How to Gain a Competitive Edge With Your Candidates

How to Gain a Competitive Edge With Your Candidates

Among all the business shifts ushered in by the pandemic, one of the most impactful, long-term changes for employees is likely going to be the need for enhanced skills development.


With years of projected digital transformation all packed into just a couple months—even weeks, in some cases—over the last year, many workers are recognizing that they need to beef up their digital aptitude to stay competitive in the quickly changing world of work. And it’s not just digital knowledge employees are after: COVID-19 has brought about new job titles, different ways of working and a changed outlook on the future for many companies—meaning employees may be craving new competencies to keep up.


Those transformations are shining a spotlight on the value of employer-provided educational benefits, a shift that’s becoming even more relevant as companies strive to appeal to employees in today’s candidate-driven job market. Many employers are revamping their benefits strategies to more aggressively attract top talent, touting options like remote work and enhanced wellness strategies. To really speak to the needs of today’s workers, employers should consider their holistic wellbeing—and that can include the drive for better education and new skills, all without breaking their own bank.


On-the-job learning and skills development are musts for organizations looking to stay at the top of their game, while forward-thinking employers can also turn to tuition assistance and reimbursement programs. While not necessarily new, such educational resources are seeing a sharp uptick in the wake of the pandemic. For instance, according to a recent CNBC report, several big-name employers like McDonald’s and Walmart recently expanded their tuition programs to pay for employees’ education tuition upfront and make the initiatives more accessible.


Integrity Staffing Solutions provides all associates access to Next Step U, a program we offer in partnership with Penn Foster. Free to employees, Next Step U offers in demand skills training on their own time. Associates have access to a variety of online courses focused on specific job areas, such as those for administrative assistants and contact tracers, to broader options, including on topics like career readiness and frontline supervision. The mobile NSU aspect also allows for learning access anywhere, anytime.


Providing access to educational benefits and resources is a win-win for employees and employers. The benefits for workers are clear: With the financial backing of their employer, they get to pursue new skills, advance their education and develop a clearer path for their career. The advantages for employers are just as impactful: Companies that give employees access to new learning tools can count on more loyal, focused and satisfied workers who also have a wealth of new knowledge that they can lend to your organization. By investing in your employees’ education, you’re letting them know you are rooting for them on their career journey, whether it’s at your organization or elsewhere in the future—a reality that can create a workforce of employees striving to be and do their best.