Early Talent Recruitment: How to Master The 4 Key Challenges

Early-stage talent is often seen as the future of an organization. For decades, graduate and early careers hiring teams focused on winning the best talent. This worked well; great entry level talent was hired.

However, the talent landscape has evolved. There is now a greater recognition of the value for diversity, a need to future-proof the organization, a squeeze on resources and a career rethink by some young talent. It means that the challenges facing those in HR and early-stage careers go beyond the straightforward competition for talent.

In this blog post we explain how to overcome the four key challenges of early talent recruitment that we gain from conversations with clients and insights from the market.

1. How Can I Address And Increase The Diversity Of Next-Generation Employees?

Greater diversity, inclusivity and equity define a fairer culture. A diverse workforce brings in new perspectives, provides a closer reflection of customer groups and has proven business benefits. It celebrates and recognizes the value of difference.

Attract A Broader Talent Pool

  • Use an assessment upfront that helps pair the job seekers with the opportunities that best fit their interests and motivations.
  • Create shareable and consumable information about the company and the roles available.
  • Improve the quality and role-fit across applications and increase diversity of your talent pool.

Create Equity In Your Talent Assessment

  • Make use of eary career online assessments proven to have no adverse impact on underrepresented groups and monitor adverse impact at regular intervals throughout your hiring process.
  • Provide equal access to opportunities with device-independent talent assessments and support neurodiversity by enabling candidates to complete tests virtually and where they are most comfortable, while removing the cost associated with traveling to complete an assessment center on site.

Adopt A Data-Driven Approach

  • Monitor and analyze talent data continuously and across all applicant and employee touchpoints, looking at the candidate pipeline, candidate experience and employee retention and satisfaction.
  • Use AI-based assessments alongside proven talent assessments to make data-based talent decisions that also assess future potential.

2. How Can I Ensure Our Hiring Process Is Efficient And Fair?

Increased pressure on resource‑stretched talent acquisition teams forces a rethink of hiring processes and the use of technology. When the talent market is tight, business managers want to speed up time-to-hire without falling back on ‘gut’ feel and making subjective and biased decisions.

HR can help by leveraging assessment and AI-driven tools to increase efficiency and objectivity during the recruitment process.

Offer A Pre-Application Insight To The Job So Only The Most Interested Apply

  • Develop a tool that provides potential candidates with the opportunity to explore the job offers that best fit their interests and motivation even before applying.
  • Use real-world work scenarios to showcase your organization’s purpose, such as scenarios that link to wider business strategy around ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance).

Assess Fairly And Without Bias

  • Include objective talent assessment measures throughout your hiring that do not create adverse impact.
  • Create assessment center materials that use clear behavioral indicators, whilst providing assessors the right level of training.

Include HR Expert-Based AI In Talent Assessment

  • Take advantage of the developments in AI technology and build AI-supported interview assessments into your hiring of early careers talent.
  • Use AI that mimics best practice human rating by only focusing on speech content and reduces the potential for bias.

3. How Can I Manage Increasingly Complex Selection Events Either In Person, Or Virtually?

Current assessment settings may be in-person or virtual and may need to adjust with little warning. Consistency and equivalence in candidate experience and candidate ratings must be maintained. HR and talent acquisition teams need to choose an assessment platform capable of flexible delivery.

Build Flexibility Into Your Processes

  • Use an assessment platform that allows you to choose between in-person or hybrid delivery while still providing a consistent rating experience for all.
  • Include customized assessments that measure the competencies you need and are designed to be completed in as little time as possible.

Reduce Logistical Challenges By Limiting The Need For Travel And In-Person Assessment

  • Ensure the talent assessment platform used enables candidates to complete individual assessments, as well as take part in group exercises.
  • Make sure assessors can assess candidates objectively and virtually. Recruiting teams need to be able to enter ratings and scores directly online to allow for more efficient wash-up sessions.

Focus On Candidate Engagement

  • Place the candidate experience at the center of your plans, going beyond the IT and looking at customization, video, communication and feedback.
  • Deploy highly engaging and digitally native assessment exercises via a virtual assessment platform proven to have high completion rates and receive positive feedback.

4. How Do I Make Sure I Am Hiring And Developing Talent For Today And The Future?

The essential competencies of an agile workforce able to adapt to work as it continuously evolves are adaptability, learning agility and curiosity. Without these, employees will struggle to adapt to organizational changes.

Automation and new business strategies will make some current skills no longer relevant.

Early career recruiters as well as talent development managers need to prepare to understand the future skills needed, invest in upskilling and reskilling and help talent to manage their careers.

Focus On Potential

  • Look at ‘can do’, ‘will do’ and ‘will learn to do’ to gain a holistic insight into future potential.
  • Assess and hire people for the future-proof competencies of agility, learnability and curiosity.

Invest In Understanding The Future Skills Needed By Your Organization

  • Work out the future skills your business needs to deliver its strategy.
  • Benchmark current workforce capability (including that of your early careers talent) and understand the future skills gap.

Bridge The Competency And Skills Gap

  • Invest in reskilling and upskilling initiatives to ensure young talent continues to evolve and take the business forward.
  • Empower individuals to explore and own career progression by sharing career path options and providing the tools to explore future roles and the skills, competencies and experience needed.


Aon | Assessment Solutions

Aon's assessment solutions provides clients with powerful tools and insights to help them make better talent decisions at every stage of the employee lifecycle. This includes pre-hire assessments, identifying future leaders, screening for digital skills and agility, and AI-enabled solutions.

Share article:


General Disclaimer
The information contained herein and the statements expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information and use sources we consider reliable, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

Terms of Use
The contents herein may not be reproduced, reused, reprinted or redistributed without the expressed written consent of Aon, unless otherwise authorized by Aon. To use information contained herein, please write to our team.