7 mistakes to avoid when choosing the right Emerging Talent Partner
In what has become a candidate market again, reaching challenging targets to recruit school leavers and graduates into your company can seem quite daunting, especially when early talent is such a priority for everyone. This is borne out by an increase of 20% over the last 3 year in graduate vacancies, with renege rates up to 14%, and 1/3rd of companies looking to double their volume of apprenticeships. Employers, therefore, are amending their plans & tactics, seeking to target, engage and build loyalty with talent, ahead of and more effectively than their competitors.
Finding an external partner with this proven expertise and ‘reach’ can help you secure the right talent quickly and easily, as well as build a strong employer brand as you go. Through over 20 years of experience, we’ve seen first-hand the mistakes that can happen when choosing who to partner with. Mitigating these is easy, if you know what to look out for…
Mistake 1. Selecting based on expertise alone. The talent partner you choose should offer not just experience and expertise. They also need to:
- Demonstrate how they will represent you and your organisation in all they do, with and for you, when engaging with young people and educators at schools, colleges and universities, wherever in the country you need to do this. You should be looking for a partner who understands both face to face and digital, online presence too and can explain how they tailor the approach to match a youth audience.
- Have ‘reach’ and scale…there is plenty of great innovation on offer, but you need a partner where you can also tap in their networks quickly and effectively
Mistake 2. Insufficient scrutiny of their process. During the selection process, make sure that you assess their ability to not just have robust processes but also act fast, move at speed and make changes (without costing the earth!) when needed. Structure your conversations to ask about how they’ve responded to other clients’ demands and weigh up whether these are similar to your own.
Mistake 3. Looking backwards when you should be looking forwards. It’s no good analysing your activity at the end of the campaign, when it can often be too late; it’s better to always be 3 or 4 steps ahead, seeing potential issues before they become issues; these can include the right volumes and quantities of applications or putting solutions in place to drive down renege and drop-out rates post job offer. When scoping out who you’d like to partner with, find out how your campaign will be managed from end to end and ask for a sample of their reporting throughout the campaign not just the ‘glitzy’ one they produce at the end.
Mistake 4. Missing out on assessing how they’ll help you differentiate in a crowded market place. So it’s not just about hiring great talent, but finding ways to do that more innovatively and effectively; seeking ways to constantly differentiate your business and opportunities from the growing competition; doing more to ensure your new talent makes a positive impact on day 1. Choose a partner that can help you achieve this differentiation and can describe how they’ll do it.
Mistake 5. Choosing a partner on the basis of their size. You don’t want to be sold to by the expert and then get the service provided by someone much less capable; nor do you want to be paying for big expensive offices. What you need is a truly bespoke solution that’s designed based on a deep understanding of your organisation and culture.
Mistake 6. Choosing partner who is too small for you. The partner you choose needs:
- to have specialist knowledge and expertise
- to have the right people resources
- the type of ‘reach’ into schools, colleges and universities that give you confidence that you are truly seeing the best available talent
- a strong track record to be able to grow with you
Mistake 7. Not having a clear plan to deliver emerging talent strategy. A successful emerging talent strategy is about so much more than recruiting good people. There needs to be a plan to engage that new talent and help them to integrate into and then succeed in your organisation; in doing this you will achieve all the reasons ‘why’ you have such a strategy in the first place and be able to demonstrate that all important return on investment.
So when choosing your emerging talent partner, learn from others mistakes, and use them to ensure you don’t end up regretting your choice, nor failing to meet those targets you’ve set.
At MKF we believe in giving every young person equal power and opportunity to shape their future.
For employers MKF exists to ensure the right emerging talent strategy is in place and then through the right actions connect them more quickly and more effectively with the broadest range of young people, all leading to them having the very best and most inclusive talent pool within their organisation, and that new talent then making more impact than ever before.
If you are currently choosing who to partner with, or want more insights as to what others are doing, give us a call and we can share with you more about how to either shape your strategy and goals and / or deliver on your already agreed strategy.