The importance of home-grown talent

The importance of home-grown talent

The World of Work is Changing. Retailers are hiring Data Analysts, Construction firms need Negotiators, Investment Banks need more Coders than Economists. Behind the Brands are roles that didn’t exist 5 years ago; big data Architect, UX designer, Cloud Services specialist and those that did often don’t reflect the perceptions of sectors that we all grew up with ourselves. Caring people work in HR or Nursing, Economists work in Banks. To be a lawyer or a teacher you Have to go to University….All that has changed….

Hiring patterns and new talent entry points are also changing, organisations that hire school leavers can’t rely on Summer internships and degree preferences to whittle down their preferred candidates and the presumptive educational progression ladder of 3 A stars, 2:1 in anything and then well regarded Grad programme to specialise is less prevalent.

What hasn’t changed is organisations wanting the best people who have actively chosen to join their organisations and want to succeed and specialise to help them all achieve their strategic goals.

Playing the long game

Attraction needs to change. It needs to become a longer, more strategic process.

Employers can’t just wait for engagement with talent once they have become applicants or even later when they are candidates. Expecting people to jump through your application hoops with little support or specifics of what lies at the end of the process will not necessarily attract the ‘best’ candidates and certainly won’t feed into any diversity aspirations or broadening of talent pools.

In order to attract a wide range of suitable and capable people, employers will need to take time and energy to educate and engage a wide range of people and their influencers in order to help them realise that what you have as a range of opportunities is exciting and relevant and probably something they have never thought they would be interested in.

Gone are the days when employers can sit passively rejecting the majority of 1,000’s of applications to whittle down to those that look and perform most like the current employee population.

Early careers - redefined

Education and Engagement are key. Meeting school children at 13, when they are still making decisions and are more open to a range of opportunities will be a key part of any employers recruitment strategy in the next 5 years. Particularly in regards to STEM subjects and whether they can or can’t ‘do’ maths or digital roles, which as luck would have it, will be the foundation of the majority of roles in the Digital World of Work. Employers can’t wait for schools to catch up with the need for digital skills in the curriculum. They will have to start to fill in the skills gaps themselves.

Having information to share and spending time with parents and career professionals will all have impact on a broader population that you can’t immediately capture but this will be more about creating a long-term talent pipeline for the future rather than hires for today.


There is also a need to educate internally, to open the minds of hiring managers and decision makers to realise that hiring for skills and experience will only support the immediate landscape, there has to be a willingness to train on the job and develop both new hires and existing employees to succeed in the future of work.

Costs of early engagement can be managed by having a technology-enabled marketing strategy to give wider reach and there are engagement tools available that support and educate potential candidates without having to go to each and every school or college.

The future, embraces the niche

Partner with a specialist. There are many specialists who will take your messages to schools and also work with you to engage this more junior population. Companies who already have the relationships with schools and can disseminate your messages will save you time and money as well as help to create the outreach strategy with you.

I can hear you dear reader, there are so many schools and not enough budget. It is an investment in the future of work and will have opportunity and financial costs attached to it. I agree, but what is the cost of not having the skills you need in your workforce to respond to the future of work? There is already talent shortage in key skills such as data, e-commerce and information security. How will you find that talent if you don’t grow your own?

“There is no such thing as standing still. You either move forward or regress.”

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash


Kate Temple-Brown
Strategic Apprenticeship Levy Consultant

Kate is in the unusual position of having experienced work both in house and at a recruitment consultancy advising those with whom she used to work with side by side. She was an early careers recruitment and development professional with 17 years’ experience, primarily in financial services firms.   Kate has worked with large 50,000-person global multi-divisional investment banks, exciting 8person start-ups and everything in-between. Kate has started her own Apprenticeship levy Strategic Consultancy which focuses on supporting employers in this exciting time of Apprenticeship reform to help them truly maximise their opportunity and place talent at the heart of an organisation’s strategy.

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