Skillsoft Employee Development Strategy |


Kristi Hummel recently joined learning management systems provider Skillsoft as Director of Human Resources.

HR and technology have long collided for Kristi Hummel. For more than 25 years, the HR veteran has led human resource strategies for a number of technology-focused companies, from fast-growing technology company VCE Corp. at Dell, where she led global human resources until last fall. Hummel joined learning management systems provider Skillsoft as chief human resources officer in September as one of several new members of the management team after a merger this summer.

Hummel is now deepening the company’s commitment to its mission by embedding learning throughout its culture. She recently shared her vision for the learning space in 2022 and beyond, and what role she sees Skillsoft and its people playing in that transformation.

HRE: What was your goal from day one when you joined Skillsoft?

Kristi Hummel

Hummel: I think about the journey that companies have traveled thanks to COVID and where all this future of work is taking each company. Coming to Skillsoft allowed me to participate in this future career path in a really different way, because it is a company that is truly at the cutting edge of technology. So my first day was about taking the excitement that I had for the product, that I knew about the industry, and this whole concept of learning and starting to build a strategy where we actually become a culture of learning – and we’re leading with that, it’s not just our product set.

HRE: Where do you see digital learning heading once the pandemic passes?

Hummel: Digital learning will become learning. Think about the businesses of this next era. They have candidate pools that are now global, far more than they ever have been before. When you hire someone who doesn’t physically come into the office every day, the ping pong table is no longer the way to build loyalty and camaraderie. This whole concept of learning and being able to train and retrain employees, wherever they are in the world, is the new way companies are starting to look at building their culture and integrating that into their value for employees in this new world. This part is really interesting, given that we are a learning company, and one of the things that we really rely on is actually reskilling our customers and our employees.

Read more CHRO ideas here.

HRE: How would you describe the culture at Skillsoft and what impact has the pandemic had on the culture?

Hummel: Because the company’s entire product and history has always been about learning and growing, I would describe the culture of this company as being curiosity-driven. It’s an open, collaborative place filled with people who are truly passionate about learning and developing. And when I think about the cultural implications of COVID, I think people get even more passionate because suddenly digital learning isn’t just a subset of learning; it’s actually the new way businesses are going to operate. It’s even forced us to look at our own culture and say, “Have we embraced digital to the extent that we’re going to need it to get through this?”

HRE: As a technology company itself, how does Skillsoft maximize the use of technology in its human resources strategies?

Hummel: One of the really cool things we do is offer our product [learning experience platform] Percipio not only to our employees but also to their families. It’s an interesting way to use technology to live our culture and [support] our community, the families of the team members. Second, we are looking to modernize our own infrastructure to continue supporting our team members, wherever they are in the world. This is what we focus on as we move forward.

See also: 6 questions about the future of training and development with Microsoft’s learning leader

HRE: What excites you outside of work?

Hummel: I have a 10 year old so I am passionate about all things my 10 year old is about tennis, softball and our new puppy which takes up a lot of my time. I always think I need to find more interesting hobbies, but that’s really where I spend my time – on the softball field or watching a tennis game – and enjoy every minute of it.

Jen Colletta is editor-in-chief of HRE. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a journalist and editor before joining HRE. She can be contacted at [email protected]


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