,238), RateMyPlacement (16,973), and Student Jobs (40,590).

These figures are reflected in a comparison of our June visitor numbers when E4S registered significantly higher traffic for the first half of the month than all of our competitors. The content of Employment4students is also more engaging to our visitors, with the average daily page view (4.23) higher than Milkround (3.50), Student Jobs (3.30) and newcomers Witlr (2.50).

Research conducted by Endsleigh and the NUS has revealed that two-thirds of students seek jobs during the summer, with 50 percent of those having undertaken part-time employment during term-time. This shows that the demand for part-time and holiday work is tremendously high, which helped E4S generate more than 232,000 job applications for companies in June.

Notable companies performed extremely successfully during June, both in terms of clicks and applications: a Coca-Cola Enterprises vacancy received almost 2,000 applications. The job advert to recruit 24 Van Sales Representatives across the country was closed early due to an outpour of 1,981 applications in just eight days.

Coca-Cola Enterprises was not the only company to benefit from E4S’ high visitor rate, with Andrew Soltau, Avant Garde Science, commenting: “E4S was a godsend. Out of a steady stream of promising applicants we were soon able to select someone ideal for the job.”

A nationwide phone retailer that has been advertising a number of positions with E4S for several months also saw considerable success, with over 2,600 clicks through to its vacancy portal for various sales consultant positions across the country, and Employment4students also generated 2,558 clicks for a client advertising fundraising positions for St. John Ambulance.

With the increase in traffic, E4S also saw substantial elevation in page views and job views. The website recorded 3,533,531 page views in June, and 1,046,577 job views by the close of the month.

The figures indicate that visitors to Employment4students were engaging with numerous pages of content across the website, and that they were also utilising the site specifically for job searching. The website also had a lower bounce rate – the amount of times visitors leave a website after looking at one page – than other student job sites, also indicating that visitors engaged with the content of the site.

Andre Boeke, E4S’ development director, commented: “Our recent audit shows that more and more students are choosing their employment options through E4S, and our clients are benefitting from our increased visitor numbers with more and more applicants to their positions.”

Lindsay Hobson, TMP Worldwide, added: “I have used E4S a number of times for a large UK banking client with much success. Not only had the site been one of the top performing media for internship candidates but the service received from the team has been second to none.”

The ABC certificate can be found here: http://www.e4s.co.uk/e4s-ABC-certificate-june-13.pdf.

For more information, contact development director Andre Boeke at andre@e4s.co.uk or 0845 838 0595.

Tackling Youth Unemployment

by Andre on June 30th, 2013  Andre

The current problem of youth unemployment is firmly placed on the radar of governments throughout the European Union – with some European countries facing levels soaring to 50%. Governments now realise the problem must be fully recognised and dealt with effectively as, not only is it detrimental to future economic growth to have have so much young talent going untapped, it also has an effect on the personal wellbeing and mental health of those young people who are long term unemployed as their confidence levels take a hit each time a job application or interview bears no fruit.

The term ‘youth unemployment’ refers to young people between the age ranges of 16 and 25 years old so, as well as school leavers, this also includes university graduates who are struggling to find positions to begin their graduate career.

What Can Be Done To Tackle The Problem Of Youth Unemployment?

Youth unemployment can’t be tackled by one body. Rather, it must be a collaboration on all levels starting right at the top with government initiatives, engagement with employers, looking at ways employers can recognise young talent for their vacant positions, education and training for those young people looking for work and finally, what is taught in schools.

At European Union Level

At the highest level, leaders of the member countries of the European Union recently met to discuss the growing problem of youth unemployment and have pledged 6 billion Euros to try to tackle the issues. Because of the current economic climate, cuts and austerity measures have led to higher numbers of young people out of work across the continent and it is hoped this money will begin to reverse that trend by encouraging companies to employ more school leavers and also increasing lending to small businesses so they, in turn, can take on more staff.

