“ Together with BITC we are calling on businesses to explore what more they can do to make a difference and to take up the tailored support available to help make that happen. By giving more opportunities to unemployed young people they will be leading the way in an important arena, and I am convinced that they will see dividends for their own businesses at the same time. ”
There are significant problems in escaping the trap of unemployment for the 2.47 million people in the UK it affects. For these people, Jobcentre Plus is often the primary route to employment, and they can face barriers rising out of common recruitment practices when looking for a job.
92% of businesses use informal methods such as word of mouth to recruit a portion of entry-level staff, meaning that may people are cut off from even knowing the job opportunity exists2. Stigma around unemployment is another barrier, with 72% of managers considering unemployment for six months or more as a negative indicator of a candidate's ability3.
Steve Holliday, Chief Executive for National Grid and Chair of BITC's Talent and Skills Leadership team, commented, "The UK has the fastest growing rate of youth unemployment of all the G8 countries. And many of these young people are unemployed not because they’re lazy or demotivated, but because businesses are inadvertently excluding them from opportunities.
12 months ago we turned the mirror on ourselves at National Grid and found we weren’t making our jobs accessible to all unemployed people, either because we weren’t advertising at Jobcentre Plus or because of the way we were wording our adverts. So we made changes to how we did things. With the launch of Generation Talent today, 90 UK businesses have committed to making 25,000 jobs visible to unemployed people. We want more businesses to join us in that pledge and ensure they’re not excluding people from being able to apply."
But, by opening their eyes to unemployed talent, particularly amongst the young unemployed, and making small changes to their processes, businesses can reap big rewards. Some effective changes include:
Finding out if current recruitment processes automatically sift out unemployed applicants
Reassessing what qualifications and experience are really needed for entry level roles and instead emphasise the importance of aptitude and attitude during recruitment
Using the Generation Talent Self-Assessment Tool to help managers identify and tackle any internal bias against unemployed people during recruitment.
Advertising roles through Jobcentre Plus, which currently has 2.47 million people seeking employment. By working with Generation Talent, you can access a bespoke account management service from Jobcentre Plus that centralises an organisation’s regional and national recruitment needs.
The new Generation Talent service streamlines how businesses approach and recruit unemployed people through Jobcentre Plus, and will advise businesses on how to recruit work-ready young people. All the usual Jobcentre Plus services will be available to help businesses find the right person, and they will also provide candidates with support to help them succeed during the application and interview stages of recruitment.
1. Generation Talent's 'Champion' companies are: ASDA, BBC, City & Guilds, Compass, CIPD, Costain, Direct Line, ISS, Jaguar Land Rover, ManpowerGroup, Midland Heart, Morgan Sindall, National Grid, Pertemps, and Whitbread.
2. Creating Opportunity, Rewarding Ambition, July 2011, page 54, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).
3. Employers and the recruitment of unemployed people: An evidence review UKCES
Unemployment figures taken from the ONS Labour Market Statistics