By Barb Bruno  |    Thursday April 18, 2014

Category: Columns, Expert Advice


Training must be a proactive process that becomes an important element of your company culture.  Training keeps your company healthy and prepared regardless of issues or trends.   If you don’t train, you force your team to be reactive, which will limit the stability and growth of your company.


Consistent high quality training is guaranteed to make you money.  Training saves you money because it reduces turnover. Training boosts confidence and reduces stress because your employees know exactly how to handle any situation.  Improving the skills of every person on your team is an on-going process.  Training should be scheduled on a regular basis and be non-negotiable.


Training improves each employee’s understanding of the objectives of your business and will help raise and set standards of performance.  Without training, results, production and profits will be inconsistent because you are not enforcing consistency and set standards. 


Proper training outlines set procedures for the multiple contacts with clients and candidates, questions that they ask without exception and the follow up and referral procedures that you insist upon.  You need to enforce the three D’s (Drive, Determination and Discipline).  All three of these are essential in creating a proper training environment for yourself and your team.


If you invest in training but make the utilization of the training optional, you will not experience any type of ROI on your investment.  If given the option, most individuals will not participate in training because they don’t see the need to improve their skills.


Consistent training programs also make it easier for you to set and measure standards of performance.  This allows you to reward employees who are exceeding performance standards that are set.  Organized consistent training programs improve morale and make your company a better place to work.  Without training, you will waste time addressing the same issues and problems over and over and over again.



We have people on both sides of our sale which is why issues, challenges and problems can become a daily occurrence.  When faced with problems, your team will react one of two ways:


  1. You’ve addressed the issue, trained them how to handle it and they have the information they need to resolve and handle the issue or…


  1. You’ve not addressed the issue, they have not been trained how to handle it and they will probably shoot from the hip or guess how to resolve the issue.


It’s obvious that the first scenario is in your best interest.  You cannot afford to have your team deciding on the fly what they’re going to do in a crisis situation.  They need to know what to do in every situation which can be achieved through training.



When I decided to develop the Top Producer Tutor training resource, I researched hundreds of training programs.  Most training programs were not effective for the following five reasons:


REASON ONE:  An abundance of information is delivered in a short period of time


  • Less than 5% is retained
  • There is little or no accountability for implementation
  • Some techniques are tried, but after a very short period of time individuals return to their old habits and comfort zones


REASON TWO:  Lack of consistency


  • Conferences – speakers teach techniques differently, causing confusion on which technique to implement to achieve the best results
  • Management Team – everyone involved in training is not on the same page, again causing confusion and inconsistency
  • Processes are not broken down into step-by-step methods and techniques that must be followed


REASON THREE:  Different rules


  • Rookies are expected to implement techniques learned in initial training
  • Experienced recruiters have developed their own habits and techniques
  • Big Billers do what they want as long as they keep producing


REASON FOUR:  Training was optional not mandatory


  • When given an option, team members choose not to train
  • Benefits of training were not stressed
  • The habit of consistent training was not established


REASON FIVE:  Too predictable


  • Participants were never put on the spot
  • Knowledge of scripts were not tested
  • On the spot accountability for following processes was not conducted




The one program that rated best for changing habits was Boot Camp in the Military.  The training is consistent, repetitive, mandatory and long enough to change the habits of the recruits.   The schedule is not optional and everyone must do things the same way.  They are tested throughout Boot Camp and must pass every test.  They are taken out of their comfort zones and can’t question what they are being told to do. 


  • There are consequences if they don’t meet standards set
  • There are consequences if they don’t conform to all the rules and regulations
  • There are consequences if they don’t pass tests


They are given a schedule and told what they will do their entire day.  They are told that character is the foundation for all they do and all they will become.  Throughout the training they will learn the seven Army values they will embrace:


  • Loyalty
  • Duty
  • Respect
  • Selfless Service
  • Honor
  • Integrity
  • Personal Courage


This was the training model I used when developing my web based Top Producer Tutor and should be considered when developing your training curriculum.


Most companies have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that are proven effective and enforced throughout their entire organization.  This enables them to review results of systems and strategies in order to make adjustments where needed.  The procedures are implemented by everyone – no exceptions.


Sales is a repeatable process that succeeds in generating revenue for your business.  Once you have identified your sales process, continue to repeat what has proven successful over and over again.


If you hired four people today, would they be able to easily follow your systems and processes?  Is it easy to integrate new hires with your current experienced team or would this disrupt your business?


There are also standard operating procedures that should apply to every employee on your team including your front desk person, accounting, researchers, managers and ownership. 


You may be thinking that it is important to allow your team to show their personality and individualism.  I agree that every day is “bring your personality to work day.”  However, you employees should still follow your processes and systems.  It is the only way to consistently strengthen, improve and grow your company.





D – Document

If you are improving a specific task in your office, document everything as you go.  You will be creating a training process for future hires.  By thinking this way, you are forced to explain each and every step, leaving nothing to the imagination.


Ask – Ask

Ask your people what problems they would like to solve and they will tell you.  They will buy in much quicker to procedures that they have helped create.  You do not have to think of all the solutions to every problem that arises in your company.  It’s surprising how your front desk person can provide you with insight on improving the candidate experience.  This person should never be reading a book; they can do research or back up your sales team with non-results oriented activities.


R – Repetition

When designing training, remember that repetition is the key to creating a company that runs with efficiency and generates profits.  A training blitz does not work.  Rotate core training techniques regularly so the concepts are reinforced.  When your entire team speaks the same language and following standard procedures, everyone possesses the same knowledge base.  Training must be mandatory not optional.


Focus on one specific concept at a time to raise standards in a specific area with the drive, determination and discipline it takes to initiate change.  Inspect what you expect of your team.  This will help your team master skills necessary for their success.   


S – Surprise

Surprise your team with a pop quiz that is always tied into a reward.  The last one standing, when the entire team is overcoming objections gets a free lunch.


Role-play with individuals after recruiting or marketing presentations are completed.  You will review the entire conversation and the end results during training sessions.  This will raise the bar of performance for your entire team.


When conducting training, always provide the following:


  1. What will be covered
  2. How long it will take
  3. The objective of the training session
  4. The knowledge they will gain
  5. How to implement the knowledge


Most Staffing and Recruiting firms do not implement proven procedures or systems.  Most members of the sales team are allowed to do things their own way.  This positions your firm in a reactive mode and prevents growth.  Consistent training help you elevate the skills and results of your current team.  It also helps you integrate new employees seamlessly into your business while you grow and prosper. 


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