In the Wild West that is the hiring world, a forward-thinking strategy for talent acquisition has been making waves — it’s called the “train-to-hire" approach. Instead of searching far and wide for external candidates, businesses are turning inward, focusing on nurturing and developing their talent. 

This approach isn’t just about filling roles or streamlining recruitment efforts; it’s a cultural shift. By investing in building learning programs to develop skills, organizations establish themselves as market leaders while fostering a pool of talent to source from. Luckily, this approach also benefits the existing workforce, creating a culture of learning, growth, and opportunity. By hiring new talent and developing them from within, you’re ensuring a depth of expertise on your teams and no longer depend on a few key veteran experts.  

Empower your organization with the skills-based canvas.

The new way to find your MVPs 

The traditional talent acquisition model has its pitfalls — we all know it. Like searching for a needle in a haystack, the search for external candidates can be lengthy and costly. 

That’s where the train-to-hire concept flips the script: the focus shifts to investing in developing new talent. This approach not only helps you spot potential talent and discover your future leaders, but it also addresses skill gaps more effectively. It’s also a more efficient recruitment strategy that feeds into a culture of continuous improvement. 

Internal academies: Building a smart talent pipeline 

Think of an internal academy as your company’s learning hub; for candidates, it’s a way to learn new skills and be exposed to your business culture, and allows you to identify potential new talent before they seek other professional opportunities. 

For your teams, it’s a realm to learn and develop new skills. For managers, it serves as an internal talent pipeline. Take a cue from HubSpot’s Academy or Google’s Project Management Certificate Program, who have even made their internal academies public to grow awareness, develop thought leadership, and strengthen talent acquisition processes. An internal academy is the place where employee development comes to life.  

By proactively identifying and nurturing internal and external learners with high potential for growth, businesses, big and small, create a pool of qualified talent right at their fingertips. It’s a strategy that simplifies the hiring process, reducing the high costs of traditional recruitment but also speeding up a new hire’s ability to take on different responsibilities. 

Fostering a culture where growth is at the center 

An internal academy shows your company’s commitment to growth. It reshapes the way candidates and employees understand learning and development (L&D) — it looks beyond the job and considers the entire career journey instead. 

This is an important balance to master: LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report reveals that investing in L&D is the number one way to retain employees long-term

A way to attract today’s top talent 

Competition is fierce these days, and employers need to stand out from the crowd. Internal academies are what set you apart — they’re a top talent magnet and boost employer branding. 

Today’s millennial and Gen X workers value career development opportunities more than any other generation. In fact, 52% of digital generation workers admit that development opportunities are a top factor when deciding whether to accept a job.  

Prospective employees are drawn to employers who prioritize continuous learning within their organization. By offering continuous development, be it via internal academies or other training programs, a company builds its reputation and positions itself as an employer of choice for today’s young talent. While granting public access to some of your training programs could appear counterintuitive, the recruitment benefits far outweigh the risks of having your material copied.  

It can be challenging to sift through mountains of CVs to find the right fit. By implementing a train-to-hire model, remember that you’re positioning yourself to attract the right kind of talent, too — top-tier professionals who value ongoing learning opportunities. The added benefit to HR is that you’re generating more qualified leads. 

Internal academies: A strategy for SMBs 

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) might think this approach is just for the big leagues. We’re here to tell you that’s not true. Even with limited resources, you can still pull off and benefit from train-to-hire strategies. With the right tools and technologies, it's possible to implement internal academies and maximize their impact without spreading your company too thin. 

Using an LMS to create an internal academy with ease 

Remember how we described internal academies as learning hubs? These hubs exist with Learning Management Systems (LMS). 

A modern LMS streamlines and enhances the entire training, learning, and development process. It acts as a centralized platform where companies can create, manage, and deliver educational content, as well as monitor progress. It provides a dynamic environment where employees can access training and share knowledge and where managers can support and provide feedback on employee development plans. 

Keep these tips in mind when selecting an LMS: 

  • Content creation and management capabilities: An LMS should allow you to easily create and organize training materials, courses, and resources. Look for a system that supports text-based content, videos, quizzes, and other media. 
  • User-friendly interface: Learning needs to feel fun and easy. An intuitive UX will ensure everyone, whether an administrator or a learner, navigates easily. 
  • Accessibility and flexibility: Modern LMS platforms are often cloud-based, allowing users to access learning materials from anywhere, at any time. This is especially crucial if you’re dealing with remote or hybrid teams. 
  • Collaborative access: A bank of knowledge is best built by those who use it. Look for collaboration and knowledge-sharing features that empower any users to equally learn from but also share their expertise with their team. 
  • Tracking and reporting: Analytics tools like dashboards track each employee’s learning progress. This data provides invaluable insights for managers to assess the effectiveness of training programs and make more informed decisions. 
  • Scalability: You want to invest in tools that will grow with you. As an SMB, look for an LMS that can cater to your current needs and budget and adapt to your growth plans. 
  • Integration capabilities: Most modern LMS solutions integrate with other business tools, like HR systems or communication platforms, so make sure the one you pick works with your current processes for even easier integration. 

Creating content to populate an internal academy can seem like a daunting task but worry not! You don’t need an internal content studio for that. By choosing an LMS that facilitates collaboration, SMBs can pool from their own workforce for employee-sourced content (also called UGC), inviting employees to contribute to creating relevant, impactful, and effective learning content. 

Meet Workleap LMS: Creating scalable learning paths 

Building an internal academy is at your fingertips; Workleap LMS is designed with SMBs in mind, offering a scalable solution to grow with you. 

With user-friendly features, customizable learning paths, and cost-effective pricing, our goal is to empower small contenders and big players alike to redefine what it’s like to invest in your people. 

Ready to harness the train-to-hire advantage? Test out Workleap LMS with a full-featured free trial. 

Discover, manage, and grow your team’s skills to unleash their potential and retain your rising stars.