Hiring + Professional Development: The Business Case

On this page

Tools & Resources

What’s the impact of hiring, training, and professional development on my bottom line?

Finding and keeping qualified workers is an acute challenge for small businesses, especially in metropolitan areas experiencing very tight labor markets and historically low unemployment, which makes it hard to find and retain talent. On average, approximately half of all hourly workers leave their jobs within the first 120 days. The high turnover rate at retail small businesses can come with significant costs to you, including declines in productivity, lost customers, and time and resources spent trying to find and train a new hire. You can distinguish your business and avoid one of the biggest problems in retail—disproportionately high rates of turnover—by improving your hiring, training, and professional development practices.1Freeman, M. (2017, February 21). The Worst Problem in the Retail Industry? Turnover. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from https://blogs.cisco.com/retail/reducing-employee-turnover.

Evidence shows retention rates for businesses are linked to growth opportunities. In fact, a 2017 report from the consulting firm FSG listed entry-level employee training, mentorship, and the creation of career pathways as essential parts of effective employee retention strategies. In the wake of the Recession, more than half of surveyed employees reported that opportunities for advancement were more important to them than any other aspect of their job, including compensation and benefits, when deciding whether to stay or leave a company.2FSG – Reimagining Social Change (2017). Entry-Level Retention Makes a Billion Dollar Difference for Business and Society. Retrieved March 13, 2024 from https://www.fsg.org/blog/entry-level-retention-makes-billion-dollar-difference-business-and-society/. 3Kwan, A. et al. (2011). Talent Edge 2020: Building the recovery together—What talent expects and how leaders are responding. Retrieved December 15, 2017 from https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/talent-edge-2020-building-the- recovery-together/DUP99_TalentEdge2020_Building_RecoveryTogether.pdf.

Making changes to the way you hire, train, and professionally develop your staff can offer significant business advantages, including: 

  • Helping you identify reliable new staff members who embody your company culture; 
  • Ensuring employees have sufficient knowledge and skills to do their jobs well; 
  • Improving employees’ ability to take on new or additional tasks; 
  • Boosting staff morale, cohesion, and job satisfaction; 
  • Aligning employee goals more closely with company goals; and 
  • Getting added value out of a more highly skilled and self-motivated staff.