Addressing the early career talent gap
What is an early careers talent gap & how can it affect your business? In this blog, we explore the significant challenges businesses that seek skilled individuals are facing.
Addressing the early career talent gap
Some major challenges companies face nowadays are difficulties finding quality talents, offer rejections, inefficient interview processes, talent nurturing, meeting diversity goals, and more. These and more lead to the talent attraction gap that many companies dread.
When you lack the qualified talent to keep your workplace running, it will be difficult to meet the goals you have set for your organisation. Your business will suffer if there is a gap in the talent it can attract; as a result, you should work quickly to develop a strategy to close the gap.
What is a talent gap?
A talent gap happens when you don't have the skilled personnel necessary to run your business and make a profit. Persistent insufficient skilled personnel can affect your company's growth, which demotivates your current staff from working since they have to take on more work due to unavailable talent to do them.
72% of employers note that a talent gap increases the workload on their employees, and 36% of employers agree that it affects their business's long-term growth and plan,according to research in the UK. In the long run, all these cause a talent attraction gap that may affect how early career talent sees you and decide whether they want to work with you.
Different things can cause a talent gap in your company; the first step to remedying them is identifying them.
Factors that can cause talent attraction gap
Even with many qualified talents out there, companies still experience talent attraction gaps that affect their efficiency. Here are some factors that can cause a talent attraction gap that you need to identify and remedy quickly:
Lack of workforce planning
The lack of workforce planning can be a significant factor that contributes to the talent attraction gap. Workforce planning involves analysing and forecasting your organisation's current and future talent needs and developing strategies to address them. Effective workforce planning requires aligning your talent needs with your overall business objectives.
Suppose your organisation lacks a clear understanding of its current and future talent requirements. In that case, it may struggle to attract and retain early career talent who can contribute to achieving those objectives.
Your workforce planning should also encompass diversity and inclusivity considerations. This includes not only addressing gender, race, ethnicity, and other forms of diversity but also ensuring the inclusion of early career talent.
Failing to include early career talent in your workforce planning efforts may cause a gap in attracting and retaining talents who can bring fresh perspectives, ideas, and innovation to your organisation. Embracing diversity and inclusivity in your talent planning can help you attract a wider pool of early career talent and create a more inclusive and innovative work environment.
Note that the workforce constantly evolves, and organisations must adapt to changing dynamics to attract and retain early career talent. This includes embracing new ways of working, offering flexible work arrangements, accommodating changing preferences and expectations of early career talent, and creating a culture that values diversity, inclusivity, and innovation.
Failure to adapt to changing workforce dynamics may result in a gap in attracting and retaining early career talent who may seek more progressive and inclusive work environments.
Poor employer brand
Employer brand is a crucial factor that can contribute to a talent attraction gap in your organisation. The perception of your organisation among your current and former employees can significantly impact your employer brand.
If your employees have negative experiences, such as unpaid extra hours, lack of development opportunities, or poor work-life balance, it can create a negative perception of your organisation. In addition, negative reviews on platforms such as Glassdoor, Indeed, or social media can significantly impact your employer brand.
Early career talent, in particular, may heavily rely on these reviews to form an opinion about your organisation. It is important to proactively manage your online reputation and address negative feedback to improve your employer brand and attract early career talent.
It is essential to proactively manage your employer brand, promote diversity and inclusion, and create a positive work environment to attract and retain the best talent.
Absence of quality candidate
The workforce is experiencing a generational shift, with younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z, entering the job market with different expectations and motivations compared to previous generations.
If your organisations have biases in your candidate evaluation process, this can result in the absence of quality candidates. Biases, such as ageism or preference for candidates with extensive experience, can prevent early career talent from being considered for roles, leading to a talent attraction gap.
It is important to ensure that the candidate evaluation process is fair and inclusive and focuses on potential and skills rather than solely on experience. Organisations can implement blind resume screening, structured interviews, diverse interview panels, and cultural and career assessments to minimise bias and ensure fair evaluation of early career talent.
Some organisations may have a lean approach to hiring, which focuses on filling vacancies quickly with minimal effort and resources. This can result in overlooking potential quality candidates, including early career talent.
Also, organisations that solely rely on traditional recruitment methods, such as job boards or referrals, may miss out on diverse and talented early career candidates who may be actively seeking opportunities but not necessarily applying through traditional channels.
It is crucial to adopt a proactive and strategic approach to recruitment that targets early career talent through multiple channels, such as campus recruiting, internships, apprenticeships, and social media platforms. Organisations that do not actively tap into the early talent pool, such as recent graduates, interns, or apprentices, may miss out on high-potential candidates.
This is because early career talent is often motivated and eager to learn, grow, and make a meaningful contribution to their careers and the organisation. Establish partnerships with educational institutions, offer internships or apprenticeships, and actively participate in campus recruiting events. This allows you to tap into the early talent pool and attract quality candidates just starting their careers.
Rigid hiring process
A rigid hiring process can deter talent from applying for or accepting job offers. For instance, early career talent seeks a flexible, interactive, and interesting interview process to showcase their skills and personality. Early career candidates may reject job offers due to formal, unfriendly, or unengaging interviews.
