Recruit and Retain Talented Workers with Education Benefits

The ability of a company to recruit and retain qualified workers is essentials to its productivity. Whether manufacturing a product or delivering a service, a company’s labor force impacts sustainability, growth and profitability.

The Challenge to Recruit and Retain Workers
It isn’t easy for companies to recruit and retain workers that have the right skill sets, but there are actions they can take to make their talent recruitment and retention successful. According to The US Chamber of Commerce Worker Availability Ratio there are .88 workers available for each job opening and 28 US states have more job openings than available workers. The skills gap and lack of available of workers with skills and credentials that employers need increase the sense of urgency that employers face.

The top three labor goals of US employers, according to the US Chamber of Commerce report Hiring in the Modern Talent Marketplace are to recruit top talent, reduce the time to hire talent and retain more talent. In their work to recruit talent with the necessary skills:
• 59 percent of companies say it is more difficult to find qualified candidates than it was three years ago.
• 52 percent say the time to hire is a problem, with it taking one to three months to fill a position.

Being able to retain talent is also difficult for businesses. The Work Institute 2018 Retention Report states that one in three workers will quit their jobs in 2020. This is very costly for businesses with the cost of replacing an employee averaging 33 percent of the employee’s base pay, considering the direct costs and lost productivity.

Best Practices to Recruit and Retain Talent
The Work Institute 2018 Retention Report also states that 77 percent of voluntary job losses could be prevented by employers. The number one reason people leave their jobs is for career development, seeking opportunities for career growth and achievement. “As career opportunities increase, employers must take steps to understand the needs, preferences and goals of their workers or miss out on opportunities to keep workers that they need.”

There are several actions employers can take to offer opportunities that will recruit and retain talented employees.

First, education initiatives will create opportunities for employees to grow and for employers to find employees interested in staying with a company. Developing education programs has become a mainstream solution for employers. Less than 20 percent of companies do not actively work with an education partner.

Companies that do not have education partners will be at a disadvantage when it comes to their ability to recruit and retain talent. Education benefits administrator Edcor offers several hundred partner schools to its clients. The educational opportunities offered through these institutions develop qualified employees for Edcor clients as well as providing tuition discounts and value-added incentives for students.

Second, creating clear employee career paths will help businesses recruit and retain employees. Champlain College Online, a partner school in Edcor’s Preferred School Network, conducted a survey of adult learners. In this survey only about half of the working adult students felt they had a visible career pathway with their current employer and felt that their employer did a good job supporting career development opportunities. Considering that career development is the main reason workers quit their jobs, and considering the challenge to replace workers, making career pathways clear to workers is a powerful way to recruit and retain workers.

Third, create a company brand that emphasizes employee education and career opportunities. HR Dive reports that 80 percent of hiring managers believe their company brand is important for recruiting employees. Creating a culture that emphasizes educational opportunities will attract employees that want to grow professionally.

Business growth runs parallel to training for employees. Providing opportunities for employees to reskill to meet changing work demands and responsibilities will create opportunities for businesses to recruit and retain high-level employees.