Increasingly, one of the most popular questions we’re hearing from candidates is ‘are there career progression opportunities?’. We can see why – 91% of millennials say progression is one of their top priorities, so businesses who don’t have clear development paths are at risk of losing talent to their competitors. As employment experts, it is up to recruiters to educate our clients on the importance of this and assist in instilling a culture of development and learning. Here are just five ways to do so.
1. Re-work job specs
The job spec is the first interaction a candidate will have with the company, so it’s important to make the career progression opportunities clear on this. Discuss with your client where this role could lead to in the business, and make sure to mention any potential pathways in any job advertisements. If there is scope for on-the-job training or qualifications (for example, a CIPD for an HR position), it’s essential to make this clear. Remaining transparent about where a candidate could go encourages buy-in and will attract a wider applicant pool.
2. Emphasize projects
Projects are a great way for employees to develop skills in a particular area, while also assisting with wider business goals. It gives them scope to look beyond their job spec, liaise with colleagues they normally wouldn’t and perhaps, engage a passion that they otherwise couldn’t. As a recruiter, it’s up to you to advise on the best way to integrate it into a role. For example, a start-up might know they need admin support but aren’t sure what that looks like. Why not suggest a PA with scope for HR or office management projects?
3. Sideways movement
Sometimes, the only way isn’t up. Internal mobility, or the process of moving talent from role to role internally, is becoming increasingly popular in larger organizations as a successful recruitment strategy. Instead of losing great talent who already understand the organization and the culture, why not encourage your clients to look for other opportunities within the business for them? At the end of the day, you’re still going to work a role, as if the candidate moves internally, you’ll need to fill their role. But this way, the client retains their exceptional talent, increasing their loyalty to the company.
4. Don’t be afraid of jumpy CVs
The millennial workforce is driving the desire for career progression and they’re doing it quickly, more so than any previous generation before them. They are proactive and always looking for the next challenge, asking you ‘what is the next step, what can I do now?’. As recruiters, it’s important to educate your clients so they aren’t turned off by this enthusiasm. Instead, harness it by educating hiring managers on the value of this mindset and what these types of candidates can bring to their organization. This also means educating your clients on jumpy CVs – in most cases, a candidate changing roles every 18 months isn’t a negative reflection on their professional experience, but demonstrative of their rate of learning.
5. Think outside the box
Career progression doesn’t just mean a promotion. If your client is struggling to hold onto good talent, why not collaborate with them to see if there are other ways to encourage engagement? This includes secondments or opportunities to join committees, organize social events or participate in training programmes – essentially anything that allows them to feel fulfilled in their role and as if they are developing or growing. These initiatives also make it easier to recruit, as they are of appeal to new talent.
It’s worth remembering that we are as much advisors as we are recruiters. By collaborating with our clients on wider workplace practice, we can develop those relationships and provide value beyond just recruitment.