The early careers landscape is changing. Organisations are facing new challenges, increased candidate expectations and are planning for an uncertain future.
Economic challenges – economic uncertainty is leading to graduates, apprentices and interns applying to more organisations than usual. However, a reduction in planned early careers hiring means that candidates are chasing fewer opportunities. At the same time, recruiters must identify the best talent for their programs from all applicants, while differentiating themselves from the hiring competition.
Digital natives – this is the first ‘digital native’ generation of jobseekers, and candidates have high expectations from a digital selection process. Gen Z also prioritises social activism more than previous generations. This means employer branding must have a greater focus on the environmental and social impact of their organisation. Gen Z also expects their future employer’s values to align with their own.
Candidate immersion – it should be remembered that we cannot expect candidates to learn about a firm’s values independently. We must take the values to them by creating a purpose-driven recruitment process through candidate immersion. Candidate immersion means moving beyond candidate engagement and towards a recruitment process that educates candidates about an organisation’s values, strategy and purpose. At the same time, organisations also need to strive in order to attract a more diverse candidate pool by removing some of the academic barriers and focusing on candidate messaging.
Hiring for the future – when hiring early-stage talent, above all else the focus should be on hiring for the future. Our research reflects this: nearly 90% of organisations that hire early careers talent aspire to understand a candidate’s future potential by measuring their growth mindset – that is their ability to thrive on challenge and to view opportunities as springboards for growth and development.
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