The Challenge

By the time my client called for help, they were in big trouble. They needed to secure another round of funding. But, they couldn’t prove that they had a reliable way to grow their business. They simply couldn’t fill their hiring pipeline with qualified workers. And, they couldn’t figure out why.

They had put their best people on the task of creating training to onboard and upskill new hires. Their superstars. These people had poured every bit of knowledge (and love) they had into creating training they were certain would work. But, it didn’t.

New hires were either washing out partway through or failing the assessment at the end of the course.

This bottleneck in filling current positions with qualified employees looked like it was going to cost the company its future.

The Solution

The training wasn’t as good as my client thought it was. We discovered that information was missing and what was included was often poorly organized.

Another problem was that the training taught each component of the job separately. As a result, by the time new hires were learning how to do the third part of the job, they had forgotten how to do the first two parts.

Finally, there was no coaching and feedback. So, if they got something wrong, they practiced it wrong until it was caught during the final assessment.

As is often the case, training wasn’t the only problem. There were disconnects in their system and processes, as well.

Recruiters were recruiting people who had no chance of succeeding because they didn’t have the prerequisite knowledge and skills. For instance, the job required rapid typing. People who were two-finger typing at 20 words per minute had no reasonable chance of being able to increase their typing speed to the required 80 to 100 words per minute during the time allowed for training, no matter how determined they were or how hard they tried.

Another disconnect was that applicants to the job didn’t have a clear understanding of what the job involved. When they found out that long hours hunched over a computer keyboard often in the middle of the night were a typical day at work, many opted out.

By addressing these issues, as well as a host of others, we were able to increase the course pass rate from 25% to 80% and reduce training time from 20 weeks to 8.

And, yes, the company was able to secure their next round of funding.

As I finish this story, I want to say one last thing. You might think that my client was stupid. After all, the solution seems obvious. In hindsight, anyway.

But, that wasn’t the case. Being in the thick of this situation obscured what was going on. My client literally couldn’t see the forest for the trees, as the old saying goes. It was only together that we were able to forge a path through it that led to the success they experienced.