The Top Perks Employers Can Offer Their Employees

by Andre on June 28th, 2015  

I’ve written posts in the past about the challenges companies can face when it comes to staff retention. We are now in a culture where, for many reasons, the notion of a job for life is increasingly fading. Many employees feel the need to move on to other workplaces for a number of reasons including career progression. However, other reasons for your staff handing in their notice and going to pastures new could be because they don’t feel valued in their current role.

As we all know, high morale is very important in the workplace and when there is high morale, you have much more chance of hanging onto those young, talented members of staff you spent so much time and money trying to recruit. And staff who feel happy and valued in their roles are more likely to perform better, thus increasing the productivity of the firm. These days, companies are coming up with more innovative ways to keep morale high and boost their staff retention.

Offering company perks has always been both a recruitment strategy and a way of increasing staff retention and in the 21st century, as well as the more traditional perks, many others are becoming fun, innovative and quirky. In this post, we’ll look at some of the perks out there on offer to the United Kingdom’s employees.

Top Perks Offered By Employers Are Not Just Limited To Large Companies

The great thing about company perks is that they are not just reserved for the big, multinational corporate firms who have the money to spend on attractions such as paid holidays with all travel, accommodation and food and drink expenses paid.

Yes, those types of perks are definitely going to attract new applicants and boost morale within the company but there are also lots of other ideas out there that can be adapted to companies of all sizes. Just because you are a small or medium enterprise, for example, doesn’t mean you can’t treat your staff to company perks, because not all perks offered by employers are going to cost the earth. Quirky, simple ideas can also attract and retain the best staff by boosting morale and demonstrating to staff that the CEO values what they do.

Increasingly, companies are becoming famous not just for the products they offer or the services they provide, but also for all those little extras they offer their employees on top of their standard pay packet, breaks and holidays. More and more employers are realising the benefits and value of rewarding their staff and, get these perks right, and you could have a constant stream of applicants eager to work for you and a team of happy and fulfilled staff already working hard for you. It’s a win win situation for both employer and employee.

Does your company currently offer any perks to full time employees, part time employees or maybe even both? If not, some of the ones listed below could be worth your consideration. They are all extras that are in operation across some of the world’s largest companies and also smaller ones, too, and for some, it’s these perks that always get them listed in ‘best company to work for’ compilations.

Google, for example, are always right up there when it comes to innovative ways of keeping their employees happy. Google CEO, Larry Page, has the belief that when you treat people well, you get better productivity – and their performance speaks for itself. As a company, they have food on tap for their employees – served meals and a pantry where staff can use food to prepare their own dishes. Other perks include bowling alleys where employees can go and wind down for a while and they also offer massages at the desk.

This is just a sample of what’s on offer at Google and obviously, SMEs are not in a position to go out there and buy themselves a bowling alley to keep staff amused. But ideas can be adapted and scaled so that perks can be offered to employees.

Employer Perks

So what are some of the top perks out there which can benefit both you and your staff? And could you incorporate some of these into your own company?

Paid insurance

We all know how expensive insurance can be and how time-consuming it can be trying to find the best quotes. Some larger companies are able to offer their employees perks such as free car insurance, home insurance or even pet insurance. Pets are a much-loved part of many families so this one could be a good draw both for attracting new applicants and also for your staff retention.

Allowing pets in the workplace

Isn’t this a quirky one? Clearly, it depends on the type of company you are as to whether you have a suitable environment but, as mentioned above, pets are much-loved members of many families. Most pet owners don’t like to leave their little animal friends at home alone so if they can bring them to work, they feel much happier. Some tech companies operate a bring-your-pet-to work policy. Have you got the space or the ability within your company to allow pets? This is an employer perk that could suit SMEs as well as larger companies.

No-tie policy and casual dress code

Some employer perks have no financial outlay and operating a no-tie policy and a casual dress code is used by many firms, especially SMEs. This type of employer perk can be good if you are looking to attract students and young people into student jobs or training positions. Young people like the idea of working for a fun, forward thinking company and a casual dress code can give that impression. While this employer perk isn’t suitable for all companies, for those who could consider implementing this, there is no financial cost; just happy, relaxed staff.

Offering clothing advances

Particularly if you are employing graduates, students or young school leavers, if you are a company that requires staff to be smartly dressed in a more formal business suit, for example, a clothing advance can show that you are a company willing to help and support. To students and graduates straight out of university, the prospect of having a big (to them) cash outlay for clothing just to go to work can seem daunting and a clothing advance, or even paying for that first suit outright, can go a long way to making new young talent feel valued and wanted.

Investing in staff fitness

Exercise can clear the head and make you feel fresh and energised and a team of healthy, energised staff can only be a win win situation. For larger companies, some are in a position to offer their staff yoga and exercise classes within the workplace or even a fully kitted out gym. If this isn’t possible for your company, then it can still be possible to offer quirky or low cost employer perks that employees can really appreciate.

Investing in staff welfare and fitness means you can have a more productive, healthy workforce and possibly decrease the likelihood of staff needing to take sick leave. If you are a smaller company other fitness perks you could offer are:

  • Pedometers & phone apps. Whether it’s individual pedometers or phone apps, this can be done as a company where staff can not only monitor their steps but also encourage each other by having an online system where results are pooled for everyone to see.
  • A weekly running club. Again, this is cost free and can bring people together in your workplace who perhaps wouldn’t meet otherwise. If the funds are there, choosing a charity to support and paying for entry to organised local runs such as the Great North Run or local marathons can be a good incentive for staff to keep up with their running.
  • Bike rides. These could be a weekly event after the workday has finished and, as well as everyone keeping fit, it can help build team spirit. If you have recruited young people or graduates, chances are, they have moved away from home for their new job. Activities like this can help them to settle in and bond more with workmates.
  • Football or other sports teams. It can just be a regular kick around, 5-a-side or, if there are other companies in your area doing similar, perhaps a mini league. Team sports can really boost the camaraderie amongst staff within your workplace and can also help to attract and retain young talent as they feel more of a sense of belonging.

Games rooms

Some companies – both SMEs and large corporations – offer games rooms with arcade games or traditional pub games such as pool and darts. Table football or air hockey are also ideas to consider. Lots of people benefit from being able to take time out and just chill, away from their desks or work station and playing games is also said to encourage creativity and increase people’s attention span. Providing this space to relax also gives your staff members a chance to interact in a different environment and it can build team spirit within the company as a whole.

Food offerings

Food is more than just fuel for the body. It also encourages chat in a more informal setting and employer perks in the way of food can be really good for both staff retention and in attracting staff. Young talent out there on the jobs market can be attracted to your company, even if you’re an SME competing with larger corporations for the best staff, because of your foodie perks. Again, these give students and graduates the impression that you are a fun and modern company to work for. Here are some of the top employer perks when it comes to food.

  • Meals for staff meetings: Some companies have staff quarterly or monthly staff meetings, for example. Whenever your staff meetings are, could you incorporate food into them? This could be fast food with a bit more of a young, modern feel to it such as getting a delivery of sushi and noodles or a mini buffet.
  • Pizza Day / Doughnut Day / Cupcake Day Especially for smaller companies, a lot of time is spent working at desks and working lunch hours. As a bit of chill time where staff can just come together and talk about their week, some firms will finish earlier or take a longer lunch break once a week. In this time, staff can come together for doughnuts, cupcakes or pizza. Whatever everyone prefers – and it doesn’t need to be expensive. These are the types of perks where you can also include those doing student jobs or part time temporary jobs. It helps to make everyone feel part of the team.
  • Summer barbecues. Again, staff perks such as summer barbecues could be incorporated into staff meetings or more informal get togethers.
  • Subsidised organic drinks and foods This can relate back to the encouragement of staff to keep themselves fit and healthy. As well as fitness and exercise classes, some companies can offer subsidised organic or healthy drinks and foods. Again, this can reduce the number of days staff are taking on sick leave.
  • Free restaurants and canteens So that employees don’t feel they have to bring a packed lunch in to work and also to encourage staff to make sure they take a lunch break and fuel their bodies for the day ahead, some larger companies are in a position to offer free restaurant or canteen facilities to staff. With an assortment of healthy dishes, staff are refuelled and feeling valued by the company, too.

Time off work

I’ve mentioned in a previous post about British workers not taking the time off they are entitled to. When staff take a break, they come back feeling energised and many employers are realising this by offering company perks centred around time off. Here’s what some firms are adopting and maybe some of these can be added to your recruitment strategy or adapted t fit your company’s needs:

  • Unlimited holidays: staff can take off as much time as they need to. As mentioned in that previous post, however, there needs to be an existing culture in the workplace where staff are encouraged to feel that is acceptable to take time off.
  • Financial rewards: And how better to make staff feel it is okay to take time off b y offering financial rewards or other incentives to those members of your team who use up their holiday entitlement.
  • Birthdays: How about company perks where staff can take an extra day off each year (especially if that’s paid) for their birthday or other special days.
  • Early Finish: It depends on the nature of your company but some firms are in a position where they can alter their working week slightly so that an early finish is possible on Fridays, for example. This gives staff a feeling that management cares about work life balance.

Company Retreats & Getaways

Some companies own holiday cottages around the United Kingdom that employees can use when they book their holidays. This is either free for the employee and their family or at least subsidised. This is a win win because employees get a good break in quality accommodation, and they come back to work feeling refreshed and more productive. Also, many graduates come out of university in lots of debt so company perks like this could be a draw for them because it means their breaks are subsidised whilst they pay off student loans and overdrafts.

Free Treats

We all love a freebie and, as company perks go, they don’t have to cost the earth for the employer. Freebies can be something related to your company – the services you offer or the products you sell – or it can be something completely unrelated but which suits individual staff members. Some free treats can be quirky (but not expensive) that can make your company look fun and young – perfect for attracting and retaining young talent.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Doughnuts, cupcakes and pizza were mentioned above. Why not add a free beer to this, for those employees who don’t drive. A treat.
  • Tickets to sporting events. Some companies can get tickets to top sporting events and pass them on to employees but there can be other events you could attend as a group where the entrance is paid for by the company.
  • Make-overs and massages or other treatments can be offered.
  • Free gym membership for employees and subsidised membership for spıses. This ties in with the investment in the health and fitness of employees and, as mentioned above, if this isn’t financially possible, then running or cycling clubs could be arranged.
  • Free tuition and exam fees. If you want to show school leavers and graduates how committed you are to their future development and education, paying for future courses and training demonstrates this. Of course, existing staff will feel valued, too, if they feel you are committed to their career growth by encouraging them to go on courses.
  • Free clothing and footwear. These types of company perks can be good in the retail sector where sales assistants need to look the part as a representative of your company. Free or subsidised company clothing – especially in fashion retail jobs – can be a good draw for students and other young people.
  • Free oil changes or car washes. Yes, there are lots of employer perks out there that you might not have thought about previously. Keeping a car clean can be an unwanted chore for many people so if you can offer a car wash or a valet every once in a while to employees, this could be really appreciated by them.
  • House cleaning. Household chores can be difficult to keep on top of for full time workers, especially if they have a family, too. You can imagine how grateful those employees would be if your company could offer a perk of providing a cleaner to clean the house every so often.

