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Greg MacSweeney
Greg MacSweeney
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Valuable Assets: Skimping on IT Training Is Costly

Employees need career development, training and more, but most companies fail to deliver adequate training once they’ve made the hire.

A company's most valuable assets are its employees. That’s a statement with which al­most every business leader, whether they’re a CEO or CIO, agrees. Without the best staff, work doesn’t get done, customers aren’t happy and profits suffer. Simple, right?

In order to make sure they have the best and the brightest, most companies place an enormous em­pha­sis on hiring. Multiple hiring managers, human re­sources professionals and recruitment firm reps spend time crafting job descriptions and developing strategies to search for and find talent. The hiring pro­cess at some companies is relatively straightforward: an interview (or two, or three), as well as background and reference checks.

Other companies have more difficult recruitment processes.

Goo­gle has a complex approach, with interviews by a committee of peers, executive and compensation committee reviews, and unique interview questions (How many golf balls can you fit in a school bus?). Google is an outlier when it comes to hiring, as most companies don’t make it that complicated. Whatever you may think about Google’s hiring process, the company’s success speaks for itself.

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Once an individual is hired, however, many companies feel that the “hard” work is done. The new employee was screened and hired. Check, done, now get back to business. But it turns out these “most valuable assets” need more than just jobs. Employees need career development, training and more. But most companies fail to deliver adequate training once they’ve made the hire. In fact, while IT workers say ongoing training and education is a high priority, only about half of them actually received employer-provided training in the past year, according to 1,184 banking and securities IT staff and managers who responded to the InformationWeek 2013 U.S. IT Salary Survey.

Despite the hours spent on hiring and recruitment, companies dedicate little time and money to training and development, which directly impacts retention. Granted, training is expensive, but recruitment is just as — if not more — costly when you calculate the business disruption and the time it takes to get new employees “up to speed.”

With all of the resources dedicated to recruitment, it’s foolish to skimp on training. For today’s IT workforce, firms must invest in both.

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio
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