How training employees can reduce payroll costs
Instead of investing money in big wages up front, invest in training and development, says Mohamed Jamal-Eddine
You can spend countless hours and serious money looking for job candidates who know your software. While it may seem logical to search for employees who are familiar with your technology, programs and processes, there is a less expensive way that can also save you time. You’ll end up with a well-trained employee who knows exactly how you do things.
Hire aptitude instead of knowledge. That means looking for people who have the ability to learn your information technology, but who may not know your specific applications. After all, your software will change with each version or even get replaced by a better software. You need employees who can adapt and learn and grow with you.
You can offer a lower starting salary due to the lack of knowledge, and reward employees as they progress in their understanding of your information technology needs. You will have to train your new hires of course, but this need not be expensive. In fact, it can be free. There are three ways to get economical training for your staff.
1. Vendor training
Often, the people who sell and service your software or cloud-based systems offer free training. This can include instructor-led training, online videos and step-by-step instructions in the form of a PDF or Word document. Many vendor training courses offer excellent guidance, and you may be able to call your vendor’s training department for answers to issues that aren’t covered in the training materials. Your cost for this will be $0.
You can make one or more of your knowledgeable employees a training mentor. Expand their job descriptions to include training new hires in the use of software. You will lose some productivity as your mentors focus on training tasks instead of their usual work, but the cost is minimal and the new hire may make up for the lost productivity once they have mastered the software.
3. Online Training Services
Sites like Lynda, Trainsimple, CBT Nuggets, Learnable, Codeacademy and Team Treehouse offer training in a variety of software products, as well as coding, web design and other IT areas. Typically, you must pay a subscription fee for these sites, but if you have many employees to train, this can be economical when compared to hiring a trainer to come in each time you need training.
In today’s technology-driven marketplace, you can’t afford to fall behind in your ability to utilise software, cloud-based applications and other IT. However, that doesn’t mean you have to invest exorbitant sums to keep up. By hiring people with great aptitude, you can give them the knowledge they need at a fraction of the cost of hiring technology experts. Create your own experts, and you’ll have a custom-made workforce that knows your business processes.
Mohamed Jamal-Eddine is senior systems specialist, information technology, Abu Dhabi Ports.