I’m ready to take on an Apprentice. Where do I start?
Congratulations! You’ve decided to take on an Apprentice. The first thing you need to look at is what exactly will your Apprentice be doing, how many hours a week will they be working, and have you got an arrangement with a local college to ensure that your Apprentice can complete the theory side of their training?
What about college?
Have a chat to the local colleges. See what courses the cover. If they can provide a course for your Apprentice to join, then great. You’ll need to build a good relationship with the college as you’ll want to know how the Apprentice is getting on, if they are applying themselves in their lessons, and what their attendance is like.
There may be situations where your Apprentice finds it easier to talk to their tutor about things that are affecting them in work and college. If this is the case, having a good working relationship with the college will mean that they can give you this feedback.
How do I recruit an Apprentice?
It’s tempting to ask around and see if anyone you know has a son or daughter who wants to complete an apprenticeship with you. You already know their parents, so you can definitely trust this person to be the best apprentice, right? Not always. Sometimes taking on the son or daughter of a friend or even a family member can end in tears.
To make sure that you are taking on the right person for the job, you should advertise it. There are lots of places where you can advertise your vacancy, but you need to pick one that’s right for you. Start off by looking at your own website – if you can advertise it there, that’s free and could be a really great option. You can also use the GOV.UK website to advertise your apprenticeship vacancy. Another great option is to advertise your vacancy in your local school(s) and college(s). This way, the people who are looking for an apprenticeship get to see them straight away.
If you are using Social Media, you can use this as a tool to promote your vacancy. You can share the link to the careers page on your website on Facebook and Twitter
Is there anything I need to think about when I’m writing the job advert?
When you’re writing the advert, just put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. What would you want to know before applying for a job? The hours of work? How much you’ll be paid? Where you’ll be working? What will you be doing in work?
Write it in plain language. There’s nothing worse than looking at a job advert and seeing abbreviations like ATGB, and not knowing what that means! It might make perfect sense to the people who actually work in your Company, but for an outsider, these could just be a collection of random letters. Avoid the jargon!
Should I make them fill in an application form?
Application forms are great for situations like this. Thinking about the people who will be applying for an Apprenticeship, you may find that they might not have much on their CV. Giving them an application form will give them the opportunity to tell you more about themselves and why you should interview and maybe even, employ them.
Should I do a test?
Doing a test can give you an insight into how your candidates would handle a real work situation. You could ask them to complete a practical test or a written test. Just bear in mind that they won’t have the skills and experience of a fully qualified person, so don’t make it too difficult.
If you need them to have basic math skills, then put that in the test. If you want to know if they can solve a logic problem, then ask that. The test will vary from industry to industry.
What questions should I ask them during the interview?
You should ensure that you ask all the candidates the same questions, so when you’ve finished interviewing you can mark them all on the same things.
Ask them what they know about your company; this will show you if they’ve taken the time to research you or if they’ve just been firing applications off to anyone and everyone. What’s attracted them to your company and this Apprenticeship? This will give you an insight into what it is they want to gain and whether they will fit with your company.
I’ve made my decision, what should I do now?
Excellent news! You’ve finally found someone to fill the vacancy. The next thing to do would be to offer them the position. Give them a call and tell them. Give them all the details of the job; how much you are paying them, when do you want them to start, what their job will involve etc.
What about the other candidates?
Once your successful candidate has accepted, get in touch with the other candidates to let them know they’ve been unsuccessful. It would be good if you rang them and spoke to them, this way you can give them a bit of feedback. When you’re giving feedback, make sure it’s constructive.
The next part would be to get a contract drawn up for your Apprentice. Tune in next time to find out about contracts and what to do
Check out our other articles related to hiring and managing Apprentices.