Training and Education is Essential to Entry-Level Workers’ Success

22 May

Recent college graduates need formal on-the-job training opportunities.

It's always beneficial for a company's employees – especially if they are recent graduates in entry-level positions – to receive formal on-the-job training to help them advance their careers and skill sets. A recent survey by management consulting firm Accenture found that employers often don't provide training and education opportunities to college graduates in entry-level jobs, despite these workers needing to enhance their abilities and to receive support from their employers to succeed.

While developing or implementing training programs can be expensive for some companies, HR professionals should be behind giving workers the education they need to do their jobs properly and to stay at the company a long time. In fact, most young employees expect their employers to provide them with formal training. When it comes to training talent, HR professionals shouldn't discount the long-term monetary benefits of having satisfied, educated workers at the company. 

Disparity Between Recent Grads' Training Expectations and Reality
According to Accenture's "2014 College Graduate Employment Survey," there are significant contrasts between what the graduate class of 2014 anticipates about the workplace and what the classes of 2012 and 2013 have experienced. Of the 1,010 participants from the class of 2014, 80 percent anticipate receiving training from their first employers. However, of the 1,005 survey respondents from the two previous graduate classes, only 48 percent actually underwent formal training at their first jobs.

Employers May Need to Rethink Their Lack of Employee Training
A Harvard Business Review blog noted that there may be numerous reasons behind an employer's decision not to provide training and education to their entry-level workers or those who recently graduated from college or university. Since training can be costly for employers and there continues to be many experienced employees looking for jobs, some companies may not think it is worth it to provide workers without the necessary skills training to bring them up to the needed skill level. Instead, some may consider weeding out these employees to be less costly. However, employers may be missing out on taking advantage of top performers with a talent for leadership by taking this type of approach to young employees' training and education.

An article on TLNT by Eric Chester, a workforce expert, and Mark Sanborn, president of leadership development company Sanborn and Associates, suggested employers start looking for leadership qualities in workers right when they enter the workforce. Training young employees – or "firsters" as the article calls them – can seem as if it is unneeded, that these workers should learn on their own like their older counterparts, but Chester and Sanborn noted mentorships and other types of skill development opportunities can lead to higher profits for the business and highlight which workers have the potential to be leaders at the organization.

When HR professionals bring in recent college graduates, they need to be prepared to be expected to provide formal career and skill development to these workers. The training and education of talented employees is a critical part of HR departments, and human resources professionals can't forget that entry-level workers may require development opportunities more than other other demographic in the workplace.

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