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The Evolution of Early Careers (Part 1: Five Essentials for Hiring the Next Generation of Talent)

The early careers landscape is changing. Organizations are facing new challenges, increased candidate expectations and are planning for an uncertain future.

Economic challenges – economic uncertainty is leading to graduates, apprentices and interns applying to more organizations than usual. However, a reduction in planned early careers hiring means that candidates are chasing fewer opportunities. At the same time, recruiters must identify the best talent for their programs from all applicants, while differentiating themselves from the hiring competition.

Digital natives – this is the first ‘digital native’ generation of jobseekers, and candidates have high expectations from a digital selection process. Gen Z also prioritizes social activism more than previous generations. This means employer branding must have a greater focus on the environmental and social impact of their organization. Gen Z also expects their future employer’s values to align with their own.

Candidate immersion – it should be remembered that we cannot expect candidates to learn about a firm’s values independently. We must take the values to them by creating a purpose-driven recruitment process through candidate immersion. Candidate immersion means moving beyond candidate engagement and towards a recruitment process that educates candidates about an organization’s values, strategy and purpose. At the same time, organizations also need to strive in order to attract a more diverse candidate pool by removing some of the academic barriers and focusing on candidate messaging.

Hiring for the future – when hiring early-stage talent, above all else the focus should be on hiring for the future. Our research reflects this: nearly 90% of organizations that hire early careers talent aspire to understand a candidate’s future potential by measuring their growth mindset – that is their ability to thrive on challenge and to view opportunities as springboards for growth and development.

This is the first in our two-part Early Careers Guide which sets out how you can secure the talent you need for your workforce of the future in two stages: firstly, make sure that the basics of your early careers program are fit for purpose and, secondly, create an immersive candidate experience.

Do you want to learn more about early careers? Visit our website.

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Aon creates smart measurement solutions with valid and innovative online assessment products. Aon is globally the preferred partner for organisations who demand the best.

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