Assistance With Childcare

Childcare can be very expensive and, for working parents, it can also be difficult to juggle family life with the work day. Depending on the size of the company, there are different employer perks out there that can ease some of the difficulties working parents face.

  • Creche – Some companies are able to offer perks for employees such as a free onsite creche.
  • After School Clubs – For parents with no one to look after their children between school finishing and the end of the work day, after school clubs are offered by some companies so that parents know their children are being looked after and are doing meaningful activities.
  • Time off (as an extra to holidays) for parents to be able to go to school events such as parent’s evening. These types of perks could be offered by SMEs as well as larger companies. As mentioned in a previous post, SMEs often have the luxury of being able to be flexible with occurrences like this as other employees can cover the absence and take their time off when needed, too.

These are just a few of the employer perks that are being used out there in the world of work and many employers value them as a way of building camaraderie and team spirit within the workplace. What types of perks are you offering your employees and do you find they help with both staff retention and recruitment?

Is Your Company Losing Out Because Staff Are Not Using Their Holiday Entitlement?

by Andre on May 29th, 2015  

As an employer in the United Kingdom, you will be fully aware that your team of staff are entitled to take annual leave from their positions and perhaps, you might even be aware that not all of your staff are taking off the full amount of time that they are entitled to. Maybe the amount of holidays staff are entitled to at your firm is the statutory minimum or perhaps you have different holiday entitlements for staff depending on their position or length of service.

Whatever the situation at your company, according to a recent YouGov survey, almost a third of UK workers are not using their full holiday allowance and this is a concern because it appears there is an increasing culture in the United Kingdom where work life balance and staff wellbeing is being neglected. And this is not just a problem for employers; it’s a problem for staff, too.

Why people don’t take time off work

What is the culture in your business when it comes to staff taking time off work? Does everyone use their full allowance and feel comfortable in doing so, or have you got people who you just know are going to be there, in the workplace, every day? If you have got a team of those people, there could be a number of reasons why they aren’t using up their annual leave each year. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons cited in the survey – and therefore, some of the reasons why your staff might not be taking time off work:

  • Heavy workload – This was one of the reasons cited in the survey as to why staff are not taking time off work. They feel like they haven’t got the time to take a holiday because they have so much to do. Some staff worry about booking holidays because while they are not in work the emails and the To Do tray piles high in their absence. They feel it is simply not worth taking the time off because the workload will be even greater on returning to work.
  • Felt they couldn’t take time off – In some workplaces there is a culture where staff feel they can’t take time off work and so they don’t even bother asking. Of course, this might not necessarily be the case but if it is made to seem like a difficult task – like the staff member feels they are asking for a special favour rather than their entitlement – many staff just ignore their ignore entitlement and come into work each day.
  • Worried what work would think – This is similar to the reason above but it can also be applied to colleagues as well. It’s not just all about employers and if there is a culture where it is commonplace that staff do not take all of their annual leave, those staff who do want to take their holidays might worry about what their colleagues would think of them when they do so.
  • Schedule clashes – This is perhaps a common reason as to why staff are not taking their full annual leave and perhaps you have had the same issues in your business. If too many staff want to be off at the same time, then employers can only give the holidays to so many people. Those staff who are unable to get those particular dates often do not reschedule their time off and end up working through the year. Clashes in the holiday schedule can be a particular issue for employers and employees during the summer months, especially when it is school holidays. Other schedule clashes can arise when a staff member’s spouse, children or friends can’t get the same time off from their respective workplaces or school so the holidays are not taken.
  • Don’t feel they need to take the time off – Yes, this is definitely not just a post about employers and the culture they create in their workplace. It’s also about staff taking responsibility, too. Many staff in workplaces simply do not take their annual leave because they feel they don’t need to take the time off.
  • Holidays can roll over into next year so some leave that for a longer break – Perhaps you have this type of rolling system in your company where, if staff don’t take their full holiday entitlement in the year, then they are able to carry it over into the following year. Some staff like to save days, especially if they know they will need extra time off work, for whatever reason, the following year.
  • Staffing shortages – This can be a problem for small and medium sized enterprises, especially. Staff are not taking annual leave due to staffing shortages and SME’s often don’t have the numbers to play with when it comes to covering people’s absence from work because of holidays. If it is a company where a close-knit team operates, staff often feel they don’t want to leave their colleagues in the lurch by taking off for a fortnight in the sun.
  • Not giving enough notice – Depending on the nature of your business, there might be times when you, as an employer, need all hands on deck and no staff away on holiday. Perhaps there are important projects where strict deadlines need to be met. Sometimes, if staff – especially new staff, for example – are unaware of this, they might not give you enough notice about their holidays and then you are unable to give them the time off that they want. These staff are then not choosing alternative dates for their holidays.

And it’s not just about not taking holidays from work that is a problem in British work culture. It’s the fact that many British workers can’t seem to take a break; a little quality time out from work to recharge the batteries. Perhaps, as an employer, you’re guilty of this, too, as well as your staff.

Even if staff do take time off and use their full holiday entitlement from work, these days, laptops, tablets and smartphones mean we are constantly connected with whoever we want to be in touch with. Many staff, when they go on holiday to the sun, still take at least one of these appliances with them and will, at the very least, check emails and reply to them. They are never fully switched off from work.

And what about in the place of work, itself? Are your staff taking a break from whatever their role is? During the actual work day, these surveys have also found that many of Britain’s workers are not taking a full lunch hour or the full breaks they are entitled to throughout the day. Again, if there is a culture of this in your workplace that has just developed over time, staff who want to take their full breaks might worry about what you or their fellow colleagues will say if they are away from their desk or workstation for what is perceived to be too long. They don’t want to be seen as shirking their respınsibilities. Other staff might not take breaks because they feel their workload is too heavy.

How Many Holidays Are Your Staff Entitled To?

First of all, as an employer, you have the right to refuse a request for leave if it is inconvenient for the company in some way. For example, perhaps it is summer and too many staff want to take the same days off from the workplace. Whatever the case is for the refusal, your company still needs remain within the terms of your leave policy and staff should be given alternative available dates.

Following a European directive, United Kingdom staff entitled are entitled to take 28 days holiday per year including bank holidays. Did you know that this is actually the lowest amount of holidays throughout the whole of Europe? British workers are working more days than their European counterparts and the norm throughout Europe is actually 33 days. The reason for this is that the United Kingdom has fewer bank holidays than other countries.

Some British companies work to that minimum entitlement whereas others – perhaps your company – offer other holiday entitlements in the staff contract depending on the role or length of service for example. If this is written in the employee’s contract, they are entitled to take that leave.

Famously, Richard Branson introduced a no-limits system at Virgin last year whereby staff who control his finances can take as much annual leave as they like. While this probably looks good on paper – and very generous of Mr Branson, of course – a work culture like the one that appears to exist currently in the UK, where staff feel they can’t afford to take the time off work for various reasons, could mean staff take off less time than they would actually do normally.

Other companies have introduced similar systems and maybe your company is considering introducing this type of system, too. For companies that do operate these type of no holiday limit policies, perhaps the employers need to take as much responsibility as the staff do in ensuring workers take a break.

Staff Not Using Their Holiday Entitlement – Is It Beneficial To The Employer?

It could be easy to assume that if your staff are not using their full holiday entitlement, that this is happy days for you as an employer. After all, you don’t have the headache of staff being absent and having to arrange cover. Your life becomes much easier because you’ve always got your regular team of people on the job, knowing exactly what they are doing and therefore, this increases your productivity, right?

Well, according to studies, this assumption is incorrect and if your staff are not making use of their holiday entitlement, it could actually be detrimental to your company in the long run.

  • Staff burnout – We all need to take time out occasionally and those people who remain constantly on the job can eventually burn themselves out. This is now a bad situation for the company and the member of staff.
  • Increase in sick leave – Workers who don’t take a break, especially if your company is the type of business where jobs can be demanding and stressful, can eventually end up making themselves ill. This could result in your company having lots of staff on either short term and even long term sick leave. Interestingly, the recent YouGov survey also found that, as well as genuine illnesses, some staff even faked illness to take sick leave because they didn’t want to ask for holidays. This is clearly not good for the productivity, financial situation or effectiveness of your company.
  • Increase in staff turnover – I’ve written in the past about how the notion of a ‘job for life’ is becoming a thing of the past. There are many reasons why staff choose to leave their current post to move on to pastures new but one of those reasons is because they feel they can’t take time off from their current post. So, if your staff are not using their full holiday entitlement, rather than it being beneficial for you, you could find yourself with a lot of ‘comings and goings’ in the workplace with valued staff leaving and lots of training up of new staff.

What Can Employers Do To Make Sure Staff Use Their Holiday Entitlement?

It’s all about communication and looking after staff by ensuring they take their full holiday entitlement. What is the culture in your company? Do staff feel able to – and comfortable in doing so – ask for holidays? Staff taking holidays is beneficial for your business because research has shown that those workers who do take a break, they come back into the workplace feeling refreshed, batteries recharged. Their performance is much better.

  • Stress to your staff that it is okay to ask for holidays. A healthy work life balance is essential and workers need to be made to feel that it is perfectly acceptable to ask for time off as part of their holiday entitlement. It is beneficial both for your company and for your staff if you stress the importance of using holiday entitlement. More and more, British workers are feeling under pressure to be constantly at work and this situation could be happening in your company, even if you might not be aware of it.
  • Factor in the situation that not all of your staff are going to be in the workplace at any one time. If this becomes a culture in your company then staff will feel relaxed in asking for their holiday entitlement and you will be organised for their absence either by employing staff to do temping jobs or by arranging for other staff to cover their leave. If the nature of your company is such that students and young people can do entry level jobs to cover staff absences due to holidays, you could have a recruitment policy where you employ students. This could be summer holiday jobs so that your own staff can take holidays or Christmas jobs, for example. There are lots of advantages for employers who take on students and young people.
  • Make sure all staff know the company holiday policy. Are all your staff aware of their holiday entitlement whilst working at your company? Make it a focal point in your business so that, not only are they aware of how many days they are allowed to take, they are also made to feel that it is acceptable to ask for those days. A visible diary – either physical or online, which shows which staff are on holiday and when not only makes the idea of using holiday entitlement acceptable but it also encourages staff to choose alternative dates if there are other people off on the dates they wanted.
  • Can you cater for individual needs? A good employer relationship with staff means they will be comfortable in asking for particular requirements. Larger companies might find this easier than others as there are lots of other people to cover absence but SME’s can also offer flexibility, too.
  • Keep staff informed about leave – If holiday entitlement is a focal point of your company then open communication about taking holidays should promote more understanding. As mentioned above, as an employer, you are entitled to refuse someone holiday leave if there really is a genuine reason why you need them to be in the workplace at that time. Perhaps there is an important deadline to meet or a company project where you need all hands on deck. If this is the case, being open about that and letting all staff know why they need to be there and why that’s important for their jobs and the company will more likely result in staff being willing to work around that and rearrange holidays for another time.

