Prioritizing initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is now table stakes for organizations large and small. Overwhelmingly, HR leaders consider DEI one of the top five priorities for their businesses this year.
Diverse perspectives, ideas and beliefs strengthen organizations, foster innovation and attract talent who also value inclusion in the workplace. But even the most committed companies struggle with how to put that commitment into action.
It’s one thing for a company to say they want to recruit and hire highly skilled, diverse talent, but another to build and execute a sustainable talent acquisition strategy centered on DEI. Many organizations are unsure where to start and unaware of the resources available to them.
Apprenticeship case study: Supporting talent acquisition
A Fortune 500 insurance company reached out to YUPRO with this very challenge. The company had a longstanding commitment to DEI both internally within the workplace and also within the marketplace. As a leader in DEI, their investment in these efforts was evident through corporate contributions to partner organizations serving diverse talent and committing multimillion-dollar investments in their own DEI talent acquisition strategies.
While talent acquisition teams were actively working to recruit underrepresented talent, their efforts weren’t delivering the desired results. They sought a partnership that provided the network, alignment in mission and ongoing support to both the client and talent to fill the gaps within their own talent acquisition strategy. Specifically, the team wanted to reach diverse, untapped talent pools previously omitted from their recruiting strategy and expand the organization’s pipeline for entry and mid-level positions.
Organization leadership approached YUPRO because they recognized the benefits of apprenticeships and knew we were an industry leader with a strong reputation for delivering work-based learning programs that produce immediate results.
Building an apprenticeship program as a pathway to full-time employment
An investment in an apprenticeship program would help the organization recruit untapped talent and provide apprentices with skills-based training in high-demand, entry-level positions within the company.
The program is built to establish a pathway for talent from apprenticeship completion to full-time employment. Talent receive market wages starting at $19 an hour and work alongside full-time team members for 26 weeks to gain critical hands-on experience.
To start, we leveraged our extensive talent database of over 30,000 trained and skilled job seekers to match candidates with the organization’s in-demand entry and mid-level positions. Based on geography and skillsets, the company started small with five apprentices to support business and financial operations, software development, information technology, and sales and customer support.
Support is a critical component of YUPRO’s partnership with this company. Regular touch bases with managers and apprentices ensure both program leadership and talent needs and expectations are being met. Additionally, apprentices attend weekly professional development training with YUPRO coaches. Individual coaching sessions equip talent with skills needed to navigate the workplace and to help connect their contributions to the company’s overall success.
To date, 27 apprentices have completed this apprenticeship program with 90% accepting full-time positions with this employer partner.
A work-based learning program that goes above and beyond for corporations and talent
Hiring managers lean on YUPRO’s team of coaches and account managers to deliver just-in-time coaching and career success plans. This strategic approach allows the organization to focus less on how to attract talent and more on assessing and hiring the best talent based on their skills.
However, success goes beyond the impact on the company’s goals. We encourage feedback from our apprentices and consistently hear that our individualized coaching and mentoring are of tremendous value to their professional development. Our weekly professional development hour brings together apprentices from across the country to learn from each other and share successes and struggles. One apprentice’s story illustrates this support perfectly.
An HR operations apprentice was off to a rocky start. She struggled with navigating the workplace and understanding how to communicate clear expectations and priorities. Both she and the manager were at a loss with how to move forward and reached out to YUPRO for support.
YUPRO account managers worked closely with both parties to identify the best approach to support the apprentice. Our team leveraged their training to help the manager and apprentice create a shared action plan with clear and aligned deliverables, providing the apprentice with tips, coaching and resources to help her understand and prioritize assigned tasks. We also connected her with social care support through our resources network at https://myyupro.findhelp.com/
As a result, the apprentice began to thrive professionally. Following her apprenticeship, she accepted a full-time HR Coordinator role within the company.
Skills-based hiring supports DEI initiatives
This skills-based approach to hiring has helped the company build a sustainable pipeline of non-degreed, diverse talent to address future hiring needs. This success has led to company-wide support and acknowledgment of the value of apprenticeship programs.
Their audacious DEI goals are socialized from top leadership through the entire organization. Their expanded view of DEI has allowed them to shift perspectives and practices to focus on skills development and metrics that truly matter.
With the apprenticeship program, the company has created new pathways to employment for traditionally underrepresented talent that were overlooked in their traditional recruiting methods. With YUPRO as a partner, the company now has support systems for talent starting before they come on site all the way through their career.
Company leaders have built a model for what successful skills-based hiring should look like. They are expanding their engagement with YUPRO as a key partner in their DEI hiring strategy for all entry-level and middle-skill talent needs across the organization.