When it comes to personal representation, talent development is as important as image development. Building a brand requires a great image. Building a great image requires having fantastic talent. Recruiting fantastic talent requires putting a great learning and development (L&D) strategy in place from the very beginning. Utilising a great L&D strategy is increasingly becoming the norm in organisations. According to the 2019 L&D Report compiled by findcourses.co.uk, a massive 72% of industry-leading organisations use L&D in their recruitment process. More than half believe that it gives them a competitive advantage, while 39% take L&D even further, using it is a decision-making tool when promoting talent. Why? The numbers speak for themselves. Organisations that use L&D in this way have a 22% lower staff turnover rate, with much higher levels of staff satisfaction with their roles. But how do you put a great L&D strategy together in the first place?
What makes a great L&D strategy?
A great L&D strategy should aid both personal and professional development in your employees. Upskilling through courses in areas like leadership, communication and IT can help the growth of your organisation and even strengthen its position within your market. But a great L&D strategy should also play to the existing strengths of your team. For example, one member of your team might already know how to use a software program that you want their colleagues to learn. On a more recreational level, one member of your team might have an additional language on which they could deliver a 101 course. Having your team upskill one another can be good for morale and cohesion. But, of course, for some skills, you will need to bring in an outside specialist who can train and run courses. Here, you can take your team forward together, as well. If your team spends a day, or even a week, learning, training and developing together, then this can be just as good for morale and cohesion as internal training can be. Putting a great L&D strategy together takes time, but once you have one in place, you should build it into your recruitment process. Here’s why.
Why build L&D into your recruitment process?
In short: building L&D into your recruitment process is great for your employees and great for business. Applicants to your vacancies will normally have compatible hard skills, but there might be some gaps in their soft skills sets. This is particularly true of graduate talent. There is nothing wrong with having some skills gaps. This is why L&D exists, after all. But if you upskill your new recruits from the very beginning, then it can be beneficial to both them and your organisation. Spending a little more time recruiting, upskilling and onboarding can ensure that, right from the word go, your new recruits are maximising their potential and putting as much into your organisation as possible.
The workforce of tomorrow wants to upskill and develop their skills wherever possible. Today, there are few jobs for life that require only a highly specific set of skills - and employees are actively embracing this new normal.
Offering a great L&D strategy right from the very start will not only help business, it will also attract the very best applicants to your vacancies. If there is the potential for regular upskilling and professional development, then most new recruits will want to seize those opportunities with both hands.
Today’s workforce wants to prepare for tomorrow with regular opportunities for professional development. A great L&D strategy should play to your team’s strengths but also be flexible enough to incorporate entirely new skills and competencies into everyday training. Doing this can boost morale and aid team cohesion, which in turn can help strengthen and further your organisation and its place in the market. After all, a positive, motivated team is one that is far more likely to deliver strong results.
Guest blog from Luke Sandford of findcourses.co.uk