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Obviously for some functions the licensure has to be already in place, such as in the cases of teaching certifications or medical licenses. Law firms, accounting firms and brokerage houses often permit new hires to study for their bar, CPA and securities exams while on the company clock. In some of these instances the hire allows the company to secure a desirable candidate before he or she becomes a more expensive acquisition.
Buy the skills
If you choose to buy the skills all ready to go, you have greater assurance that the individual is ready to do the job day one. If you don't want to train, don't have the resources to train, or need specialized capabilities that are not yet available in the company you bring in someone who already has the license or the expertise that you need.
The upside of hiring the person who is already ready
to do the work is, of course, that they can hit the ground running and provide a return on your investment sooner. But a word of warning - skills can be trained but attitudes cannot. Even the best technician will not be beneficial to your business if they don't fit with the culture. Skill doesn't benefit anyone unless the individual also has the proper motivation to use that skill in the manner that the company needs.
Grow the skills
When you choose to grow your staff in-house your hire is about motivation and raw material more so than it is about the person being ready to jump into their ultimate role on day one. You might have a certain prerequisites for education, but your plan is to send each candidate through your process of orientation, job training, and cultural indoctrination. By the time you are done the new employee will look like (speaking of dress code), talk like, and behave like everyone else in your company.
You can bring someone in before they have been sullied by bad workplace experiences and help them along their career development. But this requires that you have adequate processes and personnel in place to make sure that the training conveyor belt is operating, and that each employee's strengths are being assessed so they are deployed in the role that's the best possible match for them.
Taking a page from each
Neither approach is best in its extreme. When you constantly bring in fresh blood your existing employees can become frustrated at the lack of potential for progression and career growth. That frustration, in turn, interferes with employee engagement and can contribute to turnover. On the other side, when you rely too heavily on grooming the in-house folks you limit your company's development to the point at which the in house knowledge stops. You miss opportunities to add fresh knowledge and expertise to your organization. And you risk having nobody to test the status quo.