A large chunk of the talent pool has been neglected for a long time because on-the-job training programs have given way to college degree and industry certificate holders instead, Paul Wolfe, the SVP of Human Resources at Indeed, told SHRM. This is counterproductive to organizations that are facing serious talent shortages now and in the future.
Indeed, a directory of online jobs, conducted a recent survey and found that only 15% of the work force is currently in fields where there is wage growth and competitive salaries – so called “opportunity jobs”. This is leaving talent on the table, those who are getting frustrated over a lack of career growth and opportunities.
Wolfe writes that around 35% of the job postings appearing on Indeed are opportunity jobs, and they are in the healthcare, technology, business, finance, management, and engineering fields mostly. He mentions that talent often has transferrable skills that could prepare them to work in these industries. “That’s why I think it's important for companies to consider investing in employee development to fill roles within their organization. Investing in training helps workers get into a high-growth career and enables companies to build its own pipeline of talent,” he says.
The talent shortage is very real in many of the STEM career paths. While there are still many who are investing in college degrees and certificate programs to gain the skills they need to compete for these high paying careers, there are others who think that employers should be investing more into on-the-job training programs.
There are some very valid arguments for this. First, on-the-job training costs less than a college degree and it produces almost immediate return on investment for the organizations that offer this. Second, any organization that fosters learning as a core value also increases employee engagement and loyalty. This is particularly true where it comes to leadership development programs and those that fast-track employees into lead roles.
Talent shortages are expected to plague the above-mentioned high growth industries and therefore employers can do their part by identifying candidates who have potential to learn new skills. Supporting not only onsite training programs, but also grooming future employees at local vocational schools can be smart ways to produce a strong pipeline.