But one of the most important aspects of hiring isn’t about hiring new people at all.
It’s about retaining the ones you already have.
A number of companies I’m currently working with use the “farm team” approach to manage their hiring challenges. That means they work to train and promote people from within their company. In essence, they always have an internal “bench” of qualified talent.
How do they do it? By devoting significant resources to training programs. These companies have built entire internal academies for their teams to help them learn and grow. This investment in professional development serves a few important purposes:
• The company gets a bigger pool of qualified talent for the roles they need to fill • The company gets to train the exact skills needed for their open positions • Employees get a path to upward mobility inside the company • …and they stick around longer
That last point is key.
If you emphasize retention as much as you emphasize hiring, you will build a stronger culture, fill open positions faster, and save money in the long run. It’s a virtuous cycle.
If you can’t find people to do the jobs you need, internal training could be the solution. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. If you only need ONE person to fill ONE role, you don’t need to build an academy. This model makes sense for companies that need to hire several of any given seat at a time (think: project managers, solutions architects, etc.)
2. A training program is a cost center. You must be willing to invest in the training up front, keeping in mind that not only are you paying to develop the training itself, but you’re also paying your people to learn on the job.
3. Heard the saying “Those who can’t do, teach?” Wrong. It’s more like “those who can do can’t necessarily teach.” You may need outside support to build a curriculum that helps employees learn effectively.
I have to take a second to brag a bit on our team members. We are so lucky to work with not one but two consultants in the education space. Jay Bacrania and now Ryan Villanueva have helped us build an internal consultant training program that has exceeded my expectations in every way. A big shout out to both of them for a job well done!
A training academy isn’t right for every company. But what I hope you’ve gotten out of this hiring mini-series is that there are actions you can take today to make the right hires.