According to the Institute of Student Employers, an average of 5% of apprentice job offers were declined and 4% of apprentice job offers were reneged last year.
Unlike, graduate recruitment, employers on average receive less applications to apprenticeship programmes and so with a lower funnel to work with, declines and reneges can prove problematic as ISE found: Just over a quarter of organisations (27%) didn’t fill all their apprentice vacancies in 2017. Overall, an average of 5% of apprentice vacancies went unfilled.
Whilst a level of declines and reneges will always be inevitable, there are actions (many of which are quick and simple) you can take to reduce the number.
Actions to take right now
- State the pay upfront & be transparent – ensuring there are no hidden surprises for candidates in the process as they begin to delve deeper into your organisation will help your cause, particularly with salary which you can read more about in my previous article. Another thing to be super clear about is the progression opportunities for young people. Generally speaking, young people fear that if they don’t go to university, that may be hindered at a later point in life. Show how an apprenticeship will progress their career so that they can make a reassured decision.
- Begin engagement earlier – generally speaking the earlier in the academic cycle you can get in front of students the better. It gives you more time to teach students and work with them to ensure they have all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision.
- Make the recruitment process shorter – there’s a lot of things going on in the lives of teenagers and so the shorter you can make the recruitment process and the sooner you can get them locked into a decision, the less chance there is that they will turn you away or get another offer.
- Keep candidates warm – keeping students updated throughout the recruitment process is crucial, especially if you do have long recruitment processes. Exclusive content and updates on their application are simple yet effective things you can deliver to keep candidates warm and interested.
- Widen your talent pool – Declines and reneges are somewhat inevitable, as I mentioned earlier but if you can widen your talent pool and create a wider funnel from the outset, you can reduce the negative impact of this at a later date. Many employers are still quite limited in their mindset as to who will they take on when it comes to apprenticeships, so take another critical look at your entry criteria and see if there are opportunities to widen your potential talent pool.
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