The biggest concern for companies and their hiring managers when recruiting is to have the following question answered: can that person do what we need them to do? From a personal standpoint, I struggle with this question. I mean, I’m a millennial with a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree from Georgia Tech (Go Jackets!) about to finish my MBA from University of Nevada-Reno (Go Wolfpack!) and I have 5 years of experience in the workforce, so I can do anything and I should have recruiters knocking at my door 24/7, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. The biggest feedback I get for every application that’s been rejected is that I need more experience…well you can imagine what my only-child self would say back to that! But I will keep it PG and on topic.
What I find myself missing (not just experience) in order to be more desirable in the job marketplace is a lack of opportunity to learn a new skill or to improve on a current skill. If your current job or education doesn’t provide it, where else do you earn more and better skills? I highly doubt I can just use my experience in my third-grade Easter Bunny Factory project lead position as my “in” to be the CEO of, say, Johnson&Johnson. I’ve heard many arguments and “reasons” from my bosses, former and current, that training for employees is just not available at the time that I asked. Plus, there’s been little guidance from mentors to less-experienced mentees to steer them to the right kind of training if the mentee is supposed to do the training on their own.
With the few companies I’ve been with, the most successful (financially speaking) had a strong training and teaching foundation for the entire organization. In this company, I was part of a management fast-track program that devoted at least 5 years to training fresh college graduates to be the future leadership of the company. This program has been going strong for 30+ years and even their current CEO is a product of this program. Though they aren’t perfect (just like everyone else), their training resources are incredibly impressive and should try to be modeled after for several reasons.
Providing training opportunities, both within and without one’s job scope, provides the employees with autonomy to do their job confidently on their own, clarity on their role within the organization and how it affects the big picture, a sense of loyalty to the company that ensures they’ll be giving their best effort continuously, and the ensuing pride cascades throughout the organization when you provide training to all employees. The training increases employee retention and production output rates over time; so, there aren’t many other investment opportunities with better returns.
Provide a shout-out to an organization you know with great training opportunities! (hint: follow my Twitter and use hashtags for the shout-out)