June 2023
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TD Magazine

Assembling and Retaining a Great L&D Team

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Get to know candidates, then direct reports.

In "A-List L&D Team, Assemble," Laurel Schulert describes the most effective method for building and retaining a team that provides maximum impact.


One consideration to keep in mind is diversity. Managers of L&D teams can consciously hire for diversity and solicit varied perspectives when interviewing candidates by including one or more of their direct reports in the process.

Another tip when hiring is to look for transferable skills such as project management, strong communication capabilities, and attention to detail, because many entry-level L&D roles don't necessarily require specific hard skills.

Schulert includes questions to ask of potential team members, including both L&D-specific questions and generic ones.

What are you looking for in your next opportunity? This establishes that you and the candidate are on the same page with respect to the work they'll be performing.

What are some methods you use for project management? This ascertains candidates' ability to juggle multiple tasks at one time.


What is your favorite learning theory or instructional design model, and how do you use it in your work? For more advanced roles, this enables candidates to demonstrate their depth of knowledge about L&D as well as what excites them about the field.

Once you have secured your team, you'll want to offer professional development opportunities to retain them. Make sure that you understand what your direct reports enjoy doing and how they would like to grow—such as through leading or learning how to use a new tool. Then, provide team members with a plan for pursuing those options.

These tips were adapted from the June 2023 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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