Audit Scotland offer a fantastic training scheme to school leavers which allows the opportunity to ‘earn as you learn’. We take on one or two school leavers each year, who join our trainee programme together with our graduates. This trainee programme lasts 5 years and our trainees study with ICAS to become a Chartered Accountant.
We usually advertise online from January with interviews taking place in April. We also attend the DYW Jobs Roadshow each year, which is a great opportunity to meet and engage with school leavers in the local area. It became evident when attending the Jobs Roadshow this year that the Coronavirus outbreak was serious, and would likely impact our recruitment. We held our graduate assessment centres the week before our offices shut due to the pandemic, so we knew we had to do something different for our school leaver recruitment.
Our usual process would involve inviting around 8 candidates into our Glasgow or Edinburgh offices for a short interview with our recruitment panel, and they would also be asked to deliver a short presentation as part of this. We had to think quickly about how we could go ahead with our recruitment without the candidates coming into the office. This was our first time attempting virtual recruitment, so it was a learning experience for both us and the candidates!
We did have to delay the interviews while we made plans on how to proceed with the recruitment, as there were also wider considerations around work availability and start dates for the successful candidates. However, the interviews successfully took place over week commencing 27 April and we interviewed 9 candidates over Skype, and they also delivered a presentation. We learnt a lot from this experience, and Audit Scotland are now embracing virtual recruitment for a variety of recruitment campaigns, therefore we have been able to share our learning with the wider organisation.
We were able to successfully recruit two school leavers who will join us later in the year. They have both commented positively on the experience:
“I thought it worked well as everyone on the interview panel was easy to talk to and it was a simple way to carry out the interview under the current circumstances.”
“Knowing what the interview would be based around was extremely beneficial as I could prepare notes and the interview itself was easy to understand and I knew if I didn’t understand anything I could just ask also talking to members of the interview panel before hand made me less nervous during it."
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