We are finding that there are not enough new graduates to take the place of those who are retiring, particularly in highly technical fields. So associations are helping members attract more grads to the profession or industry and this is how they are doing it:
Successful Professionals Describe the Career
The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants developed their Pay It Forward campaign which sends an army of CPA’s into high schools all over the state to talk about the career path, change expectations and highlight opportunities. Last year these members spoke to over 4,000 students. The program was developed when enrollment in accounting was on the decline. Fortunately, perhaps in part because of this program, enrollment is on the increase again.
Associations Help Employer Members with Branding
Because of the gap between retirees and potential new graduates to take their place a client of mine plans to help members with their college recruitment efforts. We will be conducting phone interviews with students who have indicated an interest in the career path. I will ask what attracted them to the industry, what expectations they have from this career path and what benefits and experiences they hope to find with their employer. The responses will be used to help employers craft their employer brand.
Closing the loop interviews will also be conducted with member hiring managers to learn what skills and abilities successful new hires possess. This data will be sent to the colleges to help them council aspiring professionals.
A Contest that Inspires Interest
In an effort to get more students interested in the aerospace industry the Aerospace Industries Association created the Team America Rocketry Challenge. Think the XPRIZE for middle school and high school students. Teams get to design, build and launch their own model rockets learning something about math, science and physics along the way. Hopefully the experience propels them into one of the STEM majors and on to the aerospace industry.
Your association’s industry or profession may be experiencing this same alarming gap between the handful of qualified grads and a large group of soon-to-retire professionals. These three associations are working on programs to attract more students to their profession or industry and no matter your goals or resources your association can help solve this problem too!