Create Job Adverts and Descriptions that Will Attract Top Candidates

To attract the right candidate to your business can be challenging, it is probable that a candidate will look at many job adverts before hitting the “apply” button, so your advert has to be attractive to the people you want to bring into your business. It is imperative that you write a job advert that is clear, gets to the point, and highlights the rewards quickly in order to ensure they actually apply for your role in the first place. A poorly written advert can in fact turn off a high calibre candidate.

Our Consultancy Practice has many years’ experience in this arena and knows what makes a good job description or advert. The advert is normally a shortened version of a full job description, and prior to an interview the candidate should be furnished with a full job description. This means that the candidate will be clear about exactly what role they are applying for, the remit and objectives or that role and exactly what is expected of them.

So Where Do You Start?
At the start of the recruitment process all the managers/directors involved in the recruitment of the position need to be involved in identifying and defining the full job description in writing that way there is no misunderstanding of the key attributes of the job role between the management who are to conduct the interviews i.e. if this is a sales role is it purely a new business development role or an account management role or a bit of both?

Job Description Main Purposes

Candidate Attraction
Describe the job role and required track record and qualifications with the purpose of attracting a response from the best internal or external applicants for the job.

Role Definition
For the management and individual performing the role to understand the scope and level of responsibility expected of the position and to have a reference point for their responsibilities and required level of performance, especially at appraisal time or when a promotion is being considered.

Job Description Key Attributes
Exact job role title
Location and travel requirements
Where the role sits within the team, department and overall business
Who the role reports to, and other key interactions
Key areas of responsibility and the deliverables expected
Short, medium and long-term objectives
Soft skills and personality traits necessary
Required education and training
Convey the company culture and identity
Progression and promotion opportunities
Remuneration range and benefits available

Job Description Advice

Using Internal Terminology
Don’t use terminology / abbreviation that may not be understood by potential external candidates as this may put off potentially excellent candidates that may have applied for the role. Keep to well-recognised requirements to appeal to the widest possible audience.

Relevant Management Not Involved
The most accurate job descriptions and requirements are produced with the involvement of all management involved in the recruitment of the position. When defining or refining what the job role involves and what experience and qualifications are required it is also advisable to involve the input from employees in a similar function.

Unrealistic Requirements
Every job description should be an accurate representation of what is to be carried out in the job role and the relevant experience and qualifications required to perform the role at its best. This should not be an impossible wish list of every skill that may come in useful as you will put off potentially excellent candidates that may have applied for the role.

Using Discriminatory Language
Although this is frequently inadvertent, the use of certain words and phrases in a job description can be construed as discriminatory and can limit the diverse group of potential candidates that organisations are trying to achieve. Check out the legal requirement on the Business Link website.

Not Reviewing Job Description Regularly
Organisations are continually evolving, so for job descriptions to accurately reflect changing requirements they should be reviewed, ideally annually, and amended as appropriate.

What Is Different About The Job Advert?
Once the job description has been created should you wish to “advertise the role” you should create an advert from a subset of the key points in the job description to cover:- what the company does, the remit of the role, the skills and qualifications required from the candidate and the remuneration and rewards including any potential for career development. This should be short, sharp and to the point and highlight the “benefits” for the candidate in order to attract the best people.

Taking the time to create an accurate job description / advert can be invaluable to contributing to the ongoing attraction, hiring and retention of the best possible employees.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information about our Sales Consultancy Practice, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Posted in Attracting Top Professionals, Creating Job Adverts

How to Attract High Calibre Professionals into Your Business

When you are trying to attract high calibre professionals to your organisation, it is important to understand what motivates and inspire candidates to work for certain companies.

Proactively promoting your company’s unique values, culture and career opportunities will help prospective candidates have an understanding what it would be to work in your company and if their skill sets, type of personality and career aspirations would suit them.   There are various reasons why high calibre professionals are attracted to certain companies.  Below are some of the more common attributes in a new employer high calibre professionals are looking for when they are in the job market.

Cultural Fit
High calibre professionals are looking to work for companies that have similar corporate values to their own personal values i.e. forward thinking, commitment to customer service, green policy, creative and innovative, etc.  Does the company’s culture reward teamwork or competitiveness? Individuality or conformity?  Promoting your company values will help you attract like-minded individuals and will increase your chances of successfully filling your roles with the right people for your business.

Remuneration and Rewards
High calibre professionals are looking to understand what is it that makes your company different from the rest. How do you recognise achievement? How is it rewarded? What opportunities are available to high achievers? What else do you have to offer? What kind of culture do you promote? Examples of these can be career development opportunities, competitive pay, work/life balance initiatives and company stability. Promote these attributes through your company website, public relations, advertising and word of mouth, so that prospective candidates will be attracted to becoming an employee within your organisation.

