Creating a Career Development Ecosystem


Want a surefire way to attract and retain top-talent Millennials? Try branding your organization by creating an organization-wide career development ecosystem that supports your employees’ desire for skill and career advancement.

In a recent 14-month study conducted by Integral Talent Systems, 1,200 Millennials across the United States rated achieving career aspirations and opportunities for professional development as the number one and two factors, respectively, that would attract them to an organization and motivate them to stay longer.

Millennials are the largest talent pool available to employers, so it’s a no-brainer for those wanting to retain top workers in a full-employment economy to implement strong career development offerings. In addition, many companies have tackled the challenges posed by the current skills gap and difficulty sourcing top talent by increasing the percentage of workers they develop internally. They can better overcome these challenges by creating a career development ecosystem.

A career development ecosystem is a series of interacting, interconnected components of a larger career support system. While components may vary, these are some of the more common ones:
Career Governance: Start with a multifunctional steering group or board to create policies and processes for career development within the organization. For example, what practices are in place that help employees apply for job transfers? What role does a manager play in an employee’s career development? What is the responsibility of the employees themselves? What are the organization’s buy-versus-build goals for talent? How, and how much, will the organization support career advancement goals? The steering group should discuss these questions and develop policies to provide a clear and documented road map for the organization.
Career Portals and Mobile Apps: Millennials use technology to access information and resources. Many organizations have leveraged this generational attribute by creating internal career portals and mobile apps employees can use to discover career resources, find information about job roles within the company, take career assessments, and locate internal career policies and development program information.
Career Coaching: A career coach helps an employee explore career options best suited to the employee’s passions, strengths, and interests and guides the employee toward roles the organization will need in the future. Internal career coaches can be line managers who volunteer for this role and are trained how to be career coaches for someone who does not report to them. The company can also use HR business partners or external career coaches.
Assessments: Career interest, skill, and job fit assessments can help both the employee and the organization determine a good job fit or career transition, thus improving company performance and employee satisfaction. A variety of these assessments are on the market today.
People Leader Training: While every manager may have the best intentions, not all will understand their role in career development nor have the time or inclination to facilitate an employee’s career growth. Making training available for managers that defines the behaviors that help an employee develop can get them to take an interest in their direct reports’ career growth.
Employee Training: Most organizations today recognize that employees own their careers, but many employees don’t know how to successfully navigate their career growth internally. Education for employees on career development within your organization is crucial for them to realize that they can make a difference in their own success.
An integrated career development ecosystem builds the impact of your brand to attract and retain top talent and strengthens your organization’s ability to execute business plans. By establishing a development culture and providing employees with the tools they need to grow their careers, your company will be able to compete for critical talent and generate a strong return on your human capital investment.


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