Using Internal Vs External Trainers

Hire full time Trainers or Use an external Trainer?

It is difficult to generalise about how it is worth it for companies to develop their own internal team of trainers to carry the burden of developing and training employees versus the use of professional external trainers and training companies, however in many organizations internal trainers are more used to giving product or systems training rather than behavioural or sales or customer service training for example which is a different discipline. In general obviously the main benefits for using internal trainers are cost (as long as they are being utilised fully) and their knowledge of the organisation, policies and procedures.

However, in general it is natural for internal trainers, if they’ve been with the organisation for some time, to become in a sense institutionalised, in that they often have some pre-conceived ideas of what is possible and what’s not within the confines of the organisation, so can be overly cautious in driving change and can fall into the trap of “doing things the way they’ve always been done” rather than pushing the boundaries and driving major “out of the box” thinking and training. 

 

In general it is widely believed that it’s always a good idea to inject outside training on a regular basis, particularly for major changes or specialised training such as Sales, Customer service, leadership and other soft skills development programs. External trainers also have to keep up to date with new methods, new industry standards and new methods of delivery which means you’re getting the most up to date thought and processes in training delivery.  Also an outside trainer will bring experience from different organisations, different markets and different disciplines which usually has a great benefit.  Also in most cases, an external trainer will have a greater impact on the delegates as they are seen as experts in the field rather than the person who gave them systems or products and services training last week.

Internal trainers also may be unable to commit due to their other duties. Consequently the pool of trainers is not stable and their experience is not consistent. It is often the case that new trainers are added and old trainers disappear along the way and this does not provide stability or guarantee a certain level of skill for the team of internal trainers. 

Additionally, communication between internal trainers and participants is often a one way communication, which turns the training session into more of a lecture than a training session where healthy interaction, discussion and transfer of knowledge and skills take place.

And finally, trainers can often be presented with underlying complaints or issues (about a process or about a particular manager) which can be dealt with in the classroom in a dispassionate way by an external trainer rather than an internal trainer who may not be able to handle it as well. 

 

Pro's of using internal trainers      Con's of using internal trainers
-Cost saving (As long as they are fully utilized) -In general it is natural for internal trainers, if they’ve been with the organisation for some time, to become in a sense institutionalised.
-They may often have some pre-conceived ideas of what is possible and what’s not within the confines of the organisation, so can be overly cautious in driving change and can fall into the trap of “doing things the way they’ve always been done” rather than pushing the boundaries and driving major “out of the box” thinking and training. 
- Knowledge of Company's Policies and procedures -Unlike external trainers, many internal trainers do not have easy access to new methodologies and ideas in training.
- Ability to provide real life examples that trainees can easily relate to -Many of them are unable to keep up with new industry trends or what is happening in other organizations and bring in this type of experience into the training room.
  -External trainers are seen as expert consultants in their fields and may therefore have greater impact on participants
  -Internal trainers also may be unable to commit due to their other duties. Consequently the pool of trainers is not stable and their experience is not consistent. It is often the case that new trainers are added and old trainers disappear along the way and this does not provide stability or guarantee a certain level of skill of the group of internal trainers.
   -Trainers can often be presented with underlying complaints or issues which can be dealt with in the classroom in a dispassionate way by an external trainer rather than an internal trainer who may not be able to handle it as well.