@BBCTrainees: The BBC’s innovative solution to opening up youth recruitment

January 28 2016

The BBC's New Talent Team received a record number of applications this year interested in production, engineering and journalism entry level schemes. Their apprenticeship and trainee schemes are highly competitive and offer a fantastic opportunity start in the business – mixing learning with earning.

They have worked hard to develop an open and accessible recruitment process to engage a broad range of applicants.

The New Talent Team have developed this through the use of their dedicated @BBCTrainees Twitter handle as a central platform to create an open dialogue with applicants, answering questions and sharing guidance on the process and top tips for applying in a tone appropriate for their followers.

The team also share links to more in-depth blogs with advice and encourage existing trainees to share their own advice and insights about their jobs. They also respond to as many questions as possible and encourage applicants to discuss their experience of the application process.

During the assessment process the BBC New Talent Team are moving from competency-based towards strength-based assessments. The quick fire questioning styles which focus on interests and strengths rather than experience and skills work well with young people encouraging dialogue rather than rehearsed answers.

They also ensure individual detailed feedback is provided to all candidates who are unsuccessful at their assessment centres.


This responsive format has now become integral to the BBC’s recruitment process and has played a big part in helping to reshape young people’s perception of BBC recruitment.  The account now has over 67,000 followers and growing steadily. They are also active on facebook and recently launched on Instagram. 

Simon Broad, Head of Operations and Development New Talent Team, BBC Academy comments; “The way we assess young people directly out of school needs to be different as they don’t have as much experience to draw on during a recruitment process. We've worked hard to make our approach transparent and accessible for all candidates, and we keep in touch with prospective applicants via our “Get In” open days and social media. By adopting strength-based assessments we have been more effective at identifying potential in our applicants rather than polish - and this is increasing the diversity in our talent pool.”