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Fit for the marathon: What makes companies strong in the race for talent

A wave of employees seeking change and a skills shortage are creating challenges for companies. How can they occupy a stronger position on the employment market by offering training opportunities?

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The big change

The wave of employees seeking change and the growing skills shortage continue to keep companies on tenterhooks. There also appears to be no reversal of the trend on the horizon. Nevertheless, there is a great deal that companies can do to strengthen their position in the “race for talent” and secure their success in the long term.

Roughly half of the global workforce is considering a change of job in the coming year. Incidentally, a large number of managers are also part of this trend (Microsoft Work Trend Index 2022).

Indispensable employees – a company’s most valuable resource – are bailing out. And new talent is hard to find. In Germany, for example, there are currently around 550,000 vacant positions for skilled workers – and the figure is rising. The fact that this situation costs German companies a lot of money and hinders their growth is no secret.

At Brainbirds, however, we say that the actual problem is a different one: The “race for talent” is not a sprint, but a marathon. Companies could strengthen themselves from the inside out in the long term by investing in employees. Yet too many of them are still failing to take advantage of this opportunity.

A need for internal training opportunities

What can companies do to set themselves apart from others in the great race for skilled workers? To inspire talent not only in the short term, but also retain such talent in the long term and thus secure the company’s success? In order to answer these questions, it is worth taking a look at what employees currently require of their jobs.

A positive, appreciative work and corporate culture in which people feel mentally and physically comfortable is very important for job satisfaction. They also need to see their role as having some kind of purpose or benefit and want a suitable workload, flexible working hours, and a healthy work-life balance. This is where many companies are already making a start and creating better conditions. Yet another top priority is often overlooked: personal and professional development and training. Employees want opportunities to develop and grow with the company.

Companies should therefore also think about how they can give people this opportunity. Internal training opportunities make a company much more attractive. Partly on the inside: They make the employees feel appreciated, build their self-confidence, and bolster their commitment. As a result, they can identify more with their employer and remain loyal for longer. Partly on the outside: It increases the likelihood that existing employees will recommend the employer to others within their own network. In addition, promotion and development opportunities are often more attractive to applicants than the salary. This is an important consideration in companies where the budget is limited.

Benefits for the company

With targeted programs, companies can quickly develop the specific skills that are most important to their long-term success. And they can do so at a comparatively low cost. That’s because the internal talent search is usually faster, which means that there is no costly long-term vacancy. It also eliminates the costs associated with lengthy recruitment processes.

In addition, the equally expensive risk of hiring the wrong person for the role decreases. After all, a company's own people are already familiar with its processes, requirements, goals, and culture. And they are able to identify with it. The company is also already aware of its employees’ strengths, can draw on them immediately, and fill specific gaps, particularly if it has built up talent pools over time.

It is clear that with its own talented individuals, the company can achieve its goals more quickly and effectively. With its clever minds on board, nothing can stand in the way of its continued development so that it remains fit for the future.

Training as a recipe for success

Continuous internal training and talent development is therefore not just a nice bonus for valued employees. It represents a long-term business positioning and success strategy. Especially in a business world where there is international competition for skilled workers and creative minds.

It is therefore worthwhile to consider now what the company needs in terms of skills, qualifications, and roles. Particularly with regard to future business goals. The company should then take a targeted approach to looking at its own people and developing individual support programs for them in conjunction with experts such as Brainbirds. Taking these measures now and equipping employees with the right skills gives companies the staying power they need in order to go the whole distance in the talent marathon.

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