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Seb Anthony

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Recruiting a Customer IT Trainer?


I will be recruiting internally for a trainer who will be responsible for delivery of end user training of our in-house system to external customers.

Candidates will be familar with my organisation however not with this particular system.

In addition to the standard CBI, I would like candidates to deliver a training session as part of the assessment.

Anyone have any suggestions?


3 Responses

  1. Unsure what you are asking?
    Are you asking for topics for delivery? Or advice regarding the competancies in the practical session, how to measure it? Will there be an audience? How will this play against varying candidates? Does the size of audience matter? Will they all deliver the same topic? What about style?
    How will you measure success of the session? – candidates reaction could be different to audience.

    The practical session will pick up on some competancies that the CBI has as well as adding practical only competancies. You must judge your weighting and objective measurement very carefully.


  2. Be specific about what you want!
    Be specific in your person specification and job description. Consider exactly what you want this person to be able to do, the outcome of them performing their role successfully, focus only on that part where they design, deliver and evaluate training.

    Get them to deliver a short session, maybe twenty to thirty minutes long, and consider their style of delivery, approach to learners with difficulties, their approach to learners who rush ahead. You will therefore need an audience – who have been prepared!

    The topic isn’t as important as their style / performance. Even a good trainer will look poor when dealing with a topic with which they are unfamiliar. Get them to choose their own particular package (i.e. Microsoft Word) and they design a session, for example, to help learners become proficient in ‘bullets and numbering’.

    Don’t forget that they will not only be helping people learn the product, but they will be selling your organisation in their approach and ‘personality’. Therefore don’t ‘scrimp’ in setting up a truly ‘assessing’ assessment centre!

    Finally, and just as important if you want the right person, in your audience you will need some key individuals. A subject matter expert (in what the ‘recurit’ is training), someone with experience of IT training and who is good at it(even if you need to look outside your organisation for help with this), and the manager of this post – they have to work with this person!

    Good luck and feel free to e-mail if you wish to discuss.

  3. Finding a trainer
    I agree with the previous comments, especially the first comment and have a few more to add:

    A couple of years ago, I applied for various IT training positions. Here are the two extremes.

    How not to interview the candidates:

    In the first interview, I was handed a 30-page test issued by the technical department to complete in 50 minutes in an interview room on my own. As I left the test, I commented to the facilitator that never have I had to complete a written test as an IT Trainer, that usually I would demonstrate my training skills and/or complete a computer generated test. She then replied that nearly everyone that completed the test said the same thing! I did not meet any of the interview panel and decided on the spot that I did not want to work for a short sighted, ill prepared company.

    The preferred interview session:

    In the second interview, I was asked to provide a PowerPoint presentation on an IT related topic and a demonstration of a Word 2000 topic.

    I had to train one of the three people on the interviewing panel. My panel delegate was tough but fair and asked simulated annoying questions. My people skills were tested in a live situation.

    The company provided the laptop, whiteboard and markers. Then the panel asked me questions about my techniques and how I would handle difficult situations, different cultural sensitivities and my general IT and training experience.

    As a former teacher, I felt that I had presented my best interview techniques and best training skills. As the successful candidate, it ended up being a job that I loved working in. Most natural trainers prefer to perform in front of people.

    Beware of trainers that hate working with people. These trainers that I have worked with had exceptional certification. They also did not like working with groups of people that asked questions or questioned their authority! In each situation these trainers cost their managers, OHS and the HR departments a lot of grief and a lot of money.

    Remember that you can usually train an enthusiastic trainer to teach a new system but you cannot usually teach a trainer‘people skills’.


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