6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Developing Recruiter Training

September 10, 2013

Developing a successful recruiter training program is a great way not only to sharpen your recruiters’ skills, but also gain alignment and clarity around your company’s best practices.

While training can be a powerful and transformative tool, it can be packaged and delivered in various forms depending on the needs of your team, so be sure to ask yourself these formative questions before designing your approach:

classroom training

What are the needs of my team?

Interestingly enough, training can be more destructive than productive. Don’t train for the sake of training; otherwise, you will be pulling some very unhappy recruiters away from a candidate they are trying to close.

Assess the state of your recruiters and understand any deficiencies or opportunities for learning that need to be addressed. Make sure you consult your team’s needs before developing content for your training.

What is the purpose of the training?

Establish a clear understanding of your team’s performance and leverage this data to validate your need for training. This will also help you create learning outcomes, which will enable you to evaluate your team post-training.

Something else you might want to think about is whether or not you have established a culture that fosters learning. If learning new skills or attending training has not been a previous given at your company, you will need to set clear expectations.

Who is the audience?

As you know, sales and engineering have completely different functions within a company and so are the approaches to recruiting for these different roles. If your company recruits for talent across multiple organizations, you will need to treat these recruiters as different audiences. Whether it’s as simple as the interview process flow or the way a recruiter closes a candidate, you need to think about the different content each team would need.

What will the training look like?

Once you’ve identified your target audience and training objectives, you can begin to create highly- tailored content for your training course.

If your learning outcomes focus on being able to apply a concept or skill to the way your team recruits (such as learning how to communicate your company’s story or value proposition), focus on role-playing typical scenarios they might face. If you expect your recruiters to be able to identify profiles of top technical talent post-training, you would want to focus on analyzing what makes a good candidate and having your participants evaluate profiles as an activity.

The length of your training will be dependent on the amount of participants and level of interaction you’re expecting as well as the subject matter difficulty. Allow enough time to present, discuss and practice the content through activities.

Are you setting clear expectations?

The first step to answering this question is nailing down what you are actually going to expect from the participants, and next you will need to openly communicate your thoughts. Expectation setting has been identified as the most important aspect of successful training, even ranked before the actual content and training method.

If your recruiters are expected to improve job performance, why? Hopefully you have had an open and honest communication with your employees about performance expectations so that you can build off these conversations and clarify the purpose of the training from their perspective.

Next, spell out your expectations for how recruiters will show up to the training. You will want participants to arrive to the training ready to learn. One thing that we’ve recognized through conducting numerous training sessions is that requiring participants to shut down their phones and laptops is crucial to their engagement with the content. When   we invite recruiters to participate in a particular training module, we communicate our expectations to them up front so they can plan accordingly. You will notice a huge difference in the way your participants show up when you set clear expectations with them up front.

How will you evaluate participants post-training?

Learning outcomes are what make a training valuable. Establish clear metrics to measure the success of each training participant. Provide ways for the recruiters to track that they are staying aligned with the goals of their training to ensure the most effective results.

Once you’ve answered these key questions, you will be on the right track to putting together a successful recruiter training!

3 Step Recruiting Team Makeover

* image by Stanford EdTech