Business Reputation
Are your employees brand ambassadors or critics? High calibre professionals are looking to work for a company that has strong brand recognition and a reputation for excellence in their market. They will use their network of contacts to gain an insight into your company’s culture internally and externally. Work to engage and motivate your existing employees is critical in attracting high calibre individuals in to your company, as they are one of your most powerful sources of advertising and testimonials.

Career Development
The opportunity for high calibre professionals to develop both personally and professionally is crucial for job satisfaction. They are looking to work in a company that can help advance their career and enhance their existing skill sets. Do you offer on going training and development? A clear and defined roadmap for growth and promotion? Challenging projects? Recognition and Financial Rewards? Cultivate a culture of continual learning and career opportunities?

ATR speaks to literally thousands of candidates a year, and as an employment agency we know that candidates are attracted to companies for a variety of reasons. However there is a common theme in that candidates will definitely be attracted to companies with a good reputation, excellent remuneration and rewards packages, on going training, career development opportunities and what they perceive as a good cultural fit.  Candidates usually have 2 or 3 job offers under consideration, so if you company ticks all or most of the boxes discussed they are far more likely to accept your job offer.  If you make it a policy to advertise the benefits that your company brings to employee’s on your website, via social media and by ensuring your employee’s are “Brand Ambassadors” you will increase your ability to attract the very best candidates to your business, which in turn will ensure your success.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information about our Sales Consultancy Practice, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Posted in Attracting Top Professionals, Company Culture

Leave Unsuccessful Candidates with a Good Impression!

Benefits of Candidates having a Good Impression of your Company
After you have interviewed a strong shortlist of potential candidates for a position within your organisation, you are only able to offer one of them the position within your company. So how do you ensure a positive impression for all the unsuccessful candidates who were being considered, once the position has been filled?

The professional manner is to thank all your candidates for applying (particularly those who reached the final interview stage) and provide them with constructive feedback as soon as you have decided they are not right for the role. Keeping them waiting, or not notifying them at all reflects badly on you personally and your organisation, and there’s a chance it may put them and others off wanting to apply for future roles within your company.

Avoid Negative Press on Social Networking Sites and Industry Blogs about your Company
Your reputation as an employer of choice can be easily tarnished by negative comments posted on a blog or social networking site by candidates that feel aggrieved at not receiving adequate feedback following their interview and could put off other people applying for future roles within your company.

Timely Interview Feedback is a Must
In comparison, interview feedback can be used as positive employer/company branding as this will allow your company to build on their name’s reputation by leaving candidates certain they are valued and that they will be kept in mind for future job opportunities.

5 step guide to leaving candidates with a good impression of you and your organisation

  1. When you have interviewed a candidate and know they’re not right for the role, let them know as soon as possible and don’t keep them waiting because you dread making the rejection phone call.
  2. When you have interviewed a candidate and think they’re good for the role but have other interviews to conduct, contact them and let them know they’re still being considered. If candidates haven’t heard from you they might accept a job offer elsewhere.
  3. Keep all of your candidates updated on your interview process i.e. when each round will take place and how many rounds there will be etc.
  4. When you have made your decision and offered the position to your chosen candidate/s, once the successful candidate has formally accepted the role inform the other candidates that they have been unsuccessful as it is bad practice to wait until the successful candidate starts the job.
  5. If additional feedback is requested from unsuccessful candidates then you should provide it, be constructive in your criticism and if you thought they performed well then you should tell them.

The rejected candidate could have future power / influence over your company?
The rejected candidate is likely to be associated with your industry and may in the future move into a position of power e.g. could become your boss in the future or be a decision maker / influencer on high value bids that your company is trying to secure. If this person feels your company or you have acted unprofessionally this could be difficult for you personally and costly in terms of lost business for your company in the future.

Remember, negative impressions last a lot longer than positive ones.
It only takes a few minutes to treat someone fairly. ATR is a Recruitment Agency and we speak to hundreds of candidates about new roles continually, it never ceases to surprise and disappoint us how often a candidate will turn down the opportunity to even interview with a company because they have “heard bad things” about them and how they treat people. This means that the company is losing the opportunity to hire the best people in the market, because of reputational damage.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information about our Sales Consultancy Practice, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Your Sales People are your Competitive Edge

Your sales people are your competitive edge, so ensuring your recruit the best in the market is what really matters in business. You can have a state of the art factory, produce the most fantastic products, but if no one actually sells your product, if you don’t have any customers then your business will fail.  The only thing that really matters in business is making profitable sales, because although it is important to have great workers in your factory or excellent accountants and administrators, if there are no orders for your goods or services you are dead in the water.

