Employers who drive away new recruits

Is IT possible that employers are using recruitment systems that are not fit for purpose rather than most young people not being fit for work (your report, 22 May)?

Asda admits to having many more applicants than jobs to offer and I am sure it is the same for Arnold Clark. The fact is that thousands of young people fail to get selected for interviews let alone get a job.

Might it be unwise to conclude that it is the skills or attitudes of most young people that are wrong, rather than that some employers are quite possibly selecting the wrong young people?

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I write this as a parent whose offspring have applied many times to major supermarkets and for a variety of apprenticeships without ever being offered an interview, let alone a job.

And yet both now are working successfully and achieving positive feedback from their employers.

One major chain even told my son, via a simplistic looking online test, that he had the wrong kind of personality for a job in its company.

I later discovered that a local superstore manager was unable to recruit sufficient seasonal Christmas staff because his central human resources team said there were not enough suitable applicants to fill all the available part-time posts.

My son was one of those “unsuitable” applicants – a young man well known to the manager and considered to be potentially very suitable by him.

Schools and colleges could undoubtedly do more to prepare young people for work. But I suspect it is employers looking for a quick way of sifting through piles of applications for too few jobs who encourage the over-emphasis on gaining qualifications at the expense of a more rounded education.

HR departments should get smarter to avoid reinforcing a tick-box culture that meets nobody’s needs.

Shelagh Young

Newlands Park


I’m sure the many thousands of white-collar workers who have passed through Sir Arnold Clark’s staff rooms – along with those currently seeking work – will have reacted in fury to the gall of this man sneering at the employability of anyone in the UK, never mind the young.

Is this Clark’s excuse for his firm constantly advertising for new staff for more than a decade?

One company I worked for five years ago that boasted about only recruiting once a year is now on its seventh recruitment drive this year.

How can companies have problems keeping staff in the middle of a protracted recession? The answer, of course, is clear when they are largely responsible for instigating the turnover in the first place.

The worst part of any recession is the feeding frenzy they provide for the lowest dregs of industry to exploit the vulnerability of the nation’s citizens in order to line their own pockets.

“Due to expansion” has become the recruitment cliché of disreputable employers proffering minimum wage with pie-in-the-sky bonus targets that provide them with an excuse regularly to turn over staff failing to reach impossible “productivity” figures in order to keep wages low as no-one lasts long enough to see an annual raise.

A number of companies are standing gallows jokes among Department of Employment staff and the unemployed alike for being in a state of “constant recruitment” due to their unscrupulous employment practices.

Staff have their wages and/or bonuses docked on the flimsiest of pretexts and management bullying is endemic (to encourage “long-termers” to “seek career opportunities elsewhere”).

These aren’t firms in the shady world of the “trainee millionaires required” classifieds. These are so-called reputable major firms advertised on TV daily and familiar to all.

It’s time to turn the focus from the unemployed to the employers – and fast – before Britain finds conditions in the workplace providing the same breeding ground that has proved so fertile to Trotskyism and Fascism in Greece of late.

Mark Boyle

Linn Park Gardens


I HAVE had recent dealings with Arnold Clark and its East European staff have been not only superbly efficient but courteous and attentive.

I think there has been over-pampering of Western youth, but simply putting the blame on sloppy parenting is avoiding the commercial assault on young people, which is more the culprit.

Look at the constant so-called “talent” shows on the goggle box, the celebrity culture, the elevation of footballers.

None of these is parent-formulated.

Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive