As we approach the end of Q2, Grafton’s HR Recruitment Division has seen a steady increase in HR roles at all levels, with a noticeable spike occurring across several specialist areas, including Recruitment and Organisational Development. However the biggest growth trend over the past 6 months has been in the Learning and Development (L&D) field.
Learning and Development Defined
CIPD defines Learning and Development as an “organisational strategy that articulates the workforce capabilities, skills or competencies required to ensure a sustainable, successful organisation and that sets out the means of developing these capabilities to underpin organisational effectiveness”. Talent Management and Succession planning are some of biggest factors that will ultimately contribute to organisational success in the long run, ensuring high performing / high potential individuals are developed, remain engaged and committed to the overall business strategy.
The CIPD Learning and Development annual survey report for 2015 states the top five most used methods were:
- On-the-job training (selected by 50%)
- Online learning (29%)
- In-house development programmes (25%)
- Learning from peers (through face-to-face interactions or online networks) (25%)
- External conferences, workshops and events (15%)
Over the past 10 years, L&D has been through a lot. When the recession hit in 2008, causing a worldwide economic downturn, one of the first areas businesses’ decided to cut was their training department, specifically eliminating non-skill specific training and soft skills as an attempt to see them through tough times. Businesses’ were unclear what value training would bring to their organisation, viewing it as a cost rather than an investment. However, this was a short term view, as effective Learning & Development strategies in the long run can massively contribute to the business becoming more efficient and ultimately more profitable.
Fast-forward to 2016, we have seen a steady increase in newly created L&D positions within Northern Ireland, mainly within the private sector, across several industries including professional services, financial services, construction and manufacturing. Since the recession, many of these business’ have relied on Generalist HR professionals picking up the L&D duties, or external consultants being brought in to deliver specific training initiatives to the workforce. It is refreshing to see more and more opportunities arise across Northern Ireland, which will ultimately lead to a more efficient, motivated workforce.
The increase in L&D positions this year could be down to a number of factors. One of the obvious reasons is down to the improved economic climate, consequently leading to increased L&D budgets within organisations.
Another factor is the skills shortages seen across several industries, such as Engineering and IT, were organisations are forced to effectively develop their own staff with targeted training, as the skill sets don’t exist in the market.
Graduate programme development has been another key contributing factor to the increase in L&D positions. Various growing organisations feel it is essential to have a dedicated L&D function, with full responsibility for the design and implementation of a robust and best in class Graduate Programme.
Over the past 6 – 12 months Grafton HR have played a key role in assisting multiple organisations across Northern Ireland, with the appointment of their L&D positions, at various levels, which resulted in strengthening of the existing HR teams and leading to a more rounded and dedicated service to the organisations employee development programs.
For information around Grafton’s dedicated HR Recruitment service, please speak to Ryan Calvert(Associate CIPD), Senior Recruitment Consultant or Richard McFarland(Associate CIPD), Recruitment Manager on the details below.
Senior HR Consultant
T: 028 9024 2824
T: 028 9024 2824