What We're Reading: L&D, Training, and HR

Top Highlights

  • In TechCrunch, University Ventures Managing Director Ryan Craig explores the “last-mile phenomenon” in education, as new training providers and student assistance programs aim to close the “last mile” skills gaps and prepare students for positions in in-demand fields.
  • New York Times article takes a deep dive into the emergence of skills-based hiring and training, which has shown early success in the tech industry through initiatives like TechHire and IBM’s commitment to hiring and training “new-collar workers.” The piece notes that on Wednesday, Microsoft awarded grant of over $25 million to Skillful, a Markle Foundation-led program that partners with companies, including LinkedIn, to foster skills-based hiring, training, and education.
  • A new report from ATD found that 38% of talent development professionals are currently using microlearning and 41% are planning to start within the next year. Video and self-paced e-learning were the top two microlearning delivery methods.
  • Forbes makes the case for a combination of e-learning and on-the-job training. While e-learning increases efficiency and transparency of training, hands-on training instills a senseof accountability and an opportunity for team building.
  • Two years after Starbucks made a deal with Arizona State University to provide free degree programs to their baristas, EdSurge sat down with the ASU Dean and CEO of EdPlus to discuss the effectiveness of the program -- which will graduate 1,000 student-employees by the end of the year and aims to graduate 25,000 by 2025. The interview also teases similar partnerships with other employers in the future.
  • UPS expanded the “Earn and Learn” tuition assistance program in five states to include part-time workers. The program provides up to $5,250 a year in tuition reimbursement and has currently distributed over $200 million in tuition assistance since 1999. 

 

Corporate Learning and Development News

  • In TechCrunch, University Ventures Managing Director Ryan Craig explores the emergence of the “last-mile phenomenon” in education, which has led to the rise of new training providers and student assistance programs to ensure that learners have the skills industries are looking for.  
  • New York Times article takes a deep dive into the emergence of skills-based hiring and training, which has shown early success in the tech industry through initiatives like TechHire and IBM’s commitment to hiring and training “new-collar workers.” As noted in the piece, Microsoft awarded a grant of over $25 million on Wednesday to Skillful, a Markle Foundation-led program that partners with companies, including LinkedIn, to foster skills-based hiring, training, and education.
  • A Duke University study found that MOOCs have aided participants’ emotional development. Learners were found to have developed more positive attitudes, better motivation, and an appreciation for diversity while taking courses, which researchers attributed to enthusiastic professors and classmates and exposure to new and controversial ideas. 
  • A series of ATD case studies highlights how five companies’ onboarding programs aretraining and developing new employees. These customized programs include programs to improve new developers’ coding skills and trainings to equip new workers with sales skills and product knowledge for the healthcare industry.
  • ATD also released the “Microlearning: Delivering Bite-Sized Knowledge” report, which found that 38% of talent development professionals were currently using microlearning and 41% were planning to start within the next year. Video and self-paced e-learning were the top two microlearning delivery methods.
  • A recent Forbes article makes the case for a combination of e-learning and on-the-job training. While e-learning increases efficiency and transparency of training, hands-ontraining instills a sense of accountability and an opportunity for team building.
  • Nation’s Restaurant News article makes the case for rethinking and reworking training programs by linking L&D to hiring and retention and moving toward mobile learning. The article also notes that “soft skills are the new hard skills.”

 

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News

  • A poll of staffing professionals found that 67% believe that automation will have a positive impact on the workforce. In the same survey, 57% of participants saw opportunities for partnership with digital staffing platforms, and 69% said they preferred to grow their organizations organically, rather than through mergers and acquisitions. 
  • A new report reveals that workers aged 55-65 change jobs almost as much as millennials. While this may lead to shortened employee tenures, the researchers recommend offering perks like flexible work options that appeal to everyone to help retain workers at all levels.  
  • The co-founder of Koru, a talent assessment and acquisition platform, suggests that  predictive hiring -- the use of assessments and data to predict the future success of job candidates -- can help to identify best-fit candidates from a more diverse pool of talent.

