What’s the best way to reach emerging talent?

A new white paper from workingmums.co.uk highlights the main points from a roundtable discussion among leading employers of the best ways to attract emerging talent.

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Employers who want to get the best young talent should emphasise positive messages that differentiate their organisation and appeal to issues such as sustainability that lie beyond the traditional support package, according to a white paper on emerging talent.

The white paper is based on a roundtable of leading employers held at the offices of Schneider Electric and organised by workingmums.co.uk and GetMyFirstJob and chaired by David Allison, CEO of GetMyFirstJob.

Employers ranging from WH Smith and Ocado to Samsung, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and Sir Robert McAlpine spoke candidly about the challenges they face attracting new talent, such as old-fashioned misperceptions about how their industry is viewed in a fast-changing world. They discussed the need for more informal language in job adverts and diverse case studies that show rounded, real people.

Some employers recommended getting young people to own their brand by encouraging them to make videos and podcasts so their business is seen through their eyes and using their own hashtags for the company on social media.

On the recruitment process, employers spoke of challenges attracting young people to work outside the major cities and creating the right culture where everyone felt they fit in. Others reached out to young talent by offering authentic experiences, such as working with NGOs or on environmental competitions, or partnering with companies with strong social messages. Parents were an important target too, given their influence on young people’s career decisions.

Employers suggested recruiting on potential rather than experience and training managers to recognise this, restricting the list of criteria needed for jobs to encourage a broader pool of applicants and using gender neutral language and inclusive photos.

To avoid drop out and boost retention rates, employers were advised to engage in regular communications between interview and start date, to think long term about upskilling needs, consider pairing new recruits with buddies and to use alumni networks as ambassadors for the brand.

Gillian Nissim, founder of workingmums.co.uk, said: “The roundtable provided rich food for thought and employers shared the challenges they face and the way they have tackled them in a spirit of openness and with a genuine desire to learn from each other.”

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