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When it comes to developing talent within an organization, the options can seem like a fork in the road: do you invest in the people you already have, or do you bring in fresh faces with new skills? It’s a decision that demands a careful look at the resources on hand and a clear vision of where the company needs to go. 

This article delves into the heart of this decision-making process, weighing the benefits of nurturing your existing team against the potential advantages of recruiting new talent.

Bridging the Skills Divide

The global talent market is tightening, with 85.2 million jobs projected to remain unfilled by 2030 due to a need for more skilled workers. The implications are far-reaching, signaling an urgent call to action.

Faced with this daunting gap, L&D and HR leaders must make a strategic choice: invest in reskilling their current workforce or rehire to bring in the necessary skills.

The cost implications of each option also weigh heavily in the decision-making process, with companies spending nearly $800 billion on worker training each year to tackle these challenges.

The Benefits of Building from Within

The case for reskilling can lead to cost-efficiency, as the investment in current employees often costs less than the recruitment, onboarding, and training of new hires. According to the FSSC, it costs an average of £31,800 to reskill an employee against nearly £90,000 to make a role redundant and rehire the relevant skillset.

Based on the research we can estimate that over four years, a company with 8,000 employees could save between £23.75 million and £36.25 million by upskilling current employees to bridge skill gaps.

Moreover, reskilling initiatives can boost employee morale and help maintain a company’s culture – an intangible yet invaluable asset. According to LinkedIn, 64% of L&D professionals are prioritizing reskilling the current workforce to fill skills gaps, reflecting the sustainable nature of this approach.

The Case for Rehiring

On the other side of the coin lies the strategy of rehiring. Bringing in new talent can inject fresh ideas and highly sought-after skills into an organization. In scenarios where the skills gap is too wide, or the need for new expertise is immediate, rehiring may be the strategic choice. 

However, this option comes with its challenges, including integration into company culture and the cost of recruitment.

A Balancing Act for Talent Strategies

Deciding between reskilling or rehiring is not straightforward. It requires a nuanced understanding of the organization’s long-term goals, the current workforce’s potential, and the availability of talent in the job market. HR and L&D leaders are at the forefront of this decision-making process, tasked with aligning talent development strategies with business objectives.

Relying on the old pattern of job cuts followed by hiring sprees doesn’t cut it anymore, especially when skilled workers are in short supply. Crafting a thoughtful layoff notice doesn’t change the fact that finding the right talent when you need it can be tough.

Internal mobility and reskilling initiatives are proving to be pivotal, for both skill development and retention. Studies indicate that employees who transition to new roles within the same company have a 70% likelihood of remaining for at least three years—a testament to the role of internal growth in bolstering both performance and commitment.

Organizations are increasingly turning to the development of comprehensive training and learning programs, aimed at reskilling and upskilling their existing workforce, creating a narrative of growth and adaptability.


It’s clear that the skills gap presents a real challenge. There’s a lot at stake for L&D and HR professionals when it comes to choosing the right strategy for their teams. Whether it’s investing in the people you already have or bringing in new talent, the decision must align with the specific needs and goals of the organization.

There’s no universal remedy for the skills gap. The true objective is to create a workforce that is equipped for today’s challenges and is also agile enough to adapt to the demands of the future.

Hive Learning’s approach, with its emphasis on quick onboarding and high security, resonates with the need for rapid deployment and trustworthy solutions in today’s dynamic talent development landscape.

Let’s talk about navigating these challenges with thoughtful, decisive strategies that ensure no one falls behind. 

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