Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) hoping to bring new and important skills into their organization through recruiting and hiring are coming to a stark realization: it's an increasingly tough goal to accomplish. There are more job openings than ever and those openings are going unfilled for longer than ever, costing companies millions in lost productivity.
As a result, more and more businesses are turning inward and prioritizing learning and development with the workers they have; but this too comes with its own share of pitfalls. Historically, classroom-based employee training has been a dull and inflexible process for employees and a pain to administer and track for employers.
Computer based training can cure all of these woes, as it's the means to make it these things happen. But with so many computer based training software systems to choose from, it can be daunting to figure out which one is the best given your organization's budget and needs. To that end, we're here to help.
In this Buyer's Guide, we'll go over everything first-time computer-based training software buyers need to know in order to make an informed purchase decision.
Here's what we'll cover:
What Is Computer Based Training Software?
Common Computer Based Training Software Features
Computer Based Training Software Pricing
Key Considerations When Evaluating Computer Based Training Software
Additional Computer Based Training Software Resources
Computer based training software helps organizations bring their employee training out of the classroom and into a more flexible and engaging online environment. Using eLearning courses created in-house or purchased from a third party, these systems allow managers and corporate trainers to customize individual learner paths, dictate course choices and learning pace, track employee progression and more.
Computer based training software also benefits employees, allowing them to do training outside of the office, whenever and wherever it's easiest for them.
Employee learning library in Lessonly
More commonly known as learning management systems, computer based training software can be purchased standalone. It can also be acquired as an application within a more comprehensive human capital management software suite that also handles things like performance management, payroll and applicant tracking.
When evaluating different options, you'll find most computer based training software systems share a ton of features and functionality in common. Here are some examples:
|Course management||Upload and manage an inventory of created or purchased training courses. Set rules on how trainees can access and complete them.|
|Learner management||Manage and track a roster of employee trainees as they progress through courses and complete assessments.|
|Certification management||Training, testing and reporting functionality for certifications required of certain jobs.|
|Social learning||Trainees can interact with one another through course ratings, course discussions or individual learner blogs.|
|Extended enterprise||Allows companies to rebrand their training environment for external audiences (e.g., customers, channel partners etc.).|
|Analytics & reporting||Discover deeper trends regarding course effectiveness and learner progression through customizable reports and dashboards.|
You may need more robust functionality depending on your needs. For example, if you don't already have a course authoring tool to create your own training courses from scratch, some computer based training systems include them in their offering. Vendors may also include course libraries, giving your company access to a ton of pre-made courses that can be utilized for employee training.
Companies expecting to pay for new computer based training software upfront are going to be disappointed.
Because most systems are cloud-based (meaning they're hosted on the vendor's servers and accessed by client businesses via a web browser), the most common pricing structure you'll run into is a subscription-based model based on 1) the number of users you have and 2) the level of functionality you want.
For smaller businesses, the monthly fee may be relatively high at around $5/user/month, but this will go down to as low as $0.50/user/month for larger enterprises with a ton of employees. Vendors can also tier their pricing to that you pay a lower monthly fee for basic functionality like learner management and course assessments or a higher fee for more advanced features like extended enterprise management.
There can also be one-time fees for things like implementation or system training, so be sure to ask vendors about the exact breakdown of their cost structure so you can budget for a new system appropriately.
Cost is a major factor with any new software purchase, but it's not the only one. If you pick a computer based training software system based solely on good reviews and affordability, you risk adopting a product that ends up not being a great fit.
Here are some things you should keep in mind when evaluating different options:
We've covered the basics of what you need to know with computer based training software, but there's always more you can learn to help choose the right system, implement it successfully and become a top-tier employee training organization.
Here are some additional resources:
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