From using and monitoring social media, product design and analytics, to key aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR), companies today are increasingly recognizing that hiring STEM talent is crucial to their business. They’re also finding out that this is easier said than done. Thanks to low unemployment and often still-new psychographics1 associated with hiring and retaining most STEM professionals, many employers are struggling to evolve and adapt their recruitment processes to effectively draw in the STEM talent they need. Below are three tips from successful STEM recruiters:
Relevance: Matter to Millennials and Gen Y-ers
These are the first generations to grow up not knowing a world without the internet. High speed access to answering virtually any question is expected in this demographic. More often than not, they will dig deep to evaluate prospective employers – they will try to parse what your company culture is by poring through your social media presence, check your CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives, and, yes, judge how you compare to your competitors. Use your social media innovatively – show off the good you are doing for your community and the world, and how you encourage your employees to live their best lives.
As the largest age segment in the STEM talent pool, Millennials and Gen Y3 professionals should be solid guideposts in formulating your recruitment strategy. Determine what they value in employers that you can offer. Flex time, telecommuting, career mobility and a robust and meaningful recognition and rewards program count among some of the most popular checkboxes on their wish lists.
Reserves: Build a Pipeline
When it comes to STEM talent, ‘just-in-time’ (JIT) recruiting, often means ‘too late’. To hire top STEM talent, smart employers must now incorporate the need for STEM professionals in their recruiting process.2 Realizing they need to act not only fast but proactively, many strategic employers have begun to build a pipeline of talent by engaging with STEM students before they are on the market:
- Connect with colleges and universities by offering sponsorships or even career workshops that give students an enticing peek into your industry and more importantly, your organization.
- Offer internships for STEM positions to engage and evaluate future hires for skills as well as cultural fit.
- Implement an employee referral program among your internal staff – as insiders, they have solid insight when it comes to identifying candidates within their social circles would be great fits.
Reskilling: Look at What (or Whom) You’ve Got
Last but far from the least, the professional and financial gains open to STEM talent is hard to miss. Examine your internal talent pool for high-potential non-STEM employees who will welcome the opportunity for self-motivated and company-sponsored reskilling, internal candidates are typically higher quality, and their skills, performance and cultural fit have been established. Internal hiring also helps advance the careers of high performers and increase employees’ morale – and promotes your company as one that nurtures careers and champions growth and advancement.
1 Psychographic Data: What It Is, Why It’s Useful, and How It Helps with Talent Optimization, Narish International, LLC (6/10/19) http://blog.narishintl.com/psychographic-data-what-it-is-why-its-useful-and-how-it-helps-with-talent-optimization/
2 6 Tips: How to Effectively Attract and Hire STEM Talent, Aris Zakinthinos (2/21/19) https://www.achievers.com/blog/6-tips-how-to-effectively-attract-and-hire-stem-talent/
3 Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins, Michael Dimock (1/17/19) https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/