Kristi Hummel recently joined learning management system provider Skillsoft as Director of Human Resources.
HR and technology have long collided for Kristi Hummel. For over 25 years, the HR veterinarian has led human strategies for a number of tech-driven companies, from fast growing tech company VCE Corp. at Dell, where she led Global HR until last fall. Hummel joined learning management system provider Skillsoft as Director of Human Resources in September as one of many new members of the leadership team after a merger over the summer.
Hummel is now deepening the company’s commitment to its mission by embedding learning throughout its culture. She recently shared her vision for the learning space in 2022 and beyond, and what role she sees Skillsoft and its people playing in this transformation.
HRE: What was your goal from day one when you joined Skillsoft?
Hummel: I think about how far businesses have come through COVID and where all this future of work is taking every business. Coming to Skillsoft allowed me to participate in this future career path in a very different way, because it is a company that is really at the cutting edge of technology. So my first day was spent taking the enthusiasm that I had for the product, that I knew from the industry, and all of that concept of learning and starting to define a strategy where we actually become a culture of the industry. learning — and we’re the leader in that, it’s not just our product set.
HRE: Where do you see digital learning heading once the pandemic has passed?
Hummel: Digital learning will become learning. Think about the companies of this coming era. They have candidate pools that are global now, more than ever before. When you hire someone who doesn’t physically come to the office every day, the ping pong table is no longer the way to build loyalty and camaraderie. This whole concept of learning and being able to train and retrain employees, no matter where they are on the globe, is the new way companies are starting to seek to build their culture and incorporate it into their proposition. value for employees in this new world. This part is really interesting, given that we are a learning company, and one of the things that we really rely on is the re-qualification of our customers and our employees.
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HRE: How would you describe Skillsoft’s culture and what impact has the pandemic had on the culture?
Hummel: Because the product set and the history of the company have always been about learning and developing, I would describe the culture of this company as a matter of curiosity. It is an open and collaborative place filled with people passionate about learning and development. And when I think about the implications of COVID on culture, I think people are even more passionate because all of a sudden digital learning isn’t just a subset of learning; it’s actually the new way businesses are going to operate. It even forced us to look at our own culture and say, ‘Have we embraced digital to the extent that we’re going to need it to get through that? “
HRE: As a tech company itself, how does Skillsoft maximize the use of technology in its human strategies?
Hummel: One of the really cool things we do is offer our product [learning experience platform] Percipio not only to our employees but also to their families. It’s an interesting way to use technology to live our culture and [support] our community, the families of team members. Second, we are looking to modernize our own infrastructure to continue supporting our team members, wherever they are in the world. This is what we focus on as we go along.
See also: 6 questions about the future of L&D from Microsoft’s learning leader
HRE: What are you passionate about outside of work?
Hummel: I have a 10 year old, so I’m passionate about everything my 10 year old is, which right now is tennis, softball and our new puppy, which is taking a lot of my time. I always think I need to find more interesting hobbies, but this is really where I spend my time – on the softball field or watching a tennis game – and I love every minute of it.
Jen Colletta is editor-in-chief of EDH. She graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia with a BA and MA in writing and spent 10 years as a journalist and editor before joining EDH. She can be reached at [email protected].