#truManchester Live Blog: The War for Talent | SocialTalent

#truManchester Live Blog: The War for Talent

Posted by Jonathan Campbell,
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Who is winning the battle for our nation’s talent?

I’m jumping in late to this track as I was recording a short video for truManchester so bear with me while I catch up…….

“The majority of academia is B*ll*cks”: well that’s an interesting quote to set the tone!  Bill is talking about how he was recently at a HR conference and was stunned to hear that HR Managers are not currently being hounded by recruiters or candidates as people just assume that they aren’t hiring.

Post doctorate students are absolutely terrified about entering the workforce.  A lot of companies have interns because they think they have to; it doesnt necessarily make them employable or give them any real new skills.  Work experience students tend to do the admin and rubbish jobs, they are exploited.

Sodexo’s interns are given training on social media, they talk about motivation, how you give recognition to GenY, making sure that they grads are getting value. It shouldn’t just be inexpensive labour. The intern is assigned a high level mentor and they do a weekly webinar with them.  Its an opportunity for both parties to check each other out.

Bill Boorman is discussing how he believes that good internships involve working on fixed length projects, 12 weeks being typical, where you work on something from start to finish. People from the Boomer Generation feel threatened by the GenY guys, technology fears etc.  Reverse mentoring can help this where you use the new entrants to mentor the Bloomers regarding technology and the Boomers mentor them on practical work issues. The GenY’s feel more valued because they see that they are being used as advisors whilst also being given practical skills.  What a great idea!!!

Sodexo’s most popular networking group discusses the generational groups, they teach each other new skills, share incites and ideas.

To mentor is a skill that is lacking.  GenY’s like to be told that they are doing a great job; doesn’t everyone though? The war for talent is about creating an environment where you nurture people’s skills.  Bill predicts that retention is going to be the big issue for third part agency recruiters: clients will want to know how long the staff you send them stay with them.  Bill is wondering if the pricing model will be spread out over several years; the longer people stay the more you earn from the placement.

Less than 20% of GenY’s are graduating from college yet 25% of the jobs being created require a college degree.  In the US, current minority populations will eventually become the majorities.

The war for talent has never gone away in certain industries.  You have to examine your expectations and whether you actually do need a particular skill set.  Do you really need 5 years experience or will 1 year do?

The only option for certain job seekers is to reskills.  Some people are just unemployable because the education system has failed them for the changes in the workforce and marketplace.  The skills we need are not being catered for.

Unemployment is still rising in Western economies but so is the level of reported vacancies therefore there is an obvious gap in the skills available and the skills required.  What is the solution?  Businesses need to reach forward into education. Universities are preparing people for jobs that they will have in 3 years but when students sign on for course they have no idea what skills will actually be required when they graduate.  People need on the job training and it needs to be kept fresh but employers dont have the resources to do this any more; these were the first things to be cut in the recession.  A lot of people are unemployable based on their CV but very employable when you meet them. Can employers afford to take the risk of hiring and re-training these people?  Having a really strong internship programme is so important.  SME’s do not see this yet they represent the majority of businesses out there. Big companies have the resources to think 10 years in the future, smaller companies simply do not have the money nor time.

Sodexo get involved in communities to help train people to work in the hospitality industry because most people dont think of their industry as an opportunity.  By skilling communities, they are building resources at an early age in the knowledge that when these kids hit their late teens they will seriously consider and be skilled for a career in hospitality.

Just like the banks giving out branded piggy banks to kids, maybe companies need to be thinking about getting kids at 10 or 11? (As a father, I have strong opinions about any companies targeting 10 or 11 years old, even if it does mean that they may be skilling them for a future career).

We need to forward plan development in the workforce.  Kids dont think of many potential careers and the variety of options that may be available to them when they grow up.  Career guidance in education is a joke. Job searching etiquette is also missing, people arent educated in how to approach employers, how to write a CV etc. Educators and academics are ill informed about recruitment and careers and although they mean well, they are not the right people to be educating students and kids about the real world workforce.

Graduate recruiters often test using scientific tests and questionnaires rather than looking just at a CV, but as soon as that graduate gains experience, the methods used to asses them will change.

GenY may me social media savvy but that doesnt mean that they know how to find a job using social media. They dont get the power of what they use every day and how they can use it to get in front of the right people and make a unique impression.  The talent supply is way short of the talent need.

Polish graduates all came to the UK.  People recognised the talent in Polish grads and set up companies back in Poland only to find that all the good grads had left.  Countries like Australia have opened up their borders to attract the right skills into their countries which is great for them but bad for the rest of the world.

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