98% of HRDs think THIS is the key to attracting top talent

2020 has already been a year of cataclysmic upheaval

98% of HRDs think THIS is the key to attracting top talent

2020 has already been a year of cataclysmic upheaval. The onslaught of COVID-19 has brought about some monumental changes in the employment sphere – both in terms of job role expectations and workforce capabilities.

However, if there’s one thing HR has learned from the current crisis it’s this: the key to survival is evolution.

As decision makers, it’s incumbent on HR to set an example to the rest of the workforce on how to navigate these turbulent times. The answer has always been the same – it’s only through continued learning and development that companies, and individuals, thrive.

A recent survey from the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) shed light on the importance of on-going self-improvement. The research found that the biggest challenge for organizations right now is the attraction and retention of employees (71%), followed closely by professional development (41%).

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This preferred onus on individual learning is an issue which could have repercussions throughout the whole company – from the CEO down to the intern. As it stands now, the current state of professional development is telling – 99% of Canadian HR decision makers believe that a robust professional development strategy returns benefits and yet 36% of development budgets are routinely left unspent.

This disconnect could have serious implications for businesses during these uncertain times. Continued individual learning is a key factor in retention, with 65% of respondents agreeing that a comprehensive development plan is essential when it comes to keeping top talent.

Gabriele Janes, VP of Learning at CMA confirms that a marketing designation was a long journey for the CMA. “Over three years ago, based on research we invested in, the marketing industry confirmed that there was a strong desire for a new standard for marketing knowledge and practices. CMA saw a need for a recognized designation for the marketing profession in Canada. “

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But it’s not just leaders who’re calling out for more development plans – employees themselves are keen to improve their skills, and their chances at promotion, through these designations. In fact, the CMA found that the main drivers of conversation around development strategy were firstly HR leaders (49%), then internal employee pressure (43%). 

The support is there – the opportunity is there – to really upskill your employees in order to futureproof your profits. 70% of companies are willing to fund earning a designation. What’s more, once a designation has been earned, 80% of organizations will pay to maintain it.

In January 2019, the CMA launched the Chartered Marketer Program, ensuring that the curriculum was comprehensive and immersive. Janes shares “our goal was to develop a program that would equip marketers with the credentials and experience to become future marketing and business leaders. The two-year online program covers a broad range of topics and allows learners to engage with the content, each other, and the team of instructors. The feedback since launching has been exceptional.”

And the ROI on courses speaks for itself – as 87% of HR decision makers agree that investment in professional development for employees results in greater profits for the company. What’s more, 98% agree that an investment in designations directly results in attracting and retaining the best talent.

So, how to choose?

The main areas of interest when it comes to selecting a course is the quality of knowledge on offer (74%), followed by the indication of experience (45%) and the type of training (36%). Interestingly, concerns over cost are relatively minor - with just one quarter of decision makers thinking price should play a part in selecting a development plan.

As we navigate our way through these ever-changing and unstable times, it’s important for organizations to show leadership, dedication and decisiveness. With 90% of HR decision makers agreeing that the value of having a professional designation is increasing – the message is obvious. An investment in designations is an investment in your future – which is the only guarantee that a company will not only survive but thrive.

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