Young People are not the problem. But Employers often are.

The other day I was sitting with my colleague , James Walsh , and a Recruitment Consultant – talking about the difficulties of employing young people.  And how employers , and outdated recruitment practices,  are all too often part of the problem.

Unintelligible jobs descriptions. Never giving candidates any feedback. Lack of mentoring.

The insistence on applying 20th Century recruitment and management approaches to a generation who were texting before they could write.

Rather than talk about what we have done to adapt to this , I thought I would hand over to a guest blogger, Sarah , to describe her experience of entering work. For me – it shows how we have changed, and also the things we need to improve upon.

“I remember when I heard that Bromford was recruiting. My mom was going crazy telling me to apply, I kept putting it off because I felt 100% there’s no chance of me getting picked. After DAYS of nagging from the mother I eventually filled in the online application, even though I knew deep down there is no chance. I did it to keep my mother happy.  After a while I received a phone call.. I’d been invited to an assessment centre.  I will never forget the feeling I had when I received that phone call..

When I attended the assessment day, I met loads of people who were at the same stage as me. Looking round I felt a bit threatened, everybody else seemed much more confident than I was. I didn’t have much interview experience so I was very nervous. There were loads of members of staff all from different teams explaining what they do or what service they provide for Bromford customers. I sat and listened to every position which was available and remembered a little tip my dad told me  – ‘ ask questions! ‘ 

We then had a phone call role play, I found this really easy and I felt I did well on this..  Also we were asked to complete a group activity! Build a shoe rack from string and bamboo sticks. This enabled them to see how well each individual works as a team. I must admit I was well into building this shoe rack.

A few days had passed and I didn’t hear anything.. which was what I expected. Then to my surprise I had the phone call  ‘ We would like you to come in for a four hour work experience’. This was a shock to my system . My mom and dad encouraged me to remain positive. I was so worried.

During my work experience I was asked to think of a short but sweet paragraph to introduce a new brochure which was being distributed to customers.  The four hours were finished in no time. And it was back to the waiting game.

To my surprise I had the phone call.  I was starting an Opportunities 4 Employment Placement. Whooooop!

I started at Bromford on the 3rd of January. Everyone was so welcoming and I felt at ease straight away.  I remember logging on for the first time, and setting up my phone! I’ve never had my own desk or my own personal phone in a job before so this was a big change for me! I was really excited!. 

I remember having my first telephone call. It took me 10 minutes to record my voice mail as I kept making mistakes I was so nervous. I stuttered on my first phone call which was disappointing but lucky it was a voicemail so I just hung up ha-ha.

As time passed and the more phone calls I was asked to make I became a lot more confident. And now I can phone anyone about anything! And my phone manner has improved by 100% I’d say. Also my computer skills. The whole aspect of the job is completely different to what I would normally do so it has opened a lot of doors for me. It really has been a confidence and knowledge builder! Even though my placement will end I feel a lot more balanced when it comes to work. Almost  I’m learning to ride a bike.

You taught me to ride, now you’ve taken off my stabilizers and watch me go! “

4 responses to “Young People are not the problem. But Employers often are.”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this account! It’s given me some ideas for some of our apprentices.

    I also think it’s not just young people this affects – applying for jobs is a really frustrating experience, no matter what age you are. Particularly in this economic climate!

  2. Thanks Pamela. You are right it’s not just relevent to young people. I never cease to be amazed at hearing about employers not acknowledging people’s applications. Even when they have attended an interview. If we don’t give someone feedback about they could improve then we are part of the problem – not the solution.

  3. My pet hate is the line “due to the number of applications we will not contact unsuccessful applicants”. At the most basic level it is disrespectful to applicants. We all need to remember what it felt like to apply for our first job and draw on that every time we recruit.

    1. Thanks Sarah – it’s that simple isn’t it? I remember applying for loads of jobs in the early 90’s recession, hearing nothing, and losing all hope and confidence. But we forget that quickly when we start recruiting ourselves. We never should

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