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

Making a Candidate a Job Offer

ATR have been in recruitment for over ten years and we have been advising our clients the importance to when and how to make the job offer to the candidate who has been successful so that he/she will be more likely to accept the offer of employment.

There are a number of reasons that contribute to a job offer being declined:-
1. Delay in job offer being sent out by the company to the successful candidate (“time is a killer”).
2. Don’t be tempted to offer the job to the candidate in the interview.
3. Offers made after just one face to face interview are often declined.
4. Don’t offer a lower salary than the salary that was agreed with the candidate prior to you conducting your 1st and 2nd stage interviews.

1. Delay in job offer being sent out by the company to the successful candidate
Don’t delay in making the job offer now you have made your decision as arguably this is the most important rule in making a job offer as they say in recruitment “time is a killer”.
a. Gives a bad impression to the candidate of the hiring company and hiring manager.
b. Candidate may have other job offers on the table.
c. Candidate may start his/her job search again and go for other interviews.

2. Don’t be tempted to offer the job to the candidate in the interview
Discussing salary and commission/bonus with a candidate can be awkward.
a. ATR can present our client’s opportunity in the most favourable way, especially if he/she has another job offer.
b. ATR can negotiate the salary package without the candidate having the fear of losing the potential job offer, this can result in the candidate not getting what he/she really wants and then declining the job offer.

3. Offers made after just one face to face interview are often declined
a. Candidates like to think things through for a week or so while they’re attending 1st and 2nd interviews (company, role and responsibilities, overall package, career perspective, travel etc.).
b. Candidates that have had to fight to get their new job are also more likely to accept than those that are offered without needing to show much effort (second interviews are good for both parties).

4. Don’t offer a lower salary than the salary that was agreed
The salary you offered should be no less than agreed with the candidate prior to you conducting the 1st and 2nd stage interviews.  If the candidate you’ve interviewed is choosing between your lower offer and another offer presented by another company that is exactly what the candidate is looking for, understandably, the candidate is likely to take the higher offer.  Why would you want to lose this candidate possibly to one of your main competitors for the sake of offering a few thousand pounds less than the candidate is ideally looking for.  It will cost you your valuable time, further effort from you and money. It’s stressful and draining to start the entire recruitment process again and will you get any one as good as this candidate that you have just lost out to, to one of your competitors.  ATR advise all our clients to be realistic about salary. If we think a candidate is being unrealistic with the salary, we’ll make that clear to them before any introduction is made to our client.

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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Sales Force Health Check

Our Sales Consultancy Practice has a division specialising in recruiting Sales Professionals. Our Sales Force Health Check is designed to help Sales Directors and Sales Managers maximise sales force performance. The objective is twofold, one to ensure that problem areas are identified and solutions are put in place, and two, to work with the organisation to ensure that all avenue’s to maximise sales revenue across the business are being fully exploited.
A healthy sales force will not only meet but also exceed its sales revenue targets allowing you to meet both your personal sales objectives and your company’s business goals.

There are 6 main areas covered during the Health Check, these are as follows:

Key Areas
1) Sales Force Performance
2) Sales Objectives
3) Sales Strategy
4) Sales Personnel
5) Sales Activity
6) Sales Proposition

A typical sales force health check comprises of two half-day sessions, the first session provides an overview of your sales force and identifies any problem areas and or opportunities for development.
The second session involves delivering a report outlining the practical steps to be taken to either resolve any areas of concern, or idea’s that can be implemented to improve the business and maximise sales revenue.
The ATR Consultant delivering the Sales Force Health Check has operated at Director level and has worked in a number of Blue-chip organisations such as IBM, GKN and Siemens, she has won numerous sales awards including both “Top Salesperson” for a UK Document Management company, and a European Summit Award for IBM after winning a multi-million pound contract.

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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Creating Sales Targets and Commission Plans

Our Sales Targets and Commission Plan Information has been created to help you design a commission plan that will enable you to provide a strong incentive to your sales team to achieve and exceed their individual sales targets. The purpose is to ensure your business meets its sales revenue and more importantly its profit targets.  This tool can help both Sales Managers and Sales Directors to meet and exceed their sales targets.
Our Plan includes a detailed description of the following steps we would recommend that you undertake to help you in this process.

Sales Targets and Commission Plan Steps
Decide what the sales target will be
Decide what level of profit you need
Ensure that the “cost” of sale is covered
Identify cost of sales
Work out annual sales target
Work out monthly or quarterly sales target
Allow 3 month ramp up period for new sales people
Work out annual sales commission
Work out monthly or quarterly sales commission
Work out over target performance commission / bonus
Commission plan at discretion of directors clause
Other considerations

Our founder has over 20 years’ experience in sales (outside the recruitment agency sector) currently operating at Director level, she has won numerous sales awards and worked for organisations such as IBM, Siemens and GKN selling both equipment and services. She is familiar with a variety of sales commission plans and understands the reality of setting up sales targets with commission schemes that incentivise the sales teams to not only meet but exceed their sales targets.

