Presidents Message - April 2017
St Albans has talent! What are you doing to find it?
One of the critical factors key to the enduring success of
any business is its ability to acquire talented people from a diverse
background and to provide an inspiring and challenging workplace which
encourages such talent to stay with the business for the long term. Having interviewed several people for roles
over the last few months, I never cease to be excited and enthused by the
prospect of new talent joining the team and there is no doubt that one of the most
rewarding feelings is to witness such talent making an immediate and often
sustained positive impact on the business.
Talented people present themselves in several different
ways. Some are drawn from within the
business itself, starting out in a junior role and then grasping the
opportunity to progress within in the business to more demanding roles. Others
are brought in from outside based on skills and experience they have acquired
whilst working elsewhere. In both of
these cases, the decision to recruit or promote is based on historic verifiable
evidence of the candidates skills and experience and hence with the correct
recruitment process, should be a fairly safe bet. In reality however, businesses are often
placed in the position of recruiting new starters who have no or very limited
experience to offer and this is where the debate around readiness for work starts
to get more complicated.
particularly true where businesses are recruiting school leavers and graduates
where the common criticism leveled by business owners is that candidates often
do not possess the basic skills that businesses require from the outset. It is here where a meaningful proactive
relationship between academic institutions and the business community at a
local level is critical to ensuring that students leave the education system “business
ready”.. In essence, this requires educators to be clear on what
skills and attributes businesses require their new starters to possess and that
businesses themselves take a leading role
in defining what is meant by business ready and assisting such
establishments to deliver it. This can
be achieved through such initiatives as
training programmes, work experience, careers fairs and mentoring arrangements.
In my experience through my own business and working with the City of Expertise
here in St Albans, schools are only too happy to receive input from the
business community when it is offered but may be they are at times a little too
shy to ask.
As such, I believe it is the responsibility of the local business
community to drive this agenda as opposed to merely lamenting the fact that
first time employees are not adequately prepared for the workplace. Businesses who acquire the most talented
school leavers and graduates are those who truly engage with their local
schools, colleges and universities in what must be a mutually beneficial
relationship which like any sensible investment will benefit the business enormously
in the medium to long term.
Back to News