What can Student employers do?
We know that these are tough times for Student employers. It’s clear that they are struggling to quickly and effectively switch their programmes to be run remotely. They want their Early Talent schemes to be the meaningful development experiences they have been proudly delivering in ‘normal times’, but they are struggling to make this happen for this year’s intake, when it comes to their new starters beginning their careers working from home.
The Institute of Student Employers (ISE), supported by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (Agcas), has reported that this year’s Early Talent vacancies might be reduced by as much as 23%, with apprenticeships and school-leaver programmes particularly hard-hit.
Changes to recruitment and employment
Graduate recruitment outsourcing provider Cohesion we have been passionate about recruiting students based on their values, behaviours and strengths, and have advocated the removal of sifting based on academic grades alone for some time. With adjusted and predicted grades coming into play this year, student employers must now look at how else they can sift and assess Early Talent applications.
They must also look at the roles within their businesses and think about how their new employees need to be supported to do a good job. It’s not just about the technology enabling people to work from home, but how are they managed? What if they can’t work from home? How do they best provide the learning and development to support their future-leaders?
There is a real concern about the skills gap that is inevitably coming in a few years’ time, so what can employers do to ensure that they don’t miss out on Early Talent, whilst also ensuring they are reaching those who perhaps feeling the social mobility gap widen further in these times?
- Deliver your work experience programmes virtually, or at another time rather than cancel them?
- Speak to your L&D team and training providers to see what options are available for those who cannot work from home or access development virtually?
- Engage with schools, colleges and universities so that you understand what their students are telling them about how best you as an employer can support them?
- Ensure your Early Talent websites and communications to all those in your recruitment pipelines, are regular and up-to-date?
- Look ahead to next year – if this years programme is reduced or cancelled, can you now plan ahead to understand which roles are skill-critical and how Early Talent schemes can run in a different way, particularly if social distancing is here to stay?
Early Talent are understandably nervous about what the future holds for them in these worryingly uncertain times, so being clear as a student employer about how you are intending to continue to engage, recruit, manage, train and develop them is key.