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Recruitment process may be demoralising young people

More than one in five people aged between 16 and 24 are unemployed - a total of almost 1 million people, according to the latest official figures. Part of the problem, says a recent report, may be in the recruitment processes itself, with a mismatch of expectations between employers and young candidates.

The report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said that many employers' demands for experience, even for junior roles, created a 'vicious cycle' for young people without access to work opportunities.

Young people were further demoralised by the lack of acknowledgement or feedback to their job applications, the report revealed. It said that not receiving any response was 'demotivating and crushing the confidence of many young people'. One consequence was that young candidates were more likely to fire off large numbers of speculative applications in 'scattergun' manner, with little research or tailoring to specific roles.

The CIPD said employers could be losing out on potential talent by needlessly obsessing over experience above ability. It suggested that employers could influence young people's recruiting behaviour and help improve their chances for success in the future by acknowledging each application with an automated email. If a candidate has been rejected, the CIPD recommended listing common reasons applications have not been shortlisted, and those who have reached interview should be given an opportunity to receive feedback from the line manager who conducted the interview.

Acas provides training for employers on Recruitment issues, and selection and interviewing techniques, and runs a practical one-day event session, Human Resource Management for Beginners, covering all the fundamentals.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions page for more information.

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