3 Stellar Tips to Unleashing Your Team’s Creativity

A company is only as good as the people that make it up. It’s a saying that’s certainly banded around frequently enough, though probably not examined by business leaders as much as it should be.

A follow-up from the saying could probably read something like …and most people will only be as good as they have to be. In other words, if your employers don’t feel stimulated by their work and surroundings, they will only put in the absolute minimum they must to get through another day – which is hardly the formula for business success!

The thing is, a lot of companies take the saying too literally. They think harvesting the savviest, most technical minds to work for them is alone enough to set them apart from competitors. But there’s more to business longevity and success than simply cherry-picking the ripest candidates and hoping there’s enough juice in them to leverage the company to a new and exciting level.

Companies must not only hire the finest candidates on the block, but also encourage their creativity and desire to consistently shine through whilst on the job. And to help with just that, we’ve put together a few great tips to get you started…

1. Set the Scene

Monet didn’t paint his water lilies whilst sitting in a bleak and lifeless environment; he was inspired by his surroundings. Okay, I know it’s not feasible to turn your office into a replica of an 1800’s watercolour painting, but there are some things you can do that will stimulate your employees’ creativity!

Things like comfy seats, a healthy consideration for the interior design and keeping things looking generally fresh and engaging can work wonders. If you have the budget, you could even try making a ‘creative’ zone in the office, with bean-bags, white-boards, a coffee machine and a few inspirational quotes plastered to the wall.

2. Get Everyone Involved

Sometimes it takes more than one person to conceptualise something brilliant. Good teamwork and communication skills are essential assets for creative work-force to have.

Encourage the whole crew to chip in with their ideas during planned creative sessions, no matter how whacky or outlandish they may seem. Different people view things from alternate angles, so what may seem like a crazy thought to one person, could be the switch that triggers a breakthrough in another.

If your staff feels like their ideas are worth listening to, they’ll undoubtedly dig much deeper within themselves to contribute something special and unleash their creative potential.

3. Allow Time for Ideas to Mature

Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they (all!) say. An idea is very much like a seed, it needs the right conditions and time for it to bloom into a fully-fledged reality. Don’t put a halt to an employee’s creative process if it doesn’t come to fruition straight away, but allow it time to breath and mature.

And Finally…

You need the right staff. Nothing beats having a great, creative and motivated team that can drive your business forward, so it makes sense to bring in the best possible people to help steer your company in the right direction. HiringMadeSimple.co.uk can provide you with all the tools you need to do just this, including effective job advertising across over 70 of the UK leading job boards.

For more information, just visit our homepage!

Job Market at its Strongest Since 2008

The latest labour market update by the Office for National Statistics has shown a boost in the number of jobs advertised so far in 2013. The figures suggest a much healthier outlook for the employment industry as a whole which, hot on the heels of a 5-year baron spell, has seen companies struggle to stay afloat amidst a turbulent financial climate at best.

In light of the report, the Reed Job Index for May this year also reports a 17% increase in job availability over the last twelve months. What’s more, it also finds a 8% increase in advertised jobs on its website since last month (April 2013) alone.

James Reed, the website’s chair, said of the report that “there are strong signs that the growing health of the jobs market will continue to help drive the economy forward.

So what does this mean for hiring companies?

Most importantly, it means that more UK-based companies are ticking the right boxes when it comes to managing their recruitment policy and business-growth.

If the past few years have taught companies anything, it’s that they must hit the nail on the head when it comes to expanding their workforce. Any slight slip of judgement could potentially be an extremely costly one, so it’s vitally important to get things right the first time around.

In short, companies are becoming more savvy with their whole recruitment process, from posting job advertisements in the correct places and efficiently screening their applicants, right through to their interview techniques and final handshakes.

And the knock-on effect?

Since more and more companies are playing their cards the right way, it brings around more competition in attracting those potentially stellar candidates that every business wants to employ. In other words, there are more fishermen at sea all trying to catch that ‘big fish’, so it’s your responsibility as a hiring company to make your net as wide as possible to land them.

At HiringMadeSimple.co.uk we lend you all the tools and advice you’ll need to do just that, giving you that edge over competing businesses also on the prowl for new talent. And what’s more, we provide them at a much more palatable price than any ‘professional’ recruitment agency would.

To learn more about our services – and how they can help your company join the rising few who are clocking on to modern recruitment techniques – visit our homepage at HiringMadeSimple.co.uk.

Top 5 reasons for using online Job Boards

Here are our ‘Top 5’ reasons to use online job posts for your business…

1)      Everyone is online!

With 76% of the UKs population now online, and recent research showing that job seekers’ preferred searching method being an online search – your business really can’t afford not to advertise your vacancies online!

