Before jumping right into identifying the right outsourced training provider, you first need to ask yourself why outsourcing might be the right solution for your organization. There are many reasons why a company may choose to outsource certain business functions; learning and development is one function where outsourcing often makes good business sense.
Some of the most common reasons to consider using an outsourced training vendor include:
- Reducing and controlling operating costs
- Improving your learning organization’s focus
- Gaining access to world-class capabilities
- Freeing up internal resources for other purposes
Once you’ve made the decision that outsourcing is the right approach to take for your current training initiative, it becomes much easier to find the perfect instructional design firm or temporary talent provider by asking a few more targeted questions.
Question 1: Does the outsourced training provider you are considering know your industry?
Are you looking for a vendor that is a “jack of all trades” (and master of none), or are you seeking a training provider that either specializes in your particular industry or the topic at-hand? For instance, if you are looking to create a training curriculum for your employees because you are implementing Salesforce CRM, selecting an outsourced training provider that has experience with this tool will save you time and money. If they’ve never developed training around this tool, they will need more time with your SMEs and technology team to build out an effective training solution. When selecting an outsourced training provider, make sure they can display a deep understanding of your industry, your business model, and/or your specific training needs.
Question 2: Does the outsourced training provider offer custom content development?
While you can find literally hundreds of companies that offer off-the-shelf, ready-to-go courses, they may not enable you to achieve the desired learning outcome to support your business need. Does the training vendor you are considering customize role-plays, engagement activities, and case studies specifically for your organization — or do they repurpose generic “one-size-fits-all” components? In most cases, your policies, procedures, and processes are unique to your organization. Therefore, customization is key to creating effective training. Your learners need to be able to connect the learning experience to their actual work experience.
Question 3: What support does the outsourced training provider offer?
If you are about to engage a third-party vendor to design your learning solution, there may be many add-on support services you require and expect. Do you need upfront analysis of business goals, audience, and project management? Do you need support for implementation, such as LMS integration, facilitation, and learner registration? If so, make sure the outsourced training provider offers these add-on services and that these are included in your contract. (By the way, we here at ttcInnovations do!)
Question 4: How does the outsourced training provider build their team?
Likely, the person or team directly involved in designing and developing your learning solution won’t be the same salesperson or outsourced training provider executive you talked with initially. Ask the potential partner what vetting process they use for hiring their talent. They should be able to share the process they follow to hire the team members assigned to work on your account.
Question 5: What is the outsourced training provider’s track record for delivering results?
It’s essential to find out how successful the potential training provider is at delivering what they promise. Don’t just review work samples — request references and follow up, too! Ask for the names of some client team members who worked with the outsourced training provider on a previous project. Find out if these clients were happy with the level of service provided. Did the learning solution meet or even exceed their expectations? Did the solution help improve employee performance after completion? Was the training provider easy to work with? Were deadlines met? Would the business partners, learning organization team members, and SMEs work with this outsourced training provider again on a future initiative?
Want to see our ttc team in action? Click here to see a sample of our most recent innovative projects and case studies!
Selecting an outsourced training provider is a process in and of itself, but it’s a process you must undertake with purpose and strategy to find the best fit. When you need help developing your next training initiative, consider these additional questions to guide you to the perfect outsourced training provider.
Whether you’re ready to bring on an outsourced training provider to help with your organization’s learning and development initiatives or are still considering if it’s the right solution for your company, I’d be happy to chat with you about your unique needs. Contact me today for a complimentary consultation!