Hiring or training: how do you find the right people?

By Catherine Dixon, Executive General Manager People Experience

2 November 2017

Most business owners or leaders would probably agree that skilled, motivated employees are the engine room of a successful business.

In our research, having people with the right skill set was identified by 87% of businesses as a key factor that supports or hinders business success – the highest response on any factor.

But is it better to 'buy' skill, or to 'make' it?

Hiring for fit, and training for skill

As part of our research, we talked to Pita Pit about their views on growth and success.

From its launch in New Zealand in 2007, Pita Pit has grown to over 100 franchises and is a great Kiwi success story.

Their philosophy is to hire for fit, and train for skill. More importantly, they’re working hard to gamify their training and make if fun.

At Suncorp, we don’t always look for technical skill when it comes to recruitment - often those skills can be learned. Attitude, alignment to our values and the right amount of empathy to help our customers in the moments that matter, are much more important – though often harder to assess - qualities for our people.

The investment of training

But training often represents a significant investment, especially for a small business. 

There may be times when it simply isn’t feasible to train an employee from scratch and in these cases it can often be difficult to find people with the right skill set.

So what’s the right answer? Is it better to “buy” skill – or to create it? And does it depend on the size and situation of your business?


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