Mixed-method research. Data analytics. Expert industry knowledge. ECO offers transformational insight into your Early Careers Function along six proprietary performance vectors.

ECO generates your unique profile, diving deep into your performance along each vector. Your profile benchmarks your performance against the market median and across your own business areas.


ECO is built around 6 proprietary vectors, formulated based on extensive research and experience by The Smarty Train over the past fifteen years of unlocking talent.

Click on the cards below to see more details about each vector:

ECO - Strategy

Do you have a defined approach

Where are you going and do you know how you’re getting there? Put differently, do you have goals and plans to achieve your desired state? And how do you define goals as an Early Careers Function?

High performance in Strategy avoids being reactive, non-directional, and inefficient. It benefits from moving closer to goals every day.

Need help optimising your Strategic Thinking?

Request our Strategy Pamphlet: 



Are you a candidate’s first choice, last choice, or not even on their radar?

There should be an alignment between what is promised and what is delivered on joining. Early Careers Attraction thinks about how to reach diverse and specific populations.

High performance in Attraction will have a strong employer brand that resonates with target recruits. It will be clear on purpose, vision and/or culture, and represent a target recruit’s point of view.

Need help becoming an Awareness Generator?

Request our Attraction Pamphlet: 



Are you recruiting right?

Functions that prioritise recruitment will strive to deliver a top-class experience end-to-end. They will also strive for efficiency due to the heavy process and procedure that underpins recruitment at scale.

High performance in Recruitment understands that a recruitment experience becomes one of the first personal and real experiences an individual may have with you. 

Need help becoming a Smooth Operator? 

Request our Recruitment Pamphlet: 



Are your Early Talent succeeding for the long run?

A function that prioritises retention will appreciate the longer-term value creation opportunities of Early Careers, in a broader Labour Market context.

High performance in retention will continue to deliver high quality employment experiences post-programme, with clear strategies in place to promote retention and success. 

Need help becoming a Long Gamer? 

Request our Retention Pamphlet: 



Is your function built for the role it performs?

Many Early Careers Functions could be small or medium size businesses in their own right.

High performance in an Early Careers Function shows impeccable coordination, high levels of expertise, and alignment within the Function. They are aware, responsive, and invest in things that influence their ongoing performance. organisation.

Need help becoming a Operational Star? 

Request our Early Careers Pamphlet: 



Are you delivering the promised product: learning, growth, and development?

The product bought by a new recruit is the promise of growth, learning, and development.

High performance in Development & Management will ensure Learning is deeply ingrained, be a unique differentiator, and deliver high satisfaction. It will be the foundation that everything is built on, be intricately laced throughout and delivered with quality. It will inspire and be a reason to commit to the organisation.

Need help becoming a People Investor?

Request our Development & Management Pamphlet: 


ECO - Attract
ECO - Recruit
ECO - Develop
ECO - Retain
ECO - Early Careers


With the help of your dedicated Client Services Manager, we use mixed-method research, data analytics, and expert industry knowledge over a 12 to 18 week period to understand your current state, and work with you to define your future state:

01) Initiation Workshop

Project plan, align on participants, assess metrics, and agree timelines

02) Execute Research

Mixed methods approach combining rigorous quantitative and human-centred qualitative research

03) Analyse & Report

Detailed analysis of quantitative and qualitative data; interpretation and insights including key findings

04) Strategic Focus Workshop

Receive your bespoke ECO Profile, including recommendations and strategic action planning

Sample Report


The result of your ECO journey is a bespoke ECO Profile created from thousands of data points, measured against our proprietary six performance vectors of early careers.

Typically around 30-60 pages long, your ECO report provides a detailed analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, clear interpretation and insights into key findings, and an Executive Summary with actionable next steps to start optimising your function right away.



“ECO is helping us to deepen our focus on Early Careers at J&J by allowing us to challenge if what we’re doing is best-in-class, validating our place in the market, telling us where we stand, and helping us discover where to go next

Damon Albano, Global Head of Early in Career - TA, J&J

"ECO has provided my TA team with a much stronger voice to the business. It’s chock full of data, insights and external benchmarking that our stakeholders need, and now we’re able to deliver that to them."

Dan Black, Global Talent Attraction and Acquisition Leader, EY

"Getting an insight as to where we stand, compared to mature and established Early Careers Functions has helped us guide our activity at an important time in our growth"

Nicola Lamplough, Head of Early Careers, Experian




Discover how ECO can help your organisation: