As an employer, how many times have you found a great employee, partnership, or opportunity through your network?

With Valentine’s Day and Giving Hearts Day just behind us, we’ve been thinking a lot about the power of community and connections.

We know that cultivating strong professional relationships and support systems have a huge impact on our success as individuals and organizations. The same is as true as ever for our workforce development strategies.

By creating and nurturing these connections, employers can strengthen their talent pipelines to attract, develop, and retain their ideal workforce: a necessity in this highly competitive job market.

How do you build your best workforce development community, though?

Here are 3 ways you can expand and leverage your network to strengthen your workforce development strategy (and how our platform, Compass, can help you)!

1. Connect with students to build a strong & effective talent pipeline

A strong talent pipeline requires that you get your company and its opportunities in front of potential candidates to build familiarity and interest in your company. It also requires that you identify and develop relationships with those who are well-suited to your careers.

Most of us recognize that connecting with early talent is key to developing this kind of a talent pipeline, but the “how” tends to be less clear. Activities like career fairs are effective, to an extent, at briefly getting your company in front of a group of students, but it is geographically limited and can be time intensive. It also doesn’t do much in terms of developing relationships with the students you meet.

We’ve developed a solution to this need with our workforce development platform, Compass, which is currently used by over 30K students at more than 150 schools in ND and MN.

  • Employers can build Career Profiles, which detail careers at your organization, and share them with as few or as many students as you choose. This allows students to get excited about your organization and careers (or even get in touch), leading them on a path toward employment.
  • Employers can also share work-based learning opportunities (like internships, job shadows, etc.), that facilitate building relationships and skills with potential future employees.
  • Employers and students can even secure future employment with sponsorships, where employers help a student with tuition in exchange for a work agreement.

To top it all off, Compass’s unique matching capabilities puts your opportunities in front of the students who have your ideal employee qualities. The result is that employers connect meaningfully with their ideal pool of students, paving the way for successful future employment.

2. Connect with school professionals to widen your reach

It’s always good to have partners and champions in your corner. School professionals, like counselors, are constantly looking to get in touch with employers to provide career exploration and work-based learning opportunities to students. They want students to explore what jobs are out there, find the career options that click with them, develop necessary skills, and get career-ready. This makes them a powerful connection for employers.

By working with school professionals to accomplish your common goals, they can become an advocate for your company with students (i.e. tomorrow’s workforce). They can also provide additional opportunities to get in front of students. Finally, developing relationships with the schools in your area/state reinforces a positive reputation as a company that is invested in its community.

We’ve made it easier than ever for employers to connect with school professionals in Compass through our Employer Connections Database. Select the type of experiences you have interest in offering students (guest speaking, job shadow, career fair, etc.) and the schools where you’d like to offer those experiences. Then, professionals at those schools can get in touch about opportunities for you to get in front of their students. It’s the easiest win-win for both employers and schools.

3. Connect with other organizations to learn and grow

No one builds and scales a successful business alone. We at Golden Path know this as much as any other company. Creating a network that you can learn from and lean on is imperative to reaching your goals.

We see Golden Path as a connections company: helping you connect to the students, partners, and organizations that will help you build your best workforce. We hope to be a resource to you ourselves by providing you with valuable information and support as you develop your workforce development strategy. Even more, we connect you with other local and state organizations that will do the same (take a look at our webinar recordings to see some examples).

This community is an essential part of the Compass ecosystem, and we are excited to welcome employers large and small into it. Everyone can benefit from and contribute to it as we make our organizations and communities better.