Slashing your graduate employment gap the GSK way

OsneyMedia Talent Management Leave a Comment

Well, last week was pretty full on and inspirational, to say the least. I spent 2 days at Talent 2012, which was nothing short of awesome (even if I do say so myself).

Personal highlights (although it’s hard to pick from so many), were the CEO panel which kick-started day 1. It was great getting inside the mind of the people steering the ship and hearing what managing Talent means to them. In short, it’s all about money. What does it cost the business by not having the “right people on the bus”? According to the panel, “HR is being too kind about failure”. In essence, the CEO’s were of the view that people who remain in the business need to be helping to make a profit and aid growth.

Sounds cut throat, but when one’s main objective is to stop the business from going bankrupt, it makes business sense… Next year I hope to secure some Chief Execs from larger organisations, so watch this space.

My second highlight was Rebecca Harvey’s explanation of how GSK have built global capability to attract and develop the best graduate talent. GSK have also achieved alignment between the company goals with their future talent needs, ensuring they succeed in long term workforce strategy. Rebecca, Director, Global Talent Programmes, TL&OD CoE, GSK also told us that by having a strong brand in the global market place, GSK have ensured graduates are choosing them and not the competition.

The GSK challenge was to go from hiring 140 grads per year, to 500 grads and to shift from buying talent, to growing their own. I’m happy to say that GSK are well on their journey to achieving this.

Rebecca’s story is particularly poignant and is echoed in a recent study by Millennial Branding which uncovers the “employment gap” and highlights whether students have the correct skill requirements needed to be attractive to employers.

The study looked at over one hundred thousand U.S. companies and showed that 91% of employers believe that graduates should have undertaken an internship before coming to work for them. However, half of companies have not hired any interns in the last six months and 79% of employers have only hired 30% of interns (or less).

Certainly, this is a tricky time for Gen Y. As Lynda Gratton pointed out, Gen Y—or the net-geners as they are fondly referred to now—are worse off than ever. If you need to slash your graduate employment gap and ensure you succeed in your long term workforce strategy, the voice of Gen Y has to be heard! Don’t let your business be at risk.

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