The “Non-Essentials” of Success?

When it comes to jobs, we’re in a “buyer’s market.” Not earth shattering news. With so many people out of work, companies can hold out to find the best and most experienced talent. They can literally wait until they find the perfect fit.

When the economy takes a downturn, it’s probably not a surprise that human resource budgets are the first to get cut in corporate America. Training and development departments are usually the first to get hit. Even in good times, similar HR programs such as affinity groups (ERGs), leadership programs, and diversity initiatives must defend and justify any sort of budget allocation.

But according to a book by Peter Capelli, Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, this is lack of funding is a strategy more organizations are using to improve their long-term bottom lines – particularly in these times.

By hiring experienced and well-trained people from other organizations, companies are able to reduce their training costs. And while some investment has returned, budgets haven’t returned to “pre-great recession” levels. Why so skimpy? Capelli ties it to retention. Why invest time and money in training new employees if they’ll leave within 4 years anyway?

It’s an interesting perspective.

Update: Here’s a piece via NPR that discusses Professor Capelli’s thoughts.