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Linking learning management systems to the recruitment process

Linking learning management systems to the recruitment process

Learning management systems contain a goldmine of information that could astonish your recruitment team.

Filed in Employment strategies

Most organisations would agree that learning management systems are a good thing. (They might also say that many learning management systems are way, way too complicated… but that's another story.)

Those organisations which use learning management systems will get a lot of value from them. They can provide a much-needed way to not only centralise and administer learning programmes - but also to understand how learners are progressing and manage their ongoing training.

But the information stored in the learning management system has uses which can go beyond training.

The most obvious of these is when the company is looking to hire new people. This is often seen as a different need, managed by a different department - but the reality is the problem is often the same: filling a skills gap. When you look at the vacant (or soon-to-be vacant) role as simply a skills gap, there's a realisation that the role could be filled in more ways than one.

If there's already someone in the same department who can slip into the job-leaver's shoes, then the solution is easy to spot.

But if that person is located somewhere else in the company, or only has part of the skills, or works in a completely different role - well, then it's very hard indeed to join the dots.

Some companies get this very right - they understand that resource issues and skills issues are often different aspects of the same thing. Other companies don't do quite so well, and only discover that they can use solution B to solve problem A when people from the two departments just happen to meet at the water-cooler.

So what's the process for making this magic happen? Well, creating fluid information flow and reporting between human resources and learning & development can be surprisingly complex - but the core issues are really two-fold.

The first is simple: that the information is actually shared. This isn't just a question of giving the recruiting team within the human resources department a login to the learning management system. It means giving them access to the way that the underlying training strategy works - involving them in the learning & development process. (This can provide another nice benefit - training someone isn't always the answer! Shock! They may have just interviewed, and be about to reject, someone who is just perfect for a role where you have a complex training plan in place. Well, what's sauce for the goose, as they say.)

The second, and hardest to achieve, is that both recruitment and training are planned - as a cohesive workforce planning strategy. This means approaching both training and recruitment in a more comprehensive way - not necessarily a new way, but in a way that considers many, many other factors than 'filling a role' or 'delivering a course'.

That first step is to open up the use of the learning management system - allow more people to access itandgive its use a broader remit.

In practical terms, it's often the case that when a job needs to be filled, someone in the company is a pretty close match to the job specification. Being able to sift through people's learning paths can find a good match faster than looking outside the organisation - and provide a better career path for people. (Yes, we know - we're a recruitment company. You'd think our only goal is to get hunting for that person who can earn us our percentage. But that's not how we think - we think about solving skills issues in a broader sense.)

It's true, when you move someone from one job to another you're only 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' - but it can still be a highly effective way of resolving skills issues. The fact is, you'll still only have one role to fill - you've not amplified the problem, you've just shifted it.

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