 

2)      Reach the best candidates

By advertising your job online, you instantly get nationwide exposure for your vacancy. With more people searching for vacancies online, your vacancy can be found by more of the people you want to target.

 

3)      Get the most applications

Your vacancy will be seen by more people, and more qualified applicants than traditional media sources (newspapers, radio, etc). This means your vacancy should be viewed by more of your ideal applicants and therefore receive more qualified applications.

 

4)       Take control of your recruitment

No-one knows your business better than you. By advertising your job vacancy online, you can control the application process from start-to-finish.

(Our recruitment specialists at Hiring Made Simple are always on-hand to help out if you need some guidance!)

 

5)      Save money

Online job board advertising is often much more affordable than traditional media sources, and yields more applications from a wider talent pool.

 

So there you have it!

Is your business advertising its job vacancies online yet?

 

HiringMadeSimple.co.uk lets you post across upto 70 of the UKs leading job boards in one simple step, and for less than the cost of a single job post directly with the Job Boards.

See our full range of Job Posts here.

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!

Small Companies Battle UK Unemployment

In a recent study carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), it was revealed that small to mid-sized companies hire around 1.3 million unemployed and disadvantaged people every year. To put that into perspective, that’s approximately 90% of the total job-seeking population in the UK as things currently stand.  Now that’s a huge chunk, and it speaks volumes about just how important small businesses are for the UK job market.

It’s easy enough to see from these figures alone, that small firms pave the way when it comes to turning the employment cog.  You would probably think, then, that the UK Government would offer these aspiring companies a helping hand at every possible opportunity to keep that cog turning, especially during these times of austerity. But according to the FSB, it appears the exact opposite is true. Not only will recently proposed changes to the UK tax system bring with them enough red tape to wrap up the London Eye, they’ll also see the introduction of real-time information reporting, requiring businesses to relay information regarding employee wages to HMRC 12 times per year – a time consuming and administrative headache at best.

Ted Salmon, of FSB, said:

“Small firms play a unique role in providing the way to employment, especially for disadvantaged groups. They have a greater tendency to take on those that would struggle to find a job – those who have not worked for a long time, have little experience or have been sick. They have also shown resilience in the face of recession – still taking on some 1.3 million unemployed people per year. While not all of these will be new jobs, this is nevertheless evidence of the crucial role small firms are playing in our economic recovery.

“We know from our survey work that small firms want to do more to support jobs, but their employment intentions are currently on hold. Many businesses don’t have the confidence to create new jobs at the moment because cash-flow is tight and they need a helping hand. This is why we’re calling for the National Insurance Contributions holiday to be extended. There are also a lot of new regulatory changes in the pipeline. Our concern is that these changes will add to the already heavy administration burden for small firms meaning they choose not to grow or take on staff.”

But despite this, with unemployment levels (though decreasing slowly) still at staggeringly high levels, the onus remains on small to mid-sized businesses to help get our country back into work. With this in mind, many companies have started turning more often to employing interns and / or apprentices to help carry their business forward without putting too much of a strain on finances.

Either way, now more than ever companies will need to be thorough in their approach to hiring new staff.

Graduates Want to Make a Difference

Graduates in 2012 want to make a difference with the skills and knowledge they’ve gained at university, says a recent study carried out by management consulting firm Hay Group. In fact, as much as 51% of recent university students stated that ‘whether or not a job would make positive difference to world’ would be among one of deciding factors when it comes to looking for employment. And though the job market is in no way saturated with this brand of happy-go-lucky opportunities to keep up with graduate demand, the study has made me think a little differently as to how best to attract graduate-calibre talent to a company.

What Graduates Want

Of course, no-one wants to work for Dr Evil (except maybe me, I’ve always fancied one of those board-rooms where you can plunge fellow employees into a steaming pit of a lava at the push of a button), and be branded a monstrous corporate cog; but the reality is such that not every job on the market comes with a free glowing halo to wear over your head.

The trouble is that the gap between reality and student expectation (in the UK job market) is somewhat of a gaping chasm, meaning a lot of graduates enter the market with a significantly picky mind-set. So then, we must be a little more astute when it comes to job-appeal and targeting graduates to fill a particular role.

It’s all in the Job Description

The best course of action would be to think like a graduate – what would they want from the job? Of course, they may be expected to be ‘a competent Excel user, with good analytical skills in a bid to increase the sales of a new energy drink product’. But if you flip the coin, a much more appealing description would be the ‘requirement to use their analytical and Excel  wizardry to help as many of our British athletes find out about our amazing new energiser drink’! Talk about making a difference (who wouldn’t want to help our athletes in the wake of a hugely successful Olympic triumph?)!

