There’s a saying made famous by the English poet, John Donne, “no man is an island.” The Human Capital Institute’s latest Trend Report sponsored by SkillSurvey, “Collaboration U: Business and University Partnerships to Secure Talent Pipelines” shares how, colleges and universities cannot afford to be islands either. “Employers provide much needed industry context and help students prepare to enter the workforce. Educational institutions need industry to communicate future workforce needs, and invest resources to empower educators to deliver a skilled workforce,” said one survey respondent who was quoted in the report.

The report details how HR leaders feel about the current talent pipeline and provides insight into some of the new and unique collaborations they’re forming with higher education institutions to address the gaps. HCI’s surveys of 200 HR leaders found that the majority of organizations are not confident of their talent pipeline:

  •  57% reported that skill shortages will negatively affect their ability to meet strategic goals.
  • Only 22% said they had a strong pipeline for critical positions.

The key skills gaps identified by organizations are:

  • High potential candidates who are ready for leadership and management roles
  • Candidates with key skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) positions.
  • Beyond the STEM gap – finding candidates with not only the hard, technical skills, but the soft skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and adaptability.

How are organizations addressing these gaps?

HCI’s research finds a number of new and innovative partnerships between corporations and universities. These partnerships go much further than traditional internship programs.

  • A constant presence is key. Those who report a strong talent pipeline build continual employment brand awareness on campuses. Branding and awareness gains help fuel pipelines.
  • Understanding the importance of direct methods of involvement and influence with universities. New types of direct involvement include innovation competitions, R&D partnerships, and employee mentoring programs.
  • Those who are confident in their talent pipeline recruit twice the amount of recent graduates than those who report a weak pipeline for critical positions.

You can read more about the ways that organizations are collaborating with campuses, which includes several HR leader podcasts in the full HCI report.

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