With schools, colleges and universities winding up for the Summer, the coming months will change the lives of young people across the country.
But if that’s a profound prospect for school leavers and graduates, these are equally uncertain times for the world of business that awaits many of them. Like many areas of society, it too is under pressure to change, become more diverse, and effectively engage the next generation who are key to its long-term success and survival. So, how to bring the two together for the benefit of both individual and organisation?
Among the numerous strategic partnerships Vana Resourcing have formed, one in particular seeks to address this challenge.
MyKindaFuture is a London-based social enterprise created to support an organisation’s productivity, and reduce their skills gap, through attracting and hiring diverse apprentices and graduates. Founded in 2011, they have since become the UK’s largest emerging talent specialist.
We thought now would be a good moment for an introduction with founder and MD, Will Akerman (pictured below). So, what according to Will was the inspiration behind MyKindaFuture?
“I was driven by personal experience. Leaving school at 17 with few qualifications led me to understand that in every corner of the country are ambitious young people who would be an asset to any employer. Organisations are increasingly recognising that their battlefield is not simply improving their ‘diversity’ stats, or even ensuring their diverse talent feel a sense of ‘inclusion’, but ensuring they are building an environment that enables their diverse workforce to flourish, perform and grow. In other words, I want to build a genuinely diverse organisation-wide culture.”
We’re constantly seeing, and reading about, the growth of ‘HR tech’. Is this something core to MyKindaFuture, using digital solutions to ensure new talent make the best possible start – and contribution – to an organisation?
“Absolutely. The past 10 years have seen a marked increase in the automation and integration of HR processes. The growing influence of millennials and generation Z in the workplace will accelerate this. However, there will be a limit to how far technology can go in streamlining HR processes, so face-to-face engagement will remain a critical component. Therefore we’ve built a unique range of products and services that blend technology, face-to-face delivery and relationships that have become a virtuous circle with the young people, academic institutions and employers we deal with.”
And there’s one particular solution that you’ve used…
“connectr builds a lasting relationship with candidates, from education through to year one in job. By delivering digital mentoring, insights and skills, we’ve seen connectr both reduce candidate drop-out and HR resource requirement, and accelerate their productivity in a role.
A good example of this in action was creating an agile mobile-first learning programme for the construction company, Skanska. We were asked to create an innovative digital learning app preparing graduates for day one, resulting in improved speed-to-value and productivity. This was needed to address Skanska’s persistently high withdrawal rate and reduce induction costs. Our solution was to create a comprehensive nine-month calendar of content, delivered through short, sharp online learning modules. This was not just a platform to engage and upskill graduates but also a means of gaining their insight on how to maximise candidate experience. Consequently, Skanska improved candidate experience, achieved engagement levels dramatically above the industry average, and reduced post-offer dropout rates.”
Taking a step back, do CVs still carry any weight in the digital age?
“Employer workplaces, culture and processes have been built by baby-boomers. They are slow to change, creating a gap between Millennials and Generation-Z expectations and needs. However, there must be an awareness from both parties to successfully meet somewhere in the middle. The same applies for CVs and formal qualifications.”
So, from Vana Resourcing’s perspective, how did the partnership with MyKindaFuture come about? Vana co-Director, Debbie Flowers, takes up the story:
“Vana appoint senior hires right across the people organisation. Consistent with recent market trends, this has included Heads of Talent Acquisition, but Emerging Talent specialist roles within their teams aren’t limited to Director/Head-of level. With this context, I was introduced to Will through a mutual business contact, and loved his passion for helping young people on their journey whilst supporting his clients to achieve diversity in the broadest sense through their apprenticeship and graduate hires. It became clear that there was an opportunity to support Will’s work, and introduce MyKindaFuture to some of our clients who were looking to do something similar and innovative in this space.”
Finally, we asked Will for the one piece of career advice he would offer his younger self?
“Do something you want to get out of bed for!”
If you’d like to know more about MyKindaFuture, and how their approach could benefit your organisation, please contact Jo or Debbie at Vana Resourcing – either by phone (01225 487201), email (info@vanaHRresourcing.co.uk),via LinkedIn, or contact Will firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 620 4463, quoting this article.