What Are The Benefits To Your Company When Staff Use Holiday Entitlement?

It’s a win-win situation when your staff take their full annual leave. After a break, whether it’s a break in the sun or just some time out, most staff are refocussed when they return to work and they feel re-energised.

This means all that young talent you harnessed via apprenticeships, or through graduate programmes, for example, is more likely to stay around in your company for a while longer. A break means they should continue to have all of those innovative ideas that you employed them for in the first place and they will feel happier and valued at work.

Taking time out, both you and your staff, is vital for well-being and for your mental health and your company will benefit in the long run if all staff are encouraged to take their holidays.

Youth Employment UK – Is The System Letting Young People Down?

by Andre on April 23rd, 2015  

As the UK general elections draw ever nearer, the various political parties are outlining their manifestos and, as is the norm, employment figures and the state of the British economy are one of the main points that are hammered home by each party, whether in a negative or a positive light.

In my previous post we looked at the current state of the gender pay gap in the United Kingdom and looked at both the positive and the negative reasoning behind the facts stated. As Mark Twain remarked:

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”

The facts are there and politicians will happily share these but the statistics will be used to benefit their party manifestos.

In this blog post, we will have a look at young people in the workplace. Youth unemployment in the United Kingdom is often on the agenda and, as an employer, maybe you have existing systems in place to make sure you are employing or training young people. Or maybe you are aware there is more room in your company for creating more graduate jobs or student jobs, for example, and are considering your recruitment strategy for getting more young people on board and being a part of your team.

As E4S are a company that focus on getting young people into work, chances are, if you are reading this now, you are interested in employing young people.

Youth Employment UK – Are Young People Being Let Down By The System?

The jobs market is looking rosy in the United Kingdom at the moment. As I mentioned in a previous post about the outlook for 2015 for the jobs market, the prediction was for more full time jobs than part time jobs and short term temporary jobs to be available and, as the year progresses, it certainly looks like that is the case.

Lots of new jobs out there means lots more young people can benefit from the vacancies and get themselves into the careers they are looking to go into, right?

But are young people – students, graduates and school leavers – benefitting from the number of jobs available on the market right now? Are they benefiting at all or are they being let down by, or even left behind, by the current systems that are in place to get people into full time employment?

Yes, the full time vacancies are there – in some sectors, there are more specialist skilled vacancies than there are people to fill them, according to some reports – but are young people being given the tools, qualifications and opportunities to help fill those vacancies and drive the British economy forward through the 21st century?

What young people can do to help themselves get into employment

Depending on the qualifications they are studying for, whilst at university, many students will do internships and other work experience placements in the hope of giving themselves a better chance of securing the graduate jobs they dream of when they qualify. Perhaps your company runs similar programmes and maybe you have even offered graduate jobs to those working with you for after they qualify.

Other students take on part time student jobs whilst they are at university. Student jobs are taken on for many reasons; to help fund studies, to help fund general living costs and socialising, to pay for travel and also, to build up work experience and transferable skills that they can hopefully take with them into future graduate positions.

Employers place a whole variety of jobs that might be suitable for students and young people on the E4S website; from seasonal work such as temporary events jobs, hotel jobs and supermarket jobs to full time roles that will suit graduates and school leavers looking to build a career.

I’ve written in the past about how employers can benefit students and young people by offering temporary holiday jobs such as summer jobs or Christmas work and it’s a win win situation. Young people have a lot to offer, they can often bring new and innovative ideas to your firm and inject new life into ongoing projects. And naturally, as an employer, you have then got the chance to harness any young talent you spot and develop that to the benefit of your company.

What is the reality for many of the United Kingdom’s young people?

At the moment, not all young people are benefitting from there being more jobs available across the United Kingdom. This is not just the case for school leavers but also for graduates, too. Many young graduates struggling to get graduate jobs find themselves at the Job Centre where they are then finding themselves sent to jobs that are not what they are looking for.

Do you have experiences of this as an employer where you have taken on young people recruited from the Job Centre? Perhaps it has been beneficial for you but one concern is that by having this system, the United Kingdom’s young people are not being given the opportunity to flourish in their areas of expertise.

Yes, unemployment figures go down if there are so many people in work but is this a long term solution for both reducing youth unemployment and also for benefitting the future economic growth of the United Kingdom? Young school leavers and graduates are likely to find jobs more rewarding if they themselves have chosen to apply for that particular role because it’s in a field where they really want to work. They are also more likely to stick around for longer and feel more loyal to the company; a benefit for your staff retention figures and therefore your firm.

And surely, as employers you also benefit because you have happy recruits who want to be there, working for your company, rather than having to be there because they risk losing state benefits otherwise. If you have unfulfilled, unhappy staff, both they and you are failing to benefit and in the future, the long term growth of the British economy could be held back, also.

2015 General Elections – What do the different political parties have in store for employers?

So, with elections looming large, what have the different political parties got in their respective manifestos that is going to affect you as an employer? Hopefully, lots of benefits that will assist both you and the high levels of youth unemployment that exist in some areas of the United Kingdom.

Youth Unemployment

  • The Labour Party have said they will tackle youth unemployment by sending those who have been unemployed for more than one year to a paid starter job. If this is not taken, that person will lose their benefits.
  • The Conservatives have said they are going to create an extra 2 million jobs in the next parliament should they be elected. They will also create three million new apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are increasingly seen as a way of investing in young people, giving them the skills they need to work in particular industries. You can click here to read more about apprenticeships if your company is not already using them as part of their recruitment strategy.
  • The Liberal Democrats have also said they will invest more in the expansion of apprenticeships and will go further by developing national colleges for vocational skills. If you are an employer in a firm that is in a field where there is a skills shortage, perhaps your company would benefit from being able to choose from more young people with relevant vocational training. You can read more here about why employers can benefit from the implementation of apprenticeships.

National Minimum Wage

Both Conservative and Labour have said they will raise the National Minimum Wage to £8 per hour by the end of the decade. This will hopefully encourage more people into the workplace and make those already in the workplace, working for the National Minimum Wage, feel more valued.

As an employer, it depends what industry you are working in, but maybe you have staff working for you who are earning the National Minimum Wage. Young people will obviously benefit financially but we will have to wait for the outcome of the general election before we know how this would be funded and how this would affect your company as an employer.

Benefitting Young People In The Workplace

So, getting young people into the workplace and onto their respective career ladders continues to be an issue within the British jobs market and for the British economy. In the long term, the British economy needs to remain up there and competitive with other world economies and to do this, young people need to be in the workplace doing jobs and careers which match their skills and aspirations.

For some industries, such as electronics and engineering careers for example, it remains a struggle to get qualified people into those positions. The Liberal Democrats have said they would like to see immigration policies that help fill those vacancies but we also need British students and graduates coming through and qualifying to fill those roles, too.

And perhaps the situation is not so bad as it seems for this field of work when it comes to filling roles. According to this point of view put forward in Electronics Weekly, now is a great time to be looking for careers in this area. It says there are more job vacancies because the field is experiencing a period of growth and therefore there are more roles in design, manufacturing and services available – this is an ideal situation for those with relevant qualifications who are looking for graduate jobs not just because of the number of vacancies but also because it means starting salaries are increasing, too.

Traineeships and Apprenticeships

As an employer maybe you already take on young people on traineeships and apprenticeships and, depending on your personal experience of them, you might be fully behind them or maybe you are disenchanted with them. Whatever the case, whether you are a thumbs up or a thumbs down, political parties are big fans of them and they are here to stay.

More regulation in the future should hopefully mean a similar experience for all employers and apprentices in their respective industries and those industries that traditionally struggle to attract school leavers and students could become more attractive via apprenticeships.

Student Jobs and Weekend Jobs

Whether it’s part time work at evenings or weekends or temporary seasonal work such as summer jobs in events or Christmas jobs, school leavers and students benefit from time spent in the workplace and this will help them in their future careers.

Of course, as I’ve mentioned in the past, it also gives you the opportunity as employers to spot young talent before other firms do so. Many students and young people go on to develop full time careers from their seasonal jobs and weekend work. For those who are looking to go on and do graduate jobs and other work, as an employer offering jobs to students and young people, you have been a part of their development in the workplace and given them transferable skills that can help them gain employment in their chosen field in the future.

Advertising Your Job Vacancies With E4S

As an employer looking to fill your vacancies by offering student jobs and roles suitable for young people, E4S can be an ideal place for you to do this. We advertise many types of roles such as part time and holiday jobs, gap year jobs, internships, entry level jobs and graduate careers as well as roles for school leavers such as apprenticeships.

If you would like to place your advert with E4S, take a look at what we have to offer and some reasons why you should advertise your jobs vacancies with us. You can also read our ‘about us’ section to find out what we are all about as a company – we aim to get young people into work. Here’s the link to our dedicated employers’ area on E4S where you can find out all you need to know…

Women & Employment – The State Of The Gender Pay Gap In The UK

by Andre on March 28th, 2015  

With general elections in the United Kingdom fast approaching, the various political parties are doing the rounds, trying to convince us all that they are the best choice when it comes to running the nation. Each party will have their own spin on a variety of situations including the state of the economy, levels of employment and pay and conditions. Although there is a coalition government right now, made up of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives will no doubt be keen to highlight the economic success of the United Kingdom under the Tories and will be trying to demonstrate how they intend to continue with Britain’s economic recovery.

Following the recession, compared to other European countries, Britain’s economic recovery has been swift and, according to government figures, the jobs market is buoyant and is forecast to continue improving with more full time, permanent jobs set to become available throughout 2015. Back in December 2014, I wrote about 2015 employment and recruitment strategies and mentioned Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke’s statement that there are now more opportunities out there for those wanting to work full time and, in fact, there are now more full time opportunities than part time jobs out there.

On the surface, this is all great news for both employers and employees. School leavers and graduates looking for full time jobs and careers should, in theory, have a better chance of landing the roles they are looking for and employers, meanwhile, should have more job vacancies as their businesses grow. It’s a case of tweaking recruitment strategies to make sure the best young talent is found and developed in the best ways.

The United Kingdom And The Employment Gender Gap

So, the picture that is painted by the Conservatives is that everything is going swimmingly for the United Kingdom economy and the jobs are out there for the people who want them. But, what about females in employment? For many years, the position and treatment of women in employment has been a hot topic of discussion and, unfortunately, that does not look set to change any time soon; certainly in 2015, at least.

