A common misstep in attracting or recruiting talent is setting narrow restrictions on who to interview or where talent is sourced. Often, highly talented job candidates are overlooked due to inexperience. Employers have an opportunity to expand their recruiting reach by pursuing entry-level candidates at universities, colleges and trade schools, but it comes down to hiring for skills or the right fit – rather than experience – and offering training and career development on the job. This kind of strategy is considered a core recruitment function for many organizations.
As new generations enter the workforce and everyday job skills change, savvy employers can secure candidates who have the potential to grow in a new career. This article explores the opportunity for recruiting and hiring employees from universities, colleges and trade schools and ways to build a sustainable recruitment strategy.
Understanding the various learning institutions employers partner with and their differences is essential to determine which will be more beneficial for employers to recruit from. A university generally refers to a larger higher education institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. They often have an emphasis on conducting research.
On the other hand, a college is often smaller and usually refers to community colleges, technical schools and liberal arts colleges. They typically only focus on undergraduate studies. A trade or vocational school offers programs that can be completed within one or two years and focus on a career-intensive curriculum with hands-on experience.
Just as there are various learning institutions, there are different skill sets employers may want to seek out depending on their industry or organization. In some cases, many may desire workers with an undergraduate degree or master’s degree; other companies may be interested in trade talent or specialized skills.
The opportunity to build a continual talent pipeline is there and will remain. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the following about graduates (ages 20 to 29) in 2021:
Keep in mind that these statistics don’t include other age ranges, many of whom could be graduates – and great potential employees.
Educational institutions have been providing employers with high-quality talent for a long time. Still, there are reasons to amp up those efforts and explore additional ways to throw a wider net for entry-level candidates.
Consider the following benefits of targeting and hiring candidates via universities, colleges and trade schools or from different sectors or even roles:
While experience and industry knowledge have their places in recruitment and hiring, it can be beneficial for organizations to hire talent from outside their industry or consider candidates with the right skills but not enough experience yet.
Employers looking to expand their recruiting reach should review the following considerations to sustainable engage candidates in a learning environment:
Recruiting from higher education institutions relies on establishing effective relationships with educational institutions and identifying and engaging with suitable candidates that can bring value to the workplace and grow in a career there. Recruitment can be a mutually beneficial opportunity for both employers and universities.
Suppose employers are having a hard time finding qualified candidates. In that case, they could consider expanding their recruitment reach by pursuing entry-level workers from universities and other types of higher education institutions. New energy and fresh perspectives from recent and soon-to-be graduates can help organizations innovate and develop a strong workplace culture.
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