With school leavers currently considering their post-school employment options, now is the time to recruit while the supply of quality candidates is high. Here’s some advice on how to go about hiring them.
So how do you go about recruiting an apprentice?
Know the costs and legal requirements involved.
You need to know and understand the costs associated with hiring an apprentice. It is important that if you take on an apprentice you are paying and managing their employment correctly.
Know and communicate your expectations.
Writing a person specification and job description will help you to decide what kind of person you are looking for and will also assist you in writing the job advert. Understand what personality and skills you need, align them to what could be expected from an apprentice. You won’t get second-year skills from a first-year – you’ve got to be prepared for that.
Find the best candidates.
Finding the right apprentice can be a daunting task if you are not used to the recruitment process. While hiring through word of mouth may be economical it is likely to lead to a much smaller pool of suitable applicants. When advertising the position there are a range of options available to you such as local newspapers and job boards like Seek.
However, posting the ad is just the first step. Use a process to screen and interview applicants to ensure you get the skills and experience you need. Also, develop a process to advise unsuccessful applicants.
Selecting and appointing the successful candidate.
Once you have selected a candidate, a phone call to notify them of their success is good practice, followed by an official ‘offer letter’ offering them the position. You’ll need to sign them up as an apprentice within 28 days of employment. If you do not register your apprentice you will need to pay them laborers rates. Apprenticeship contracts cannot be back-dated.
You will also need to collect all of their employment detail and set them up as a new employee for your business.
Train them up.
Apprentices in their first year have a lower wage than normal workers, but they’re not just a cheap source of labour. You’ll need to develop training procedures that will develop and mould this employee into somebody who is ultimately aligned not just with your business but also with the requirement of your marketplace.
Another hiring method.
Consider outsourcing. HIA Apprentices offers the hassle-free option to have someone else manage your apprentice. We hire the apprentice and remain their legal employer for the duration of the apprenticeship. We take care of all of the recruitment, all the paperwork and we also manage the apprentice’s training, development and performance management. If this is of interest give HIA Apprentices a call on 1300 650 620.
Help line for members
If you do directly employ Apprentices yourself than don’t forget to take advantage of the range of services that are available to members via our Workplace Services team. For example clarification on award rates of pay and conditions of employment.
HIA Executive Director – Hunter