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How to improve Learning & Development: Lessons from talent acquisition

What do talent acquisition and Learning & Development have in common? More than you might think. CodeSignal Co-Founders Sophia Baik and Tigran Sloyan discuss the surprising connections between TA and L&D – and where the future of L&D is headed. 

In the tech world, we often think about skill assessment as a screening tool. It’s a way to tell if a job candidate has the skills needed to succeed in the position they’re applying for and (done right) can give you an in-depth view of how they approach a problem. 

But skill assessment is useful beyond screening during the hiring process. It’s also an essential part of mastering skills, and a key element of effective Learning & Development. This is where talent acquisition and Learning & Development cross paths, says Sloyan.

Why Learning & Development is More Important than Ever

For some jobs, training once is enough. Lawyers only need to go to law school once; doctors go to medical school once. They need to keep up with new developments in their fields, of course. But the fundamentals of their training stay relevant throughout their careers.

The tech world, on the other hand, is quite different. The skills software developers need to perform well in their roles are constantly being reinvented. The most popular coding frameworks and languages today (React, for example) were developed less than a decade ago. 

L&D, then, is crucial for employees’ ability to stay relevant in the tech world – and for companies to realize the full potential of their workforce.

The Future of Learning & Development

Despite its importance, L&D training today is often less than ideal. A 2019 survey found, for instance, that nearly half of workers are unsatisfied with the L&D offered by their employer. At its worst, L&D is all about compliance. In these cases, companies offer training just out of necessity – with little concern if their employees actually gain anything from it. 

Even at companies that care genuinely about offering valuable L&D, training often takes the form of videos. While this format works for some learners, it doesn’t work for everyone. It also gives employers little sense of whether their employees are learning and mastering skills.

To keep up with the ever-changing nature of the tech industry, L&D must couple delivering content with providing meaningful opportunities for practice and ongoing assessment of employees’ skills. Rather than just assess skills at the TA phase, companies need objective ways to measure how an employee’s skills are evolving over the years. A data-driven approach to L&D allows for data-driven promotion cycles – a good thing for both employees and employers. 

Sloyan explains: “Being data-driven in talent acquisition is important – but being data-driven in general about how we measure talent, whether it’s during the TA phase or during the L&D phase, is a key element in what is going to transform talent in general.”

Learn More

Want to learn more about how you can build a winning organization through data-driven recruiting? Visit CodeSignal to find out how you can measure technical skills effectively and objectively with its automated assessment and live interview solutions.