The Importance of Brand Success

Imagine that – for some terrible reason – Kellogs suddenly lost all of their assets and stock, leaving nothing left behind of the company that is tangible… except, of course, for their brand. And because of how successful the Kellogs brand is, should this unlikely hand be dealt to them, I have no doubt that the company would survive on the back of it. That is how important branding is.

But there is much more to branding than surviving an apocalyptic-type scenario such as the one outlined above. A strong brand brings with it a platter of benefits, from client acquisition right through to attracting the best employees to the company.

Any candidate who knows their worth, will seek out a job opportunity that will allow them to develop and thrive, as well as gain respect and recognition from fellow professionals in their area of expertise. A strong brand can go a long way in attracting the very best talent to a company, and may ultimately be the reason why a potentially stellar candidate picks one employment opportunity over another.

Think about it, a strong brand will:

1. Put across the culture and ethic of your company

If a candidate is aware of the work environment within a company, what other people say about working at the company, and the benefits to be had by joining the company, then they are much more likely to be attracted to a position within it.

Whether a company is tagged as ‘cool’, ‘fun’ or ‘ambitious’, a candidate will recognise this and mentally ‘place’ themselves within it.

2. Offer security to potential employees

A strong brand will convey a positive message when it comes to job security and progression – something that’s vitally important during times of austerity.

And remember, when it comes to advertising a job online, offer all of the advice, tools and services you’ll need, from posting a job across over 70 of the UK’s leading job boards, to specialist advice and candidate assessments. Visit our homepage for more information!

Make the Switch – 3 Reasons to Manage Recruitment In-house

In the current economic climate, more and more businesses have been forced to scrutinize every cost and outgoing, in order to squeeze as much juice out of their budget as possible. The knock on effect for many, is a straight swap from having their recruitment managed by an agency to handling their employment reigns themselves – in-house.

But far from just benefiting from the reduction in cost from this approach, companies are starting to realize the additional perks that come with taking a hands-on attitude towards recruitment.

So, if you – like many other UK business leaders – are considering taking back the power from an overpriced and overhyped recruitment agency, here’s a few extra incentives to push you in the right direction…

No-one knows the Job like You Do

Think about it, this is your business we’re talking about here. Why would you want to let someone else suggest the type of person who should be working for you? Chances are, they don’t know you’re business from the ground-up like you do – and I’d be willing to take a punt that they never will, either.

It all boils down to how much you want your company to succeed. If you’re after a short-term fix to help sail your company steadily along then by all means, a recruitment agency may be able to find someone to fit that bill. But if you’re on the hunt for that gem of a candidate who can really help to drive your company forward, then you’ll probably want to catch someone who does more than simply tick a few boxes on a recruitment agency’s check-list!

Put simply, you know what talent looks like within your own set-up more than any recruitment expert could!

Brand Motivation Shines Through

You, are a brand ambassador for your business; something you will never get – no matter how much money you pump into it, nor how long you look for it – from a 3rd party agency or recruitment specialist.

By making the switch back to an in-house recruitment management policy, you’ll be able to convey that brand image across much more easily to potential candidates, and offer a much less mechanical experience for the candidate themselves.

Save a Lot of Money

And here’s the clincher, the big-daddy of all reasons to take your recruitment management in-house and out of the greedy hands of an agency – money!

Everyone knows that the main thing on a 3rd-party recruitment expert’s mind is the pay check at the end of the month. And it’s not surprising, given how much money is pumped into recruitment services by companies.

There’s no doubt about it, recruitment fees are big, and there’s much money to be saved by taking control yourself.

And Finally…

If you are considering the jump from agency to in-house, can offer you all the help and tools to get you started – for a much more reasonable price than any agency can! From job advertising services (across over 70 of the UK’s leading job boards), to specialist advice, we’re here to help!


Staff Turnover Rate – How to Reduce Yours

Over the past couple of years, through several studies conducted by PwC and other research institutes, it has been estimated that staff turnover costs the UK private industry around £40bn+ per year. That’s one heck of a figure, and there is much room for improvement for many businesses in order to bring that figure right down.

