How has taking on apprentices impacted on your businesses?
They are young, willing and enthusiastic, which provides a great injection of new ideas into our teams. When we were recruiting, we didn’t just want to have someone as a cheap resource, we wanted someone who we could mould into a future team member. Both Georgina and Jess were really up for that and they have fitted into the team really well. I think they both want to stay here long term so that’s great. They have been committed to the company from day one.
How would you describe your experience of working with Baltic?
Extremely positive. Taking people on and training them it can be quite expensive, particularly with CrowdProperty where Jess is, as we are a start-up company going through quite a lot of growth. We have many graduates, interns and apprentices, so we have a lot of young and enthusiastic people in the team. That’s just what you need to start a company – they are all contributing to our success.
How have Georgina’s skills developed over her apprenticeship?
When she started, the marketing manager gave her some things to do which were just tasks to get her going. However, that soon developed and she is now an absolutely key person within our team. She is writing content on a daily basis which goes out and is client ready from the outset. She is a key part of the team, and is very much enjoying taking the responsibility for live tasks and campaigns.
How have Jessica’s skills developed over her apprenticeship?
Likewise, when the lead developer initially gave her a project to work on, he was checking on her all the time. Then we had a jump forward for Jess when we were developing our new website. An external contractor designed the website layout, then the coding team and development team had to bring it together. Inevitably prior to launch there was a lot to do and everyone in the team was involved. Jess was really outside of her comfort zone initially, but embraced the challenge quickly. The Lead Developer is particularly pleased with Jess in that when he gives her something to do, she turns it into exactly what he is looking for, without additional feedback.
What are their opinions on Baltic’s online training?
They both enjoy that very much and they seem to get a lot from it – they actually look forward to doing it! It gives them another step up and it also seems to give them a lot of confidence. When they come back and say that they have passed we always congratulate them in the team meeting about that.
What would you say to an employer who has had a negative experience with apprenticeships in the past?
I think it is important to do a solid job at interview and make sure they have been in for a work trial. Then it’s just gut feeling as to whether you can work with the person. With us it is all about attitude and behaviour, that’s what you recruit for. You can teach people knowledge and skill but actually attitude and behaviour are the key to a successful hire.