Sign up

Contact us

For students

for Employers

for Schools

Careers Guide

Rethinking ROI when considering your early careers approach

As human beings it’s easy to seek immediate gratification. We all do it right? Think about it, you hit the snooze button instead of the early morning run, opt for a quick ready meal instead of cooking for an hour. At work, the odds are you’ll crack on with the tasks that offer you an easy win first. It’s a natural human instinct to want good things and to want them NOW. 

With recruitment, you’re told you need to be bold and innovative. Attract bright talent and hit targets. Plug those skills gaps, build for the future. The list goes on. In this fast-paced world, keeping on the front foot and building momentum can create a belief that the results need to be instant too. 

But, the reality is that the real recruitment winners are those who match their communications and outreach with a longer, more sustainable vision. 

ROI think long term

In doing this, you will be nurturing and developing both brand affinity and a pipeline of long-term talent, especially when it comes to young people. The longer you spend worrying about instant hires, the more time you will spend eventually catching up. 

There’s no doubt this is a big topic but we wanted to put together a few ways that you can reflect on long-term investment and employee retention.

Safeguarding Investment 

On one hand, money will be tight. With the economy in recession, people may be more reluctant to buy into early careers budgets. There'll be even more pressure on immediate results around diversity and early talent hires.

On the other hand, 2020 has brought a chance to vocalise the importance of outreach programmes. There’s a case for support beyond hiring data, one that centres around achieving brand affinity and planting the seeds for future success.  

Planting the seeds for the future

People will remember the companies who provided support over this time.

Attending a work experience day could momentarily change a young person's perception of your business; a thought they will return too and remember when they are choosing whereabouts to apply. 

Making a long-term commitment to creating a diverse workforce takes years to work into your organisation's culture. As we work through Covid-19, the message becomes even more important: by cutting outreach for short-term gain, you will run the risk of unravelling years of hard work. 


We’ve said it here already but real success is embracing and supporting diversity and early talent from recruitment right through to long-term retention.

An approach that focuses on hitting hiring targets alone is counter intuitive. It’s well proven that keeping in touch with candidates when they start out in post will reap rewards in the long run. Happy employees will be less likely to leave and your workforce will continue to diversify as a result.

It’s not rocket science, but there’s huge amounts of evidence that young people feel that they don’t belong in the workplace, exasperated further by social inequalities. Give your new hires a buddy, keep in touch before their start date and review in real-time the things you are implementing to support them.  

Data trends for students

As a long-term goal, track what happens to your candidates as they progress through your business, who is doing well? Who’s dropping out? What do these trends mean?

Keep reminding yourself why

Whilst return on investment is incredibly important, it’s good to pause to concentrate on the genuine reasons behind early careers teams' motivations. 

We serve to inspire young people at a crucial point in their life, to help them to be the best individual they can possibly be and to ultimately create a successful, happy life for themselves. Work experience events and outreach programmes deliver tangible help to those who need it most and work to dissolve inequalities in our society. 

So, our message to early talent recruiters who are starting to think about return on investment is to continue to think big, think strategically and think ambitiously. 

But also to think about care, support and a sustainable shift to longer-term return on investment. And to be patient when it comes to results. 

If you would like to discuss new approaches for your careers outreach or connect with our diverse talent network, get in touch at