Recruitment and HR Blog

Finding Employees that will represent your Brand

Matt Heighway - Monday, May 07, 2018

Footprint Recruitment Central Coast









As business owners, leaders and managers we often spend a great deal of time and effort into our ‘brand’. This includes our business brand, our personal brand and often in a wider capacity the brand of our industry and local business community.

We put countless hours and huge amounts of money into building our brand, ensuring the image is right, the consistency is there and the marketability of the brand is as strong as it can be. We know our brand, and many of those leaders who really have a strong understanding of, and synergy with their brand, represent their brand in everything they do.

They act in a way which reflects the brand, talk in language which speaks of the brand, dress in a way which reflects the brand and communicate in ways which suits the brand and its consumers.

So the brand is good, and we know how to represent it – but then there are the staff. How can you make sure that the people you engage in your business represent the brand as well as you do?

The people you engage in your organisation, whether as employee, supplier or contractor naturally become associated with your brand, and one thing I believe we can’t underestimate is the value of association and the impact this has on our brand.

You can work as hard as you like perfecting your reflection of your brand, but if the associations you keep in your business do not appear consistent with the brand you are trying to portray, you are undermining and possibly damaging the quality, consistency and overall impact of your brand by those who view your business.

At the heart of this for me is the people within your business. The staff, contractors and service partners you align yourself with who, by nature of their roles, act as an ambassador to your business and ultimately are responsible for projecting your brand to your consumers and the wider community.

Whether employed by you directly or indirectly via an agreement, engagement or supplier relationship, you need to be certain that they represent your brand to the extent you expect and the level you demand.

To do this here are some tips to help get things aligned:

-Understand for yourself the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours which define your brand. By understanding this you can then ensure all future relationships align with these core values, and as such reflect your brand.

-Assess new employees with these values in mind, to ensure they reflect the brand from the inside out, so to speak

-Think about your brand when you engage a contractor or supplier, and ask yourself this question “if my top customers knew this person / business was associated with me and my business, how would they feel?”

-Trust your gut and follow your instincts

Associating yourself and your business with the right partners can be a valuable addition and compliment to your brand, and conversely the reverse can apply.

Never underestimate the value of association and the impact that those representing your business, whether directly employed or not, can have on your brand image and reputation in the market place.

Top 5 Questions to NOT ask a potential employee

Matt Heighway - Wednesday, May 02, 2018


Given that the interview is still the primary selection tool used by employers, when you step back and think about it, you are making some fairly substantial decisions about the future of your business and your team based on a meeting which typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

That being the case, it’s imperative that you maximise the interview time by remembering the fundamental goal of an interview. The interview is your one chance to get to get to know the applicant, and assess whether they are going to fit in to your team and culture, and whether they can complete the job you are hiring for. The best way to do this is to ask relevant questions which are likely to elicit responses which give you a realistic and honest impression of the applicant, and ultimately give you the most detailed possible understanding for their suitability for your culture and the position you are recruiting for.

In my opinion, many employers spend way too much interview time on questions which hold little if any value to the goal at hand – finding out about the applicant and their suitability.

Here is my list of the top 5 time waster questions that you should leave out of your next interview:

1)Tell me a bit about yourself – an interview is not a date, and this question usually ends in one of three ways. The first is a well-rehearsed and often not very accurate ‘elevator pitch’ designed to dazzle you with their brilliance. The second is a complete life story background which whilst interesting, usually tells you very little about their suitability for the role. The third is a shocked response by a nervous applicant which typically ends up with them talking for the sake of talking, unsure what information to give away or not, and again you are left with very little of any true reflection about the person, their fit for your business or their ability to do the job at hand

2)Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years – the answer is who knows and who cares! You don’t know where your business will be in 5-10 years so why would you expect an applicant to have a clearer picture of their career. And the reality is they probably won’t be with you then, and that’s ok.

3)What are your weaknesses? If you think anyone is truly honest in answering this question you are mistaken. They will usually come up with some trait which they can ‘sell’ to you as a weakness, which of course you will see as a strength. Some of the most commonly used are ‘I am a perfectionist, I like to do things right all the time’, ‘I find it hard to say no if someone needs my help’, ‘I really like to be challenged’

4)Can you use MYOB? (or insert name of any system). It’s a waste of time because they will say yes and try and figure it out later. Almost any closed ended question like this hold very little value to helping you achieve the goal of the interview

5)Why do you want to work for us? Whilst the answer will almost certainly give you a little confidence boost and that feel good feeling about your business, this again is loaded towards a fake and dishonest answer. There may be some authentic answers in the mix with this type of question, but ultimately this prompts the applicant to compliment the business and try and ‘sell’ their love for a company they probably at this stage know very little about.

My advice – ditch the time wasting questions and focus on asking questions which are more relevant, better thought through and designed to elicit honest, authentic and realistic answers to topics which are relevant to team fit and job relevant skills and experience.

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