Given the nature of our business, you would expect recruiting to come easily to ISV. A smooth process where the right team members are assessed and interviewed before slotting beautifully into our team as if they had always belonged. As we all know though, recruiting, even with access to all the best tools, can sometimes go awry. Think of the last time you had your fingers burnt by a hire that didn’t work out, what will you do differently next time? When a position became available at ISV we knew it was a chance to try something new. What about an Apprentice? Perhaps, like me, you have the misconception that Apprenticeships are only for hands-on jobs like plumbers or mechanics. Not at all; they are available for business and administrative roles too. Plus, with an increasing number of younger people shunning university to choose vocational experience, the pool of candidates to choose from is much richer. So, we are now one month in with having an Apprentice on board and so far, so good. In fact, very good. The process has been painless and we’re spotting benefits all over the place already. Here are the top 6 employer benefits we’ve found since recruiting an Apprentice. 1) Sourcing like the best recruiters – our apprenticeship partner Boom Training in Southampton are up there with the top recruitment consultants. Taking our requirements, asking probing questions to understand the role and what it would take to be successful. It was a truly professional experience and they only put forward candidates they believed to be the best fit. What more can you ask? And I was really impressed with the calibre. 2) Funding – most businesses that take on Apprentices are eligible for funding. For 16-24 year olds this is a grant of up to £1500. You may be required to pay the training provider a fee for the tutoring on offer but only if the Apprentice is over 18. Full details can be found on the official Apprenticeships website. 3) Salary – the above leads nicely on to salaries. Strictly speaking businesses can offer Apprentices the minimum wage (currently £2.68* per hour). However, we believe salaries should reflect the job role and the candidate and, like most business, offer significantly more than this. A fair pay for the commitment and standard expected. 4) Discipline – Our Apprentice is visited on a regular basis by her mentor to observe the work in action and ensure the tasks are relevant to the job role and eventual qualification. This is perfect discipline and focus not just for the Apprentice but for us as an employer too. 5) Creativity – hiring any new team member brings in a different skill set and fresh perspective. Having an Apprentice on board adds a new dimension and Molly is no different. She has creative ideas that will likely reach a wider audience. For example, if blog’s are your thing read what it’s like from the Apprentice’s perspective – we now have a weekly blog about what to expect in the same position. On a personal note, I love the entry about what to expect on Day 1. 6) Training – the role of the Apprentice provider is to act as the training provider and assessor. They ensure that the individual is learning and understanding what is required of them in the job role and in a wider business context. It also encourages curiosity in the Apprentice to not just focus on their job role but look at how this fits into the organisation. Yes, the employer has a duty to release the apprentice for up to 1 day per week but this is in exchange for having a competent member of staff. These are just a handful of benefits to recruiting an Apprentice and they are in addition to the obvious, it’s filled a very real gap in our team. The job wasn’t created to tick a box and Molly certainly isn’t here to make up the numbers; she is already contributing and we expect it to continue. If you take away anything from this blog I would urge you to a) consider what an Apprentice could do for your business because it really does add a different dimension and b) if not, consider what you want and need to do differently in your recruitment strategy to avoid getting your fingers burnt again. *as from 1st October 2013 ***** ISV.Online is the leading supplier of skills testing software and services to the UK Recruitment Industry. Used by 9 of the top 10 UK agencies, by number of offices, and 7 of the top 10, by revenue, ISV.Online offers candidate skills assessment and evaluation software and online training tools, allowing agencies and in-house HR/recruitment teams to validate the skills of potential candidates and existing employees across a wide range of areas.