Gone are the days when it was just traditional industries or large organisations that are choosing the apprenticeship route. Small/start-up businesses are now finding it a useful way to recruit and train staff. Apprenticeships now cover more than 170 industries and 1,500 job roles from entry to degree level - so if you’ve been toying with the idea of taking on an apprentice, here’s the breakdown on why we think it’ll benefit your business:
1. Bringing a breath of fresh air to your business
Introducing new, youthful talent to your business can add a whole new dimension to your workplace, bringing with it a fresh outlook and new proposals This in turn can encourage existing employees and spark a boost in overall business productivity.
Theres no-one more ready-to-go than a fresh apprentice wanting to learn about the industry. They’re intrigued, engaged and ready to conquer all at maximum effort levels.
3. Expand and upskill your workforce
What better way to channel or your knowledge and skills? Passing it on to someone else. You’d be able to simply transfer all you know and build up the most knowledgeable worker in the long run.
4. Adapt their training
Apprenticeships can be tailored to specific job roles, making them flexible to the needs of your business. The added advantage is that you will effectively train a new employee to think and act in the interests of your business from day one, knowing that they haven’t already picked up any bad practice from another employer.
5. Future-proof your business
Apprenticeships provide you with the skilled workers you need for the future. Therefore, in times to come, you’re assured you have a well-rounded employee you can rely on.
6. Cost effective
Hiring an apprentice is a cost-effective way to support the development of new skills and talent in your business, with many employers able to access funding and grants to cover the expenses.
The apprentice rate is lower than other rates, but paid only in the first year. Apprenticeships should last at least 12 months.
There is a £1,000 payment available to employers for apprentices who, at the start of their apprenticeship, are:
Ready to hire? Get in touch with us here at EPQ. We’re able to navigate and guide you through any and all recruitment processes.
An apprenticeship offers you the opportunity to gain ‘real world’ experience and develop your expertise in your chosen field.
Typically, an apprentice will split their time 80/20 between work and study. Unlike work experience, an apprenticeship is a legitimate job that requires a legal contract of employment, annual leave and a salary. There is a whole host of benefits to choosing the apprenticeship route, and we’ve narrowed it down to this 5 key factors:
1. Gain hands-on experience
Since you will be working as part of a team of experienced professionals for the majority of your apprenticeship, you will have the opportunity to widen your skillset and benefit from hands-on experience.
And above all, you will be able to learn from your colleagues on a day-by-day basis and support your professional development.
2. Benefit from support systems and learning aids
Apprenticeships offer a much higher level of support than regular jobs, and your employers will be there to help guide you through your career journey.
They will give you the support you need to progress, whether that’s answering role-related questions or providing useful resources to better your studies.
As well, apprenticeships shall be paired with college and a college assessor, who shall monitor and be on-hand with your studies.
3. Get paid to learn
Apprenticeships offer you the opportunity to get paid to learn, which is probably the most stand- out benefit. You will earn a, albeit basic, salary while you gain invaluable experience and top notch knowledge.
So, unlike university, you will not be left with a huge student loan to pay off over time but, instead, a strong professional skill set and knowledge foundation, as well as more money in your back pocket.
4. Gain industry-recognised qualifications
During your apprenticeship, you will gain industry-wide recognised qualifications, which can help validate your skills and knowledge, and help you demonstrate your substance to future employers. You can carry these qualifications with you throughout your career, which will improve your future job prospects.
5. Get accustomed to work life
An apprenticeship is a great way to bridge the gap between finishing education and kickstarting your career. For example, an apprenticeship will help you get a feel for a professional work environment and gives you the opportunity to brush up on your soft skills along the way.
Want to become an apprentice for a fast-growing, forward-thinking recruitment agency? Look no further! Here at EPQ we’re looking for a stand-out young person to help with business administration and resourcing. Follow the link to know more
Work-life balance is a key part of self-care when juggling the responsibilities of your workday, home life, and relationships with your loved ones.
More than a quarter of full-time employees admit they struggle to balance work and family and other extra curricular. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to get the balance just right:
Improving your work/life balance in the workplace
Although classed as a soft skill, learning to say no is extremely hard to any dedicated professional. We’ve all been a situation where we’ve felt forced to say yes to something we didn’t have the capacity to do. It’s a human-thing, and some of us tend to be serial people pleasers!
To start learning the word no, you must first assess the typical demands of your day, learn to prioritise what you have on your plate and become familiar with your boundaries. If you have trouble deciding what is a priority and get handed an excessive amount to do, simply ask your superior what they’d like done with urgency.
2. Take Breaks
A break even as little as 2 minutes can count towards:
And if you’re given a lunch break, use it! And that doesn’t mean eating lunch at your desk. Switch off, change location, and use up the entirety of the time.
3. Prioritise your health
Recognising the importance of maintaining your physical and emotional wellbeing is the first step to making it a priority.
