6 Learning Management Questions to Ask Your HRMS Vendor

Learning and development is a key (and longstanding) function of HR that lends itself well to management by software. However, long gone are the days when it was all about getting your people to the training course on time; these days, your potential HRMS learning management solution (LMS) has to come up with something a little more sophisticated…

Vendor Question #1: How Does Your Learning Functionality Stand Out?

The classic features of HRMS learning management solutions are: training administration, online learning delivery, data reports, a course directory, learning content management, individual learning plans, and so on. Ideally, all of this will be tailored to your in-house skills and competencies framework if you have one (which will give the HRMS data a common language with your performance and talent management applications). But ask the vendor, how does their system offer in the way of more sophisticated analytics, e- and m-learning management, and social media capabilities.

Vendor Question #2: What Social Learning Features Do You Offer?

For some time now, the social workplace has been emerging as the key paradigm shift of the 21st century. That might sound grandiose but most pundits agree that social is where it’s at and where it will continue to be for some time yet. So, with hierarchy-less, cross-functional learning communities in mind, what dynamic and social possibilities are on offer on the HRMS learning management market. Be on the lookout for tools such as: wikis, instant messaging, video chat and microblogging with tagging, bookmarking and rating features.

Vendor Question #3: What about Gamification?

With Gartner predicting that 70+% of global organizations will have at least one gamified application by 2014, vendors can no longer ignore this method of enhancing learning. The key thing to check is that the relevant HRMS learning management packages have been designed with this in mind (gamified from the ground up and aligned with your business goals) and not simply had a ‘points and badges’ system layered on top.

Vendor Question #4: How Will Your LMS Integrate with Our Other Systems?

The more you utilize your LMS to the full, the more potentially useful data it will contain – statistics, learning patterns, evaluations, etc. – all just begging to be correlated, mixed, contrasted with your other business information to produce sharper analytics and reports. So, your new LMS must be compatible and integrated with the overarching HRMS, your payroll and time and attendance systems, and even your ERP or equivalent. When you can see the bigger data picture, your learning activities can be truly strategic.

Vendor Question #5: How Do You Typically Engage Users in Implementation?

HRMS learning management is unnecessary without the learners. However good the technology, the real challenge is finding a system or package that your people both CAN and WANT to use. A simple and intuitive user experience that sits on top of a clever and sophisticated LMS is the ideal combination.

Vendor Question #6: In Your Opinion, What's next in LMS?

Usually when you look for a vendor, you’re hoping for a productive and long-term relationship. For that you need an outfit that really understand the learning market and is comfortable sitting on the leading edge of that market. Talent management, social learning, mobile learning, gamification and so on, and then there are rising trends/issues such as MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the Tin Can API that enables the capture of all learning activity, however incidental or casual. You need your HRMS vendor to bring this expertise to the table.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall