Early Talent Management

Helen HongA post by Guest Blogger, Helen Hong

College Relations Manager, WellPoint Inc.

Twitter: @wlpcollege

LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com/in/helenhongWorkforce plan much? It should only be natural for us think about how we’ll be replacing our current interns and new hires with the next generation of talent but many times it’s an afterthought that only occurs when we’re presented with an urgent need. We typically put a lot of attention and focus on workforce planning for middle and senior management in our organizations (and hey, they’ve been doing this for years in the sports world!) But it’s almost more imperative for us to be thinking about this in the college recruiting space because of the limited time that they occupy their positions. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see more attention and investment in the freshmen and sophomore classes. Some planful employers are even investing heavily in individuals who won’t even be eligible to be on their payroll for several years. Other companies have used creative ways to leverage times that students aren’t even in the classroom (case in point, Deloitte’s innovative Alternative Spring Break program).

I attended Prudential’s presentation on early talent management on Wednesday and was incredibly appreciative of their willingness to share the highs and lows of their college program. Even in the midst of their own leadership change, the small but mighty team showcased their commitment to growing their own through two creative programs. Many of us could relate to their frenzied experience of going from a centralized program to decentralized to centralized again. (Let’s not even try to imagine the incredible culture shift and re-education involved with so much change!) But push forward they did and they created two early talent ID programs:

  • ASAP (Actuarial Success Awareness Program) – a one week program, introducing math and actuarial students to an actuarial career
  • Peak Leadership Conference – provide underrepresented individuals (women, minorities, veterans) early exposure to Prudential’s business and career paths

It was also very compelling to learn how they were tracking and sharing data and metrics internally so that everyone knew what was going on at any time. Since it’s still a fairly new program, I’m curious to see what happens in the next year when they start seeing more movement into internships and full-time positions. No doubt, they’ll keep a close eye on how many of those positions are filled with those from their early talent ID programs.

Is early talent management something that’s on the forefront of your minds as well?

One thought on “Early Talent Management

  1. Helen, I hope early talent management is on the forefront of ALL employers. When I recruited at different colleges and universities we had find creative ways to get the attention of the “passive” students. Current career services recruiting solutions don’t have the attention of freshmen or even some/most seniors (depending on the school). Look at the interfaces and how not “user friendly” these are. Kudos to companies like Prudential and Deloitte for thinking outside the box and thinking about ways to reach out to students early. The fact the companies are taking creative steps to reach a larger audience confirms that the majority of students are not engaged when using the traditional recruiting methods. When the career services staff/students ratio is 1645 to 1 makes it in in part understandable.

    I continue to find articles and advocates providing “advice” to students on how they should use social media, LinkedIn and be mindful about building a personal brand. The easy route is to work with what we have and help students “adapt” to the current traditional paradigm. The other route is to find tools that adapt to this generation and that are made with the students in mind first.

    I have a long distance relationship with my mother, and for the longest time I tried to help her use e-mail to communicate with me. It worked for a short time, but after a while she would naturally default to the phone. 16 years later, a simple I-pad app made it possible for my mom to like e-mail and allowed her to find more ways and use tools to communicate with us. Priceless. My point is: “technology should adapt to the needs of GEN Y.”

    To your point regarding “we typically put a lot of attention and focus on workforce planning for middle and senior management in our organizations” You are absolutely right, just observe the interaction for #SHRM13 and their blogs compared to #NACE13. However, working with this generation will allow professionals to have a longer impact.

    Thanks for your insight!

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