Attracting Talent Through Training Opportunities

During my final semester of senior year in college in 2016, I was considering two different post-graduate employment opportunities. One was with a startup I was interning at while the other was a Fortune 100 tech corporation. It was a tough decision, though not necessarily a bad one. I liked the smaller atmosphere of the startup, and they even discussed paying me a salary that was $10,000 higher. Here’s the catch – the startup had no training program in place while the corporation had a 6-week curriculum for new hires fresh out of school. I valued my relationship with the startup and wanted to be transparent about my situation. Upon discussing my options with management, they promptly advised I take the other offer, as they felt personal development was more important for me at that time in my life. And as much as I loved the idea of a higher salary, a part of me had to agree that training was more important.

This scenario is reflected in a striking fact coming from studies citing that “training and development ranked 300% higher than cash bonuses for millennials” [1].  Regardless of whether today’s job seeker is an entry-level candidate fresh out of school or a senior executive looking to expand their opportunities, there’s one thing both parties have in common – they want an employer that will invest in their future success to help them grow both professionally and personally. Training programs make companies more competitive in the hunt for talent. A lack of training programs can also be a true red flag.

The transparency provided by the Internet empowers today’s job seekers to research which employers invest in their employees and which ones don’t. A quick search on Glassdoor can give you a snapshot of what to expect as a member of the organization in question. One of the main components of a job review is the “Advice to Management” segment. It’s not uncommon to observe disgruntled statements from current and past employees alike who write “invest in better training!” In that simple line, a prospective new hire thinks to himself,“I’ll have to figure out how to succeed in this position on my own.” Inefficient training programs are unsustainable in those industries where advanced skills and technical knowledge are required. The small talent pool that operates in these fields knows that opportunities exist elsewhere and will be inclined to pursue them.

Training is more than a one-way stream of information regurgitated from the experienced to those who are less so. It instead is a synchronous partnership between two parties who are now in a committed relationship with one another. The best managers give their team the tools to succeed, and the best employees are the ones who feel empowered by their employer to get the job done. This goes beyond attracting talent to retaining it for the long term.

One of the top ways to gain the interest of your company’s training is to create a training program that uses VR. It’s not exactly a secret that virtual reality is an amazing education tool. But before the training process even begins, it can influence the recruiting process for the better. Take this remarkable statement as an example:

“At the Winter X Games in Aspen, CO.…  the Navy saw a 48% increase in leads; at the Army/Navy football game in Baltimore, the Navy saw a 126% increase in leads.  In the first two months after the Navy’s VR efforts began, leads of potential recruits have more than doubled compared to the previous two years combined” [2].

This all came about after the United States Navy began adding VR systems to their recruiting stations, allowing potential candidates to experience firsthand a covert SEAL gunboat mission. Excuse me while I search for directions to the closest Navy recruiting center.

The investment in training and continual nurturing of candidates is what makes a difference in the long run. In an age where people are switching careers faster than ever, it’s important to attract the individuals through provided opportunities and keep them around so that they can be a productive member of the team and keep you on track for future success.

 

[1] Getbridge.com. (2018). Working with Millennials. [online] Available at: https://www.getbridge.com/lc/insights/working-with-millennials.

[2] Baig, E. (2017). The Navy wants to recruit you — with Virtual Reality. [online] Usatoday.com. Available at: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2017/05/29/navy-wants-recruit-you—vr/102294150/.