• Tara Hurley

Build or Buy? That Is The Question

Deciding factors from someone who has been on both sides.


I have an obsession with Rao’s pasta sauce. This high-quality sauce in a jar has simple, quality ingredients and a variety of flavors. My personal favorite is Arrabbiata – the spicy “angry sauce.” Yum!! I stock up when it is on sale and always have several jars in my pantry. It is my secret ingredient for pasta, lasagna, and even soups. Convenient, and consistently delicious.


I’m an avid cook, but I have learned my lesson the hard way – slaving away in the kitchen making homemade sauce, only to think, “I should have used Rao’s.”


Which reminds me of a frequently asked question we get at Butler Street:


“Should I build sales, recruiting, and leadership training in-house or outsource it?”


Without hesitation, “Outsource it!”


I’ve had the unique experience of being on both sides – in-house training and consulting. I spent the second half of 2020 as a Senior Learning Consultant with Butler Street – building engaging content and facilitating virtual training. Previously, after 12 years as a staffing recruiter, manager, and operations leader, I became the first Director of Learning & Development for a mid-sized, global staffing company. The initial task was simple enough – build a new hire training program from scratch. We wanted to streamline training from multiple business units, teach the foundational aspects of the job, ensure the training engaged both the rookie and staffing veteran, all while remaining cutting edge. Sound familiar?


Can you build training in-house? Sure, you can, but I wouldn’t recommend it.


Here are three big reasons why:


1. There’s no time to waste.

Your people need the skills to compete and succeed NOW. Reinventing the wheel is not an option! According to a study conducted by ATD (Association for Training Development), it takes on average 38 hours to develop 1-hour of virtual instructor-led training. Let’s say you want to create a 3-day new hire boot camp. Roughly 20 hours of instructor-led training could easily take you almost 5 months to create. And that’s for an L&D expert focused on the project. Factor in the learning curve, internal red tape, and distractions from competing initiatives – it’s highly likely you won’t be delivering your boot camp until Q4.*


2. Show me the money.

Trust me, you will greatly underestimate the time as well as the money it takes to build training in-house. Developing and executing high-quality training requires a host of people, resources, and technology. We’ve seen mid-sized organizations spend upwards of $500k to build training in-house. They have a good end product, but “good” isn’t good enough for our clients.


You will likely need to hire outside of your organization or significantly shift resources internally. Who will create the program infrastructure, the content, slide decks, and training materials? Who will facilitate the training? There is also a needed investment in technology – software and tools for content creation, a training delivery platform, and an LMS to store, deliver, and track completion.


And it isn’t a one-time engagement. You can’t create training and put it on the shelf! Your content must evolve, adapt and change constantly.


3. Perspective & Experience

Outsourcing training also gives you the advantage of an outside perspective. Allowing you to tap into industry trends and learning & development best practices to keep learners engaged, boost retention of material, and ensure implementation.


Our team is made up of experienced content creators and facilitators that also happen to be CEO’s, COO’s, leaders, sales professionals, and recruiters. We’ve perfected virtual training infused with our proven methodology because 100% of our focus, time, and resources is spent on client and talent development.


Already have a Learning & Development team? Even better. Utilize outsourced training to enhance content, strengthen alignment, and boost productivity. I’ve seen it work. A combination of internal and external training is the most powerful. We’ve successfully partnered with some of the largest and most well-known companies to supplement their internal efforts by utilizing our structured, repeatable sales, recruiting, and leadership methodology to train existing employees as well as new hires.


Worried about off the shelf, generic training? Don’t be. Butler Street takes great care in the pre-training discovery process to tailor content for maximum impact. We excavate and review discovery documents, conduct in-depth one-on-one interviews, and present concepts for feedback during our Knowledge Team session.


Don’t drain valuable resources trying to create your secret sauce from scratch. Partner with us and together we’ll create the piece de résistance! Contact us to get cooking.





*Source: https://www.td.org/insights/how-long-does-it-take-to-develop-one-hour-of-training-updated-for-2017 .