Low employee retention rates time and again cause business owners an unrelenting headache; so what can you do to grab the proverbial bull by the horns and take control of the situation? Well, we’ve put together a handful of what I hope you’ll agree are some pretty useful tips to consider when trying to do just that…

1. Hold Frequent Employee Review Sessions

Regular review sessions and development meetings with your employees shows them you’re thinking about their future within the company and investing time and effort into their progression – there’s nothing worse than being left in the corner to rot.

2. Conduct ‘Goodbye’ Meetings

If an employee does leave your company, it may be useful to hold a quick interview with them before they say goodbye for good. Try to understand what brought them to the decision to move on and take it on board going forward.

3. Organise Team Social Events

I’ve once worked in an office where one half of the room (IT) never spoke to the other side of the room (Customer Services), and it made for a pretty gloomy and awkward atmosphere to say the very least.  All the best businesses have a great solidity, spirit and camaraderie beating at their core – try and mimic this by arranging regular social events (either in work time or out ) to bring everyone together!

4. Hire Effectively

This is an extremely obvious point to make, but one which passes many business owners by. In order to take your company further and bring everyone in your office together beating the same drum, you need to really focus on your employment strategy.  From interview technique right down to pre-employment assessments (we can help you there!); you’ll need to be on the ball for the whole 90 minutes.

5. Challenge Your Staff

A job can get very boring, very quickly, if you’re not adequately challenged. Performing the same routine day-in, day-out can fast turn your mind to a sloppy and uninteresting mess – meaning they could end up looking elsewhere to keep it active. Change up your staff’s routines, throw in a few surprises and keep them challenged to avoid their mind wandering to other pastures!

Benefits of Hiring an Intern

At face value, hiring an intern may seem like more hassle than it’s worth – you’ll have to put aside time to train your new acquisition and keep a close on their work to begin with. But with the wealth of potential talent – fresh from college or university – looking to get their foot in the door when it comes to employment, you may find yourself snagging a possible gem of an employee, who could very well go onto build a successful career within your company. Here we’ll look at some great reasons to open your doors to budding talent, by offering internships to young graduates.

1. Take possible future employees for a test drive

It’s a common theme within many businesses I’ve worked with – you’re bowled over by an all-fireworks impression that a job candidate has given you in an interview, and ultimately you offer them the job. However, within a month of putting them on the payroll, you find that they don’t quite ‘gel’ with the rest of the team, adding little unwanted friction within the office.

Opening the position up as an internship, however, allows you to gauge the effect possible employees have on the office before you snag them for good.  It gives you the option to evaluate their strengths, weaknesses and overall potential before deciding to make them a permanent addition to the team.

2. Fresh perspective

It’s often said that planting a sapling among a copse of trees helps to rejuvenate their growth and colour, which is absolutely analogous with injecting the fresh outlook of a young prospect into an experienced office.  Hiring an intern can help breathe life into your team, by boosting creativity and offering an ‘outsiders’ viewpoint on the business.

3. Productivity increase of other staff

One of the most researched topics – when it comes to team management – is the ability to increase the productivity of employees. Many workers often find themselves bogged down with lesser tasks, meaning they’re unable to devote their full attention to more productive work, thereby reducing the efficiency of the team.

While there’s certainly no miracle potion that can cure this problem, by hiring an intern you’ll be boosting the man-power of your workforce. Smaller, less important tasks which would often tie up a good portion of the morning for a few – more experienced – workers could be handed over to the intern to handle. Not only will this free up time for the rest of your team, but also give your intern the opportunity to learn the ropes from the ground up.

4. Low-cost labour

It’s a well-known fact that around 60% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years of trading. Add that to the financial crisis we currently find ourselves in, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a potential company meltdown. There are many reasons that those who do survive the first 5 years pull through unscathed, but one of the most important factors is employing effectively. A good company knows how to mix youth and experience in order to employ the most cost-effective and dynamic workforce – and interns play a big role in allowing them to do that.

Most interns are paid significantly less than full-employees, yet they still remain amongst the most motivated of any team – such is their desire to learn and progress within their field. It’s obvious then, why many small to mid-sized companies prefer to source a good chunk of their future employees by taking on a number of interns.

And Finally…

If you do decide an intern can help you and your business, then can help you advertise your internship by posting your advert across multiple UK job boards.

