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Talent & Career Development – Finding and retaining talent is one of the biggest challenges facing organisations during this era of the Great Resignation.

According to a Workhuman survey from September 2021, 42% of Irish based respondents stated they planned to leave their roles within the following 12 months.

Organisations are doing their best to attract and retain talent with many companies reviewing & improving their pay structures & benefits, formalising flexible working practices, introducing wellbeing initiatives, improving organizational culture, setting staff retention targets and introducing/enhancing talent & career development opportunities.

From speaking to HR professionals across the country over the past year it is evident that it is an incredibly busy and challenging time to be in HR.

It is no surprise that according to the latest IrishJobs Jobs Index there was a 420% Year on Year increase in HR and Talent Acquisition roles advertised in the last 3 months of 2021.


Talent & Career Development

I believe Talent & Career Development is one of the key area’s organisations can utilize to not only help retain their existing employees but also attract new employees. It is fantastic when organisations can cite to a potential new employee the percentage of roles that were filled internally due to promotion the previous year. That new vacancies within the organisation are advertised internally and that internal applications are encouraged is always good practice.

Over my past 15 years in the Recruitment industry, I’ve noticed that the lack of career progression is one of the predominant reasons why people decide to leave organisations. When a candidate mentions this, I will discuss with them if they have spoken about it to their manager. I believe it is never too early to start the discission about your career goals and aspirations with your manager. This conversation will help the employee gain an insight where they are at currently and what skills and experience, they need to develop further in order to reach their career goals.


Talent & Career Development Initiatives

Many companies will have personal & training development plans/initiatives in place which are reviewed on a quarterly basis. For companies that don’t have personal development and training initiatives in place, a good way to start would be to conducting a Training Needs Analysis. The Training Needs Analysis will identify what skills, knowledge and behaviours to improve through Training & Development. Skillnet Ireland have a fantastic guide on how to structure a Training Needs Analysis.

Talent & Career Development initiatives can take the form of on-the-job training, work shadowing, buddy/mentoring and also the attendance of formal training. Many organisations will also support their employees in pursing 3rd level qualifications. We have seen this prove very beneficial for many of our clients, where they may have a Technician with a level 6 qualification who is interested in pursuing an engineering role, the organisation will support them in pursuing their level 8 qualification that they will need for an engineering role.

In addition to this, many organizations offer employees a development assignment/secondment which will allow the employee to develop certain skills while working on a particular project and assignment. This is a fantastic system as it strengthens an employee’s existing skills while also giving an employee the opportunity for further skills, experience and also self-awareness and discovery. For example, if an employee is unsure if they wanted to progress into a Team Leader role or a Technical Expert role, a developmental assignment may help them decide.

Succession planning is crucial for companies for leadership and business critical roles as it ensures that organisations have nurtured talent to fill a vacancy when someone retires or moves on. In this ever-changing world employee versatility is crucial for organisations so organizations can adapt in a timely manner.


Our Approach

Here at CREGG Recruitment, we offer an array of talent and career development opportunities for our employees including supporting 3rd level educational courses which has proven very successful. Ongoing talent development is very important not only to increase efficiency in an employee’s present role but also for organisations to remain competitive.

In addition to this, CREGG Recruitment have psychometric assessment services which can be tailored for meet our client requirements and can be very useful to support career development initiatives.

The benefits of Talent & Career Development for organisations are enormous from increased morale and increased productivity to reduced turnover and reduced recruitment costs. It helps organisations attract top talent.  It is estimated that it costs approx 20% of the employee’s salary who is leaving to replace the person.

The benefits for employees are also vast from increased job satisfaction, increased motivation, increased self-confidence and resilience and also helps employees in realising their potential

It is a win win situation for both employees and employers.


My Personal Experience

Talent & Career Development can take many different forms depending on company size industry sector. As I write this, I am reflecting on my own career development within CREGG Recruitment over the past 7 years.

I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to cover my colleague’s maternity leave cover as Business Relationship Manager. This role involved people and account management. I received on the job training and work shadowed my colleague which was brilliant. This was my first experience of managing a team. Prior to this I would not have considered myself a leader however during my time in this role I developed experience and skills in this area and this ignited my interest in the management area.

I learned so much during my time in this secondment. It fueled my desire to continue to learn and develop. The support from the team members was fantastic during my assignment and I thoroughly enjoyed leading the team. The support and guidance I received from our management within CREGG was phenomenal and instrumental for my development in this role.

More recently I have moved into a new role as National IT Recruitment Manager for CREGG Recruitment. I am thoroughly enjoying my time in this new position and the skills I have developed since joining CREGG have stood to me for sure. In this role I will continue to learn, develop new skills while also improving existing skills and looking forward to continuing the journey of self-discovery.


For anyone who is considering taking the leap and pursing development opportunities and is cautious about stepping outside their comfort zone remember what Albert Einstein once said –

‘A ship is always safe at the shore but that is not what it is built for’.

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