Developing Your Talent Costs Less Than Hiring

by Sharlyn Lauby on January 16, 2014

I do believe it’s doubtful that companies will be able to hire all the talent they’re looking for. If they find a great employee, maybe the timing is wrong to hire them. Or they can’t find exactly the right skill set. Or the candidate’s salary requirements aren’t in the budget. Or…well, a whole bunch more reasons.

training, developing, hiring, cost, employee, skills gap, budget

My point is, companies have to start thinking not only in terms of hiring talent but developing their talent. Because when you can’t find the talent you’re looking for, then it might make sense to develop your talent internally.

In fact, when it comes to looking for talent. It could make good financial sense to compare the cost of developing talent internally versus hiring from the outside.

Think about it. When a company hires an employee, they invest a lot of time, energy and resources in sourcing, advertising, interviews, offers, etc. Then the new hire goes through orientation and onboarding. They might participate in other kinds of company training such as ethics, anti-harassment, etc. Their supervisor spends time talking with the employee about performance expectations, departmental policies and more.

The company has thousands of dollars invested in the new hire employee. According to Dice, the average cost per hire in 2012 was $3,479. Over the same time, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) says it was $5,134. Let’s split the difference and say it was roughly $4,000. That would buy you a lot of training. And probably improve the skill set of more than one employee.

As the effects of the skills gap become more prominent, companies will need to take a skills inventory not only to understand the skills they have with their existing workforce but the ones they need to obtain for the future. And then figure out the best way to bring those skills into the organization. Sometimes hiring will be the answer. If you can find and secure the talent.

Be prepared to implement “Plan B – developing talent” if the talent you’re looking for can’t be found…or afforded.

Image courtesy of HR Bartender

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Debra Ann Matthews February 1, 2014 at 5:12 am

I love this notion of challenging HR dept to retrain current talent. It has made me ask potential job seekers if they too can look at enhancing their skills thus become more valuable in their current company. Way to go !!

Kayla Kozan February 12, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Hit the nail on the head here – too often companies find themselves with mediocre hires and literally cannot afford to replace them. It pays to invest in strong hires earlier on in the process before they’re forced to spend development dollars on the struggling employees.

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