Being less rigid with academic requirements can “drastically” increase employers’ visibility amongst science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent.
It is a solution given in a new whitepaper from Alexander Mann Solutions, Early careers recruitment: what are the opportunities from digitalisation, STEM and Diversity & Inclusion?”
As has been widely reported in this whitepaper and beyond, 89% of STEM businesses in the UK are experiencing difficulties in hiring talent.
Recruitment processes are taking much longer than expected – a month longer on average.
Add to this the fact that studies have shown that a growing skills shortage is costing the UK’s STEM sector an estimated £1.5 billion each year, and it is clear that something different from the status quo needs to be done.
Alexander Mann Solutions argue that, by offering visa sponsorships or being more flexible towards academic requirements, it will widen the pool of talent, therefore greatly assisting in plugging the skills gaps in the sector.
Elsewhere in the question of how to close the demand for skills in STEM-related disciplines, the whitepaper suggested getting more women into the industry was a key factor – a severely under-represented demographic despite attracting young women into these careers is a key focus.
Other motivators for millennials and Gen Zers have been highlighted, such as flexible working, which must be incorporated if the talent is to be attracted.
Jane Clark, Head of Emerging Talent Consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions, said: “Over the years, we have seen growing support from the government and business leaders to encourage more young people to pursue a career in the science, technology, engineering and maths sectors.
“While this is certainly welcomed, there are still many obstacles to overcome and much more to do.
“Addressing the global shortage of available STEM skills will require businesses to adapt their talent attraction strategies, moving towards a more flexible model which is in line with the new demands of millennial and Gen Z workers.
“Being open to offering visa programmes and knocking down barriers to entry, such as academic backgrounds, can allow employers to access highly skilled individuals and plug critical skill gaps.”