Quick guide to understanding Making Tax DigitalJanuary 18, 2019
How can small businesses benefit from partnerships?March 5, 2019
Profiling your customers
Business owners are recommended to Know their Clients. This is so they can attract the right customers during marketing campaigns. To begin this process you need to create a profile of your targeted audience. Recording their spending habits, behaviours, sex, age, demographic and geographic.
This gives you a good idea as to what your customer does, where to find them and how to attract them to your business. With this in mind you can be sure to target the right people with the intention of converting them from a statistic into a real customer.
Using this information you can aim to spend your budget going after the right people, rather then sending out blanket information to the wrong people. In the beginning creating a profile may feel like hard work but in the long run it will save you money.
In the beginning this process maybe trial and error. But once you have won a handful of customers you can use their data to update the original profile and create a revised picture of your customer. This is a common sense approach to ensure you are connecting with the right people saving you time and money.
Profiling your employees
But what about employees, do you profile your staff members? If you don't, how can you be guaranteed to find the right people for your company. To attract candidates to job roles you need to use a different set of profiling tools. The first one being a job spec.
You use this to outline the role, job title, contracted hours – full or part time, salary and location. And add a snappy title to catch people’s attention. This content gets published using agencies, job boards, advertisements or through targeted paid and unpaid social media channels.
Those who are interested in the job will send in their CV. Just like customers, if they are looking for that type of position they will find you. Upon receipt of CV's you filter the candidates based on their experience and qualifications. And then you select a handful of individuals to attend an interview.
At this point you care less about their CV and more about how they look, what they are wearing, what type of mannerisms they have and how they talk. It's natural human behaviour to pre judge other people, regardless of whether it’s illegal or not. After chatting with them for 30 to 40 minutes you make a decision, in, out or maybe.
The whole interview process is pretty flawed. You really can't get to know someone based on a piece of paper nor can you select them based on a 40 minute chat. The only way to know if the person is really right for the job is to work with them for a few months.
Hiring a Candidate
As the new employee settles into the role they begin to change their behaviour. They go from trying to impress to being more like their true selves. And as they get more comfortable with the job, their surroundings, with you and the team, they start to let down their guard down. This is when you get a true glimpse of the person you hired. And this is when you should really get to Know Your Employee.
It’s highly unlikely that you would turn a customer away. Customers are gold, you do everything you can to win them over. But employees are very different. If they don't live up to the task at hand, you can, under guided law, let them go. However this can be a very stressful, costly and timely situation.
So what can you do to safe guard yourself and the employee both during and after the hiring process. Here are some ideas:
Getting to know your employees
1. Get someone else’s opinion - Work with another member of the team to whittle down the CV's. We all perceive people differently so another set of eyes can be helpful.
2. Be open minded – don't Pidgeon hole candidates based purely on their CV. Not everyone is a good salesman on paper.
3. Change the selection process – don't make a decision based on just one meeting. Hold several interviews over a couple of stages. Inviting candidates back for another chat, will enable you to meet them again. The aim of this is to help make them feel more at ease during each stage.
4. Trial period – include a trial period in their contract. This will enable both you and the employee to know if they are right for the job. And will give you both a get out clause if needed.
5. Sell the role - don't assume that just because the candidate is attending the interview that they want the job. They will be looking just as hard at you as you will be looking at them. If they are a strong candidate they may be in hot demand. So try to impress.
6. Train new employees – once they are hired don't leave the new staff member sitting around doing nothing. Have a clear induction process to the role and to the company. Ensure they are busy from day one.
7. Get to know them – spend time with the new recruit making them feel welcomed. This will help them relax quicker and give you an earlier glimpse into their real personality. Take them out to lunch or to a coffee shop. People relax more when they are away from the office.
8. Help them mingle – sit them with other members of the team. This will help them gain a greater understanding of what their colleagues do. Plus it will also encourage them to talk to other members of the company.
9. Don't exaggerate – be open and honest about the role. Don't beef it up to make it sound bigger or better than it really is. The surest way to upset a new employee is to have lied during the interview.
10. Open door – have an open door policy to your office. Make yourself available to your whole team. They may be more inclined to discuss any problems they may have if you are approachable.
11. Google them – your candidate will most certainly Google you and your company. If you have bad feedback this may put them off wanting to work for you. However this is a two way process, check out their LinkedIn page and other social channels to see if you can find out more about them.
12. References – don't get lazy thinking you’ve found the perfect candidate. Always ask for references and be sure to check them out. There is nothing more insightful then hearing about your potential employee from their previous boss.
13. Don't assume they just want money – in today's job Market there are many more things besides money to entice workers. Flexibility, holidays, office hours, training, relationships with co workers, location and healthcare go along way to snapping up the right candidate.
14. Show them around the office – if you think you've found the right person take them on a tour of the office. This informal 5 minute exercise will show you more about them than the interview. People behave differently on the move.
Take time finding the right person
The above 14 ideas may seem obvious but you would be amazed at how many companies do not do them. Spending more time in the selection process will minimize the risk of hiring the wrong person. And once they're hired treat them well, they are now a valuable asset to your business.
At Halcyon we have various locations where you and your new recruit can hang out to get to know one and other. Choose from our Business Coffee Lounge, one of our break out areas or take a stroll around our extensive premises.
And remember having to go through a disciplinary hearing or having to fire someone is a stressful process. It’s really not as simple as Alan Sugar makes it look. You can't just point a finger and say ‘You’re Fired', no matter how much you may want to say it. So choose wisely.
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