Consider the following healthy habits:
Improving your work/life balance at home
Set and communicate your work hours to your management/colleagues so that you have clear boundaries. This should include when you’ll work and when you won’t be able to respond.
We suggest setting up an autoresponder to alert those who contact you via email, to notify that you’re unresponsive and when you’re back. This can be as simple as:
“Hello, I am out of office from Tuesday 26th July to Tuesday 2nd August. All
emails shall be replied to when upon my return. For anything urgent, please contact (name) Thank you”
2. Block out time for family
For this to work, everyone in your family needs to make this time a priority. Make sure you’re all on the same page.
Although easier said than done, try and get outside or doing something out of the ordinary and stay away from your mobile unless an emergency.
3. Reconnect with a hobby
Chances are if you’re reading this, you have been struggling to keep up with work and family, and have little to no time to have an extracurricular.
Whether it’s after the kids are in bed or on a one-off, it’s important that you are honouring a passion off yours outside the normalities!
To summarise, here’s our must-do’s to withhold a healthy work-life balance.
How to build a clear, converting job ad
Refined recruitment processes are efficient, productive and pleasant for both candidates and hiring teams. A non-structured recruiting process is one of the easiest way to raise your employee turnover rate.
Being recruiters, we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to an internal hiring process, therefore we’d like to share a handful of advice you can easily implement into your strategy - starting with building converting job ads.
Effective job ads help you evaluate candidates on job-related criteria. Work with hiring managers to create job descriptions that:
Provide useful and specific details about the hiring roles
When listing job duties, mention projects your new hire may undertake, teams they will work with and who they will ultimately be referring to. Distinguish between ‘must-haves’ and ‘preferred’ requirements.
As a general rule, keep your list of ‘must-haves’ to around 5-6 bullet points, as too many could discourage a candidate. Ideally, we’d like a job post to be enticing, however try to be completely honest and avoid sugar coating. You’ll have better chances of hiring the right candidate because they had a honest overlook of the job from the get-go.
Choose straightforward job titles
It’s important to be extremely clear on the roles you’re hiring for. This means avoiding denoting descriptive words such as ‘rockstar’ and clickbait titles or snippets of texts such as ‘Amazing opportunity for social media lovers!” This can come across ‘salesy’ and often condescending.
Just keep it simple a stick to titles ie. “Manager’, ‘Executive’
Promote your company
A job ad is the perfect opportunity to spread the word about your company. Describe what makes you unique to give candidates compelling reasons to apply.
And be specific: “We opened 4 new branches recently” is more precise than “We are growing fast.”
An example of this:
“We are EPQ recruitment, a new, forward-thinking recruitment agency specialising in aligning companies with their dream candidates and vice versa.
EPQ is a hub for those looking to find the perfect position, whether that’s in sales, construction, legal, or many, many more industries. We take extreme pride in our excellent client relationships, ability to build trust, and immense amount of specific match-making knowledge that leads companies to their ideal employee.
Having recently gained an influx of new clientele, we’re now looking for...”
Also, don’t forget to outline the perks of your company, for example showcasing it’s personality and why people would want to work there.
Be clear and inclusive with your language
Avoid using jargon and complicated sentences, our aim is to make the candidate feel included and resonate with the job, therefore we don’t want to put them off by being confusing.
Also try and avoid discriminatory/undermining language (e.g. “salesman”, “young and energetic.”) And if your company actively supports diversity, let candidates know!
To sum up, here’s all of our do’s & don’ts to producing a job ad:
- Distinguish between ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ - Be honest about the duties of the role
- Describe your company and it’s perks
- Showcase your company personality
- Sugarcoat your offerings
- Use clickbait titles
- Use jargon or complicated sentences - Use discriminatory language
Overwhelmed by the amount of time, effort and money that goes into writing job ads? Let us take the weight off! Get in touch.
Should I outsource help with recruitment?
It can be difficult to decide when is the right time to bring help to your business, and to accept the fact that your in-house recruitment strategies aren’t converting. It’s hard to calculate exactly what’s not working, especially when recruitment isn’t in your repertoire!
Having a good team behind you is arguably one of the most important parts of business, so you recruitment process should be spick and span in order to retain employees.
Alas, here’s 5 reasons why hiring a recruitment agency could benefit your business...
1. Allows you to concentrate on your core business
Perhaps the overarching reason most outsource help, hiring a recruiter allows business owners too narrow in further on what they enjoy doing as well as what needs to get done. Recruitment is a tiring process that can either be overlooked or overworked, none of which is beneficial. To avoid the burnout of a business owner, the ought to consider having someone take the reins on getting new employees.
2. Networking pipeline
Recruitment agencies tend to specialise in particular industries, and within those, will have a good reputation. Therefore, recruiters will already have a wide network of active candidates that potentially could be interested in your job vacancy. As well, recruiters will hold a network of passive candidates who have already been in discussion on the types of roles they’re interested in.
