Here's how I've secured multiple apprentices for myself and other GenM team members:
1. Opening message strategy
I send my first message Monday to Wednesday to 20+ students. I notice that I get better response rates these days to an initial message. I prefer messaging students that were last online no longer than 10 days ago.
I customize the ending of a templated message (the one you see when trying to message a student) to make it my own. Just make sure the letter count is under 600.
2. Ask the student what they're looking for
Instead of telling the student about your business and what you want, ask them what they want to do during the apprenticeship. You're more likely to find someone who is excited about working with you this way. They are working for free, after all.
3. Keep it casual
Don’t try to get students on the phone or email within the first message. Don't bore students with long messages about your business when they have never spoke with you in real life. Don't share long questionnaires with students (10 minutes or more) before talking to them on the phone. Simply chat with them and see what they’re looking for.
4. Be responsive
Be responsive and don’t take days to answer students. Provide a quick overview of what you’re looking for if you want, but don’t go in too much details. After chatting back and forward 2-3 times, schedule a time to chat on the phone/Skype or similar and send them a calendar invite.
Check out the section titled "How to conduct an effective phone interview" to learn how to prepare for a call with prospective apprentices.