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

Top Highlights

  • Corporate learning has become more flexible and user-driven, necessitating "intelligence-driven learning," in which managers can proactively recommend lessons based on an employee’s interests, role, and career path. By taking such a personal approach, companies can increase employee engagement, performance, and retention, and ensure that their learning systems are more effective.
  • Companies can close the skills gap by creating digital credentials, suggest Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO of the digital credentials platform Credly, and Jason Tyszko, Executive Director of the Center for Education and the Workforce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Employers can use specific, portable, and verifiable credentials and competencies to hire skilled workers and establish clear pathways for advancement.
  • A study from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences analyzed five different alternative secondary education pathways, find that while alternative pathways -- like apprenticeships or coding bootcamps -- are generally shorter, more flexible, and better aligned with industry needs, their efficacy is only weakly supported by current research, prompting a need for more data collection and quality assurance.
  • As augmented reality technology becomes more sophisticated, it may have a significant impact on training and learning, according to a Fortune article. Augmented reality can enable workers to view real-time information, make skill-sharing from retired workers simpler through the integration of machine learning, and make learning programs more readily available on easy-to-use devices.
  • Over half of small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. were unable to easily identify and hire qualified candidates, according to a new survey. Managing posts on multiple job boards and categorizing candidates who applied through different channels were other areas where businesses experienced difficulty. 

 

Corporate Learning and Development News

  • According to a recent poll conducted by the job site Monster, 72% of employees feel that their manager does not care about their job growth. A Monster career expert suggests that while managers have an important role to play in supporting an employee’s growth, employers fear that offering training will cause them to lose top performers, and many struggle to engage employees with career development offerings.
  • Corporate learning has become more flexible and user-driven, necessitating "intelligence-driven learning," in which managers can proactively recommend lessons based on an employee’s interests, role, and career path. By taking such a personal approach, companies can increase employee engagement, performance, and retention, and ensure that their learning systems are more effective.
  • According to a recent Inc. article, personalized and adaptive learning platforms can help companies meet the training needs of their Millennial employees. These digital tools provide valuable data analytics and engaging content that increase the likelihood that workers will retain what they learn.
  • In examining the skills gap in the U.S., a Talent Economy article suggests that businesses, educational institutions, and governments have a role to play by building partnerships, such as apprenticeships, that can bridge that gap between the skills workers have and the skills businesses need. The piece argues that individuals also have a role to play by engaging in lifelong learning.
  • As augmented reality technology becomes more sophisticated, it may have a significant impact on training and learning, according to a Fortune article. Augmented reality can enable workers to view real-time information, make skill-sharing from retired workers simpler through the integration of machine learning, and make learning programs more readily available on easy-to-use devices.
  • Forbes piece argues that companies should allocate more time on the job for employee learning to help workers stay up-to-date on technology and products, while fostering innovation and creativity. The article also notes that HR leaders will begin to have a more strategic role in developing talent, by curating learning content and supporting employees in using learning platforms.
  • According to an HR Magazine piece, creating a culture of learning in the workplace involves integrating technology, measuring outcomes, involving different levels of staff seniority in the learning process, clearly communicating goals, and delivering learning through multiple channels.
  • Organizations should take an entrepreneurial and employee-driven approach to professional development to adapt to the needs of employees, according to a SHRM blog post. Such an approach involves empowering employees to test and learn from their own ideas, engaging them in honest assessments of their skills, and encouraging them to take part in cross-functional projects.

 

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News

  • Companies can close the skills gap by creating digital credentials, suggest Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO of the digital credentials platform Credly, and Jason Tyszko, Executive Director of the Center for Education and the Workforce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Employers can use specific, portable, and verifiable credentials and competencies to hire skilled workers and establish clear pathways for advancement.
  • A study from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences analyzed five different alternative secondary education pathways, find that while alternative pathways -- like apprenticeships or coding bootcamps -- are generally shorter, more flexible, and better aligned with industry needs, their efficacy is only weakly supported by current research, prompting a need for more data collection and quality assurance.
  • Over half of small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. were unable to easily identify and hire qualified candidates, according to a new survey. Managing posts on multiple job boards and categorizing candidates who applied through different channels were other areas where businesses experienced difficulty. 
  • The 2017 Coding Bootcamp Market Size Study, released last week, found that 22,814 people will graduate from coding bootcamps this year, more than ten times the number of graduates in 2012. While seven bootcamps closed in 2016, 15 opened to take their place, indicating that the market is still growing.
  • Innovations in the hiring process, including AI and text message-based recruitment, are allowing for more efficient and clear communications between potential hires and employers. These advances are making the hiring process both faster and easier to manage, reducing the amount of time that positions go unfilled.
  • The challenge of finding workers with the right skill sets has prompted some companies to ignore resumes, hire based on factors such as enthusiasm and values, and train workers once they’re hired. These companies suggest that this practice reduces employee turnover, but companies also have to invest heavily in training.

 

General HR News

  • A survey from the Manpower Group found that 40% of job seekers consider schedule flexibility to be one of their top three career considerations. For the purpose of the survey, flexible scheduling included everything from start and leave times to remote working and parental leave. 
  • The remote working trend has begun to recede, as several large companies have sought to cut down on the number of employees working from home. While studies have shown that remote workers are more productive, managers are beginning to prioritize the benefits of closer collaboration over efficiency gains from remote working.

 

Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation

  • AGCO, an agricultural equipment manufacturer, has seen significant productivity gains after implementing new training programs using Glass, an assisted reality wearable headsetderived from Google’s short-lived Google Glass product. The company reports that, since implementing Glass, training times have decreased by 50%.
  • The State of Nevada would like to expand apprenticeship programs throughout the state, but faces skepticism from business leaders hesitant to cooperate with their direct competitors.

 

Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

  • Google announced the launch of a new $50 million “Future of Work” initiative to help people find work and improve the quality of existing jobs. The money will largely go to companies, programs, and organizations working to improve employment in the U.S. and Europe, and it will also fund research on the future of both the economy and the nature of work.
  • SyncHR, a human capital management software developer, announced that it had raised $16 million in a funding round lead by National Enterprise Associates, Boulder Ventures, Grayhawk Capital, EPIC Ventures, Acadia Woods, and Peninsula Ventures. The company plans to use the funding to further develop its cloud-based HR management platform, and to expand its sales efforts. 

 

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy

  • On Monday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the bipartisan Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017, which makes changes to the Post 9-11 GI bill. The bill would get rid of the 15-year window for veterans to use tuition assistance granted under the GI Bill after becoming eligible and would allow veterans to access tuition assistance throughout their lifetime. The bill also includes a provision for the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement a “high technology” pilot program (like coding bootcamps) that provides tuition reimbursement to eligible veterans who want to enroll in these programs.
  • On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing on expanding options for employers and workers through earn-and-learn opportunities.” Witnesses included the chairperson of the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, a partnership of regional manufacturers that implement apprenticeship-style training.
  • The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce released a report that suggests that workers without college degrees are finding it harder to secure “good jobs” -- jobs that pay more than $35,000 a year or more than $45,000 a year for Americans older than 45. The report found that the percentage of good jobs that went to non-college graduates fell from 60% to 45% between 1991 and 2015. 

 

Other

  • A new Randstad survey finds that only 14% of Americans fear that automation will displace them from their jobs, while 30% believe automation will make their jobs better.
  • The New York Times attempts to answer a question on America’s productivity slump: Does low productivity cause slow growth, or does slow growth cause low productivity?
  • USA Today interviewed Kathleen Hogan, Chief People Officer at Microsoft, who developed the company’s paid family leave policy.