We explore the benefits of hiring new employees vs. training members of your current team and the varying scenarios that could determine that decision.
Hiring a new member of staff often provides your team with a fresh injection of energy and new expertise. When your company grows and your hiring strategy evolves, it can be tempting to mobilize your recruiters and start head-hunting for the perfect fit. But have you stopped to think about whether you can train your current employees to step up to these new roles? What are the advantages and disadvantages of training employees, and how do they vary according to the size of your business and the industry you’re in? Although both internal training and external recruitment can be beneficial, there are varying factors that determine which is best for your business.
Training current employees saves time and money
According to the Association for Talent Development’s 2016 State of the Industry Report, hiring and training a new member of staff costs on average $1,252 USD. Even when your new staff hire is very experienced, it still takes a long time to get them proficient in your preferred systems and company-specific skills.
The cost of hiring and training a new employee depends on the size of your business, but it usually costs more for a small business than medium or large companies. That’s because large companies are more likely to recruit several employees at once, so they can scale the costs of training.
But money isn’t the only resource that’s used when you hire someone new. The same report from ATD states that employers use an average of 33.5 training hours per new employee. In this case, smaller businesses tend to spend less time on training because there are generally fewer processes and systems to learn.
When you train a member of your current team to step into a new role or take on new tasks in your company, they will already know the processes and systems used in your business. That means all training will be focused on the additional skills needed.
However, this may not be the case when the new role is highly specialized — when hiring a back-end developer or a senior designer, for example. In those cases, it takes considerable time and money for your current employees to learn those skills. They would likely need to take time out of work to attend courses to gain proficiency. In this case, it would be less expensive to hire someone new who has experience in their field.
Whether you decide to train your current employees or recruit externally depends on the size of your business and whether the role can only be filled by someone with specialized expertise that doesn’t exist in your current team.
External recruitment brings new skills and perspectives
To expand further on this idea, the decision to train members of your current team or recruit externally is largely dependent on the role being filled. If, for example, your business has grown to the extent that you need a new head of marketing, it might make more sense to hire someone new who has extensive experience so that they can bring their contacts and relationships with them when they join.
The same applies for roles that are based on strong contacts. A good example is when looking to hire a PR professional. Although it would be possible to teach a current member of your team the skills needed to fit a PR role, it would be much more beneficial to your company to hire someone who has a full contact book of journalists and magazines.
And, especially for small businesses that are growing, hiring a new staff member can inject fresh energy into the company and add interesting new perspectives that will help your team grow.
Breaking into new markets
Some hiring managers may think that in order to break into markets abroad, they need an employee who speaks that language at a native level. However, there is another way. Introducing digital language learning to your team is one way to provide your current employees with the tools to take on new challenges.
Perhaps, for example, you’re looking to expand into the Portuguese market. You have a loyal, dedicated employee who’s been working hard to step into a new position for a while and has all the qualifications needed for the job — except they don’t speak Portuguese very well. Rather than recruiting someone who is fluent in Portuguese, why not give your loyal employee the opportunity to improve their language skills themselves? There’s no greater incentive to learn a new language than an opportunity to progress their career. And getting learners speaking fast is exactly what we’re known for at Babbel.
The cost of Babbel is significantly lower than the cost of hiring and training a new employee. Our language learning platform includes 1:1 or group online classes with certified teachers, so the learners will soon be able to speak with confidence. Babbel also offers learning paths — handpicked courses tailored to specific industries — that way learners can absorb their new language according to their professional needs. The next time an opportunity abroad arises, think about which members of your current team could be great for the role — and then get in touch with Babbel!
Training employees increases loyalty and motivation
When a company makes a habit of training employees to give them opportunities to progress, the rest of the team will see that those opportunities are open to them as well. On the other hand, when someone new is hired in the place of a current employee who could just as easily have been trained to fit the role, it’s likely that person will feel demotivated and look for work elsewhere.
Giving your employees opportunities to develop significantly helps motivate and increase loyalty within your company and grooms the future leaders of your enterprise. It’s great for team spirit because it encourages competitiveness. If there are opportunities to progress internally, employees will apply themselves consistently and over a long period of time to ensure they’re a front-runner when the next opportunity for promotion arises.
If you’re interested in digital language learning for your team, then Babbel for Business could be a great fit. You can get in touch with our team here.