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Candidate Help & Advice

Offer Your New Hires Some PDA

Personal Development photo from ShutterstockGraduation season is upon us. As the interviewing season is in full swing, small business employers are looking to attract some bright future stars while they compete with larger companies. A good way to see if the young talent is a good fit is to offer them some PDA, and see what they do. Nope, not a public display of affect – offer a professional development allowance.

Many Gen-Y put a higher value on training and development than you may expect.  By offering them some compensation in the way of bettering themselves could help attract talent to your organization. It also should help develop your talent faster, especially if your company is already offering internal training and development programs.

Allow your employees to use their professional development allowance on outside coaching, attending a seminar,  taking an online course, or maybe spending time seeing a sister organization operate. For younger hires who are new to the organization, make sure you outline that a manager or leader would have to approve the activity. Also, after the experience is completed, have the employee write a brief essay or report on what they learned and how that will improve THEM- don’t focus on how what they choose will improve the company.

Offering a professional development allowance is an investment in your people which should come back to help your organization.  It could be a good idea to offer allowances after an annual review with an existing employee as well so they can improve themselves in the areas that were pointed had room for growth.

You can also use a professional development allowance to help you in a tough hiring decision. Let’s say you have narrowed your search down to two great candidates.  You can give them both the option of either taking a slightly lower salary with a nice PDA or a slightly higher salary without any PDA (but still lower than total compensation with PDA). For example compensation could be $50,000 with a $5,000 professional development allowance OR a $52,500 without any PDA.  Maybe not a determining factor, but if one chooses the allowance and one chooses the higher salary, it could be a telling sign of who is going to help grow the organization.


Eddy Ricci, Jr., has been labeled as “the emerging expert in developing Gen Y sales professionals” by the chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler and is also noted as “understanding what motivates Gen Y sales teams. He is on my radar and should be on yours” by international speaker and NY Times bestselling author, Erik Qualman. Eddy is the author of The Growth Game: A Millennial’s Guide to Professional Development and serves as the director of a unique training and development collaborative platform that services financial planning firms in the northeast where he has arguably worked with more Gen Y financial professionals than anyone in the country over the past four years. He is the founder of The Growth Game, LLC. ,a professional development company with a focus on building sales and leadership programs.