Re-skilling staff is better than recruiting

With IT people in short supply shouldn't organisations consider promoting and reskilling people from within rather than looking for outside recruits? Recruiting new staff is expensive and risky - new starters may not mesh with your company culture and their skills can sometimes be different from those trumpeted on a CV. Existing employees have a great advantage: they’re a known quantity and they know a corporate culture. So isn't it better to upskill their existing IT staff as opposed to looking externally for new talent?

Posted by Brian Andrew Runciman on 29th Nov 2016
Login to join the conversation

Vote cast

Strongly Agree : 36 %
Agree : 50 %
Disagree : 7 %
Strongly Disagree : 7 %

Comments (8)

Gary Mailer

04 April 2017

Totally agree that on the face of it upskilling of existing resources is the way to go. However there does remain the open question of whether organisations fully appreciate the time and effort needed to successfully achieve this. Will they for example 'allow' those resources who are being re-skilled to reduce their 'day to day' output during the training period?

If the re-skilling is expected to be done in parallel with normal BAU roles then there is a challenge coming over the hill

Leonard Keighley

29 March 2017

I think this may be being over simplified, for an existing team member to be reskilled or upskilled probably means that their current role is either disappearing or will generate another vacancy. So it is not an either or decision, recruiting somewhere may still be needed. Bottom line is it is easier to recruit, all the negatives of that only kick in after it is completed. If this holds true the company ends up with two 'untried' employees from a reskilling approach while only one from a recruitment only approach.

Peter Robert Stockdale

30 December 2016

Maintaining skills and competencies for existing staff in the IT sector is requirement for IT to keep delivering services and being an integral part of a business.

But there are so many ways to provide training, when new system are installed as part of the hand over. On line courses and other self study, or the most expensive and more difficult such as professional qualification and technical certification.

Although in the climate of cost, value and profit I can see having more staff on shorter fixed term contracts certainly allows for a continuous flow of new trained qualified staff up to the latest standard. Not an approach I would endorse or support.

Christopher Fellowes

15 December 2016

This is a wide ranging issue across other industries too - is it to do with where training budgets sit?, or perhaps a lack of training budgets? - my experiences of this are that it is often a very small portion of overall department spend, often without enough factored in to cover the entire team - yet if a new head is required this generally comes out of a central budget and is therefore simpler to sign off.

So many more positive reasons to invest in your team though!

John Albert Mitchell

12 December 2016

Although it is useful to bring new blood into an organisation to obtain new views and ideas, this is often more expensive than reskilling current employees. Reskilling also removes the gap between someone leaving and the new person taking their place.

Perry Perrott

06 December 2016

I have been reading some articles recently on this topic and here is the findings from one of them on the benefits of training up your own staff rather than trying to recruit:

Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees •Increased employee motivation •Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain •Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods •Increased innovation in strategies and products •Reduced employee turnover •Enhanced company image, e.g., conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training!) •Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training

If this is not a compelling reason, then ask any HR manager!

James Hammond

05 December 2016

Businesses still see upskilling/investing in staff as more of a risk than recruiting new people into their businesses, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Thivanka Manjula Hewa Colomba Vithanage

02 December 2016

This will have mixed results I'd say. Initial competency analysis on your workforce will give you a better overview on the skill force you own in the organisation. Based on that it is wise to decide on developing more IT skills or to source from outside. Another plus factor would be the benefit of employee retention since it would grow when current employees are given opportunities to learn and develop further.