There is a lot of uncertainty in the world, and Customer Educators are adapting to keep up with constantly changing business priorities. We’ve asked our customers what they’re doing to cope with the current global landscape and how their work has been changing. In this edition, Molly Siegel, Senior Customer Education and Engagement Manager at Entelo, shares her insights.
Tell us a little bit about your company. How do you leverage customer education to support your customers and/or the industry?
Molly: Entelo’s products provide recruitment automation solutions from source-to-hire. Our mission is to deliver remarkably intelligent end-to-end experiences for Talent Acquisition teams and candidates. Entelo provides the world’s largest and fastest-growing companies with the technology and recruitment best practices to help find the right talent to hire faster while helping with Diversity and Inclusion along the way.
Our Education Department grew out of our onboarding team, which trained all new users. As our customer base grew, we saw the inherent limitations with this process as it was becoming increasingly time-consuming to individually onboard and train all new users, without the ability to continue the relationship with more advanced learnings, nor easily track those metrics. We knew we needed a more scalable and measurable onboarding and training process, as well as pathways for users to further their education and development. With Skilljar, we created Entelo Academy, our online portal of self-guided, on-demand training resources allowing our users to choose when and how to learn. With Entelo Academy, customers gain access to a library of rich content; from product-specific learning tracks and certifications, to live webcasts featuring industry experts and thought leaders.
How have customer learning behaviors changed since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak? What new demands are you hearing from your customers?
We used to do a lot of on-site trainings, which we’ve obviously had to halt completely. We are, of course, keeping up our virtual sessions, but the largest shift in demand has been in accessing more on-demand content that is available at any time for our customers. This makes sense, as this shift in learning behavior aligns with the emotional and physical response to this pandemic, in that the way people work (hours, prioritization, physical environment) has completely changed. People are balancing their work and professional development with current health, economic, and social anxieties and uncertainties, while taking care of their families, becoming their kids’ teachers, cooks, coaches, counselors, and taking care of themselves. I read a great reminder online, one that Entelo has taken to heart throughout our internal and external work, that we must factor in that our customers are not working from home during a pandemic, but navigating a pandemic while working at home. There is no specified timeline for how long this will be our reality, and it’s critical that we listen to and meet our customers where they need our support most.
How is your Customer Education team adapting to help customers right now? What are you doing to increase your impact? What accommodations are you making?
We are listening to what our customers are asking for and trying to shift accordingly, as quickly as possible, to ensure their success and try to alleviate at least some of their anxieties within being able to continue to do their job, to develop, and to be successful. More relevant content that they can access when it’s best and most conducive for them is of primary focus, as well as more tailored, virtual trainings specific to the organization’s use case and needs. We’ve also offered more free and public content, including education, best practices, thought leadership, and resources for those struggling through this time, including those who have experienced job loss.
We’ve had to get creative in how to get more relevant content up quicker which has led to some great collaboration. Our Education team works with our Customer Success, Sales, Support, and Product teams to co-create relevant content and get it out there for consumption.
For example, we’ve made great progress in quickly sharing customer feedback from our Customer Success and Sales teams and using that to help inform what training, content, and product functionalities we build and provide. We also make sure to share best practices in not only creating customized content for our customers at scale, but also aligning our marketing efforts to provide industry thought leadership both internally and externally for continued development and success.
What trends are you observing? For example, increased student hours, student registrations, courses delivered, new audiences served (prospects?), new content delivered?
One trend that we’ve noticed through Skilljar’s metrics and analytics is that while we may have less active users (due to the economic reality of COVID-19), they are spending a lot more time in the platform, with a very high course completion rate. This indicates that our customers are focusing on training, development, and continuing education, and validates the high demand for accessible, relevant education and training content. We’ve also built more thought leadership on-demand content, as well as more tailored virtual group trainings. The request for tailored trainings has always been aligned with best practices and has been critical to Customer Success and Education teams serving our customers effectively. That being said, I think that this increase in customized training requests speaks to two recent shifts:
The first shift in that our customers as a whole organization, due to COVID-19, simply can’t operate in the same, “business as usual” way, and are using this time to prioritize learning, reskilling and upskilling, and development. The second, perhaps deeper shift, is within the increased desire for community. I think that because many of us aren’t able to socialize in the way we are used to or even wired for, we are now looking at how we can get this same comfort and human need in other areas of our lives, including our work where we spend most of our time. Based on that, I think the shift in how group virtual trainings were held in the past, perhaps a bit generic and functionality focused, compared to now, being more tailored and personalized, makes sense. It is largely founded in empathy and active listening and therefore increases the feeling of community and the support we give and receive.
How do you think this will change your operations moving forward?
It’s very possible that this could lead to a permanent shift to more on-demand education content. Therefore, we need to be cognizant throughout this redirection of how we measure and deliver effective resources and materials, how available and accessible these materials are, how these materials are received, digested, and retained, what the development pathways are, and where gaps within education may arise. Due to less physical, in-person interaction and more online engagement, it will also be critical to have clear, effective, and transparent communication processes in place, both internally and externally, so that we are incorporating as many meaningful perspectives as possible for a more holistic, informed, and effective process, strategy, and product. We must also take note of what arises unexpectedly through this shift, and stay fluid and flexible enough to shift processes and strategy accordingly, for continued improvement and success.
What new colleagues are you engaging with that you haven’t worked with before?
Entelo acquired ConveyIQ last fall, an intelligent candidate engagement platform, which rounded us out quite meaningfully in becoming a true source-to-hire platform. In doing so, we also became an international team. Finding creative and realistic ways for our Engineers and Education teams to work closely together, for example, has become even more important through this critical time, and I am very grateful for the sense of community we have cultivated together despite our physical distance. I think that this pandemic accelerated the time-frame it usually takes for international teams to get to know each other and collaborate effectively (especially without being to travel), and gave us almost more urgency to connect and support each other as best as possible, to ensure the success of our teams and our customers. Sharing this experience has led to a great fostering of Entelo’s internal community, and allowed us to expand this community to our customers, in a deeper way than in the past.