RecruitmentEarly Talent Recruitment: 4 Steps to Becoming more Effective.

Early Talent Recruitment: 4 Steps to Becoming more Effective.

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by Serena Murphy (CMgr, MBPsS), Director of Professional Services at Aon’s Human Capital Solutions.

Early-stage talent can be viewed as the future leaders of an organisation. For decades, early careers teams have focused on winning and attracting the best talent. This worked well; top entry level talent was hired. However, the talent landscape has since evolved, and the challenges go beyond the now expected competition for talent. There is now a greater recognition of the value of diversity and the need to future-proof the organisation, and how bringing different skillsets and experience will drive competitive advantage. The pandemic also fundamentally changed the way we work, with organisation’s now managing the challenges of hybrid working, and how to integrate early-stage talent who entered the job market in a virtual world.

This begs the question – what actions we can take to ensure a diverse early careers pipeline and how do we account for different working styles and needs?

Step 1 – Develop a plan to maximise the diversity of your Early Careers candidate pool.

Greater diversity, inclusivity and equity define a fairer culture. A diverse workforce brings in new perspectives, provides a closer reflection of customer groups and has proven business benefits. It celebrates and recognises the value of difference. Three actions to consider:

  • Attract A Broader Talent Pool – Identify target groups that are underrepresented in your candidate pool. Create targeted events and attraction campaigns to engage with these groups. Meet them in person, address their concerns, and introduce them to role models within your organisation that they can identify with.
  • Create Equity in Your Talent Assessment– Make use of early career online assessments proven to have no adverse impact on underrepresented groups and monitor adverse impact at regular intervals throughout your hiring process and provide equal access opportunities with device-independent talent assessments to support neurodiversity.
  • Adopt A Data-Driven Approach– Monitor and analyse talent data continuously and across all applicant and employee touchpoints, looking at the candidate pipeline, candidate experience and employee retention and satisfaction.

Step 2 – Ensure your recruitment and selection processes are efficient and fair.

Increased pressure on resource‑stretched talent acquisition teams forces a review of hiring processes. When the talent market is tight, it’s critical that recruiters speed up time-to-hire without falling back on ‘gut’ feel and making subjective and biased decisions. Assessments that use artificial intelligence can be leveraged to increase objectivity during the recruitment process. Three actions to consider:

  • Offer a realistic preview into the job to maximise your hit rates – Develop a tool that provides potential candidates with the opportunity to explore the different roles and streams that best fit their interests and motivation. Provide access to this before candidates apply, so that they only engage with roles that are suitable for them.
  • Assess fairly and without bias – Include objective measures of talent assessment, such as personality assessments, and offer a robust accommodations process, where candidates can disclose any adjustment needs. Emphasise the importance of disclosing so that you can best support their needs.
  • Consider the benefits of artificial intelligence – Video interviews can now be rated using artificial intelligence and when designed well this can reduce bias and improve the fairness of selection decisions.

Step 3 – Ensure your process includes virtual options to democratise opportunity.

Current assessment settings may be in-person or virtual, with virtual options extending the candidate pool to inaccessible areas. When managing a hybrid process consistency and equivalence in candidate experience and candidate ratings must be maintained. Three actions to consider:

  • Build flexibility into your platform – Use an assessment platform that allows you to choose between in-person or virtual delivery while still providing a consistent experience for all.
  • Limit the need for travel for in-person assessment – Ensure the talent assessment platform used enables candidates to complete individual assessments, as well as take part in group exercises, virtually.
  • Assess candidate engagement- Place the candidate experience at the centre of your plans. Deploy highly engaging and digital first assessment exercises via a virtual assessment platform proven to have high completion rates and gather feedback to improve your approach.

Step 4 – Account for your current and future talent needs

The essential competencies of an agile workforce able to adapt to work as it continuously evolves are adaptability, growth mindset, and curiosity. Without these, employees will struggle to adapt to organisational changes. Early careers teams should assess for future skills and, invest in upskilling and reskilling. Three actions to consider:

  • Focus on potential – Assess people for traits like agility, growth mindset, and curiosity. These are the people who have the potential to succeed in times of transformation and change. Focus on their potential, how they can grow and what their potential strengths are, and less on their qualifications. Remember that knowledge and qualifications quickly become outdated.
  • Invest in continuous upskilling – Invest in reskilling and upskilling initiatives to ensure young talent continue to evolve and take the business forward. Make sure the learning continues post programme.
  • Assess the future skills requirements of your organisation – Work out the future skills your business needs to deliver its strategy. Benchmark current workforce capability (including your early careers talent) and assess where you might have gaps. Use your early careers talent as a pipeline to bridge these gaps.

Aon | Assessment Solutions

Aon’s assessment solutions provide clients with powerful tools and insights to help them make better talent decisions at every stage of the employee lifecycle. This includes pre-hire assessments, identifying future leaders, screening for digital skills and agility, and AI-enabled solutions. To learn more contact Serena Murphy, Director of Professional Services at Aon’s Human Capital Solutions at [email protected].

Serena Murphy
Serena Murphy
Director of Professional Services at Aon’s Human Capital Solutions