Is On-the-Job Training the Solution to Skills Shortages?

by | 23 Sep 2022

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As recruiters, we are always searching for the best talent for your business. But what actually is the criteria for ‘the best talent’?

It might be easy to assume the best talent is someone with all the necessary qualifications, an impeccable reputation, and strong work history. And while those are undoubtedly great things for a candidate to present, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best fit for the role or your business.

Do you consider personality traits, soft skills, work ethic and trainability when looking to hire? It can be easy to overlook young or less experienced candidates, but with some quality on-the-job training, you might have found the perfect employee.

Despite dire skills shortages currently facing the wealth management and financial sectors, John Buchanan, co-director of the University of Sydney’s mental wealth initiative, notes that the share of workers getting on-the-job training has fallen from about a third in 2005 to about 20% today.

In light of this, businesses should look more to candidates that bring a lot of potential but require on-the-job training. As such, we encourage companies to be more responsive to less-experienced candidates.

From graduates and young professionals to new entrants in the industry, such as those looking to change careers, there is an untapped and eager workforce looking for their next dream job, many of whom are willing to go above and beyond for your company.

Some things can’t be taught, but what can be taught, should be. With the market for top talent so tight, looking at a variety of candidates is key to securing your next superstar employee.

By assessing a candidate’s potential, enthusiasm and willingness to learn, on-the-job training is a great way to train an employee to be precisely what you’re looking for. Not only does this alleviate skills shortages, but it instils loyalty to your company and offers candidates opportunities for career progression.

Providing on-the-job training may seem tedious or time-consuming, but we can promise that the pros far out-weight the cons.

So what are the key benefits of hiring applicants a touch greener in experience and providing on-the-job training?

  1. It is a long-term investment. Retention of employees is often more difficult than recruiting new team members. By showing your commitment to their constant development, professionally and personally, you can ensure loyalty and greater productivity and service in your practice.
  2. It provides hands-on relevant experience. On-the-job training is a great way to instil the ins and outs of how a job should be performed within your practice, to your set standards and compliance regulations. Rather than a general background within the industry, you are providing hands-on experience, which is arguably more valuable when dealing with clients.
  3. It is attractive to candidates. When wanting to stand out above your rivals, providing on-the-job training can be that deciding factor for potential employees. They know they will be able to take away valuable experience from the role, but also it allows businesses to gauge an employee’s skills throughout the training period.

But what makes the best on-the-job training? An induction is the most crucial part of taking on a new hire. A well-executed induction sets the tone for their term of employment, provides clear guidelines on what’s expected and creates an opportunity to see how candidates respond in the preliminary stages of employment.

Whether that be continued professional development courses, internal training or ongoing mentorship, there are a variety of ways to make sure you have that support structure in place so your employees are not only competent in their work but confident in their abilities going forward.

However, on-the-job training shouldn’t just be limited to new hires. Delivering ongoing training to all employees within your organisation is vital to maintaining employee engagement, staying up-to-date with the industry, and building a workplace that prioritises internal hiring and career progression for employees.

Taking on an employee with a limited skillset, but a growth mindset and a willingness to learn can be a very rewarding and fruitful experience. So maybe it’s time to consider bringing on someone more junior to train, shape and mold them into the perfect fit.

At the Godfrey Group, we have a variety of candidates of all levels with varying experience. Contact us today, and we can help you find that person who is not only going to give 100%, but be willing to go above and beyond for your business.

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