How can you attract the best trainees through digital marketing and your online presence?

Debbie Lawrenson
  • Debbie Lawrenson
  • Head of Digital

No matter how many years it is since you left school, you probably find that the pattern of the academic year is still hardwired into your consciousness. It’s part of the cycle of our working lives too. As summer ends, it’s a time of new beginnings as fresh projects are started and people return from summer hols refreshed and full of resolve.

It’s also the time of year that graduates and school leavers are looking for opportunities to take their first steps on the career ladder. In other words, now is the time to attract the best trainees to your business.

Unlike other seasonal changes, you can’t just let nature take its course and hope that the best trainees will come to you. You need to be proactive and creative, using your digital marketing and online presence to fire the interest of the new bugs that will be the best news for your business. Here’s how:

Entice passive candidates

You want to get straight to the best candidates – the ones that are ambitious, eager to learn, motivated and resourceful. These kinds of candidates don’t limit their job searches to formal applications. They’re also ‘passive candidates’; always keeping an eye out for an opportunity that interests them, even when they’re not engaged in a formal job search.

In order to attract their attention, you need to use your website to make your organisation enticing. Smart, ambitious young people will be impressed by smart, ambitious web design and content. Show that you’re an organisation that cares about talent, is proactive in business development and eager to support new ideas.

Relay these messages as part of your corporate identity and they’ll also help you to appeal to customers.

Get visible

Good candidates are always meticulous in their research, as part of their application process.  Make sure these candidates can find your company online. That means using SEO and social media effectively.

We all focus on building SEO practices around attracting clients and customers, but you should also think of the wider audience that impacts on the successful running of your business. That includes targeting candidates seeking trainee positions.

Social media is all about making you visible, strengthening brand identity and giving your organisation a human face that helps build relationships. Your social media presence is an essential part of your branding strategy and it’s something that good trainees will be looking at closely.

Update your social content

Continuing the social media theme: update your content regularly and include material that’s relevant to young people embarking on their careers. Keep blog writing fresh and include strong messages of opportunity and development within a growing and innovative organisation.

Use multiple channels to show the different aspects of your organisation; you need to include that working for your business can be fun and rewarding alongside the heavy-duty business aspects of your work.

Create a six or twelve-month plan for updating your social content. That way, postings are regular and professional. You might want to work with a digital agency to help you get this right.

Showcase training opportunities

Trainees that are serious about their careers will be looking for training opportunities at work. Showcase these to cement your reputation as a great employer to work for. Do a brainstorm so that you don’t miss out on highlighting the regular, everyday training that teams carry out as a matter of regular practice. These sessions can bring up something that you ignore because it’s all in a day’s work to you, but it might be an important learning opportunity for a trainee taking their first steps.

Likewise, showcase external events that your staff attend – it’s all part of their professional development.

Invitation to your culture club

The best web design gives a clear insight into company culture and what it's like to work there. This is a vital part of your branding. Not only does this attract high-quality candidates, but it drives sales and builds a winning corporate identity.

Innovative web design and imaginative photography and visuals can all play a part in showing your company culture. And don’t be afraid to get personal – give a voice to the range of individuals who work for you.

Publish jobs on social channels

As we said earlier, the best trainee candidates for your business might not necessarily be the ones that are actively looking for an opportunity. Grab the attention of passive candidates through posting job opportunities to social channels.

Being selective about those social channels can also help direct your job ad at a particular interest group, refining your recruitment process further.

Posting job ads to social channels helps you to make most of the other strategies we’ve talked about and can really assist in creating the perfect match of business and trainee.

There’s a rich pool of talent out there right now with large shoals of enthusiastic and determined young people swimming around looking for the best place to start a career. Today’s trainees are tomorrow’s team leaders and managers, so it’s important that you are strategic about attracting those that really fit your business and its aims. A good trainee brings renewed energy to organisations so use our tips to get the best. And remember: what’s good for attracting the best trainees will also attract other attention to build your brand and bottom line.