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In years past, many people landed their first jobs thanks to their education and perhaps some industry knowledge. Companies offered a long ramp-up time for employees to learn the organization, presented chosen candidates with a clear path to leadership, and conducted training via seasoned workers, written materials, or formal classes. A “new person” had a cocoon of time to develop in a company, learning about its people and processes.

Today, expectations for both newly hired and long-time employees have changed. Companies want everyone to understand standard software and be familiar with an array of technology. The pressure is on to skill-up quickly, maintain competencies in changing environments, and accept learning delivery in many different forms. Binders have given way to databases. The human element is still present, but has been enhanced through social networks and informal learning.

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