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Completely change how you Hire and Develop Early Talent

Completely change how you Hire and Develop Early Talent

Every year, colleges across the US produce thousands of graduates, eager to embark on exciting new careers. And, every year, organizations of all sizes have an opportunity to discover amazing new talent — potential hires who not only have the power to bring a fresh approach to established processes but are keen to utilize the skills they have spent years developing.

So what do we have to look forward to this year, and the next, and the next?

While Millennials have been the largest generation in the US labor force for some time, Generation Z is expected to become a major presence, accounting for 30% of the country’s labor force by 2030.

And if we believe what we’re told about Gen Z, they’ve got the potential to totally revolutionize our ways of working over the coming decade. HR decision-makers who want to bring tech-savvy, driven employees into their organizations need strategies to find, attract, and hire the best early talent right away.

Let’s take a deeper look at what this means and how it works.

What is early talent?

Individuals within the “early talent” category have less than three years of work experience behind them. Typically, they’re new or recent college graduates qualified to fill entry-level vacancies.

The amount of hands-on experience early talent has can vary dramatically. Some may have worked in a role relevant to their long-term career goals to support themselves during their studies or to gain valuable on-the-job experience (probably a combination of both). They’ll likely be familiar with the way in which workplaces operate, how to interact with colleagues, and have honed a few key soft skills along the way. But, essentially, they’ll be fresh-faced.

Others, though, may have accrued a wealth of theory and knowledge in their subject — a level of insight that will enable them to exceed expectations in an appropriate entry-level role. Despite lacking the same résumé depth as another early talent, they’re still attractive candidates for any organization looking to recruit capable staff with bright futures.

early talent - hr insights

Allowing a candidate’s potential to shine through, regardless of previous job postings, is a key strategy for early talent acquisition. But we have to go a step further, too.

The need for diversity in early talent

Let’s face it: many organizations across the world have at least a small issue with diversity. So when it comes to early talent, it’s vital that organizations take on individuals best-suited to a role — exhibiting the skills it demands, without any bias based on gender, ethnicity, or background.

Most of us want to live in a fair society, but discrimination is, sadly, still a major impediment in the lives and careers of so many. An extensive study shows that white job applicants receive 36% more callbacks on average than black candidates and 24% more than Latino candidates — even when their résumés are exactly the same.

The growing interest in early talent is linked closely to embracing greater diversity in the workforce and creating more opportunities for people from all walks of life, focusing on their capabilities rather than their status, color, or religion.

And with US colleges now more diverse than ever, the talent pool is certainly there for early talent development.

Why can early talent have such a significant impact on your organization?

Research shows that early talent has the power to make a positive impact on organizations in a number of ways.

Early talent is more adaptable to changing technologies and innovation

New and recent grads have grown up with easy access to the technologies which so many businesses rely on today. Using cloud-based services, tools, and communicating with people from all over the world online is second nature. That’s why 80% of Gen Z members aim to work with state-of-the-art tech and more than 90% claim technology affects their job choices.

Adapting to new technologies and processes may still require a little training, but they’re better equipped to embrace cutting-edge solutions integral to daily work than those in older generations. As a result, organizations can expect less resistance and fewer productivity issues when incorporating new technologies or tools.

Early talent can increase performance and profitability

Research by McKinsey demonstrates that increasing diversity can have a tangible effect on company-wide performance. The top 25% of organizations in ethnic and gender diversity have been shown to perform better than others within their respective industries — by as much as 33%!

McKinsey’s study also found that organizations with the lowest diversity were likely to underperform compared to their competitors, by as much as 29%.

Employees from a range of different backgrounds, with different life, academic, and work experiences, can bring diverse perspectives to an organization’s operations. Most importantly, a diverse team helps you empathize and understand your customer base more effectively.

As Sheryl Sandberg said:

“We are building products that people with very diverse backgrounds use, and I think we all want our company makeup to reflect the makeup of the people who use our products.”

This is why it’s crucial to recognize that all ethnicities and genders are graduating with the valuable skills they need to achieve great things in all industries, at all levels.

But it’s not about diversity for diversity’s sake: early talent hired to fill any vacancy must be able to make a positive contribution, grow, and — hopefully — be encouraged to excel.

Early talent is hungry to progress

Gen Z is ambitious in the corporate environment. More than 75% of Gen Z workers feel they should be promoted within their first year with a business, with more than 30% seeking promotion after six months.

Furthermore, early talent is typically interested in greater financial security and future-proof employment, with 37% of Gen Z employees regarding “professional growth” and “learning opportunities” as main priorities in their search for work.

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But while they’re three times more likely to switch jobs than baby boomers, companies can retain their loyalty by creating a satisfying work experience for them. Half of Gen Z workers remain in their current role because they find it enjoyable, while 45% claim relationships with colleagues keep them interested.

And if we’re playing the long game — which we should be — then this tenacity, combined with an appreciation for job satisfaction and interpersonal relationships, could just make early talent fantastic leaders in a few years.

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Early talent acquisition and development: what you need to know

Prioritizing early talent development in your organization creates the potential to reap numerous rewards, such as greater profitability, a more innovative workforce, and higher engagement. But how do you do it?

The simplest and most cost-effective option is to embrace cutting-edge recruitment software. This technology empowers decision-makers in organizations of all sizes, across all industries, to simplify early talent acquisition. Machine learning handles most of the heavy lifting for HR departments and recruitment specialists, working to detailed specifications to identify the right candidates for any vacancy — with no bias to be seen.

Automation reduces the amount of time and resources organizations are required to invest in their hiring processes, while enhancing the quality of the candidates they choose to fill entry-level roles. There’s no risk of prioritizing one candidate over another unfairly: you can trust psychographic data and more traditional screening points to choose the most qualified individuals.

Using specialized recruiting software can lead to a 55% reduction in cost-per-hire, a five-point increase in female hiring, and a 91% application completion rate. Vacancies become more visible to the most relevant candidates and assessments can be streamlined to minimize wasted time.

And any time saved can be channeled into creating a smoother, more welcoming onboarding process that helps newcomers to integrate successfully.

Taking advantage of the latest recruitment software creates a more level playing field and maximizes your organization’s opportunities to hire the ideal employees for any position — and that’s early talent acquisition done right.

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