People Magazine

Almost all candidates will consider L&D opportunities when choosing between two job offers, survey reveals

Experts report significant increase in employees wanting to learn amid the ‘Great Upskill’, and urge businesses to re-evaluate strategies to meet the need by Mahalia Mayne 27 April 2023.

Almost all (92 per cent) job candidates use learning and development opportunities as a deciding factor when considering job offers from two employers, a survey shows.

The study by e-learning solutions provider IMC found a rising trend among workers wanting their employers to provide more opportunities for learning and development, billing it the ‘Great Upskill’.

The findings follow a push for the UK government to promote upskilling efforts for present employees after the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee asked for its help. 

When asked if he was seeing people leaning into their careers as the report suggests, Stephen Adams, founder and director of Inspirational Coaching, said that an increasing number of organisations were requesting soft skills training. “In particular, the demand for techniques to develop essential skills such as communication, resilience and problem solving have seen a significant upturn,” he said.

To satisfy the demands of their colleagues, L&D departments must reconsider their strategies, said Adams, explaining that instead of using a “sheep dip one-size-fits-all” approach, departments should adopt a consultative approach that enables colleagues to help create and tailor their own learning.

“This would provide greater inclusivity and be more appropriate for generations,” he said, arguing that increased emphasis on developing essential skills would yield “a significantly higher return on investment” than increasing salaries.

Because there are not enough skilled workers, there are also talent shortages, with six times as many businesses now reporting skills gaps (up from 13 per cent in 2013), according to a survey by Manpower.

Providing further evidence, a poll by the CIPD revealed that nearly half (47 per cent) of employers had responded to talent shortages with upskilling.

Samantha Mullins, director of Latitude HR, said people had been “seeking changes” ever since the Great Resignation, whether it be a promotion, a change in career or a lifestyle change.

She added that given the current cost of living crisis, businesses that were “proactive” in selecting, designing and, most importantly, properly communicating a blended learning offer would be best positioned to respond. But she warned that if a firm’s talent management strategy was not in accordance with its L&D strategy, newly skilled staff may look for employment elsewhere.

This is also highlighted in the IMC research, which discovered that 52 per cent of employees had left a position owing to a lack of opportunity for personal or professional growth, and 48 per cent had not received training in the previous 12 months.