Who is Selling the Vision or Articulating the Benefits?
Technical brilliance and unique selling points that set you apart from the competition are also wonderful, but without the people in the business “selling the vision or articulating the benefits” of these fantastic technical solutions, and ensuring they are heard by decision makers over the noise of your competition, sales won’t be made.

Why Partner with Us?
Our Consultancy Practice has years of experience recruiting sales professionals for our clients and one of our founders was an award winning sales professional winning both top sales and summit awards in blue chip companies like GKN and IBM.   We have clients in the FTSE 250, Fortune 500 and the “Times 250 fastest growing companies list”, our recruitment process for sales people is so effective we even guarantee our candidates for 6 months! They really are that good!

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information about our Sales Consultancy Practice, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Managing Disruptive Employees

In an ideal world all your employees would be motivated, productive and fit in really well within your company culture. However, in the real world, one of the most challenging situations a manager can face in their career is how to deal with a difficult and disruptive employee within their business.

Evaluate the Working Environment
When trying to improve an employee’s overall attitude, assess the working environment of the department they are working in.
How do the other employees work within the department / company?
Do all your employees collaborate and work together as a team?

If the answer to this is no, then you may need to look at how you can improve the department culture.

If the answer is yes, then we suggest you may take a look at the options below to help you manage this difficult employee better.

Act fast and don’t ignore the situation
If you do have a difficult employee, you need to be aware of it and deal with it fast.
If you ignore the situation this can disrupt other employees and reduce office morale and in return have a negative impact in productivity throughout your company.
The longer you take to resolve the issue with this employee, the less likely the problem will disappear and the more likely you will have a more serious situation to deal with.

View the situation from your employee’s perspective
Ask your employee for their input into the why there is a problem, what they think is the cause and what they believe needs to happen to resolve the situation.
Try to view the situation from your employee’s perspective and understand their thought process as this will provide you with an insight to why they are behaving in this way and prevent them from becoming defensive towards your resolution process.
You must adopt a diplomatic attitude with this employee and always remain neutral and calm to the situation, if you lose your temper you will only be adding fuel to the fire and will do more harm than good.

It’s not just what you say but how you say it
You want to be assertive and at the same time supportive to your employee, you never want to come across as threatening.
Make sure you make eye contact with your employee to demonstrate that you are listening to what they have to say.
Be aware of your tone of voice as you need to show that you are in control of the situation and that you do want to rectify it.
Be aware of what your body language is suggesting to your employee?

Find a resolution
You need to determine what their issue is with their role and work together to improve it. Work with your employee to improve your relationship and their work ethos.
What is the underlying problem?
Are you pushing them enough?
Is their role too stressful?
Are they under too much pressure?
Is time management an issue?
Do they have too much responsibility?

Finding the answers to these questions will enable you to create a plan that will improve their behaviour, and ensure that they are getting the most out of their role?

It is extremely important that you evaluate your employee’s worth in your company and work together to be able to move forward.

Written Records
Keep written note of your discussions so they can be referred to again, should the employee continue to be difficult.
This way you will have written confirmation of what was discussed and the steps you have taken to improve your employee’s behaviour.
This will also be beneficial should you feel the need to terminate your employee at a later date because their progress or attitude didn’t improve.
Having proof of your employee’s unacceptable behaviour will prevent an unfair dismissal tribunal or any similar issues with their termination.

Clearly it is in everyone’s interest to resolve the situation and move forward in a positive manner, however if this is not possible, it is very important that you can demonstrate that you did take reasonable steps along the way to properly deal with and turnaround the disruptive employee.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information about our Sales Consultancy Practice, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Importance of Exit Interviews

When people leave your company the feelings about this can range from “we don’t care” to “how are we going to manage?”  It is imperative to truly understand why any member of staff is leaving, because in fact a properly conducted Exit Interview can give you valuable information that will help you strengthen your business.
Just asking a candidate why they are leaving will normally elicit a polite response of “better opportunity elsewhere” or “more money”, but often the “real” underlying reason for the decision to leave will not be uncovered unless you undertake a formal exit interview in a neutral setting. Typically the candidate does not want to rock any boats as they are looking for a good reference.
When recruiting for our clients we hear the real reasons that people are looking for a new employer, such as:-
• Company did not pay sales commission due on sales.
• My manager is a bully.
• The technical team don’t respond to tenders quickly enough so I am losing sales and its affecting my ability to meet my target.
• The Health and Safety guidelines are not being followed properly and I am not comfortable with this.
• I have been asked to cover accounting mistakes my boss made and I am not happy to sign off the year end accounts.
• There is no opportunity for me to progress my career in this company.

