Tag Archives: documentation

Do your Employment Ads Attract CANTidates?

Do your Employment Ads attract CANTidates?
Why those ads are not helping you build the dream team.

By Talmar Anderson

Please stop.  Just stop!  Do you have any idea how much work you are creating for yourself by cutting and pasting that employment ad from some random internet site?  You say you don’t have time to do it properly. You just need someone in the position…yesterday and the ad needs to start running now!  I get it.  Truly I do. However, this is when you get to decide to be a business owner instead of a reactive employer running straight into the self sabotage reoccurring hiring loop!

Employment ads are the opportunity to attract the people you WANT to work with every day!  Is that part of your business owner dream? Only working with the people you want?  No more “it’s not MY job” types.  No more supervisors that take credit for your brilliant ideas.  No more of the “I can’t help with that project. I have to cut my toenails at my desk while waiting for the clock to tell me I can go home’.

While I understand that taking the time to develop a hiring process seems counterintuitive during the demand driven need of hiring, consider this thought. This is you taking the time for the big breath before you dive in to the water.  Making sure that you take the time to look at where you are jumping into the pool, ensuring your suit is tied securely and making sure you have taken a life-saving deep breathe to hold are all preparations for what you are about to do.  Why can’t we invest the time and energy so easily now?

The hiring process does not need to be so overwhelming however it does require your attention NOW before anything else is done. Let’s be specific to you and your business to set up the hiring process for true success. Start by deciding and defining why, what and who.

  • Why are you hiring? This is the goal.  Are you trying to free up time on your calendar? Improve productivity for clients? Take on more work?  When you set out a specific goal for this position, not only will you know how to hire correctly you will also know when an employee is successful…or not. This is you stepping into the management role that is required with each new hire! But back to the employment ad…
  • What tasks and responsibilities will this position need to fulfill to meet this goal? (See any similarities here to a job description?) List it out. This should not be a wish list but a thoughtful consideration of what will need to be done on a regular and consistent basis to achieve the goal. This is about meeting your business needs now and less about future aspirations for the candidate within your firm.
  • Who will have success completing this role? Consider experiences and skills that are required to complete the tasks and meet the business goal.  This part should also consider the kind of person that will fit in your culture.  If the position needs conflict with culture needs…the position needs win!  Your business needs different skill sets and different experiences to have true growth and success.

Defining these items and including them in your employment advertisement will help you to attract an employee that wants to work in this position within your company as much as you want them to come and get it done! Are you ready to dive in? Take the time to consider what YOUR business needs!

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Hiring part timers and interns to make it easier on yourself? Not your best decision.

By Talmar Anderson
Originally published Jan. 23, 2014

The “people” part of a business often times is the most challenging.  It is a delicate balance of aligning the business motivations with each individual employee’s motivations.  No easy or obvious task.  I hear it all the time. I am looking for information on hiring.  I need help managing my staff.  Where can I get guidance on how to motivate my employees?  To avoid all the work involved and put this part of running a business off, some business owners will hire just “interns” or part time employees.  The common thought being that this will be easier and less work because they are not “real” employees or are not part of the permanent organizational design. And THAT is when you are creating more work for yourself.

Deciding you need someone to come in and “help” is a pivotal point in any business.  It is great to be letting go of EVERY detail.  It confirms that your business will be growing larger than the “solopreneuer” concept.  Do you start by delegating what you don’t like?  Do you begin with the tasks that are the most time consuming? More than likely, you think you just need someone to come in a few hours a week and just jump in.  You can imagine the relief now….digging out from under the stacks of papers…..time to actually sit still and eat lunch…time to get out and meet new clients…or time under a palm tree. But, ugggh, bringing on an employee is s lot of work.  I barely have enough time on my calendar now!  Isn’t that the issue?

If you are like most business owners, you are thinking an intern is easier…right?  They save you money AND they will just be grateful to get experience, like grabbing my coffee and color coding my file folders.  Welllll….. not exactly. Hiring interns needs to really be about furthering the education and experience of the student FIRST and helping your business second.  But that is not the point.

