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School leavers have even less patience than we do


Recent AGR research suggests that 83% of employers believe that the school leaver recruitment market will overtake graduate recruitment in 5 years. It’s obvious to say that this shift would necessitate a change in the way businesses attract candidates – just think about how many target schools there may be replacing target universities – but it would also mean a compete shake-up in terms of assessment and general engagement

The term ‘recruit for potential, train for skills’ has been popular for some time now and over the past few years we’ve seen a real shift away from competency-based processes in favour of a strengths and values-based approach – which is absolutely logical when you’re dealing with candidates who are just starting out their career journeys – and the importance of this approach is surely only going to grow as the targeted candidates get younger and therefore less experienced.

There are some great strengths and values-based assessment tools available now that organisations use, but looking at the bigger picture and the fast-moving life of the new generation, employers need to do much more than that; they need to put themselves into the ‘candidates shoes’. Language organisations use can be a powerful tool to get attention – organisations must speak the same language potential candidates do, and that will do so much more than just getting them to hit the ‘apply’ button.

We all know that when you hear words that resonate with you, you have a positive reaction – You may feel an instant connection or affiliation; the right words also help to build a sense of pride and belonging and that is very powerful when it comes to attracting and retaining the right type of people. Just as important as the right words is the medium in which you say them.


waiting for 48 hours for an email response seems almost archaic …


If, as an organisation, you have a clear idea about your values and have taken the time to develop a compelling employer brand, careers website, and strengths and values-based assessment process, using the same language as your target audience will help you build a momentum and keep them hooked all the way through the process of employment.

We’re all becoming more used to living in a world of instant engagement – whether you’re talking to your bank or trying to order something online – we expect instant gratification and waiting for 48 hours for an email response seems almost archaic. Now imagine the expectations of school leavers; a generation who are growing up with Snapchat and WhatsApp. Not only can they see when messages have been read, they can see when a response is being typed and they definitely know if they’re being ignored and don’t react well to it (or so a million internet memes would have us believe). So, if this is the generation you need to not only attract, but keep engaged throughout a potentially lengthy process, how are you going to do it?

This is where we think online group and 1-2-1 chat will put you ahead of the curve. By inviting candidates (or potential candidates) to attend a real-time, moderated chat hosted by key people from within your business you will be able to tell your story, in your words, and create instant high-level engagement. Candidates can ask their questions and receive answers instantly and discuss any concerns they may have with their peers. Regular private group chats can be run for in-process candidates to maintain engagement and post-offer ‘meet your fellow Apprentice’ chats can build a sense of community and excitement, which will help reduce renege rates and build confidence for your junior hires.

1-2-1 can be set up as a helpdesk, enabling candidates to message and receive a response from a real person in a timely and effective way and all this is made easier because Meet & Engage is fully mobile enabled; pretty essential when being glued to your device is life!

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