As an employer, how many women do you have working for your company? The nature of your company could well be a factor in the ratio of male to female workers, for example. Are the women who are working for you in full time or part time positions, and what are their roles within your company structure? When considering recruitment strategies and employing the best staff, asking these types of questions coıld prove both revealing and valuable.

Despite the government saying there are now more women in employment, other sources argue that this fact is almost irrelevant because those women are often in part time roles and poorly paid jobs that are not well valued. These same sources also argue that as a nation, Britain needs to act to reverse this trend if the economy is going to truly improve so that Britain can remain competitive in the future.

In fact, some argue that because Britain is not addressing the gender pay gap and the role of women in employment, it is actually slipping behind the rest of the world and the World Economic Forum Report appears to show this with its recent results.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Report

When it comes to women in employment, the statistics displayed in the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) Report, for example, paint a pretty bleak picture of the situation in Britain. Not only is Britain failing to bridge the gap between male and female pay, the situation is getting worse and the nation has fallen down the rankings rather than climbed.

According to this report in The Guardian about the World Economic Forum rankings, Britain fell to 26th place in the Global Gender Gap Report rankings. 26th position is Britain’s lowest ever position and overall score since 2008 and it means Britain is no longer amongst the top 20 countries in the world. When the World Economic Forum rankings were first launched in 2006, the United Kingdom was in 9th position but it has shown a decline each year and now, in the most recent WEF report, Britain is behind countries such as Nicaragua, the Philippines and Rwanda. Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden are in the top four places and this was the case last year, too.

What Is The World Economic Forum (WEF) Report?

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Report is broken down into four categories of:

  • Economy
  • Education
  • Health
  • Politics

Although some critics of the report’s findings say the United Kingdom’s position in the rankings is low because of how child care and other areas are funded, the fact is that the nation still failed to achieve a top 20 position in any of the above categories. Employers, firms and the government can work together to improve the positions of women in the workplace in companies throughout Britain.

For example, Britain only managed a low score in ‘economic participation.’ Economic participation assesses the areas of women in the nation’s workforce; how many women there are in the workforce, are they paid the same wage or a similar wage as their male counterparts who are doing a similar role, and also, how many women there are in senior roles within companies. And this topic is seen by many as a serious problem for Britain because, with so few women in top roles, the nation is not making full use of the talent that is out there to drive the economy.

This recent article in The Guardian about why women are still missing out despite the rise in United Kingdom employment figures highlights the fact that although more women are in work, many of these women are in low paid jobs such as social care and nursing. Also, as they start families, a lot of women choose to return to work but on a part time basis. This means their pay is lower and often, they miss out on the training they might have had the opportunity to receive if they had been working full time.

In the legal profession for example, the majority of the members are women but yet, less than one third of those women are in roles at the top level. Also of the companies in the FTSE 100 index, only five company chief executives are women. In academia also, women outnumber men but they only make up 20% of professorships and fewer make it to the position of head of department.

Possible Reasons For The Gender Pay Gap

More women do jobs that don’t tend to be valued –

As an employer, maybe you are aware of these types of scenarios in your company or maybe your company or business bucks this trend and you have many women in top roles or highly skilled jobs. Whatever the case, there are can be a number of reasons for the gender pay gap. As mentioned above, many women tend to be in low paid jobs – they could be working part time after starting a family, they might be doing temporary work or are working in jobs with zero hour contracts. More women tend to do this type of work. Perhaps the government’s claim that there are now more full time permanent roles available than part time can start to speed up the narrowing of the gender pay gap.

Also, due to maternity leave or career breaks for whatever reason, women who are choosing to continue in their full time careers are finding it harder to reach the top.

A lack of drive and ambition –

The lack of drive and ambition by women to get to these top spots is considered to be one of the problems. Could this be the situation in your company with your graduate recruits or school leavers?

This is about the many women who are not reaching the top because of a lack of encouragement in the workplace and also because of a lack of role models that they can aspire to. If more women were doing these top roles, then there would be more incentive for females in less senior roles to feel that they can take exactly the same route and also work in those top positions themselves. It’s a knock on effect and companies can address this issue by looking at their recruitment strategies and also staff development programmes so that all staff are not only given the opportunity to progress but positively encouraged to progress. In some cases, with regards to staff development, maybe different strategies are required for males and females. That could depend on the nature of your company and the field you work in.

A lack of interest for certain professions –

And the previous point leads nicely onto this point. Some highly skilled careers which are well paid – such as engineering positions, for example – are traditionally seen as a male-orientated domain. Many young women don’t enter university to do degrees and other courses in these types of subjects. Nor do they apply for roles like this in high numbers. Obviously, this is not just a task for employers to tackle alone but employers in these types of fields can look at their recruitment strategies and, if need be, change them to make these jobs more attractive to females so that they are encourage to apply. By women not entering certain professions in high numbers, the British economy is losing out by ignoring the talent of a significant proportion of the population.

Is The Gender Pay Gap Greater When Women Reach Top Positions?

Although the government can point to the fact that the UK has indeed had faster economic development than other countries, Anne Francke, chief executive of the trade body, The Chartered Management Institute, says a United Kingdom economy where women benefit less than men in unsustainable. As well as stating the fact that women tend to work in lower positions during their work life, she says that those women who manage to make it to the top roles within their profession are still earning much less than their male counterparts in similar positions. The gender pay gap in these top roles, she says, is ‘alarmingly large.’

Research has shown that up until the age of 34, the difference between earnings in men and women is not a significant one. However, by the age of 40, the gender pay gap sees women earning 30% less than men and, in management roles, women over 40 years of age are earning 35% less than their male counterparts. Obviously, this is a situation which needs to be addressed.

It’s not all bad news for women in the workplace

The gender pay gap is starting to narrow, slowly, in some industries, but there needs to be a continued concerted effort to make sure this narrowing continues; and continues across all professions. One reason, offered for the narrowing of the gap, by lecturer and researcher in Organisational Psychology at City University, London, Ruth Sealy, is the reporting of figures showing the numbers of women (or lack of) in top posts in the workplace. This continual push for transparency, she says, is leading to the number of women on boards growing and is also seeing an increase in the number of female chief executives.

Saadia Zahidi, the lead author of the World Economic Forum Report says that more women are entering the workplace and the narrowing of the gender gap is a result of women entering the workforce and politics in countries all over the world. In effect, transparency in the reporting of figures and more visible high profile women, encourages others to feel they can likewise. And Nicky Morgan, Minister for Women argues that women are now making huge strides in the workplace and they should never have to choose between family and career. The extension of the right to ask for flexible working from next year, so that both parents can share the leave, she argues, will continue to benefit Britain and help to narrow the gender pay gap.

This increase of women in the workplace can be good for your own company’s school leavers and graduate recruits if they see a higher proportion of women in top jobs; especially roles that are traditionally seen as male orientated. And if more of your female staff feel motivated to apply for more of your top posts, this means you have a better chance of finding the best talent because you will have more applicants to choose from when positions become vacant.

What employers can do to encourage women into top jobs

It’s probably fair to say that some employers will have a more challenging task on their hands than others to encourage more females into their top positions. As mentioned above, there is a certain group of professions – and preceding qualifications that are needed to enter that group of professions – that tend to attract far more males than females. As well as engineering fields, these types of roles include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Natural Resources
  • Tech Intensive Roles

In these types of industries, the problem is not just getting females into top roles within their field of expertise but, first of all, creating a climate where women aspire to be in those top roles and, indeed, feel inclined to enter these types of careers in the first place. The projected image of the profession to young school leavers and graduates and, later, the culture within the workplace is all important. At E4S, we focus on offering advice and employment for students, graduates and school leavers and if employers can project a positive image of women working in what is seen as more traditionally male roles to young people, this can make all the difference.

Whatever type of industry you work in, how does your company utilise its recruitment strategies and staff development programmes to make sure young females feel encouraged to apply for top roles and move through the firm. Are there already policies in place or is it something that could be addressed within your company?

Obviously, encouraging more young women to aspire to work in top roles within your firm is not just down to you as an employer. These days, government initiatives are in place (and others will no doubt be developed) that companies can make use of so that young women are attracted to the types of roles you have on offer.

On top of graduate programmes for those looking for graduate jobs, more and more employers are getting involved with School Leaver Programmes and Apprenticeships and these types of schemes can be a great way to leverage the encouragement of young females into roles where they can have structured career development so that they eventually reach the top of the career ladder. For more information about why employers are benefiting from the implementation of apprenticeships and school leaver programmes within their staff development programmes, take a look at this previous blog post on apprenticeships and school leaver programmes.

Another way to encourage inexperienced young school leavers to take their first steps on the career ladder and get experience of the workplace is to offer traineeships for those who perhaps are not ready to commit to apprenticeships. Employers who offer traineeships could make strides in really encouraging young women into roles they might not have considered in the past. If your company isn’t currently offering this type of short programme and you would like more information about them, you can read more here about what traineeships are and why they can be beneficial for employers.

In 2015, it is unfortunate that Britain is still faced with a gender pay gap but hopefully, the not-too-distant future will see this pay gap erased and young school leavers and graduates will feel encouraged to progress to the top of their respective career ladders, and earn equal salaries while doing so, regardless of gender.

National Apprenticeship Week And Beyond

by Andre on March 9th, 2015  

9th – 13th March – National Apprenticeship Week

This week, 9th -13th March, is National Apprenticeship Week and there are events taking place all over England to promote both the week but, more importantly, the benefits of apprenticeships both to employers and to those employees learning their craft via the scheme. As more people undertake apprenticeships, the government is keen to stress that there is increasing evidence that apprenticeships have a positive impact on the people who undertake them, the businesses that offer them an on the UK economy as a whole.

So, it seems as though apprenticeships can be a win win for everyone. What do you think? Is your company currently running apprenticeship programmes for staff? Or perhaps you are thinking about introducing them as part of your firm’s recruitment strategies, maybe as a way to boost your staff retention but also to invest in your staff to make sure they are performing to their best of their ability for your company and feeling fulfilled in their role. Talented staff who feel valued and fulfilled in their role are much more likely to stay around with your firm rather than a team who feels ignored and unappreciated.

The Government And National Apprenticeship Week

So, what is National Apprenticeship Week all about and where do the government come into this? If you are an employer, it is likely that you are already more than aware that the government are really investing a lot of energy into apprenticeships. They provide funding and for them and see apprenticeships as crucial to the future success of the British economy – that’s why they would like more people to get involved (they want to see more apprentices in the workplace and more companies offering them) and they are also keen to stress the benefits of apprenticeships to businesses who adopt them.

