How To Attract Top Talent: Best Practices For Educating Employees

It’s no secret that attracting and retaining top talent is vital to a company’s success. After all, companies are only as strong as the collective talent of the people who work there. So, how can you attract and retain top talent?

For the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of employees to quit their jobs and leave their companies struggling to find ways to keep their talented employees and recruit new ones. Companies had a hard wake-up call about how competitive their incentives actually are, realizing that good pay, flexibility, and employee benefits aren’t the only thing top talent is looking for. Another benefit that can be incredibly appealing to modern-day employees is learning programs.

According to LinkedIn research, the most common reason employees leave a company is the same as the most common reason someone joins a company – career development, or lack thereof. Learning and development programs can be quite an appealing benefit, especially for younger employees. As the 2021 Gallup survey explains, 66% of workers ages 18-24 ranked learning skills as the third most important benefit when evaluating new career opportunities, behind only health insurance and disability benefits. 

This leads to the conclusion that learning and development can substantially impact both employee retention and talent acquisition. If your employees are confident enough in what they are doing and can see a clear path for their career, they will more likely stay with your company. So, how can you ensure this? Here are some tips on how to successfully leverage learning and career development as hiring and retention tools.

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Create Career Growth Opportunities

If you’re trying to attract top talent, you should know that the majority of your talent base is made up of Millennials, who put their professional development and career growth at the top of their priority list. These workers that you’re trying to attract (and retain!) have an intrinsic desire to better themselves and push their careers further. So, if you offer and promote employee training and development programs to your employees and potential hires, they will not only become more competent but loyal too.

Additionally, if you don’t provide these important growth opportunities, you will risk not only turning off potential candidates but also current employees, as well. The reason is simple: if they feel like they don’t have a purpose in your company, they will find another organization that will gladly give them one.

Evaluate Your Employee’s Skills and Needs

A typical mistake most companies make is that they start creating a learning program without considering the skills gap. Before creating a training program, make sure to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your staff, what are their training interests, what skills they lack, and which ones could help them improve their productivity and help them progress professionally. 

A proper place to start is to interview your managers to find out what skills your employees lack and learn how your company can better support its managers. However, a successful learning program shouldn’t be solely focused on your company’s needs. Even if they aren’t directly transferable to performance, adding various learning opportunities will show employees that their professional and personal growth is just as important to your company as their productivity.

Invest in Leadership Development

Investing in an ongoing leadership development program will help you attract talent and help you retain existing managers while improving their skills and performance. Well-trained leaders will be ready to perform under pressure and knowledgeable enough to implement innovative business ideas and deal with unforeseen situations. A proper leadership training program will also allow you to create a rich pipeline of talented leaders who will steer your company in the direction of success. 

Cross-Train Employees

Cross-training is when all employees train to become proficient in more than one skill or role. If you’ve ever had a situation where one of your employees got sick or needed time off during a critical project phase, you can understand how important cross-training can be. With cross-training, you can appease your training-hungry employees, shield yourself from knowledge loss due to employee turnover, and create your own army of experts. This way, you will have employees who are able to perform multiple functions, for example, a marketing team that knows how to code. Also, cross-training can boost your bottom line as it has been shown to improve productivity, quality of work, employee satisfaction, and even customer satisfaction.

Customize Training

Expensive, multi-day offsite training programs are slowly but surely being replaced with more focused, micro-learning events. They include anything from online training courses, workshops, short videos to mentoring sessions, and more. The beauty of customized training opportunities is in employees’ freedom to choose the type of training that makes sense for their position and professional development. By customizing training programs, you are providing the training your employees need for their career development and in the format that meets their learning style.

Learning Programs Can Boost Your Company Culture

Learning and development programs can help you send a strong message about your company’s culture. With such programs, you can show how much your company values your employees’ education and career growth and your efforts to create an environment where more employees are welcome at work. This is very important given the fact that, according to a McKinsey & Co. survey, 51% of people said they’d left their previous job because they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work. Therefore, creating a company culture where talented employees of various backgrounds feel welcome to participate can help your company retain top talent and attract new people. Additionally, current employees can play a part in attracting new talent as they can recommend working at the company that they like.

Conclusion

The performance of your employees is directly linked to your company’s growth and success. The better your employees get the job done, the more opportunities you will have to propel your business towards success. That being said, 59% of employees report they had no training in their workplace, and the skills they have are, for the most part, self-taught. This is one of the main reasons why employees tend to leave such companies. 

Top talent also knows that nowadays, the job market swings heavily in their favor. They understand how in-demand they are, and if your company doesn’t market itself properly, you might lose your dream candidates to your competitors. The secret to attracting top candidates is differentiating yourself from other companies in the industry by showing candidates that your company wants to help them reach their career goals. One of the best ways to achieve this is to provide learning and development training programs.

Hundreds of new candidates are looking for job openings every day, and CIBR Warriors are there to help you find the right one for you. For more help on advancing your career or finding a qualified candidate in IT and Cybersecurity, contact us. We’d be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the best advice for getting started.

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