Everyone is talking about change in recruiting and training. We have looked at new HR practices at innovative companies like Google and Amazon, at more conservative companies like Bank of America and Deloitte, and   made five forecasts for the market in 2014.

1. Companies will hire top online graduates

In 2013, around 400 companies including Google, Twitter, and Amazon have paid online educational platforms Coursera and Udemy for data about their graduates. For employers, this provides a channel to attract highly motivated, determined candidates committed to personal development. We surveyed several Russian banks to see whether they'd be interested in receiving resumes from the top 5% of graduates of Eduson.tv online courses in finance. Considering the lack of qualified candidates on the market, such interest clearly exists.

2. Companies will develop their own courses aimed to attract candidates and clients

While in the past training courses were first led by coaches, and later, with the emergence of MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), by academics, now companies increasingly develop their own training programs. For example, Bank of America is developing financial literacy and other banking courses for Khan Academy, while 23andMe has written a colorful genetics course for beginners. Companies consider it essential to maintain expertise in their respective fields. Khan videos were viewed over 300 million (!) times. Currently we're writing a series of finance and audit courses jointly with Russian experts from Big Four companies locked in the perpetual fight for talents. 

3. Online courses will be widely used in required training programs

At Google, 80,000 employees have enrolled for Udemy's HTML5 programming course. But it's not only IT companies with their tech-savvy staff that are using online training programs. The list goes on, and includes two steel giants, Tenaris and Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK): the former uses Edx, while the latter trains its staff  lean production with the help of Eduson online courses. The old paradigm of businesses wallowing in delusions of grandeur and preferring to develop their own training programs is fading away. With 20,000 courses on the market, it simply makes more sense to compile at least the core of your training programs from these readily available "Lego bricks".

4. Mentors will develop individual training programs that work

Deloitte encourages its US employees to enroll for Coursera classes in finance and energy engineering. However, the company is yet to acknowledge such successfully completed courses as part of its official training program. Libraries of accessible and high-quality material (mostly in English) are growing rapidly. This means that mentors will be able to select courses and set individual training trajectories, fine-tuning the contents and speed of their programs for each student. An MIT graduate may find himself in need of a course on marketing basics while Higher School of Economics alumni may require Advanced Finance. This is strikingly different from the approach depicted by one third tier consulting firm: read a chapter a week from whatever textbook is left in the library.

5. Employees will become the "drivers" of their own education

Datalogix, a US consumer data collection company, has offered its employees access to Udemy courses but doesn't set any strict individual goals. Eduson currently utilizes a similar model for Coca-Cola Hellenic in Russia. The most promising employees are always aware of the importance of personal development and bring their own set of requirements to the training courses. This is the general trend for the coming years: employees will no longer be inactive passengers but will take control of the direction and speed of their education and career. 


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