Learning & Development, Recruiting

Preemployment Training as a Retention Tool

The idea of training employees before you hire them might seem a bit nonsensical at first. For one, there is seemingly no need to train people who aren’t actually going to work for you. Theoretically, they could even end up taking a job with a competitor. But some argue that pretraining may be a valuable recruitment and retention tool.

Source: Tashatuvango / Shutterstock

Preemployment Training and Recruitment

First, let’s consider the recruitment side. Again, it might sound strange to teach prospective employees the necessary skills for the job before deciding whether to hire them. But some people are more adept than others at learning new skills, and some are better at some skills than others.

“Pre-employment training gives you the opportunity to teach candidates the skills that your company needs, and then take your pick from those that did best during their training (and, as such, can be expected to do well when they start working),” says Nikos Andriotis.

Those who show a strong aptitude during preemployment training can also be expected to do well at learning additional skills as they take on additional responsibilities in your organization.

Preemployment Training and Retention

In terms of retention, preemployment training can help employees hit the ground running with confidence in their abilities to perform in their new role.

“One of the reasons new employees leave is the stress of discovering that their new positions require skills that they lack,” says Andriotis.

“Unfortunately, there’s only so much hiring interviews can tell about one’s skills until they’ve applied them in practice.” Andriotis adds that another reason employees leave a company is they don’t feel like they fit in with the culture. “Here too, pre-employment training and onboarding can serve as a pre-screening step for employees that might not be a good cultural fit,” he says.

Training staff after they’ve been hired would seem like the most logical flow of events in the onboarding process. But assuming it involves a relatively limited investment in time and resources, providing some training upfront can help gauge which candidates are most likely to succeed in required tasks and can also give them additional confidence that may aid in long-term retention.