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About the Author:
Corey Greendale
Corey Greendale
Managing Director
Corey Greendale, with over two decades of experience at First Analysis, works with entrepreneurs as an investor and as an advisor on growth transactions to help build leading software and human capital businesses. He leads the firm’s efforts in the future-of-work area, learning technology, and the human capital sector, and his thought-leading research in those areas has been cited for excellence in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” survey, Forbes and the Financial Times. He serves on the boards of Amplifund,, Netchex, SynergySuite, Visage and Yello. Prior to joining First Analysis in 2000, he was a development analyst at Systema Corp., where he designed training programs for several large pharmaceutical companies. He earned an MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
First Analysis Future of Work Team
Corey Greendale
Managing Director
James Macdonald
Managing Director
Richard Conklin
Managing Director
Matthew Nicklin
Managing Director
First Analysis Quarterly Insights
Future of work
Mentoring and coaching tech: Key to scaling learning and development
July 1, 2022
  • While we expect the labor market to cool from its recent torrid levels, the fundamentals underpinning the long-term war for talent aren't going away anytime soon. That means employers continue to become more attuned to the importance of personalized learning for organizational performance and employee engagement and retention.
  • A key mode of personalized learning is coaching and mentoring. We believe employers are increasingly investing in coaching and technologies that enable well-targeted mentoring for employees below the C-suite level. This portends a favorable environment for companies that enable employers to deliver coaching and mentoring in a more effective and targeted manner
  • We examine the underpinnings of this trend and profile several companies that automate elements of coaching and help optimize internal mentoring programs.


Includes discussion of nine private companies

Even a cooler labor market will likely remain hot

Coaching and mentoring tech a key front in the war for talent

Some coaching and mentoring tech providers

Compelling solutions in the war for talent

Future of work index falls with Nasdaq and S&P 500

Q2 future-of-work M&A in line with recent levels

Q2 future-of-work private placement activity slows

Even a cooler labor market will likely remain hot

With runaway inflation and the world’s central banks raising interest rates, 2022 is providing a complex backdrop for projecting near-term labor markets. On one hand, one has to assume the Fed will be at least somewhat successful in its goal of cooling demand sufficiently to ease inflation, and some increase in unemployment will almost certainly be collateral damage. Indeed, in the technology world, there have already been several high-profile announcements of hiring freezes and layoffs. On the other hand, the number of unemployed workers per job opening remains at multi-decade lows (see Table 1), and many companies to whom we’ve spoken that aren’t facing capital constraints or demand decreases continue to find it challenging to fill needed roles.

While we expect the labor market to cool from its recent torrid levels, the fundamentals underpinning the long-term war for talent aren’t going away anytime soon. Fewer people in the United States are graduating from college (with a noteworthy downturn during the pandemic), and the baby boom generation will retire in increasing numbers. Digital transformation is exacerbating the effect of these demographic changes, turning a greater share of the labor market into jobs that require at least some digital skills. Research from the Brookings Institution shows the percentage of jobs requiring low digital skills decreased from 56% in 2002 to 30% in 2016, while the percentage requiring high- or medium-level digital skills increased from 45% to 70%: a trend we believe has persisted as the pace of technological change remains rapid. As such, we believe that though there may be cyclical perturbations, secular underlying demand for skilled workers will continue to grow.

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