Talent Attraction Strategies: It's Time to Boost Your Career Development Offerings

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Small that invest in employee development and education have an important edge in attracting and retaining talent. A learning management solution that includes a full array of on-demand courses could help to streamline that benefit. Consider these key areas as you explore a LMS tool for your organization.

Developing a strategy for talent engagement can help you find and retain top-tier employees. However, many small and midsize organizations overlook a potential asset in building a winning employer brand: career development and upskilling. Organizations of all sizes need to attract talent and find an easy and affordable way to offer professional development.

But small businesses — which tend to offer far fewer benefits than large companies — seem to be missing this opportunity in particular. A recent Market Pulse Study conducted by ADP Commercial Insights found that 46 percent of small businesses agreed that career development training is important for talent attraction, and 45 percent said it mattered for employee retention, but only 19 percent said they offer it as a benefit.

Paving a path to boost your professional development offerings can transform your talent pipeline and encourage existing employees to stay at your organization even longer.

Career development ranks high among employees' wants.

Among the benefits employees want most are career development and professional growth opportunities. A 2022 study by Workplace Intelligence found that 9 out of 10 prospective employees want professional development, career education and growth pathways at potential organizations. It's also key to retaining employees, with 89% of employees reporting that they want to improve their skills this year.

The opportunity is ripe for small businesses to gain ground in this area. Indeed, almost half of the small businesses surveyed in the June 2023 ADP Market Pulse Study said they're making workforce reskilling, upskilling and career training a priority in the next three to six months. Closing this gap and finding strategic ways to offer these highly sought-after benefits can quickly become a strong potential advantage for smaller organizations trying to attract and keep talent.

Smaller businesses need professional development solutions.

The reality for small organizations is that lean HR departments already have heavy workloads and often tight budgets. And crafting a professional development plan can be overwhelming. The tools your administrative staff needs to grow may be different than offering upskilling or progressive training to sales representatives or accounting professionals.

One solution is to identify a learning management system (LMS) — software that helps you create, deliver, and manage training materials and employee utilization — as well as on-demand courses that offer holistic professional development tracks that can be used across the organization.

For many HR departments, a specific approach to gaining access to these solutions can be partnering with a payroll and HR provider that has an LMS included with its service offerings. Not only is this cost-effective, but integration can make it much easier to develop a plan and administer the learning opportunities effectively.

Education and training tools can be at your fingertips.

Employee learning modules that are part of your payroll system or HR provider can take your professional development offerings to the next level. It not only creates a benefit for existing talent, but you can leverage it when competing with larger organizations to secure talent for key roles by including it in your job posts. It also helps to improve the overall consistency in your organization by upskilling your team.

Here are some key features to look for when considering this option for your organization:

Compliance training

Ensuring that your system offers courses that help keep you compliant with employment laws can be a significant headache saver for your management and HR teams. You can deliver courses that may be mandatory on topics like sexual harassment, diversity, equity and inclusion, and workplace safety in easy-to-manage sessions, saving everyone time and keeping you in compliance with states that require this training.

Leadership and skills development

It's also helpful to look for a solution that delivers preloaded courses on topics such as leadership and workplace performance. Not only does this provide an avenue for managers and employees to develop clear learning goals, but it also gives employees access to a variety of solutions to continuously improve their skills. Courses might cover topics such as time management, effective communication skills or productivity planning.

Some systems will also have function-specific courses, such as sales-related content or technology courses. These can be a powerful adjunct to the more general pieces of training and help you hone your broader strategy on cultivating the talent you need in specific areas, as well as bring consistency to your workplace.

Specialized courses

Finally, consider a system that can also support your need to upload custom courses. For example, your organization may deliver specialized training related to your brand, industry or certain proprietary skills. Having the option to load this course into a centralized LMS and then track and manage completions can reduce the pain associated with course administration.

Gaining ground with a talent attraction strategy

Upskilling and professional development can help you differentiate your talent attraction and retention strategy. The right learning solutions can help you deliver what employees value most.

When thinking about what employees want this year and beyond, it's important to recognize that compensation and benefits are just one piece of the puzzle. When you have a plan in place to help employees improve their performance and build new skills that will help them advance, it's easier to attract and retain employees who'll be motivated to stick with you and grow.

Learn more about how ADP's solutions can help you gain key hiring advantages and about our integrated learning management solutions with HR platforms such as RUN Powered by ADP.