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How to Use Talent Development as a Recruitment Strategy

Blonde woman shaking hands while having an interview in officeTalent development is becoming increasingly important to both organizations and their employees. According to the 2019 L&D Report compiled by, more than half of those working in senior management roles believe that L&D (Learning and Development) gives their organization a competitive advantage. 

This might well be because that same report showed that employees at organizations that put L&D at the heart of what they do have a 22% lower staff turnover rate and are far more likely to have more satisfied employees. It is, therefore, no great surprise that 72% of market-leading organizations use L&D in their recruitment strategy, with just over half making it their central pillar. But what makes a good L&D strategy? And how do you build it into your recruitment strategy? Read on to find out.


What Makes a Great L&D Strategy?

A great L&D strategy is built around professional development, but it should also complement personal growth. L&D should develop and hone skills that boost your organization but are also useful to the employee. For example, running communication and leadership courses for your entire team can not only develop their skill sets, but also boost morale and the cohesiveness of the team. Similarly, less organization-specific courses, for example, basic yoga or a 101 course in a language, can also be enjoyable and good for team dynamics. A great L&D strategy also encourages employees to come forward and carry out training. If a member of your team has great IT skills, valuable experience in communication or an additional language, why not ask them to come forward and lead a class? Aside from in-house talent, a great L&D strategy also brings in external training professionals to deliver and help develop your team. In short: a great L&D strategy utilizes both in-house and external talent.


How to Build a Great L&D Strategy in Your Recruitment Strategy


Look at your Applicant's Skills Sets

Whether or not they progress to the interview stage, looking at your applicants' hard and soft skills will give you a good insight into the type of applicants you are attracting to your job openings. If their hard skills generally match your vacancies well, then take a look at their soft skills. Soft skills like customer service and leadership can help take your organization forward. Ask yourself: do your applicants generally have these skills? Are they up to a high standard? Identifying gaps like these will help you with your next step.


Put Competency Tests in Place

If your applicants generally have skills gaps in specific areas, putting a competency test in place during the recruitment process can help you to see how big the gap is. It will also help you to better see which applicants are fast and, more importantly, willing learners. Much of tomorrow's workforce actively want to upskill and expand their repertoire, so willingness and motivation should not be a problem.


Ask about Upskilling Experience

When you take applicants through to the interview stage, be sure to ask them about their experience with upskilling and their overall personal development. Even if an applicant is a fresh graduate, they are still likely to have upskilling experience through their education and any part-time jobs that they might have previously had. Learning how to write essays, argue your case during exams and even carry out a stock take in the dairy aisle are all good examples of upskilling that can demonstrate a capacity and, more importantly, a want to upskill. A great applicant should be enthusiastic about the prospect of upskilling, particularly if your organization can offer them a great L&D program.


Let Onboarding Take a Little Longer

Of course, you want your fantastic new talent on the job and working and achieving as quickly as possible. But taking a little longer with your onboarding process can actually work to your advantage. The more a new recruit knows and the more skills they have been able to develop and fine-tune, the more ably they can dive into their new role. The more ably they can dive in, the more quickly a new recruit can help grow and strengthen your organization, leaving their mark on it as they do so. An L&D-led recruitment strategy should, in the short-term, prioritize professional development goals over your overall organizational goals.


The Key Points

A great L&D strategy that builds on your team’s skills, highlighting the existing skills within your team and bringing in professionals who can impart new skills is a great mix. Upskilling your team as a whole can boost the overall morale and cohesiveness of your team.

Putting your great L & D strategy into your recruitment process requires carrying out research on your applicants and thinking about their upskilling and professional development experience. Remember, willingness is key when it comes to this. Finally, don’t worry about letting onboarding take a little longer. After all, great talent helps to grow your organization and strengthen your position within your market. Why not start nurturing them from day one?


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About the Author: Luke Sandford is a writer and content producer at Educations Media Group. Currently based in Lund, he is originally from the UK and graduated from Goldsmiths College, Univeristy of London in 2018 with a BA in Education. He has since written for several outlets and has worked as an English teacher, both at home and abroad. Luke's passion for travelling and experiencing new cultures directly impacts his work as he seeks to create engaging, informative and useful content for a wide audience.

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