Red flags in early careers recruitment that you shouldn’t ignore

Mar 19, 2024 | Home Featured, Selection & assessment, Webinars

An ISE webinar with Sova looks at identifying and managing potential red flags in early careers recruitment.

Early careers recruitment is a critical function for organisations seeking to attract fresh talent and foster future leaders.

However, there are potential pitfalls and red flags that can deter promising candidates and have long-term consequences on the organisation’s talent pool, diversity initiatives and ultimately, their overall success.

In a recent fireside chat hosted by Sova as part of ISE webinars, I had the opportunity to chat with Kallie Hudson, Early Careers Recruitment Manager at Liberty Global. We discussed how we can recognise and address red flags in early careers assessment to maintain a competitive edge in ensuring a diverse and dynamic workforce.

Ads that lack transparency and realism

In the webinar Kallie highlights one of the initial red flags in recruitment as being lack of transparency and realism in job adverts.

Organisations often create job descriptions to make roles appear more appealing, which can lead to mismatched expectations among new hires. The language used in these job adverts can also sometimes exclude or deter certain candidate groups.

Overlooking new channels and methods

A further area of concern we discussed was failing to adapt to new recruitment channels and methods.

Sticking to traditional recruitment channels and methods can really limit your talent pool and may also unintentionally fail to attract a diverse candidate population.

The job market and candidate expectations are evolving rapidly, influenced by technological advancements and shifting societal norms. Organisations must be agile, exploring new avenues for talent attraction and leveraging data to understand where they can find the best candidates.

Kallie commented, “When you’re going to go to market and casting your net in the world of early talent, if you’re always sticking to the same approach year after year, I would say that’s a major red flag…the market, as we all know, is constantly changing.”

Assessment based on current skills

It also crucial to understand that assessing candidates based solely on their current skills and experience, without considering their potential for growth and development, can easily overlook talented individuals who could thrive with the right support.

Early career roles should focus on candidates’ learning agility and their ability to adapt and grow within the organisation. This requires a shift in mindset from seeking ‘the perfect fit’ to identifying individuals with the potential to excel.

Ignoring feedback

Another red flag to keep in mind is ignoring candidate feedback. If organisations do not review and adapt the recruitment process it can lead to a stale and ineffective approach.

Candidate experience is crucial, not only for those who receive job offers but also for those who don’t. A positive recruitment experience can enhance the organisation’s reputation among potential candidates, while negative experiences can spread quickly, deterring others from applying.

Overlooking data

It is also vital to think beyond graduate recruitment. Kallie emphasised the importance of harnessing the data collected during the recruitment process to help onboard and develop new graduate trainees.

By using these outputs, we can fine tune the development of new joiners to offer them an experience that demonstrates a real understanding of their skills and areas for development.

Let’s face it, in what other scenario would one imagine investing hours really understanding the DNA of someone or something to then simply discard that information and start all over again?

Key conclusions

In general, organisations should adopt a holistic and inclusive approach to early career recruitment to help overcome red flags.

This involves being transparent in job adverts, using inclusive language, exploring diverse recruitment channels, focusing on candidate potential, continuously reviewing the recruitment process, and creating synergy with the onboarding and development programmes.

By acknowledging and mitigating these red flags, organisations can attract a wider pool of talented candidates, fostering a diverse and dynamic workforce that is well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern business world.

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