Why Candidates Care About Training & Development

The job market may be saturated, but that doesn’t mean candidates are lowering their standards. In fact, it’s quite the opposite— jobseekers still want to land roles where they feel valued and can see the potential for personal and professional growth. And that means they want to know what sort of training and development is on offer.

There really isn’t much of a downside when it comes to training and development. It’s a two-pronged investment; by helping an employee build better skills, you’re giving them the tools they need to produce better results for your charity. Buzzwords like ‘retention,’ and ‘productivity’ are used to reassure employers that training will not jeopardise profits; but what does training mean to candidates?

Does the promise of development actually make a difference, or is it still all about the salary? And does showcasing your commitment to the development of your employees help you attract stronger candidates?

career shifters and digital skills

Setting your staff up for success

When we talk about training and development, we don’t just mean sending your staff on courses or to conferences. In fact, training starts from the very first day with onboarding and induction—here you educate new hires on how your organisation works and give them the tools they need to be successful in their new role. The onboarding process is a crucial part of any employee’s journey.

In the current climate, most candidates know that they probably won’t be heading straight into the office. At least for the next few months, organisations are encouraging remote working for their staff—and for new recruits, this means a remote induction too.

Starting at a new place can be daunting, let alone if you’re working from home, so being able to access effective and efficient onboarding materials is paramount. New recruits sadly won’t get to enjoy that first-day buzz in quite the same way but making sure their training is taken care of will go a long way in alleviating their initial worries and anxieties.

There are some brilliant online tools available that can help you with remote onboarding. Platforms like Cezanne HR are designed specifically for charities and allow you to onboard employees as well as manage all your HR requests. And if you’re looking to get a new employee up to speed on the fundamentals of how the charity sector operates, Utopy’s virtual Charity Fast-Track Foundation Programme is designed to give learners a comprehensive understanding of how charities work.

Show employees they’re valued and secure

Training and development costs time and money, and your employees know that. They realise that it is an investment not only in the organisation but in them too. It’s the most obvious and clear-cut indication that you as an employer believe in their abilities and potential. You hired them for a reason.

According to a recent SurveyMonkey poll, 86% of respondents felt that job training was extremely important. If you treat an employee like they’re disposable, they will leave sooner or later—it’s as simple as that. The job-seeking process is just as exhausting as recruitment. Candidates want to know that when they join your team, they’re in it for the long-haul.

Now, more than ever, job seekers are looking for stability. They want roles that can support them and nurture their development and career progression. And by highlighting your desire to help them grow in their career, you’re creating a stronger sense of security and showing them that you want them to stick around.

millennials in charities

Help create a happy work environment 

No one enjoys being bad at their job. We’ve all been there at one point though: drowning in emails, making mistakes because we’re overworked and stressed, snapping at our managers because we don’t understand the task at hand…the list goes on.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed at work, especially when we’re faced with new issues and unchartered territory. Candidates want to know that no matter what happens, you’ll have their back and provide the training they need to make a success of their role. Above all, they just want to know they’ll be happy in their job. If they feel unsupported and undertrained, they’ll be looking for new roles within their first month.

Don’t forget—recruitment is more expensive than training! So, invest in happiness and job satisfaction as much as you invest in performance, because it will benefit you in the long run.

Employees want to know you’re committed to change 

Training and development are sometimes introduced in response to wider changes, issues or discussions within the sector, and it’s important that organisations take part in order to stay relevant.

For instance, diversity and unconscious bias training are being encouraged widely across the charity sector to tackle endemic discrimination, racism, sexism and ableism. These developments, encouraged by movements like #CharitySoWhite and #NonGraduatesWelcome, are important and necessary to dismantle institutional inequality and grow as an organisation.

Candidates want to know that you are actively responding to movements within the sector. Training isn’t a quick fix, though. This isn’t about virtue signalling or ticking boxes for the sake of it, candidates, and existing employees, want to see a genuine commitment to change—especially when it comes to diversity training.

Showcase your commitment to your team

From the job advert to the interview, the tone of your recruitment process counts. Candidates see far more than you think and can get a feel for the work environment from just a few short bits of copy. So, shout about how you’re going to invest in them. Tell them throughout the process the different ways in which you can help them grow and develop their career further.

Don’t treat recruitment as a one-way street. You have to sell yourself too—it’s not all up to the candidate. More often than not, the best candidates are caught between offers and will pick their chosen role based on those interactions. So, tell them about all of the amazing training and development programmes you offer, because they’ll remember it when they find themselves stuck between job offers. And you don’t want to miss out on top talent.

Tags: employee development, looking after your staff, pay and benefits, supporting your team, training and development

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About the author

Rosalie Minnitt

Rosalie Minnitt is a freelance writer, comedian and journalist with experience in the arts and charity sector. She has been published in Funny Women and Journo Resources, and was most recently featured on BBC Radio.