The Post-Secondary Pipeline
By: Joshua Williams
Just in case you missed headlines, the business community has a problem: a talent and skills gap. And, as our friends at LSHRM and SISHRM reminded us not too long ago, the draught isn’t going anywhere. In 2016, 82 percent of businesses in the Greater Louisville region reported that they anticipate moderate to high growth in the next to 3-5 years. At the same time, 86 percent claimed that recruiting qualified talent is difficult now . In other words, companies are planning to increase the level of hiring tomorrow but are having difficulty in filling their positions today.
Add to the mix that 61% of employers are now looking for more educated employees and talent acquisition has quite the task: find highly skilled talent in a labor market with dwindling unemployment rates. The outcome is a frightening disparity between supply and demand strongly in favor of the job seeker and leaving our brave recruiters to play tug-of-war with a limited talent pool. Given the climate in talent acquisition, many are seeking alternative sources of talent pipelines as a magic bullet for their recruiting woes. What many are not aware of though is that they are drastically underutilizing some current channels—primarily their universities.
Career Services departments’ exist to support their students, graduates and (sometimes) alumni. Whether this be through professional development (i.e. resume writing, interviews, etc.) or the coordination of career fairs, they work to connect students to employment opportunities benefitting from their education. What many don’t realize is that Career Services offices also exist to support the business community—and this assistance transcends the all-too familiar Career Fair events.
More than ever, Colleges and Universities are looking for creative ways to engage with employers and ensure that both graduates and employers are benefiting from matches. Some methods currently underway include:
- Internships/Externships: a training/trial period facilitating the transition from student to professional.
- Advisory Boards: Universities now look to their employers to ensure curriculum is relevant.
- Classroom Lectures: Professors are always looking for Subject Matter Experts to lead sessions on specialized topics and providing real-world application.
Although not the only solution to the talent and skills gap, reinforcing relationships with higher education institutes have a myriad of benefits. Employers can cultivate talent pipelines, have a direct impact on curriculum and directly instruct the next generation’s workforce.
Bridging the Talent Gap. (2016). Bridging the Talent Gap. (2016) Bridging the Talent Gap. (2016). https://www.bridgingthetalentgap.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/BTTG-Report-Louisville-and-Southern-Indiana.pdf
Brooks, Chad. (2017). Hit the Books: Employers Increasing Educational Requirements. Business News Daily. Retrieved from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7103-no-degree-no-job.html