3. The onboarding process
The onboarding process is a staple with regards to retaining an employee. Often, if candidates haven’t received a satisfactory, smooth onboarding they become less likely to be dedicated to a role. Also, with onboarding, comes a great deal of file handling, follow-ups, and in short, a lot of hassle for a business owner that is already overrun with other aspects. Therefore, a recruitment agency can take all the slack, and handle the process in its entirety.
4. Cost containment
As recruiters and business owners know, hiring the wrong employee is easily done and not so easily undone. It’s common that a candidate will interview well and proceed to make a good impression, to ultimately underperform in their role. This will not only waste time (interviewing, training etc) but will also come with a significant cost. Hiring a professional to hand-select your perfect candidate will eliminate the chances of hiring the wrong person, therefore being making the journey evermore cost-effective.
5. Analytics and reporting
One of the often overlooked benefits having a recruitment agency onboard is the data which can be gathered throughout the entirety of the process, with multiple hires.
Having a constant analysing eye over this information not only allows for real-time reporting and insights which can help with decision making, but can offer actionable insight into the efficiencies of your businesses recruitment strategy and methods. This allows for a constantly evolving and improving recruitment process which over time will further improve the efficiency, cost- effectiveness and ultimately, the quality of hires.
Essentially, if you’re tired of being weighed down by the pressure to convert employees, endless interviews, no-shows, let-downs and money loss, your best bet is to outsource some help.
Here at EPQ, we specialise in taking the weight off business owners backs, and handle the all of the nitty gritty from start to finish. Want to know more? Get in touch!
How to handle hiring the wrong candidate
As humans, we can sometimes be wrong with our judgement in any aspects of business. In recruiting especially, it can sometimes become obvious that after the hiring process has finished, you’ve ultimately chosen the wrong candidate.
Hiring is hard and sometimes we get it wrong, however, we must be careful when dealing with the repercussions. Here’s our suggested approach to handling the wrong hire:
1. Probation period
A probation period acts as a extended interview, and is the newcomers chance to prove themselves worthy and to get used to their surroundings. It’s important that a probation period is honoured to it’s agreed about of time, not only for legal reasons, but to give your employee a chance to showcase what they can do to the full capacity. Use this period to make sure you’re completely decided that they’re not the right fit for the company, after all, your decision must be certain.
We also recommend asking your existing co-workers about their experience with the new employee, because chances are if you’ve seen a problem, they have to. Take more than just one opinion into consideration so you’re assured you’re not being rash.
2. Get feedback from the new hire
Feedback is never a one-way street. It's not just how you are perceiving the situation that matters, it’s inevitable that the employee shall have their opinions also.
It’s extremely important that they’re listened to and understood clearly, as there may be some hurdles getting in the way of their progression that need to be factored in by yourself. In situations like these, you MUST give the employee chance to speak up, and never assume what’s going on.
3. The hard part
You’ve brought someone in, but after lots of warning signs and doubts you feel as though you’ve come to a conclusive decision. You’ve invested enough of time in trying to make it work, but for whatever reason, it’s just not happening and it’s crystal clear that you’ve hired the wrong person.
It’s important in this situation to trust your gut and not cling on to ‘maybes’, but once you have, it’s time to arrange a discussion with the new hire.
In almost all cases, the decision shall feel mutual, and the hire shall understand that they’d be best suited in another role or another company. Try your best to be sympathetic, (but not so much you become patronising!), and avoid being insulting by digging into personal characteristics. Your conversation should be calm and as honest as possible, and should not leave a bad taste in the either participants mouthes. Prior to your first conversation, this decision should not come as a complete shock to the employee.
This should not be a dragged out situation. The longer you stall this conversation, the longer the process will take in not only finding a replacement, but also valuable headspace. Metaphorically speaking, in most ‘giving unfortunate news’ situations, you must ‘rip of the band-aid’ quickly to avoid dragging out and worsening the news telling.
4. Moving on
Once the initial probation is completed and the new hire is has heard your reasoning for letting them go, it’s imperative that the moving on process is swift. Explain to co-workers your feelings (chances are theirs we’re the same) and try not to dwell. This is a chance to show maturity in your leadership, and not bad-mouth your former employee.
5) Turning hiring mistakes into a better recruitment process
Like stated, it’s completely normal top get things wrong in the world of business, especially when recruitment isn’t your niche or strong suit. That’s why outsourcing the help of our recruitment agency can benefit you massively with regards to bettering your recruitment process, and avoiding bad hires.
A recruitment agency can carry out an excessive amount of research with regards to your ideal candidate and ensure a thorough screening process of candidates. They can also track and pinpoint exact moments in strategy that didn’t convert well, and evaluate next steps.
Avoid hiring the wrong employee by outsourcing EPQ recruitment!