GM's Hidden Talent learning endorsed by GM Good Employment Charter

Scott (l)  from the GM's Hidden Talent Youth Panel and Ben
from the GM's Hidden Talent Project Team spoke
at  the event

The employer toolkit created by the GM's Hidden Talent programme has been recommended by the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter as a resource for developing excellent recruitment practices.

Principles and learning from the toolkit was shared at an event bringing together Supporters of the Charter. 

The Charter is a voluntary membership and assessment scheme that aims to raise employment standards for all employers across GM. Membership of the Charter requires employers to demonstrate a commitment to excellent practice across seven key characteristics of employment. One of these characteristics is recruitment.

 GMCVO was involved in the development of the Charter and sat on a steering group that oversaw the Charter's implementation.

The Charter Implementation Unit invited GM's Hidden Talent to speak to their Supporters (employers who fully support the Charter’s seven good employment characteristics) at a Supporters' Network Event: 'Recruitment through the ages.'

GM's Hidden Talent's session focused specifically on the barriers that young people face when applying for entry level roles.  The key message was that there are plenty of simple steps employers can take to make recruitment processes accessible to young people who have limited experience of the workplace. 

Underpinning recruitment practices with a sense of empathy was a key takeaway. Audience participation in the session revealed that almost all the Supporters had experienced over-reaching job specifications, concern regarding interview attire, and had left an interview feeling they had not given a true representation of their potential.  These concerns can be more keenly felt by younger applicants who, without work experience, may not know what to expect in terms of application and interview processes. 

Scott, a volunteer on the GM’s Hidden Talent Youth Panel, spoke at the session about their experience completing job applications. Scott emphasised how frustrating traditional written application methods can be. Scott's highlighted concerns included: 

  • Some entry level jobs demand experience that is not needed to be a success in the role
  • Some entry level jobs are written to  sound ‘fancier’ than they are in reality (roles are oversold)
  • Applications often repeat questions that ask the same thing e.g. ‘Why did you apply for this job?’ and ‘Tell us why you want to work for us?’
If asking young people to demonstrate values, employers should offer 
scaffolding that can help young people identify their strenghts

Scott said that when completing CV and personal statements, it is easy to slip into the habit of using stock answers that don't really represent who they truly are. Because they feel they are a more confident speaker than they are a writer, Scott said they would prefer the opportunity to submit recorded video applications

Scott also explained how some young people might struggle to describe their values (both in writing and in person). Scott felt that the vocabulary used when describing values (e.g. 'intergrity') might not be understood by all applicants, and where young people are expected to give examples of their values, the employer should model how to do this.

The GM's Hidden Talent Youth Panel offer a free service helping employers to reflect on and make changes to their recruitment practices.

To find out more contact: ben.reese@gmcvo.org.uk / 0161 277 1046

To find out more about the GM Good Employment Charter and how to become a Supporter, click here.

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