Top Three Lessons from A Talent Accelerator Program

September 5, 2018 | Alice Walker | No Comments |

This August marked the completion of the first ever 12-week talent accelerator program for digital marketers. This one of a kind boot camp provides recent graduates first-hand experience with the cutting-edge technology pervasive in the workforce, but virtually non-existent in education. Between MarTech training, customized curriculum, and hands-on experience working in an agency setting, this program aimed to develop a new level of marketing talent we’ve struggled to find in the past.

12 weeks, 10 training topics, 5 student success paths, and countless deliverables later we were left with two questions at the end of the pilot: were we successful, and can we do better?

The answer was a resounding yes, on both counts. Our Associates gained valuable skills, performed impressive work on varied campaigns, and the program ultimately led to the placement of two new full-time employees at LeadMD. We had many wins, paired with quite a few educational moments.

Here are our three major takeaways from our first round of Marketemy:

Information Overload 

We’ve already talked extensively about how irrelevant and outdated onboarding processes don’t properly prepare new hires for actual system work. We feel so strongly about it that we built an entire platform around experience-based learning.   With that knowledge fueling our program, we devoted the beginning weeks to education, vocabulary, and background information.

This data was critical, but there is a reason it takes most new employees about three months to feel comfortable in a new position – absorbing information takes time!  Our training was lean, relevant, and still too much at once.

The next time (and yes, there will be a next time) we will adjust our training schedule to integrate more practical hands-on learning, typically later in the program, to be interspersed at the onset.

Time Is Your Most Valuable Commodity

When you have new employees working limited hours focused on both internal and external projects, time is at an absolute premium. Time to communicate expectations, to execute deliverables, and to reflect on the project iteration.  Utilizing templates for project documentation, quick Scrum-meetings to check in on progress and blockers, and an effective Project Management tool is absolutely critical to keep everything in line and on time.

As any Marketer knows, when you’re working on a deadline the basics can get skipped in the interest of fast delivery. This isn’t possible with a Talent Accelerator Program. In fact, when things get busy, that’s when you need to slow down and review items often taken for granted in the workplace: effective note-taking, proper meeting scheduling, and email etiquette. The small items most learn over years of trial and error, condensed and communicated to make sure your new team is operating at an elevated and polished level.

Marketemy Team 2018

Marketemy Class 2018 (Left to Right) Molly Moroney, Alice Walker (Marketemy Program Manager), Sammi Lamb

There Is No Substitute for Inclusion

Beyond effective communication, inclusion is a crucial success factor. All too often interns or part-time employees end up working in a silo, connected to the one small part of the organization they work with but cut off from the goals and efforts of the larger company. We found the more we included our Associates in big picture conversations, the faster they grasped new concepts and could participate in a more meaningful way.

This inclusion can look like a lot of different things: anything from all-staff team meetings, lunch with the CEO, having an effective mentor or even something as simple as an active Slack channel. No matter what you’re using, check in to make sure your newest team members truly feel like they are actually part of a team.

Interested in what Marketemy can do for you? Enrollment is now open for the January 2019 class. Check it out.

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