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Can’t Find Someone to Hire? Train First, Hire Later!

Brent Peterson June 13, 2019

Can’t Find Someone to Hire? Train First, Hire Later!

When your business faces a project that requires highly specific skills or a type of technology your employees aren’t familiar with, you generally have two choices: hire a new candidate who already possesses these skills, or train an existing employee. Hiring someone who already has experience and knowledge might sound like the best and easiest option, but they often underestimate how challenging, time-consuming, and expensive it can be to find and employ the right person for the job.

Costs of Hiring Outside Help

Hiring someone from outside the company might seem cost-effective at the time, but it could end up costing you much more in the long run. Firstly, finding someone to fill an open position takes a significant amount of time: you’ll need to write job postings, read through several resumes, interview applicants, and help the new hire integrate into your workplace. Training one of your current employees often costs a fraction of the time that it typically takes to hire a new candidate.

When you’re pressed for time, you might hire the first candidate that meets the basic job requirements without assessing their other qualities. Accidentally hiring the wrong person might lead other employees to start looking for a new position, and this unexpected rise in turnover can ramp up your overall costs. A study showed that it costs businesses approximately $4,000 to hire a new employee, along with paying their regular wages and salary. For management-level employees, businesses can end up shelling out an extra $7,000 to hire a new manager!

Benefits of Training Your Employees

Most people would agree with the old adage, “Someone who feels appreciated will always do more than expected.” When you invest in your current employees and encourage them to grow, they’ll likely end up surprising you with their newly discovered talents! Here are just a few benefits that can come from implementing a training program at your company:

  • Increased motivation. If an employee thinks they have no chance of ever being promoted, they’re not going to reach their greatest potential. Employees may come to believe that they’re stuck in a “dead-end” job and quickly become bored and dissatisfied at work. Training your employees to further develop their talents can help them stay up-to-date on the latest technologies, reduce turnover rates, and make it easier for you to promote people internally.
  • Improved workplace flexibility. A well-rounded workforce can adapt to changes or unexpected problems more efficiently than a team that consists of people who each specialize in just one area. For example, if one employee is absent, another worker who’s trained to take on multiple roles can make sure that progress can continue.
  • Save time and money. The recruitment process can easily take up the majority of your time, distracting you from your other work duties. Simply training your existing employees is more efficient and cost-effective, and it prevents the risks that can arise if you mistakenly hire an unfit candidate, such as high turnover.
  • Create future leaders. If you decide to hire a new employee to assist with a new type of technology, your current employees will still be in the dark and won’t know how to handle the problem themselves. Even training one person can have a ripple effect throughout the workplace as they show others how to tackle new issues that might arise. Giving your employees the knowledge and skills to solve problems collaboratively can encourage leadership qualities to emerge.

Traits of Employees with “Trainable Talent”

Training your current employees can save you from the headaches and frustration that often goes along with the recruitment process, but you have to learn what to look for in a “trainable” employee. CEO and co-founder of computer software program Apprenda, Sinclair Schuller, says that she keeps three main qualities in mind when she’s looking for current employees to fill an open position:

  • Work ethic. When considering someone for training, Schuller recommends hiring managers to ask themselves how likely it would be for that employee to put in the time needed to fully grasp the new information. If someone isn’t motivated enough to put in the time and effort into learning new concepts, chances are that the training will fail.
  • Intelligence. Someone who can easily understand and retain new information can be a great candidate for a training program, especially if they’re passionate about learning more about their field of work. Schuller also says it’s important to recognize that intelligence isn’t necessarily relative to experience. For example, young or inexperienced workers can often be more eager to learn and improve their skills.
  • Culture. One person can have a huge impact in the culture of the workplace. When choosing someone to be promoted or trained, consider how they’ll fit into the environment and how they could affect their fellow colleagues.

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