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by Dean Callaghan, C. Psychol., Ps.S.I, Managing Director at Aon’s Human Capital Solutions
Aon and HPC Global ‘2023 Irish Early Careers Report’ surveyed 35 large companies from more than 17 industries, collectively employing 65,000 people across Ireland.
According to the ‘2023 Irish Early Careers Report’ flexible hybrid work options and higher wages are the key tools in retaining young talent. The survey discovered that to promote talent retention many HR leaders are reviewing hybrid working arrangements whilst also reminding young employees the benefits of in person learning as part of their long-term growth and development.
The recruitment of early careers talent is critical to the future success of every business. These individuals make an impact where it matters most, from shaping company culture to providing the next generation of company leaders.
Employers are competing hard to attract and retain talent with unemployment rates near a historic low. According to 37% employers, retaining graduates is a top challenge. Consequently, in the last year 77% of organisations increased the pay and benefits for their young talent. This was also in response to the cost of living.
Pay increases alone are not sufficient in competing for talent. When ranking Employee Value Proposition (EVP), the key factors that support candidate attraction and employee engagement, pay was only ranked as the fourth most important factor by employers.
Employers are also striving to address the unknowns within Artificial Intelligence. Many view it as an opportunity rather than a threat and plan to upskill their employees to engage with it. Organisations will need to place greater emphasis on understanding and unlocking the potential of AI to retain early careers talent.
AI can and will play an increasingly important role in shaping early careers programmes. Addressing the skills gap will enable employers to fully benefit from the productivity gain of AI and other technologies. Developing transferable skills and upskilling can ensure that the next generation of early careers talent is well positioned to drive organisational success.
The report also found that continuous professional development is key to developing in-demand skills among early careers talent.
Nearly half of employers’ rank career development opportunities as the most important part of their EVP to attract early careers talent, indicating the importance of creating clear paths for progression within organisations. Programme structure (46%), branding (37%), and salary and benefits (34%) complete the top EVP factors organisations rely on to attract high-calibre talent.
HR professionals primarily use internal methods such as stakeholder interviews (66%), prior experience (51%) and job analysis (43%), when evaluating the skills critical to the business.
To ensure organisations are equipped for the future, it is becoming increasingly important to conduct externally benchmarking such as talent market analysis and skills research as new technologies reshape the skills market. Currently, just 34% of organisations are using external research to help them determine what skills they need.
At Aon Ireland, we’re proud to support organisations across the country in making better decisions and ensuring that the young talent hired today has the skills and potential to thrive through future changes and drive business growth. By implementing the key recommendations in today’s report, employers across Ireland can maximise the value of early careers talent and build a resilient workforce fit for the future.
For more information on the key takeaways and recommendations of the ‘’2023 Irish Early Careers Report’’, or if you wish to receive a full copy contact Aon’s Human Capital Solutions Director Dean Callaghan- [email protected].