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Early Career Framework and Recruitment and Retention Strategy

If you want to achieve diversity in your organization, hiring early career professionals is a great place to start. Not only are younger generations a more diverse population than previous ones, but they also bring a lot to the table that your organization can benefit from. Members of this demographic have technical skills, enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn that can make them a real asset to your company. In addition, they are eager to grow in their careers, so if you provide these opportunities for them, they’ll be willing to contribute to your company in the long term. But in order to get all the rewards that come with hiring early career professionals, you have to effectively attract, as well as retain, them. The following tips can help you accomplish both.

Early Career Recruiting Strategies

Just as with any other group you’re trying to attract, it's important to have specific strategies when recruiting early career professionals. The following are some tips you can use to target this talent.

Hire for potential

Do your entry-level positions require years of experience? You may want to rethink your hiring criteria to attract early career talent. Hiring for potential instead of experience can help you find qualified applicants that may not sound like the best choice on paper, but actually have the knowledge and skills that make them the perfect fit for a position. Reevaluate whether all the experience you’re asking for is really necessary for the job at hand.

Cultivate an attractive employer brand

If you already have early career professionals at your organization, they can help you build your employer brand so the community knows you're open to hiring young talent, and you provide a good workplace experience for them. Use your social media platforms and recruiting website to promote your employer brand to these candidates and be sure to get testimonials from current employees.

Offer scholarships and internships

Offering scholarships and internships is a great way to get on the radar of college students so when they graduate, you’re top of mind as a possible employer. This can be especially helpful if you need more representation of specific diverse groups because you can create programs targeted to students in underserved communities, which will let them know you're interested in helping them succeed.

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Early Career Retention Strategies 

Early career professionals are looking for places to grow and possibly stay for a long time. In order to increase the chances of retaining this talent, the following tips can help.

Provide mentoring opportunities

If your organization doesn't have a mentoring program, it's a good idea to implement one because offering early career candidates the opportunity to learn from leaders is very attractive to them. This will allow them to see themselves as successful professionals in your industry, as well as in your organization, and they can learn from people who have achieved what they aspire to in the future.

Outline career paths

No one will want to work for your company if they feel like it's a dead end for their career. Let younger talent know there are paths for advancement at your organization and show them what they need to do to get to different levels. Having a clear career path will motivate employees because they know they'll be rewarded for their hard work and will be able to achieve their advancement goals.

Compensate fairly

Although younger workers may not command the same salaries as more experienced professionals, it doesn't give you license to shortchange them. To have a work environment that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion, you must provide fair compensation to all workers, regardless of age or background.

Implement effective management strategies

Young professionals today want to be engaged in their work, so management must be able to help them develop their creativity and ideas so they can thrive in your workplace. Hands-on management is important to these workers, which means leaders need to provide regular feedback and encouragement to keep them motivated. Remember, most people quit their jobs because of bad bosses, and early career professionals are no exception to that rule.

Emphasize corporate responsibility

Younger generations are interested in working for employers that demonstrate corporate responsibility. They're heavily involved in the causes they care about, and they prefer companies that also participate in activities that make the world a better place. Providing opportunities to volunteer as a team is appealing to early career talent, as well as supporting different causes financially. When you make corporate responsibility part of your employer brand, early career workers are more likely to take pride in being there—which will go a long way toward retention.

Hiring early career talent can help breathe new life into your organization. These workers already have many valuable skills, and they're willing to learn more as they jump into their professions. Being able to recruit and retain these workers will increase the diversity in your organization, while steering it towards the future success you want.

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