To obtain a free copy of our Sales Targets and Commission Plan Steps process that will enable you to create a realistic set of sales targets for your team, along with a motivating commission plan, to help ensure your sales targets are met, please contact Sheila Carswell-Craig on 0844 2577 888 and she will send you the full details.

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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Tips to Manage Stress at Work

Stress at work has always been an issue but even more so during the recent economic climate. In our recruitment agency we often have candidates who want to move from their current roles because they are “stressed out”.

Why is it important manage stress?
Workplace stress affects the performance of the brain, including functions of work performance; memory, concentration, and learning. In the UK over 13 million working days are lost every year because of stress. Stress is believed to trigger 70% of visits to doctors, and 85% of serious illnesses (UK HSE stress statistics).
Below are just some ideas that can help to reduce stress:-

Rehydrate
Drink more water – not tea or coffee of soft drinks but actual water!.
Here’s why…
Offices and workplaces commonly have a very dry atmosphere due to air conditioning, etc., which increases people’s susceptibility to de-hydration.
The brain is strongly dependent on water to function properly, if you starve your brain of water you will function below your best and get stressed both mentally and physically. It’s how we are built.
You will drink more water if you keep some on your desk at all times – it’s human nature to drink it if it’s there – so go get some now – you should aim to drink 8 glasses of water per day.

Humour
Humour is one of the greatest and quickest devices for reducing stress.
Humour works because laughter produces helpful chemicals in the brain.
Humour also gets your brain thinking and working in a different way – it distracts you from having a stressed mind-set. Distraction is a simple effective de-stressor – it takes your thoughts away from the stress, and thereby diffuses the stressful feelings.

Brisk Walk
Go for a short quick really brisk walk outside. Yes, actually leave the building.
Change your environment. Breathe in some fresh air and smell the atmosphere…
Just getting away from the stressful situation at work and having a little bit of exercise will change your mood – it’s amazing how just a 10 minute break can make you feel so much better.

Powernap
(Not so easy but still perfectly possible) Take a quick nap. It is nature’s way of recharging and re-energising.
A quick 10-30 minutes’ sleep is very helpful to reduce stress.
At some stage conventional Western industry will ‘wake up’ to the realisation that many people derive enormous benefit from a midday nap. Sounds silly?
People in the Mediterranean and Central Americas have a longer life expectancy and lower levels of heart disease, and this is almost certainly related to the fact that they take a siesta every working day.

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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Creating a Working from Home Policy

Statistically one of the most sought after attractions employees are looking for from employers is having the option to work from home as this would allow them a better work/life balance and in many cases ranks higher than the importance of their salary.   Companies who are adopting a flexible approach to a job’s location are receiving a widening candidate pool to choose from when recruiting and in many cases without the need for increasing salaries to entice a new employee to join their company.  To help companies who are thinking of bringing on board a working from home policy, we have listed some issues below that you may want to consider.   When making such a policy it is imperative to pay attention to detail, because a failure to do so can have serious implications for companies.

Is this job role suitable for home working?
How many hours/days per week should the employee allocate to working from home?
Is this employee’s temperament suitable for home working?
How is the company going to monitor the performance of home based employees?
How will the employee safeguard the security of documentation they have taken home?
How does the company regain documentation/equipment from the employee when employment ceased?
What equipment and costs will be required for this employee to perform this role working from home?
What are the costs savings gained by employees working from home?
Does the company require a policy for a health and safety check on the employee’s premises?
What is the best way to word the working from home policy to safeguard the company properly?

Is this job role suitable for home working?
When a company is assessing what job roles can be performed equally as well at home compared to working in an office, the issues they may wish to consider include: Does this role involve working in a team?  Does this role involve face-to-face supervision? Does the job role require secure document storage?  Does this role involve equipment that is required on site but can only be stationed in the company’s premises?  Does this role involve the requirement for costly equipment that may be too expensive to install in the employee’s home?

How many hours/days per week should the employee allocate to working from home?
An employee’s tasks may vary during the day/week and so a company may alternate where and when the employee performs that particular function of the job role resulting in the employee working between the office and the employee’s home which could give the company and employee the benefits of both situations.

Is this employee’s temperament suitable for home working?
As we all know every employee is different but the main personality traits required of someone to work from home is that of a self-motivated and disciplined individual who will not lose focus when there is no one there to manage them.

