2021 in Review, and a Sneak Peek at 2022

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It’s somehow already December again, which means it’s time to slow down and reflect on the past 12 months and look ahead to what we have in store for our students in 2022.

There was a lot that made this year special for the AIHR team, so let me share the highlights with you.

Celebrating 5 years of AIHR

It’s no secret that for me, it’s the people I work with on a daily basis that make working at AIHR so exciting and special. 

And this year, we created an extra special moment together in honor of AIHR’s five-year anniversary.

I am incredibly proud that in just five years, we have been able to grow the team from just Erik and myself to 48 people, and that we have built a company that has become the world’s biggest online training provider for HR. 

It has been an amazing journey, and all the credit goes to the incredible people that made it happen!

A claim I can finally make

When we started back in 2016, we launched the first course that trained people in what was at the time the brand new field of people analytics. This is how we quickly made a name for ourselves and became known for our in-depth and academically sound training courses.

Since then our Product team (headed by Alex Tosovic, AIHR’s Dean) has worked to add hands-on activities and new levels of engagement to every new program.

Thanks to the team’s tell show do apply approach, I finally feel comfortable shouting from the rooftops that we truly have the best and most engaging HR training in the world… by far!

And that’s more important than ever.

Because after almost two years of COVID-19, online training has seen an explosive growth in popularity. This has made eLearning the new standard and massively raised the bar in terms of expectations and quality. 

But with our new programs, I am confident that we are able to educate, engage and inspire HR professionals across the globe.

New programs launched in 2021 and plans for 2022

Let’s take a closer look at the amazing programs our Product team launched this year:

Each of these HR certificate programs consists of a series of courses on specific subtopics. When combined, they provide a comprehensive, rigorous, and high-quality learning experience that I am proud of. To get an idea of what our latest courses look like, you can unlock free preview lessons on the Compensation & Benefits course page.

So, what programs do we have planned for 2022? Here’s a sneak peek:

HR Generalist Certificate Program

The team has already started work on our next certificate program, which we expect to launch in March 2022. This new program will focus on the role of HR in smaller organizations (50-1,000 employees) and the competencies HR professionals need to better support these businesses. 

Digital HR Certificate Program update

But that’s not all: we are about to start work on a complete revamp of our Digital HR Certificate Program, too. 

Working from home has accelerated HR’s digital transformation. And we’re going to make sure that you can keep up to speed with these rapid changes with this revamped program.

(Just so you know: If you are already a full-access AIHR member, you will get immediate and automatic access to all new programs and updates.)

As I said, these are just the highlights. For a full overview of our product roadmap, check out this article.

Sneak Peek Plans Timeline

Exciting enterprise projects

Most AIHR students are individual learners, who enrolled with us to continuously learn and expand their skill set. 

But after our Sales Director Vincent Cohen joined AIHR in 2019, we started some very exciting enterprise projects. These range from upskilling teams of 10 HR professionals to full HR organizations of 1000+ people.

Along the way, we learned that training an entire HR team or HR organization can have an exponential impact in terms of mindset and behavior change. That’s because when people learn together, they also inspire each other with new ideas and best practices.

Here are some examples of these projects:

And in 2022, we will start our biggest and most exciting enterprise project yet: upskilling an entire HR organization of 4000+ people to become more digitally savvy, business-focused, and data-driven.

The T-Shaped HR model

Before we launched the 2025 HR competency model, also known as the T-Shaped HR framework, we never expected the HR community to embrace it the way they did.

Although we of course stand 100% behind its logic and relevance, we anticipated that it would take time to gain acceptance — and we even expected some initial pushback.

But nothing could be further from the truth. From the very beginning, HR leaders and their teams have embraced the model.

In fact, Erik started receiving a steady stream of invites to host inspiration sessions for HR leadership teams. This is something that he is both very good at and very happy to do whenever he has a spot in his calendar. If you’d like to book such a session for your organization, get in touch with my colleague Maxim for more information.

All About HR podcast

In addition to all the excellent guides, articles, and resources that Simona and her Marketing team create, they decided to step it up a notch in 2021 and launch the hottest HR podcast of the moment: All About HR.

In each episode, our very own Neelie Verlinden speaks with HR industry experts, thought leaders, and CHROs about everything HR, the latest trends, and cutting-edge innovations.

Neelie was joined by amazing guests including Katarina Berg (CHRO of Spotify), Peter Newhouse (Global Reward Counselor at Unilever), and David Hanrahan (CHRO of Eventbrite) in the first season.

She will be back with another season of thought-provoking and exciting HR discussions in 2022. You can tune in to All About HR on your favorite podcast platforms such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts, as well as on our Youtube channel.

Live member events and coaching

As I write this, our learning community consists of 15,000+ talented and ambitious HR professionals. 

But AIHR has always been about more than learning.

We strive to help our members reach their (career) goals in any way we can. That’s why from day one, we built our platform to be a place to connect with and be inspired by peers from all over the world.

To take this to the next level, we introduced two initiatives in 2021:

  • Personal coaching
    The first step towards hitting your career goals is creating a plan to get there. And our coaches are here to help. Whether AIHR members need help defining their ideal learning journey, getting an overview of possible career moves, or someone to help keep them accountable and on track, our (career) coaches are here to help.
  • Weekly live events
    We already mentioned that we aim to deliver outstanding and engaging learning content — and that isn’t limited to our programs. In 2021, we started organizing weekly live events on our platform. We talk to AIHR course instructors and other subject matter experts about the topics that matter to the modern HR professional.

Second place in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50

My next highlight of 2021 is actually a cumulation of years of effort from the team. We were named the second fastest growing technology company in the Netherlands.

It’s not first place, but given the other companies on this list, it still feels like a great achievement — even though we of course would have preferred the top spot 🙂 

But it’s not just about getting an award (although that is of course quite nice). What makes this a highlight for me is that it’s validation that our hard work is paying off. It’s proof we’re on track to upskill and empower HR professionals to make a difference for their teams, their organizations and, above all, for their employees.

Deloitte Fast50 Picture

HR trends for 2022 (and beyond)

As I mentioned before, we first made a name for ourselves by focusing on cutting-edge topics in HR. We might have added more traditional HR topics to our platform. Still, we’re always thinking about the future of HR. 

It won’t come as a surprise that after two tumultuous years, there are some major shifts ahead for the field. From HR owning business transformation to the increasing importance of talent allocation and talent marketplaces, HR will be essential in helping organizations pivot from surviving to thriving in 2022. 

Want to know how you can help move the needle and make a real strategic impact in 2022? Get your copy of the HR Trends Report here and hit the ground running in 2022.

Looking forward and holiday wishes 

There are some other predictions I’m confident we can make about 2022. Namely, that the global HR community will continue to outdo themselves in terms of excellence, empathy, and innovation, as it has over the past two years.

While 2021 didn’t have quite as many surprises for us as 2020, it was still a volatile year full of challenges. Seeing how HR professionals have stepped up to the plate time and again is inspiring, and makes me more grateful than ever for your continued trust and support.

So on behalf of the team at AIHR, please allow me to wish you happy holidays and a wonderful New Year.

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