How to recruit and retain young talent

How to recruit and retain young talent

Ahead of National Careers Week, we would like to share how you can attract and help young people to thrive in your workforce.  

Why hire young people? 

Young people bring a fresh perspective to an organisation. They provide new approaches and different ways of working that can improve your organisation. 

At the start of their careers and keen to learn, young people are enthusiastic, motivated and will make a positive impact on your workplace culture.  

They may have just left education or finished an apprenticeship and have a whole host of knowledge and skills they can bring to your organisation. The majority will also be IT literate and can hit the ground running when using digital systems.    

As well as benefiting your organisation, hiring a young person gives them a chance to gain vital experience and start or progress in their career. It’s no exaggeration to say the opportunity you offer them may be life changing.    

How to attract young people:

  • Rethink job descriptions – does the job advert specify a minimum amount of experience? Consider how important is it that a candidate has this amount of in-work experience; could it be that recently completing a relevant qualification or transferable skills from a previous job are enough; is there a way a new colleague could receive internal support or training to get job ready. By asking for a minimum amount of experience you are closing the door on young people who have simply not had the time or the opportunities to accumulate this. They may bring more to the role than you can imagine.  
  • Blind recruitment – try removing personal details from CVs and job applications to prevent unconscious bias. Removing details such as name, gender, ethnicity and age from applications can have a big impact on the way you hire. It can help you to assess candidate suitability as impartially as possible. This has the benefit of bringing diversity to your workforce. If you need support with finding candidates, we offer a free recruitment service and can match work ready participants to your vacancies. 
  • Become a Disability Confident employer: signing up to the Disability Confident Scheme will help you to recruit from the widest possible pool of young talent. For more information on how it can help your organisation visit
  • Have an area on your website that spells out your offer clearly and concisely – your website is the face of your organisation, and it is important to have an area that explains what it is like to work for your organisation and what it offers. Try to keep language simple and use imagery to capture attention. You could use photos or videos to show members of your workforce and your workplace culture to add credibility to your workplace offer. People like to see people like them, so when trying to attract young people to your organisation, ensure they are represented in the imagery on your site.    
  • Offer apprenticeships – apprenticeships are a great way to encourage young people into your organisation. An apprenticeship allows you to train a young person up to suit the needs of your organisation. Rather than turning a young person away because they do not have the necessary skills, an apprenticeship gives them the opportunity to learn on the job. Read more about the benefit of apprenticeships. 

How to retain young people 

  • Offer learning and development opportunities: young people are keen to learn and develop. Think about what kind of learning you can provide in your organisation and offer clear pathways to progression. Nurturing young people and supporting their progression will benefit the organisation in the long term. National Careers Service can help you to find free online courses. 
  • Have a mental health support service – as well as saving your organisation money through reducing absenteeism, presenteeism and workforce attrition, a mental health support service also shows a young person that you care and are a supportive workplace. With 1 in 6.8 people experiencing mental health problems in the workplace having mental health support and promoting it effectively is vital. If your organisation doesn’t currently have a mental health offer, discover how our cost-free Access to Work Mental Health Support Service could benefit your workforce. 

Further support   

Our talented team are here to help you in whatever way they can. Want to find out more about our services and how we can help your business?  Get in touch today.  

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