Are you on the right road and your systems fit for the recovery?

Greg Savage always gives excellent advice to the Recruitment industry and is now sharing some bright and encouraging news. 

Greg’s latest blog post showing data from Represend’s integration partner, JobAdder, gives a glimpse of what is happening in our market.  With the bright forecast covered in Greg’s own words – “….this data shows that as soon as even a modicum of confidence returns, hiring will rebound. And when that happens, the sun will shine on recruitment again.

Whilst we are not out of the woods, the forecast is that we are heading in the right direction.

The question I have for you is; “are you ready for the improvement?”

This simple inquiry covers a lot of ground.

  • Have you tried any new procedures and processes to ensure that your methods are the most efficient? 
  • Have you prepared your staff for any increased activity and given them the right tools?
  • How are you going to operate over the short and longer-term?
  • Are you ready to operate on changed terms with your staff?  The Covid workplace has changed the office and WFH picture, and do you know what is best for you and your team?

I want to say that I have the answers.  The truth is that we at Represend are still exploring the technologies available and availing ourselves of whatever education and trials are available.  We still have a lot to learn. 

Then, on the flip side, I received this invite to download an ebook from Smart Company.  This gives insight into how you can build your company to future proof your workplace culture.

To quote the author in the brief introduction “As businesses grapple with the economic uncertainty of a recession and the forced transition to remote work, the challenge is to maintain a strong company culture while managing your employees’ productivity and mental health”.

You can never get enough information to assist you in your path forward.  Now is the time to act!

I invite you to visit us at represend.com to see how we can assist your productivity.  Have a look at this comment kindly offered by Sam ElderfieldI use #represend daily and it’s changed my life“. See his full remarks here.

I leave you with Greg’s words when he poses two questions “Has the recovery really begun? Are you falling behind?”

Are you making dumb decisions?

“Short-term thinking is leading to “really dumb decisions,” says Jamie Dimon. The JPMorgan Chase C.E.O. told a CNBC-moderated panel that governments aren’t taking steps to bring about healthy economic growth, including addressing income inequality. “What we focus on is blaming each other and we stifle ourselves, because we are unable to do very basic stuff,” he said.” Quote courtesy of The New York Times.

Some quotes apply across more than the industry that they are targeting.  This quote, taken in its original context, is both a financial and political comment.  And I think we can also use it to look into our mindset in the Recruitment industry.

Are we as individuals and companies, forgetting long term gains for short term thinking? Are you blaming the environment and not getting on with planning for the improvements that will certainly come?

We need to ask the questions and understand that what was is no longer.  We are back to real recruitment principles, where relationships matter. Where jobs do not just walk in the door. Where we have to develop our business and provide service levels our clients need in these challenging times.

There are more and more tools available to assist our moving out of the COVID economy. Tools that help with ensuring that we can achieve the service and relationship building that we know we are good at doing.  In addition there are lots of great people offering positive solutions. (For example have you seen Greg Savages latest gift to the industry with the library of his podcast serieshttps://gregsavage.com.au/2020/09/17/the-savage-crisis-podcast-and-webinar-collection/.)

What about trying out the various business development and productivity tools available that are offering free trial periods.  Now is the perfect time to see what can work to assist you in becoming a much better recruiter. Are you taking advantage of what is on offer? What have you to lose?

See us at http://www.represend.com for more information about how we can help you.

Represend New Feature

We strive to provide the best possible experience for our clients. We are continually working on the system enhancement so that we can make to give you smoother and improved experience.

We are now delighted to announce the ability to include a voice message to your clients.  Voice introductions, giving a personalised description of your candidate, can save time and differentiate your proposal. You are adding that little extra personalised service.

Have a look  – its simple to record your personalised message, either by text or voice.

New Voice Facility

Visit us for more information and ask for our free trial so that you can experience the benefits personally.

Are you a Dinosaur

Evolve or become extinct

I read an interesting post from Rube Sayed today, and it got me thinking.  Rube is the GM for Datcom Cloud, and he emphasised the need to review your legacy systems.  Given Rube’s industry, he is referring to your IT systems.  You can find Rube at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rubesayed/.

My interest is more in the tools you are using.  Your data must be secure and available to all your team, which is Rube’s area of expertise.  But, how do you also ensure the consistent presentation of your brand when your team are working remotely.  How can you give them the tools to optimise their contact with clients.

Let us see if we can help you.  Visit us at Represend.com for more information and quote this blog title for your free trial.

Who are you working for?

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Don’t let your future office be vacated due to pride.

I am a great fan of Greg Savage (https://gregsavage.com.au).  His experience in the recruitment industry is remarkable.  His ability to translate that experience across more than just the recruitment industry is a tribute to him.

