So, what are the benefits of investing in a more age-diverse talent pool including professionals that might have fewer years of experience than what might be expected for a particular role? In such a candidate-short and competitive market, professionals with fewer years experience are often easier to mould, tend to be more flexible, and have a unique openness to change. These candidates are the future leaders of your teams or business, so should be sought after and developed.
A good example is the search for talented Production Managers. Manufacturers are always aiming to produce high quality products in a shorter time. At the same time, they want to reduce waste to an absolute minimum. Continuous improvement is therefore one of the biggest priorities for all companies. But where larger corporations can afford to hire expensive specialists to improve their production process, small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) need to be more creative to reach the same goal.
One way of reaching that goal is hiring someone that has the raw talent and the right personality traits and attitude. Good professionals like this can be trained in waste management, continuous improvement and operational excellence, as long as they have the soft skills.
The pros and cons of a more diverse workforce
The advantages lie within a candidate’s potential, as hiring managers have the opportunity to shape a candidate’s needs and align them with any skills gaps the business may have now or in the near future. Candidates at the more junior level usually want to diversify their learning so that they get exposed to a variety of career paths before specialising.
The main hindrance you may see when hiring people with fewer years’ experience will be managing their expectations. There is more information available to candidates today, and many feel like their careers should escalate rapidly. Success takes time, and it is important for candidates to recognise when they have the right experience to move on, or up within a business.
Attracting and hiring new graduates
It is good to consider candidates that have recently graduated from university. Newly graduated professionals looking for work on the market are the perfect candidates to attempt to attract and hire to your business. These individuals are passionate and learned about the industry, and are desperate to get a job in their field as soon as possible upon graduating.
The large, established engineering businesses aren’t struggling to attract new graduates, but many great SME organisations are. New graduates emerge from education and believe that joining a large engineering firm’s graduate scheme is the only option to have a successful career, without knowing or understanding how many businesses are available to them.
Improving your recruitment processes
University students, alongside most new talent in today’s market, have copious amounts of information available to them. This is so vast that top talent is able to decipher what businesses they are interested in working for before knowing the full extent of the role or even visiting the offices. Our advice is to provide more information and highlight any career development opportunities that outline the working culture of the business.
Have a comprehensive D&I programme
Having a comprehensive diversity and inclusion programme will show candidates that the business is dedicated to creating a working environment that is open to different people, values, and skill sets. Organisations will benefit from having a diverse workforce that is more productive and decisive, as this creates a broader viewpoint, and allows businesses to think differently from their competitors.
Offering work experience and internships
There has been a definite increase in the graduate placements and internships within the engineering and manufacturing sector. Industry open days and career days have been effective in piquing the interest of potential top talent that is soon finishing their studies. However, there is still a long way to go. Businesses should be proactively joining in on these days and networking with the students. This will boost your brand awareness and make you recognisable to potential candidates.