Recruitment process

If you’re looking to recruit an apprentice, there are some important things you’ll need to consider that might initially differ from your regular recruitment process. 

But don’t worry, we’re here to help make recruiting and retaining your apprentice as simple as possible. 

Our recruitment service 

Paragon Skills offers a complementary recruitment service to all employers we work with to ensure your business has the best chance at attracting top talent from across the country. 

We work with Get my first job, one of the largest and most popular job sites for those looking to start their career, to provide an all-in-one recruitment solution. 

We will write your job vacancy, promote it using our social channels, utilise Get my first job’s candidate search and applicant management technology and ultimately fill your role with an apprentice who will be committed to your business. 

To help you understand more about what we do, let’s cover off some of the basics. 

What is the recruitment process? 

This is the process of identifying the right candidate for the role within your business through the five recruitment steps: Planning, Strategy, Searching, Screening and Evaluation/Control. 

In years gone by, job applications were as simple as being recommended by a friend or sending in a sheet of paper with your qualifications on it. In our new world, with technology making us more connected than ever, it also means that competition has increased. Job seekers and the recruitment process has had to evolve to be a lot more thorough to ensure that candidates put their best foot forward and businesses get the right people in the right roles.  

Our recruitment process

Step 1 – Planning and strategy

When you start working with Paragon Skills on a new vacancy, our team member will ask you a number of questions in order to complete a ‘Vacancy Request Form’. This form aims to help you understand the type of requirements you have and the type of person you need to fill the role. 

At this point, the team member will write up your job advert, send to Get my first job who will then post this vacancy on their website. We can then begin to promote your vacancy across social media and wait for the CV’s to begin arriving. 

Step 2 – Candidate screening

Once the vacancy is posted, the Get my first job recruitment team are on alert awaiting the applications to come in for your vacancy. They’re eager to get these over to you however before you review any candidates, we work together with Get my first job to: 

  1. Ensure that before any applicant CV’s are sent to your organisation they are screened for suitability and eligibility. 
  1. Call each candidate for a full telephone interview. 
  1. Send the CV to you for your review along with notes from our initial contact with the candidate. 

Step 3 – Reviewing CV’s and selecting for interview

Now the power is in your hands to change someone’s life and give them their first step into a new career with your business. Here are some top tips about how best to respond when you receive the CV. 

  1. Review the CV as quickly as possible. These are young people keen to start their careers and will be applying for lots of apprenticeships. If you want them to choose yours, act fast your business is also in competition with the other businesses that candidate has applied to. 
  1. Give the CV the benefit of the doubt. Young people might not have lots of work experience, but it doesn’t make them unsuited to work. We all had to start somewhere. See if you can connect with their interests or qualifications. 
  1. Give your Get my first job recruiter as much detailed feedback as possible. They will feed this back to the candidate on your behalf so no need for any awkward conversations with the candidate – leave that to us to handle. 
  1. If you want to invite the candidate for an interview, contact your recruiter as quickly as possible so that they can arrange this before the candidate is snapped up. 

Step 4 – The interview

So, you have successfully invited the candidate for an interview, here are our top tips on running a successful interview and giving the candidate the best chance to succeed: 

Interview tips 

  • Please remember that this interview may be the first one that this young person has completed, they will be nervous. 
  • Your recruiter will have given the candidate information and advice on interviews and would have spoken to them before they attend so hopefully some of these nerves will be alleviated. 
  • Remember you are looking for potential, not necessarily the finished article. 
  • Don’t focus too much on workplace experience or qualifications. Remember, gaining this experience and qualification is why they want to start their apprenticeship journey with your business. 
  • Look for their passion and enthusiasm. Determining if they have the right personality, attitude and desire to do well in the role, that’s half the battle. 
  • Ask open ended structured questions to help them open up and express themselves, and showcase the research they did before the interview. 
Example questions  Reason to ask 
Why have you chosen the apprenticeship route?  Does the candidate understand the commitment they are undertaking, and the opportunities this provides? 
What do you know about our company and the product/service?  Have they done their research and checked out your website to find out the purpose, history and values of the business? 
When you have studied before, did you have a revision or study plan? Or did you revise a few days before?  This will help you determine how they tackle their workload. Do they plan and schedule? Do they work better under pressure? Compare their approach to their exam results – does this match what your business needs? 
Can you give an example of where you have had to work independently and use your initiative?  How confident are they in their abilities? How much guidance will they need on an ongoing basis? 
Where do you see yourself in three years time?  Have they considered what might happen after their apprenticeship? Can they envision themselves as qualified and does it excite them? Do they see this as a job or a career? 

Step 5 - After the interview

  • Timely interview feedback would be appreciated. The candidate would have put a lot of preparation and effort into this interview, the quicker they receive the feedback the better, negative or positive. 
  • If the feedback is negative please let your recruiter know something that the candidate did well to allow this point to be forwarded on for something positive to come out of the experience. 

Step 6 – Candidate selection and enrolment

If the candidate is successful we will then support you in enrolling your new team member. We know it can be a new experience for some businesses, but our enrolment process is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness with minimal disruption to the rest of your business. The Training Team to be in contact with you to arrange the enrolment of your new member of staff. 

Regarding ‘Trial periods’ we advise clients against asking candidates to undertake these for an apprenticeship as they are your new team member and should be given the same experience as an older more experienced team member. However if you wish to ask a candidate to complete a trial period before offering them the apprenticeship please be aware of these very important points. 

  • The length of the trial is a maximum of ONE DAY. Any longer periods have implications regarding the Modern Slavery Act 2017. 
  • The trial does not form any part of the apprenticeship therefore it is an agreement between you and the candidate with your company being responsible for the duty of care of the candidate, relevant insurances with a Health and Safety check being completed by Paragon Skills in advance. 
  • Any trial period must be paid at the National Minimum Wage for the candidate’s age and NOT at the Minimum Wage for an Apprentice. 

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