The History of HRTrain

HRTrain has been in business for over 20 years. Originally created and formed by an employment law firm, we have been growing our training content and delivery for a long time now, but we are always looking for new ways to innovate and improve our client experience.

Formerly known as Interactive Employment Training, Inc., the website has always been located at HRTrain.com. The URL made sense since the training we provide to organizations is in the Human Resources and Compliance subject matter area.

Interactive Employment Training, Inc. The original HRTrain company name and logo.

Back in 1996...

The internet had been around for a while by 1996. However, even though it had existed for decades, it was only just really starting to blossom now. AOL was the big dial-up internet service back then. This truly amazing sound effect you can listen to on the right will bring back memories for a lot of you who subscribed to dial-up and AOL. It was literally music to our ears to hear the connection complete, and those magical words, "You've got mail!"

These 2 gems too...

Even though the internet was really starting to come to fruition, delivery of large files including videos was still not quite there yet. Average internet connection speeds were still averaging at 28 kbit/s or 56 kbit/s and it could take hours to download and view video files. The fact that the internet was blooming into a larger existence was very exciting at the time, but it was nothing like it is today.

So there we were... HRTrain.com, a company founded by employment attorneys practicing exclusively in the area of employment and labor law. These attorneys were certainly ahead of their time because they felt that discriminatory and sexual harassment prevention training could and should be delivered to organizations through the internet. They felt that having all employees take the same training while have the ability to take that training at their own pace could be more effective than live training. And they knew that it would definitely be more cost effective, which would appeal to all organizations...

And as employment attorneys, they knew the importance of training in order to create an affirmative defense, so that if an organization was charged with harassment, the punitive damages would be minimized because they had provided valuable training to their employees.

The HRTrain CD-ROM

As an innovative company, and understanding the challenges of the internet in the mid to late nineties, HRTrain created and marketed a harassment prevention training program that was delivered via a CD-ROM. While the training was delivered to our clients via standard snail mail, the content was delivered through video with audio. However, HRTrain was ahead of its time. The training for each employee began with a login process and when each learner finished the course, the recording of the completion for that learner was communicated from the CD-ROM, through the organization's internet connection, to HRTrain's website. This allowed clients to be able to view their database records on HRTrain.com through our Compliance Tracking Tool ("CTT"), and run training status reports for all of the employees who had taken the training. This was a ground-breaking and easy way of maintaining these records of completion.

And if there was a discrimination claim filed, our clients would be able to prove that they had provided training to their employees through these reports. They would be able to show that they had taken reasonable steps to educate employees on the concepts of discriminatory and sexual harassment and prevent it from happening, as well as what to do if it occurs in their workplace.

The Macromedia Flash Player

In 1996, Macromedia obtained, re-branded and released the "FutureSplash Animator" as Macromedia Flash. This was a tremendous innovation at the time. To quote Wikipedia: "As Flash matured, Macromedia's focus shifted from marketing it as a graphics and media tool to promoting it as a Web application platform, adding scripting and data access capabilities to the player while attempting to retain its small footprint."

In 1998, HRTrain knew this was the best way to deliver its harassment prevention training program via the internet. It allowed for animations, dynamic content delivery, and now with the internet really starting to take off, the training could be delivered directly to clients from the HRTrain website. There would no longer be the need to take the course via a CD-ROM. Employees could simply be given login information to the HRTrain website, where they were now able to take the course from any computer that had internet access.

An added advantage in having it delivered directly via the internet allowed for bookmarking to be implemented within the training. Previously on the CD-ROM, the course needed to be taken from start to finish in one sitting. Now, with the course delivered directly from the HRTrain website, progress could be recorded as sections were completed. This was a huge improvement as it allowed learners to take a portion of the training as their workday allowed and have their progress tracked and recorded. They could return to the training at a later time/date and be able to continue right where they had left off in the training. This was revolutionary at the time, and of course, is now the norm in online training.

2004 through 2015

Throughout this time, the content of our training just kept on expanding. When originally released, our course focused on 10 workplace scenarios describing a variety of potential situations and what learners should do if something similar should occur in their workplace. By 2009, we had expanded our library to include over 50 different employee and supervisor scenario versions that a client could choose from to include in their customized training. These scenarios focus on not just sexual harassment, but other protected classes including racial harassment and discrimination, age harassment and discrimination, disability harassment and discrimination, gender identity harassment and discrimination, as well as other protected classes. These scenarios discuss subject matter including hostile work environment, unlawful retaliation, constructive discharge, quid pro quo, abusive conduct, gender reassignment, Title IX, workplace communications, as well as many other topics pertinent to today's workplace.

You can view a chart of all the scenarios and all topics we offer here.

Towards the end of this timeframe, even though knowing that the Adobe Flash player was not going to be supported on many mobile devices, we still believed that having the course delivered through Flash was the best option. We knew that, unfortunately, our training could not be taken on tablets and mobile devices, but we thought it was still very important for the training to still have its animations and audio. In addition, the Flash player was installed on nearly all computers and browsers now, so we continued to deliver the harassment prevention course through Flash. It was redesigned to look more up to date. Simulated communications with Human Resources staffers just through emails were expanded to emails and instant messaging, similar to programs like Skype®. We continued to create more and more scenarios so we could offer a larger variety of workplace scenarios for clients to choose from for their training. We now offer scenarios in a variety of workplace industries, including general office, food service/restaurants, healthcare, and industrial environments.

2015

In 2015, HRTrain was acquired by Converge HR, a Human Resources consultancy, which is a natural complement to the training and knowledge of HRTrain and which will allow HRTrain to expand its library of courses.

Now...

Now that HTML5 is the norm for delivery of all web content, and is supported by all major browsers, our courses can easily be delivered. This software also allows animations, interactivity and video and audio support without the need for any browser plug-ins of any kind. This means that our award-winning online harassment prevention training course can be taken anywhere, on any device, at any time. Bookmarking is still in place so the course can be taken in segments as time permits. Learners can now take part of the course from their desktop computer or laptop and then continue later and access the training from their iPad, tablet, or mobile device.

In addition, we can now go even more in-depth with our customization options. Our training has always included some customization including your logo, your discriminatory and sexual harassment prevention policy, as well as a company message that can be delivered via text only, or through audio or video. Another big advance we really like is that we can now complement the entire color scheme of the course to to the color of your logo.

Another huge advantage of utilizing HTML5 is that while we could always build fully customized courses using your organization's content, we can now do that even more cost effectively, while recording training status and completion in our Compliance Tracking Tool.

So now that you know the history of HRTrain, we are sure you are interested in viewing our training. In order to do so, please complete the form below to immediately receive access to a preview of the training.

You may also reach out to us directly by calling us at 1888- HRTrain or emailing info@hrtrain.com

What Supervisors Need to Know About Discriminatory Harassment

This award winning discriminatory and sexual harassment training uses realistic workplace scenarios and interactive instructional design to sensitize supervisors to the issues surrounding workplace sexual and discriminatory harassment. The course is designed to train supervisors to identify potential problems related to discriminatory harassment and reinforces the importance of following your organization's discriminatory harassment prevention policy.

What Everyone Needs to Know About Discriminatory Harassment

Employees are trained in the issues surrounding sexual and discriminatory harassment as they move through realistic scenarios and use interactive email, instant messages, memos, and documents to decide how the organization should proceed.