 

General HR News

  • UPS expanded the “Earn and Learn” tuition assistance program in five states to include part-time workers. The program provides up to $5,250 a year in tuition reimbursement and has currently distributed over $200 million in tuition assistance since 1999. 
  • Workforce Magazine highlights themes from SHRM’s annual conference in New Orleans last week, including education benefits, burnout, and a “culture of health” within companies. The article highlights Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson, who noted that education benefits are used as a recruitment and retention tool, particularly for companies that see high turnover of frontline workers.
  • According to a Forbes article, millennials are reshaping what’s important in corporate cultureby placing a higher value on company culture, continuous feedback and growth, diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility, work-life balance, contributing ideas, and employee engagement and purpose.
  • Bloomberg profiles 84 Lumber, a lumber and building-supply chain company that  is making the case that a blue-collar job can earn an individual more money than jobs requiring a college degree. The company pays its manager trainees about $40,000 a year, and managers in charge of top-grossing stores can earn up to $200,000.

 

Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation

  • Two years after Starbucks made a deal with Arizona State University to provide free degree programs to their baristas, EdSurge sat down with the ASU Dean and CEO of EdPlus to discuss the effectiveness of the program -- which will graduate 1,000 student-employees by the end of the year and aims to graduate 25,000 by 2025. The interview also teases similar partnerships with other employers in the future.
  • CodeFights, a coding and skills-based recruiting platform for employers and educational platform for engineers, launched a new “Interview Practice” mode to help developers prepare for technical interviews. The new tool monitors a user’s progress as they work their way through practice interview questions.
  • Amazon is teaming up with CodingDojo to teach developers what they need to know to code for Amazon’s voice-controlled assistant, Alexa. The Amazon Alexa Skills Workshopwill be offered as a 4-hour workshop at Coding Dojo campuses across the country, and it aims to teach at least 1,500 developers by the end of 2017.
  • The demand for tech talent from major companies has led to the creation of fast-track degree programs, according to HR Dive. One example is Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Science in Product Management program, a 12-month program designed to prepare future product managers to work at Google and other tech companies. The first MSPM class will begin courses in January 2018.
  • Volute, a marketplace platform for professional development and corporate learning, haspartnered with several universities to expand its digital marketplace of learning tools.

 

Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

  • CB Insights released a list of over 90 top-funded edtech startups and some of their prominent investors and levels of total funding. The report includes companies focused on career development such as General Assembly, Fullbridge, Simplilearn, and Pluralsight, as well as Coursera, Udacity, and Udemy, which provide broad-based online learning.
  • TalentWorks, an AI-powered job-matching platform, raised $2.4 million in funding from Lowercase Capital, Founder’s Co-op, Felicis Ventures, and several angel investors. The company provides an end-to-end platform that provides support from a human hiring manager, and guarantees users a job interview that matches their interests and qualifications. TalentWorks pledges to refund users who do not get an interview within 60 days.
  • Yello, a Chicago-based startup that helps to find and cultivate top talent raised $31 million in Series C funding led by JMI Equity, with participation from existing investor First Analysis. The company plans to use the funds to further develop their talent-acquisition platform.
  • The Seattle-based startup Textio received a $20 million investment from Scale Venture Partners to continue developing its “augmented writing” technology, which helps hiring managers alter job descriptions to attract more qualified candidates.
  • Hosco, a Switzerland-based recruitment platform designed for the hospitality sector, raised €6.44 million ($7.2 million) in Series A funding led by Athos Capital. The company aims to use the funds to grow to one million users over the next three years.
  • Headstart, a startup out of Y Combinator’s Summer 2017 class, is developing a platform that utilizes psychometric tests and machine learning to better match job seekers with employer hiring needs.

 

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy

  • Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reauthorize and update the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which would provide over $1 billion in federal funding for career and technical education and increase flexibility for the use of federal funds. The bill is currently being considered by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
  • Reuters examines how even in communities with strong manufacturing and employment, workers remain “anxiously employed” due to declining wages in factories. The article suggests that concerns with job stability and earnings have heavily influenced political leanings.
  • Two reports published this week present contradictory findings on minimum wage increases in Seattle from 2015 to 2016. A report from the University of California, Berkeley found that the policies produced significant wage growth, without significant job loss. On the other hand, a University of Washington study found found that the minimum wage increase cost each low-wage worker on average $125 per month due to a decrease in hours worked by each employee.

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