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What does it take to have successful a Trainee program?

16.01.2018 | Linda Grönlund | Read time 7 min
Trainee programs have become more popular in recent years. That is no surprise. Trainee program enables you to develop your employer brand to a wanted direction, raise awareness as an employer, increase awareness of the company, engage young professionals and enhance future recruiting processes. But how is this done effectively?

Quality recruiting services to everyone

Recruiting plays an important part in a successful Trainee program. In a good recruiting process, the best candidates and the potential applicants are both part of the process. All the applicants are treated with respect, listened to and kept up-to-date. Also, the ones who will not be chosen.

I remember vividly one specific recruiting process, the company and a position, to which I applied. The process consisted of filling a lot of applications, phone interviews, aptitude tests, case studies, assessment day, sixth months of waiting and… Complete silence. I had no idea, how long the process was, did I proceed in the process or not, what they expected from me and why didn’t they choose me. I’m a 100% sure that I’m not going to apply to this company ever again, and I don’t think I’m the only one.

Even though the goal is to find the best ones from hundreds of applicants, it is still important to treat everybody equally and remember to provide a good application experience for everyone. The company should not let go of the “Almost nearly perfect applicant”, they should try to find another position (perhaps later), that would suit the candidate better. If the applicant has a bad image of the company, he or she will not apply again, and unfortunately will share that information with others. It is very important to remember the power of word-of-mouth.

Stand out or diminish

The goal with the Trainee program is that the young talents will choose your company, and this competitive advantage is guaranteed in the future as well. A young professional will engage and develop the company as well. There is only one problem. Why would this young talent choose your company and moreover your Trainee program? Trainee programs will all promise the same things: Great career path, awesome organization, good opportunities and a wonderful work environment. So, the choice might be difficult.

Young talents actually can afford to choose. If they have two offers on the table, which one do they choose? That is why it is extremely important to stand out, if you do not stand out, you will simply fall down. When Trainee programs are getting more popular, it might feel that some of them are repeating themselves. The content and marketing methods will disappear in all the clutter. If you want young talents to choose you, you have to have something that the competitors don’t have. What are the things that you think that your organization can truly offer? What makes it special? How will you differentiate and deliver your message systematically?

The need and goal

Planning, marketing and implementing a Trainee program is never free. Therefore, you should have an actual need and a goal for the program. Trainee program combines both HR and marketing strategy, therefore, the program should have achievable goals for recruiting and marketing. The main goal might be to increase the number of applicants, ensure that the flow of applicants will be steady, tell about different positions that your company has or you just have a need for specific applicant type. The goals of the program will guide how the structure of the program should be planned, profiles defined and what kind of marketing methods should be used.

It is extremely important to know the current situation of the company, for example, if the goal is to change the employer brand or increase the number of applicants. If the main goal is to increase the number of applicants, it is important to find the reasons why the number of applicants stays low, which will reveal the true problems and the actual image of the company. It is not good enough to live in the belief that “Yes we’ll get some applications now and then.” It is more important to recognize and understand the reasons why there is only a handful of potential candidates and act on it.

A successful Trainee program requires at least acknowledging the current situation, clear goals, homogeneous marketing communication that stands out and last but not least, quality recruiting. After all that, the program gives a good foundation to solve a problem, to arouse interest, change the image of the company, and reach the potential applicants now and also in the future.

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