Davenport University

Grand Rapids

Investing in Talent to Meet Employer Needs

Finding skilled workers is a challenge for employers all across the state. From mom-and-pop shops to manufacturing companies, employers are desperate for solutions to Michigan’s growing talent gap. In fact, the Michigan Department of Labor and Statistics estimates that there will be more than 5,000 job openings requiring a college degree in the next year.

Surprisingly, many employers are overlooking a simple solution to this issue – investing in their existing workforce. Without an investment in the talent they already have, employers miss the chance to foster one of their greatest untapped resources – their own employees.

This missed opportunity comes at a steep price, causing turnover costs to be generated by numerous areas across a business. Whether it’s productivity lost during training and recruitment or while a position is vacant, the cost can prove significant.

According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, employers spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary in order to find and train a replacement. In a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, the cost of losing an employee is anywhere from 16% of an employee’s hourly salary and up to 213% of the salary for a highly-trained position.

Investing in employees’ skills and education can be a competitive advantage. When you build your talent pool by investing in the success of your existing workforce, you also increase employee loyalty.

Additionally, funding all or part of your employees’ education is not only positive for retention, but can improve your ability to attract top talent as well. This benefit may be the deciding factor between a candidate accepting your job offer or accepting an offer from another employer who offers a more comprehensive benefits package.

To help employers navigate the growing talent gap, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Davenport University have teamed up to offer Michigan businesses a scholarship program for their employees. This partnership is a win-win for all involved. Michigan Chamber members are able to enhance their benefits, address their talent needs and bolster their retention efforts. Member employees can, in turn, enhance their own skills, advance their degrees and increase their salary potential.

Several Michigan businesses have taken advantage of this offer, including DTE and Emergent Holdings.