Most UK businesses operate in mature markets and face challenges with regard to profitability, efficiency and productivity. We want to share with you our thoughts on the benefits of recruiting young people and how it can help address these primary challenges.
There are many articles out there that talk about the benefits of recruiting young people and they often refer to having an enthusiastic and energetic workforce. But there are more benefits to recruiting young people than this alone.
If you find an applicant with the right positive attitude and behaviours these can been channelled, skills can be taught and commercial awareness overlaid. Experience sometimes comes with baggage, so experience is not always a positive because it often can be coupled with scepticism and resistance to change.
Recruiting young people allows you to create the dream team. A team with all the right attributes and the eagerness to learn on the job can only lead to good things for the business.
When it comes to recruiting or setting up a programme to bring young people into the business, it is more likely to be a success if you get buy-in from the whole company.
Your employees need to invest and believe in what you’re doing.
Most people know or have younger relatives or friends and will appreciate your business helping those less experienced get started in their careers.
We spoke to a group of graduates who had successfully progressed through a graduate scheme that was implemented by Access Generation’s founder, Chris Tarry. We talked to the graduates about the benefits of recruiting young people and here’s what some of them told us…
28-year-old Greg started his career on a graduate scheme and spoke to us about the benefits of recruiting young people.
He said: “It’s not the easiest path to take because you have to take time to nurture them. But if you want people who buy into your business then the home-grown approach is ideal. Go with them on the journey and you will get loyal employees.
“So if you invest in them, they will invest in you.”
26-year-old Jack said: “Graduate schemes enable organisations to recruit young, hungry talent early on in their career. By doing this, organisations can identify desired competencies, behaviours and mould employees to demonstrate these, which enables them to become more productive and successful in what they do. The most important aspect of employing young people is about moulding people into the company culture early in their career – which creates a sense of fanaticism about the company that they work for.”
Research by Oxford Economics revealed that the cost of replacing an employee costs over £30,000. This includes costs around recruitment, training and development to bring them up to speed on the job.
By recruiting inexperienced young people you have the opportunity to create a new entry level with a lower starting salary. If you get it right once they’re in post too then they’ll be more likely to be loyal to the company and less likely to leave so quickly, which will save you money on unwanted recruitment due to staff turnover.
There are also opportunities to consider alternative routes to recruitment other than through agencies.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology recently teamed up with Caterpillar who organised an open day. They encouraged current employees to bring young friends and family members along to find out about jobs available.
So think about the resources you have around you. Your current employees are your best word-of-mouth recruiters (but do make sure they are fully engaged and on board with the idea first).
Your employees are your competitive advantage. The way they produce your product or deliver your service will determine the rate of growth of your business.
A government article stated that a quarter (25%) of consumers would more likely spend more on goods and services with a business that employs young people.
Getting it right is paramount to your business future success.
Young people can bring energy and a relentless attitude to do well. Your business can harness their positive attitude and help the business adapt as technology and digital moves forward.
According to the National Office of Statistics, the UK population is projected to continue ageing, with the average age rising from 39.7 years in 2010 to 42.2 by 2035. There is an opportunity to combine the wealth of the experience of mature employees with the digital know-how of young people that have grown up in an explosive technology growth era. The combination is likely to breed innovative ideas to solve business challenges to help future proof your business. Experienced employees are often energised through experience of working with, mentoring or coaching young people too.
An American study suggests that neurological changes in the brain mean technology is a sixth sense for young people, which means they don’t need to adapt to new technology to use them.
What you need to do before you start recruiting
So, we’ve given you the reasons why it’s a good idea to recruit young people. Now it’s over to you to make it happen for your business. We’ve identified five things you must do before you start:
- Speak to your employees and get their support
Make sure you bring everyone along on the journey with you to ensure a welcoming space for new employees and create a better engaged workforce.
- Identify employees to buddy up new recruits
Get your employees to help support your new employees and make sure you talk about this opportunity in the recruitment.
- Think about the needs of the business
What is it that the business needs from a new recruit and how can you improve the existing workforce with the new intake? Make a robust business case taking into account recruitment costs, higher salaries for experience, management time spent on recruitment and the impact on indirect costs or income of current staff turnover or attrition rates.
- Identify work or tasks that are suitable for an entry level position
Provide meaningful work to help young people engage and embed themselves into your business. Define the role, attitude, skills and competencies you are looking for.
- Look to free up more experienced employees so they might add value
Better your efficiencies by allowing experienced employees to add value to your business, by delegating tasks to your new recruits and freeing up their valuable time.
If you would like more guidance or support on attracting young people to your business then please get in touch.