~ Jim Jacobs, Founder and CEO at Focus Insite
“There is no way we could have grown our company by 400% in one year without Trainual.”
Focus Insite is a recruitment company for market research. They help companies (like Tesla, American Express, and Home Depot) find everyday people to test new products and services. Most importantly, they do the research remotely – by shipping out samples, doing online focus groups, and conducting one-on-one interviews.
Jim Jacobs, founder and CEO at Focus Insite, says their online model has been pivotal during the pandemic. “When COVID-19 hit, a lot of the regional in-person companies shut down, and the demand came to us.”
The new business put them in a position to rapidly grow the company. But despite the great news, Jim was concerned about meeting the demand. He didn’t think their current training method could ramp up enough employees in time.
Manual training is time-consuming
At the time, their Vice President of Operations, Liana Wood, was in charge of onboarding new employees. She says she was fed up with onboarding every new recruiter manually.
“Before Trainual, we went through training with every single individual and spent a lot of time explaining every last detail of what we do here,” she told us. “I did the same things over and over again. And it just wasn’t efficient.”
According to Liana, a typical training session looked like this: Hop on a Zoom call to go over every template, process, and procedure stored on Google Drive. She would also record the training and share it later for reference.
This method was time-consuming for one. But it also lacked consistency. Because if Liana forgot a key detail or explained something differently, her recruiters may not do everything the same way.
For Jim, this inconsistency was critical. He wanted to run the company like a McDonald’s – with clear, repeatable, and predictable processes. He also knew Liana had better use of her time.
“I need Liana in her highest and best use. She runs our ship, talks with major clients, and makes them happy. She doesn’t have the bandwidth nor the time to train employees, so that was a key part for us.”
The duo realized they needed to rethink the way they trained people if they wanted to build a fast-growing team. Otherwise, Focus Insite would soon be drowning in the newly acquired work.
Trainual content becomes a resource
When Jim started researching tools for training, he was unsure whether or not it was worth the investment. So, he decided to try Process Street, a free training tool instead. But it quickly turned out to be a dud. “It just didn’t work very well. It wasn’t very intuitive. It was stupid!”
In the meantime, Jim also subscribed to the Trainual YouTube channel and started listening to our CEO Chris Ronzio’s podcast, Organize Chaos. “I thought [the content] was amazing! And one day, the light bulb went off, and I realized we had to try Trainual [despite the cost].”
Jim says what he loved about Trainual was recording yourself, uploading the videos, and adding a test. This way, he could use Trainual to certify recruiters before they even started working for the company.
“With Trainual, we could train our people our way. We could do it correctly the first time. And it was repeatable!”
He and Liana signed up for Trainual. And they started by defining the key processes and procedures within the business.
Building their Trainual in record time
When it was time to document knowledge in Trainual, it was up to Liana to record and upload the training videos. But she didn’t have much time to execute.
Jim explains that “Liana is key to the organization, so [they] had to get her knowledge documented before she went on maternity leave. Otherwise, the company would flounder without her.”
Liana said the initial content creation took some heavy lifting. But she knew the investment would pay off later. “The amount of time I spent on [creating and uploading the training videos] didn’t compare to the time I spent training each individual.”
Thanks to an easy-to-use content builder, Liana had their Trainual up and running within weeks. And luckily, just in time to go on maternity leave.
Trainual produces immediate results
Once the content was built, Jim started seeing results within 3 months of implementing Trainual. The biggest win being faster ramp-up times. Before, new hires relied on a lengthy video and emailing Liana for answers. Now, they find what they need in seconds and go through the content on their own.
“We went from onboarding in 6 to 8 months to 6 to 8 days. It’s crazy!”
Now that Focus Insite can grow the team quickly, they can meet new business demands. And since adding Trainual, they’ve gone from just 6 employees to over 20 team members in only one year!
Best part? Training no longer depends on Liana, so she can get back to keeping the business running.
Trainual maintains consistency and produces experts
Now that everyone goes through the same training, Trainual has created consistency across the board. “Everyone does everything the exact same way. And that’s what we need to scale the business,” Jim explained.
He and Liana agree that without Trainual, they could’ve never quadrupled the business. Because now, they can turn a novice into a recruiting expert within days. And that means they can accomplish client work faster than ever before.
“We’ve even hired someone who’s never worked in the industry before. She came in, went through Trainual in 3 days, and [has since] produced the best recruiting numbers in the history of the company.”
A bright future with Trainual
Jim is ecstatic about what the future holds for Focus Insite. And he attributes the company’s success to two things: Liana and Trainual. “Without Liana and without Trainual, I’d probably be homeless,” he jokingly adds.
Looking back, Jim still laughs at his initial apprehension to implement Trainual. “I looked at it as an expense, but there’s no way we would have increased our revenue without it. Because we need people to do the work.”
Now that the organization is positioned to scale, Liana says she looks forward to growing the team for years to come. And she can’t imagine doing it without Trainual!
“Because of Trainual, we have all of our processes and procedures documented in one place. It’s been so helpful to our organization, and I don’t think we could have gone from regional work to national recruitment without it.”