National Apprenticeship week is an ideal opportunity to promote apprenticeships and from a government point of view, this is also an opportunity to highlight apprentices and those businesses that offer apprenticeship programmes whilst also inspiring further businesses to get involved. As apprenticeships provide a way to earn and learn within a structured framework where qualifications and skills are nationally recognised, they can be a cost-efficient way for businesses to train the best talent in the knowledge that that training is valuable and effective.

Apprenticeships Facts – Did You Know… ?

So with young people and employers gaining mutual benefit from apprenticeships, let’s take a look at some facts and figures around apprenticeship schemes that might be of interest to employers:

Apprenticeships Have Benefits For Employers

Many employers, almost 90% in fact, have stated that taking on apprentices has benefited their business in some way. Because apprentices are committed to learning new skills within a company, employers are reporting an average increase in productivity by £214 per week. As well as financial gain, some employers have also said they have seen improvements to the quality of the products and services they offer.

Apprenticeships Can Benefit Lots Of Different Types Of Businesses

If you are an employer who owns or works within a small or medium sized business, there is no need to be put off thinking about implementing apprenticeships within your company. Businesses of all sizes and sectors – not just large firms – are now offering apprenticeships. In the past, apprenticeships were traditionally associated with young men learning a trade such as plumbing or joinery. That has all changed, now. Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of sectors and women take up 55% of available apprenticeships. Could your company be one of those firms that benefits from the introduction of apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships Have Financial Incentives For Employers

As well as the financial gains from productivity, by investing in staff via apprenticeships, employers benefit financially in other ways, too: There is government funding – an investment of 1.5 billion pounds in the year 2013-2014, for example. And also, from April 2016, employers will no longer need to pay National Insurance contributions for apprentices under the age of 25 who are earning less than the upper wage limit. This is more financial incentive for employers who are considering taking on apprentices to get involved.

Apprenticeships Can Have Financial Incentives For Small Businesses

As mentioned above, taking on apprentices is not just exclusively for the larger businesses throughout England. If you are running a small business and think you have something to offer to apprentices while benefiting your own business, too, you could be eligible for a monetary grant to help you with that. This could mean you do not miss out on harnessing the best young talent just because you are a small business.

Apprenticeships Now Offer More Control For Employers

Some employers might have been put off introducing apprenticeships to their companies in the past because of a lack of control. Reforms have been, and are being, undertaken the apprenticeships which take this into consideration and now, you as an employer, can be more in the driver’s seat if you do decide to take on one or more apprentices.

Have You Seen The National Apprenticeship Service Pledge-o-meter?

National Apprenticeship Week is all about encouraging people and businesses to embrace apprenticeships and, where possible, to encourage employers to commit to taking apprentices on in the future. If you are a company who has not yet dipped your toes into the world of apprenticeships but you are seriously considering it, this week could be the week where you decide to bite the bullet and commit.

The Pledge-o-meter could be a great way of doing that. Last year, over 20,000 businesses wrote their pledge to get involved with apprenticeships in England and the National Apprenticeship Service is now working with those businesses who commit to pledging to offer apprenticeships make it happen.

This is the link to the pledge-o-meter form, if you wish to get involved. And, if you would like your pledge to go public and be one of the companies shouting loud and proud that you have committed to apprenticeships, at the end of National Apprenticeship Week, the National Apprenticeship Service will publish the list of employers and their pledges. (There is an option to opt out of the publicity if you wish.)

I’m Interested In Apprenticeships But Want To Do More Research First

Apprenticeships require both a commitment from you as an employer and from the apprentice themselves so of course, you are going to want to be fully versed on what is involved if you do decide to go the apprenticeship route. The overarching purpose of National Apprenticeship Week is to raise awareness by challenging how much we really know about apprenticeships so if you are looking to do more research, now could be the time. Let’s look at some useful links:

In the past, we have written about how more employers are benefiting from getting involved in apprenticeships and other programmes for young people. Click here to read about the possible benefits of offering apprenticeships.

If you want all the basics, or a general outline on the subject of apprenticeships you can read our article on our E4S student page, What Is An Apprenticeship.

If you are an employer who wants to commit to taking on one or more apprentices to your company but you aren’t sure if there are apprenticeships on offer within your business sector, you can see a list of the types of apprenticeships here. This link is also useful for further links that are of use to employers. And if you are committed and know you want to get involved, here is information about how to employ an apprentice.

Wherever you company is based, your local council could well have information about this week’s National Apprenticeship Week such as local events that might be taking place as well as other apprenticeship information that might be particularly relevant to your local area.

There can be a tendency with specially organised ‘days’ and ‘weeks’ to forget all about them once the event has passed us by but National Apprenticeship Week is all about awareness of apprenticeships for the future. So, if you are thinking you have already missed the boat, you haven’t. Use this week to do your research so that you can decide if you can really benefit young people and harness the best young talent by offering apprenticeships with your company.

Do More Job Seekers Add Up To More Difficult Staff Retention In 2015?

by Andre on February 8th, 2015  

In a previous blog post, I said about  how 2015 could be a good year when it comes to the number of United Kingdom jobs available out there for job seekers. As an employer, perhaps your company is expanding and has created more jobs as result. This is good news for you and good news for the British economy as a whole as more and more companies create jobs.Staff Retention 2015 - Thumbs Up Or Down

However, more jobs and career opportunities in the UK, coupled with increased confidence, can be a double edged sword for many employers. While you might have more jobs to fill, as an employer, you could also be facing a problem with staff retention. Increased confidence in the jobs market means a more ambitious workforce; a workforce that could be planning a move to pastures new. Is your company prepared for the fact that, in 2015, some of your team could be planning a move elsewhere, either to a different company or perhaps to go self-employed?

More appetite and more ambition for new challenges

With the concept of the job for life being a thing of the past, employers already face challenges with retaining their most talented staff but this problem could be set to increase in 2015. According to this recent survey conducted in the new year by the Institute of Leadership and Management, over one third (37%) of workers are planning to leave their jobs and move on to pastures new in  2015. This figure is up from 13% in 2013 and up from 19% in 2014. Almost double the amount of employees are planning a move in 2015 than in 2014 – and some of the people in those figure could be members of your current staff.

What Causes People To Change Jobs And Careers?

New Year Syndrome

Well, first of all, the arrival of the new year is always going to be a time when people finally bite the bullet and change jobs. New Year’s resolutions see us all feeling positive about being proactive in making changes for the year ahead. We hit the gym to get fit, we change the foods we eat to get healthy…and new year could also be the time we make that career change we’ve been promising ourselves for the last six months. That is more likely to happen in the current economic climate where people are feeling more confident about their future prospects.

But what are the reasons that have revealed themselves in the Institute of Leadership and Management survey? What are the factors that employers need to be taking into consideration to maintain their staff retention levels in 2015? Interestingly perhaps, an increase in salary is not top of the wish list for employees when it comes to job satisfaction and therefore sticking around with the same company. Let’s take a look at what those in UK jobs and careers are looking for in 2015.

Employees are looking for more opportunity for progression

With 59% of those surveyed saying opportunity for progression is what they most want in their jobs and careers, this was the number 1 wish for workers. In 2015, employers need to make sure they have systems in place to develop staff and move them up or sideways through the company. This could improve staff retention at the firm. Implementing graduate programmes and apprenticeships, for example, could be a structured way of doing this so that staff can see their own progress and have an idea of possible promotion or pay rise upon completion of their particular programme.

Employees are looking for higher wages

56% of those people surveyed said they would like to see higher wages. We all know high wages are a good draw for people and they could be good for staff retention, too, when combined with other factors such as the one mentioned above. Higher wages for more responsibility within the company can be a good way for employers to not only harness the best young talent but in also making sure that talent doesn’t want to go looking elsewhere for more attractive opportunities. As wages are set to increase in 2015, perhaps your company is already addressing this issue.

Many employees would like a more interesting job

While not every task in the workplace is going to be mindblowingly interesting – we all know there are those menial tasks that have just got to be done – employers could go a long way to making sure their staff don’t go walkabout in 2015 by taking action to make employees more fulfilled in their work. 50% of the people surveyed said they would like a more interesting job. As an employee, are you passing on the right tasks to the right people? While your bright young stars definitely need to learn the ropes and understand that basic tasks need to be carried out on a daily basis, are they also being kept fulfilled and stimulated within their role? And this leads nicely onto the next item on the wish list for employees.

Employees feel unappreciated or under valued in current role

25% of employees said they feel unappreciated or under valued in their current role. With more of a feel good factor about the jobs market and therefore, more ambition and confidence amongst employees, this could be a factor which determines whether or not your best young talent decides to get out there and go job hunting for something better.

Situations like this could arise in large companies where those in higher positions might seem like a faceless entity to younger or inexperienced staff starting out in entry level roles. What is your company doing to ensure staff feel valued and that their hard is not going unnoticed? This is perhaps where small and medium enterprises could have a slight advantage over larger companies in retaining staff because the personal relationships between staff and management might be easier to maintain and staff feel like a valued member of a team that contributes to the success of the company.

Staff feeling unappreciated can even go right down to part time jobs for students. Make your student recruits feel valued and appreciated in their part time jobs or seasonal jobs and they could be your next graduate star who chooses to stay on with your company once they have completed their course. I have have written in the past about how employers can benefit from having jobs for students and young people such as holiday jobs and seasonal jobs.

Some employees are unhappy with current management

30% of workers surveyed said they were unhappy with the current management at the company they work for. With surveys such as this, it can be difficult to separate the issues out as mutually exclusive. For example, staff could be unhappy with management because they feel undervalued or unappreciated, as per the previous item on the wish list. But, as a company, if you are looking to maintain your staff retention levels throughput 2015, this could be one of the issues that needs addressing within your firm. Indeed, are managers happy in the role they are in. A company wide strategy for staff retention which includes making sure that staff at all levels feel valued and have sufficient training to carry out their roles could go a long way to preventing dwindling numbers of employees within your firm. Again, this point leads nicely on to the next.

Employees would like more training and development

In the survey, 27% of people asked said they would appreciate more training and development within the company and this includes training and development even in their current role. Even if this is in the company’s policies, employees need to question whether staff really are being trained in the practical skills necessary for them to carry out their roles to their full potential. Some staff could feel like they are unable to give their all in their current role because they haven’t got the skill set to do so.

For young people and school leavers, apprenticeships could provide this structure, as we said above. But even for student jobs, whether that’s part time jobs or seasonal work, investment in training can help staff retention levels and, if your company recruits lots of temporary staff for events jobs, for example, those in temporary jobs who have received meaningful training and development may be more likely to return when you have more vacancies available. This reduces your training costs and can be an effective part of your recruitment strategy.

Some employees would like more flexibility

These days, many companies, and perhaps your company have already introduced more flexibility into their work day with regards to flexitime, days where staff can work from home and job share options. 18% of those surveyed said they would like more flexibility within their current job. If your company is already offering flexibility in work life this can not only be a plus point in your current recruitment strategy but also for your staff retention levels.

