RALEIGH – As employers in the Triangle are seeking to hire for more than 50,000 job openings, employers are also buffering against losing their existing employees who may look to a new job.

And a new survey from The Conference Board shows that while talent shortages persist, professional development can be an effective tool for retaining workers, as nearly 6 in 10 of those surveyed said that they would be likely to leave a company that did not offer some form of professional development benefits.

Overall, the survey found that 58% of workers said they would leave should there not be an opportunity to receive the professional development believed to be needed.  But 61% of respondents who identified as women said they would leave, compared to 55% of those who identified as men.

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Amidst talent shortage, opportunity matters

“These survey results reveal that, in the midst of a talent shortage, providing and promoting opportunities for career and skills development can be a critical way to attract candidates,” said Rebecca Ray, Executive Vice President of Human Capital, The Conference Board, in the statement.

Though such opportunities may contribute to retaining employees, the study also found that there’s also a gap in who may have access to professional development.

“The survey reveals that more people of color report a lack of opportunities and resources for professional development than do their White counterparts,” a statement from The Conference Board reads.

In responding to the survey, 38% of Black workers reported a lack of resources for professional development opportunities, and 37% of Black workers reported a lack of opportunities for professional development.  But 28% of White workers reported a lack of resources and 27% reported a lack of opportunity.

“In order to retain and grow the diversity of thought and experience within your organization, it is critical to ensure that all employees have access to rich professional development opportunities,” said Ray.

Triangle’s vibrant economy — nearly 50,000 open positions — a buffer should recession come