Career Briefing – Learning & Development Advisors within Organisations (Internal)By Samantha Anderson, Martina Calderan, Olivia Paris, Thomas Ziegler & Lincoln (May2012).In order to construct the following handout, we accessed a wide variety of websites includingSeek.com and ‘Personnel Today’, interviewed a remunerations officer at AGL, and located statisticsthrough the Australian Bureau of Statistics.What is a Learning and Development Advisor & What do they do?Definition of role:A Learning and Development (LD) Advisor is, in broadest terms, an internal consultant (generallyreporting to a LD or HR Manager) that oversees and advises on the development, implementationand evaluation of learning activities that are designed to meet specific business objectives &learners needs. LD differs to training in that it aims to get the learner to take responsibility for theirown learning rather than being a passive recipient (Retail Human Resources 2012).Job Description:There are many roles that fall into the job description of LD Advisors. The main areas of workidentified within 15 current job advertisements for LD Advisors are addressed below. They aresorted into 11 main categories and ranked below according to the number of occurrences within the15 job advertisements examined. Any roles that were identified by more than half theadvertisements are listed individually (SEEK.com 2012, CareerOne 2011, twosteps 2011, WebJobs2012, Burswood Entertainment Complex 2011, Worcestershire County Council 2006). Program Design & Development – 100% Career/Staff/Performance/Talent Management & Succession Planning – 80% Project Management – 73% Facilitating/Training/Coaching i.e. Delivery of Learning Activities 73% Coordinating Activities & Training Calendars 66% Relationship Building/Liaising with Relevant Stakeholders 53% Research/Analysis, Administrative Tasks, Quality Assurance, Designing/Maintaining/Improving Systems, Evaluation/FeedbackRequired Experience, Skills, Attributes and Qualifications for LD AdvisorsThe main skills, experience, attributes and qualifications for LD Advisors as identified by the 15 jobadvertisements are (SEEK.com 2012, CareerOne 2011, twosteps 2011, WebJobs 2012, BurswoodEntertainment Complex 2011):
Experience in LD 93% Attributes 66% Needed (time not specified) – 53% Team Worker – 27% 5yrs or more - 20% Passionate- 27% None – 7% Attention to Detail – 20% 1-2yrs – 7% Influential/Affecting Change – 20% 3-5yrs – 7% Autonomous- 20% Understanding of Adult Learning Principles – 20%Relevant Skills 87% Experience in the specific industry (e.g. retail, Relationship Building Skills - 53% financial planning etc.) –13% Communication/Interpersonal Skills – 60% Motivated/Proactive – 13% Program Design Skills – 47% Creativity – 13% Facilitation/Presentation Skills – 40% Confidence – 7% Organisational Skills – 27% Project Management Skills – 20% Qualifications 60% Strategic Thinking & Problem Solving – 13% Relevant Degree – 47% Consulting Skills - 13% Cert IV TAE/TAA – 20% Familiar with CBT/Training Packages – 13% Computer Skills – 13% Research/Analysis Skills 13% Multitasking – 7% Administrative Skills – 7%Current Trends in the Learning and Development ProfessionIn organisations today, LD advisors are playing an important role. The need for LD advisors isgrowing more significant in order to increase employees’ skills (Hulse 2010). “New technology andthe rapid pace at which it develops, is a major factor contributing to the development of the neweconomy”(Hulse 2010).The new economy has profoundly affected workers, as jobs can be carriedout more efficiently and cheaply through technology use, rather than human labour.Telecommunication systems have also been improved by technology. For example, it is now possiblefor organisations all over the world to rapidly communicate with one another. It is this quickcommunication that enables the international marketplace to exist (Hulse 2010). In order tomaintain a competitive edge in this fluid environment, organisations need LD advisors to create newways for employees to develop new skills, as well as providing means of broadening employees’careers. Also, if organisations want to improve the quality of their products and productivity, “thereare many ways that companies can try to change the way they do business, including redefiningcorporate structures and revising policies and procedures“ (Hulse 2010). Furthermore, they canfacilitate the learning of their employees through the concept of LD, administered by LD advisors, todevelop employee understanding and awareness regarding liaising with customers and best businesspractice (Hulse 2010). By doing this, organisations are more able to effectively utilise LD advisors,thus increasing the learning capability of its employees (Hulse 2010).Emerging Trends in the Learning & Development ProfessionThe role of a Learning and Development (LD) advisor within an organizing has undergone a largelevel of change over the past 10 years. With the growing awareness within management of the needto better equip their employees with skills, a growing demand for learning advisors has occurred. A