Maintain Enthusiasm in Your Workforce during Economic Hardship

The Motivation Monster

You might think that during times of economic hardship that staff motivation should feature second – or even third – on your to-do list. But as we looked at last week, a recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development showed that many small to mid-sized businesses are under heavy strain to bridge the gap between salary and the cost of living for their employees. With this in mind, it’s not hard to understand why many workers in the current climate are finding it increasingly difficult to stay motivated at work; with many feeling undervalued, unenthused and unfocused within the workplace.

And with staff ultimately driving the bottom line of your business, it’s never been more essential to get out your sweats and play the part of Mr Motivator in order to keep your workforce on a high and maximise your employee’s efficiency. Remember, by losing employees, you may well end up losing your business too.

The Motivation Hit List

Okay, there will no doubt be a hundred and one ways to tackle low employee motivation, but in the end it all boils down to the root cause of the problem – in this case financial strain. In the mind of the employee, underpaid is synonymous with undervalued, and if you feel undervalued then you’re less likely to maintain focus or enthusiasm over your work. Obviously, stuffing more bank notes into pay-packets (in this case) is not an option (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article), so instead we’ll look at other ways to strike each contributing factor off the motivation hit-list.

1.    Make Employees Feel Valued

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re of no worth to a company – as if you’re just a cog in a machine that the business could replace on a whim. What’s more, if you have an employee who feels undervalued, you have an employee who’s not shining to their full, gleaming, potential. So, how do you tackle this problem and make them feel more like a pillar holding up the company, and less like a wheel going round and round.

The most obvious answer would be to include them in business discussions; ask their opinion on how the company should run in certain areas; keep them informed as to business direction and, in a nutshell, make them feel like they’re making an active and beneficial contribution to the future of the company.

It’s also important to set aside some time to relate to your workforce on a personal level. By this I mean talk with them on a one-on-one basis not only regarding the business, but about other things too. By opening the door to this employer-employee relationship, you’ll break down all kinds of barriers that may have stopped your employees voicing their opinions and concerns in the past.

In short, communicate with your workforce regularly; make them the one’s you go to for advice, opinions or just a friendly chat, and you’ll find yourself spearheading a team that feels much more appreciated and proud to work for you.

2.    Keep Employees Enthused

It’s not easy to keep your staff brimming with enthusiasm when they’re faced with all kinds of financial difficulties (including job security!), but if you’ve already tackled the first step in making your employees feel valued (see above), then you’ve also taken a giant leap in rediscovering their passion for their jobs. The next rung in the ladder is to bring that passion right up to the surface – so it’s there for all to see. Passion is infectious; get one staff member beaming with enthusiasm, and you’ll probably find the rest start to shine too.

How to discover this hidden passion? For most people it’s already there, you just need to know how to fish for it. Imagine you’ve a customer service team; they’re on the phones from 9am until 5pm every day taking calls from disgruntled customers. It would be hard to maintain any kind of enthusiasm when you’re being dealt verbal blow after verbal blow from the other end of the earpiece. Why not, then, put a positive spin on this? Try running a competition, whereby the customer service employee who successfully solves the most complaints – turning angry customers into happy customers – within a week, wins a small prize. Or perhaps get the marketing team together once a week for a no-rules, crazy, creative, whacky workshop in an effort to come up with a great advertising campaign.

It’s things like this that gets people remembering why they love what they do, and will help to no end with employee enthusiasm.

3.    Maintain Employee Focus

When you’re sat behind a computer desk all day, with money troubles on your mind, it can be hard for anyone to stay focused. However, there are little things you can do to help keep your staff productivity levels high, and apply all of their energy to their work.

  1. Make work fun – I’m not saying blow up a bouncy castle and stick it in the middle of the office, but rather make every effort to ensure employees associate the workplace and work crowd with good times. Hold an office quiz every Friday afternoon, break up the days with off-topic discussions, or maybe even get everyone out of the office for twenty minutes in the afternoon for a coffee break – together. It may seem backwards logic, but keeping things fresh like this means employees don’t slip into other kinds of procrastination, and it also helps a lot with staff attitude and morale!
  2. Hold frequent catch-up and career development meetings with employees. Showing them you like to keep up to date with what they’re doing will have a positive effect on their productivity.

Closing Comments

To summarise, it’s not going to be easy turning around an unmotivated team, but just a little more effort in the right areas could make a huge difference.

Of course, it all starts at finding the right staff for your business – and no-one can help you do that more than – check out the homepage for more information.