I want to speak about his latest article which has the catchphrase “Revenue is Vanity. Profit is Sanity. Cash is Reality” (https://gregsavage.com.au/2020/08/11/go-away-psa-farewell-psl/).

Greg is giving us all the valuable advice that could just ensure our survival. In summary, Greg has covered his experience with a particular company who were reducing their gross margin to get revenue, only to significantly reduce profitability and cash flow.  The decision to reduce revenue, or not chase revenue for top line growth, is a difficult one.  Our egos often get in the way, leading to revenue growth at all costs. 

There is a need to understand the real cost of providing a service.  This real cost includes the cost of forgone business and business development in chasing and servicing low margin accounts.  We do not operate in an environment with unlimited resources.  Therefore, in order to do one thing, we must forgo something else.

So, back to Greg’s example.  In servicing a low margin account, the company had forgone the opportunity to utilise its valuable resources elsewhere.  These resources included the time (and salaries) of recruiters, administration staff and particularly highly skilled contractors.  The result was that the resources available were wasted on low margin cleints.

The solution was not so simple.  There had to be a change in mindset and a stroking of bruised egos.  The message was however simple, forget vanity, remember profit and bank the difference.

I have been involved in several operations facing the same dilemma.  Case number one included cutting revenue by 40%, which resulted in taking a loss-making company to a profitable one.  The analysis that led to this decision showed that specific clients were taking up 70% of the resources of the company and at the same time costing money even at the gross level.  It literally cost the company real dollars to service these clients.  There was no profit, only revenue.  Elimination of these accounts immediately returned the company to profit and allowed the focus to return to business development and the retention of the profitable clients.

Case number two – the company looked at its portfolio of products and the resources involved.  The review focussed on looking at the return on investment.  A benchmark level was set, and then the bottom performers were cut from the portfolio, enabling the company to re-allocate resources to new products.  This industry was continually changing, and it was essential to ensure that there was a pipeline of new products.  Some of these new products were not successful and after the grace period would be cut.  This approach often seemed brutal, and while some of the deleted products ere still making small profits, some of the new ones quickly out performed the internal metrics, ensuring the company’s continuing competitiveness and growth in profitability.

The point is that you must be careful to ensure that you are looking after your company—driving profits, not revenue, using resources wisely.  While revenue is essential as we can not be profitable without it, it must be profitable revenue.  Clients are essential and should be well serviced, but they should also pay a fair price for that service.  Without a reasonable price, we are merely driving our company into bankruptcy.  Our clients may even be sad at our demise, but they will then move to the next provider without a look back.

So can you answer the question – what are you holding onto that is holding you back? Is it poor clients? Is it outdated systems? What are you testing to see how you can improve your productivity and profitability? Look carefully and what and how you are doing things to ensure that you are improving and not going backwards. Your competition is not standing still even in these uncertain times.

Loyalty is to ourselves first, so that we remain around long enough to show the excellent service that we know we can provide. And use our resources wisely – don’t waste them on unprofitable clients or business practices.

Change and are you ready

A memory and now you can still celebrate but only with your household – social distancing and isolation applies for the time being.

Hi guys

I hope you had a good weekend – plenty of rest and exercise and a little party time with your household and closest video friends. This is the new norm for socialising for the time being.

Here are some thoughts for you to ponder – I was listening to an investment guy the other day and he was able to relate a story told to him by his mentor – this mentor is a very wealthy guy who has been through a number of financial downturns.

His advice was to look at what is happening – determine what has changed and try to figure out what will be the new normal. He learned to adjust to the changes and profit from them.

For me this means a number of things – not only for the investment perspective but from ways of working – travel – socialising and looking at how that will affect the way we work and go about our daily lives over the next few years – it gives us a lot to think about and a lot more to plan for possibly a new way of looking at our friends and family, the way we work and interact with our world.

When we review some of the data from the Spanish flue pandemic we can see some parallels – social isolation became important and stayed with the population for several years after the pandemic had abated – and remember that a flu injection was not available till around the start of the second world war – some 20 years after over 50 million people died of the Spanish flu.

If you are a leader of your family, company or community, or just a member of one of these groups, are you thinking a little beyond the current situation?  Are you planning for the changes that will come from the new “normal”?

The situation we find ourselves in will pass – our task is to understand how to cope with our current circumstance and at the same time learn to look at what is changing and work out how to adapt from what we are learning today. Plan for the future as there will surely be one.

I highly recommend a book Who Moved My Cheese? – written by Dr Spencer Johnson published in September 1998.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Moved_My_Cheese%3F

Stay well and welcome to the future.

