The End Of 2019 And The End Of A Decade – Welcome, 2020s

Yes, not only has another year come to an end; we are also at the end of a decade. The 2000s are leaving their teenage years behind and hitting the ‘20s. What that means for employment and recruitment remains to be seen.

But, what we have seen are the events and articles that have already passed. Before we head into the new decade, we can take a look back at some of those articles.

Some articles are there to offer tips and ideas for recruitment of young people and retaining that top talent once you have completed your recruitment process. Some offer advice about important topics such as diversity and inclusivity. And others include some legal tips surrounding your recruitment process.

Let’s take a look back at some of the hot topics that have been addressed, not just in the last year but some ongoing issues that might be affecting your recruitment or your business.


It would be remiss not to start off with the ongoing Brexit saga. Could any of us really have guessed that when this article was written back in April 2016, we would still be in the situation we are in now, at the end of 2019? And still, we wait to see what outcome will emerge in 2020 and beyond.

The article was written before the referendum took place and put forward some people’s viewpoints – both pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit – about what would happen with regards to business and employment if Britain were to leave the EU.

As we all know, the result of the referendum was a vote to leave the EU. The resignation of David Cameron from the role of Prime Minister meant Theresa May was handed the job of handling negotiations. Her subsequent resignation put Boris Johnson at the helm as Prime Minister and the December General Election now sees him and the Conservative Party running the country for the next five years.

The Conservatives have pledged to ‘get Brexit done.’ Whatever happens throughout 2020 with regards to Brexit, more certainty will surely be welcomed by businesses and employers. The 2020s could be the decade where certainty can be enjoyed once more.

Has Brexit affected your recruitment in any way?


Apprenticeships have been around for a long time but the last decade has been a time where efforts have been made to bring them right into the 21st Century with regards to the choices out there and also the image that Apprenticeships have.

Apprenticeships are now seen as a viable alternative to full time study at university for many young people. Especially now that, for some trades and professions, it is possible to gain qualifications at degree level and beyond. Some Apprenticeships also come with professional recognition upon successful completion.

So, for young people who don’t want to go onto university or are unable to for various reasons, Apprenticeships now offer the chance of meaningful employment where they can build a successful career with structured training.

For you, as an employer, there are lots of reasons for hiring Apprentices that are beneficial for your company. And the introduction of Apprenticeship Standards means that you should be able to employ Apprentices in roles that are particularly suited to the sector you work in. The Standards mean that Apprentices can now really drill down and specialise in particular roles and, in theory, help to start bridging the UK skills gap.

Getting Your Job Ad Right

When you begin your recruitment process, proceedings often kick off with your job advert and, from there, you hope to receive a raft of quality, relevant applications from talented young candidates.

However, the only way this is going to happen is if you have got your job ad spot on. Have you chosen words and language that maıke clear exactly the type of recruit you are looking for and, just as importantly, have your branded your company well? Does your job ad show that you are the type of company where young people would love to work?

Most importantly, in order to avoid a flood of applications from candidates that are just not matched to the role – do your job title and job description clearly state what the role is that you are advertising for? Save yourself time and your applicants’ time.

On the E4S Recruiter blog, we have some simple top tips for how to write the perfect job ad. Studies and research also bring new issues to light and this article from earlier in 2019 highlights a growing problem with the use of jargon in job ads.

You could be missing out on some of the UK’s best young talent because they don’t apply for your roles when they see your jargon-filled job ad. Some young people simply feel that they are not qualified to do the job you are advertising if they don’t understand the jargon in your ad.

When it comes to technical language, you may use this in the workplace on a daily basis. However, if you are aiming your ad at young Apprentices, for example, who have just left school, remember that they probably won’t be aware of that technical language. That’s for them to learn once they are in their role. Target your ads to the age and the experience of the people you hope to recruit.

When you are creating your job ads, as well as taking into consideration everything you need to include, you also need to be careful with your wording and know what not to include. Some words and phrases can be deemed as discriminatory against certain candidates and could land you in hot water.

