We’re constantly hearing about the skills shortage, and how it means that many businesses have vacancies they’re currently struggling to fill.

A few days ago I read an article about a Birmingham-based IT company who are using elearning to help them overcome the skills shortage. The company, thecitysecret, created their own elearning programme that they now offer to all employees, plus school leavers on apprenticeship schemes.

This will give them a massive advantage when it comes to recruitment; they now have the option of hiring a candidate who may not have the exact skills the organisation needs, but who has the potential to become a valuable addition to the team.

This is a great approach, and we’ve seen first-hand how it can help organisations find the perfect new employee, even for highly-skilled and specialist vacancies. We’ve already created bespoke elearning for many organisations who wanted training specifically to help them bring new employees up to speed (something you’re never going to get with off-the-shelf learning!) and in the face of an ever-widening skills gap, this approach to recruitment is only going to become more popular.

Plus, having an employee training programme in place means that once you’ve found that perfect candidate, they’re more likely to stick around – training makes your staff feel more valued and satisfied in the workplace, and therefore much less likely to go on the job hunt.

In the face of an emerging skills gap it’s crucial that businesses take a proactive approach to staff recruitment and retention, and bespoke elearning, like the training produced by thecitysecret, can play an important role in this.