Some employees would like better parental leave options

At 3% of those surveyed saying they would like better parental leave options, as with the flexibility issues mentioned directly above, many companies could be already addressing those issues in an effective way.

Looking forward to the rest of 2015…

Companies are always going to experience staff moving on to pastures new at some time or other but this year could see more than usual taking the plunge. Many of the points listed above can be merged with others rather than them being standalone issues but there is still lots to take into consideration for employers in 2015 if they are to reduce the number of their staff deciding to bite the bullet and taking off to look elsewhere for other challenges.

Effective recruitment strategies such as essential interview questions need to be in place so that the most suitable employees for your company are taken on in the first place. Once staff are in their roles, an effective system needs to be in place to make sure those employees feel valued and want to continue working for your company for some time to come and this is true of all types of roles from part time jobs for students to apprenticeships for school leavers and more senior roles throughout a company.

Killer Ways To Promote Your Student Job Vacancies

by Andre on January 28th, 2015  

As employers or someone in charge of recruitment for a company – the man or woman in charge of filling student job vacancies – there are many different ways to tweak recruitment strategies so that you can go a long way towards not only finding the best young talent and harnessing that talent, but also giving yourself a much better chance of improving staff retention by encouraging new recruits to stick around in the future and benefit the company in years to come.

In the past, we’ve suggested how you can make life easier for yourself and increase the possibility of employing the most suitable candidate for job vacancies by looking at essential interview questions. These questions could also help you gage whether or not you think your bright new recruit is intending on building a career within your company.

There are also many initiatives out there to help employers who are investing their time in employing young people such as school leavers or those young people who either don’t want to, or are unable to go to university. Running apprenticeships might be a viable option for your company or, depending on the type of field you are in and the size of your firm, setting up School Leaver Programmes could also prove invaluable. These types of initiatives can run alongside existing graduate programmes you might already have in place – it doesn’t always have to be choice between one or the other.

E4S is all about providing students and young people with opportunities to find work – anything from part time student jobs at evenings and weekends to seasonal work, both in the United Kingdom and abroad, to graduate jobs and other full time roles such as apprenticeships. If you are considering ‘what’s the point of giving young people a job’, we’ve looked at how employers can benefit by employing students and young people by offering holiday jobs and we’ve also seen that 2015 is projected to be a year where job vacancies will be on the increase. So, with this being the case, it’s all well and good having systems in place where students and young people can feel themselves to be a valuable part of the team in the workplace, but, when student job vacancies do arise, how do you go about attracting graduates, school leavers and other young people to apply for your vacancies?

How To Attract Young People To Apply For Student Job Vacancies

Student Looking For Jobs

Job Vacancies Are A Chance To Promote Your Business

As well as recruiting staff, when you have job vacancies to advertise, this is also where you get a chance to market your company to others. Whatever type of job you are advertising, how do you want your company to appear to job seekers?

You can go a long way to attracting the best young people if your company comes across as dynamic, forward thinking in your job adverts. And, especially where students and school leavers are concerned, does your company come across as somewhere where they will have fun while working hard and receiving training? Just as companies want to know potential interview candidates are taking their job application seriously and are committed to working for the company, in return, young people want to be given the impression that their student jobs, apprenticeships or other roles will be both rewarding for them and beneficial for them in the long run.

A job vacancy description that is a few lines if generic text is not going to have a very good chance of catching the eye of young people. Mix up your fonts, text size and colour; use images; and, it goes without saying, make sure your company logo is clearly visible. After all, you are the company demonstrating to young people that your recruitment strategy is tailored to them. If someone has been looking for student jobs, apprenticeships or graduate careers for some time, you need your company to stand out above the rest in order to hook in the best young talent.

Tailor your job vacancies to the people you are looking for

If your company is investing in young people and has vacancies in student jobs such as summer jobs or other seasonal work available, is your recruitment strategy tailored to attract those students and young people?

When it comes to university students, many students live away from home, on campus or in student accommodation. During the summer holidays, Christmas break or Easter, for example, some will need to return home. If your company has branches around the United Kingdom, could you offer students holiday jobs and seasonal work closer to their home during those periods so that they can return to their positions in the area where they are studying during semester time? If that is a possibility for your company and you can make this clear in your recruitment material, this could be a good way of encouraging young talent to stay with the company after graduation to develop a graduate career and perhaps move into management or head office positions further down the line.

If you are offering apprenticeships or school leaver programmes to young people and you are looking for young people and students with particular skills or a particular type of personality, how is your recruitment strategy tailored to attract those people? How are you making your company look open and welcoming to new, young talent?

Use Social Media To Promote Job Vacancies To Young People

We all know that these days, used well, social media is a powerful tool for promoting your company, and it can also be used to attract young people to apply for your student jobs and other positions you might have available. Obviously, most younger people are very active on various social media outlets and how you are represented on those social media outlets can make a difference in the types of people you attract into applying for your jobs.

Many companies are represented on Linked In and this plays a big part in their recruitment strategies. While Linked In is clearly important for recruitment, especially for recruitment for graduate jobs and possibly School Leaver Programmes, other social media outlets shouldn’t be neglected. Have you attracted students and an all round younger audience to like your page on Facebook or follow you on Twitter? Have you dipped into other social media outlets such as Pinterest or Instagram? Again, how you are making use of these outlets can entice the best young talent to apply for your job vacancies, whether that is graduate jobs, student jobs or other employment opportunities.

Use Video To Attract Young People To Apply For Job Vacancies

Video is increasingly popular in the United Kingdom, especially amongst younger people, so visuals like this can be a great way to promote your company and your job vacancies. If your usual job vacancies are posted as a ream of text, this can get lost amongst all the other companies who are posting their job vacancies as ream of text, too. Video asks people to watch and listen rather than read through paragraphs of the type of candidate you are looking for.

This links to the social media point above. Has your company got a YouTube account and, if so, how is it being used? YouTube can be a valuable asset in your recruitment strategy and you don’t even need to be an expert film producer or director. If you are hoping to encourage young people or students to apply for summer jobs or Christmas jobs, for example, yoıng staff who are already a part of your team can be a part of informal videos, talking to the camera about their role and why they like working for your company. And when it comes to staff retention, if you have got managers or staff in other senior roles who perhaps started out in student jobs or as young apprentices, they could also do informal videos to describe their career path through your company.

Video can of course be incorporated into your other social media and online presence elsewhere, too. None of these need to be mutually exclusive methods of attracting young people to apply for student jobs and other roles.

Use Job Boards Such As E4S To Attract Students And Young People To Apply For Job Vacancies

Yes, so where do sites such as E4S fit into all this? E4S are dedicated to getting young people into jobs such as student jobs that could could be seasonal work or part time jobs at evenings and weekends. Apprenticeships, School Leaver Programmes and graduate jobs are also advertised on our site, as well as other vacancies. And the good news is, young people and students use E4S to look for jobs and careers.

Within the E4s site, it is possible to have your company profile – with your company logo – which tells job hunters a little about your company, the types of roles you might have available and the types of people you might be looking for to work within your company. The text of your company profile isn’t too long (around 600 words). Just enough to give students and other job seekers a flavour of what your company is all about.

A promotional video from your company, your Facebook page, Twitter feed or links to the career section of your website – everything mentioned in the points above; these can be included in your company profile on E4S so that you can promote your job vacancies and target them to the right people.

E4S is the most visited student job site and, as we say in our About Us page,  we are passionate about helping clients find students to fill their vacancies, and we are totally committed to helping students find jobs. A win win situation for both parties.

There is no one way to attract students and young people to view job vacancies and apply for roles when they arise; rather, it should be a combination of factors, some of which are mentioned above. The type of role you are advertising and the type of candidates you want to attract can be reflected in each individual advert. Whatever type of roles you have available, whether that’s summer jobs, part time vacancies, graduate careers or other positions, if you are looking to invest in students and young people, why not take a look at our E4S About Us page, and our page showing the E4S services, for more information about what we do for you and what you can do to try to fill your vacancies with the most suitable candidates.

2015 Employment & Recruitment Strategies – Are We Looking At A Rosy Picture?

by Andre on December 28th, 2014  

Well, it’s probably safe to say that the answer to the question as to whether or not it is a rosy picture for the British economy and employment figures in 2015 depends on which sources you read and the point of view they are writing from. The current government, and its supporters, is very upbeat about the future growth of the number of people in employment and for the growth of businesses (good news for employers?), while other sources highlight the fact that it’s not just about getting people into the workplace and therefore reducing the numbers of those registered unemployed. It’s about the quality of those jobs, the training and the wage levels.

Let’s take a look at some of the views put forward and what that could mean for employers looking to recruit graduates and young people into their companies in 2015 and beyond.

The Optimistic Viewpoint About Britain’s Economic Growth And Job Creation

According to government figures, after the recession, Britain is now experiencing a recovery which means employers have increased optimism and are looking to employ more people into their companies in 2015 and into the future. And this is not just an increase in the number of people in work. Employers are adapting their recruitment strategies and are now looking to recruit more people into full time positions rather than part time jobs and temporary jobs.

In December 2014, Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, says that more people who want to work full time are now getting those full time jobs because there are more opportunities out there. There are currently more full time opportunities than part time and wages are set to increase faster in the coming year. And according to this article in The Scotsman, business group, CBI, along with consultancy Accenture ran a survey and its results suggests permanent jobs will outstrip temporary jobs in 2015. As an employer, are you finding this is the case for you? Maybe you are adapting your recruitment strategy and are looking to create more graduate jobs, school leaver programmes or maybe you are designing more apprenticeships to recruit more school leavers.

Minister of State for Employment, Esther McVey also wrote in December 2014 that every single region of the United Kingdom has witnessed a fall in the numbers of people who are unemployed. This suggests there are more openings there for people looking for work and for employers looking to employ young people, students and graduates, sites like E4S can be ideal platforms for recruiting the best staff to fill vacant positions. She states that there are over 80,000 more young people now in jobs and also that the UK now has the lowest unemployment levels since 2008. This definitely sounds like good news for both employers and those looking for work.

Recruitment Strategies – Women and Employment

And figures also suggest that the situation for women in the workplace is looking better than it might have done previously with more women now in employment. Scotland has seen the biggest rise in the number of women in employment with a narrower gender gap in employment than other countries in the United Kingdom. And more women in employment means the economy benefits as a result of this. As for women’s pay, Charlie Elphicke MP says the gender pay gap is now at it’s shorted since records began in 1997.

So, 2015 looks set to be a beneficial year for both employers and for those looking for work and, it seems, particularly beneficial for women and young people who are looking for jobs. But there is another side to this coin, of course. Some sources are challenging these positive government figures and are showing a different story around those statistics and as employers, no doubt you have your own first hand take on these numbers, too.

