- To outsource or not to outsource? That is the question. According to an IDC survey from March 2016, 53% percent of enterprises outsource at least some portion of their learning, which makes sense given many companies do not have internal resources to deal with all the learning needs of their workforce. 94% of these companies say they are satisfied with the outsourcing providers they are using.
- There is still much debate about whether outsourcing learning is a good option, due to cost and control factors, says Andie Burjek, associate editor for Chief Learning Officer. To clear things up, CLO talked with several well-respected leaders in corporate learning to go over the factors that determine if outsourcing learning is the best option.
- Doug Teachey, director of learning and development at the Coca Cola Company says, "Outsourcing should occur when a company needs someone with a specific skill set for a short period of time and when the organization is going through changes." He regularly uses contractors for short term projects, then hires them on full time for long term development plans. But Justin Lombardo, chief learning officer of Baptist Health, says, "core competencies should never be outsourced."
There are both pros and cons to outsourcing learning and development. On the one hand, outsourcing can bring in a wealth of knowledge that is not found within the organization. It can also speed up the creation of new and improved training programs. It's generally less costly, too. But, as the experts advised here, certain factors must be in place in order to avoid losing out on the core competencies that can only be taught by subject matter experts within the organization.
The trend seems to be that organizations are utilizing open source learning tools (MOOCs) at an increasing rate, and partnering with outsourced learning vendors to align with their long term learning goals. The Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2016 study mentions this as a solution to corporate learning needs. While some learning must remain internal through peer-instructor led training and job shadowing, the rest may be best served by outsourcing solutions.