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What strategies work best to hire early career professionals?


Companies are looking to inject innovation to the organization, boost their teams’ productivity and adapt to the current economic climate. Meanwhile, many employees that are hungry for  good career opportunities are struggling to connect with jobs because they need some years of experience. 

It is a gap that an effective hiring process can fill in. By employing strategies that build a diverse and stable workforce, companies are able to attract and retain career starters. 

Who are career starters or early career talents? 

Career starters, also called early career talents, are workers with 0 to 3 years of experience relevant to the field they are applying for. They may belong to these categories. 

  • Recent college graduates. Fresh graduates have updated knowledge about their field but they may lack a lot of actual work experience. This may be their first job application. 

  • People who switched careers.  Recent research has shown that there has been a rise in the number of Americans who shifted their careers into a different industry. They have proven work experience in their previous field, but they have yet to earn that experience in their new industry. 

  • Skilled workers. This group are workers who have acquired their knowledge and skills through alternative means such as certification courses, internships, or boot camps. They may have skills from hands-on experience. 

Benefits to hiring early career talents

Early career talents bring several benefits to a company. By attracting and developing early career talents, companies are able to: 

1. Benefit from fresh and modern perspectives. Their newness to the company enables them to look at work, their roles and tasks with fresh eyes. Given the chance to contribute ideas, they often are creative, can think outside the box, which can spark innovation and creativity.  

2. Increase chances for productivity.
Since early career talents are hungry for career growth, they are most willing to learn and try new work experiences, and give their best effort in doing so. When changes have to be made, they are more adaptable to them and are willing to grow along with the changes. 

3. Make use of their digital skills. Early career starters will be mostly Generation Z who are considered digital natives. They grew up with the Internet and they are comfortable with and skilled at using technology. 

Strategies to attract and develop early career starters

Research has shown that the new generation of employees, mostly GenZs, will become the majority of the workforce by 2025. This gives companies the chance to create a more diverse, balanced and inclusive workplace along with workers who have had medium to long tenure in the company.

1. Make it a company priority. Hiring early talents without the full acceptance and support of upper management will cause the programs you set to ultimately fail as it will not be a priority for the company. Make sure that management is fully on-board with all hiring and talent development activities. 

2. Make the company branding attractive. Today, a strong company brand means  the ability to communicate, and connect with the community outside the company  and the people that are inside the company. When there is good company culture and reputation, it is easier for employees to advocate for the company, and for top early talents to consider it as their next career destination. One big factor in company branding nowadays is its ability to retain a diverse and inclusive staff. 

3. Take care of your early career talent pipeline. Your company;s internship programs, college or university events, training and workshops for students, or scholarships may build your company’s pipeline of prospective early career talents. As they see your company values and efforts, you become a top choice as their prospective employer. 

4. Offer employee-focused opportunities and benefits. Make your company’s offer for professional growth clear. It allows them to see themselves going up the company advancement ladder and grow in their career. In addition, provide a level of pay transparency and fair compensation for their work. One study showed that 1 in 3 younger talents who expect a promotion in a couple of years would consider leaving the job if they do not get promoted.

Hiring and investing time and resources to develop early career talents have their risks, but they are also worth the benefits they bring to the company. Make hiring decisions guided by the understanding of these early talents’ values and priorities. As you develop more effective strategies, you create a win-win situation for your company and your employees. 

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What strategies work best to hire early career professionals?
Brandon Resasco