HR Tech Number of the Day: Changes to the L&D market

37%: Percentage of employers surveyed that plan to evaluate or replace their learning and development technology within the next two years

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The demand for learning and development, from both employees and employers, is exploding in light of the business disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with tightened purse strings for HR tech spending, a new report finds, employers are putting new learning tools front and center on their agenda.

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At HR Tech on Tuesday, Stacey Harris, chief research officer of Sapient Insights Group, unveiled the results of the Sierra-Cedar/Sapient Insights HR Systems Survey, now in its 23rd year.

Among the findings, learning was the HR area employers planned to invest the most in for tech upgrades. In fact, 37% of those surveyed were evaluating or planning to replace their learning tools within the next two years; this segment was followed by time management and recruiting.

What it means for HR leaders

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The focus on learning investment comes amid a significant scaleback of HR tech spending. On average, the report found, employers plan to decrease their HR tech budgets by 23% in the coming year, a significant jump from previous years. Nearly 80% of those that are anticipating budget decreases blame the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also see: How to avoid employees ‘learning through Google’

The areas most likely targeted for budget slashes are new talent management initiatives, HRIS upgrades and analytics projects, Harris said.

While employers are hungry for learning tools, they aren’t very happy with what’s on the market right now.

“Learning has the lowest user experience and vendor satisfaction score of every other group right now,” Harris said. Companies like Relias and Ceridian Dayforce/Docebo are currently leading the pack in both areas, while the large players that often get top marks for time management or analytics tools aren’t seeing the same payoff in learning.

“Customers are frustrated,” Harris said. “They’re still looking for whatever it is that will meet their [learning] needs.”


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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected].