According to L&D recruitment specialist Blue Eskimo, not enough organisations exploit the valuable data held in their learning management system (LMS) when hiring new people – which can lead to them recruiting externally when a perfectly suitable candidate already exists within the organisation.
“The LMS is a goldmine of data,” says Blue Eskimo director Nick Jones. “Understandably, training is the main focus for how this data is used. This is a massive benefit – but there’s another benefit which some organisations aren’t realising. The same data can be used as part of the recruitment process.”
The problem isn’t universal, acknowledges Jones. “Some organisations are ahead of the curve and do this very well – they’ve linked the LMS with the talent management system – or have the data available to the HR department. Better still, in some organisations talent management and learning management is handled by a single system. Really, that’s the best way to work.”
A key issue, according to Blue Eskimo, is that when someone leaves there is an assumption that the empty chair is best filled by recruiting. If someone within the organisation has exactly the right skills, and is located in the same department, the chances are that person might be offered the job – but candidates who need a little training or are located elsewhere are often overlooked, even though the data is there to suggest them as a possibility.
“It takes time to bring someone up to speed with the way an organisation works,” says Jones. “Using an internal candidate can not only fill a role faster, it can realise productivity gains quicker too.”
Of course, this doesn’t solve the recruitment issue totally – the ‘suitable candidate’ will also be vacating a role, so recruitment may be required there – or again, the LMS data could be used to locate another rising star.
“Not only does the organisation benefit in terms of cost and productivity,” says Jones, “it also benefits by hanging onto hard-won expertise and rewarding those who want to develop their careers within the organisation. Sadly, many people have to leave a job to get the promotion they deserve.”
Blue Eskimo believes that this approach is also a challenge for third-party providers – who have their own agendas to fulfil. “If you’re a training company, you’ll sell training,” says Jones. “If you’re a recruitment company, you’ll sell recruitment. If you’re a contracting company, you’ll want to place a contractor. But the organisation has to get third parties working together towards the same goal. If it’s best for the organisation to locate someone using the LMS and train that person for the role rather than recruit, then suppliers should support this.”
Blue Eskimo believes that, ultimately, this approach builds a stronger, more trusted relationship – and it doesn’t mean that third-party services won’t be used. “Moving people around means that at some point there’s a gap to fill somewhere, somehow,” says Jones. “We have to remember that our goal is to help organisations have the best skills in place – not to always push our way of solving skills issues.”
More information is available on the Blue Eskimo website, in the article Linking learning management systems to the recruitment process.