2 Replies
Ashley Chiasson

Hi Rob - It's likely more cost-effective to identify an individual within your organization, as these individuals often times know the subject matter and will not require time to ramp up to basic organizational knowledge. With new hires, there's always a bit of an introductory period where the new hire needs to become acclimated with the organization, and this can hinder training development. On the other hand, pulling a pre-existing resource may impact that individual's ability to do their primary role.

The short answer: it depends on you're organization and its goals.

Tim Slade

Hi Rob,

I agree with Ashley - it is more cost effective to do it internally. However, there are other variables to consider. If you choose to go the internal route (turning a SME into a trainer), you'll want to make sure that it's something they want as well. I often see people making the leap from SME to trainer, thinking it's a natural progression of their career of choice. However, over time, they will realize that they're no longer viewed as a SME within that particulate area, now they're just the trainer who happens to training within that area. I don't know if that makes any sense.

For me, I used to work in Retail Loss Prevention (catching shoplifters), and I was given the opportunity to move up to the corporate office to develop Loss Prevention Training. I jumped at the opportunity - thinking this was a way to advance my Loss Prevention career. Well, after a couple of years, I was no longer seen as the "Loss Prevention Guy;" I was now the "E-Learning Guy." All in all, it worked out for me, because I really liked eLearning and it opened new career options for me. BUT, I've seen people make the same move and then end up unhappy because they weren't REALLY working in the field that they we're before AND it really wasn't advancement in the same direction.

So make sure you are keeping that in mind as well. If you have people who are interested in developing training and that's a career choice they're willing to make, go ahead and do it internally. Like Ashley said, it depends on your organization, longer-term goals and the talent you currently have (plus their own career goals!).