Smart talent management starts even before day one

06 Aug 2018

Smart talent management starts even before day one

In the first of three articles on innovation in talent management, Nick Claridge, Partner in the Consumer Practice at Odgers Berndtson, argues that when it comes to recruiting Generation Y, the same old ways just won’t cut it anymore.

Innovation has to start with recruitment. If you don’t compete effectively for the best apprentices and graduates, your talent pipeline will be compromised. You can’t take out what you don’t put in.

It used to be easy to recruit the best. Regular as clockwork, every summer, well-known confectionary brands would make 150 entry-level hires, offering no more than £25K and a Ford Escort, and the promise of management training. There’d be a long queue and they’d take the cream. Those days are long gone.

Meet the Y generation

By 2020, Gen Y, aka the Millennials, will make up 50% of the global workforce. They have been raised in a constantly-changing, incredibly-connected world.

Their access to studies, leisure, food, entertainment is immediate and clearly transactional, online.

A new report from the IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) states the most important factors for Millennials when deciding on a job is, in order, work/life balance, promotable opportunities, training, company values, and finally…salary.

New recruits

In response to this new generation, a number of companies are trialling Millennial-friendly recruitment initiatives.

When BrewDog launched their USA recruitment drive, it started with a two-day interactive open house at their Columbus facility. Candidates pitched their skills and BrewDog outlined their plans.

Goldman Sachs ran their adverts for graduates on Spotify. Ad agency O&M challenged applicants to submit ‘the world’s greatest pitch’ on YouTube.

Finally, the UK Armed Forces still run recruitment ads on TV, but the message has changed from ‘see the world or learn a trade’ to one which emphasises a sense of belonging and comradeship.

Fresh approaches

There are innovations in the interview process too, as Áine Hurley, head of the Odgers Berndtson HR Practice, points out.

“For senior hires, a CEO of a food manufacturing business insists on meeting board level, customer-facing hires whilst doing a store check. He believes that candidates need to see and share his passion for his customers and the insights he gets this way."

“He appreciates the value of escaping the conventions of a stale interview meeting room.”

Personal recommendations

One way of making sure that you compete for the top talent is to make them aware of the opportunities in your sector.

“Awareness is key," reports the Working Options in Education careers education programme.

Their figures show the big difference: from the 43% of students who would consider a career in the food and grocery industry, this jumps to 73% after meeting professionals from the industry. 

The lesson is clear, get out there and make some impact!

CEO for a Day

Odgers Berndtson has its own initiative to inspire Millennials to become the next generation of business leaders.

Our ‘CEOx1Day’ programme is in its third year in the UK, giving students the opportunity to shadow one of the 24 participating CEOs. Last year included top figures at Sainsbury, Domino’s, ASOS, Williams F1, Mumsnet, DFS and Pets at Home.

For CEOs, it’s an excellent opportunity to connect with an undergraduate whose perspective is fresh, independent and often very direct. For the students, it’s an excellent opportunity to explore a career in business.

In the next article in this series, Nick Claridge will discuss what happens once you have recruited all that fantastic talent. Can you hold onto them?

Download our White Paper on Innovation in Talent Management below.

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