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Hiring Skilled Employees VS Training Employees Internally

Somya Mathur
February 27, 2020
Last updated on
March 13, 2024

The major dilemma for most organizations is which business solution to undertake: whether to hire skilled employees or to up-skill existing employees internally. Either solution impacts the firm's short term and long term goals, it's the workplace culture of its people.

Of course, a lot of hard work and dedication is required and proper strategies have to be built whether you opt for recruiting new talented employees or you choose to train your existing team. Here I list the advantages and disadvantages of Hiring Skilled Employees Vs Training Employees Internally

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Ultimately, success is the most important outcome and before we step in, we need to take in a few considerations; particularly about your actual company size, the type of business and the markets you are operating in. Knowing more about the possible advantages and disadvantages of these two options can help you make the best possible decision for your circumstances.

Read Also: Why are Employers Spending More Money in Tech Training

Here we are listing a few of the most important pros and cons of hiring vs training in an organization.

Hiring Skilled Employees- Pros and Cons

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Hiring skilled employees is considered as a one time investment by many organizations. Their strategy is to hire the best team for the venture and sit back and relax until you see the final results. But it may not be as easy as you think-- a lot of strategies and hard work needs to be done to select the best team of employees from a sea full of options.

Here we can have a look at some of the key pros and cons of hiring skilled employees. 

  • Cost: The extra cost to be spent is always a concern when you opt for hiring new talents, particularly senior team members. Recruitment is a multistep process and, often, costs a lot of money. According to Bersin by Deloitte, the cost of recruiting is around US$4,000. Moreover, the expected salary scale of a skilled employee is far more than normal when considering what you pay for your existing team. 
  • Time: When it comes to tech talent Time-To-Hire (TTH) will vary depending, on your location, industry, and how competitive your market is where you are. Workable has estimated that the average hiring time in IT globally is 56 days. In the US and Canada, the average time to hire tech specialists is 51 days, while in the UK and Ireland, it’s close to a global average – 55 days. All in all, the time-to-fill for any position, regardless of industry, will range from days to four months, but hiring software developers in Hong Kong may take more than 3 months. Then there is On-Boarding sessions and actual job training, even is the on boarding is done well, there is still the “ramp up” period where the new employee are less productive whilst they are building relationship, figuring out how to execute their responsibilities, navigate new communication workflows, etc., it could take up to 8 months for a new employee to become fully productive.
  • Flexibility: When investing heavily on a new employee with a particular skill set, you are able to use them only for a typical set of job profiles. However, training an existing team in multiple areas gives the flexibility to deploy them for different roles as and when needed. Delegating extra responsibilities makes them more competent and they will feel encouraged to take up multiple roles.   
  • Availability: When an employee suddenly goes for an emergency break from work or when a priority project comes which needs some employees to take up new roles, going for a sudden recruitment may not be really helpful. Instead, training employees internally actually helps an organization to be always ready to handle any such situations. A team of readily available employees who can handle multiple areas can save a project in unwelcome scenarios. 
  • Balance the workplace: Many organizations opt for hiring skilled employees on a regular basis which in fact balances the workplace. They can actually bring in fresh perspectives and new ideas that can boost productivity. This leads to a more diverse workforce and this can even trigger a healthy competition from the existing team. At the same time, bringing in new team members may disrupt the balance of a core team and put a dent in cohesion.

Read Also: From Chef to Software Engineer

Training Employees Internally- Pros and Cons

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Training your existing team is considered a more relaxed decision unlike hiring a set of new professionals. Giving extra training to the already familiar team and up-skilling them as future leaders is a strategy followed by many successful firms. But it also comes with certain demerits if not executed in the right way.

Here we can have a look at some of the key pros and cons of training employees internally. 

  • It may go stagnant: When not handled at the right pace and with proper guidance, internal training can actually turn into a waste of valuable time and resources. Make sure that the selected team of employees is actually interested in the training as some of them may not take it seriously. Recalibration on a regular basis is required to avoid the case of training being stagnant.  
  • Over-training in the workplace: One of the major drawbacks of training in the workplace is the associated stress when companies insist on ongoing training beyond a limit. Of course, continuous training is needed to keep them updated to the latest trends, however an unrealistic number of learning hours can stress them and they will slowly lose interest and consider it a burden. 

As an aside, too much theory and limited practical applications invite boredom, so it's important to make sure the training is related to their day-to-day operations.

  • Save money: Unlike hiring new talents, investing on the existing team can actually help you to save considerable money in the annual budget. Investing on an excellent corporate training partner and developing the in-house talents is always a more cost-effective option than external recruitment.
  • Build more loyalty: When firms are investing to up-skilling their people, employees feel that they are a valued asset rather then just a staff number filling a role. Deloitte reports that 83% of Millennials have stayed longer then 5 years with firms that have invest in their professional development.\
    Millennials intending to stay with their organizations for at least five years are far more likely than others to report a positive culture and focus on the needs of the individual.

Those likely to remain longest share their organization's values, and are more satisfied with its sense of purpose and support of professional development.

  • Better work culture: The targeted training programs will instil more confidence within the team as the skill gaps are cleared and they stay updated with the trends. This also develops a good learning culture within the organization. Employees will no longer be bored and this kind of workplace engagement gives an overall positive vibe. Moreover, regular training programs help with better planning and analysis of what to be done in the near future. 

Read Also: What is UX Design & How it will help your Business


Talent management process is one of the key areas that need to be effectively handled by companies looking for long term success. That is one of the main reasons why organizations are very keen to up-skill their team and make them ready to take up higher roles as and when needed. However, identifying the skill gaps at the right time and investing on the right people is very relevant. If you decide to train employees internally, choosing the best corporate training partner can make the difference.

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Of course, hiring skilled employees can expand your team base and brings in a lot of positivity. So it would be good to have a right mix of hiring vs training to experience optimal results.

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