What is an online course?
Online courses, also called Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, are digital classes that professionals can take online to expand their skills in a particular subject, such as computer literacy, mathematics and history, industry specialties like front-end web development and SEO marketing or more general areas such as writing, leadership and communication. For this reason, they are a great resource for quick and effective learning among human resources personnel.
Related: How to Reduce Employee Turnover
Benefits of taking online courses on HR
Online courses have significant benefits for HR professionals and your company overall, including:
- Offering cost-saving education for your HR staff
- Promoting adaptability to company changes
- Helping HR professionals gain specialty expertise
- Allowing students to move at their own pace
- Developing well-educated professionals to strengthen your organization
Offering cost-saving education for your HR staff
HR courses are generally free or offered at very little expense to your company. Similarly, they take a relatively short time to complete, so your HR staff can resume their workday without having to devote multiple days or weeks to the course.
Promoting adaptability to company changes
The wide variety of online courses allows you to find relevant programs to help your staff quickly adapt to new procedures so your organization can continue to succeed. For example, if your company decides to change the hiring process to include a week-long orientation with presentations, you can make sure your HR staff are prepared by enrolling them in an online course that specifically addresses new hire procedures.
Helping HR professionals gain specialty expertise
Many online HR courses offer specialty training in several areas of HR, such as health and safety, compensation and benefits, recruitment and training. This can help your employees gain in-depth knowledge they need to approach specific situations, like employee onboarding or benefits selection.
Allowing students to move at their own pace
Depending on the course, most online HR courses give participants the option to move at their own pace. They can rewind videos, take notes and reread passages to gain a more in-depth understanding of the material to incorporate into their daily work practices.
Developing well-educated professionals to strengthen your organization
Overall, online HR courses can strengthen your HR staff and their ability to hire the right individuals, conduct a thorough onboarding process and act as a support system for company employees.
Five types of online HR courses
Here are five online HR courses to consider for your HR employees:
- Introduction to Human Resources for U.S. Small Business Administration
- OpenLearn: Human Resources-Recruitment and Selection
- Oxford Home Study College
- Coursera: Preparing to Manage HR
- Alison Diploma in HR
1. Introduction to Human Resources for U.S. Small Business Administration
This online course offered by the U.S. Small Business Association is perfect for smaller companies with limited HR departments. It only takes 30 minutes to complete, meaning your HR staff can learn valuable HR principles through videos and interactive worksheets before continuing with their daily work routines.
2. OpenLearn: Human Resources-Recruitment and Selection
OpenLearn offers this free online course to teach your HR staff best practices in the recruitment process, including how to identify valuable candidates, conduct proactive recruitment interviews and write job descriptions for the best applicant results.
3. Certificate in HR Management (Level 3)
Oxford Home Study College offers your employees six course modules within its level three certificate in HR Management. Your HR management team and employees interested in leadership roles can learn effective practices in areas such as staff training and development, recruiting and HR management tactics. There is ongoing enrollment, so your employees can start the program at any time and move at their own pace.
4. Coursera: Preparing to Manage HR
Coursera offers a free introductory course meant for human resources managers or HR staff looking to advance into a leadership role. There are four other courses within this program, including specialty areas of HR, compensation practices, how HR professionals fit in the work ecosystem and alternative HR methods.
5. Alison Diploma in HR
Alison.com offers a free course for HR employees that covers multiple areas of the profession, such as hiring and termination practices. After the class, participants can purchase their certification.
Frequently asked questions about online HR courses
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about online HR courses and their purpose:
How will I know whether an online HR course is credible for my employees?
Look for online HR courses offered by colleges, universities or human resources organizations. If the course is free, review it yourself, or employ the help of your human resources manager to determine its benefits. You can also read course reviews to help make your decision about which course to choose.
How often should I have my HR department participate in online courses?
There are no specific guidelines when it comes to timing your HR department’s regular training. Consider providing updated training via an online course once a year. Pay attention to changes in HR protocol or company incidents, which constitute immediate action in the form of an online course. You can also talk with the head of your HR department to see what areas they want their staff to improve in and if they would be interested in an online course.
How can I measure the success of an online HR course in my staff?
Options for measuring success included sending out an anonymous survey about a month after they complete the course to gauge whether or not it helped improve their daily practices. You could also speak with your HR manager to see if they have noticed any positive changes to the department after participating in an online course.