Young talent time

Have you come across any good, young stars-of-the-future recently? You know the sort of thing… four to five years experience and looking to take the next step? SEAN ADAMS

Sean Adams

By Sean Adams

Have you come across any good, young stars-of-the-future recently? You know the sort of thing… four to five years experience and looking to take the next step?

It’s a question I get asked a lot these days as desparate employers look to fill vacancies from a relatively small talent pool in a tight job market.

Sadly, I rarely seem have any specific suggestions to offer them – good people fitting that description seem to be hard to find and those that do exist are generally well looked after by their grateful employer.

But why is that “four to five years experience” level so appealing and yet also so elusive?

It is appealing because these candidates are generally at a level where they can manage projects on their own with minimum supervision and can also start to forge genuine client relationships and thus add real value to a business.

However, it is also elusive, largely because candidates don’t just emerge from thin air, perfectly formed and with four to five years experience – they have to start somewhere with no experience and then work for four to five years. Pretty obvious stuff.

But here is the catch.

In the industries I have most regular dealings with, there seems to have been a real squeeze on training over the last few years as margins have shrunk and companies generally adopt a short-term approach to everything.

In this environment, the prospect of taking on someone with no experience and training them up has often been seen as an unnecessary expense. So companies don’t.

Fast forward five years and guess what? A dearth of candidates with the desired level of experience.

Looking to the future, I believe that companies need to take action today to ensure that this doesn’t become a recurring issue in another five years.

Identifying and nurturing new talent is one of the best things a company can do to safeguard its future.

True, the new recruit may not be contributing to the bottom line from day one, and true they may leave your company before you have managed to recoup your investment, but what about the potential upside?

A bright candidate, taken on young and trained up in the culture of your company, can become a priceless long term asset.

Apart from the fact that they can be more easily moulded to your company’s unique way of doing things, they are also likely to have friends in other companies and friends tend to talk.

The positive word-of-mouth that can be generated by a valued and happy young member of staff that is then passed on to their own fledgling networks can be of great significance to the overall impressions of your organisation in the market as a whole.

What a great form of marketing this can be to position you as an employer of choice among the emerging industry talent.

Who knows, a positive impression created in this manner may reach the ears of a “star in the making” with four to five years experience who is looking for a change of position.

Sean Adams founded his marketing advisory company The Seed in late 2000. Sean has had nearly 20 years advertising experience in Australia and Britain across a range of disciplines – research, planning, account management and media. Over that time he has worked with some of the world’s top advertising agencies, working with many of the world’s leading brands


To read more Sean Adams blogs, click here.


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