Benefits of Upskilling Employees vs. Hiring Externally
There are several benefits to upskilling employees vs hiring externally, including increased employee engagement, talent retention, and cost savings.
Upskill or Hire Externally? How to Elevate Career Development and Internal Mobility in Your Organization
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent Great Reshuffle have encouraged organizations and employees alike to reevaluate what’s most important to them in the workplace. More than ever, employees are looking for a workplace culture that fosters learning, development, and professional growth. In fact, according to our 2022 Skills Advantage Report, the top 3 drivers of of great work culture are:
1. Opportunities to learn and grow
2. Sense of belonging
3. Organizational values
Now taking the #1 spot, “opportunities to learn and grow” rose from the #9 driver of a great work culture in 2019 — a significant change over a short period of time. With this in mind, let’s explore how to leverage opportunities to learn and grow within your organization, the benefits of upskilling, and when to consider hiring outside your company.
Benefits of Upskilling Employees
Upskilling is the process of teaching employees new skills to help them either perform their current job more efficiently, or learn other job functions based on personal interests.
Technological changes, organizational restructuring, and economic changes can all lead to skills gaps in your workforce. Once you identify what these skills gaps are, you can take steps to close them by upskilling your employees through leveraging tools like LinkedIn Learning, or even hiring new staff. Let’s discuss some benefits of upskilling your workforce.
Keep up with new tech
In today’s geographically diverse and largely digital workplace, upskilling has become essential to keeping up with rapidly changing technology.
Upskilling helps build a culture of learning
Building a culture of learning is key to attracting and retaining great talent. Employees want to be challenged and have clear-cut pathways to achieve their goals. Align learning to employee career paths and watch employee engagement increase.
Avoid risks that come with hiring externally
It’s no secret that hiring outside your company can be costly, but something else to consider is that it takes more time. Your new hire not only has to familiarize themselves with the job, but also with your organization, its values, and its culture. If a new employee doesn’t fit in or align with company culture, they won’t feel satisfied in their job. The bottom line is that upskilling serves your organization’s immediate needs while also building a future-ready workforce armed with the necessary skills to be successful down the road.
How Does Having an Upskilling Program Increase Employee Engagement?
Based on studies from our 2022 Skills Advantage Report, employees who have opportunities to learn are 3.5x more likely to report they believe their company can help them meet their career goals. This shows that helping employees achieve their personal and professional ambitions are key to energizing and engaging your workforce.
Our data shows that companies that excel at internal mobility retain employees for an average of 5.4 years. That’s nearly twice as long as companies that struggle with it, where the average retention span is just 2.9 years.
Leverage Online Learning for Upskilling and Reskilling Your Current Workforce
Online learning is key to engaging a remote or hybrid workforce, and it can provide a significant advantage in recruiting and retaining talent in a traditional workforce as well. One way to leverage eLearning efficiently is through personalized learning. In fact, 78% of learners expressed the need for course recommendations based on their individual career goals and skills gaps. Personalized learning helps you curate the most relevant content for your organization, meaning your employees are always learning the right skills at the right time.
How to Use Upskilling to Support Internal Mobility
54% of Learning and Development (L&D) professionals agree that internal mobility has become a higher priority at their organization since COVID-19. So, what’s the best way to showcase this?
The key here is to think critically about your employees’ available career paths. Ideally, the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to advance will be clearly outlined — and this is where your upskilling program can really shine. By connecting skill building to career pathing within your organization, you’ll be well on your way to creating a culture of learning that will help you retain employees, leverage institutional knowledge, and future-proof your company in the long run.
When Should You Consider Hiring New Staff?
We’ve gone over the many benefits of upskilling employees and leveraging a robust upskilling program, from increased employee engagement to future-proofing your organization. However, there are instances where hiring new staff is the way to go.
When choosing to upskill vs. hire someone new, there are a few important factors to consider:
Does your existing staff have the flexibility and availability to train a new hire?
With the pandemic and The Great Reshuffle ushering in an era of massive change for companies, would your organization benefit from the fresh perspective of a new hire?
Opportunities to learn and grow are essential for employee engagement and happiness in today’s workplace. Upskilling and reskilling are an excellent place to start, and LinkedIn Learning offers thousands of courses for all levels that will help your workforce get the skills they need to grow.