Hiring & Training

You want to attract and retain the best employees who add value to your company, but you may not have the time or resources to devote to hiring, training, and developing your staff. Strategies such as creating career pathways within your organization, building partnerships with community organizations that can expand your hiring reach, and connecting with training opportunities to build employees’ skills can lead to a productive team that’s committed to growing your business. Putting in the time and resources necessary for your staff’s development is worth it in the long run.

These resources can help you think about options in this area:


Idea 1:  Build internal career ladders. 


Career Advancement Opportunities

This toolkit from the Institute for Employment Studies is designed to help employers build pathways and opportunities for career advancement. It includes information to make the business case for this strategy and case studies highlighting employer efforts.


Workforce Equity


This report from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions makes the case for focusing on workforce equity as racial inequities in income cost the U.S. economy trillions of dollars each year. Business leaders and others are invited to work on dismantling systemic barriers to opportunity for people of color, scale innovative training and credentialing models, invest in automation resilience strategies, and insist on high standards of job quality for all workers.


Idea 2: Form partnerships to build a diverse hiring network. 


Recruiting Strategies


Central Iowa Works convenes a group of individuals who work directly with job seekers with barriers to employment. The Job Developers Group meets monthly to share upcoming training and industry-related concerns. Learn more and get connected to this group to help you recruit diverse candidates who have the skills and drive to work at your company.


In this Central Iowa Works’ blog, Michelle Ashline with Turner Construction shares creative ways she’s recruiting individuals into construction jobs, including connecting with students, changing perceptions about the field, developing an introductory program, and marketing to diverse candidates.


Hiring Individuals with a Record


Considering candidates with a criminal record can help you build a workforce that is more diverse and committed to the organization. This Central Iowa Works guide provides recommendations for hiring people with a record and answers frequently asked questions.



Idea 3: Write job descriptions to reflect positions accurately and comprehensively.


Job Description Tips

A good job description can be the key to attracting the right candidates who are excited about the position. Glassdoor for employers offers five tips for writing your job descriptions.


Focus on Competencies


Develop job descriptions that focus on core competencies of the job instead of specific educational attainment or experience. The Competency Calibrator from the compxchange can help you identify eight levels of knowledge across seven domains to clarify what proficiencies are needed to perform a specific job.


Idea 4: Offer paid training and professional development opportunities to all employees.


Become an Opportunity Employer


CEOs are increasingly recognizing the importance of investing in the economic security of their employees to their business and the economy. An Opportunity Employer, as outlined in this Forbes article, commits to principles and practices that prioritize economic opportunity and mobility for all workers and lead to increased retention, diversity, employee engagement, and stronger performance for entry-level and frontline workers, while generating business value for the company. The Opportunity Navigator can help you get started.


Cross-Train Employees


This case study outlines the benefits of cross-training employees and how Integrated Packaging Corporation has implemented this practice. Lessons learned include: 1) create buy-in at all levels, 2) tap a variety of training resources, 3) keep skills up-to-date and plan ahead, 4) increase efficiency with gainsharing, and 5) create opportunities for employees.


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Employer Guide

The Thriving Workforce Employer Guide offers six strategies for building a strong team at your organization.

View the guide