Published Date: 10/06/2014
By Reneé Watkins
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for August 2014 was 6.1 percent, down from 7.2 percent at the beginning of the year. This equates to 9.6 million people still out of work.
This represents a very large pool of candidates seeking employment and employers are being very selective with respect to their ideal candidate. Employers are seeking candidates already experienced and trained in the skills necessary to fill their open positions in order to eliminate the need for on-the-job training.
Employers seeking to decrease their on-the-job training investment is a trend that has developed over the last 35 years across corporate America. According to a research study conducted by Accenture, the average worker in 1979 received 2.5 weeks of on-the-job training each year. By 1995, the average employee received only 12 hours of on-the-job training per year. Accenture’s 2011 study shows only 20 percent of employees reported receiving some on-the-job training from their employers in the last five years.
As employers continue to hire employees who are already trained, and on-the-job training investments decline, internal employees may be more likely to leave for another opportunity that offers training in new skills. Employers who are decreasing their investment in on-the-job training should be sensitive to this possibility and find new ways to keep their existing employees engaged and encouraged about their future within the organization. Mentoring by a senior manager, for example, can be a cost-effective method for training a current employee to assume a larger role within the company.