3 Reasons to Invest in Workforce Development

In September, in honor of Workforce Development Month, we recognize the workforce development industry for its contributions to creating an inclusive and sustainable workforce.

For some, workforce development means no more than checking a box to indicate their company is “diverse.” But at its best, it provides potential job candidates with the necessary training and guidance so that they can be better prepared to enter the workplace. This can be anything from learning how to write proper email communications to interviewing best practices.
Investing in workforce development programs goes beyond finding someone with the “right” qualifications or degree or the “perfect” résumé, but rather develops the skills of talent to meet the specifics needs of your organization.
Despite the myriad of benefits of investing in workforce development, some companies still seemed unconvinced of its benefits.
It’s time to change that. Here are three reasons you should consider investing in workforce development programs:

  1. Find Talent that Fit Your Business Needs and Culture
    Every company knows the costs associated with hiring: the longer it takes a company to fill vacancies the more stress it puts on the other members of a team and the organization as a whole, which can in effect spur employee dissatisfaction and lead to high turnover. High turnover and having a large number of vacancies comes with a hefty price tag: 60 percent of U.S. employers have job openings that stay unfilled for 12 weeks or longer, costing them upwards of $800,000 annually.

    Are you or your company are continually frustrated trying to find candidates that fit a specific (and limited) criteria, but your search for the perfect candidate continues to disappoint? Consider investing in workforce development programs. Sometimes the best talent isn’t packaged perfectly, but with the right mentorship and upskilling can become just as, or even more impactful, than those who come with all the “right” bells and whistles. By developing training programs specific to your organization and the positions you’re looking to fill, companies can address their talent voids, as well as ensure those who go through these programs will have an easy and successful transition into the workplace. Best of all, these individuals come to the workplace on day one with all the skills they need to get the job done.

  2. Greater Success for the Employee and the Employer
    Investing in workforce development programs isn’t just a win for the people looking for a job. In fact, companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalized training.

    Through successful workforce development programs companies play a critical role in breaking down barriers for people with less access to opportunities, increase its diversity, while employing talent who are ready to work (hard) for your organization. And experts say a diverse staff can better understand and fulfill the needs of a wider customer base, thereby boosting sales, while different backgrounds can also lead to a broader range of ideas and innovation.

  3. Stay Ahead of Your Competition
    Workforce development is on track to be a major hiring trend, especially as the costs of education continues to skyrocket without necessarily equipping students with the skills needed to fill the talent voids companies face. By investing in talent potential, such as those from underserved communities, rather than expecting them to come “perfectly” packaged, will put aside the notion that one needs a college or master’s degree to get a consistent, good-paying job, as well as be an effective employee.

    Furthermore, by tapping into untraditional talent pools, companies will be setting themselves apart with consumers. In fact, a Cone Communications survey found that 87% of Americans will purchase a product because a company advocates for an issue they cared about. This means it matters what companies do for the community and their employees beyond the products or services they sell.

The impact of workforce development programs is clear: not only do they open doors for those that lack adequate access to the resources typically required for corporate, white-collar jobs, the financial benefits to corporations are staggering by decreasing costs associated with recruitment and talent acquisition. Best part of it all? Companies are able to give back to the communities they serve and maintain relevance among their consumers—a win, win, win all around.

So, are you convinced yet?