UK and Welsh Government Initiatives

In the United Kingdom, youth unemployment is currently around 20% and the Welsh and UK governments have started to work together on a joint initiative aimed at getting more young people into work. Welsh Secretary, David Jones and First Minister, Carwyn Jones recently attended a Jobs Summit in Newport, Gwent where employers and organisations such as Jobcentre Plus were invited along to discuss different ways of offering more work experience, internships and apprenticeships for young people.

One of the problems that was highlighted was not so much the lack of help out there for getting graduates and young people into work but the fact that there were so many separate initiatives amongst the different government bodies, young people are no longer sure what help is available to them. The Jobs Summit discussed ways of getting more coordination and communication so that different governmental departments, employers from local businesses and young people are aware of what resources are available to them.

In a recent BBC interview, director of the Job Centre Plus network in Wales, Martin Brown, said, “Every young person deserves a chance to get that first step onto the job ladder. If you have no experience, if you have nobody to give you a reference or act as a role model for you, some people find it really difficult. I need more employers to work with us and our organisations to offer opportunities to young people who have the potential to make a significant contribution to the economy in Wales.”

So employers from local businesses are also being encouraged to take part in tackling the problem of youth unemployment. The talent is out there but young people need to be given the chance to convince employers that they are up to the task. Offering short term work experience placements that can come with a strong chance of a paid contract at the end is one way companies can do this and also, perhaps reconsidering traditional interview processes by changing the format and posing alternative interview questions. We’ve written in the past about changes in legislation for unpaid internships so employers need to work closely with government departments and be committed to getting more young people into the workplace.

Long term youth unemployment is a problem in the United Kingdom, particularly in Wales, and there is currently a lot of combined effort going on in the country to get young people into jobs. Local businesses and councils are working together to encourage young people to try out different roles as getting them into the workplace is recognised as crucial for the future economic stability and growth of the country.

Preparing Young People For Work

These days, there are a growing number of young people who are third generation long term unemployed. These people often lack confidence as they feel they have no achievements to put on their CV that will attract employers. Many of them have also left high school with few or no GCSEs so it’s difficult for them to get an interview or even to know what to write on the initial application form.

Now however, drop in centres have been set up so that school leavers can go along, use the computers to look for work, attend booster sessions to get English and Maths levels up to scratch and also learn about tips for writing a good CV and filling in application forms.

Young people, whether they are school leavers, students or graduates often lose confidence when they apply for many jobs and they either receive rejection letters or hear nothing at all from the company they applied to. Potential employers can help people in this situation by providing feedback to applicants as to why they were not considered for a post on that particular occasion and also by making an active effort to take on younger people rather than ‘playing safe’ and taking on older, more experienced people who are often perceived as being more reliable.

The Jobs Summit in the Welsh city of Newport was aimed at tackling the issue of how employers can be encouraged to consider employing more young people.

What Young People Can Do

There are many young people in the UK who are long term unemployed and they need to be encouraged by careers services, council services and employers into the workplace. It’s critical that all sectors work together with young people to do this.

In the case of university graduates, because of the current economic climate, underemployment is an increasing problem and many are considering emigration in the hope of finding more career opportunities. Employers and governmental departments need to work together to encourage graduates into suitable roles that match their talents, skills and qualifications and graduates can make sure they highlight those in their applications.

As well as attending careers sessions and drop in centres to boost skills, voluntary work can also be undertaken so that those with little or no previous work experience can demonstrate to employers their willingness to take on work and learn about different roles. Voluntary work is a good boost for any CV and valuable experience that can be displayed on an application form.

What Employers Can Do

In working with local government departments some companies are taking an active role in combating youth unemployment by taking part in schemes where young people are given a work experience role for eight weeks. At the end of the eight week period, if the person has worked well and learned what is required of them, they are given a full time, paid job. While some candidates are unsuccessful – the job may not have been completely suitable for their talents – they can still go on to add something to their CV and apply for other roles.

Jobs Growth Wales, the Welsh government’s flagship scheme, has created 4,000 job opportunities by working with employers. The scheme also offers support to businesses that has so far totalled £80 million. A Business Start Up Programme has also created nearly 5,000 new businesses and this has created 10,700 new jobs as a result. This can only be more encouraging news for out of work graduates and young people who have left school or students looking for part time work.

