Want to keep top young talent? Train ’em
  • sales
  • Blog post

Want to keep top young talent? Train ’em

Why do good people stick around? One critical factor may be training, according to a new survey.

The survey found that new college graduates have high expectations about training: Most of them expect employers to invest in their professional development. But many will be disappointed.

The study
The consulting firm Accenture conducted the survey. It asked some 1,000 newly minted graduates about their job expecatations. Eighty percent of the respondents expected to receive formal training and development in their first job.

Note that word: expected. Not wanted. Not that they thought it was a good idea. They believed they’d get trained.

So imagine their surprise when they didn’t.

Accenture also surveyed graduates from 2012 and 2013 to see how things were going on the job. Only 48% said they were receiving formal training.

So if your organization is part of the 52% who aren’t providing such training, it might explain why all those young folks are looking at you with disappointment and resentment. It’s not because they’re slackers who are hating on The Man and would rather be out skateboarding or shopping online. On the contrary: They’re ambitious. They want to develop the skills they need to succeed in business. They’re focused on their careers and wondering why you don’t seem to be.

In sales, there are plenty of excuses for not providing formal training:

  • “We train informally”
  • “Sales is just common sense”
  • “Either you can sell or you can’t”
  • “It’s all about attitude”
  • “There’s nothing new in sales”

Based on surveys we’ve conducted, however, the real reasons that formal training doesn’t happen is because managers aren’t willing to invest the time and effort that’s required. Even managers who believe that more training yields more sales — and most say they do — tell us that they don’t provide as much as they’d like to. This study suggests another reason to make sales training a priority: It can help you attract and retain top young talent.

Source: Accenture. (2014). Great expectations: Insights from Accenture 2014 college graduate employment survey.

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