Research - Recruiting and Retaining Early Career Technical Talent

Project Charter

The next live meeting for the Recruiting and Retaining Early Career Technical Talent group will be at IRI's Member Summit in Fort Worth, TX (October 2-5). For more details on this project, or to learn about the group's biweekly phone calls, contact Lee Green

Statement of Opportunity

R&D organizations must compete to attract and retain early career technical talent.  Insights into the types of workplace and professional development that early career technical talent is looking for will help give organizations an edge in their recruitment and retention efforts.

Objective(s)

 

Determine key elements of an early career development experience that maximize the mutual benefit for the employee and employer and enhances retention of top talent.

  1. Identify common attributes of workplace environments/cultures that are successful in recruiting and retaining early career technical professionals.
    1. What commonalities are present across early career technical professionals in what they want to see from an employer?
      1. Identify differences that are of note.
    2. What companies are doing this well?
    3. What will this look like in 5 – 10 years?
    4. How can it be applied to large R&D organizations?
  2. Identify characteristics of successful development plans for early career hires in the first two years of employment.
    1. What commonalities are present across early career technical professionals in what they want to see from an employer?
      1. Identify differences that are of note.
    2. What companies are doing this well?
    3. What will this look like in 5 – 10 years?
    4. How can it be applied to large R&D organizations?

 

Approach

 

  1. Literature review
  2. Survey of early career technical professionals (ECTPs) 
  3. Determine which companies are doing this 'well' then do case studies  

Assumptions

  • There are ECTPs that are drawn to R&D organizations to do technical work.
  • Workplace environments/culture and development plans are a key driver in recruitment and retention.
  • Today’s ECTPs have different viewpoints on workplace environments/culture and development plans than previous generations.
  • There is the perception that R&D organizations are in competition for today’s top talent, both in recruitment and retention.
  • The organization is competitive with its peers with regards to compensation, rewards, and recognition programs.

Key Definitions

  • Early career technical professional (ECTP):  an individual in the workforce who is 5 years or less from completion of his/her highest degree and/or under the age of 35
  • Successful development plan:  a development plan that enables an employee to grow functionally and in leadership, both horizontally and vertically in an organization, based upon her/his career intentions and potential, while also maximizing the benefit to the organization. 
  • Workplace environment/culture will include:  transparency, organizational structure, organizational responsiveness, adaptability, commitment to continuing education and development, values and ethics, trusted & respected, office space (physical office, ability to work remotely/flex hours), technology utilized, amenities, and executive leadership, customer service structure
  • Success in recruiting and retaining early career technical professionals: 
    • Factors to be considered: 
      • Retention of new hires for 5 years+
      • New hires’ performance rating (based on company’s metrics)
      • New hires’ fit to culture
      • Pipeline fill (can find well qualified candidates for open roles)
      • Candidate acceptance rates of 80%+

Scope

  • Degreed technical staff (Bachelor’s degree +)
  • North America

Out of Scope

  • Nontechnical staff
  • Global recruitment and retention
  • Focus will not solely be on high potentials

Deliverables

Report out at Member Summit 2017, RTM article

Milestones and timeframe

December – January:  Develop interview protocol, interviewee contact list, survey questions, survey contact list, and conduct literature review; identify SME

February – May:  Survey of ECTPs, identify case study opportunities, begin conducting case studies

Research Remix, February 22 – 24:  Seek feedback from membership on interview protocol and literature review

Annual Meeting, May 8 – 10:  Provide update to membership

June - July:  Review data and complete additional interviews to fill gaps, complete case studies

August:  Analyze data

September:  Prepare for report out

Member Summit, October 3- 5:  Final report out

October – December:  Write RTM article

January 1, 2018:  Submit article

Team Members

Owens Corning,Crown Packaging, Schneider Electric, Boeing, Eastman Chemical, MITRE, Pepsico, W.L. Gore