What Schools And Colleges Can Do

Of course, employers need to be able to employ suitable candidates for their vacant positions if their companies are going to progress and contribute to the future growth of the United Kingdom’s economy. Schools and colleges can take more of an active role in encouraging students to undertake further study in the less popular subjects.

In his Huffington Post article ‘How Can We Encourage Young People To Pursue Engineering Courses And Careers To Preempt The Skills Shortage,’ Professor Andy Hopper, president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, suggests schools need to be more focussed in making the STEM subjects more attractive to young people.

STEM subjects are Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and these subjects are often perceived by young people as being difficult, boring, hard work and nerdy. they are not the subjects that the rest of the ‘in crowd’ do so most students are reluctant to take them on. There is already a skills shortage in the workplace in these areas and that is growing all the time. Schools and colleges need to make these subjects fun and engaging so that students can go on to study these areas in higher education.

Part of that attraction could be an emphasis on the types of exciting and innovative graduate careers potentially available to those who choose this path. Aircraft and jet design, for example. Employers in these fields could work with the government, both locally and nationally to visit schools, colleges and universities and talk about their work. Likewise, day visits to places of work for students can be arranged so they can get a feel for the atmosphere and the surroundings.

For careers that are centred around the science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, transition from university to the workplace is crucial so that these graduates are not tempted away into other careers. Employers can play a big role in this by taking part in schemes like the ones above and by being innovative in their methods to attract young people.

Youth Unemployment And The Future Economy

Youth unemployment is not just an annoying and depressing problem for the school leavers, students and graduates of the United Kingdom; it’s also a huge problem for the future growth of the economy and development of the United Kingdom. In order to tackle and combat the problem, different government bodies, organisations and employers are responsible for pushing forward to work together and make sure talent of the youth does not go to waste…

 

Essential Interview Questions To Find The Best Student Employees

by Andre on May 17th, 2013  Andre

If you are a smaller company, you are no doubt fully aware that the taking on of new staff and the whole advertising process before that can be both expensive and time consuming. Firstly, you need to create your vacancy advert in such a way as to attract applications from the type of students, graduates or young professionals you are hoping to have working in your company. Secondly, once those applications come (hopefully) flooding in, you need to spend the time to read through them and whittle them down to a few candidates you think would fit the bill and who you would like to invite for an interview.

And then there’s the whole interview process. Wouldn’t it be good to get it right first time then you know you can have the right candidate working in your firm and moving forward right from day one? How do you know, from your interview questions, that you will get the right person? The interview process is a two way thing and it’s as much down to your questions as it is the person answering them.

These days, the internet is packed full of websites and blog posts, all advising prospective candidates about the types of questions they will be asked if they are invited to an interview. Because of this, many graduates, students and other young professionals have a bank of well rehearsed answers in their head that they can simply rhyme off to you when you come up with those predictable questions that almost every company uses. This may not be good for your company because you are not seeing the real personality and traits of the interview candidate and it’s also not good for them. Rehearsed answers can become stale and the candidate loses the chance to really express themselves and show you what they are capable of.

Take a look at your interview questions:

What are the questions you usually ask to candidates looking to work in your firm? Are you asking the same mundane questions every other smaller firm is asking? Students and graduates need to be given the opportunity to express themselves to you and demonstrate to you how they can move your company forwards. After all, isn’t that the whole point of recruiting new staff? Your company may well miss out on the best candidate for the job vacancy if all of those candidates know which type of questions you are going to ask them.

What Are The Standard Interview Questions?

We all know the types of questions that are likely to come up in an interview scenario, and that’s the problem. Let’s take a look at some of those questions now. Do your questions resemble this list?

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

It’s likely that what you want to know from this question is what the interviewee, whether they are a student or graduate, has done in the past that qualifies them for a role in your company. What can happen however is those candidates who might not have the interview experience will start to tell you their life story – a waste of your time and theirs. This could well be your future star performer in your company.

This question could be expanded upon by asking your interviewee to tell you a little bit about their achievements in a previous role that would benefit your company. Students and graduates with no previous experience can be encouraged to tell you about any problems they have faced in different scenarios at university and how they overcame those problems.

