Developing a training timeline that makes strategic sense is a vital part of an efficient onboarding strategy. The order in which you introduce new skills and requirements to your team is instrumental in saving time and producing well-rounded recruiters. In the best training programs, skills will build upon one another. How can you create a great training program without endless trial and error?

Use this guide to create a training program that makes sense for your firm.

Consider the timeline of your current onboarding efforts:

  • Is there a justification for the order of each activity in the new hire’s training timeline?  
  • Do new recruiters and salespeople put new skills into action shortly after learning them? 
  • Do you follow a week of lectures with a week of interactive tasks, or are they appropriately intertwined? 
  • How frequently, if ever, do you evaluate employee progress?
  • How frequently do you introduce new skills and tasks? 

Do you have a fundamentally sound training timeline? If you’re running a training program with an arbitrary timeline, consider restructuring your training program.

How Can Your Onboarding Be More Effective Than It Is Now?

As a thought exercise, toss aside the thousands of micro-decisions that go into training new hires. Instead, ask yourself why your recruiters and salespeople take as long as they do to be productive on the most basic level.

They may take a long time to get up to speed for two fundamental reasons—either training takes too long, or your recruiters and salespeople take too long to be effective after training ends. Every other factor contributes to one of these two reasons. If your onboarding process isn’t as effective as you’d like, which reason best applies to your firm?

It Takes Too Long to Equip New Hires With the Skills They Need

If this is the case, you may be waiting too long before putting your team into action. Alternatively, your training timeline may not sync up with the expected responsibilities, both logically or efficiently.

When evaluating your training program, ask yourself these questions to determine if they apply to your onboarding process.

Do any of these questions apply to your onboarding efforts? If so, make the appropriate changes to your onboarding process for a more effective and cohesive learning experience. If your recruiters and salespeople spend too much time on tasks that don’t add value, cut them. If your program isn’t enforcing essential skills early on, find a way to work them in at the beginning of your onboarding process.

  • Are there any training sessions that provide little value to your team?
  • Do new hires have skill-enforcing tasks to work on between training sessions?
  • Are your new hires capable of handling a more robust training schedule?
  • Are there tasks at which they can become productive right away?
  • Do the sessions build off of one another in a logical progression?

Your New Hires Take Too Long to Become Effective After Training Ends

If your new recruiters and salespeople take an unusually long time to perform at the level of the more experienced members of your team, it could be for several reasons. Ask yourself these questions to see if they apply to your onboarding process.

Once you figure out why your recruiters are taking a long time, you can take steps to fix it. Solicit feedback from new and seasoned team members to learn what they found to be most helpful during their onboarding process.

  • Could you be assigning too many responsibilities to new hires too soon?
  • Are new hires getting responsibilities soon enough?
  • Do you closely monitor and evaluate the performance of new team members to determine areas for improvement?
  • Are you providing tailored feedback to each new recruiter and salesperson?
  • Do new hires with excellent skills on paper turn out to be poor fits for your team?
  • Do you use a difficult-to-use ATS/CRM that requires significant manual data entry?