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Trainer Recruitment: High quality sourcing and screening via a standardized teach-back process
1. Trainer Recruitment
“Highly effective screening with above-average screen out rate”
OfficePro recognizes that technology training is a people business and a people-finding business, despite the word technology in the term. OfficePro recruitment leverages leaders at technology recruitment firms and uses employee referrals to locate resumes of great people. By using these recruitment avenues, OfficePro ensures it’s speaking a common language with its agents. Job requirements easily fall into place.
Another recruitment tool in use at OfficePro is this: Having worked in the field of unified communications and telecommunications for a long time, in some cases more than a decade, OfficePro managers have developed networks of individuals who’ve earned the respect and trust of the industry; these networks yield more than a few great people.
Following resume screening, OfficePro gets to work answering the question— Can this person teach? The best way to ascertain if a candidate can teach is to place the candidate in a real-life teaching situation. We call this exercise a teach-back. It’s called that because we require the candidate to teach back to us a technical topic we already know so that we can properly assess the candidate.
Generally, most prospective trainers do not pass the teach back. In fact, fewer than 1 in 5 do. So what commonly holds people back? Typically, potential trainers display one or more of the four following issues: (1) they don’t have the needed grasp on technology, (2) they don’t perform well under pressure, (3) they haven’t practiced enough, or (4) they experience challenges orchestrating it all while in the spotlight. While these things are unfortunate, OfficePro’s most essential service is teaching, and consequently, ensuring its quality is vital to both our business and our clients.
It is known across the training industry that even in the face of rigorous recruitment, a demanding hiring process, and high standards, a new trainer has a high chance of failure. To avert this, OfficePro utilizes a special strategy. OfficePro brings on board new and experienced trainers through a process that exposes the trainer to best practices, policies, advice from veteran trainers, and office procedures optimized to the technology training industry.
Example: One such best practice is when an instructor is working with adults on a new computer technology, the trainer, while visiting an adult learner’s workstation, is taught to never grab the student’s mouse and do something for the learner. This best practice is maintained to enhance the adult learning experience as adult learners learn best by doing given tasks on the computer himself or herself.
OfficePro leverages a set of best practices for in-service trainers developed over 30 years in the industry. Trainers recognize that learning for adults is fundamentally different than learning for children, and adapts accordingly. In tandem to this distinctive class management, OfficePro makes available to its trainers multiple options of learning aids, such as Quick Reference Guides or OfficePro’s constantly growing library of user manuals.
Every training engagement is formally managed as a project. When changes are required, OfficePro reviews the project to understand and rectify everything that needs to be modified or reconsidered. Before classes start, every schedule is checked and double-checked. Trainers check-in the day of class so OfficePro is constantly aware of the project's activities. In the post-training process, course evaluations are obtained from participants and the data compiled so that feedback may be given to trainers. Training reports are commonly delivered to the client’s company representatives and/or project sponsors.
Trainers are selected from the “bench” based on availability and appropriateness for each training engagement. As most trainers are independent contractors and do not work a standard full-time employee schedule, trainers require daily compensation rates above the average for full-time employees.
For training projects above a pre-determined size, typically a project manager will be flown in to the client site along with the trainer(s). The PM communicates objectives, monitors training, and focuses on quality measures. Issue escalation is followed to reduce any downtime or delays. The project manager also serves as the main point-of-contact (P.O.C.) for trainer, head trainer, OfficePro management, and clients.
For years, OfficePro has delighted its training clients, as evidenced by feedback and repeat business. Further improvements to trainer preparation and training content delivery are being rolled out in late 2016 and 2017.