We’ve classically considered learning content and systems a part of talent management, a process that starts after an employee begins their employment. Conventional thought would suggest that the only skills gap an employer can close is the one “in-house.” However, recently there are several initiatives where learning content and capabilities are being offered “externally” to candidates that identify themselves with interest in a career path, but lack core skills to qualify for a job, particularly with entry-level and more junior-level positions.
By providing access to learning content incrementally, employers are not just investing in the training of a new candidate, and the development of a candidate pool, but also getting a glimpse into which candidates are committed to the path and who may be worthy of consideration for internships, apprenticeships, or employment in areas that offer a ladder to the desired career path. This investment by employers and staffing solution providers into the general talent pool is an incredible opportunity to positively impact both the employer’s brand and the candidate experience.
For several quarters now we’ve been seeing more ventures springing up that offer targeted education to students, driven by employer requirements, that deliver not just graduates but groomed job candidates. They normally offer purposeful internships or project work as a part of the curriculum, which gives students experience and participating employers a “test drive.” These ventures have a variety of models for tuition – most looking for some percentage of earnings after students join the workforce. For example Make School states that most students have paid for their tuition via its “Income Share Agreement” that only kicks in when they earn over USD $60,000 per year. Make School reportedly developed its degree programs with leading tech firms like LinkedIn and Lyft. Their programs are said to have been approved by accreditors shared by Stanford and Berkeley. They’re scaling operations in San Francisco, and plan to open a campus in New York City.
As learning has been disrupted by consumerization trends, and skills gaps have increased even through economic slow downs, it’s a trend attracting increasing investment.