HR Tech & Corporate Training: Limitless Growth & Opportunity
- Prominent types of training needed in HR, such as compliance, professional development, and soft skills
- Ways HR tech founders can develop and deploy this training via technology to capitalize on these current and future needs
As the market for qualified talent continues to challenge businesses, the market for HR training technology is growing exponentially, but finding skilled workers in some industries has become nearly impossible. To maintain productivity, effective new employee training is imperative, and for HR technology providers, the market has never been more open or lucrative. The need is urgent: the tech is available, customizable, and scalable.
Types of Training
There are two main types of training companies are looking to implement: compliance and development. They each serve a specific purpose and are opportunities for HR tech creators to build market share.
Compliance training is on the rise
Many sectors have compliance training mandated at the federal, state, or local level. Some requirements are industry-specific, such as financial services or Securities and Exchange training. Others are more general—for example, recognizing and preventing sexual harassment or discrimination.
The scope of training varies as well. Some states require sexual harassment prevention training for management-level employees, with annual or bi-annual refresher courses. Others require this training for all staff.
In states where there is no required training, many companies opt to train their staff on these compliance issues as well. Some have multiple locations in and out of mandated states. Others understand the value of the training and implement it to underscore their commitment to a harassment-free workplace.
For compliance, software-based training is verifiable. Unlike classroom training or issuing policies or employee manuals, this training has a test at the end. Employees are confirmed to have completed and understand the material.
Verified training can provide an affirmative defense in the event of a claim. Not only did the company provide the training, they confirmed the employee understood and agreed to the regulations. If the employee was in violation, they also breached the company’s policies clearly outlined in the material.
Ways to develop and deploy
For HR tech providers, compliance training is an opportunity to build their client base. The content is already established in the form of clear regulations that define what training is required. From there, it’s easy to create a generic platform that meets basic legal requirements and then go on to customize training for each client and their specific needs.
Compliance training is fact-based learning, which is a type of learning well-suited to achievement-based software. The staff member advances through the lesson, building and verifying knowledge.
Basic compliance training outlines and verifies legal requirements. More advanced training may offer real-world scenarios for the learner to view and assess. Cutting-edge training puts the learner in a virtual situation or an AI generated conversation to see how they would respond or react. The platform then affirms correct answers and moves forward; or repeats the lesson until the learner has become proficient.
Given that compliance training is a relatively low-hanging fruit, it can be an opening to build a relationship with an organization, then the software provider can move laterally to create and deliver development training to meet their clients needs.
Development training is needed more than ever
Development training builds skills, either directly required of the job being performed, or to prepare the employee for the next phase of their career. The market for talent is challenging; many organizations are struggling to find qualified applicants. To keep up, many are hiring under-skilled workers and training them to meet minimum requirements.
Development training breaks down into two categories: hard and soft skills.
Hard skills (process-based)
Early software platforms trained basic functions like how to use a keyboard. Today’s process training options build on basics and advance through the most cutting-edge software available. To build hard, process-driven skills, learners access specific details on how to execute. Tutorials or information-based platforms guide learning.
Process training can be available on demand, and/or created as a training suite. On-demand access from a smartphone or laptop can guide the worker through every step necessary in a process. For infrequent tasks, the ability to access a tutorial or short-burst learning video that demonstrates how to execute can mean the difference between safety and productivity or risk and errors. These types of training are highly customizable and upgradable. As the employee masters one skill, they can progress to more complex tasks.
Ways to develop and deploy
Hard skills training can take nearly any form, from the most basic "read/hear and learn" formats to the most sophisticated ones like XR (virtual and/or augmented reality). For skills that pose a risk to the employee, property, or others, many companies look to train in XR before the employee has a hands-on experience. This type of training allows the worker to learn by making and correcting mistakes in the virtual realm, rather than in real life.
There’s also an opportunity for HR tech founders to work with manufacturers to develop basic training for any complex equipment they sell. Along with the product, the vendor provides training at scale.
At the consumer end, HR tech can work with equipment buyers to customize training for their individual organization. Microsoft sells the software that fuels business: they also sell the training that teaches workers to use it. This model can work for HR tech founders for any equipment, software or tool—digital or analog—that business deploys.
Soft skills (for professional growth and company value)
Soft skills may be more in demand than hard skills in a tight applicant market. Developing communication, leadership, interpersonal skills, adaptability, and problem-solving are key traits that can be learned. For business, offering or requiring staffers to leverage soft-skills training builds their knowledge and value to the organization.
For independent workers, problem-solving and adaptability skills are necessary. For those who work in teams or deal with clients, leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills are must-haves. These soft skills are trainable and valuable to organizations and employees.
Employees are highly motivated to develop their soft skills, for their current employers and their own professional growth. Businesses realize value when their staff members perform well on their own and interact successfully with others. Everyone gains from effective training.
Ways to develop and deploy
Soft skills can be developed, and many organizations are looking for platforms to leverage and grow their staff. These can range from tutorials to VR scenarios. Learners can build their skills in situational settings to grow and develop. They advance to the next level within the platform, or move on to more complex soft-skill learning once they’ve mastered the necessary trait.
Engagement & Effectiveness
Platform-based training is worthless if employees won’t use or complete it. The learning must be engaging and even fun. Gamification is possible with virtually every type of training and is a good way to set your HR technology apart. The employee moves forward in the process, earning rewards as they progress.
The game-like atmosphere is familiar, comfortable, and challenging: making employees eager to ‘try their hand’ at learning in an accustomed environment. The opportunity to gamify any type of training is limited only by the content creator’s imagination.
Employee right-skilling and up-skilling has never been more important for every industry sector. HR tech creators are poised to capitalize on current and future needs with platforms that train everything from the basic to the most abstract skills. The role of HR tech in corporate training will continue to expand into the foreseeable future; the only question is which providers will fill the void.