Thinking of taking on more staff post lockdown? Perhaps bringing a new apprentice into the ranks might be something you’d like to consider as a way of helping your business begin growing again?
The Australian Government as part of its economic response to COVID-19 has launched a new subsidy to support apprentice and trainee wages until the end of September 2021.
This is a great incentive, as it’s no secret that taking on an apprentice in any trade, service or construction business is an investment. You devote your time, money and expertise in the hope that your efforts will pay off with a skilled worker who provides professional value in more ways than one.
However, with this package in place, it’s now much easier than ever to justify bringing on a new team member, with employers able to take advantage of a 50 per cent wage subsidy for eligible apprentices.
But this leads us to the question, how do you hire the right apprentice for your business in the first place? After all, unlike qualified professionals, there’s a lot more to consider when taking on the responsibility of training and guiding someone through the early stages of their career.
To help make this easier for you, we asked our HR team at AroFlo to share their insights into recruiting, screening, interviewing and hiring the perfect person for the job.
Because apprentices are sometimes hired through different avenues than traditional employees, we’ll begin with some broad considerations that can help you find where the best potential candidates are and even have them seek out your business with little to no effort involved.
We’ll then build on this and discuss how to pick the perfect candidate and determine whether they’ll be the right fit for your business.
But first, let’s start with the basics of finding talented people.
What to consider before you begin looking for potential apprentices
The process of finding great talent is similar regardless of whether you’re looking for fully qualified professionals or those hoping to move into an apprenticeship. What matters most is having systems in place for bringing in the best possible applicants with the least amount of work.
To start, think about the places you go to look for promising candidates. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a recruitment agency or word of mouth, it should be your mission to make your business sound enticing to those who want to work in your industry.
Never forget that the digital age has brought with it a huge amount of options for how you go about finding talented apprentices, but this stream flows both ways. Naturally skilled individuals have the means to shop around and find an apprenticeship that fits exactly what they need, so it’s up to you to put your best foot forward and drive home the wealth of benefits that come with signing on with your business.
Which leads to another key consideration when setting up a system for bringing in only the best candidates for an apprenticeship.
Investing in your local ties with educational institutions
Talented individuals looking to make their way into the trades, services or construction industries are often snapped up quickly by businesses with an eye for talent.
The only way to get in first is to beat these other businesses to the punch by shaking some hands and making your business known to your local tafes, schools and skills training centres.
Make contact and ask about talented students who may be looking to move into an apprenticeship. The end goal here is to become known locally as a business that welcomes skilled individuals looking to take on an apprenticeship and if done correctly, you’ll always have the best candidates heading your way first.
But just being welcoming isn’t enough, to get potential apprentices on board you need to think exactly like them.
Getting the best talent by thinking like a potential apprentice
Promoting a positive workplace culture that values apprentices and doesn’t see them as a burden in the workplace is a great place to start when looking to draw in talented individuals who want to work for your business.
Offering a competitive or slightly above-average rate of pay can also do wonders for enticing the candidates you want into sticking around long term. This method can help secure great employees with deep-running loyalties to you and your company, which more than pays for itself in time. If you’re still not convinced, this article on the topic raises some good points about how a tactic such as this can pay off big time.
Candidates will also want to see whether your business offers them anything special over other similar employment options. This can be difficult to prove before any official interviews or other recruitment processes have taken place. A good strategy for this is to try and align your initial contact with a potential apprentice with what you believe they are looking for from an apprenticeship. Leveraging the strengths of your business, such as operating in a specialist field or being a market leader can help here. But ultimately, it’s up to you to predict what someone is looking for and then prove that you and your business are capable of providing it.
With these broad considerations taken into account, it’s time to dig into our HR team’s advice for effectively screening, interviewing and deciding on the right apprentice for your business.