Get Your Employees Trained

How to choose an employee trainer you can count on

When your employees need training and you don't have theexpertise, it's time to bring in an outside trainer. But how doyou know you'll get what you need-and what you pay for?

Although your relationship with an independent trainer is briefcompared to your relationship with your employees, you need to beas thorough in screening and selecting a trainer as you are inhiring employees. Here are some tips:

  • Determine exactly what you need before you begin your search,and be specific from the outset as to what you expect.
  • Always examine the trainer's credentials, and be sure theymatch your needs. Be sure the prospective trainer has a workingknowledge of your business or the specific things you needtaught.
  • Ask for written proposals. When something is in writing,there's no question about who will do what or for how much.You'll be able to determine whether the trainer trulyunderstands the scope of the project and whether he or she has theresources to meet your needs.
  • Check references. Find out what type of projects the trainerhas done in the past, and contact both current and former clients.Ask if previous clients have provided a performance review, such asevaluation forms or other summaries describing the quality of thetrainer's work.
  • Ask to see work samples. If you need a trainer to createmanuals or other types of training aids, look at the items he orshe has produced in the past. Remember that confidentialityagreements may restrict the trainer from showing you everything heor she has done. If the samples aren't what you have in mind,find out if the trainer has the capability to handle somethingdifferent than that to which he or she is accustomed.
  • Ask for a demonstration. Invite the prospective trainer to givea 15- or 20-minute sample presentation or ask to sit in on one ofhis or her sessions held elsewhere. If neither option is available,ask for a videotape.
  • Develop a project timeline. Put all your deadlines in writing,and make them part of your contract.

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