Recruitment: Young people don’t want gimmicks

recruitment gimmicks

Youth employment experts Youth Employment UK reveal top tips for future talent recruitment and youth engagement. Top of the list: Young people don’t want gimmicks.

At a recent Ambassador Workshop we discussed what it is about a brand that makes young people want to engage or even work with it.

As we watched this debate unfold it was clear to see all the Ambassadors in the room had an experience where they felt they were being patronised by a brand. One Ambassador described the glow-sticks they were given to “encourage” them to consider the opportunities of that organisation.

“Glow-sticks won’t make me get involved, I am 22 years old and a little beyond that. I want to be treated as a young professional. I want to understand what the opportunity is going to do for me – why should I care and want to be involved?” Joshua

Another Ambassador shared an experience with a brand which was recruiting and using social media to make the opportunity appeal to a youth audience. But once they started the application process, the brand returned to its traditional corporate messages and the Ambassador felt confused and stopped their application.

We often hear that young people want to work for brands that have a positive impact on the world, take their CSR seriously, and importantly offer great training and development opportunities. Young people do their research and are put off when they see mixed messages. It is really important, therefore, to understand what makes young people engage. All too frequently we see brands making assumptions that fall short of the mark.

Youth Employment UK has put the views, experiences and needs of young people first from day one of our inception. Giving young people a voice was what we set out to do as an organisation. This unique insight and approach means that our youth network continues to grow, and at a rapid rate. It also means that we have a huge wealth of knowledge when it comes to engaging, supporting and developing young people. We are then able to support organisations to become Youth Friendly and benefit from our expertise and youth network.

Our top tips for youth engagement in talent acquisition

  1. Know your audience. Once you have identified who you are looking to engage, go and speak to some people who meet your target criteria. Assume nothing and ask key questions that will help shape your strategy
  2. Be ready to really listen. Don’t just hear youth insights and then do what you think is best regardless; hear what you are being told and act on it. Even if it doesn’t directly suit your ideals.
  3. Don’t use gimmicks. Young people want to be treated professionally, so be honest and clear about the opportunity and benefits
  4. Make sure you do what you say you will. Follow things through.
  5. Ensure that the journey to working with your organisation is consistent

If you are a member of our Youth Friendly Employer Community you can access further insight on the subject of Youth Voice through the Members Dashboard. You can also contact the team to get specific advice and guidance tailored to your business needs.

If you are not yet a Youth Friendly Employer Community Member you can find out about the benefits and download the application form here. You can also read about our expert services which include strategic support, youth voice workshops and insight and much more here.

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