We’ve all been there before, the awkward training period when you start a new job. Maybe you had to wear a silly hat while you learned what was and wasn’t okay to put in the deep fryer. Maybe you had to learn how to use expensive, complicated equipment, inevitably using it incorrectly in front of your boss’s boss. Maybe you even, as once happened to me, had to wear a giant button that said, “ASK ME ANYTHING,” long before you were ready to be asked anything. It seems that no matter the job, the training period is tedious, long and just plain unenjoyable. It’s not easy on you, the trainer, your manager and certainly not your customers.
I’ve had numerous jobs in my life, and each one had a training period. I’ve been an associate at a paintball field, fragrance connoisseur at a cosmetics store, college admissions assistant, parking lot attendant, and for a brief while I was one of those annoying people in a booth at the mall trying to get you to sign up for stuff. For a while now, I’ve been happily employed at Copytalk, a company specializing in audio and video transcription that requires accuracy, knowledge of financial and medical terms, in-depth understanding of personal privacy laws and the ability to find obscure facts in less than two minutes. Can you guess which one had the longest direct-training period?
If you said Copytalk, you’d be wrong, but understandably so. You’d think a position that involves Roth IRAs, retirement planning and tax forms would surely have a prolonged training regimen. Surely to excel at this job, one must intensely shadow a tenured employee for two or three weeks. At the very least, a new employee is underneath an experienced one here longer than at the parking lot, right? Go ahead and take a guess as to how long a brand-new Copytalk scribe is paired with an experienced worker before being sent out on their own.
Did you guess a week? Did you guess a month? Try two days. That’s right. I had to have someone with me longer to make sure I knew how to open and close a gate and occasionally point people towards a Coke machine than I did at the job where I have to do all of the above-mentioned skills. I was still receiving critiques of my work for a while, but I was using Copytalk’s software, knew the company’s standards and expectations and able to find information I might need after only two days. With a long list of frequently asked questions and common terms easily accessible and 100% of a new scribe’s work being returned to them remotely with corrections for their first few weeks on their own, pretty soon a scribe is flying through files not just competently, but confidently.
I don’t know who streamlined the hiring process this well, but I hope they were handsomely compensated. Name one other job where you’re being taught face-to-face for only two days, then receiving near-instant reviews of your work designed to turn you into a subject matter pro in less than a month. I certainly can’t do it. Copytalk is often proud of their security and privacy procedures, technical innovation and quick turnaround time, but perhaps the company should be proud of their slick, effective training process as well. Who knows? Maybe someday business majors will read about it