Employee training is no longer a nice to have. Companies that don’t invest in training won’t attract the best employees, usually have higher employee turnover and lag behind in the market.

In fact, consulting firm Bersin by Deloitte reports that training and development is by far the most coveted job benefit for millennials, outpacing cash bonuses by eight percent and flexible work hours by three percent.

Training is essential at all stages of the employee lifecycle—from before you even hire someone to when they leave the company.

What is the employee lifecycle?

The employee lifecycle is a human resources model that defines the stages of an employee’s career with the company to help guide and manage the process.

It involves the following stages:

  • Attraction
  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding
  • Enablement
  • Development
  • Retention
  • Separation

In this seven-part blog series, we’ll discuss why and how to implement a good training program to support each stage of the employee lifecycle.

Let’s start with how you will catch the eye of the best candidates.

Most candidates do research before they even apply for a job. They will look at company reviews and ask their networks for first-hand feedback. A huge factor of the decision-making process is training. Does this company offer ways to develop new skills and progress up the career ladder? Will the company support my growth not only as an employee, but also as a person?

As an employer, offering a diverse set of learning options helps in two ways. First, engaged workers talk about the company in a good light. So, the more you offer development training and continuous education to your current employees, the more likely they will post positive reviews and speak well about their experience.

Second, candidates are looking for places where they can grow and learn. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, “…when it comes to further acquiring the skills they need for their job, 72 percent of employees said they value specialized training over earning a degree.”

Candidates will look to employers to supply and often pay for these trainings. In fact, many companies are starting to guarantee a certain number of hours of training per year as part of their compensation package. According to this Tech Republic article, the Knowledge Development Centers “promises prospective employees 15 days of training their first year to help get the best people in the door.”

Training is important at the first stage of the employee lifecycle because it’s a huge part of why candidates will spend their time and effort learning more—and even pay attention to your company at all.

Now that you have a better understanding of why it’s important to have training at the attraction stage, you next need to know the best practices.

Training isn’t one size fits all. What you offer should depend on the needs of your organization—and you shouldn’t just guess at what those needs are. You can do a structured needs analysis to determine what will give you the best results. It’s important to do a needs analysis and reevaluate your training program once a year as well.

How you deliver training and your learning management system is crucial. The modern workforce wants easy access to relevant, bite-sized information in real time. Often this means making sure your training options can be consumed on mobile devices and are shown in very short segments. You’ll need an LMS that incorporates these options as well as allows you to easily deploy and track progress.

With the right set of courses and tools, you can implement a stellar training program that will attract the best candidates.

Next, we talk about the impact of training during the Recruiting stage. Check it out!