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When to Upskill Current Talent vs. Hiring an Outside Candidate

When hiring these days, there are two choices: Recruit from outside the organization or upskill your internal teams. Ironically, promoting existing staff could place you right back into the position of filling a hiring gap, of course. But upskilling current teams have some great benefits for the organization. At the same time, a fresh infusion of talent from outside the organization could be exactly what you need. So, which approach is better? When should you seek outside talent vs. when should you upskill your existing staff? We have some suggestions to consider.

Pros and Cons of Upskilling Current Staff

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re in a bit of a dilemma related to finding talent. There are big hiring shortages in just about every industry in the nation. This has caused many employers to consider upskilling their current teams to stretch their skill levels. It’s a particularly positive approach for older candidates who may face the prospect of a layoff as jobs change and require new skills. But it also gives a ready-made ladder to climb for less experienced, ambitious employees. Upskilling also builds loyalty among your teams that can help with retention.

On the flip side, it can be expensive to retrain existing workers. It is also difficult to determine the skill levels of your workforce if your company is a large one. Upskilling is an individualized process that can be a tough undertaking when teams are dispersed or quite large. It’s also a challenge when companies have an immediate need. There’s no way that some companies could take the time to upskill when they need help yesterday. That’s where conducting a recruiting effort outside the organization can really pay off.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Hiring Outside Talent

There is a clear cost associated with hiring outside talent, whether you use internal recruiting teams or an external resource. But it is this infusion of new blood that often freshens up the perspective of teams who have gone stale.

Too, natural attrition, as baby boomers retire, requires that organizations continue to add talent to their internal labor resources. These external resources can come with the latest knowledge about their trade as well as competitive intelligence from the companies they’ve left that could help your organization. With that said, the hiring market is very challenging.

The reality today is that it’s not an either/or scenario. Employers can’t afford to upskill current employees or hire outside talent—in fact, they must do both to stay ahead of the labor shortages plaguing every business today. Gecko Hospitality can help your business find the talent needed when the time is right. Find out how we can help your business. Call on us.


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