How is the company going to monitor the performance of home based employees?
Before implementing the working from home policy it may be advisable to utilise software that can track and measure the employees work input.  If this is not an option setting up a work rule of regular updates from the employee of daily performance by contacting by email or phone should allow management the amount of control that is required.

How will the employee safeguard the security of documentation they have taken home?
Company information or documentation may have to be entrusted to employees to perform their role, as a result a company may wish to implement a policy to get the employees to sign for the release and the security of the documents released to them stating the legal implications to the loss or damage of the material under their supervision.

How does the company regain documentation/equipment from the employee when employment ceased?
Companies who are looking to start a working from home policy need to consider creating legal documentation that hold the employee accountable for the loss or damage of any equipment that is legally obliged to be returned to the company in the case of the employment ending.

What equipment and costs will be required for this employee to perform this role working from home?
Additional cost of equipment may have to be factored and provided to employees working from home to allow them to perform their duties properly (mobile phone, laptop, printer/scanner, internet connection, etc.).

What are the costs savings gained by employees working from home?
Although there will be the initial costs of setting up an employee to work from home these can sometimes be offset by the cost saving gained such as the reduction in overheads, employee travel costs, benefits including child care, lunch vouchers, etc.

Does the company require a policy for a health and safety check on the employee’s premises?
Employers have different levels of responsibility for employees working from home and as a result it may be beneficial to companies to include legal terminology in their working from home policy that would allow them to access the home of the employee to review potential hazards or risks.

What is the best way to word the working from home policy to safeguard the company properly?
Creating a well detailed working from home policy is critical as it can safeguard the company against any disagreements regarding employee’s rights.   It may be worth engaging a legal firm to check over the policy before implementation.

Summary
This can be a win / win situation because having the ability to offer candidates the flexibility to work from home will definitely increase the pool of candidates you can recruit from, it means you don’t need to have expensive office space allocated to the employee (hot desk facilities for staff who occasionally visit the office is much more cost effective) and can therefore reduce your business costs.  The candidate benefits because the flexibility to work from home generally makes them happier in the role and surprisingly often more productive as they don’t have the same distractions that come with working in an office environment, and can often focus more on the job.

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

Posted in Uncategorized

Importance of Creating a New Employee On-boarding System

Latest figures have once again shown an employee’s average period of time staying at the one company has continued to drop and that circa 80% of all new employees decide within the first 6 months of employment if they will stay with their new employer or once again enter the job market.  This arguably has increased the level of importance of companies adopting an effective New Employee On-boarding System, in fact independent figures which have been released suggest statistically, companies who have implemented a New Employee On-boarding System have reduced employee turnover and in turn have reduced their recruitment and training costs.   We acknowledge every company is unique in their own way, but we have included below the main benefits for a company to creating a New Employee On-boarding System (NEOS).   At the end of this blog there are instructions on NEOS activities to help insure you have a robust and efficient new employee on-boarding process.

COMPANY NEOS ADVANTAGES SUMMARY
Company will increase motivation and company loyalty from new employees
Company employee retention rates increase as new employees will stay longer
Company will reduce the recruitment costs associated with new hires
Company training budget for new hires will also be reduced
Company savings will reduce bottom line costs
Company will receive an increase in overall profitability and shareholder value

COMPANY NEOS ADVANTAGES DETAILED
Outlines Company Brand and Culture to new Employee
Adopting an NEOS provides the company/department with the opportunity to outline to their new employees:-
What is it that makes an employee succeed in their organization?
What are the issues that can blindside a new hire and isolate them from their colleagues?
What processes are necessary for the new employee to know?
Who does the new employee go to and for what?
Who the Senior Management are in the organization?

Outlines Company and Department Strategy to Employee
An NEOS provides the company/department with the opportunity to give their new employee a general introduction to the organization and a chance to understand more about the company (i.e. organizational goals, important processes, general employee information, etc.).  It is at this stage each new employee should be assigned a mentor to help them with their transition in the company but it is advisable the mentor should not be the new hire’s direct supervisor but a peer who is not in competition from the new hire.

Celebrates Employees success in getting the job
There is no nicer way to welcome a new employee in to the company than to celebrate their arrival. You can do this by either having a reception in the boardroom or if appropriate going out for drinks for lunch or after work as this will give people in the organization an opportunity to get to know them. It also says very clearly that the company is happy that the new hire is now part of the organization and is an important part of their team.

Companies only get one chance to create a good first impression with Employees
There in an old saying that says first impressions last longest.  A company that adopts and implements a NEOS is saying to their new employee that they are not on their own to either succeed or fail in their new job but the organisation has created a system for them not only to succeed in their current position but will also allow them to develop their skills to further their career in the company.

