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Workplace Wisdom: Organizational Recruitment Pipeline

Workplace Wisdom: Organizational Recruitment Pipeline

In today’s market, employers are looking to hire the most qualified candidates, but they are faced with an applicant pool that is often lacking in the necessary skills and experience. The OJT program provides an opportunity for job seekers to bridge the skills gap, while giving employers access to a more qualified applicant pool and funding to offset the costs of training a new employee.


Q: How can On-The-Job Training Support the Organizational Recruitment Pipeline?

A: Gone are the days of only offering internships and cooperative education to entry-level employees. “On-the-Job” training (OJT) programs can assist employers who are looking to expand and who need additional staff trained with specialized skills. Incumbent workers eager to learn new skills and up-skill for promotions can benefit from OJT opportunities.

And, through a new federally-funded program, designed to service the unemployed, OJT grants provide reimbursements to employers to help compensate for the costs associated with skills’ upgrade training and loss of production for newly-hired employees. OJT employers may receive up to 50% of the wage rate of OJT trainees to help defray personnel training costs (75% reimbursement is offered to small business with less than 50 employees).

Employers can receive pre-screened applicants and choose their top candidates. The organization can receive a reimbursed portion of the costs associated with training the new employee. For instance, a company hires a new employee at a rate of $14 per hour and can be reimbursed for $5 per hour for the duration of the employees OJT contract. The primary expectation is that the company hire OJT trainees as regular full-time employees once training is complete.

While any company can benefit from an OJT program, those companies which have a significant “ramp-up” to get employees up-to-speed on procedures and policies for productivity and profitability purposes will realize a return-on-investment the quickest. This return is based both on the fact that the salary costs are reduced during the less productive initial post-hire period and, also because the employer can afford to do a very thorough and comprehensive orientation and training program while paying only a portion of the salary. Once the OJT is complete and the employee is fully trained and fully productive, the employer assumes full salary responsibility.

An ideal candidate is the recruit who has excellent foundational skills and is capable of learning but may have little or no familiarity with the particular industry or company processes. Most OJT employees will not have the industry credential or experience in the industry. That is the primary rationale for having the OJT funding. The program recognizes that since these skills and experiences are lacking, the productivity needs to increase through exposure and therefore, supplementing the salary makes this process a win-win for the recruit and the employer.

In today’s market, employers are looking to hire the most qualified candidates, but they are faced with an applicant pool that is often lacking in the necessary skills and experience. The OJT program provides an opportunity for job seekers to bridge the skills gap, while giving employers access to a more qualified applicant pool and funding to offset the costs of training a new employee.

The OJT funding may last as long as six months but that duration is contingent on the employer actually providing the period of training. If the orientation and training only last for three months and the employee then transitions into full time production without further training, the funding also ends.

OJT bridges the gap in many industries – creating the ideal candidate for many organizations and the perfect learning environment for employees.


McGinty, Mac 002293821.2To learn more about OJT benefits, contact CCWA’s OJT Coordinator Stephanie Landry at 804-523-5868 or by email at slandry@ccwa.vccs.edu.

Authored by: Mac McGinty, Vice President, Community College Workforce Alliance

(For Richmond SHRM; reprinted from 11/23/15 in Richmond Times Dispatch)

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