Why the future of student recruitment is ‘train then hire’

Jun 3, 2021 | Attraction & marketing | 0 comments

It’s time to flip the traditional script of ‘hire then train’ to ‘train then hire’, says Forage CEO, Tom Brunskill.

In a recent ISE webinar Tom explained why it’s time to redesign student recruitment to help students and employers get to know each other before hiring, ensuring both parties make better choices.

Forage undertook a series of studies with students, which found that they are nervous about their careers and feel lost and unprepared when it comes to applying for a job. Often, they apply for any job – not necessarily the right job:

  • 41% of students don’t feel ready for the world of work
  • 42% say they don’t have a clear understanding of what different employers do
  • 66% applied for a job just to increase employment prospects (not because they wanted to work there)
  • 83% felt anxious about applying for a job

Many companies already invest significantly in trying to bridge the gap between education and employment. Recruiting early talent is time consuming and requires investment.

So, if we were to start from scratch with what we’ve learned over the last 30 years and wave a magic wand to create a perfect student recruitment system, what would it look like?

Leveraging content and technology to pre-skill talent at scale is the future of student recruitment according to Forage.

By working independently and with universities and colleges, employers have the opportunity to flip the traditional script of ‘hire then train’ to ‘train then hire’ by deploying accessible, impactful, scalable, realistic and immersive training experiences and opportunities to students from all backgrounds.

This ‘pre-skilling’ enables participants to gain awareness of the skills required for a specific workplace and practice those skills in a safe environment.

 

Revolutionary new system

In this new system, education and training would be at the heart of recruitment with both company and candidate benefiting from mutual alignment.

Students would be able to roadtest careers and meaningfully experience a company’s work and culture free of charge in an on-demand self paced environment. As a result they feel more confident, empowered and prepared for work.

For employers, they hire from a pre-trained talent pool, reducing the burden of onboarding. Recruiters can do this while they sleep with digital experiences that are on 24/7/365. Hiring decisions would be based on students’ potential to do specific roles as well as their compatibility with a particular culture.

Students and employers already recognise that finding ways to front load practical training for students has benefits for all:

  • 98% students believe they could benefit from more practical training
  • 5.4% average increase in employment outcomes in courses containing real work
  • 170 of NACE recruiters agree it’s important to get students desk ready for work

 

Pre-skilling in practice

Using pre-skilling employers can distil their work places into virtual environments, which can showcase the company as a whole or particular divisions. This can be done in a variety of ways such as company credentials, virtual synchronous skill sessions, internships and apprenticeships, and university and college collaborations.

For example, if a student is interested in learning what it’s like to be an investment banker you can enrol into an investment banking virtual work experience programme. Students can learn how to prepare a discounted cash flow valuation or how to leave a voicemail for a director updating them on a key development in a merger and acquisition transaction. A software engineering programme may show students how to post a Jira ticket or leverage languages for different product lines.

The impact of pre-skilling is already being felt:

  • 88% of students had gained practical skills
  • 99% agreed that pre-skilling gave them more confidence to apply for a role
  • 66% changed their mind about a company or career
  • 80% believe virtual training that focuses on a specific work environment better prepares them for work
  • 97% are more inclined to work at companies that invest in their skilling before they start in a role
  • 93% believe companies have an obligation to skill and educate the workforce of the future

Tom summarises, “Your workforce will start looking and feeling like a melting pot of high performing people with rich and varied backgrounds. Most importantly that talent won’t leave you at the alter, they’ll consistently go on to become exceptional leaders and contributors to your organisation.”

With the help of industry-leading campus recruiters, Forage has deployed virtual work experience programmes that have reached nearly 1.5m college students.

Learn more at employers.theforage.com

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