Maybe you will hire a part time employee because you don’t need tons of help yet.  You’ll make sure to hire a “self-starter” so they can walk in and create results that benefit you! They won’t constantly stop you for questions or direction.  Certainly they will always show up on time and when it is most helpful to you. At the very least, they will give you a good 30-40 minutes of unsupervised work each day for the first few weeks. (YOU are correct to read this entire paragraph with a tone of sarcasm). But, that is still not the point.

Intern, part time or full time…the hiring and on boarding process must be the same if you intend to actually benefit. Development of processes for job descriptions, interviewing, checking references, training, scheduling, managing, being available for questions and regular one on one meetings will all be part of bringing ANY person into your organization successfully. This certainly does not lighten your load for quite some time down that calendar.  So if the POINT is to alleviate your to-do list, then this is not necessarily the answer.  I highly recommend that out sourcing is the first step for the solopreneuer’s first foray into delegating.  An expert in any area you are trying to take off your desk will actually come ready to tackle the problems, trained and eager to please.  It is their business reputation at stake!

When outsourcing, you still want to base your decision on what to outsource based on your stress level or time consumption. But an expert will know what questions to ask you to specifically effect change in your time and management right away.  They will have processes and decision points already developed to motivate movement where you may be getting stuck.

If the point is to get YOU help and create time on your schedule for other tasks and planning, outsourcing over hiring an intern or part time employee may be the answer.  HOWEVER, if growth is the point, then we need to make time on your schedule to develop all the processes listed above. Or you can pick up my book, Rev Up Your Growth, about the decision to grow, the processes and organization that can build your foundation for success. The book is not available until end of July 2014 but you can reach out if you need me sooner!

Repeating Success? Define it. Measure it. Document it.

By Talmar Anderson
Originally published November 2013

You know that feeling? You closed them!  You made the deal.  Money is flowing in and it feels good!  You feel like the hunter on a high. What do we do then?  Celebrate, of course.  Atta boys for all the staff.  Maybe a nice dinner for you and yours.  Then we get down to the work of delivering on the deal and looking for the next big whale.  Or at least the next sale.  However, it doesn’t happen as fast.  Why is it so hard to find success again when you were just able to do it so perfectly? It is because we missed the step of really looking at what success is to your company.

Now let’s go back to that sale.  Why is it a success?  The ideal target client was found?  The dollar amount of the deal? The service or product that was sold? Maybe it was the potential for the lifetime sales of this particular customer?  When we have success, let us take a moment and understand how this moves the company and the mission forward.  I know it sounds like a big idea for the sale of one widget but the success cannot just be about cash in your bank account.  Did you connect with the kind of client that is the new target market you have been trying to break into?  Did this client buy more than the historical average of most of transactions? Did the client contract for a longer engagement than previous clients?  Within each business, there need to be several ways to understand your sales beyond the dollar amount.  Take the time to decide how your sales are categorized and the types of transactions that build profitability.  Understand who is buying. REALLY understand why they are buying now. Once we have taken the time to define what sales have been happening and where our successes are coming from, we can move to how we will measure success.

As an example, let’s say we have decided that within the last 12 months our most profitable sales have come from working with graphic design firms.  Further investigation finds that the best deals came to fruition when the firms are going through high turnover.  Not just the turnover of current staff but also the high and immediate need for growth within their own companies. So let’s measure.  We find that 60% of our sales over the last 12 months were from this market. Now we can take the time to forecast and set a goal for success.  How would profitability be affected if we could land 3 more clients in this market next quarter? Use reasonable but ambitious numbers.  Always be striving to succeed.

Now we can document this all.  By writing down what has worked in the past and what our new goals for measurement are for the quarter, it will be that much easier to see where we are missing the mark.  If we are not repeating our successes, did we veer away from graphic design firms into full service marketing companies? Did we land 5 new graphic design clients and just miss acknowledging it because the gross sales for the firm missed our goals?  Written processes and goals give us a specific path and reality checks. We want to ensure the company is progressing on the course with our strategic plans and marketing efforts.

Success is fleeting because we do not take the time to understand what success is for our company and how we are going to acknowledge that we have succeeded.  Yes, it is goal setting but it is more of an eye to allowing for progress.  So we write the goals down.  We want to reach these goals to be able to have the backward look.  With the backward look we can continue to refine and redefine successes to keep the business growing.