Case study:
Professional Research Consultants (PRC)

Pluralsight: a tool for recruiting, retention and company growth.

Every year, Professional Research Consultants (PRC) surveys millions of patients, staff and stakeholders about health care and satisfaction at hospitals and clinics across the United States. The information they collect helps customers make smart decisions about treatment options and healthcare practices. But collecting and delivering this important data and analysis requires a technical support staff with a wide variety of constantly changing skills. So it’s no surprise that PRC turns to Pluralsight for help in keeping those skills current.

5,000 training courses for less than the cost of an off-site seminar

Like so many other companies with a large technical staff, PRC doesn’t believe sending the entire IT team to off-site training is a viable solution. According to Adam Kavan, Associate Director of Networks and Systems, the cost of sending his employees to certification classes runs as high as $6,000 each. Worse, when employees attend off-site training, they’re not available to help with issues as they come up. And when you run the help desk, something always comes up. Pluralsight training solves that problem for PRC.

“My employees take their training in the office. They’re still available here if something goes wrong,” says Adam.

“And it saves time. There’s no need to wait for the slowest person in the class to ask yet another question. They can learn at their own pace.”

What about the expense of providing training for every member of the team? Adam says, “For the cost of sending a single staff member to one in-person training class, they can have years worth of Pluralsight classes. And they get a much bigger choice of materials. They’re not just learning one thing.”

With more than 5,000 training courses for employees to choose from, that’s a real advantage. 

Turn downtime into on-the-job training

So how does PRC make sure employees make time in their schedules for training?

“We measure how much time each employee spends on tickets versus other things. We watch what percentage of their time is slack time and what percentage of their time is spent on work,” says Adam. “As long as they fill their slack time with Pluralsight courses, I know that they’re getting better at their jobs. It’s so much better than filling downtime browsing YouTube or playing World of Warcraft. When they’re on Pluralsight, I know they’re learning something useful.”

A recruiting and retention tool

At first, PRC was primarily interested in Pluralsight for its variety of training. But managers have realized another important benefit.

“It helps from a retention standpoint,” Adam says. “Giving my team access to Pluralsight makes them feel like they’re valued employees. They think, ‘Hey, these guys are doing something to make me into a better employee, a smarter person. I like that.’ And it helps them see that PRC is an excellent place to work. Maybe this year, they want to be MCSE certified, but next year, their job function changes, or they decide they want to become a computer programmer. Maybe they want to do something completely different and take a graphics tools class. It all helps them grow as a person and learn a whole breadth of new skills.” 

Employees aren’t the only ones who benefit. “It’s something that helps them, but it helps us too.”

In fact, PRC has made online training part of the performance review process. “We encourage them to take as many courses as they want, but we have specific ones, like Windows 8 Management and Deployment classes and Microsoft SQL server certification that they have to take,” Adam says. “The reporting tools let me see who’s taken what courses. It’s very useful for seeing which people are learning what I’ve asked them to.”

What’s more, Pluralsight provides a real advantage for PRC in workforce planning. Adam says, “If I see a future need today, I don’t have to hire a new person who’s an expert at something to fill that need. Instead, I can train up one of my existing people because Pluralsight has the courses to fill those skills gaps.”

PRC at a glance:
  • PRC is a research-marketing firm dedicated to improving healthcare with more than 1,000 employees nationwide.
  • Every year, PRC works with thousands of hospitals and clinics to conduct patient and staff experience, satisfaction and loyalty surveys.
  • PRC conducts all phases of its research in-house using its own internally developed survey software and statistical analytics. They are known for their high response rates.

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