The Alternative Viewpoint On The UK’s Increase In Jobs And Wages

Opposition parties challenge the government’s figures, as do some employment surveys that have been carried out which survey employers, those already in jobs and also the unemployed.

The position of women in employment

With regards to the number of women in employment, there is still lots of discussion around the standard of that employment and also wages. Although Scotland can boast a big boost in the number of women in employment, for example, and the gender pay gap is said to be decreasing, Jackie Baillie MSP, Scottish Labour Finance, Constitution and Energy Spokeswoman has said that over a quarter of a million women in Scotland are paid less than the living wage (the UK living wage is currently £7.85 per hour. She would like to see a minimum wage in Scotland and also the abolishment of zero hour contracts.

And a lack of women in top jobs is also a longstanding issue, as well as the gender pay gap when men and women are in similar roles. The government have worked hard to encourage employers to promote women into top roles within companies but have, themselves, been criticised. According to this article in The Guardian, the government have set themselves a target of 50-50 employment of men and women within government departments but in December 2014, the percentage of women in Whitehall posts was less than 40% with only five women in a cabinet of 22 MPs; a cabinet that is two thirds male. In particular, the Ministry of Defence only awarded six appointments to women out of a total of 40 opportunities.

The problems facing young people in employment

Naturally, the main focus for E4S is to get young people into jobs such as student jobs, apprenticeships, internships or graduate jobs, for example, so it is good news that employers are starting to employ more young people and get them into the workplace.

However, as with the roles of women in employment, some analysts question the quality of these roles and also the wages paid for jobs for young people (and indeed, issues facing women and young people in employment are not mutually exclusive). According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, more and more young people, especially 16-25 year olds are, living below the breadline as they are often working zero hour contracts or are even self-employed but working for low rates of pay (there are currently around 1.4 million zero hour contracts out there). The Joseph Rowntree Foundation see it as worrying trend that so many working people are still struggling to make ends meet and are not earning a living wage. They see it is a threat to the future growth of the British economy. For 16-25 year olds, they say the poverty rate has risen from 25% to 31.5% a decade later and this has been caused by a low minimum wage and high unemployment.

The skills gap as a threat to future economic growth and competition in Britain

The skills gap is also seen as a problem; perhaps the biggest threat to the the British economy in the long term. For example, in Scotland, construction is on the increase but there is a skills shortage in this sector so it is difficult for employers to fill vacant positions.

Solutions for employers and employees

So what does all this mean for employers in 2015 and beyond? Katja Hall, CBI’s deputy director general says the solution is for companies and the government to work more closely together to increase the skill level in employees and therefore get them into more highly paid jobs to carry firms forward.

Employers can do this by creating government backed apprenticeships and school leaver programmes to boost specialist knowledge and practical skills in young people and also create specialised graduate programmes to attract more university leavers into graduate jobs. As an employer, you may have already tweaked your recruitment strategy to invest in young people and attract more young people into your company in this way. If this is not a recruitment strategy you have considered previously, take a look at how employers can benefit from the implementation of apprenticeships and school leaver programmes to see if you could implement something like this in your company.

Of course, another issue regarding skills shortages is that school leavers, students and graduates need to actually want to do the types of jobs where there is a skills shortage. Perhaps government, employers and education institutions need to work together closely to make careers in those fields not only more visible but also more dynamic and attractive to young people.

Staff Retention

Once your company has recruited the ideal candidates for vacant roles, the challenge is then to retain those staff to further progress the company. Even if you do have more permanent, full time positions available throughout 2015, how do you retain the best talent? This can be especially challenging for SMEs and we have written blog posts in the past about the challenges small and medium enterprises face with recruiting and retaining the best talent. This post contains tips for how small and medium sized enterprises can attract and retain the best staff. Because there is also the viewpoint of the employee. Employers need to constantly think of more inventive ways to boost their company’s staff retention levels as more and more employees, these days, are choosing to move between multiple jobs throughout their working life. Attitudes have changed and employees are less fearful about moving jobs as they would have been in the past.

It is often said that the ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past and people will have on average nine different jobs in their working life. Some people even opt for a complete career change or go self-employed. As we mentioned in our blog post about the job for life being a thing of the past, this has repercussions for both the employer and the employee and it’s about working together to make sure both parties can benefit from the situation.

If, as the government have stated, more and more job vacancies are now for permanent positions – and this trend looks set to continue through 2015 – employers will be hoping to keep hold of the talent they have scouted and employed. As vacancies arise, it’s important for employers to recruit the right type of candidates for the roles available because the recruitment process can be both time consuming and, depending on where you advertise your vacancies, expensive, too. In giving yourself the best chances of getting it right first time, the interview process is an important part of the process and there are some essential interview questions you can ask to make sure your candidate and your company are the best for each other.

Part time jobs and temporary holiday jobs for students and young people

And this blog post has focussed mainly on full time, permanent jobs but when it comes to skills shortages and lack of work experience amongst students and young people, there is a role employers can play, too. Student jobs such as part time jobs at evenings and weekends or seasonal work such as Christmas jobs and summer jobs can be highly beneficial for students not just in a financial sense but also in providing and developing transferable skills; preparing them for the workplace.

And what’s in it for you as an employer?  Apart from knowing you are investing in youth and playing your part in preparing young people for the workplace, you could also harness the fresh ideas that young people could possibly bring to your company. And if you have the roles available, if you spot a true talent, help that person develop a full time career with your company before someone else snaps them up. Here are some of the other ways your company can benefit by employing students in holiday jobs.

So, the government have lots of initiatives in place to get young people into the workplace and statistics show more jobs and higher wages will be available in 2015. E4S have many employers advertising vacancies on the site and many young people visiting the site each day, looking for work. If you have vacancies in your workplace and would like to employ school leavers, students and graduates, why not place your adverts with E4S? Read more here about working with E4S.

‘Job For Life’ A Thing Of The Past – But How Does It Affect Employers?

by Andre on November 30th, 2014  

Job for life – a job that you can stay in all your working life…

This is traditionally what young people aspired to, just a couple of short generations ago. Get a foot in the door of a firm, learn a trade or develop new skills, and build qualifications so that you could move up through the company, earning yourself promotions and pay rises. At the age of 60 or 65 comes the big retirement party and that handshake from the company directors where you are presented with a golden clock or watch as a thank you for your loyalty and hard work over the years. Off you go to retire with your state pension and a company pension keeping you financially afloat.

Fast forward to 2014 and all that has changed for many employees and employers. According to various sources – and maybe you are even seeing increasing evidence of this in your own workplaces, too – the whole concept of the ‘job for life’ is done and dusted. It is no more. The debate remains, however – is the suggestion that a job for life no longer exists a good thing or a bad thing for employers? Where does that leave you for your recruitment strategy, for staff retention, for developing your company – or the company you work for – further, for future growth and success?

There is certainly no doubt that the workplace has changed a lot over recent years, both for employers and for employees, and that means both parties need to address these changes and work with them. While employees who change jobs regularly – and even sometimes take the step of making a complete career change – need to take more charge of planning for their future from a financial point of view, employers need to adapt so that they can get the most from employees while they are with the company and develop strategies to keep employees feeling fulfilled so that they might stay around on a more long term basis.

So what’s changed for employers and employees?

A combination of factors has brought on this change. Just a few of those factors that have contributed are; changes in the world economy, technological developments, government changes in legislation and the introduction of new initiatives and also changes in people’s attitudes towards the workplace by both employers and employees.

Insurance firm LV= recently conducted a large survey of 3,000 people – some of the them in employment and some who are retired. The report found that the generation that are now going into employment can expect to do more jobs and, in real terms, be paid less for those jobs than previous generations who were in employment before them. On average, people in the workplace now will have around nine jobs throughout their work life career; a definite move away from the concept of a job for life, and they will also work longer before retiring. Indeed, some workers never really retire. It’s now expected that many employees will work into their 70s rather than their 60s.

Employees are also now taking more charge of their careers and, according to LV=, are moving jobs on average every five years. This is both to increase their chances of promotion and also to increase their salaries. In the current climate, many employees themselves don’t consider their current role as a job for life and they are not afraid to make changes such as changing job or career in order to improve their lot both financially and in terms of lifestyle.

But LV= also suggest that another major reason cited for the movement of employees from company to company is the removal of workplace pensions. Employees no longer feel tied to their job in order to keep their workplace pensions going. So what are employers doing to about this situation in order to encourage a sense of loyalty towards the company? What can they do about this situation both in terms of recruitment strategies – recruiting the best young people and graduates – and in terms of retaining the best staff in the long term?

A Commons debate earlier in November 2014 discussed the fact that those employees on lower wages had less chance of securing considerable pay rises while those in higher paid careers were able to increase their pay more significantly. School leavers and others who take on low paid jobs which pay the national minimum wage can find themselves in what has been labelled ‘the poverty trap,’ because wages are not increasing in line with the cost of living.

So What Are The Possible Solutions For Employers?

But there is action that employers can take, both in larger corporate companies and in small and medium sized enterprises, too. Getting students and young people into the workplace to learn new skills increases productivity in the United Kingdom – and all employers can play a part in ensuring this happens. Investment in staff and in staff development is key.

Employers can attract school leavers to encourage loyalty

Some of the top companies in the United Kingdom have tweaked and developed their recruitment strategies and are now leading the way in trying to attract students and young people who are not university graduates into the workplace . This is good for those young people who are looking for an alternative to university but who still want to build a dynamic career for themselves.

By going into schools and promoting links with these schools, these companies are accessing young talent and can promote themselves as some of the best companies to work for. They are encouraging loyalty from a young age by developing training programmes for those school leavers so that they can learn new skills, progress through the company and hopefully get promotions and pay rises that they otherwise might not have earned elsewhere. Investing in young school leavers and developing their skills can mean they have an increase chance of earnings above the national minimum wage and can therefore free themselves from the ‘poverty trap.’

This type of strategy is not only a viable strategy for larger companies. It can also be adapted and used as a strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises. School Leaver Programmes and apprenticeships are both strategies companies can employ in order to encourage loyalty and keep staff feeling both valued and fulfilled. While School Leaver Programmes probably suit larger companies, apprenticeships are a great way to recruit those young people who might otherwise slip through the net. Via their apprenticeship, working with your company, they can learn skills whilst on the job and increase their knowledge by gaining recognised qualifications. Apprenticeships can be a very valuable tool in your recruitment strategy and also for staff retention.

If your company is an SME, a previous blog post on 5 ways SMEs can retain the best young talent could give you some further ideas about ways to encourage your staff to stick around to help drive your company forward. Apprenticeships, locally based training courses, the possibility of faster career progression and offering flexible working hours are all strategies smaller companies and medium-sized enterprises can leverage to their advantage. In a recent study conducted by themselves, the CIPD (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development) concluded that pay can only increase if there is investment in training and technology by employers. A structured, government recognised apprenticeship can can be a good way of making sure young recruits are getting the workplace training they need. For more information about this, you can take a look at why more employers are benefitting from implementing apprenticeships and school leaver programmes into their recruitment strategies.

