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Why Educate and Retain is the Answer to Your Talent Shortage

With 40% of employers reporting a talent shortage, they’re turning to education programs to retain top talent and built internal talent pipelines.


eeping good employees has always been more cost effective than recruiting, hiring and training new ones. But as the talent market tightens, retaining and developing employees from within is becoming imperative.

With the lowest unemployment rate in almost two decades (3.8 percent as of May 2018), it’s no wonder employers are feeling a talent crunch. As reported by the ManpowerGroup’s 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey, the number of global employers reporting talent shortages is 40 percent, the highest since 2007.

Meanwhile, the kind of talent employers require is changing. According to a recent study on job creation during the U.S. economic recovery from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, 95 percent of the 11.6 million jobs created during that period went to workers with at least some college experience. Nearly all of the jobs being created today require more skills, more education and more credentials than in the past.

This may be why Haley Glover, strategy director at Lumina Foundation, is seeing an increasing number of employers suffering from skills gaps as she works to help them navigate this national talent shortage.

“These gaps are real, not just language or logistical challenges,” she says. “Employers are more and more looking for employees that can come in ready to learn, ready to engage and ready to work.” And in this talent market, Glover notes, more employers are going to find these employees by looking within their very own workforce.

The hidden opportunity of internal hiring

When degrees or credentials are required for certain positions, insufficient education is a barrier for employers and employees. But internal educational programs can help companies and people around this barrier, offering a way to cultivate critical talent from an organization’s existing pool of employees.

In a buyers’ job market, employers have a tremendous opportunity to look at developing talent from within. A study on the ROI of tuition assistance programs at Discover Financial, conducted by Accenture and Lumina Foundation, found that participating employees were 21 percent more likely to be promoted than other employees at the company.

Smart employers are beginning to look within their own ranks to identify and educate quality talent, says Glover. Beyond helping companies fill talent shortages, this can also equip companies to grow in new ways. “Hiring from within can create wonderful dynamics within a company,” she says. “When you elevate opportunities for people to be promoted, you really do draw out new types of workers in leadership. That’s pretty exciting.”

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution – and one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. Since 1932, we’ve been meeting the needs of our students and the workforce, offering undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs that keep pace with new technologies and professional requirements. Recognized as a “Most Innovative” regional university by U.S. News & World Report, SNHU continues to reinvent affordable, accessible higher education.

SNHU aims to transform lives, partnering with organizations with the same life-changing mission. Through alliances with the military, sports teams and leagues, academic institutions, corporations and more, we’re able to invest in the advancement of people, organizations and communities – across the country and around the world.