Hiring Despite a Knowledge Gap

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If you’ve ever hired a new employee, you know what a headache it can be. A recent study of 37,000 global employers found that 36% of respondents had trouble filling available positions. So if you find yourself sorting through dozens – if not hundreds – of resumes and cover letters and can only find a few candidates with potential, you’re not alone.

Let’s see say you’ve brought in those few candidates for interviews and at the end of the day you are left with a choice between two of them. Employee A has all the skills you require and the necessary experience, but you know they won’t be a good fit for your organization (either thanks to their attitude or constant job hopping in the past). Employee B would fit into your corporate culture perfectly, has a spotless job history, but is lacking some of the necessary skills the position demands.

Who do you choose?

The correct answer is Employee B. Why? Because you can teach the technical skills he requires to do his job well. However, it is much more difficult to teach someone like Employee A to be a good employee and how to fit in with your organization.

So now that you’ve hired Employee B, how do you fill in the knowledge gaps he needs? The same way you fill in the knowledge gaps of your other employees. Through professional development and training.

However, unlike with current employees whose professional development needs are a little harder to identify, you should have a better idea of exactly what kind of training your new hire needs. You can assign them certain courses to take through your online professional development platform if use one. You can offer in-house training if necessary. And if further education is needed, you can even offer your employee some sort of incentive to continue their education in a more traditional setting.

Does it sound like you’re spending a lot of money on this new hire? While it does cost money to train new hires to fit the position, it is money well spent. Investing in professional development for employees not only increases their level of engagement, it drastically reduces turnover rate. And with the average cost of replacing an employee between $3,000 and $8,000 for low to mid range jobs, the cost of investing in your new hire’s professional development will seem like a worthy (and comparatively cheap) investment.