Your interview process should include interaction, questions, and feedback for your early career talent. Also, note that interviewing young talent requires good communication. Using their language and having a relatable interviewer on the panel can make a big difference. Organisations that fail to communicate effectively during hiring may miss out on early career talent.
Also, your organisational values, mission, and work-life balance should be showcased during the interview process, as this may motivate early career talent. If your organisation only emphasises pay and ignores other motivators, you may struggle to recruit and retain top talents, especially early career talent.
During interviews, ensure you clearly communicate your organisation's values, mission, and work-life balance policies and demonstrate how they match early career talent's values and expectations. This can build a strong employer brand and attract talented candidates seeking meaningful work.
Organisations must evaluate candidates' potential and skills beyond experience and qualifications. For example, early career talents are eager to learn and advance, which are the features you should look for. They also bring new ideas, energy, and enthusiasm to an organisation, and you don't want to miss out on that.
Remedy for Talent Attraction Gap
There's a shortage of skilled talent in the UK.Research on companies requiring hard data skills found that under 46% of those companies have struggled to recruit for those roles due to the limited availability of professionals with those skills.
Due to the talent attraction gap, businesses now find it hard to recruit for high-demand roles. 27% of talents in the UK lack sufficient digital skills, and there's a projection that20% of the workforce will be underskilled for their jobs by 2030, amounting to about 6.5 million people.
Yet according to the Institute for Employment Studies, 21% of employers do not hire from 21-25, and 68% do not hire from 16-17. With these numbers, closing the talent gap can be challenging. However, closing the talent gap in your company isn't impossible.
You can make that possible by doing the following:
Revise hiring procedures
Revising your hiring procedures will close the talent attraction gap. How? Look beyond resumes, focus on desired skills, personality, knowledge, and abilities, and give room for storytelling during interviews.
Furthermore, considering potential and cultural fit and providing opportunities for growth and learning can help you attract and hire early career talent and close the talent attraction gap in your organisation.
By recognising the potential and capabilities of early career talent and providing them with the right opportunities, you can build a diverse and talented workforce that contributes to the long-term success of your organisation.
Understand and plan your workforce
Understanding and planning your workforce is essential to close the talent attraction gap and ensuring that your organisation has the right talent to meet its current and future needs.
Start by conducting a comprehensive analysis of your current workforce. This includes understanding your existing employees' skills, capabilities, and demographics. Identify any skill gaps or areas where your organisation may lack the necessary talent to meet its goals.
Gather data on the talent wants and needs of early career talent. Conduct surveys or interviews to understand their career aspirations, expectations, and preferences. This can help you tailor your talent attraction strategies to align with the expectations of early career talent and create an attractive value proposition for them.
Based on the insights from your workforce analysis and understanding of talent wants and needs, develop a talent growth and expansion plan. This plan should outline how you will attract, retain, and develop early career talent to close the talent attraction gap. It should include strategies such as targeted recruitment, talent development programs, and career advancement opportunities for early career talent.
Consider hiring early career talent through internships, apprenticeships, graduate programs, or entry-level positions, and provide them with opportunities for learning, growth, and advancement. This can help you bridge skill gaps, cultivate a diverse and inclusive workforce, and build a talent pipeline for future leadership roles.
Establish a culture of talent development
With the shortage of skilled personnel, growing your in-house talent will go a long way in closing the talent attraction gap. Cultivate a company culture that encourages talent development.
Setting up mentorship programs can be invaluable for early career talent. Pair them with experienced employees who can provide guidance, advice, and support to help them develop their skills, knowledge, and career trajectory.
Providing counselling programs such as career coaching or professional development coaching can help early career talent identify their strengths, areas for improvement, and career goals.
In addition, organising seminars and workshops can provide opportunities for early career talent to learn new skills, stay updated with industry trends, and enhance their expertise. You should also encourage organisational leaders to mentor and guide early career talent, which helps foster a culture of talent development.
Leadership development programs can also be established to train and develop the next generation of leaders within the organisation. Creating a culture for learning and development tells your early career talent that the organisation is invested in their growth, which is a key factor that early career talents look for when considering job opportunities.
Be flexible with your approach to work
Being flexible with your approach to work by embracing new ways of working, fostering a culture of innovation and creativity, offering flexible work arrangements, emphasising role enjoyment and value alignment, and fostering a diverse and inclusive work culture can help you attract and retain early career talent.
By creating an environment that values their contributions, supports their growth and development, and aligns with their values and preferences, you can effectively close the talent attraction gap and build a strong pipeline of early career talent in your organisation.
In conclusion, the talent attraction gap is a significant challenge many organisations face today, and addressing it requires proactive and strategic efforts.
Factors such as lack of workforce planning, poor employer brand, absence of quality candidates, and rigid hiring processes can contribute to the talent attraction gap.
To close this gap, organisations need to prioritise diversity and inclusivity in their workforce planning, actively manage their employer brand, ensure fair evaluation of early career talent, adopt proactive and strategic recruitment methods, and create a flexible and interactive hiring process that aligns with the expectations and motivations of younger generations entering the job market.
By addressing these factors and taking steps to attract and retain early career talent, organisations can bridge the talent attraction gap and ensure they have the qualified workforce needed to meet their business goals and thrive in today's competitive landscape.