Why hiring early talent should be a priority for your recruitment

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Keeping your recruitment pipeline stocked with early talent is more important than ever. One in five baby boomers will be retiring in the next decade, and 27% of the workforce will be made up of Generation Z by 2025. More than that, 47% of hiring managers are seeing increased turnover in 2022, and 30% are “very concerned” about employees quitting.

Hiring early talent — those who have 0-3 years of professional experience, are about to graduate, or have recently graduated — can solve each of these points.

Each year, more than four million students graduate college in the United States. Today’s candidate market means that there are about two job openings for every job seeker, but candidates are also being more selective about their careers and looking for the best fit.

Early talent, which is mostly made up of Generation Z, has different priorities than its predecessors in the workforce. Instead of simply filling an open position, they want to network and be part of a community. They also want long-term opportunities, to be part of organizations where they can grow and develop, and to be involved in meaningful work that aligns with their values.

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Early talent — and Gen Z — want growth and development opportunities and meaningful work that aligns with their values.

What early talent brings to the table

A prominent differentiator of early talent is that they are digital natives. This means less of a learning curve with new technologies and the ability to ease into remote work. They’re also used to searching for answers and learning on their own, digitally upskilling on platforms like YouTube and Duolingo.

These potential future employees are also more values-driven than earlier generations. Growing up immersed in concerns about social justice, climate change, and economic recessions has created a generation that cares deeply about human rights, the environment, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and job stability. Though this makes them more discerning jobseekers, it also aligns them well with the diversity and sustainability initiatives more and more companies are putting in place.

Reasons to hire early talent

Engaging with early talent through entry-level jobs or internships is about more than filling the talent pipeline. It has the potential to improve your brand reputation and develop the leadership skills of your current employees.

According to a 2019 Robert Half survey of senior managers, the biggest reasons for hiring early talent are their enthusiasm for starting a new career and the new perspectives and ideas they bring to the workforce.

Bringing in early talent through apprenticeships, internships, or engagement throughout their education is also a reliable way to build relationships and loyalty. This can lead to improved retention of homegrown talent and reduce future hiring costs.

Early Talent

How to attract early talent

The key to bringing in early talent — and ensuring they choose you over your competitors — is meeting them where they are: emphasizing your commitment to their values, creating connections, and streamlining the hiring process.

Value-driven employees

Early talent isn’t content with just any work: they want meaningful work that aligns with their goals. No matter the job you’re hiring for, emphasize any socially conscious initiatives your company runs. Companies that prioritize sustainability and the environment have a better reputation, increased retention, and are associated with greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Another element that’s important in building trust with potential employees is transparency. Candidates are looking for authenticity, clear expectations, and a view into company culture to see if it’s an environment they want to join. This also means investing more time networking with potential hires to create authentic relationships.

Creating connections and building relationships

Early talent doesn’t just want a job — they want an opportunity to develop, network, and be part of a community. Just because these candidates can be self-sufficient doesn’t mean they want to work in isolation.

This is your chance to highlight internal employee networks, mentorship, training programs, and outline upwards career paths. Engage regularly with candidates via newsletters, social media, LinkedIn, and email. Connections with the recruitment team and the promise of an expanded professional network will also keep candidates engaged in the hiring process and discourage drop-off and ghosting.

Knockri lets you track, communicate with, and evaluate candidates for all your job roles in one place. Candidates can complete Knockri assessments on their device of choice at the time and place of their choosing, but still be managed through your applicant tracking system.

Evaluations are based on scientifically validated skills and behaviors, not on resumes or CVs, making them a perfect match for today’s early talent. Our commitment to creating a fair and fair hiring process for all matches the DEI goals of you and your candidates.

Book a demo today to chat with us about meeting candidates where they are with a smooth digital platform that lets you evaluate quickly and efficiently.

A shorter, faster hiring process

Even though there are more jobs available than candidates to fill them, there’s still competition for the best talent. Candidates want frequent, personalized touchpoints, a straightforward application and recruitment process, and an efficient process that won’t leave them waiting for weeks on end. The company that can deliver on all these points has the best chance of landing top talent before its competitors.

If there’s one thing to remember about hiring early talent today, it’s that authenticity and engagement are key. Communicate with candidates early and often, build relationships, and give them a reason to be invested in your talent acquisition process.

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