Hire slow and train to stay

A successful talent pipeline that keeps a company moving forward requires a minimum of three years to achieve, says Juliette Fourie, CEO and founder of Metro Minds. Such a pipeline allows not only for talented prospects to be identified early, but also to be retained and aligned to a business strategy.

“The recruitment for the first year of talent is therefore extremely important,” says Fourie, indicating these are the employees identified to keep, grow and develop the company. Training, she says, plays a critical role in such a pipeline, ensuring that staff are aligned to the business strategy. “Strategies are often focused on compliance rather than what the business needs. There are wonderful vehicles like learnerships, internship, graduate programmes and simulations which can assist in such a strategy.”

Fourie is a firm believer in the ‘hire slow and train to stay’ principle. “People are far more productive and perform much better when they are invested in. ”Recruiting and then training staff, however, is not always an easy task for any business. “There are numerous challenges,” explains Fourie. “The numeracy and literacy proficiencies from school leavers certainly is one. It is not great and really has an impact on basic calculation and communication skills. Secondly, graduates entering the workplace with no experience but with a perception of quick and instant growth into an organisation can also be difficult to manage.”

Studies indicate that more than 50% of new, inexperienced job entrants lack critical thinking, 46% lack industry experience and 45% don’t have enough general business acumen. Without a formal talent pipeline that is actively recruiting and training new staff, companies can find themselves dealing with serious skills gaps. “The majority of new hires require extra coaching and training to get them up to speed,” says Fourie. “One of our big challenges, however, is funding models versus strategy for development,” says Fourie.

“A lot of drive for training comes from whether an organisation has received Seta funding or not. The BBBEE scores are also important to them and training is determined dependent on how many points are gained.” Whilst this is completely understandable, it does however make planning an academic year extremely difficult – especially to transfer skills from one year to the next into new qualifications. According to Fourie, Metro Minds continues to focus on its digital platform as well as virtual reality learning methodologies, a growing industry trend.

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