Are you looking to hire or become an exemplary trainer? Top training professionals are in high demand and are critical for successful projects or rollouts. Being an exemplary trainer is not rocket science. There is a formula used to become or select these elite training professionals.
When I look to hire trainers, I am selective (ok, super picky) and look beyond resume basics. As a supporter of improving training efforts across the industry, I thought I’d share with you, the five traits that guide my process for hiring exemplary trainers.
- Rapid Command of the Material. Look for a trainer who has experience with learning new material quickly and can cite specific examples of how they infuse their own experience into the content during execution. This promotes relatability, relevance, and absorption of the subject matter. This allows trainers to be confident and have the freedom to adapt their teaching techniques. This enables them to encourage participants to learn from themselves and the entire class; creating as many organic learning moments as possible. If they don’t know an answer, they don’t guess; they know where to get the correct response. Trainers need to ensure that learners absorb the critical material and can adopt the positive changes to come. Ask questions of the candidates and their references that help you determine this ability.
- Preparation & Practice. An exemplary trainer makes delivering a class look straightforward and seamless. Skilled trainers come with detailed and effective preparation strategies. In the interview process, ask them their specific steps of their preparation for learning a curriculum. For example, an exemplary trainer may read through the material twice in its’ entirety to get an overall feel for the flow of the course. They break down each module, highlighting and marking their instructors guide for crucial Next, they rehearse each module aloud in front of a mirror or by recording themselves to validate their timing. Trainers should not practice on students. We suggest having them demonstrate their skill and ability through a structured Train-the-Trainer program and graded teach-back process. This is where you inspect what you expect regarding their preparation, session openings, transitions, questioning techniques, use of technology and creating an environment ripe for learning.
- Rhythm & Energy. There are ebbs and flows in energy during any training class. An exemplary trainer is in tune with their energy level and of their students. A quality trainer knows when dry or detailed content is coming up, and they adjust their delivery accordingly. A skilled trainer is keenly aware when learners are tuning out, restless, or distracted. They know purposeful engagement is critical. A talented trainer communicates the information in a way that ensures learners understand the material and can implement it immediately out on the floor. Seek to understand how they use the latest adult learning methodologies to facilitate engaging learning experiences, even for seasoned attendees.
- Corporate Savvy, Strategic Thinkers.An exemplary trainer should possess strong business acumen and grasp how the training process affects the overall business. This understanding of the “Big Picture” of how their training ties in, will support the objectives of the project. Exemplary trainers consider the greater vision of the firm and how their role affects the entire organization. Is your trainer experienced in quickly “crossing borders” by strategically partnering with counterparts from other departments within the organization like Operations, HR, and Marketing? These essential corporate relationships combined with strategic thinking, help to strengthen the bonds between departments and foster an environment of cooperation and unity within your project. Get specific examples of how they have incorporated this mind set into their daily training activities during past projects.
- Trainers are Evaluators. Exemplary trainers must be skilled in evaluating learners and measuring understanding as they train. They do this deliberately through keen observation skills, analyzing student interaction and validating content absorption via knowledge checks. It is NOT about the grade on a test; it comes down to the trainees being able to understand and practically apply the material they have learned! Trainers need to ensure learners can effectively implement the training in their specific role. This is an indispensible and hard to find trait that comes only from experience and honing their craft in learning and development. Ask how your potential trainers assess skill levels before, during and after training.
Do you see these five skills exhibited by your trainers? We do in ours! How do you gain insight into the behaviors of exemplary trainers? Be picky, observe, inspect and ask for specific, detailed examples of how these traits are demonstrated in and out of the classroom.
Zelus’ Certified Trainers are an elite group of the most experienced facilitation experts in the industry. These five traits are a part of their DNA. When it comes to a seamless implementation of a call center roll-out or initiative, our trainers are handpicked to match our core beliefs when it comes to knowledge, expertise, and passion. We are discerning and only use the savviest, most experienced learning and development professionals in the industry.