Giving Compass’ Take:
• Stanford Social Innovation Review explores the efforts to find creative young talent in today’s workforce. It must go beyond traditional means, such as embracing more diverse educational backgrounds and creating advocacy networks.
• This piece also explores how nonprofits can jump in, specifically by supporting the development of soft skills (such as social intelligence). Is the sector doing enough to energize talent searches in this way?
Earlier this year, the United States House Committee on Education and the Workforce convened a roundtable discussion about the business case for hiring opportunity youth — the nearly six million young adults not in school or in work. “Increased employer investment in opportunity youth,” said Representative Bobby Scott, “is a win-win position for youth and businesses.” These young adults, the congressman continued, “who are diverse, creative, and energized, are a high-value asset for employers that wish to improve retention, spur innovation, and fill entry-level positions.”
Finding ways to connect opportunity youth with companies that need their talent is not just an American challenge — it’s a global one. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that more than 35 million 16-29-year-olds are neither employed nor in education or training across its 35 member countries.
Skills have become the global currency for 21st-century economies, but until we resolve the talent marketplace failure in countries such as the United States, the competitiveness of companies and the standard of living for workers will continue to weaken.
But if employers are open to changing their perception of talent, they will need to start changing their legacy hiring practices. Some of those changes could include: getting rid of four year degrees as a proxy for hire, creating competency-based job descriptions, highlighting success of candidates with diverse educational backgrounds, identifying C-suite level leadership to champion youth employment strategies, creating advocacy networks to support candidates who lack traditional training, integrating corporate social responsibility initiatives into a company’s hiring practices, working with internal management teams to identify policies that restrict or prevent youth hiring, and developing partnerships with nonprofits to support ongoing soft skills development.
Read the full article about why hiring incentives won’t solve America’s talent problem by Jonathan Hasak at Stanford Social Innovation Review.
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