Isreal-based Retrain.ai announced a USD $9 million Series A for its talent reskilling and internal mobility app. This brings its total raised to $13 million.
When Amazon announced its upskilling initiative in July of 2019, it cemented internal mobility and career pathing as a trend to be reckoned with for talent-focused HR leaders. While the trend wasn’t new in 2019, Amazon committing $700 million for the reskilling of 100,000 workers, which represent about a third of its US workforce – caught the eye of CEOs everywhere and created a question that the CHRO and CLO needed to have an answer for: ” What’s our plan for reskilling?”
Retaining, motivating, and engaging employees by aligning their needs and skills with the business’s current and future path is an excellent thing. But it’s never been easy. There are owners for recruiting, learning, and leadership development, but you’ll meet a rare few owners of the overall talent management process. The lack of a clear owner is a gaping hole in the market.
The solutions we’ve reviewed, and there have been numerous, address the challenge in one of two ways: as an internal job board/marketplace/portal putting the onus on the employee to find their next role and seek out the path, or by assessing the skills of the workforce and then matching them to a career path. Retrain.ai claims to provide both of these capabilities. It also monitors job boards globally to infer which skills and jobs are in demand, providing employers data to help workforce planning. Internal mobility requires integration to learning and development at a level where most solutions fall short. Retrain.ai claims that they connect the employee with learning content from “hundreds of partners” to address this gap. It’s unknown how this aligns with an enterprise’s internal learning model.
Delivering on the promise of reskilling and internal mobility requires engagement and support from the manager, and ideally, an employee-centric culture. Supportive managers and cultures may be the biggest challenge. The investment required to support these initiatives goes beyond dollars. Even the Amazon announcement we all took note of only reflects a financial commitment of $7,000 per employee for an initiative spanning until 2025.
In 2020 $1.4 billion was invested globally in HR technology focused on talent management. Get the full report for free on 2020 global HR technology VC here.