What was once considered a standard feature of the vast majority of jobs, on the job training is now scarcely offered. Perks like tuition and certification reimbursement are a little more common, but even these can’t be found at every company. If technical training has gone the way of the Dodo bird at your organization, you’re asking for these 4 pesky, major problems to crop up and derail the success of your development team.
1. Lengthy, Costly Hiring Processes: You have a laundry list of skills—some of which are required, some of which are just preferred—that you want every developer you hire to have. If this list exceeds 3 technologies or includes technologies that aren’t considered common, you’ll have a hard time finding the ideal candidate you’re searching for. And, when you have a hard time, your whole development process slows to a crawl as you spend buckets and buckets of time and money searching for the perfect candidate, the exact right fit. A better approach to this conundrum is to hire for problem solving skills, analytical abilities, and learning capacity. Find a technical professional who fits well within your culture, has those aforementioned essential soft skills, and who has experience with some of the technical skills you’re after. Then, train them on the job with the rest! They’ll be happy for the opportunity to learn and more likely to stick around if they know they can grow their skills on the job.
2. High Turnover Rates: Speaking of the chance to grow their skills on the job, these days, technical professionals are in higher demand and shorter supply than ever. So, how do they choose from a wealth of job opportunities at their feet? They look for the chance to learn and grow at work. If your company offers training opportunities, you’ll be more likely to attract and retain talented technical professionals. If not, you can expect high turnover rates as many technical professionals will spend a year or two at your organization before moving on to a company that does offer training and growth opportunities.
3. Damage to Employees’ Work-life Balance: It’s essential for every technical professional to keep their skills sharp and up to date. If they aren’t doing any of this in your office (due to a lack of training opportunities or designated time to learn on the job), they’ll have to do it all in their free time. This significantly restricts the free time of your technical professionals and throws their work-life balance off its axis in a way that flextime just can’t fix. If your company values work-life balance, offering on the job training is an essential part of that which shouldn’t be overlooked.
4. Tech Stagnation: Finally, if you’re not offering on the job training and the technical professionals who work for you don’t have enough free time to stay up to date on their skills, tech stagnation is inevitable. This puts your company at a serious competitive disadvantage and could lead to major, costly technical overhauls down the road that could easily be avoided.
The cost—both in time and in actual dollars—of training your technical team on the job (or allowing them the time, freedom, and opportunity to learn new skills on the job, at the very least) is well worth it in the end. You can avoid these 4 major problems and attract the best possible technical talent to your organization. Who wouldn’t want that?