Have you completed your stakeholder analysis yet?

Stakeholder analysis for Career Leaders forms part of the early stages of your engagement planning. Primarily, you need to assess who will need to be involved at different stages of the year as you plan different careers events. In addition, you also need to ensure that you know who you need to be communicating with, as when you need to be doing so. Stakeholder analysis allows you to do both of those things easily and is a must for all Careers Leaders

This blog will define stakeholders and stakeholder analysis, and go into how you can do your stakeholder analysis. As well as this, it will also cover the role of the Careers Calendar in stakeholder analysis.

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What are stakeholders?

Stakeholders are anyone with an interest in, or influence on your business (or in this case your school). Stakeholders can be internal and external and need to be managed depending on their level of engagement and involvement. 

Internal stakeholders come from within your school, for example; students, teachers and the careers team. On the other hand, external stakeholders come from outside. For instance; Ofsted, LEPs, businesses and other educational institutions, such as universities and colleges.

What is stakeholder analysis?

A stakeholder analysis is the process of identifying stakeholders. This should ideally be before careers programme planning finishes, but it can be done after if necessary. In short, you should group them according to their levels of participation, interests, and influence in the project, but we will go into more detail about this later. You also need to determine how best to involve and communicate with each of these stakeholder groups throughout. 

A stakeholder analysis will help:

  1. Enlist the help of key players
  2. Gain early alignment among all stakeholders on goals and plans
  3. Help address conflicts or issues early on
  4. Guide your planning process and act as a bedrock for your plans

How do Careers Leaders conduct a stakeholder analysis?

Completing a stakeholder analysis is much easier than you think! You should aim to complete the stakeholder analysis with another person, or perhaps in a group. This will ensure that you have considered all of the stakeholders, and you have people in agreement over which group they should be placed into. It also means you will already have a small team on-board with your stakeholder strategy. 

There are three easy steps to completing a stakeholder analysis:

Step 1: Determine who your stakeholders are

Start by brainstorming with your team a list of all possible stakeholders. You can reduce this list later, but you don’t want to miss a potentially pivotal stakeholder at this early stage. A list of potential stakeholders could include: students, parents, teachers, governors, non-teaching staff, employers, enterprise co-ordinators, enterprise advisers, school liaison officers from universities, colleges and training providers and former students. 

A top tip is to start with internal stakeholders first. Take note of key partnerships that people within the school may already have, and don’t be afraid to ask your internal stakeholders if they have any contacts or information.


Step 2: Prioritise your stakeholders

Next, prioritise your stakeholders by assessing their level of influence and level of interest. The Stakeholder Power Interest Grid is the leading tool in visually assessing key stakeholders.

The position that you allocate to a stakeholder on the grid shows you the actions you need to take with them:

  • High power, highly interested people: Fully engage these people, and make the greatest efforts to satisfy them.
  • High power, less interested people: Keep these stakeholders satisfied, but not so much that they become bored with your message.
  • Low power, highly interested people: Adequately inform these people, and talk to them to ensure that no major issues arise. People in this category can often be very helpful with the details of your project in a supportive role.
  • Low power, less interested people: Again, monitor these people, but don’t bore them with excessive communication

Step 3: Understand your key stakeholders

Now that stakeholders have been identified and prioritised, next you need to understand how they feel about your project. Some good questions to ask include:

  • What is their emotional interest? Is it positive or negative?
  • What motivates them the most?
  • Which of your project information is relevant to them, and what is the best way to relay that information?
  • What is their current opinion of your work? Is that opinion based on accurate information?
  • Who influences their opinion, and are those influencers also your stakeholders?
  • If they’re not likely to be supportive of your project, what can you do to win their support?
  • If you can’t win their support, what can you do to manage their opposition?

Once you have answered these questions, you have essentially created profiles for each of your stakeholder groups.

How the Careers Calendar can help with your stakeholder analysis 

The Careers Calendar is a platform dedicated to connecting students with employment and education opportunities. The platform has many benefits, many of those being related to stakeholder analysis and management. 

You can upload all of your contacts to the platform, keeping them all in one place and giving you a list to go through when you are coming up with stakeholders. It means you won’t miss anyone out, and you can put specific contacts into specific stakeholder groups. 

You are also able to connect with key stakeholders, such as students and organisations, through the platform. Keep your students updated on events they can attend, and communicate these with organisations who might want to attend. 

Sign up for free here.

Want more information? Join our monthly webinar series here. We will cover a range of topics relevant to Careers Leaders and Careers Education. 

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