TJ interviews: LinkedIn’s Scott Roberts

We talk to LinkedIn’s Scott Roberts about a new learning initiative. 

Tell us about LinkedIn Learning’s new partner program.

The new Integration Partner Program was designed to ensure that our learning content and functionality can be accessed across the multiplicity of Learning Management Systems and learning platforms being used among organisations today.

With this ‘platform-agnostic’ approach, organisations will now be able to automatically upload and update all LinkedIn Learning content directly in their Learning Management System, providing a streamlined experience for companies, administrators, and learners, alike.

What do you think the implications will be of this, but also what are your hopes for the initiative?

We want to provide a more frictionless experience for organisations by ensuring that the content and learning insights talk to the systems they’re already using. By helping administrators minimise the juggling act of multiple platforms, dashboards and tools, we hope to make it easier for them to get LinkedIn Learning to their employees so they can engage with high-quality, relevant content. 

Looking forward, I believe this program is aligned with where the industry is headed more broadly and the shift taking place toward learning platforms and systems that enable interoperability, curation, and collaboration.

After LinkedIn’s acquisition of it was very clear the company is serious about learning – what’s the next frontier for you, after video learning?

At the highest level, I believe learning plays a crucial and integral role in closing today’s skills gaps. There are more than 6m unfilled jobs, 7.1m people are unemployed in America (and 13.9m are seeking more work).

LinkedIn’s “economic graph,” a digital map of the global economy via company, candidate and jobs data, enables us to see where demand from employers is greatest and what skills job seekers and/or current employees need. With LinkedIn Learning, we’re uniquely positioned to deliver online learning accordingly.

On a more micro product level, we’re excited to build on and evolve the way LinkedIn Learning leverages the powerful data and distribution of LinkedIn’s network to provide a highly engaging, social learning platform with a range of personalised, just-in-time learning formats and features.

As you may have noticed, we’ve introduced a few new features in recent months like the ability to ‘like’ a course, which provides a social signal to your network around what courses are popular and trending, as well as a new bite-sized format of LinkedIn Learning courses, called ‘Daily Bites’, that make it easy to learn on-the-go or in those in-between moments. This is just the beginning.

What needs to change about corporate learning in 2017?

Organisations are still trying to reach today’s learners with yesterday’s tactics. Earlier this year, LinkedIn Learning published the Workplace Learning Report, which surveyed over 500 learning executives to better understand the state of L&D.

Among the findings, 78% of pros said the most commonly used method for training is still the traditional in-person, classroom model –– even though 52% of employees prefer to be able to access learning they need whenever they need it.

It’s no wonder only 8% of CEOs report that they see the business impact of L&D programs, and just 4% see the ROI. Corporate learning must evolve at the same speed – or even faster – than the rest of the organisation so that businesses can upskill employees and solve new, complex problems.


About the author

Scott Roberts is VP of enterprise business development at LinkedIn


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