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Karen Moran
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If you search online for L&D roles you might be shocked to see how few organisations are grasping the changes in learning. Perhaps you’re already on the path to making changes in your L&D function, but need a bit of inspiration?

We’ve put together a few tips and an example L&D job spec to get you going!

Let’s start by summarising the key shifts in L&D:

  • A much closer link with other Centres of Expertise particularly Talent Management & Hiring rather than a ‘Learning & Development Team’ out on its own
  • A starting point that ‘Everyone’ is talent and gets the same opportunities – no elite programs!
  • At the point of need learning suited to personal preferences e.g. digital solutions, books, videos, webinars, toolkits, coaching/mentoring
  • A ‘Community’ approach to Leadership Development i.e. virtual discussions/learning, short clinics, nudges, toolkits, recommended resources, sharing expertise, etc..
  • Learning is owned by the employee – responsibility to learn, budget for choosing their own learning, keeping their own records (e.g. on LinkedIn) 
  • Making use of your own talented people – peer-to-peer learning, shadowing, informal mentoring etc.
  • Not a one size fits all approach. Everyone is unique so avoid creating competency frameworks and defined career paths 
  • When it comes to Learning Tech don’t over complicate by building it yourself as it makes it much harder to be agile. Off the shelf is best and even better use your normal comms channel to push content (MS Teams, Slack, FB Workplace)
  • Use of pulse surveys for better insight from your people about how they learn, what they need and what is working 
  • The L&D team have a ‘hands-off’ approach and focus on creating the environment for learning to happen, not to control or manage it. We love Spotify’s approach of being more like gardeners in a greenhouse.  

You know what needs to happen and now you need someone to make it happen! Here is an example Job Spec.

Job Description – Head of Learning & Development

We strive to create an environment where our people can learn every day, have the opportunity to grow and develop and play to their strengths.

Leading and inspiring a team, you will play a key role in driving and building our culture of lifelong learning and development so that we can give all our people a great career experience, but also develop the skills and capabilities we need as a business.

Outcomes for the role:

  • Experiments with solutions that are purposefully not courses. Digital resources & learning interventions that move at the speed of business to solve our people’s work challenges in real-time.
  • Works closely with our HR Business Partners to define business priorities and designs solutions that are joined up with the overall employee experience we want to create for our people
  • Creates a social learning platform that can be used to provide our people with learning resources and a community where they can share and feedback
  • Develops the skills and capabilities of our managers including toolkits to help them have regular career conversations with their team
  • Designs initiatives that encourage our people to take ownership of their own careers and learning, while providing them with a range of different options, resources, and experiences  
  • Works with HRBP’s and managers to ensure we create as many career-defining experiences for all our people e.g. peer to peer learning, mentoring, job shadowing, projects etc.
  • Uses data and insight to help us understand what our people need and how we are doing.


  • Leads the development and implementation of our approach to Performance Management using the very latest trends
  • Develops Diversity and Inclusion learning interventions to raise awareness and encourage open and honest conversations
  • Delivers an effective onboarding approach to ensure our people are having a great experience and are up to speed as soon as possible

The person we’re looking for

  • A progressive, non-bureaucratic approach to HR
  • Knowledge of the latest Talent and Learning trends but in practical terms – not just a theory
  • Someone who’s digitally savvy
  • Enjoys delivering as part of a team!
  • An excellent relationship builder and communicator, with the ability to move between listening to, guiding and coaching others at all levels
  • Has the ability to make quick, sound decisions and work in an agile way
  • Common sense – always spot opportunities to simplify and improve processes to drive better results
  • Product marketing, communication and facilitation skills to make change happen.

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