Ongoing skill development is essential to building a successful career. Regardless of the profession, employers expect candidates’ skill to be up-to-date and relevant to the latest technology and best practices for their field.
Who should be in charge of making sure that consultants get the skill development they need to be successful? I would like to argue that it’s the staffing industry’s responsibility to drive the majority of their training. Unfortunately, staffing-firm endorsed skill development is not as prominent as it should be. Many fear that after investing in training, their newly marketable candidates will leave the firm, taking their new and improved skillset with them.
This fear-based justification doesn’t quite align with studies or my own professional experience. Here are four reasons why I think staffing firms should invest in employee skill development:
Excellent retention tool. Contrary to the fears stated above, providing skills training has been proven to increase candidate retention, reduce turnover and in effect lower recruiting costs. The reason is simple: candidates are more likely to stay with a staffing firm that helps them grow in their careers.
More engaged and productive candidates. Candidates with top-notch skillsets are more interested in their work. Engaged employees are happier with their workplace and more constructive, resulting in up to 21% increased productivity.
Differentiator for customers and consultants. Company-provided training can have an extremely positive impact on the firm’s internal and external image. For example, providing consultant training enhances Akraya’s reputation as a company that values its consultants and is dedicated to growth and innovation. Both customers and employees celebrate these values.
Stronger talent pool. Consultants with up-to-date skillsets are more deployable. With increased engagement and productivity, their contracts are also more likely to be extended.
Great places to work invest in developing consultant skills and you’ll find that your consultants are more likely to refer coworkers to contract with your company for doing so. Additionally, potential contractors view career training as a major perk. Akraya uses skill development to attract top talent and our investment is a point of great pride.
I hope that I have convinced you to consider offering company-endorsed training for your consultants. I am confident that you will find the rewards for doing so far outweigh the risks. When a company invests in its consultants, consultants invest in the company.