With the UK currently in the throes of a skills shortage, you would expect organisations to be making every effort to hold on to their talent. Yet, recently I read that four in ten companies are reporting an increase in employee turnover.These findings were reinforced for me last week during a conversation with two talented individuals who were both looking to change jobs after just six months in their respective organisations.
The reason they gave? During the interview process both were promised something that they had specifically asked for. However, neither organisation followed through and kept to their commitments. One is a worldwide organisation, the other a smaller but still quite substantial organisation.
What did they ask for? Training.
Each asked what training they should expect to receive if they joined the organisation. One had requested soft skills training to help with their personal development and progression within the company. The other had specifically asked for formal sales training to allow them to excel in their new role.
Despite the organisations’ promises and repeatedly asking their line managers for training, it never happened. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence, over the years I’ve heard many responses to requests for training, below are just a few common examples:
In both cases, rather than provide training, the individuals concerned were placed next to someone who was seen as experienced and were expected to ‘learn on the job’, something most of us have probably experienced at some point in our career. Learning on the job can be extremely valuable but there is a marked difference between having a mentor or buddy and training.
The result? One of the individuals has resigned and the other is actively looking for a new role. All that work (not to mention the cost!) to find, interview, recruit and on-board talented people and within a year both will have moved on to new organisations.
The war for talent
As a country we’re facing a skills shortage, meaning UK businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to find the right talent to fill job vacancies and with Brexit looming it isn’t expected to get any easier. We’re also seeing a shortage of potential candidates due to a rise in the number of job vacancies advertised, 56,000 more than the year earlier, and a rise in employment rates to 75%, the joint highest since records began (ONS UK Labour Market: March 2018). This current climate means the time and cost of recruiting is on the rise and job seekers have a lot more choice when it comes to deciding where they work. Now more than ever we should be doing our utmost to hold on to talent when we find it, if we don’t it’s money, time and effort wasted along with the loss of a potentially great employee.
To retain talent in our businesses we must invest in training to develop our employees. By providing the right development opportunities that are aligned to the organisations objectives and individuals own goals you can develop your employees to fill skills gaps that have been identified, reduce employee turnover, reduce recruitment costs, retain talent and increase engagement. It may seem obvious, yet so many organisations continue to overlook the value of training.
A final piece of advice – always be mindful of the promises you make to potential employees during the recruitment process. If you promise training, you must deliver, if you don’t you will find it very difficult to hold on to talent.
Nick Washington-Jones, Managing Director, TACK UK