Custom Training vs Off-the-Shelf Courses: The Great L&D Showdown

Kyle Rober
Training Specialist
Custom Training vs Off-the-Shelf Courses: The Great L&D Showdown

Imagine a world where every professional development activity was tailored to the unique needs and preferences of each individual learner. Sounds like a utopian vision, right? Well, it’s not as far-fetched as you might think. In the ever-evolving landscape of Learning and Development (L&D), the debate between custom training and off-the-shelf courses continues to rage on. Which one should you choose for your organization? Let’s dive in and explore the pros and cons of both options.

Key Point 1: Cost and Development Time

Off-the-shelf courses are pre-built and readily available for immediate use, making them a quick and cost-effective solution for organizations with limited time and resources. However, custom training solutions can be more expensive due to the time and effort required to develop them. As one L&D professional put it, ‘you get what you pay for.’ So, weigh the long-term benefits of custom training against the short-term advantages of off-the-shelf courses before making a decision.

Key Point 2: Relevance and Adaptability

One of the main advantages of custom training is its relevance to your organization’s unique needs and goals. Custom courses allow you to tailor the content specifically to your industry, culture, and target audience. On the other hand, off-the-shelf courses may offer broader knowledge that may not be as applicable to your specific business. As a seasoned L&D expert said, ‘ custom training is like a tailored suit, while off-the-shelf courses are like one-size-fits-all clothing.’

Key Point 3: Engagement and Retention

Custom training programs can be designed to optimize learner engagement and retention by utilizing real-world examples and scenarios relevant to your organization. Off-the-shelf courses often lack this level of personalization, which can lead to lower engagement rates and ultimately, less effective learning outcomes. As one L&D specialist noted, ‘when you make the learning experience personal, you make it more impactful.’

Key Point 4: Flexibility and Scalability

Off-the-shelf courses can be a great way to quickly upskill your team, but they may lack the flexibility to grow and change with your organization. Custom training programs, on the other hand, can be adapted and updated as your business evolves, ensuring that your team always has the most relevant and up-to-date knowledge at their disposal. As one L&D professional put it, ‘custom training programs are like a living, breathing organism that can grow and adapt with your organization.’

Learnexus: Your Gateway to Custom Training Solutions

So, how does Learnexus fit into this conversation? Learnexus is a freelancer marketplace specifically tailored for Learning and Development professionals. With Learnexus, you can quickly and easily find and hire freelancers with highly specific skills and experience in L&D, offering a 47% cost saving and saving managers time and eliminating procurement issues with a single master services agreement. Whether you’re looking for custom training solutions or simply need help adapting off-the-shelf courses to your organization’s needs, Learnexus is your one-stop shop for all things L&D.