5 Reasons Why You Should Up-skill Your Own Talent Before You Hire New Staff

Posted on June 30, 2021

When it comes to building a superstar team that can exceed all of your expectations as a manager, you might instinctively want to hire in new talent that will close skill gaps that you’ve noticed crop up in your existing team time and time again. Below, we give you five reasons why that instinct is leading you astray, why you should invest in the team that you already have now, and how you can enable growth in your team.


1. It costs less in the long run

As a manager, you know that hiring in new talent isn’t exactly an inexpensive process; whether you use a recruiter or choose to find someone yourself, you’re either paying in time or money.

In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that hiring a new salaried employee can cost from six to nine months worth of their salary on average. The average salary in the UK is £27,721 which would mean that recruitment would cost from £13,000 to £20,000.

Not only will you need to find the room in your budget for a whole other salary, but you then have to consider recruiters fees, the cost of the hours that you and several other people in your business would have to spend during the recruiting process, and getting the new recruit up to speed with how your business runs. 

2. They’re more likely to stay in the job for longer

SHRM also found, with data from a study of 32 million people on LinkedIn, that employees who are not only given the opportunity to rise through the ranks but also the opportunity to move laterally are 70% and 62% respectively more likely to stay at a business for more than three years than their counterparts that aren’t. Without this opportunity, that number decreases to just 45%.

In fact, it seems that businesses that don’t afford their employees opportunities to advance their career internally only have a long term employee retention rate of 38%. 

When you train and up-skill your team members, they stick around

3. They already know the business so can hit the ground running and perform quicker

Bringing in new team members means delays in results as they get to grips with their new role, new team, and new company. According to Training Industry Quarterly it can take one to two years before a new employee is ‘fully productive’ and is able to be as productive as current team members. That’s a lot of time – and results – lost.

There are many reasons why new recruits can take so long to become productive, including a lack of encouragement and management having the time to support them fully. By up-skilling and closing skill gaps with current employees through training, you’ll miss out on months – maybe even years – of less results while a new team member gets to grips with their new job.

4. It saves managers and senior team members time

The previous point leads nicely into reason number four; the amount of time that it takes managers or senior team members to get new recruits up to speed will not only mean wasted money by paying them to do something that isn’t their day to day job, it also means less productivity from the entire team.

The Boston Consulting Group found that the on-boarding and training experience is the second most influential when it comes to new employee success and productivity, so if you or senior members of your team don’t have the time to invest in this then you’re likely to face the same problem some months down the line.

5. New employees need training anyway

As we’ve already discussed, a new team member is going to need training on the job anyway, even if they possess a skill that plugs a gap in your team.

The likelihood of a new recruit joining your team and working to the same level of your existing team members and getting the same results is minuscule… so doesn’t it just make more sense to close the skill gaps in your existing team?


Interested in up-skilling your current talent?

Research from the World Economic Forum has shown that employers can re-skill up to 25% of their employees themselves, but with help from the government that number can increase to 77%. 

The Apprenticeship Levy does exactly that – it is essentially a pot of money that your business is likely paying into but not utilising for free training. Even if your business is not paying the Levy, the government will still foot 95% of the bill, meaning that your team members would receive a high quality Business Analyst qualification for just 5% of the cost.

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