Learning Management Systems

May 25, 2022
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Learn more about Finch's approach to building a best-in-class learning management system experience to remotely onboard, train, reskill, and upskill.

How to build a best-in-class learning management system experience with Finch

Since 2020, the pace of experiences going virtual has snowballed – corporate learning and development (L&D) is no exception. Coupled with pressing talent concerns, L&D leaders across industries and verticals are poised to invest in learning management systems (LMS) that meet their need to remotely onboard, train, reskill, and upskill while also solving for their pain points around administration, organization, and analytics. Learning management systems that prioritize exceptional experiences for LMS admins and learners stand to come out on top.

One element of creating a best-in-class LMS experience is payroll and HR integrations. By connecting to the software employers use to manage their workforce, learning management systems can unlock product functions and features that set new bars in the LMS category.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the L&D pain points HR and payroll integrations alleviate and how you can leverage them to optimize your own LMS platform in ways that meet or exceed your customers’ expectations.

The L&D landscape

Before we do, let’s dig into the mindset of your customers with a brief overview of the corporate L&D landscape, which is taking on new importance in the wake of COVID-19 and the social and economic forces defining our current reality.

For one, companies are struggling—both to keep employees motivated and to close skill gaps internally without resorting to expensive (and often unfruitful) talent recruitment initiatives. They’re also responding to demands to improve the DEI fluency of their teams and foster an authentically inclusive workplace culture. Then, there’s the growth of remote work and the need for virtual onboarding and training solutions to replace in-person experiences.

At many companies, L&D has been expected to bear the brunt of these challenges and more, earning L&D a place among c-suite priorities. The numbers bear this out:

  • 72% of professionals polled agree that L&D has become a more strategic function at their organization.
  • In Q3 2021, demand for L&D specialists grew 94% compared to Q2 that same year.
  • 48% of L&D leaders worldwide, including 51% in North America, expect their budgets to increase in 2022—a six-year high.

Unsurprisingly, L&D teams are feeling more pressure to deliver on performance as well as more demands on their time. A recent survey found that the number of different L&D initiatives being deployed in 2022 has increased across the board, stretching L&D professionals thin.

To cope with their growing pains, L&D teams are looking to technology. Perhaps more than ever, they expect LMS solutions to save them time, drive learner engagement, and offer analytics that help them deliver the results they’ve been tasked with achieving.

L&D pain points

Specifically, L&D professionals are concerned about three key areas of LMS functionality and performance:

  • Admin time: L&D professionals want to spend fewer hours onboarding employees into learning management systems, enrolling them in courses, and managing and tracking their progress.
  • User adoption: To meet their objectives, L&D professionals need an LMS that employees want to use and do use. This is usually a function of an LMS being easy and enjoyable to navigate and engage with.
  • Analytics: It’s critical for L&D professionals to be able to view and assess the impact a particular course or learning module is having, so they can adjust their approach accordingly, report on progress, and prove their value to leadership teams.

Enter integrations

An important element of solving these pain points for your customers is HR and payroll system integrations.

When you integrate with your customers’ HR and payroll systems, your LMS has access to their full trove of employee census data like name, job title, department, location, and much more. In turn, you unlock numerous opportunities to make your product more effective and efficient in ways that meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

Here are just some of the ways HR and payroll integrations help you build a best-in-class LMS experience for your customers:

  • Admin automation: With access to employee census data, HR and payroll system integrations make it possible to build numerous features that take the manual work out of tedious tasks like onboarding users, program invitations, course enrollments, compliance tracking, and user deactivations. Instead of requiring L&D professionals to enter and manage this information themselves, or upload and reconcile clunky CSV files containing sensitive employee data, integrations pull the data instantly and output it in a normalized, actionable format for your LMS to consume and leverage.
  • Optimal engagement: In retrieving data like job titles, department, and location, HR and payroll integrations provide the visibility your LMS needs to create hyper-personalized journeys that are tailored to the skill sets, interests, seniority, and location-specific compliance requirements of your customers’ individual employees. By offering employees an experience just for them, they are more likely to enjoy and complete courses and modules, and L&D professionals are more likely to be satisfied with the engagement rates your LMS generates.
  • Valuable insights: The data that HR and payroll systems unlock can be used to identify correlations between courses and modules completed and things like compensation, job performance, and promotions. These insights can be pulled into your LMS’s dashboard to provide visibility into ROI and impact. In turn, L&D professionals not only have documentation of the value of their work, they can also make adjustments to their strategies and policies as needed to optimize that value.

Your integration options

Assuming you’re sold on the value of HR and payroll system integrations, you have a couple of options. You can either build and maintain the integrations in-house—a complicated, resource-draining undertaking—or you can outsource integrations to a specialist like Finch.

With Finch, you get all the benefits of integrations without sacrificing your internal bandwidth. Our single, universal API makes it possible to access comprehensive data sets from an ever-growing number of HR and payroll providers (142 at the time of publication) with minimal coding and zero maintenance responsibilities.

Compare that to building in-house, which can cost companies in the vicinity of $300,000, including upfront development and ongoing upkeep.

The unique value of Finch

Aside from cost savings, Finch standardizes data from disparate sources, so it’s immediately and optimally usable without intervention from your team or your customers—allowing you to focus on what you do best without having to worry about which of the many, many HR systems or payroll providers your customers use (check out our whitepaper on the fragmented US payroll landscape here).

Perhaps the most tangible benefit of Finch, though, is its effect on onboarding. What once took 30 days worth of file uploads, hand-holding, and back-and-forth correspondence with your customers is reduced to a quick and easy 30 seconds and completed entirely within your LMS. The process is simple:

  • Finch Connect (our secure, embeddable front-end modal) prompts your customers to choose their HR or payroll system.
  • Your customers authorize a set of permissions by entering their admin or API credentials to that system.
  • The connection is established, and your LMS starts receiving data.

We do all the legwork. For you and your customers, there’s nothing more to it.

Then there’s the matter of upkeep. When you go with Finch, integration maintenance is entirely in our court. So, instead of spending an average of 27 minutes on the phone with an HR or payroll provider trying to connect to their infrastructure so you can troubleshoot any inevitable issues that arise, you shoot us a support ticket, and we take care of it, reducing your effort to something closer to 27 seconds.

Concentrate on your competencies

In essence, Finch ensures you can take advantage of everything HR and payroll integrations offer without any of the internal hassles or capacity issues you’d run into by keeping the work in-house. Consequently, you’ll have more internal resources to dedicate to your core product, allowing you to get to market sooner and accelerate your roadmap.

Want to know more about integrations for LMS platforms?

To start building with Finch, enter your email address on our homepage here to get API keys today.

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

Learn more in our State of Employment Technology report ->

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

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