Yesterday we posted the first part of my interview with Bhavneet Chahal, a personal friend and co-founder/CEO of GoSkills.com, a platform dedicated to delivering personalized, bite-sized business courses to working professionals. In Part 1 of “E-learning with CEO and Co-Founder of GoSkills, Bhavneet Chahal”, Bhav and I discussed the motivation behind founding the company, the unique and proven e-learning methods used by GoSkills, as well as how this application works for students and learners from all backgrounds, education levels and career paths.
In this final half of my interview with Bhav, we’ll discuss what it takes to empower the current post-Covid-19 workforce, why upskilling for both employed and unemployed professionals is a must-do, as well as what current trends companies are looking to offer their employees in regards to online education. Bhav offers some sound advice on staying competitive in today’s job market, and the story of how the ‘Seattle Freeze’ actually opened the door to our friendship.
Let’s start back in 2008. Feels like 300 years ago right? Well, that’s when AT&T caught on to the value of upskilling their workforce and making them ‘future-proof’. At that time, AT&T realized only about half of their 250,000 workers had the needed skills to keep up with rapidly changing technology. Those skills were related to science, engineering and technology. Additionally, the number of employees that dealt with hardware that would soon be obsolete was in the hundreds of thousands. Instead of laying-off their workforce, they chose to upskill their existing workers.
The reason so many companies are turning to upskilling or reskilling in order to retain their current workforces is the high cost of turnover. On average, the cost to replace an employee is 21 percent of their salary, and that percentage rises the higher the salary. Simply put, retaining employees is an investment, and it allows companies to realize a return on that investment by keeping a valuable workforce in-place.
Bhavneet Chahal, CEO and Co-founder of GoSkills
Tell us about your instructors. How many instructors does GoSkills have and how do you source them?
Bhav: We work with about 20-30 instructors. We like to work with instructors that can create multiple courses for our platform. We look for subject matter experts that have experience teaching online, especially via video. We do a screen test to ensure the instructor comes across naturally and has charisma and good energy levels, which really comes through on video-based courses. Instructors that post YouTube videos are a great screening tool for us as well.
How does GoSkills grading work?
Bhav: All our courses are delivered on-demand, which means the learning is self-directed. We provide quizzes and exercises to help learners test and apply their knowledge.
What is the most popular subject and what course did you start with?
Bhav: GoSkills started off with one subject, an Excel course, which is still our most popular course today. From there we expanded the training library by offering other Microsoft Office courses and researched what skills employees and employers are looking for. We now have several course families, including Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, Project Management, Lean Six Sigma, Finance, Coding, Design, Office Productivity and Soft Skills.
How often does GoSkills update courses?
Bhav: Because many of our courses are based on software applications, we regularly update and release new versions of our courses. This is especially important for Microsoft Office courses, with new versions of the software being released every few years and new features being released on a regular basis. Even for courses that are not based on software, such as Project Management, we’re updating the content based on new knowledge, new best practices, as well as customer feedback. It’s a never-ending process and we adopt a continuous improvement mindset - which happens to be the GoSkills motto!
What are your feelings on the initiatives from different states focused on unemployment and upskilling the workforce?
Bhav: I firmly believe that education should be accessible to everyone. It would be wonderful if some of these relief initiatives stayed post-pandemic, so people could continue to get their training and education reimbursed. Traditional education in the U.S. is quite expensive and this could move the needle towards universal access to education.
How can e-learning help overcome unemployment?
Bhav: Based on pre-COVID-19 survey results, most of our learners (82%) were employed and working full-time. However, due to the pandemic we saw an increase in demand from individual learners seeking to upskill, presumably due to recent furloughs and higher unemployment rates.
"E-learning can quickly help job seekers catch up and obtain the skills required in the current job market, making them more competitive and employable."
For example, we recently partnered with ZipRecruiter, a leading online employment marketplace that connects millions of employers and job seekers. Job seekers are offered skills-based training where they can check which skills are needed for a particular job, get that training and add that new skill to their resume. Thanks to the ease and accessibility of online education, job seekers can showcase these valuable new skills when applying, increasing their value in the eyes of hiring managers and employers.
What advice do you have for those looking to re-enter the job market, or advance their careers in order to up their marketability in a highly competitive job market?
Bhav: There’s a famous saying by the futurist and philosopher Alvin Toffler, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” I believe to remain competitive in the workforce, we need to embrace lifelong learning and continuous education.
Both moving to Seattle in 2018, Bhav and I met during a MeetUp event for entrepreneurship and founders in Seattle, WA. Engaged in a discussion about how most conversations at MeetUp events feel forced, we discussed how the ‘Seattle Freeze’ makes it that much harder to meet people and foster valuable relationships. Bhav told me that she’d just moved to Seattle and both her and her boyfriend were trying to expand their network and make friends. Little did I know that I had just ran into her boyfriend over a casual conversation at a local restaurant. From here we became fast friends and have traveled the world together. We’ve spent many conversations over dinner discussing entrepreneurship, continued education, blockchain and much more.
By 2025, it’s projected the global e-learning market will reach $325 billion USD, a number expected to increase due to the industry’s ability to quickly and effectively upskill today's workforce. That ability is perhaps now amplified, given the absolute and unforgiving shakeup 2020 has inflicted upon global economies and workforces.
Microlearning, a key factor in the success of GoSkills, is a growing trend in education, accounting for more than 60.7% of all e-learning. GoSkills has shown its ability to stay ahead of the trends, and serves employees and employers alike in creating the smoothest, most effective and efficient education platform for today's highly skilled job market.
Think of GoSkills as a productivity-boosting platform ready to equip an eager workforce in becoming future-proof through continued education in bit-size, easy to absorb bits of highly valuable information. GoSkills is reviewed and certified by leading accreditations and is a trusted partner with thousands of organizations including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Time Warner Cable and Konica Minolta. You can explore their courses here or sign up for your free trial now.
This article is part of ABC Legal’s thought leadership interview series. Sign up for email updates on feature stories such as this, as well as the latest on legal industry news and technology, product insight, thought leadership and trending news topics. The ABC Legal Blog aims to share valuable insight, knowledge and perspective relevant to the legal industry and working professionals navigating their way through the post-Covid-19 business landscape.
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