Attracting Top Talent: Why Job Candidates Seek Roles with L&D Opportunities

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In today’s highly competitive job market, failing to implement Learning & Development programmes for a company’s employees is considered a great disadvantage and a very outdated approach towards talent development. This will inevitably affect the company’s capabilities to attract, retain and motivate their employees to perform at the best of their abilities. 

In order to attract top talent from the current talent pool, companies around the world must adapt and start offering Learning & Development opportunities for their employees. This proves that they value their workforce, as well as effectively and continuously upskilling them to meet the requirements of ever-evolving industries.

What role does L&D play?

The primary role of L&D is to guarantee that employee development is approached in a way that meets and supports the company’s own business goals. According to McKinsey & Company, L&D can prove extremely useful in developing the following 5 key, strategic areas in an organisation:

  1. Attracting and retaining it’s talent
  2. Developing their people’s capabilities
  3. Motivating and encouraging employees 
  4. Creating a values-based company culture
  5. Building and employee-focused brand 

Generally, providing employees with training opportunities proves that their employer is invested in their future growth, changing as a result the way they view their job, company and if they can envision themselves in the future of both. 

Utilising L&D for attracting talent 

As already mentioned, investing in L&D shows current and future employees that their companies care about their personal development, while also helping with their career development opportunities. It creates a people-centric culture, one that is highly sought after following the pandemic. 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘The Great Resignation’ became front and centre, with many people realising that they’re not happy or even remotely satisfied with their jobs, their work environments, their work-life balance, and even the industries they were in. This led to many people resigning from their roles, with companies around the world losing big numbers of employees, leaving them with many job vacancies to fill at a time when the world was at a stand-still. 

There’s much conversation surrounding the current importance of a healthy work-life balance, an inclusive company culture and employee mental wellbeing to meet employees changing values in terms of the jobs they seek. However, the current workforce also highly values their personal and professional growth and development just as much.

According to a study performed by Docebo, a software as a service company that specialises in learning management systems, 80% of participants stated that they would be more likely to choose to work for an employer that prioritises continuous learning and development.

Not only that, but that same study also found that 62% of employees would consider leaving their jobs within 12 months if their employer cut back (or didn’t offer) learning opportunities to help with their career development. 

Bottom line is that investing in L&D suggests that you’re investing in your people and that’s what employees are looking for, ways they can benefit from you on both a personal and professional level.

Why you should invest in L&D for your employees

We have already accepted that L&D is of high value to workers when looking for a job  and it goes without saying that when an employee is happy with their job, then the more likely they are to stay and have motivation to work.

For many employers however, the no.1 question that comes to mind when discussing the importance of implementing L&D is how much will it cost and is it worthwhile for the long run? 

However, the real question is, what is the cost of turnover when employees quit? Or, what happens when there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill in the job vacancies to generate the desired revenue?

Based on a survey conducted by Manpower Group, across 41 countries, 77% of employers have reported growing talent shortages and difficulty in filling roles, having reached a 17-year high. And if that’s not enough, Global Industry Analyst Josh Bersin estimates that losing an employee can cost a company anything between 1.5-2 times the salary of the employee. 

To put it simply, a company faces more loss and less revenue by not providing L&D opportunities for its employees, which can be extremely damaging in the long run.

Leveraging L&D to attract and retain top talent 

Building a culture of learning in your company is vital in order to keep hold of top talent. According to the 2023 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 89% of L&D professionals agree that proactively building on their employee skills can help navigate the evolving future of work. Along with that, the report found that the no.1 way in which organisations are working to improve their retention is by “providing learning opportunities”.

A few ways you can leverage L&D in your own company can involve:

  • Making learning a core value of your organisation and providing employees with exciting opportunities through innovation and collaboration to keep them engaged, developing both their knowledge and soft skills.
  • Making learning accessible at all times, by allowing employees to access material at their own time and convenience, catered around their lifestyles, rather than forcing them to commit to a rigid learning schedule.
  • Rewarding growth by using enticing incentives, such as bonuses, gift vouchers etc., to encourage and motivate employees to continuously learn, showing that you recognise their efforts and commitment to development. 
  • Creating clear roadmaps for internal promotion, to further encourage talent retention, by making sure employees know that the company values their efforts. This can be achieved by building career paths early on, and encouraging upskilling designed to help employees reach their career goals and potential. 
  • Promoting collaboration amongst employees, to facilitate healthy workplace bonds, which often can make employees feel more valued and supported. Through this, employees will also feel more comfortable to reach out to their fellow colleagues and seek assistance when they need it. 

The bottom line is that every organisation has employees with unrecognised potential. In order to unlock and make the most out of this potential, organisations should seek to cultivate a culture based on learning, growth and development by adopting L&D as one of their core strategies. A well defined development system can help motivate employees, as well as improve retention and profitability.


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