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Create a talent pipeline: the first step to developing a future ready team

Author: Learning and Professional Development

Published: 30 Jan 2024

How can you ensure your business has the talent and skills available to create future ready teams? One of the best ways to do this is to create and foster a talent pipeline, connecting with and building relationships with local schools and colleges

In this blog you will discover the benefits of creating a talent pipeline, tips to get you started, and how you can begin to develop future ready teams, today.

The benefits of creating a talent pipeline through schools

Developing a talent pipeline with school-aged students offers additional, unique advantages for your organisation.

A well resourced and planned pipeline will enable your business, when recruiting, to reach potential candidates who are already aware of and interested in your company and the accountancy sector. This can reduce your recruitment costs as the groundwork has already been done to attract and engage students. It also ensures that you have a steady flow of interest when you come to recruit, reducing the amount of time it takes to fill your vacancies.

Developing a talent pipeline also creates the opportunity to reach more diverse talent pools, than those who may typically apply for your vacancies. If you are looking to bring fresh perspectives, from diverse talent, into your company, connecting with a range of school and colleges in your area can support this.

Connecting with schools: best practice

One of the easiest and quickest ways to approach the development of your talent pipeline is to simply identify and contact your local schools and colleges, there are also organisations like The Careers & Enterprise Company who can help you connect.

Find out what career events your local schools have planned and how you can get involved. This could be anything from mock interviews where you can provide a member of staff to sit on the panel, to career talks or fairs. When attending these types of events make sure to engage your audience, talk honestly about your career and company, showcasing the highlights and achievements you’ve experienced. Students value gaining an insight into what it means to work in accountancy and to understand what a career in accountancy could look like.

We've really noticed now that a high percentage of our application cover letters speak about this engagement.

Crystal Boston, Director at Foxley Kingham

Once you have established a relationship with your local school or college you can look to offer more involved options to further develop your pipeline. Offering insights days at your company is one such way. Insight days allow engaged students to find out more about what it means to work in an office, but more specifically, your office. Showcase the type of work that your employees complete and the culture in the office. Offer informal conversations with previous or current trainees and the opportunity for students to speak to senior leaders. Insights days allow your business to provide students with a clear view into what they could expect if they came to work with you.

Finally, you could look to offer work experience opportunities. All local schools and colleges encourage and require students to complete an element of work experience. Combined with the tactics we’ve shared above, work experience further showcases your company and builds a relationship with potential candidates. Over a period of a week or two you can provide a real-life experience of working in accountancy, highlighting the tasks recruits would be expected to complete if they joined your organisation full-time. This allows students to get a true sense of your company, understand the type of things they would be doing if they worked at your organisation and importantly, decided if it is right for them.

The Careers & Enterprise Company have developed a useful tool to help you think about and plan up-front what you want to achieve from working with schools and colleges or review the quality of your current outreach and how it aligns with your business objective. The new Employer Standards is a framework which can help focus your business’ outreach with education institutions and create the impact you are looking for.

Next steps 

By putting this advice into practice you can develop an effective and fruitful talent pipeline, ensuring that you have a steady stream of students who are aware of and interested in joining your organisation when you are looking to recruit.

  • If you’re looking to offer accountancy training to your recruits, ICAEW Apprenticeships will enable to you develop future ready teams today. Learn more about the training and how to get started.