major emerging trend within a LD advisor is a change in the primary type of learning beingconducted. Ten years ago, organisations training initiatives were primarily concerned with ‘technical’types of learning, which would benefit procedural processes. Recently, LD advisors have needed toconcentrate their training towards ‘capability’ like skills such as problem solving or team work (AGL2012, pers. Comm., 1 May).A LD advisor is also beginning to have a different goal while conducting their work within theorganisation. Many organisations are valuing their employees higher within the organisation andunderstand that through providing career paths and learning opportunities, you can increase notonly an employee’s skill level but also job satisfaction, promoting them to stay longer at thecompany. With this in mind, a LD advisor is taking on a more of a strategic role within anorganisation. This involves the long term training of an employee, thus working towards a lowerretention rate and productivity within an organisation. (AGL 2012, pers. Comm., 1 May)Change IssuesAs mentioned in the emerging trends section of this handout, the role of a LD advisor is changing. Asworkers are now working in such an unstable and insecure environment organisations are looking,now more than ever, at ways to lower costs and increase productivity (wjhipwell 2009). Through thiscost cutting, an area that would seemingly be downsized is the learning and developmentdepartment as it is not seen as a vital function of an organisation. However, Australian studies haveshown that the LD areas within organisations are increasing in size and spending at a rate of 4.6%(Interview, cited Mercer consulting 2012 Report). This growth is due to the fact that organisationsare aware of the value and benefit the LD area can have for the organisation. The below table showsthe average number of hours committed to development by organisations from 1998 – 2008. It isexpected to continue to grow. Hours Dedicated to Research & Development within Organisations between 1998-2008 Year 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 Human Resources 45502 46287 49612 55204 58905 61310 Devoted to R&D (PYE)As organisations are looking to become more efficient, a challenge for LD advisors is the possibilityof changes to their job description; for example, it could result in their job expanding into otherroles, such as an instructional designer or a trainer.A change in what employees are looking for is also occurring; LD advisors now need to be moreanalytical than before. They must have the ability to critically analyse an organisation’s needs, andthen tailor and advise which learning strategies are most suitable.Organisations are also trying to become increasingly innovative, so a LD advisor who can help anorganisation differentiate themselves from competitors will have the upper hand in the hiringprocess.Implications for Individuals Interested in Working as a Learning andDevelopment AdvisorQualifications
According to SEEK.com (2012), to apply for a position as a LD advisor, the desired candidate musthave qualifications (either a degree or certificate) in not only Human Resources, but additionally aCertificate IV in Training and Assessment.Certificate IV in Training and AssessmentThis qualification ‘reflects the roles of individuals delivering training and assessment services in thevocational education and training sector’ (Training.gov.au 2012). There are a variety of opportunitiesand ways in which individuals can access and complete this qualification: OTEN - (distance education) offer an online program through Western Sydney TAFE SEEK.com - offer an online distance program TAFE - offers internal full time and part time options UTS- The University of Technology Sydney offers an intensive course run through ‘Training and Development Services’ where students completing a degree in Organisational Learning may apply for RPL for half of the competencies required for this qualification. The complete course is run intensively over several short blocks of time consisting of 2-4 days (UTS: Training and Development Services 2012).Competitive nature of the current job market“The competitive nature of the current job market means a high number of… graduates and school-leavers are competing against each other for limited positions” (Graduate Management Associationof Australia n.d.). To become a LD advisor experience is imperative (Smart Manager 2012).