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The Importance of Learning & Development

From a very early age, I had a passion for education, starting with my own eagerness to learn, eventually progressing on to a career as a teacher. Although I was teaching children, I had the ability to empower them with skills and knowledge, and in return my job taught me more about patience, adaptability, creativity and much more. It was very clear that learning never stops, not just for the children, but also for me.

Starting life as a recruiter meant that I was learning and adapting many more skills. I undertook formal and informal training and within less than two years I had my own team of eight consultants. All of a sudden I was imparting my knowledge and skills on them, whilst undertaking my own management training. It was even more clear to me that learning was a cycle and it was likely to continue throughout my career as I progressed, developed and even changed roles.

After 4 and half years as a Recruitment Manager, I had the fantastic opportunity to join Morgan McKinley Singapore as their Talent Acquisition and Learning & Development Manager. This role provided me the perfect opportunity to merge my passions for recruitment and education. You can learn more about why I took this opportunity in my previous blog.

What Employees Want

Having spoken to many recruitment professionals on the market, as well as current Morgan McKinley employees, I have observed that the top three things they look for in an employer interchange between learning and development, collaboration and strong leadership. It’s also very easy to assume that only those starting their recruitment career are looking for learning and development, when in reality people leave jobs at all stages as they don’t believe they are being developed to their full potential. 

In order to develop, there needs to be learning. In recruitment, this ranges from the basics of recruitment to learning how to win and manage larger accounts, increase their market share, internal people management, develop team strategy, manage P&Ls and much more. 

Types of Learning & Development

Within the recruitment industry, it’s well known that ‘learning on the job’ is the go-to form of learning and in some cases you’re simply expected to develop knowledge and understanding the longer you work in the industry. Although I believe learning on the job is crucially important and valuable, it certainly shouldn’t be the case that consultants are left to their own devices to learn by themselves. 

On-the-job learning should be carried out along with training and support, including shadowing, preparation support, live call training, checking written forms of work and other scaffolded support. It’s often a good idea to provide this type of training either ad hoc, as and when the consultant needs it, or at a specific scheduled time with a particular focus. Consultants really value this form of scaffolded on-the-job training as it’s completely relevant to the challenges they are dealing with and their particular strengths and weaknesses. However, this form of training can lead to inconsistencies with different consultant’s knowledge, skills and abilities. In order to provide more consistent training and to ensure all aspects of recruitment are taught, formal training should be provided as an essential part of their Learning and Development plan. 

Formal, classroom-based training provides consultants with clear knowledge, techniques, and skills that they can refer back to. It can combine well with on-the-job training, where a manager or trainer can help the consultant to put their formal training into practice. I have seen first hand that this can significantly increase a consultant’s ability to perform at a higher level more quickly and can also increase employee satisfaction by showing commitment to their development. For employers, this combination of training provides them a level of confidence that their employees have been given the tools they need to develop. 

Learning and Development at Morgan McKinley

As the Learning and Development Manager of Morgan McKinley Singapore, it’s my role to work with the leadership team to ensure that every consultant across the business receives the necessary training in order to develop them in alignment with our career pathways.

We provide a classroom based training program (for all those new to recruitment or at early stages of their development), a senior consultant program, an emerging leaders program and a management discussion series. All of these are supported by ad hoc and pre-planned on-the-job training, the majority of which is carried out by senior leaders and myself. In addition, we have subject matter experts across the business to help drive collaboration and personal development.

If you would like to join a company who puts people at the heart of what it does and provides the platform needed to enable consultants to grow and develop, please reach out to me at scroxford@morganmckinley.com and also read more about us on our career website.

  • Jul 14, 2020
  • Careers , Singapore
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Stephanie Croxford

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