Conclusion

Universities may be pumping out graduates more often than ever, but the current state of the UK job market isn’t enough make students forget about their principles. If employment-seeking graduates want to make a positive difference to the world, then let them – all it takes is a little re-think in order to keep them interested!

Get it across in your job advert that they’ll be pulling levers which determine the very fate of something immensely important, and you’ll be well on your way to landing your prize!

Hiringmadesimple.co.uk welcomes a new team Member

We would like to welcome and introduce a brand new member of the hiringmadesimple team; Mike Wise, Account Manager for hiringmadesimple.co.uk

Having worked as a Technical Sales Manager for over 7 years, Mike is key player with an extensive network of clients covering diverse sectors within the UK. Mike is both commercially driven and adept at building and developing long-term commercial partnerships.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at hiringmadesimple.co.uk at this incredibly exciting time. What they have achieved so far with the site is nothing short of amazing so to become part of that team and share their vision is a fantastic opportunity for me, one not to be missed”.

Mike will be responsible for servicing our current clients and promoting our services to companies throughout the UK.

If you would like to contact Mike directly regarding any of our products please email him at: mike@hiringmadesimple.co.uk

Hiring Tips, Week 3 – 3 Things Most Companies Don’t Consider but Should!

We’re going to close our hiring tips with a quick run-down of some of biggest stumbling blocks that hiring managers often trip up on when it comes to taking on new employees, and how you can avoid falling at them in the future in order to land that hot-shot candidate.

1. Why Would I Want to Work for You?

Let’s be frank, if a company was to table me a job description that’s akin to a laundry list of ‘things-to-do’, it hardly sparks my enthusiasm for the position or gets my engines raring to go. So then, obviously, this will probably come over during the interview (that’s if I even apply for the job in the first place!), meaning all of my positive attributes that I could bring to the business would be somewhat muted. The company bosses may decide that I’m not enthusiastic enough for the role, and could potentially be missing out on a superstar candidate (even if I say so myself).

Too many hiring managers focus on a ‘what can you do for us?’ attitude and fail to sell themselves to the candidate in return. This is a very egotistical and big-headed approach to hiring, and should be avoided at all cost.

Instead, those in charge of hiring new staff should be trying to employ the best possible candidates by selling their company as much as possible. Perhaps this, then, will attract more people who want to work for you and not just those who are willing to work for you.

2. There’s no Miracle Potion

When advertising a job, many businesses are very particular as to what they require when it comes to experience, areas of expertise, personal qualities and academic qualifications. On top of this, they insist candidates must be able to work on X days, have a deep-rooted passion for all things sport-related and be able to drive a motorcycle up a ramp and leap over a row of cars….backwards. The point I’m trying to make here is that some hiring managers are too specific when it comes to job requirements, and won’t even entertain an interview from those who don’t answer ‘yes’ to all of the above.

Let’s get one thing clear, you’re not going to find someone (or at least, very rarely find someone) who ticks all of the boxes. What you may find, however, is that the IT candidate who doesn’t have a degree in web design, actually has a portfolio twice the size of, and more impressive than, those candidates who do.

As a company, you must learn to be flexible when it comes to finding the right candidate for your job. There is no miracle potion that will solve everything!

3. Focus on the Task

I’ve seen a handful of HR managers do a lot of talking when it comes to hiring new talent, but normally Hell has a much better chance of freezing over before they get themselves into gear and employ someone. It seems to be a long and drawn out affair for many companies to enlist someone new, and this could be half of the reason they struggle to fill their position.

Let’s think about it for a  second – you post your opening online to job sites like Reed, Total Jobs, Monster and so on  (we can help you there – effective job advertising services), and receive about 30 applications for the post. These 30 people are actively seeking work so, unlike your company, may not have time to sit around and wait. If it takes you more than 2 weeks to communicate with possible candidates after the initial application, you may find yourself playing second fiddle to another company who have snapped them up first.

The same goes for the post-interview stage. If a candidate has impressed on an interview, don’t dawdle for too long before inviting them back, because chances are they’ve had other interviews elsewhere and impressed in those too. Of course, I’m not saying point your finger at them across the desk at the end of the interview and say ‘You’re Hired!’, all Alan Sugar style – but be sure not to make the process any lengthier than it needs to be.

Hiring Tips, Week 2 – Effective Interviewing Techniques

There are plenty of articles all over the internet offering tips on how to approach a job interview from a candidate’s perspective, which is great, but there seems to be a lack of help when it comes to advice for those on the other side of the table. So, this week, we’ll look at how to get the most from your interviews, and the kind of questions you should be asking in order to make a much more reasoned and logical assessment of your candidates.

