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.

The right fit - How to recruit staff in a candidate short market

Matt Heighway - Tuesday, April 03, 2018

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When your business is short staffed, there can be nothing more frustrating than a candidate short market.

You and your team are already under the pump, and as an owner or manager you constantly find yourself being pulled into working ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ your business. This only impacts on your ability to focus on growth, client acquisition and product & service development.

But despite the temptation, it’s important to remember that desperate times shouldn’t mean you take desperate measures.

When you simply don’t have the resources to make ends meet, and fulfil the workload you have coming through the door, it can seem like a good option to appoint new employees who don’t fit in with your usual criteria and are a mis-match with your culture and values. But this in fact can do more harm than good and here is why:

1)A new team member who does not encompass your values and work in a way which reflects your business quality standards, ethics and systems will never be long term, so ultimately you spend time, money and effort training, developing, coaching and guiding for them only to leave before you have recouped your costs

2)Appointing a new team member who does not fit in with your existing team, who are committed to your vision and goals, will potentially upset them and have the reverse impact for you. To unsettle your existing team may result in less productive staff, or worse still those staff leaving the organisation because of the new person

3)In a candidate short market your judgement can be blurred by desperation. You need extra hands on deck ASAP, and the candidates in these markets know this. So they become more demanding with their expectations around terms, conditions and salaries. Ultimately you agree because you need someone, but long term it creates a situation with is no longer sustainable because the business workflow ends up structured around them and their demands, rather than the potential for a strong structure for growth.

Clearly there needs to be a solution to help get you and your business through this time, so here are a few things I recommend to help relieve the load!

1)Communicate openly with your existing team and support them – create an environment which keeps them engaged, motivated and focused. This way they will be as productive as possible for you. Share with them your efforts to locate a like minded team member, and even ask for their help with this, you never know who is around in their extended social circles.

2)Think outside the square. Clearly your usual ideal candidate is not out there right now, so how else could this work get done? Can the work be re structured in the office to create a different skills gap, can you promote or retrain an existing team member, can you systemise or streamline anything to help make processes easier and faster?

3)Think about outsourcing. This won’t be an option for all roles and all businesses, and certainly may not be long term. But in the short term could a contractor or outsourced supplier help you to get through this busy period?

4)What’s not urgent and taking up your time? Can it be put on the shelf for a short time? This can often be hard for business leaders who spend time and energy structuring things to enable them to spend time on their business and its overall strategy and development. But sometimes, especially in small business, the ability to switch between working in and on the business can be priceless for getting through these tough workflow periods

5)Get an outsider’s perspective. Ever felt like you can’t see the forest for the trees? It can happen so easily when you are snowed under, overwhelmed and unable to see a real solution. Getting an outside consultant, mentor or trusted advisor in to have a ‘birds eye’ look at your business might reveal some light bulb suggestions for easing the load, which had been in front of your face the whole time but just hadn’t crossed your mind. 

Above all else it’s important to remain positive and focused. Be clear about your vision and direction and the sort of people you want in your business to help you achieve these goals. If you remain clear on that, it will help ensure that even in the times you feel like you’re drowning in work, you make the right decisions about who you engage in your business and why.

 

Recruiting your first employee

Matt Heighway - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Footprint Recruitment Central Coast - finding staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes just knowing where to start when hiring your first staff member can be the most daunting thing. For many of us, hiring the first staff member into our business is a huge step – not only because it means exciting things like growth and opportunity, but it often also means we need to let go of some control, trust someone else with our ‘baby’ and let this person in to our business world.

So to help those who find themselves in this position, here are the basic things to focus on when making your first hire:

1)Know what you are looking for:

Before you even start the hiring process, sit down and take a good look at your business. Write out all of the tasks that need doing in the business, and try and put them together into some logical positions and structures.

Now take the tasks you want or need to continue doing, and put these into your role, and have a look at what is left. From the tasks that are left, take a look at the tasks which are most important to the business being able to function – and which tasks do you most desperately need help with – you now have a focus for your new position, so write yourself a Position Description for the role (there are lots of templates available either online or from a HR service provider)

 

2)Know your target market:

After figuring out what sort of role you want to fill, and the type of candidate you want to fill it, start to think about where your ‘ideal applicant’ is looking for work.

There is no point advertising for someone in the local paper, if you know your ideal applicant probably doesn’t read the paper. Think about where your applicant looks for work, the sort of mediums they use, the location they will be in and the other people they are likely to come into contact with.

3)Write the right ad

Writing an ad that attracts the right sort of candidates, and lets readers know what are the essential components for the role will save you time by ensuring your applicant pool is generally better suited to what you are looking for. To get the best people for your role you will need to sell the role, and the company to the reader, and make it clear what you are seeking in regards to their skills, experience and qualifications.

4)Use Your Networks:Advertising is one way to find potential new employees, but don’t forget to think outside the box and use your networks, referral groups, industry associations and any other groups you have access to letting them know you are looking for someone.

5)Conduct Structured Interviews:

By conducting interviews where there are a number of questions which are set and asked standard to all applicants you will have a common set of responses by which to assess and compare them by after the interviews. You should also allow time for free talk, discussion and questions within each interview to help you understand those non tangible factors such as team fit and personality style.

After each interview reflect objectively on each one and make notes – it saves confusing multiple applicants after all the interviews are done.

6)Use Other Screening Tools:

Interviews are great and very important, but there are other tools available to help you make your decision – don’t forget about reference checking, skills testing, checking qualifications, psychometric assessments, aptitude tests, and the full range of other recruitment tools available to assist you.

Being the sole decision maker in a recruitment process can sometimes be difficult as you spend time thinking over your decision trying to make the right choice. By sharing the decision making process with other people you can cut the time spent doubting yourself and potentially losing great candidates. Seek assistance from advisors, mentors, or other key people who help you in your business.

7)If you are not sure – seek help:

Don’t be afraid to get help from a Recruiter, or HR Consultant if you think you need, or would like, some help. Find a Consultant who is happy for you to engage their services for the parts of the process you need help with or just don’t have the time.

8)Recruitment is Only Step 1:

Whilst recruiting the right person is really important, don’t forget that this is only the beginning of the process. Making sure the person has the right training, induction and ongoing management will give them the best chance for success in the role.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully these tips will help you make that first hire a successful one for you and your business.

 

12 tips to make your Resume’s Cover Letter stand out

Matt Heighway - Friday, March 16, 2018

 

 

Footprint Recruitment and HR celebrating 12 years on the Central Coast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cover letter should accompany your resume with every job application. The application letter is a targeted, precise, interesting communication tool that provides you with the opportunity to sell your skills and experience.

To help keep your application out of the bin: 

1.Make sure your contact details are on it

2.Send you application letter addressed to a named individual rather than “to whom it may concern” whenever possible

3.Clearly address the position you are applying for

4.Make sure your cover letter is tailored to each position and company you are applying for

5.Identify the reason as to why you are applying for the job – be as specific as possible

6.Format your letter professionally and make it visually appealing and coordinated to your resume

7.Add in the requirements / selection criteria of the job

8.Provide or refer to any information specifically requested in the advertisement (e.g. Typing test results)

9.Do sell your skills and experience within the cover letter

10.Do keep it consistent, so make sure the font is all the same and sizing all the same

11.Proof read your cover letter – make sure there are NO spelling or grammar errors

12.Close the letter by sincerely thanking the person for their time and effort

It is a raging, competitive job market out there. If you want someone to look at your resume you need to make your cover letter stand out from the rest! Make it a well researched, engaging, and interesting cover letter to keep the employer wanting more.

 

 

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