“Participating in either paid or voluntary work experience with a HR team will strengthen acandidates CV and give them a better opportunity in the job market” (Personnel Today 2011).NetworkingWidening one’s networks will be increasingly important if individuals wish to thrive within theHuman Resource sector. For LD advisors, networking is essential as it enables them to link up withthe various departments they need to liaise with, whilst increasing market intelligence and sourcingnew strategic alliances. Networking can also be achieved through avenues such as mentoring andgraduate programs (Personnel Today 2010).Graduate opportunities:New graduates or those interested in working in LD may progress from a graduate internship oradministrative role to move “from HR administration assistant to HR advisor through ‘on-the-job’experience” (Personnel Today 2011).Graduate opportunities and entry-level positions in HR have managed to withstand the “falteringeconomic recovery” (Personnel Today, 2011) as a consequence of continuously rapid changes withinthe organisational context and the need to pursue employee development.There are a wide range of opportunities for those interested in pursuing their career to become a LDadvisor that can easily be accessed online such as Allianz Insurance who offer successful graduaterecruits financial support while they are studying towards relevant qualifications (Allianz 2011).
Changes to LD and its functionsOne of the most influential factors changing current and future employment for LD advisors istechnology. With an increase in technology and a demand for more technologically literateindividuals, it can be said that “technology and technological change will dominate the workinglandscape” (Smart Manager 2011). In effect, technological changes will increase the demand for ahighly skilled workforce and add volumes of change in workplaces (Smart Manager 2011).There will be increase in the need for LD advisors, as there is a shift from training to learning. As aresult, employees will need to be constantly monitoring their own development and will have toengage in ‘lifelong learning’ in order to stay current within their workplace. “Employers will expectindividuals to invest in their own training in new technology as it hits the market and seeps into workprocesses” (Smart Manager 2011).For employers, the processes they use to employ and retain staff will become more selective andcomplex, as employers will stress the need for the best and will be extremely selective in theirchoice of employees, especially within these difficult economic times. An implication of this trend forLD advisors is that it may require those in the position to focus more on re-development andretention of staff during times of upcoming organisational change, due to the continuous changes inthe workplace (Smart Manager 2011).In addition, there has been a shift from training purely for technical skills, towards training in softskills, as a result of employment shortages and the growing desires of organisations to keep theiremployees engaged and to differentiate themselves from their competitors (AGL 2012, pers. comm.,1 May).ReferencesAllianz 2011, Professional Development, viewed 2 May 2012,<http://www.allianz.com.au/careers/career-development/professional-development>Burswood Entertainment Complex 2011, Careers at Burswood - Learning and Development Advisor,viewed 27 April 2012,<https://crownltd.taleo.net/careersection/chef/jobdetail.ftl?job=46842&lang=enCareerOne 2011, Learning Development Advisor Job, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://jobview.careerone.com.au/Learning-Development-Advisor-Job-Brisbane-QLD-AU-108266856.aspx>Graduate Management Association of Australia n.d., GMMA White Paper, viewed 2 May 2012,<http://www.gmaa.com.au/gmaa-whitepaper/>Hulse, S. 2010, Trends in Learning and Development, viewed 4 May 2012,<http://learningsolutions.jplcreative.com/blog/index.php/2010/06/04/trends-in-learning-and-development/>Personnel Today 2011, Graduate Routes into HR, viewed 1 May 2012,