Good Candidate Experience

Great experiences give satisfaction all round

Given that this seems to be the story of the month I wanted to add my two cents worth.

I love reading and following Greg Savage (gregsavage.com.au).  He has years of valuable experience and is generous in giving us all help in better managing and developing our businesses.  Greg’s message is one that is also amplified by others in the industry. Notably, I have been to a couple of sessions run by various parties within the recruitment industry on just this topic.

To summarise in my words; “The recruitment industry must be aware that there is more to the development of their business than simply looking for clients. This is a candidate short market place in lots of areas. Meaning that there is and, I would suggest, has always been a need to nurture and look after candidates as much as clients.”

Quality candidates are what makes you stand out in a competitive market.  There is nothing more frustrating than winning a brief only to find that you do not have any suitable candidates available.  Your cupboard is bare.  You may say that’s not a problem – just place a job add and they will come.  Well, just how many times has this let you down and you have not been able to find a suitable candidate or even a candidate that is remotely suited your brief.

You need to look closely at how you treat your candidates. Not only when you place them in a position but also when they are not the chosen one.  Always remember that they may not be right this time but if you treat them well all the time you will develop both a great experience for both of you as well as selfishly developing a ready talent pool.

Candidate experiences are important.  Candidates are your bread and butter – your stock in trade; and more importantly they are often people in need.  They are not looking at a new job just for the fun of it – they have needs. Understand their needs and develop your skills at mentoring – remember you have in-depth knowledge of the market and your clients and this can be a great tool for helping candidates.

There were a number of suggestions made as to how to ensure that all candidates (both successful and unsuccessful) have a good experience.  The key message that I took away was its all about communication at all stages of the application and recruitment process.

Start with your job ad (if you need one) and ensure that this is well worded and precise so that the candidate can recognise if they are suitable, and most of all don’t forget the salary expectations. Don’t just regurgitate the last ad which was pretty much the same job – tailor it exactly to your brief.

Make the application process as simple as possible.

Recognise and communicate the receipt of the application the process that will then take place.  If you will not be able to review the applications in a timely fashion let the candidate know the expectations and don’t just leave them hanging.

If the candidate is unsuccessful try to identify why they are not suitable and where possible let them know what is needed for any future application.  Invite them to stay in touch and make sure you also stay in touch with them.  Often just ensuring that they receive a newsletter / blog post sent directly to them shows you care.

And obviously when the candidate is successful you stay in touch to ensure that the job is as expected and monitor their settling in period.  Often you can keep regular contact for example notes on birthdays, work anniversary or holiday periods.  Touch points that will keep you in front of mind.  You never know when they may become another valuable candidate or even a future client.

It all sounds time consuming but there are technology solutions that will assist this communication process and allow you to keep on top of your communications and your diary.

We use Job Adder to track it all.  Then add on Represend and you have an ability to monitor the resumes you have sent to clients allowing you to follow-up your client on a timely basis without wasting valuable time on unproductive calls. This in turn ensures that you can communicate with your candidates to let them know the status of their application.  In the current market it is important to ensure that your candidates are engaged in the process and don’t become ghosts.  Use the tools available to ensure that you maximise your productive time with candidates and clients.

Here’s to good communicating one and all.

Productivity and Profit

I have an interest in a number of things. One of the matters that I mull over is the profitability of a business.

In a recent article written by Greg Savage (see http://gregsavage.com.au/2019/11/12/recruitment-agency-owners-are-spilling-profits-on-the-floor/) reminded me that sometimes we grow a business and forget about the costs involved, and what this can mean for the longer term company survival.

Growth for growth’s sake – can lead to bad outcomes and not the ones we expect. Some time ago, I was involved with an organisation that had a reasonably high turnover. That organisation did not make money and continued to increase its losses as it gained new business. There was a simple reason – the costs of maintaining certain customer accounts were greater than the revenue gained.

The answer was simple yet a little painful for some. Each customer was analysed to match the cost of the service to the revenue gained (this included the service costs and employee time involved). This was an enlightening process. It highlighted that there was a lot of work in certain accounts which meant that those customers were expensive and unproductive to maintain. The result was that these customers were advised of rate increases to bring them in line with the costs.

And what do you think was the result? Some customers left; revenue came down by some 30%; but the loss was turned around to a profit. This increased profitability was a good result; but just as important was the fact that the employees were now productive – they were working on customer satisfaction for quality clients and able to get about better promoting the continued services. They were now looking after the future of the company.

Satisfaction for both employees and customers improved productivity and profit. And I would express my thanks to Greg Savage of reminding of this.

What are you doing to increase your employee and customer satisfaction. Why not check out Represend.com today as see how it may fit into your future productivity and profitability.