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        Align Early-Career HCM Technology with Digital-First Generation

        When my father entered the workforce in the 1950s, his path was relatively clear. He graduated high school, went to work in his chosen trade, did a stint in the Navy Reserves, and continued in the same or adjacent career until he retired. The same was true for my uncle, who chose to go to college but joined a firm working in his field, worked hard to be promoted, and changed companies one time before retiring as an executive. But the nature of work and job-hunting has undergone a radical transformation over the decades, driven largely by technological advancements and the globalization of the job market. As a result, early career workers — those just entering the workforce or within their first few years — find themselves navigating a vastly different landscape than their predecessors. To effectively tap into their potential and ensure they’re positioned for success, there’s a real need for specialized technology for unique sourcing, engagement, and career pathing to ensure a return on monetary and time investment for both the organization and job seeker.

        The younger generation just entering the workforce are the first to be digital natives. They’ve grown up with technology and are accustomed to utilizing digital tools in nearly every aspect of their lives. Using generalized or outdated methods to attract, hire or develop these workers is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Organizations must engage with this population using their language, which resonates with their experiences and capitalizes on their natural affinity for the digital world. Moreover, the digital fluency of early career workers means they aren’t just passive job seekers — they're active participants in their own career development, and for tech professionals, that provides insights and connections that were previously unavailable. By leveraging technology tailored to social platforms and the unique ways in which young professionals use them, employers can more effectively reach this group, while early career workers can more easily identify and pursue fitting opportunities.

        The traditional model of talent sourcing — posting a job and waiting for applicants to come — is becoming obsolete. Instead, with the availability of vast amounts of data and advanced analytical tools, proactive sourcing is the way forward. Organizations can now predict potential fit and success by analyzing a candidate’s digital footprint, online engagement, and more, and communicate with personalized messaging via the mediums best suited for each individual. This proactive approach is not only efficient but also necessary when targeting early career workers who might not even know they're a perfect fit for a role or company.

        Specialized technology also addresses the unique developmental needs of early career workers. Traditional training modules or one-size-fits-all onboarding processes often fail to engage or educate younger Ventana_Research_2023_Assertion_Learning_LMS_Mixed_Reality_22_Semployees effectively. Instead, they crave interactive, dynamic and digitally driven developmental tools. Platforms that incorporate gamification, real-time feedback or even virtual reality can significantly enhance the learning experience for these individuals. Driven by the need to evolve to meet the needs and preferences of the new workforce, we assert that by 2026, one-half of all organizations exploring a new LMS/LXP will expect it to leverage mixed-reality technologies to “job explore” or simulate the experience of working in a new role, leading to better retention, internal mobility, and productivity.

        Early career workers often enter the job market with a diverse range of skills that don’t fit neatly into traditional job descriptions. From coding bootcamps to online course certifications, the paths to skill acquisition have diversified, and sourcing methods need to adapt. It's not just about where one has earned their degree anymore; it’s about the portfolio they’ve built, the projects they've tackled, or the impact of their online presence. Modern technology, designed to capture and interpret these non-traditional indicators of skill and potential, is crucial for both employers looking for the right talent and early career professionals eager to showcase their unique strengths.

        Culturally, there’s also been a shift in the priorities of the modern worker. For many early career professionals, values alignment, work-life balance, and opportunities for personal and professional growth are as important — if not more so — than salary or job title. Sophisticated sourcing and engagement tools can match individuals with companies that align with their values and aspirations, creating a more fulfilling work experience and reducing turnover.

        The early career worker of today isn’t just looking for a job; they're seeking an experience, a growth opportunity, and a chance to make a meaningful impact. As these young professionals become an increasingly significant portion of the workforce, the necessity for specialized technology and modern sourcing methods becomes undeniably clear. To harness the potential of these dynamic, tech-savvy individuals, employers and recruiters must evolve, adapting tools and strategies to reflect the changing realities of the job market. The future of work depends on it.


        Quincy Valencia


        Ventana Research

        Ventana Research, now part of Information Services Group (ISG), is the most authoritative and respected market research and advisory services firm focused on improving business outcomes through optimal use of people, processes, information and technology. Since our beginning, our goal has been to provide insight and expert guidance on mainstream and disruptive technologies. In short, we want to help you become smarter and find the most relevant technology to accelerate your organization's goals.


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