Hire a digital marketing apprentice, they say!  

Young people today are digital natives, they’ve grown up with social media, they’re …. digital natives! 

Seldom has a statement been more misleading than this one. The truth is that it’s very unlikely that a young person will be able to walk into your business and take over the management of your digital marketing single handed.  

So why is digital marketing one of the most popular apprenticeships around for employers and young people? And how can you effectively harness the talent of a young person to supercharge your marketing efforts? 

First, you need to stop being led by the myth. The average aspiring digital marketer is not going to have the vast knowledge required to effectively build and execute your digital campaigns on their own. They will, at the very least, need the support and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable manager. Along with a working environment where they can learn all the skills that good digital marketers need to have. 

Second, you should look for young people who have experience outside of social media platforms, and focus your attention on those who can demonstrate how they have harnessed the power of social media to create something.  This could be anything from building a following on a YouTube channel to making, marketing and selling products online.  

Here at LDN Apprenticeships, we meet young people on a daily basis who have done just this. It’s not on their CV and in some cases they are even shy or embarrassed to share their achievements. 

That said, these are the young people who have applied their creativity to a real world situation and who have made something as a result. Be it a product, a following or a movement – these young people have the skills you need in your business.  

If you make the decision to hire one of these brilliant, creative young people there are some important things to consider in the process. Here are our 5 top tips: 

 

1. Make sure you identify an awesome manager 

Your Apprentice Digital Marketer will spend at least 80% of their time at work. You want to be sure that while they’re there, they’re learning new things, taking action and improving. The best way to make this work is to identify a manager who will give the apprentice the support and guidance they need. Combined with the support of your apprenticeship provider, you’ll be astonished at how much your apprentice learns in a very short space of time. 

 

2. Define the role to fill skills gaps in your existing team 

Make sure you look at your current marketing skill set. Then try to recruit an apprentice who fills some of the gaps. If you’re weak on video production, actively seek a young person who’s a talented video editor. Or if you think you could do with a boost to your copywriting capacity, look for a young person who gets your tone and writes well. Approaching it in this way, means you’re actively avoiding the pitfalls of the mythical digital native. 

 

3. Look for a self-starter 

When you meet candidates for the opportunity, talk to them about what they have done with their passion for all things digital. Have they studied something outside of school or college (there are a wealth of free and very well publicised online courses)? Have they started a business of their own? Or have they helped a friend with their digital savvy-ness. Taking action is the first step – the thing to work out is if you can harness that initiative. 

4. Put rules and structure in place to measure and manage 

When you’ve hired your apprentice, make sure you’ve got a structure in place. Making it easy to measure and manage performance. Most people (young ones included) respond incredibly positively. Knowing the why, the what, the how and the when of their job. Make this incredibly clear from the outset.

5. Give direct feedback and reward success 

If you are successful in doing 1, 2, 3 and 4, then you’ll find yourself a talented young person who is eager to learn and take action. No matter how talented they are, they will still make mistakes. It is critical that when they do, you give them direct feedback. The ability to take feedback is critical to learning and development. Finally, just as you give direct feedback, you should also reward success. This doesn’t mean throwing bonuses around, it just means giving praise when praise is due. 

 

Digital marketing will always be evolving on a day to day basis.

Recruiting young apprentices are a great way to discover new and exciting marketing opportunities for your business. Keeping one of your most important outputs to the world fresh and up-to-date.

To learn more about hiring a digital marketing apprentice into your team, check out our Tech LDN digital marketing program HERE.