7 Benefits of Upskilling: Find Your Next Star Tech Employee In Your Workforce

Hiring is hands down one of the most important activities in every company — and you’ll find little disagreement on that point. But hiring good talent is hard. Why upskilling your staff can improve employee satisfaction AND help fill your hiring gaps.

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Hiring is hands down one of the most important activities in every company — and you’ll find little disagreement on that point. But hiring good talent is hard. And it’s even harder in technology.

The need for workers with tech skills outpaces the number of candidates that have those skills. In one McKinsey study, 87% of respondents said their company already faces skill gaps or expects to within the next few years.

On top of that, the hiring process tends to be both costly and slow. An analysis from the Society for Human Resource Management a few years ago found that employers usually spend over $4,000 and 42 days on finding each new hire.

Any time you’re trying to recruit candidates with tech skills from the general talent pool, you’re competing with a lot of other businesses. Even if you’re able to pay well and offer an attractive benefits package, you may have a hard time finding skilled candidates that are interested. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be short staffed in the job roles you need most.

You already have a solution to the problem in-house. 

The Solution: Upskilling via Technology Training

You almost certainly have awesome employees already in your company who wish they had the skills to move into higher paying roles. But the cost and time commitment involved in the training required to get there is a barrier they’re unlikely to overcome on their own.

Upskilling is when a company offers employee training in key skills the business needs and employees want. And businesses are catching on to how valuable it can be.

In LinkedIn’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report, 59% of all L&D (learning and development) professionals listed upskilling and reskilling as a top priority.

By offering your current employees training in skills like data analysis, software engineering, product design, and cybersecurity, you can fill the roles you need the most without having to look beyond the workforce you’ve already hired.

7 Benefits of Using Technology Training to Fill Roles from Within

Providing technology training to current employees does come with a cost, both the direct monetary cost of the training itself and the cost of the time the employees spend away from their core work responsibilities. Yet the portion of a company’s budget put toward technology training can pay off in a number of valuable ways.

1. You skip the hiring process, because the employee’s already on staff.

We’ve established that the hiring process is costly and slow. Your hiring team has to go through page after page of resumes and conduct a long interview process. Even with all that work, deciding who to hire still requires guesswork. You never really know what a new hire will be like until after they start working.

When you invest in training someone you’ve already hired to do a new role, you save all that money and time. Plus, you reduce the risks that come with new employees. This employee has already proven themselves. You know how well they work with their colleagues, what their work ethic is like, and the kind of ambition they’ve shown. You can count on them to bring all the skills they’ve already demonstrated at the company to their new role, as well as the new ones they learn in training.

2. You save money and time on onboarding.

While moving a current employee into a new role in the company will still require some onboarding—you want them to learn the ins and outs of their new role and get to know their new team—it will be a simpler process than onboarding a new hire. You don’t have to worry about teaching them about your workplace culture, your company’s products or services, or your positioning in the larger industry, because they already know all that stuff.

A faster onboarding process saves everyone time, which translates into money when they get to work faster.

3. You can match the technology training offered to your needs.

Your business has unique needs. When you’re hiring from outside, you’re challenged with trying to find someone that has the exact mix of skills you need (or as close to it as possible). When you upskill from within, you can craft a training program that provides that exact skills mix you need.

Perhaps that’s why McKinsey research found that 44% of organizations working to build skills in their workforce feel prepared to face role disruptions caused by skill gaps in the coming years, versus only 19% of those using other methods.

Companies that offer enterprise technology training know how to create custom training programs that tackle precisely the skills a company lacks. Selecting ambitious employees for this kind of training is an efficient and straightforward way to fill any current skill gaps.

4. Offering employees technology training increases loyalty.

Providing technology training to your current employees offers a lot of benefits to the company, but it also provides tangible value to your employees. Your most valuable employees care about building a career. Giving them accessible training opportunities—especially ones that are directly tied to a promotion in the company—is a way to show you value them.

When employees see evidence that a company is willing to invest in them, it gives them that much more reason to stick around. According to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning report, employees at companies that offer internal mobility stay around two times longer. And employees that move into new jobs internally are 3.5 times as likely to be engaged in their work than employees who stay in the same job.

Upskilling doesn’t just give you a way to fill the roles you need most, it also gives you a way to reward your best employees with better career opportunities.

5. Offering valuable training increases your value as an employer.

Hiring is hard, but it’s easier if you’ve gained a reputation for being a great place to work. A business that’s willing to invest in its employees by helping them advance their careers and gain useful skills is on the right path to gaining that reputation.

For the employees granted upskilling opportunities, it makes them happier in their work, gives them an extra incentive to do their jobs well, and means they’re more likely to talk you up to their friends and colleagues.

For employees considering working for your company, knowing career advancement and technology training are a cultural norm at your company serves as an extra perk to sweeten the deal. Especially when major retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Target are offering to cover college tuition and other advanced training. It’s almost a necessary company benefit you should offer in order to stay competitive.

6. Upskilling can help with your DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts. 

Tech has a diversity problem. And while many companies are quick to express their intentions to do better, progress has been slower to come than proclamations.

An analysis from the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that 41% of all frontline workers are people of color, while the numbers for tech roles are much smaller. That may well mean you have some outstanding minority employees in frontline roles now that have previously lacked the resources to pick up the skills needed to move into a higher-level role.

A good DE&I program won’t just be focused on how many people in marginalized communities you hire—it will emphasize what roles they’re in as well. You may be able to increase diversity on your tech team and in leadership positions by offering upskilling training to people currently working in other roles around your company.

7. Evidence shows reskilling programs are worth the investment. 

You may like the sound of every other argument on this list, but at many companies the main deciding factor will always be whether a business decision brings a return on investment (ROI).  Before you shell out money on a training program, you want to know the cost will be worth what you get out of it. Data suggests that money will be well spent—especially if you choose the right partner for your technology training program.

McKinsey research suggests that upskilling provides a notable ROI. Around 70% of companies with reskilling programs say the business impacts of their training programs are worth at least as much or more than the investment spent on them. And 48% say the programs have helped enhance the company’s bottom line.

Get Started with Customized Enterprise Technology Training

In order to see that ROI, you need to make sure the training you offer is effective. The best way to make that happen is to hire people that have both the technology knowledge you want your team to learn, and the teaching skills to make that knowledge stick.

Flatiron School has years of experience teaching technology skills ranging from cybersecurity to data analysis to UI/UX design to software engineering.

Our Enterprise Training team can build a course tailored to your company’s unique needs, and ensure each student gets personalized instruction based on their learning style. And our technology education gets proven results.

Invest in technology training to boost the careers of your best employees while filling in the roles you need most at the same time. To get started, contact us at enterprise@flatironschool.com.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of November 18, 2021. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

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