When pandemic hit the world, there were many industries that suffered due to operational shut down. One of the industry’s suffering silently was the Retail Training industry.
Primarily led by freelance corporate trainers, who would either be conducting classroom trainings (CRT) or on the job (OJT) trainings were asked to stop the work during pandemic, leaving them with no means of earnings.
Subhash (name changed) working as a freelance corporate trainer in retail industry had his next 90 days blocked in his calendar with back to back training line ups, which were suddenly cancelled due to lockdown. Since then, with no means of earning left, and a family to feed and EMIs to pay he resorted to calling up all his clients to find if there is someone who can still provide training work, but with no avail. Subhash knew he had to resort to newer ways or else change his job profile as a trainer. He also looked for full time opportunities but due to pandemic no one was hiring.
Like Subhash there were millions of other freelance corporate trainers who were left in lurch to fend for themselves. But there was light at the other end of the tunnel. The industry pivoted and changed over to new normal. Online trainings had taken over the country by the storm. While the retailers were dealing with the new standard operating processes, the trainers were quickly preparing decks for training the retail staff on these procedures.
Online trainings started but with extremely low budgets and fees. Although it brought the ease and convenience of training, it was nowhere compared to OJTs and CRTs in terms of budget or experience. To stay afloat, trainers were trying to block their calendars and work more than ever before. Companies like Thinkhallacademy.com which are into retail online training business, started creating online profiles of the freelance corporate trainers like Subhash to bring a meaningful platforms for them. Now trainers can promote their profiles online, and companies or individuals can easily find them. Corporates are finding it much more efficient to hire from online portals by just a click of a button. The new norm of the retail training has become to:
- Hire Online
- Hire as per need
- Hire based on budget
- Keep it quick and short.
For students it has become convenient to find the mentors to train them on short notices on subjects like interview skills and selling skills. They find truly engaging benefits like skill analysis quiz where they can answer short questions and find out which skills they need to develop, hire a trainer online to mentor them on the skill and then find their employers online directly who can hire them. This is a game changer in the industry.
Shortly with the end of pandemic, the OJTs might be back and markets will open with steep rise in demand of freelance corporate trainers, but the new age learning and development portals leave an array of questions to the age old traditional ways of training in retail, when a cheaper, more efficient ways of online trainings are available. Will it change the industry of learning and development forever? Only time can tell.