5 ways work experience can bring top talent into your business

18th January 2018

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are only as successful as their workforce. Attracting the best undergraduate and postgraduate talent into your business is of crucial importance to enable you to compete and grow. So, how can work experience help bring top talent into your organisation? Here are just five ways:

Recruiting and developing the skills you need

Across the UK economy, organisations strive to maintain and recruit for the skills they need both now and in the future. Technology is moving at pace in all industries, skills gaps are a rising concern.

Work experience enables you to bring in a student who can build on their existing skills, and gain expertise in the specific areas you need, while they are still in education.

This can, in turn, save time on training once the student has graduated. When you’re ready to recruit, you can call on the graduate confident in the knowledge that they will have the skills you, and they, need for the workplace.

Build a talent pool of future employees

A quality work experience programme provides significant benefit to both the student and the employer. Work experience placements – and work inspiration - allow employers to meet future employees. Whether the opportunity is a say, a week, a month or a year, work experience is the first step to building a relationship with top undergraduate talent.

Successful placements and tasters ensure you are meeting and developing the skills you need for the future, while giving students the experience of your organisation, and existing staff. Building these relationships means you can develop a pool of talent to cherry-pick possible candidates from.

Attract diverse talent  

It goes without saying that top talent does not come from one demographic. Research shows that a diverse team performs better. One recent study, Do Pro-Diversity Policies Improve Corporate Innovation?, found that the most diverse companies develop the most innovative products and services. This supports McKinsey’s analysis that firms with diverse workforces were more likely to outperform competitors.

To attract the best team into an organisation, it is critical that employers cast the net wide to ensure diverse talent comes into the organisation from the outset. Introducing talent from a variety of backgrounds can avoid organisational groupthink and help reap the benefits of a many different life experiences.

Keep up with the millennials

Millennials are, by definition, the workforce of the future and are helping to change the nature of the workplace. With more and more millennial talent seeking flexibility, inclusivity and open communication in their role, it is important to remain in tune with the qualities this talented new generation wants. Using work experience to connect with top millennial talent while they are still in education, means employers can ensure a pipeline of talent to bring into the organisation. Student talent which is ready to bring their knowledge, skills and ideas for a future-proofed workplace, into your business.

Offer a top experience to keep top talent

At Placer, we know how valuable a work experience – and work inspiration - programme can be in attracting top talent. But if employers want the best talent, they must offer the best experience. A quality programme gives the student an actual project to do, a chance to develop the skills they need, and allow you to test how they apply themselves to given tasks. This kind of structure will deliver benefit to you and the student.

So, work experience can deliver for your businesses in many ways: by attracting diverse millennials, and building relationships with your future team, its effectiveness in bringing top talent into your organisation is vital to your future.

If you’re an employer looking to offer work experience, or you already do, sign-up to Placer  placer.co.uk/employers 

David Docherty is Chairman of Placer and CEO of the National Centre for Universities and Businesses (NCUB).

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