Developing Skills Through Employee Training

A strong hiring environment can be exciting. Workers have more opportunities than ever, and talent seems to be everywhere. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best time to fire up the recruiting engines, and bring in new people to round out your in-house talent. Training and developing your existing workforce can also help you fill talent and skills gaps. To do so successfully, it helps if your employees are motivated to develop their skills.

Skills Development and Employee Motivation

When your existing employee roster brings a robust set of skills and talents to the table, it can help you ease up on recruiting and avoid some of the costs and workflow disruptions that come with recruiting:

  • Lots of organizations operate reactively when it’s time to recruit. When an employee leaves, the organization scrambles through the requisition process in order to catch up.
  • Recruiting takes time. While the average time-to-fill varies from industry to industry, some jobs can take 50 or more days to fill.
  • While you’re going through the interview and vetting process, work stacks up. Existing employees or gig workers must fill the workflow gap.
  • If you’re constantly focused on bringing in new people, what message does this send to current employees?

Training and developing workers can help you get more out of existing talent and skills you already have on hand. It can also be a valuable piece of workforce planning, especially as you consider things like succession, as well as creating an agile workforce. But there can be a catch with training: some workers will want to know “what’s in it for me?”

How can you get employees motivated to train and develop their skills? We offer a few key insights below, including ways that your applicant tracking software (ATS) can help.


Filling critical skills gaps requires cultivating a culture of talent. And doing so has the potential to impact everything from hiring to succession planning. Read our recent report, “The Employee Experience,” and gain insight into ways you can inspire workers to be engaged with work, and motivated to grow.

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Training Existing Employees

Organizationally speaking, training can be a key part of filling skills gaps at critical times. It can also guide your overall workforce strategy, and inform your decision around whether to hire full-time, part-time, temporary or gig employees. While training might sound great for your organization, employees don’t always feel the same:

  • Plenty of workers are just fine where they are. Maybe they’ve achieved a personal salary goal, or feel they’re well-entrenched and invested in the organization.
  • Some employees simply don’t want to rock the boat. They might feel like it’s better to continue to focus on what they do best, instead of looking for ways to take on new challenges, or acquire new skills.
  • Certain workers are afraid to fail. They worry that if they take on more than they can handle, it will have a negative impact in the future.

How do you identify employees who are ripe for training, and even coach them through it? Your ATS can be one of the first places to look.

  1. The candidate experience can inform the employee experience 

Did you know that 25% of new hires leave their jobs within six months? One of the reasons is because new hires begin to feel like maybe they’re in the wrong place.

  • If your recruitment process was barrier-free, this can help set the stage for a strong employee experience. This includes things like how quickly you followed up with them, the way the interview process went, and even onboarding.
  • When a recent hire was still a candidate, was it easy for them to discover the ins and out your brand and mission? Now that they’re an employee, is the organization living up to these expectations?
  • What drove certain employees to your organization?

Perhaps your employer brand attracted certain workers. Maybe it was the job title. It could have been salary, especially in an era switching jobs can earn employees a 4% increase in their salary.

Whatever led employees to you, it’s possible that they mentioned this during their interview experience. And, if you’re using myStaffingPro, you might have captured their feedback in the software’s notes tool.

  • This, along with other key information they might have shared, can help when it’s time to build their career maps, and introduce them to training opportunities.
  • Their feedback and interests can help you support the way they cultivate specific career goals.
  • Perhaps they can pair aspects of mentoringjob shadowing, or even job rotations as part of a new training opportunity, in order to enhance their skills.
  • Remind employees that their skills profiles matter in today’s professional world

In nearly every industry, the concept of workforce agility is becoming more and more important. Organizations are looking for ways to streamline, and build a workforce that will allow them to take on new types of projects in a quick, succinct fashion.

  • Some of the driving factors behind workforce agility include new competition, automation, outsourcing, the rise of remote and gig workers, and even the changes related to AI and other technologies.
  • Are your workers aware of the types of changes that are happening in your industry, or related to their specific skillsets?
  • You can use informal check-ins, or even scheduled reviews to discuss industry trends, and introduce reluctant workers to opportunities that might support them in the very near future.

Something as simple as building a reference library, keeping trade or industry magazines around the workplace, or announcing free learning opportunities in the company newsletter can be another way to encourage all employees to revisit their reluctance, and open them up to the idea of building new skills. That’s especially true when they understand how it matters to the organization, and to their own professional futures.


When training aligns with an employee’s career path, it can help them gain a clearer understanding of how various steps affect their current role, and impact their next role. myStaffingPro’s applicant tracking software helps you hire with an eye toward today and tomorrow. Contact a representative today.

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