By Hajra Rahim
Avoid jargon in job adverts and show prospective employees how they can really develop and grow in your company, say these experts.For young people looking to take their first step on the career ladder, small businesses aren’t usually the first port of call, because when it comes to dream jobs, it’s the recognisable brand names with attractive salaries and strong benefits packages that appear the most desirable.
So how can a small business compete with the big players when it comes to recruiting young talent?
Being visible is the first step, says Rachel Suff, policy adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Young people will have less experience of applying for jobs, so it’s vital to ensure that your company’s recruitment process is youth friendly, she says. “This can be as simple as avoiding technical business jargon in the advertisement, or advertising in places where young people are more likely to see the job, such as school, college and university recruitment fairs, and social media.”
One tip for ensuring that your advert will be read is to get a young person to look at it before you post it. They’re often the best judge of what will attract their peers, so ask them for feedback and make the changes, adds Ms Suff.
Responding to applications speedily is also key, she says. Young people are so familiar with technology doing things for them instantly that they will expect things to happen quickly with an application, so put a transparent and well-organised recruitment process in place.
For Rob Blythe, director and co-founder of graduate recruitment agency, Instant Impact, having a clear company mission that a young person can relate to and get behind will attract them to your organisation, and make them feel more involved and engaged when they join. A fun office culture is also a winner, he says.
Smart young people can sniff insincerity a million miles off. They won't join if they don't believe youRichard Townsend, Circus StreetPromoting an opportunity for growth at your company is also what can separate it from the big corporates, says Richard Townsend, chief executive of online media and marketing company, Circus Street.
Part of that could be offering some light-touch mentorship, he adds. “Try not to be too hierarchical in your structure and ensure that the most junior people get to spend time with the most senior people in your organisation on a regular basis.” If you’re the founder of your business, making yourself available could be an option.
Circus Street’s mission to be at the forefront of technology and the visual arts – and a culture where employees treat each other with fairness and respect – has helped attract younger workers. But you have to do what you say, says Mr Townsend. “Smart young people can sniff insincerity a million miles off. They won't join if they don't believe you.”
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