The ‘Amazon of learning’ comes to HR Tech Europe

Springest is one of the exciting companies taking part in this year’s disruptHR Zone at HR Tech Europe. I spoke to Jon Woodruff, director of business development and global partnerships, to uncover what the ‘Amazon of learning’ is all about.

Springest is part of the disruptHR Zone at this year’s event, tell us a bit about the company.
Well, Springest has been around since 2008 and we see ourselves as disruptors of the training market – in a positive way! Springest is an independent comparison website for training courses and educational programmes. So learning and development providers place their offers with us, allowing individuals and organisations to view, compare and evaluate their options and find their ideal course. We’re changing the way people buy training and are excited to share that with the attendees of HR Tech Europe this year.

The site has been described as an ‘Amazon for learning’. Is that a good way for people to understand what Springest offers?
In a way, yes! Springest has over 35,000 courses, from 420 different providers, covering 570 different subjects from IT to legal to software engineering. Users can find training to suit their learning preferences, location and budget. Then once the course is over, they can share their experience by submitting a review. We have a star rating system for different elements of the training to let users evaluate their decisions by seeing feedback on what’s most important to them. So it is in fact an online marketplace for learning and the reviews can place a big factor in the purchasing decisions of our users.

It’s an interesting concept, what were the drivers for setting up a site like Springest?
In 2007, our founder Ruben Timmerman was searching online for some training he needed. It was a web development course and he realised that although there were lots of seemingly good training options out there, he had no way of comparing and contrasting the good ones and the bad ones. He felt this was something that could – and should – be addressed. So the concept was born! Originally the site was called eduhub but was rebranded to Springest in 2012.

We started by focusing on training courses in the Netherlands but have now expanded across Europe into other countries including Germany and the UK. Some of the big training providers grasped the idea straight away which gave us a great number of courses to get going. And it’s snowballed from there with over 200,000 visitors to the site every month. We have a fantastic team of developers that make sure our search engine optimisation is world class. This means the providers get better Google rankings, more visitors and ultimately more learners engaging with their training.

What do you feel are the main benefits of Springest for learners?
Firstly, it’s so easy! All learners need to do is search on a keyword or the subject area they’re interested in and Springest will return a series of results based on their ranking. Once they click onto a course and start reading up on the detail, they can at any time hit the ‘compare’ button to see how it ranks against other similar courses. We take into account key factors including price, location and duration as well as the rankings from the reviews. It’s all displayed in an at-a-glance table to make the decision making process as straightforward as possible for learners.

How can organisations take advantage of Springest?
Organisations can use the main site to suit their needs but if they have a lot of training requirements then they can have their own branded version that we call ‘Go’. We believe that people will be more motivated to learn if they get to choose their own courses. Go lets learners within organisations find and book the training they need to grow and removes the pressure from the HR department to do it for them. The aim is help motivate learners make good decisions about their training and help improve the impact of an organisation’s human capital development.

Given that a lot of learning is moving online these days, do you think that will impact Springest’s offering?

No, in fact we’re embracing it. A lot of the courses we feature are virtual sessions so learners can still find the subject they need, compare and contrast with other courses and learn online from wherever they are. Far from learning technology representing a threat, we are excited about the opportunities it represents for our learners as it will lead to greater choice and greater reach in the future.

For more information visit http://www.springest.co.uk/

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About kategraham23

Start-up founder, writer, connector, librarian's daughter. Interested in learning, HR, technology, online, media, marketing, fashion and cricket. Not always in that order. The views expressed here are solely my own and do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of the company I work for currently, or those I've worked for in the past.
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