Developing Your Graduates’ Soft Skills

Amberjack helps future focused organisations bridge the gap between today and tomorrow.


The Importance of Developing Your Early Careers Candidates 

Finding Early Talent with the potential to form the foundation of your organisation’s future workforce is one thing… helping them develop into the leaders of tomorrow is another. Creating a unique and relevant development journey is not only critical for ongoing engagement, retention and business performance, it is also a deciding factor for apprentices and graduates when they are choosing potential future employers. 

Students and young people want development opportunities, and it seems employers believe that improving the skills of their Early Talent is a pressing issue. Bright Network research revealed that soft skills, such as teamwork, have taken a hit during Covid. Whilst recent research by Channel 4 and thoughts from the broadcaster’s CEO, Alex Mahon, reveals that while latest generation to hit the workforce thrive individually, they struggle with group-orientated skills such as debating, presenting, and conflict management. This is why many major employers are now offering soft skills training sessions to their incoming cohorts.

For Early Careers candidates from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, opportunities to learn and progress are particularly important. Growing up, these candidates tend to have had fewer learning experiences, and this has an impact on them as young adults. Soft skills development programmes allow you to better support these individuals and in turn help them achieve success in your business. 

What the Research Says 

Unlike academic skills which can often be taught or learned via resources such as books and the internet, soft skills take time and practice to master, practice many members of Gen Z haven’t had – helping your Early Talent hires on their way to mastering these skills is critical to getting the most out of your hires while they are with your workforce! 

According to the SHRM, 77% of HR professionals believe that improving their employees’ soft skills was key to their organisations future plans and success. Furthermore, LinkedIn revealed that when a new hire doesn’t work out, 89% of the time it is due to lack of soft skills. Combined with the impact of the Covid pandemic, which resulted in a population with severe deficits in acquiring and developing these soft skills, it is clear that having a development programme in place has never been more critical. 

The need for upskilling isn’t just seen in the research and employer opinions though. Amberjack carried out a survey with members of Generation Z, born between the years of 1996 and 2007, and found that they too want to be upskilled in areas such as conflict management and team building with training programmes offered by employers.

For Generation Alpha, Gen A, the quest to improve these ‘21st Century Competencies’ or ‘Social-emotional skills’ is likely to make its way into the school curriculum, but for Generation Z, Gen Z, the time to develop those skills and catch up on years of disruption, is now. Adding Learning and Development to your Early Careers strategy can help, and will inevitably help your organisation work more effectively.

Assessing and Developing for Potential 

Even in so-called ‘normal times’, entering the workforce, especially a corporate environment, is a difficult transition. Right now, identifying potential in your candidates and developing that potential in your workforce is incredibly important, which is why Amberjack and Fusion’s merger is exciting news

For organisations hiring Emerging Talent, this means that full end-to-end support is more robust than ever before. Amberjack’s recruitment solutions for Early Talent and volume hiring needs are paired with Fusion’s development capabilities to empower your graduates, enabling the delivery of complete recruitment spectrum support. 

The Amberjack and Fusion offering covers Precision Attraction, Candidate Management, Volume Assessment, Assessment Delivery, Offer Management, and Customised Development.

From hiring candidates with potential to building tomorrow’s leaders, our combined Future Talent expertise offers full spectrum support. 

Amberjack’s new Learning and Development offering will help build critical skills from the ground up, from getting started, to emerging as leaders, with diverse modules to suit your business needs.

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