New Employees generally learn and remember more at the start
There is a saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  Whether this is true or not is up for debate but what has been factually proven is new employees are more likely to be more emotionally susceptible to learning and remembering.  As a result an NEOS will take advantage of the opportune time to capitalize on the new employee’s emotions and excitement and solidify their commitment to their new employer.

Introduces Employees to technical tools at their disposal
New employees should be introduced to all the technological tools that will be at their disposal to perform their tasks properly and efficiently, ranging from desktop computers to laptops to fax machines to printers to telephones to smartphones to tablets, etc. Full training should be given to the new hire when and where appropriate with assessments built again in when and where appropriate.

Reduces Employee misunderstanding of role expectations
For approximately the first 2 weeks of the new hires employment, the mentor should be setting up lunches or meetings with various staff and in if relevant clients to allow the new employee the opportunity to get to know all the people that they will be working with and the business/projects they may be active on and what is expected of them.

Decreases Employees learning curve
Companies that have adopted a NEOS and utilise the opportunity to have established employees share examples of best practices with the new employees (avoiding reinventing the wheel) successfully reduce the amount of time a new employee learns their new job and are able to perform their tasks properly and efficiently in less time in being in their job.

Builds Employee optimistic attitude towards the Company
Success breeds success.  Employees who are successful in their roles tend to be more engaged and loyal to the company.   Pick a project or task for the new employee that will work to their strength and is relevant to the reason that you hired them. This will allow the new hire to feel a part of the organization and build their internal self-confidence and additionally this will have significant impact on their engagement that will in turn want them to utilize their skills to the fullest extent possible to create more successes for themselves, their team and the company.

Engages Employee to give new ideas and builds their self-worth and confidence
NEOS should fully engage the new employee/s because new hires who feel their participation is not just welcomed but that their feedback is listened as the company seem to care about them are more likely to develop their self-worth and personal confidence which will contribute to their overall performance of their job.

Builds Employee motivation and job satisfaction
When creating a NEOS build in assessments for the new employee and implement when appropriately and share the results with the new employee.  When results are positive the assessor needs to compliment the new hire on their success.   If any of the results are not positive the assessor needs to give the new employee constructive feedback explaining where they are going wrong and the steps required to improve their standard of performance.

Builds Employees relationships with fellow Colleagues
There is no better way to building a new employee’s team spirit with their other colleagues than by interaction.   Create a relevant task for the new employee to perform with some or all their colleagues within their department to allow the new employee to create a rapport with their new colleagues.

Statistically reduces Employee turnover
NEOS statistically help create happy productive employees and happy productive rarely leave their current employment thus reducing employee turnover which has an impact on the profitability of the company’s profit margin.

Provides Company opportunities to identify Employee shortfalls and actions to take
One of the main advantages to a NEOS is that it gives the company the opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses a new employee has and as a result what actions may need to be taken to address any new candidates shortfalls they have before it becomes a major issue and has too much of a negative effect on the new hire or the rest of the team they work with.

Increases the Companies Candidate pool
Companies who create an NEOS soon find out this provides them with a mechanism that allows them to assess candidates who have additional skills that had never been considered before that could benefit the company thus broadening the skills range of potential candidates they could choose from.

COMPANY ON-BOARDING ACTIVITIES
Before First Day Activities
Send successful New Employee a personal welcome.
Ensure infrastructure support has been put in place for New Employee.
Prepare New Employee’s first work assignments.
Prepare “New Employee Welcome Pack”.

First Day Activities
Share the Company mission and values to the Employee.
Assign a mentor (not someone who is above them or would be competing against them).
Orient the Employee to the Company.
Explain the Company management style and preferences.
Send introduction email to Staff and introduce Employee in person to all relevant Staff.
Review Employee’s lunch breaks and leave requirements.

First Week Activities
Set Employee job scope and performance expectations.
Explain to Employee how work is routed and assigned.
Assign Employee with meaningful work.
Ensure inclusion of new Employee on email distribution lists.
Introduce Employee to key Management if relevant.

First 90 Days Activities
Provide Employee with essential training.
Monitor Employee performances and provide and obtain Employee feedback.
Assign time for periodic one-on-one Employee sessions.

First Year Activities
Provide Employee with formal and informal feedback on their performances.
Create a Development Plan for the Employee.
Recognise Employee for any positive contributions they have.

NEW EMPLOYEE ON-BOARDING SYSTEM SUMMARISED
Implementing a new employee on-boarding system (NEOS) will increase motivation and loyalty, which means improvements in staff retention rates, which in turn reduce the recruitment and training costs of new hires.  The bottom line is that the NEOS will help the company, reduce costs, save money, and produce a happier workforce.

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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