These are just some of the reasons we hear, surprisingly when people leave it is rarely about money, often they have made friends in the business and it is hard to leave familiar surroundings and to step into the unknown to a new role.
So how does an Exit Interview help your company?
The exit interview will show trends, for example if you have 3 people who all say they are leaving because one of the Managers is a bully, perhaps you need to look at that Manager and review his/her behaviour. If good sales people keep leaving because commission is not being paid, how much is that really costing your company in lost sales revenue – because if it takes 4 months to have a new sales person in position and up and running, if the sales target is £50,000 per month, you have just lost £200,000 pounds in sales revenue.
In our recruitment agency, we see that the Exit Interview allows you to take actions that will prevent other employee’s leaving for the same reason, and potentially save you significant sums of money and / or reduce your companies exposure to future risk.

How do you carry out an Exit Interview?
1) Typically an HR Manager will carry out this interview without your line manager.
2) You let the leaving employee know that their comments will be kept in confidence.
3) Any comments will not count against them with regards to a satisfactory reference.
4) Start with what they liked about the company.
5) What they would alter to have made their role better for them.
6) Why they really want to leave.
7) Thank the candidate for taking the time to have the exit interview with you and wish them luck in their new role.

Note: This process can often give you the information you need to persuade a highly valued employee to stay in the business.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information about our Sales Consultancy Practice, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Key Characteristics of Successful Sales People

Our Consultancy additionally help to recruit high calibre sales professionals for our clients. We are often asked to find sales people who are “guaranteed to be successful”.  So the question we are often asked is what are the “key characteristics” of Top Successful Sales People?

Given sales is the lifeblood of all profit making companies it is critical to appoint the right sales person for your business, so below are some of the main aspects to consider when recruiting  a new sales person for your company.

Excellent Questioning Skills
Most successful sales people will have an inquisitive nature and therefore do not make assumptions.  They are naturally and genuinely interested in finding out about a client and their business and uncovering their requirements.  They will always ask searching questions and lead their customers through an organised thought process which in turn leads to a greater understanding and recognition of the customer’s situation.

Listening & Understanding
Most people make the wrong assumption that good sales people are talkers but this is not true, successful sales people listen harder than most and keep qualifying their understanding of the client’s requirements and they make sure that they give a customer plenty of time to completely outline what they want.  They will always put checks in place to make sure they have uncovered the client’s needs and qualified their understanding before selling back as they understand, if they sell back too early they risk alienating their client who will think they are not listening and rushing to a conclusion. There is an old saying in sales “you have two ears and only one mouth so use them in that same ratio”.

Successful sales people are excellent at multi-tasking, in a sales situation, sales people are often not only listening and understanding what the client is telling them but are thinking two to three steps ahead, mirroring and empathising with the client while also working out the other motivators that the client may have but is not disclosing or may not recognise.  This is all done simultaneously and at pace.

Work Ethic
Successful sales people know the true value of preparation before speaking to potentially new or existing clients, they realise there are no short cuts in getting around prospecting and investigating all potential selling opportunities in their designated territory and understand that they cannot live off leads passed to them alone and they need to have an in-built work ethic to ensure that their pipeline does not dry up.  They will also work hard to ensure that their knowledge is “up to date” on their market’s products/services and their competition and are fully aware of all other issues that can impact their clients.

Maintaining and communicating passion and enthusiasm is difficult. Successful salespeople understand that they cannot afford to sound “jaded” or “dejected” even if they are going through a particularly difficult sales period and have the ability to manage their own confidence and self-belief, irrespective of how difficult the market may be at that particular moment.

Ethical & Honest
Successful sales people are ethical and honest, they take responsibility for their own sales results and they realise that a customer’s perception of their products/services is reflected by them.  Most companies/people want to buy from experts that they can trust and that trust has to be earned by the sales person.  If a sales person has stayed in their role for over 5 years and consistently performed the chances are they are ethical, honest and have an excellent awareness of their own personal brand.

Successful sales people tend to be and have to be braver than most others in business.  It is sales people that have to pioneer and breakdown barriers as they build new client relationships and develop existing ones.  They put their “personal brand” on the line every day, persuading their potential and current clients to trust them and the company they work for to deliver.  Successful salespeople realise they have to be courageous, as they are in a role where their success or failure will be defined by the revenue they achieve against target and that this is beyond dispute and that the sales they make are the lifeblood for the company they work for.

One of the best ways to assess a sales person “in action” is to ask them to do a role play in the interview process.  Create a scenario where your hiring manager is the Potential Customer and the Candidate is the salesperson conducting a first meeting.  This will enable you to see how they come across in a “sales situation” and find out if they are asking the right questions to uncover “customer needs”.  This combined with ensuring you have “proof” of a proven track record should enable you to make a good hiring decision.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information about our Sales Consultancy Practice, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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