What direction do you feel the Education industry and EdTech are heading from your experience?
This year has been the strongest job market since the 90’s. There has been a strong push for seasoned talent by Education companies and we’re seeing candidates receiving multiple offers at a time—some candidates from non-Education businesses. Now, more than ever before, companies must be aware of providing a good candidate experience and competitive packages to stay ahead of the competition.
The job market will continue to strengthen in 2017, and unlike the dotcom bubble the Education market crashing is not an option. The growth in the market has been slower, more controlled, and companies have not been as exposed to inflated valuations. The last 5 years of buildup has seen sustained growth and forecasts are expected to continue upwards. Even with a new political shift, we should see more spending authority coming at the state level which can help growing businesses with good sales teams.
Is there enough talent to navigate buying trends within the Education market?
I have seen a change between solution and transaction selling. Solution types of selling is having a big impact in the Education space and companies that traditionally conduct transactional sales are now turning to solution selling methodologies to achieve large deals. This requires sales talent to perform more upfront research and prepare concise questions before meeting with potential customers.
The demand for talent is increasing and the move towards value-based selling requires a strong level of talent. Currently, the supply is stagnant and Education may need to follow recruiting trends in other industries and look outside the traditional candidate pool. There is talent to be found, however companies may need to look closer at competencies and underlining talent, not just specific experience. Using tools such as candidate assessments can help identify this talent whether you are looking for a long-term or turn-key candidate.
How do you see Education Technology within the Education Market?
If you asked me a year ago, everything was moving towards digital platforms, However, working with some of our clients I’m seeing that some companies are fighting this trend believing that students will always require traditional teaching methods. I have been working recently with clients in publishing and it is my belief that although content delivery with publishing is transitioning to digital, there will be a continued market for print. The real change within the publishing space is the delivery mechanism, with customers now viewing and ordering products online.
Schools are continuing to move towards singular Learning Management Systems (LMS). If you look at Higher Education, almost all universities have an LMS and while there are many applications available to K-12 schools, a central LMS is necessary in today’s environment.
Education technology traditionally has been a top down market and the new investments in Pre-K are developing. We are seeing this now with more Pre-K businesses coming to the table, eager to discuss future growth strategies.