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How to make the best candidates aware of your apprenticeship opportunities

BigChoice Group has been able to establish the best way in which recruiters can be more strategic in their marketing plans in order to differentiate themselves and attract the best candidates to their apprenticeship opportunities.

A few years ago, the majority of school leavers would have had a clear path set out for them to cover the next half a decade... head to university, get a job. However with tuition fees now increased, going to university can be an extremely expensive way to still be trying to discover what you want to do in life.

Apprenticeships offer practical skills that are fundamental to forging a long and successful career. It’s for this reason that they have gained a newfound respect among school leavers, parents, schools, colleges and employers, and the attitude of ‘not my child’ has pretty much died out completely.

However despite these encouraging changes, more than three-quarters of UK employers feel the quality of careers advice provided in schools is not good enough to help young people make informed decisions about future career options. This is according to research carried out by the Confederation of British Industry, which also found only seven per cent of employers believe school careers advice is adequate.

From working with our clients, and by having regular conversations with our student network, BigChoice Group has been able to establish the best way in which recruiters can be more strategic in their marketing plans in order to differentiate themselves and attract the best candidates to their apprenticeship opportunities.

1. Get in front of candidates while they're still at school

Carrying out workshops and presentations in schools is one of the most effective ways to take your opportunities to the heart of the best and most relevant young talent.

Encouragingly, 60% of employers would like to be more involved in providing careers guidance in schools and colleges but many have reported finding it difficult to build that initial relationship with school liaison services, according to The Education and Skills Survey.

It’s not impossible to create these relationships with schools, and companies should aim to first establish a direct student marketing approach with the school through an introduction.

2. Speak to school students through their channels

Social media is yet another tool that enables recruiters to reach out to potential candidates directly, and offers companies a chance to provide them with an open and honest representation of their work culture.

With more than 95% of students using a mobile device, it’s also important to make sure your apprenticeship opportunities are available on mobile platforms, such as smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

3. Become a key influencer virtually

In the digital age, it’s easy for companies to reach a large and targeted network of school leavers across the country all in one go and at a click of a button.

For example, resource packsA-level & GCSE newsletters and school leaver guides are used by careers advisors to educate their pupils at times when they need to start thinking about a career choice. In fact, a recent study reported more than a third of school leavers’ sourced information about future opportunities through a career advisor.

Kevin Hough, head of group resourcing at LV=, reinforces this point: “it’s about authentically promoting [your] employer brand. LV= is a very different place to work within our industry and we try to make sure this message comes across in our interactions.

It’s also another opportunity to demonstrate to school leavers what it’s like to be an employee at your company by providing real-life case studies. After all, people want to read about positive experiences before they commit to something.

For more tips & advice on recruiting online, click here.

To speak to a member of the BigChoice Group Recruitment team, click here.

By Amanda Thomson
Recruitment Director at BigChoice Group