- Most companies say they would rather take the time to upskill current employees rather than hire new ones, according to Sept. 8 survey results from The Harris Poll for Express Employment Professionals.
- Three-in-five hiring decision makers (60%) said they planned to reskill employees by the end of 2021. Larger companies were more likely to say they would offer reskilling opportunities.
- "Current employees are a better bet to stay with the company because they are already used to the environment and office culture," Greg Sulentic, Express franchise owner in Lincoln, Nebraska, said in a statement. "No matter how careful we are in adding new employees, it's still a gamble as to whether they are going to be the right fit."
While unemployment remains above pre-pandemic levels, employers have struggled to fill open jobs, which may explain in part why businesses are opting for training over rehiring right now.
Reskilling programs can also serve as a recruiting boon, however. Express Employment Professionals provided an example in its announcement showcasing as much: "All industries in Sulentic's local market are reskilling employees, including one large client who has started pairing unskilled workers with a skilled 'buddy' so they can train to be forklift operators or welders. This happens early in the employment process, allowing the 're-skill' process to also be a recruiting tool for unskilled employees."
The pandemic may have forced employers to reexamine long-held myths about reskilling programs. One such myth — that employees will leave once they learn new skills — does not reflect the truth that employees want and appreciate investment in their careers, one Randstad Rise exec previously wrote for HR Dive.
Certain markets, including tech, are putting more emphasis on reskilling because of a continued dearth of skilled talent. A CompTIA survey from earlier this year noted that alternative learning pathways would make up a large part of 2021’s learning trends, especially as recruiters pull back from requiring a four-year degree for all positions.