Case Studies

How Method Grid has enabled staff induction at The Pi Group

The user

The Pi Group is a leading, US-based talent advisory business focused on the consumer goods industry (a Hunt Scanlon “Top 50” firm). With offices in Connecticut and New York it delivers a number of strategic propositions to an enviable list of marque clients ranging from professional search, talent mapping and retained C-suite talent acquisition through to career management, executive coaching and high-performing team transformation programmes. Founded in 2013, and fostering a unique “never settle” but “don’t take yourself too seriously” culture, The Pi Group has been in high-growth mode since day one.

The challenge

The war for talent is well and truly underway with respect to The Pi Group’s own recruitment challenge. To meet its ambitious future growth plans, the company seeks to recruit, and professionally induct, a new joiner every three weeks. This is challenging in this sector and in this geography: the economy is booming and many of their competitors are doing similar! As such, the first challenge is to continue to attract the best into their company and, also, to ensure they are trained up as quickly as possible: ready to serve their clients and to commence revenue generating activity soon after onboarding.

How Method Grid was used

Lauren Rath, the Director of People and Culture at The Pi Group, was instrumental in harnessing Method Grid to completely overhaul their staff induction process. Method Grid is used across the business for multiple ends – developing and selling client service propositions, capturing internal procedures – but Lauren saw the opportunity to use the platform to enable her recruitment and staff development remit.

Lauren very quickly developed a new grid (The Pi Group Training Programme) with twelve stages (mapped to a 12-week induction regime) and multiple themes/rows covering key dimensions: Company Overview, Recruitment Cycle, Candidate Management, Client Management, Business Skills, Client Sectors, Company IT systems etc. Thereafter, a number of discrete lesson modules were captured (as discrete elements in this framework) and each assigned to a Pi colleague for content completion. Lauren color-labelled these elements according to their work-in-progress development – only turning them green as and when they passed her quality assurance.

Staff induction grid

Figure: Screenshot showing the Pi Group training program grid and how they are using labels to track progress

A typical element (lesson module in this grid context) contains: a descriptive of why the lesson is important, relevant videos, schematics and information uploads along with, crucially, all the tagged experts in The Pi Group who stand ready to collaboratively answer any further questions their new colleagues may have – with respect to this specific knowledge item. Whilst the master grid continues to develop (a never-ending act of continuous improvement) – with this focused team effort, it was only a matter of weeks before it represented a structured, deeply-resourced staff induction toolbox.

Now, whenever a new consultant starts at The Pi Group, Lauren creates a cloned copy of the master training programme (staff  – as a specific instance for this individual. Cleverly, the element labelling protocol now switches to a new logic. As inductees work their way left-to-right through their personalised grid they update elements according to their confidence levels: ranging from a green “all good” to a yellow “completed but have some further support needs”. This allows Lauren, in a graphical snapshot, to see how all the new inductees are progressing and to allocate further collegial support as required.

Staff induction element

Figure: Element from the Pi Group training program grid describing the company core values

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The benefits

Using Method Grid to enable staff induction at The Pi Group has brought two primary benefits.

Firstly, it has enabled the company to significantly improve the conversion of offers to acceptances.

Many companies in their sector claim to invest heavily in staff induction and ongoing training but, in reality, this is little more than a rhetorical flourish. At a critical point in a prospective joiner’s evaluation process, The Pi Group can easily demonstrate the investment and depth of thinking that has gone into their staff induction programme. It – rightly – signals the quality of the business they will join and in and of itself is becoming a critical component of the company’s employee value proposition. Simply put, it is helping them win this war for talent.

Secondly, this staff induction grid is genuinely helping with the onboarding process.

Ensuring that new joiners are systematically walked-through all aspects of the company and their new role. This, in turn, ensures they have a smooth entry path into the team – with fast-developed confidence to start taking their new skills to market – further fuelling the firm’s impressive growth.

For us Method Grid has been a game changer in the round and it all starts with our Pi Staff Induction Grid. Now, new joiner consultant joiners to the firm are taken through a deep, systematic – and ever improving – modular training programme. This results in new colleagues getting quickly up to speed with how we work and this confidence, in turn, translates into them becoming productive in role faster than was previously the case. As a side benefit, using Method Grid for our staff induction enables new staff to get immediate familiarity with a critical business platform and provides them early insight as to “who knows what” in the wider team.

Steve Morrissey / MD / The Pi Group

As Director of People & Culture, I am constantly working to recruit top talent for Pi and subsequently supporting new joiners in getting up and running quickly through a bespoke, comprehensive on-boarding plan. Aside from being an invaluable resource; having the ability to demonstrate our training program has also helped me in the recruitment process. I can easily illustrate the investment we have made in this area – the importance we give it. Candidates have shared that the visible attention to professional development was a critical component in their evaluation of us over other opportunities.

Lauren Rath / The Pi Group

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