Of course, before doing any interviewing at all, you’ll need to attract the right people to your company – read out our specialised job advertising services for more information.

Preparation is Key

Finding the right employees for your company is a tough task, but getting it right will ultimately lead to a highly productive office and a much more successful business. It makes sense then, to be as prepared as possible before sitting anyone down in the hot-seat.

A good starting point is to right down a short paragraph which sums up the role you’re looking to fill. Not only does this make you think more about the skills that will be required to carry out the job, but it acts as a constant reminder as to the position you’re hiring for, should conversation wander in a different direction at any point during the interview.

You should also jot down any essential competences and experience that are essential for role, as well as reading thoroughly through the candidate’s application and CV, making note of any sections you would like to discuss further during the interview.

Finally, be sure to compile a complete list of all the questions you would like to ask. It may also be a good idea to write all CV-related questions down on a separate piece of paper before meeting your candidate – you could put yourself across as unprepared if you have to keep scanning the interviewee’s CV during the interview.  Bear in mind that your possible suitors are also interviewing you as a company, so it’s important for you yourself to give a great impression.

Asking the Right Questions

Trying to determine whether a candidate could be a good fit for your company can be quite tricky. Many job hunters will be pretty clued up when it comes to interview techniques, and will be well aware of most of the questions they will be asked beforehand. This, in my eyes, makes for a false impression, because lines are rehearsed and it all becomes a bit predictable. What you really want to do is get beyond those walls and find out what kind of person you’re interviewing. To do this, you’ll have to throw in a few questions which will make the candidate stop and think for a minute, such as:

  1. What do you think working here will be like?
  2. What has working in this field taught you most about the industry?

Remember, the idea here is not to fish for a right or wrong answer, but to go beyond those rehearsed standard answers to get a truer impression of the candidate, and to let their personality come through a little more.

By all means, ask a few generic questions to tackle their professional experience or personal attributes, but be sure to throw in a couple of unexpected ones too.

Final Thought’s

There really isn’t a set way to interview potential employees – each case is completely different. What’s important is that you break down barriers between yourself and the candidate to form a much more accurate judgement on their potential to enhance your team.

Hiring Tips, Week 1 – Pre-employment Screening

Over the weekend, I was wondering why so many small to mid-sized companies that I’ve been in touch with have such a high staff turnover rate, which got me thinking whether these companies actually put their best foot forward and make every effort to hire correctly in the first place. Hiring effectively is one of the most important things a business can do when expanding, so it really confuses me to hear business owners tell me that they’re having such a hard time maintaining a steady workforce in the office.

Remember, not only does a high staff turnover mean you’ll have to allocate more resources to constantly re-hire, it also leads to a disrupted work environment which could eat away at productivity levels and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Anyway, the outcome of this weekend’s deliberation was to plan a mini-series of tips and help articles to aid small to mid-sized companies hire more efficiently. This week we’ll be taking a quick look at how pre-employment screening can play its part in finding the staff for your office.

The Truth about Hiring

It’s hard to believe but, according to a recent study by Circle Research and General Dynamics IT, only 28% of company’s use pre-employment screening tests to help decide whether a candidate is right for their business. Considering the long-term benefits of finding the right person for the job, and the risks/cost associated with not doing, this figure is astonishingly low!

The study also showed that the majority of companies surveyed rely purely on post-employment strategies to reduce the possibility of employee misconduct and under-performance, which ultimately could lead to a higher staff turnover and therefore an overuse of HR resources.

Get it Right from the Start

It makes much more sense if companies adopt a thorough attitude from the word ‘go’ when it comes to employment, and in order to do that they must make use of pre-employment screening tests before hiring anyone. Although this may take a little extra effort to begin with, the benefits far out-weight the short-term losses. Let’s look at some of the advantages to begin with…

1.     Better Candidates

Just by stating in your job advertisement that you’ll be performing a routine pre-employment screening test, you’ll attract a higher calibre of candidates for the job. Those people with skeletons in the closet – who may be a risk to your business – will most likely be deterred from the offset.

2.     Safer Workplace

A screening can also minimise the risk of unwanted employee misconduct – including theft, damage to company or customer goods and abuse to other employees. It goes without saying that this should be an unwanted risk, which could go on to result in deflated staff morale, or even harm your company brand.

3.     Reduce Staff Turnover

Ultimately, a by-product of the two above points brings us full circle around to maintaining a much lower employee turnover within the company, minimising disruptions in the workplace and leading to higher staff productivity levels.

Closing Comments

Remember, there is more to hiring effectively than pre-employment screening tests, so be sure to check back next week for the next article! Also, you may want to check out our guide on how to maintain enthusiasm in the workforce for tips on how to maintain a healthier and more motivated work-environment.