What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses?

Again, most students and graduates will have practised these questions many times and will be trying to tell you what they think you want to hear, and again, this might not be the best use of your time or theirs. Candidates for any position, be it a part time holiday post or a graduate career, can be encouraged to give you a scenario of where they used their strengths in a previous job or in a university situation and they can then go on to tell you how that strength would benefit your company and carry your business forward in the future.

No one likes to talk about their weaknesses but as an employer, you need to know that your potential future member of staff is aware of their weaknesses. Have they identfied the weakness themselves or has someone else discussed it with them previously – maybe in a past appraisal for example? This might not need to determine whether or not the interviewee is offered the job. If you can ascertain from your candidate what they are doing about their weakness – online study, working with their tutor, or a separate evening course for instance – then you could still have a potential future employee working for your company.

What Are Your Career Goals?

Whatever type of job you are interviewing students, graduates or other young people for, this question is a regular one that crops up and one which most candidates will have another well prepared and rehearsed answer for. The candidate’s future career goals may well have nothing to do with your company but that person could still be a valuable asset for your company for the time that they spend working for you.

Instead, while the interviewee tells you about their hopes for their future career, ask them to expand on this by telling you how they can benefit your firm in the time they are with you. After all, it may be a temporary post you are advertising so that candidate needs to be able to make a difference over a short period.

We all know how fast moving technology is these days and how that is impacting the workplace. Give your interviewee the opportunity to focus on the future rather than on the past by encouraging them to tell you about how they think your particular industry is going to change over the next few months or years and how they will be the best person to keep your firm in a competitive position.

It might also be a good idea to encourage students and graduates to tell you how they intend to reach these career goals in the future. What are they going to do to keep on top of their learning once they are working for your company? Maybe they intend to do some extra courses. Maybe your company will foot the bill for extra courses for staff to keep their skills up to date. Maybe your interviewee is already an expert in a particular field through their degree or because it’s a hobby – IT for instance – and they keep themselves ahead of the game quite naturally because they are always reading about and developing new ideas of their own.

Students and graduates who can be encouraged to demonstrate that they are innovative and that they have the means and the enthusiasm to remain in an expert position in the future are going to be a valuable employee for your company right from the day they begin to work for you. And again, interview questions which encourage young people to tell you about future goals and how they can move your company forward means those students and graduates with no previous experience in your particular industry can really sell themselves to you. They might be able to demonstrate their innovation to you by telling you about something they did in a previous internship they carried out or as part of a university club. Encourage them to tell you how they can introduce innovative ideas to your company and this could help you choose the ideal candidate.

Most standard interview questions dwell on history rather than future and this can stop you finding the best graduates who might not have any previous experience to draw from within your industry. You don’t want to miss out on the best thinkers and innovators just because they’ve never had such a position before.

Tell us what you know about our company…

Again, most students and graduates who really want a job with your company will have done their homework beforehand and will probably have memorised key facts such as your main competitors, your company structure and what the key challenges are facing your firm in the future.

While the fact that your candidate has researched your company may be impressive and shows that they are serious about wanting to work for you, it can be more useful to encourage young people to tell you about how they would deal with challenges within your company and throughout the industry. Give young people the chance to shine by asking them to tell you exactly how they would deal with particular challenges. Choose a scenario – possibly one that is a real situation within your company right now – and ask the candidate to tell you what they would do to try to overcome this problem.

You could also ask students and graduates about any research they have done on your staff structure and how the company is run. How are they going to fit in within that structure? Do you want someone with good leadership qualities who can lead a team forward, or do you want someone who is going to join your company and blend in straight away as one of the team players?

Going forward

Encouraging students, graduates and other young people who you are interviewing to provide you with examples of how they would deal with real life scenarios in the future can help you secure the right person for your vacancy. It’s not necessarily the candidate with the most well prepared answers who will be the best person to fit in with your existing company structure. A few spontaneous questions and scenarios where the candidate has to provide real solutions for your company means all interviewees get the chance to shine and express themselves in a more realistic situation.

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