Revolutionizing Recruiting Through Learning Communities

By Posted in - Talent Management on March 10th, 2014 1 Comments

I recently read an article by Kevin Wheeler on the potential value of MOOCs for recruiting. MOOCs (Massive, Open Online Courses) were originally envisioned as a cost effective alternative to traditional university coursework as a means for acquiring job relevant knowledge and skills. Traditional universities charge tuition, provide credits and degrees, and have limited enrollment. MOOCs are usually free, credit-less, and open to everyone online. The courses are well designed and often originate from top-notch learning institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, and MIT.

Since MOOCs have been successful in attracting students (the largest MOOC boasts over five million students), Wheeler suggests that high performing students might be a great source of candidates for organizations. He accurately makes the observation that:

  • Organizations want individuals that are motivated to learn new skills as well as keep existing skills current. There is a troubling trend though with MOOC enrollment. Completion rates are very low, typically under 13%. There are two primary reasons for the low completion. One has to do with the goals of the students.
  • For many MOOC students, the free courses are just references like other content found on the internet. They are not interested in earning a credential, they simply want to go in and out of the courses when they are looking for specific information.

The other reason is more fundamental to the foundation requirements for a high level of engagement in learning. MOOCs typically lack a social component.

Talent Communities and MOOCs

Talent communities focused on learning and personal development can potentially solve both problems. In a learning community, the members are all involved in development pursuits with others that have similar interests and backgrounds. Mentors, experts, and fellow students can provide the feedback, encouragement, dialogue, and interaction needed to engage the learner.

Visibility of multiple recruiters and career opportunities in the community can provide the motivation to complete credentials, have other members validate completion of development goals, and actively participate in the community to demonstrate to recruiters their commitment to active learning.

Wheeeler notes MOOC providers are just beginning to understand the value of their student communities for recruiters. Udacity and Coursera already have business models where employers pay to have access to high performing student resumes matched to their opportunities.

Other sites allow organizations to create their own custom courses to ensure students are prepared for their opportunities.

OMNIview Helps Companies Create Learning Communities

However, the best strategy may well be for organizations to create their own learning communities. These communities would be focused on talent with hard to find skill sets for pivotal positions. Key reasons for doing this would be:

  • Candidates are attracted to organizations that offer learning and development opportunities in their field. Creating or sponsoring a learning talent community would build a strong employment brand and engage future candidates.
  • Organizations can customize course offerings and other developmental resources to their hiring needs. Actively grooming and nurturing future candidates for key positions ensures a ready pool of qualified candidates for key jobs.

The appearance of company created learning communities has the real potential to revolutionize recruiting. OMNIview is committed to leading this charge.

Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

About Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

Patrick Hauenstein is the President and Chief Science Officer for OMNIview. During his free time Pat likes to cook. He is particularly fond of traditional southern cuisine. Pat is also an animal lover ...
Read More About Patrick