Training As A Recruitment And Retention Strategy

When filling a vacancy, every employer seeks out candidates whose skills, qualifications and experiences are an exact match for the requirements of the position. This always isn't possible and, in fact, may not be the most desirable approach.
Globally, fertility rates and birth rates are declining significantly. Although there is variability through economic cycles, overall this means that the global workforce is shrinking. Countries, industries, sectors, and individual companies are competing for a constrained supply of talented, engaged people. As always, there will be winners and losers.
How will your company compete in this environment and can you develop a sustainable strategy? How might you convert these dynamics to your advantage?
The velocity of change continues to accelerate, with the effect that the skills and knowledge required in the future necessarily will be different from those for which you are recruiting today. In order to conduct business and remain competitive, ongoing training and development of the workforce will be essential.
Employee surveys consistently reveal that employees view training as vital to their growth and career development and this is especially true for the youngest generation of workers. Consider embedding this in your corporate culture, thereby making it a pillar of your sustainability strategy. This, in turn, will help you retain valued employees.
If you push this type of thinking further back in the process, you might discover that the same principles and approaches will support your recruitment strategy. Presented as a growth opportunity, new employees immediately will develop a very strong, positive relationship to you, as their employer.
As the competition for skills and talent intensifies, it becomes ever more important to include training and development as part of your integrated value proposition to potential employees. This will help differentiate your company in the marketplace and will enable you to attract the right people at the right time.
Finally, when this becomes a part of your company's recruitment and retention strategy, you will need to re-visit your selection criteria and requirements for the position. The willingness and ability to learn new skills will become more important than the existing skills set.
It will be, as Jesse Jackson once said, that "Attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude."

Bill Fields is one of our Organization Development experts and can be reached through

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