<http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2011/07/15/57793/graduate-routes-into-hr.html>Personnel Today 2010, HR Networking: Top tips and benefits, viewed 2 May 2012,<http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2010/08/04/56363/hr-networking-top-tips-and-the-benefits.html>Personnel Today 2011, What types of HR specialism are there?, viewed 4 May 2012,<http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2011/02/28/57391/what-types-of-hr-specialism-are-there.html>Retail Human Resources 2012, Training/Learning and Development Advisor Jobs, viewed 27 April2012, <http://www.retailhumanresources.com/job-seekers/retail-job-types/training-learning-and-development-advisor-jobs>Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, ‘Research and Experimental Development, Higher EducationOrganisations, Australia, 2008’, cat. no 8110.0, ABS, Canberra, viewed 3 May 2012,<http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8111.0/>State University 2012, Trends in Training Development, viewed 4 May 2012,<http://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/852/Trends-in-Training-Development.html#ixzz1u6OluOkw>SEEK.com 2012, L D Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012, <http://www.seek.com.au/Job/l-d-advisor/in/sydney/22015581>SEEK.com 2012, Learning Development Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/learning-development-advisor/in/perth/22130724>SEEK.com 2012, Learning Development Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/learning-and-development-advisor/in/perth/22149673>SEEK.com 2012, HR Advisor Learning Development, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/hr-advisor-learning-development/in/sydney/22061674>SEEK.com 2012, Learning and Development Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/learning-and-development-advisor/in/perth/22149064>SEEK.com 2012, Human Resources Learning and Development Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/human-resources-learning-and-development-advisor/in/sydney/22112028>
SEEK.com 2012, Learning and Development Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/learning-and-development-advisor/in/perth/22030013>SEEK.com 2012, Learning Development Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/learning-development-advisor/in/perth/22127309>SEEK.com 2012, Learning and Development Project Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/learning-and-development-project-advisor/in/brisbane/22076495>SEEK.com 2012, Learning and Development Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/learning-and-development-advisor/in/auckland/22106209>SEEK.com 2012, Learning and Development Advisor, viewed 30 April 2012,<http://www.seek.com.au/Job/learning-and-development-advisor/in/perth/22030013>Smart Manager 2011, The Future of jobs and work, viewed 30 April 2012,<http://www.smartmanager.com.au/web/au/smartmanager/en/pages/110_changing.html>Training.gov.au 2012, Qualification Details: TAE: 40110, viewed 30 April 2012,<http://training.gov.au/Training/Details/TAE40110>twosteps 2011, Learning and Development Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://twosteps.com/job-detail/australia/business-services/learning-development-advisor/1699/>UTS 2012, UTS: Training and Development Services, viewed 1 May 2012,<http://www.tds.uts.edu.au/>WebJobs 2012, HR/Learning & Development Advisor, viewed 27 April 2012,<http://www.webjobz.com/jobs-HR-Learning-and-amp-Development-Advisor-1532245.html>wjhipwell 2009, The Future of Learning & Development: Part 3, video recording, viewed 1 May, 2012http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ5Zv3dofrsWorcestershire County Council 2006, Job Description- Learning and Development Advisor, viewed 27April 2012, <www.worcestershire.gov.uk/workforce/jobs/jdps/11169jd.pdf>
AppendixInterview conducted by Thomas Ziegler on Tuesday, 1st of May 2012AGL Training Advisor InterviewRemunerations officerHow has the industry of a LD advisor changed whilst you have been in the industry?Originally training was purely focused on technical training, so how you do things, and now they stilldo that but there is more training in the area of capabilities like skills (problem solving, teamwork,public speaking). This has occurred due to employment shortages and companies wanting to keeptheir employees engaged, due to the fact that they are looking at ways to differentiate themselvesfrom other companies.Companies don’t want to keep throwing money at people, they would rather help people developtheir career to promote people to stay at their company,Studies show that people leave organisations primarily because they don’t like their boss or forcareer opportunities elsewhere.The LD advisor role has evolved into a more strategic focus on the organisation with an emphasis oncompetency based training rather than technical training.Their job is to analyse the needs of the company and then design and deliver a suitable programbased on their analysis – in the past, this did not occur.What particular traits are you looking for when hiring a LD advisor?Different companies look for different traits, some of these include: People who have analytical skills and training skills Experience within the field of work, usually approximately 5 years Someone who has great interpersonal communication skills