Rethinking Your Value Beyond Early Careers

Jacquelyn Soh
November 30, 2020

There has been no shortage of events in the last nine months focused on helping organizations transform and update their recruitment processes to be remote. Amidst the flurry of discussions around technology, candidate experience, and even the impacts on diversity, few conversations have centered on the crisis that threatens recruiters themselves: What is their relevance in this moment of hiring downturn?


pymetrics’ recent session featuring Steve Shepherd, CEO of Thrive Australia, and Sara Payne, Principal Consultant at TQSolutions, honed in on Early Careers in particular as the function most vulnerable to but also most capable of change. The virtual dialogue brought together an intimate group of Early Careers professionals to reflect on how they can expand their value within their organizations, and the career pathways that can grow out of their diverse experiences.


From recruiter to advisor – the total talent approach

For a start, early career recruiters have the unique opportunity to materialize the full promise of a total talent approach. Total talent in this case refers to the unification of talent acquisition and management into a single, well-coordinated function.


Despite efforts to streamline and create a more engaging experience, graduate recruitment remains one of the most arduous processes due to the sheer competitiveness of thousands of students entering the workforce simultaneously. Candidates lean heavily on recruiters for information and guidance. In turn, recruiters develop a deep understanding of the applicants’ personalities, values, and skills. It therefore makes sense to continue nurturing this relationship beyond offer, when new hires are finding their footing and most need a trusted advisor to help them navigate the nuances of their new workplace. Early Career Advisors can be the nexus between graduates and the broader business, building up key soft skills like how to network and enabling them to pursue opportunities outside of the formal program they are in.


From the company’s perspective, the total talent approach can be a huge boon to employee retention. It reflects the company’s commitment to build meaningful and lasting career pathways for their talent, which aligns with the current ‘build over buy’ model of talent acquisition.


Career Advisor’s insights into which hires are truly a good-fit for the business will be invaluable to refining the hiring process. This in time will hopefully give businesses the confidence to broaden definitions of what ‘successful’ talent looks like, expanding Early Careers to include not just graduates but also youth without tertiary qualifications and even late-entrants to the workforce.


But what if you are ready to move out of Early Career Recruitment?

For Early Career recruiters who are ready to take on a new challenge, the possibilities are ripe, and they don’t just include experienced hiring or even HR.


Most Early Career recruiters will likely have had to interact with many parts of the business in the course of their work. The knowledge accumulated through this exposure is useful when considering what type of tasks appeal most to you. Likely, you would already have the foundational skills; think about the parallels between employer branding and marketing, campaign optimization and data analytics, stakeholder management and business partnerships development. Additionally, it takes plenty of creativity, collaboration, and communication skills to run a massive project like graduate hiring. These soft skills are precisely the critical capabilities that every job is seeking.


There are numerous theories, tools, and technologies available to support you through your career pivot. The Holland Code Career Test, for example, builds on the system developed by psychologist Dr. John L. Holland to match people to careers based on classifications of personalities and interests. pymetrics goes a step further by replacing the self-assessment with a series of gamified neuroscience exercises to identify power skills such as risk tolerance, fairness perception and so on. The advantage of capturing these behaviors is that you get a truer picture of candidates’  inherent attributes. Prioritizing soft skills over technical expertise further allows us to recommend opportunities to you across different departments, in areas you might not have thought yourself a fit for previously. The pymetrics profile arms you with data to speak to your managers about re-skilling and internal transfers. This is the future of talent mobility that more organizations are working with us to actualize.


So now what?

The bottom line is you need to start having open, honest conversations to figure where to go next in your careers. This includes dedicating time to self-reflect on what motivates you and gives you energy, and also reaching out to your networks to find out how the world of work and the world at large is evolving. 

Truly, there is no one ideal model of what your career pathway should look like. The possibilities are endless!