There is no doubt that what is often called the ‘war for talent’ is becoming harder in the outdoor learning sector. With changing business models, a general push towards healthy lifestyles, expanding initiatives such as the National Citizen Service and a number of other factors I suggest that ensuring you are able to deliver the right outdoor learning services at the right time is becoming more challenging. It is certainly worth considering the way you engage with potential new members of your team.
Whilst the Institute continues to provide the hugely popular jobs pages on its website, this is of course only a part of the story. What does the journey look like for someone considering joining you and your organisation? How well informed are they about the content of the roles you want to fill? Are they aware of where they are in the recruitment process, at any given time? Do they get supportive constructive feedback if they are unsuccessful? How are they made to feel over the first few days and weeks as a new joiner? ....and how do they engage with you in the first place?
Staring at the beginning, it’s all about online mobile access and content! 86% of job hunters use their mobile to find opportunities. How well do the key messages about your organisations and the roles you want to fill, translate on a phone screen? Have you got easily accessible video content or are the roles and your organisation only understandable through pages of text? The Institute’s app has seen very significant take-up since its launch, reflective of the role mobile access plays for the young recruit especially.
Once you’ve reached them (through adverts or through your alumni) can the candidate readily complete an application on-line? Whilst I think the c.v. is alive and well, the way in which you get to better initially assess the candidate can be enhanced through video. Receiving a video from a candidate should certainly be an option if not encouraged. Keeping in touch with a candidate once they’ve made the initial application informs their view of the way they are likely to be treated as an employee. My general philosophy here is treat them as a potential client and market to them in the same way you would to anyone who has expressed an interest in your services. Consider the medium, possibly a series of SMS messages and certainly not a one off email with a long list of instructions! Finally don’t forget the first few weeks in the role. It’s in everybody’s interest to part company early if it’s not going to work. Equally if your new employee is being wooed by others, leaving them feeling undervalued in the first couple of weeks can be a serious mistake.
As the sector develops new apprenticeship standards over the coming 9 months make sure you’re in a position to get the best people to work with. If you want to influence the content of the new apprenticeships or find out more on the IOl website, Employer led apprenticeships for the Outdoors
or join us at the IOL National Conference
on 14 & 15th October at Yarnfield Conference Centre.