As we launch our fifth year of recruiting Jack Petchey Interns at 30 youth organisations across London and Essex, we wanted to share the results of our latest youth pulse survey, where we asked 75 young people what attracts them to apply for a role and what they look for in their careers.
The majority of our respondents were college-age (16-18), and around a third of respondents were aged 22-25. Despite the different age groups, 31% of respondents marked themselves as employed, and 8% said that they were currently job-seeking at the time the survey took place. 53% of respondents said that they didn’t currently work for a charity but would be interested.
We all know young people are ambitious, creative and eager to enter the workforce, but what can we as organisations do to encourage them into the charity sector? Here are our top five tips from what young people told us that might help you entice young people to apply to work at your organisation:
Make the role enticing!
We asked respondents to rank the elements of a job they look at most when applying for a job. “The role” was cited as the most important, with 57% of young people putting this as a top priority, followed by salary. Recruiting organisations should carefully consider the job title and job description of the role they are recruiting – does it sound interesting whilst also capturing the reality of the work?
Young people want to progress!
Other key elements young people highlighted as of great importance were “opportunities for progression” and “training and development”, which both ranked an importance of 6/10 in the initial looking stages of job searching. Stating clearly the development opportunities or training policy of an organisation within the advertising stage of a role could show potential applicants that there is real potential to progress in this role, which could encourage them to apply.
Furthermore, young people told us that, on average, they see themselves staying in a role for 0-2 years, and 58% named career progression as an encouraging factor to stay in a role for longer, along with – unsurprisingly – more money (70%). This suggests that employers should prioritise development opportunities for young people in the workplace to not only upskill them but encourage them to apply and then stay on for longer in their role and further benefit the organisation.
Showcase your organisation’s culture!
During the recruitment process, many respondents told us that the organisation’s work culture is something they consider – factors including “flexible hours” and “organisation looks like a fun place to work” ranking the same in importance as development and training and other factors including “amount of holiday” and “opportunity to work remotely” also being considerable factors. There are simple steps organisations can take when recruiting to highlight some of these, such as putting any photos of work events, training days or pictures of the team in the recruitment pack/webpage, as well as highlighting any possibility for hybrid working or flexible hours.
Think carefully about where to advertise – and don’t forget your own networks!
We asked young people where they look for jobs. While most cited general recruitment sites (71%) and search engines (60%), organisations should also consider using their own networks as the third most popular method young people said that they considered jobs was through word of mouth (55%). This can be a particularly effective approach for charities, who can greatly benefit from hiring beneficiaries who better understand their work and target demographic. Furthermore, social media can push word of mouth further through digital means, for example by promoting your job vacancy on LinkedIn or Instagram and encouraging your staff to share the opportunity to help recommend the role to their networks too.
Be actively inclusive!
We asked young people what other factors were important for them in a job role and to look out for in the hiring process. Many cited diverse teams and actively inclusive recruitment processes, one respondent saying, “I’m more likely to apply for a job that is outwardly seeking employees from minority groups”, and another explained the importance of “an environment that seems safe and authentically genuine in its consideration for people with ND [neuro diversity] challenges, POC [people of colour], and queer people”. Making it clear that your organisation is diverse and inclusive and making your application process as accessible as possible can be positive steps towards ensuring you are being as inclusive in your recruitment as possible.
For more tips on recruitment, check out these resources:
Charity Job’s Recruitment Guide 2021
Charity Digital – How to overcome recruitment challenges
Prospect-us Top Tips for Hiring in the Charity Sector
To find out more about our 30 Jack Petchey paid internship vacancies, click here.