Make sure you present your company in a positive way and avoid the following:

  • Avoid age discrimination. There are certain cases where it is okay to stipulate age requirements. Make yourself aware of these by reading the article.
  • Avoid gender discrimination. Again there is information in the article about when it is okay to mention gender.
  • Avoid racial or religious discrimination.
  • Avoid disability discrimination.

How Inclusive Is Your Workplace?

Another issue that is hugely important is inclusivity in the workplace. As an employer, have you ever looked at your workplace and assessed whether you have an inclusive workplace or not.

  • When you look around at your workforce, is it representative of British society? Are ethnic minorities represented? Do you employ people who have a language other than English as their first language? Bilingual and multilingual staff can really benefit your business. Do you have disabled people in your employment? Do you employ young people from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds? This type of diversity can really benefit your business. You can tap into a larger customer base and innovation in the workplace can be boosted as projects can be tackled from new angles as more ideas are put forward.
  • Inclusivity is also about your accessibility as an employer and your workplace culture. Do staff feel they are part of a team? Do they feel valued? Do they feel worthy of promotion and know that you are investing in their professional development?

As well as boosting your productivity, gaining a reputation for being an inclusive workplace can also boost your visibility to young people when it comes to recruitment. School leavers, students and graduates are looking to work at places where they can see staff are valued.

You could attract top talent to your positions and attract applications from young people who might not otherwise have felt confident to apply for your roles.

How Diverse Is Your Workplace?

Along with inclusivity comes diversity. A 2019 article addressed the issue of gender diversity in the workplace and ways in which we can encourage it. Whether it is how different genders are represented in the workplace or the salary differences between them, the subject of gender is an ongoing issue.

The UK, according to the World Economic Forum feel six places in the 2019 equality rankings. This is certainly not encouraging news given the discourse around the subject when it comes to employment.

The 2020s can hopefully be the decade where this drop in places can be turned around and the UK can be seen to rise through the equality rankings.

There are various obstacles facing employers when it comes to encouraging gender diversity in the workplace. Some of these may only be overcome with a nationwide strategy where employers, government bodies and educational institutions work together to break down images, stigmas and stereotypes.

One of the obstacles facing employers in some sectors is image – the image that some jobs are female jobs and some are female. It and engineering are seen as male roles whilst jobs such as nursing and reaching are seen as female roles. Yet, in those roles where staff are predominantly made up of females, males tend to be promoted to more senior roles faster than women.

The 2019 article linked to above offers tips about what can be introduced in your own workplace to address some gender diversity issues that might exist in your company.

Getting Young People Into Work In The 2020s

In 2019, we were provided with the shocking figures that around 3.5 million people of working age in the UK have never had a paid job. This is a staggering increase of 50% over the last two decades and is surely an issue that must be addressed in the 2020s.

This is particularly relevant to employers looking to employ school leavers, students and graduates. According to the Office for National Statistics it is young people (including students) aged 16-24 who represent the largest number of people who have never had a paid job.

In younger people, the employment of 16-17 year olds has almost halved in the last two decades. In many instances, it is not a case of not being able to find employment. Rather, it is a case of young people choosing not to have weekend jobs or other part time work whilst they are studying.

Whilst, according to the report, the rise in population who have never done paid work has been driven by full time students, it is still important for these full time students to get some work experience. This not only benefits you as an employer but it is also beneficial to the UK economy as a whole. A lot of young talent is going to waste if it is not being tapped into.

In 2019, there were also 800,000 young people aged 16-24 years old who were NEET (not in education, employment or training).

Again, this is a lot of potential talent that needs to be tapped into for the benefit of those young people, for employers and for the benefit of the future economy. This figure is falling and hopefully, it will continue to fall in the decade to come.

Offering work experience, internships, paid Apprenticeships, temporary and part time jobs are all good ways of giving young people from all backgrounds a taste of the workplace. Having young people in the workplace can also considerable benefit you as an employer. You can benefit from the knowledge and the outlook of youth – they could introduce fresh ideas and a different approach to tackling projects. You also get to spot top talent before it is scooped up by other employers.

As we say goodbye to the 21st Century’s teenage years, let’s welcome the 2020s and hope for mutual success for both employers and young people seeking employment. Access thousands of young people looking for employment of variıus types by advertising your vacancies with E4S.