CLO - May 2011 - (Page 52)
Outsource Training to Transfer Knowledge
BY CUSHING ANDERSON
As companies begin to recover, the urgency of training is rebounding and putting outsourcing for expertise back on the rise.
It is commonly recognized that companies often need effective training programs to transfer knowledge and skills to employees, customers and partners; to retain employees; and to improve speed to proficiency. The approach to that knowledge transfer can vary: Training programs can be grown organically over time, developed in-house, outsourced to a training provider or implemented using some combination of in-house and external expertise. The decision to outsource often rests on whether internal staff can support the needed volume and quality of training. Overall, enterprises that outsource training are satisfied with outsourcing and expect to FIGURE 1: HAS YOUR COMPANY OUTSOURCED ANY PART OF ITS TRAINING FUNCTION?
60 50 40 30 20 10 0
Training outsourcing is the ongoing transfer of the management and execution of one or more complete training processes to an external services provider. However, it is clear from the survey, conducted in partnership with IDC, in the past several years, this is not the marketplace’s current use of the term. The types of training activities being purchased suggest enterprises use the term training outsourcing interchangeably with any use of external training providers. For the purpose of this article, we will adopt this broader usage of training outsourcing for analysis. Fluctuating Usage Over Time In the past several years, there has been a decline in the number of enterprises that outsource part of their training function. The survey results show that in 2007, 58 percent of enterprises outsourced some portion of their training process. By 2010, only about 45 percent of chief learning officers reported outsourcing some portion of their training function. In our most recent survey, the trend appears to be reversing: More than 50 percent of enterprises report outsourcing some portion of their training function. While the challenging economy was a significant driver of the downward trend, it is likely an equally large driver of the recovery. As companies begin to recover, the urgency of training is rebounding from its nadir during the difficult economic crisis. Enterprises leverage external providers to deliver more training than internal resources can provide while gaining access to better training expertise and controlling costs. The recovery of the use of outsourcing should have been predictable because benefits from and satisfaction with training outsourcing have remained remarkably consistent in the past several years. Most companies outsource only select portions of their training functions — only about 4 percent outsource the entire training function. This percentage has remained relatively constant, even while the
Yes No 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Source: Human Capital Media Advisory Group, 2011
maintain or increase spending levels slightly for 2012. According to data from a January 2011 Human Capital Media Advisory Group survey on training outsourcing, more than 50 percent of enterprises use an outside provider to augment some part of their training function (Figure 1). Most often, enterprises use external vendors for content development, training delivery and training technology management.
52 Chief Learning Officer • May 2011 • CLOmedia.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CLO - May 2011
CLO - May 2011
Table of Contents
Selling Up, Selling Down
Special Report: Spring 2011 CLO Symposium
What the West Can Learn From India
What If Millennials Ran Your Mentoring?
Diamonds in the Analytics Rough
Building a Performance-Based Culture
Learning to Be Sustainable
CLO - May 2011