Employers can employ students and young people for evening and weekend work or seasonal jobs

Obviously, this depends on the type of company you are running but many firms actively recruit university students and those in other types of study. Recruiting students into entry level jobs can give employers the opportunity to spot talented students before they graduate. If you don’t already advertise your vacancies to students and young people via E4S, take a look at our Recruiting Students page to see how you can go about it and get yourself set up. Recruiting students into part time jobs can lead to them building a full time graduate career within your company if you, in turn, can offer a staff development programme that can challenge and fulfil them.

Job hopping comes with risks when it comes to future retirement plans

As we said above, many people these days can expect to have on average 9 jobs throughout their working life. This can be a benefit for employers because staff can come to the company with experience of various workplaces and can bring different skills and ideas to the table. Job hopping can be good for the employee, too, because of the transferable skills that are developed and there is the feeling of rising to the challenge of taking on something new. Today, there is very much a culture of people moving jobs – or even making a career change – on a relatively regular basis.

This has been a concern for the government for some time. As LV= said in their report, the lack of generous workplace pensions means a job for life is a thing of the past because staff no longer feel tied to their jobs. The responsibility of planning for financial security once in retirement now lies more with the individual. Moving from workplace to workplace and being a part of various pension schemes means people can lose track of what is due to them in the future and the concern is that many people are not planning for their retirement effectively and could be leaving themselves with a small pension.

Automatic Enrolment Pension Schemes have been introduced and, although as yet, not many small and medium-sized companies have registered for the scheme, the CIPD state that of the companies who have enrolled onto the scheme, those employers are going above and beyond the call of duty in the size of their contributions for employees and this, in turn, encourages those employees to also save for their future. It could be interesting in the future to see if those employers who have registered themselves with the Automatic Enrolment Pension Scheme are seeing any change in the average amount of time their staff stay in employment with them.

In Summary

So, it is clear that the notion of a job for life is no longer in the mindset of the new, young generation of employees that are now entering the United Kingdom’s workforce. But that does not have to be a bad thing for either the employee or the employer. It’s a case of adapting accordingly as the current climate develops – apprenticeships, school leaver programmes and even traineeships are a way of addressing this; as are changes to the way people work such as the opportunity to work from home, career breaks and job sharing, for example. And as for students who are looking for part time evening and weekend jobs, and seasonal work such as Christmas jobs or summer holiday work, employers could do well to think about recruiting students for those roles if they don’t already do so. As well as providing valuable experience in the workplace, there is also the opportunity for employers to recruit them later to more senior, full time positions.

Why Job Boards Remain A Valuable Part Of Employers’ Recruitment Strategies

by Andre on August 18th, 2014  

When it comes to recruiting the best new staff, job boards can play a valuable role in your recruitment strategy. With more and more digital recruitment taking place these days, using job boards is probably already a part of your recruitment strategy for harnessing and retaining the best staff – and research consistently shows that online recruitment is on the up. In fact, online recruitment is now seen as the norm rather than a niche for those job seekers who happen to be internet savvy, and job boards play a big role in linking employers with candidates in a fast and easy way that is also more economical.

All employers know that the recruitment process can be both time consuming and expensive, and job boards can be an ideal way to find the staff you need more quickly. As we have said in previous blog posts, there is no one strategy that gives employers the magic wand for recruiting the best staff. Rather, a combination of strategies can be more effective and job boards such as E4S can play a central role.

For example, E4S is the number 1 most visited website for undergraduate jobs. So, if you are looking to recruit students and other young people for part time jobs at evenings and weekends, or you have vacancies for summer holiday jobs or at Christmas, then a website and job board such as E4S could be both useful and economical for you. Even with the growth of social media, the number of job boards is still growing and one reason for this is that perhaps job seekers can just visit the one site to look for a variety of vacancies rather than concentrating on following a whole host of different social media accounts. Social media and job boards can be used together rather than them being two mutually exclusive entities that job seekers need to choose between.

In 2014, there are various benefits to making use of job boards in your recruitment strategy for finding and maintaining the best staff at all levels. Here are some of the benefits to bear in mind when your company needs to fill vacancies with quality people.

1. Job boards are popular, fast and value for money

Job boards are now the number 1 way people use to seek employment and, with the increasing financial costs of going to university, many students now fit part time jobs and holiday jobs around their studies. Job boards are a popular route for students and young people to find jobs (as we said above, E4S is the most visited website for undergraduate jobs) so you could fill your vacancies quickly by advertising on them.

As well as being effective in staff recruitment with regards to speed – you can see your job advert very quickly on job boards – they can also prove to be cost effective, too. More traditional advertising such as newspapers and magazines can be costly, depending on the size of the advert you are posting, you need to wait for your advertisement to appear in the relevant edition of the newspaper and you are also relying on someone happening upon your job vacancy.

2. Job boards can mean employers have a good chance of finding the right candidate for the job

The E4S job board is a place where students, graduates and young people such as school leavers come to look for employment – both full time and part time jobs. By using job boards such as E4S and employing students, they are then getting experience of the workplace. Young people can be full of enthusiasm and can also bring novel ideas to your company which perhaps had never been considered previously. And there is also the benefit that because employing young people is part of your recruitment strategy, as an employer, you may be able to mould your new staff more effectively to suit your business and way of working.

If their SEO is effective, then job boards are effective. Employers can take advantage of the fact that their job vacancies will appear high up in the Google rankings and other search engines so that potential applicants spot the vacancies and this increases the chances of being able to recruit the best staff for your vacancies. Employers’ job vacancies are there for as long as employers want them to be which means students and young people who spot vacancies can come back to them as and when and find the adverts easily.

3. Job boards put employers in control of their staff recruitment

Whilst many larger companies can also make use of recruitment agencies as part of their recruitment strategy to employ and retain the best staff, small and medium enterprises might not have this option due to lack of funds. Job boards put employers in control of their own online advertising which means they can create their own advert so that, in the case of E4S, they recruit students and young people who can fully match specific recruitment criteria.

We’re not all experts when it comes to IT or completely savvy when it comes to the internet but placing ads on job boards is a quick and simple process which even the most reluctant users of tech should be able to negotiate.

4. Job Boards allow employers to really target the right people

As well as general job boards, these days, there are many types of niche job boards out there. In the case of E4S, if you an employer using this job board, then chances are, you are looking to recruit students, graduates and other young people. This could be for entry level jobs on a part time or seasonal basis, apprenticeships, school leaver programmes or tailored graduate programmes.

Having job boards such as E4S as part of the recruitment strategy means employers should cut down on the number of applications from unsuitable candidates and, therefore, cut down on having unfilled vacancies for a long period of time. Obviously, it also follows that if the original job advert was placed on relevant job boards and staff were recruited as a result of that, there is a stronger chance of improving staff retention within the company because the advert was so targeted in the first place. Job boards, particularly niche job boards, mean employers looking to recruit staff can get their message across to a specific group of people.

5. Job boards can be good for company branding

In an effort to harness the best young talent and retain quality staff, a company’s recruitment strategies mean they also need to market themselves to tempt applications from the candidates they want. Branding is a key part of this so that applicants can easily recognise the company they are applying to – and job boards are a useful way for companies to display what they have to offer.

E4S, for example, give employers the opportunity to have a company profile which gives students and young people the opportunity to find out a bit about the firm before they apply for any vacancies. As well as company background and the types of staff the company looks for, firms are also given the opportunity to display promotional videos and link to the company website. Building a brand amongst the people a firm is trying to reach – in this case, young people and students – increases the chances of more targeted recruitment.

With the E4S job board, company profiles stay on the site regardless of whether there are any current vacancies being advertised. Those looking for student jobs or other types of work can research companies in their own time and this can mean, when job vacancies are advertised, there might be more applications which will possibly come through quicker than usual.

6. Job boards can be used in conjunction with social media and other strategies

The world of technology and the internet is constantly changing, and those employers that have spotted the power of social media have been making use of that as part of their recruitment strategy. Effective recruitment and future staff retention makes use of a variety of techniques rather than an either / or approach. While different companies can develop their own social media presence for company branding and for recruiting staff, companies such as E4S who offer job board services also use social media to further promote current vacancies and other relevant information.

E4S make use of social media to share relevant student news, to build relationships with students and young people and also to network with companies which are looking to recruit young staff. You can find E4S on:




Google +:

Young people and students who are actively seeking part time and full time jobs can also set up job alerts with E4S so that any relevant job vacancies can be sent to their email as soon as they are advertised.

As mentioned above, E4S is the United Kingdom’s most visited website for undergraduate jobs. If you are an employer looking to recruit students, graduates or young people to work for your company, whatever type of role it is, you can advertise your vacancy to over 300,000 candidates a month. Registration with E4S takes only a few minutes – simply fill in the required fields in our Post Ad section and follow the step by step instructions. In our About Us section, you will find out about why we E4S was formed and how we have grown since we started. Our daily stats, independently audited by abc, are also displayed. And if you would like to see any testimonials from other companies recruiting through E4S, and for statistics on demographics of where students are looking for jobs and the types of subjects they are studying, you can visit our dedicated audience page.

The Top Perks Employers Can Offer Their Employees

I’ve written posts in the past about the challenges companies can face when it comes to staff retention. We are now in a culture where, for many reasons, the notion of a job for life...

Is Your Company Losing Out Because Staff Are Not Using Their Holiday Entitlement?

As an employer in the United Kingdom, you will be fully aware that your team of staff are entitled to take annual leave from their positions and perhaps, you might even be aware that not...

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

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...

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

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...

View all articles
The Top Perks Employers Can Offer Their Employees

28 June, 2015

I’ve written posts in the past about the challenges companies can face when it comes to staff retention....

Is Your Company Losing Out Because Staff Are Not Using Their Holiday Entitlement?

29 May, 2015

As an employer in the United Kingdom, you will be fully aware that your team of staff are...

Youth Employment UK – Is The System Letting Young People Down?

23 April, 2015

As the UK general elections draw ever nearer, the various political parties are outlining their manifestos and, as...

View all blog posts

Main Office:

109 High Street, Thame, Oxon, OX9 3DZ

London Office:

203 Riverbank House, 1 Putney Bridge Approach, London SW6 3JD

Telephone: 0845 838 0595
Company Number: 04012715
VAT Registration number: 733773027

We accept...

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • Cheque

Accredited by...


Are you a charity? Contact Us

Register FREE

Are you a Recruitment Agency or Recruitment Advertising Agency?

Copyright 2011 LTD Terms of Use | Privacy Policy