Learning & Development And Its Role In Employer Branding

For the first time ever, career growth outranks all other factors considered when job seekers are searching for new opportunities. In this blog we discuss the different ways learning, development and opportunity can come to life in an organization, as well as why and how employers should build it into their EVP promise.

Brooke White, Sr. Employer Brand Specialist Written by Brooke White, Sr. Employer Brand Specialist

The Vital Connection: Understanding the Role of Learning and Development in Employer Branding


For the first time ever in Jobvite’s Seeker Survey, career growth ranked first, at 61%, on the list of top factors considered when looking for new opportunities. Previous to this year, compensation (at 57%) and health and retirement benefits (at 58%) were always the front-runners.

This thinking doesn’t only apply to candidate attraction. Based on the survey findings from a Ceridian Study, it becomes obvious that the role of learning, development and opportunity plays an even larger role in employee retention. The survey reported that 91% of 18-24 year-olds, 93% of 25-34 year-olds, and 90% of 35-49 year-olds said it was extremely important for employers to provide learning opportunities.

“Loyalty is not dead in organizations that treat their people right. If people feel they have purpose, the power to do their job, and they feel they’re being invested in, it’s hard to give that up. You never know what you’re really going to get somewhere else.” 
Jeff Kortes, Employee Retention Expert


We’ve established that candidates and employees care about learning, development and opportunity – next, it needs to be reflected as a key pillar in your employee value proposition.

As you build this theme into your employee value proposition, you’ll want to focus on two primary points: your organization’s philosophy and approach to this topic; and listing tangible proof points that support your claim. Providing the philosophy helps candidates and employees understand the direction that the organization is headed in while also highlighting it as a priority. The proof points on the other hand, set expectations around the employee experience and bring an element of authenticity.


Learning, development and opportunity will look different in every organization. When exploring your offering, there are a few key themes you can focus on:

Formal Training and Education.
These programs typically focus on building, refining and accrediting skills and education – and can include anything from tuition assistance, to institution partnerships, onboarding and other on-the-job training. With formal training and education programs, employees are able to be successful in current roles, build industry recognized expertise, and prepare for future opportunities.

Thought Leadership and Knowledge Sharing.
Thought leadership and knowledge sharing require a strong cultural element in an organization. A culture of knowledge sharing is a culture of collaboration – and to be successful, employees must often lead these initiatives themselves with the support of leadership. Some examples of these can be cross-functional lunch-and-learns, inviting external speakers to present on a topic, and creating and sharing thought leadership blogs.

Coaching and Mentorship.
Like thought leadership and knowledge sharing, coaching and mentorship programs are also closely tied to an organization’s culture. For coaching and mentorship programs to be successful, you need good coaches and mentors. These programs can be especially attractive to candidates considering large or complex organizations that may be difficult to navigate. For example, you could pair new veteran employees with senior leaders who have also served in the military. A program like this would support new veterans in their transition by helping them build an internal network of individuals who understand them.

Opportunities for Advancement.
Finally, and arguably the most important, learning and development needs to be met with opportunity. Once you’ve invested in your employees, they need to feel confident that they can apply these learnings and advance in the organization. You can provide opportunity through policies that focus on internal hiring, or programs that allow employees to job shadow, take on stretch assignments, or enter job rotations where they can trial different roles and departments. The more examples you give, the better traction you will have with candidates!


With our Employer Brand Solutions, we take employers through a consulting process to identify your organization’s strengths and bring them to life through an employer brand via a career website. For learning, development and opportunity, this can mean anything from a dedicated content page, to sample career paths and employee testimonials. Our process is designed to ensure we gain a true understanding of who you are and the type of candidates you’re targeting, combined with the creation of an offering that will attract, convert and retain these individuals.

Reach out to us to discuss what we can do to turn your learning, development, and opportunity strategy into a talent magnet.