On the 23rd of September we hosted the first in a series of employer engagement workshops. The workshop theme was Recruitment and Interview Practices.
The purpose was to provide tangible steps an employer can take to make their processes more accessible.
Ben Reese, Employer Engagement Officer for GM's Hidden Talent, opened the workshop after a networking lunch, and discussed the backgrounds of the Hidden Talent cohort (to date). Standout facts included:
72% have no confidence with CV writing or the interview process.
25 % have no work experience
66 % do not have equivalent Maths and English GCSE (A* - C)
For entry level jobs, Ben argued, the employer should consider how daunting a process this can be for what, for many young people, will be a first time experience.
The audience then heard from Karen Graham and Richard McAvoy from the Department of Work and Pensions, who discussed how Jobcentre Plus can support employers looking to recruit young people.
Afterwards Ben and David Brierley, GM's Hidden Talent Administrator, ran the audience through an exercise, looking at the barriers that job applications can create with their wording and language.
This was an adaptation of sessions that the GM’ Hidden Talent Youth Panel regularly run with employers.
Discussion points included what requirements a role truly needs (does experience matter, or the ability to learn?), and how to avoid jargon.
Lauren Bailey-Rhodes, from Transform Lives then discussed alternatives to the standard interview. These included:
having an informal chat to ease the interview in
having a current young employee on the interview panel
asking candidates to bring in an object to discuss to give them the chance to show off a passion or interest
Next to speak was Noel Goulding, from Northern Restaurants. He recounted being given a chance after leaving care and discussed hiring for personality and character. Noel shared how giving young people on his own staff a chance, has led to them becoming reliable and loyal employees.
Finally, Ian MacArthur from the Growth Company explained how the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter will shape good employment in the region, and how ethical and inclusive recruitment forms one of the Charter’s key characteristics of good employment.
The GM's Hidden Talent team are grateful for the speakers who lent their expertise and experience to making this event a success. If you would like to find out more about the programme, and learn about upcoming workshops, you can subscribe to our E-Bulletin here.