Insights Blog

Useful tools, tips and strategies to help your business learn, develop and expand.

3 Tips to Recruit Employees With Specific Skills

Sifting through candidates in a recruitment process can be a tiresome process.

Too often you end up with someone who talked the talk during the interview but within a month proved that they can’t actually walk the walk.

So how do you pick out the best apples in the bunch during the recruitment itself, rather than having to wait until they’re already working for you to find out what’s under that shiny skin?

Tip 1: Discover Behavioural Styles

We make sure that every new team member, client, and even client’s team member does a DISC profile. It is an integral part of our recruitment process to get them to do a DiSC Behavioural Style assessment. This has proven time and again to be an effective way to match people to a job that suits their style.

Understanding the 4 DiSC styles is important for you as a leader. Once you become familiar with them, you can know what kind of behavioural styles will be important for the skills you are seeking in the role you are trying to fill. Not only that, but you will also be more sensitive to creating an environment that is optimised for your employee’s working preferences.

For example, when one of our clients was looking to hire a new salesperson, they needed to be looking for someone high in “I” – an “influencer” who can think and decide quickly and prefer to work with people. On the other hand, when our client who had grown quickly needed someone to help with the administration of the business, they’re looking more for someone high in “C” and “S”. These styles pay close attention to detail and take things at a careful, steady pace.

Tip 2: Pop Quiz!

The benefit of having your recruits do a specific quiz in the area you are hiring is two-fold.

First, you get the obvious benefit of assessing their expertise right away. When our clients want to hire a marketing person, we give them a Marketing Technology Quiz and the marketing expert at London Coaching Group can give these a quick look and immediately he can see whether or not this person actually knows what they’re doing. We have a Microsoft Office quiz for anyone who is interviewing for an admin role, and a Finance Quiz for accounting or financial roles, and we make this available to all our clients.

The second benefit is that you also gain insight into their work ethic and ability to follow instructions. Did they miss any crucial parts of the questions by not reading properly? Did they follow the instructions on where to put their answers? Did they circle or did they X when they were told to circle? How did they react to being told they had a questionnaire to do? How specific and detailed are they in their answers?

This more ‘meta’ assessment of their answers gives you a much better idea of what they are like as a worker – much more than simply speaking to them. You also get an idea of their clarity in written communication, spelling and grammar.

Tip 3: Give Them A Test Task

Before you began recruiting, you should first have made sure you were explicitly clear about the key activities this person will be doing in your business. If you didn’t, you may need to rewind a little bit and ask yourself the right questions to set yourself up for a better recruitment process.

If you are clear on a single most important task that you need them to be good at, then you should be able to give them that task to do as a part of your interviewing process.

For example, if you’re hiring a marketing person, then perhaps the key skill they need to have is writing – text on your website, social media posts, sales letters and so on. Then why not have them write a sales letter during your interview for one of your products or services?

If you are hiring a new project manager, then maybe give them a small explanation of a real project within your organisation, and ask them to write on the back of that paper a rough sketch of how they’d tackle the project.

For a finance manager, maybe you need them to be able to carefully comb through financial reports – give them one where you know there are clear errors and ask them to audit it.

Ultimately, both the pop quiz and the test task are how you nullify smooth talkers and highlight the hard workers!

Do you have any further ideas on how to recruit for specific skills? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

Struggling With Lengthy Recruitment Processes?

If you find that recruitment is starting to feel like a huge waste of time, you probably just need to get more efficient with it.

Our process maps out 4 hours of work that is all you really need in order to sift out the wheat from the chaff.


How To Decide If Business Networking Is Right For You

It’s something we business owners are constantly sold: networking is essential for gathering leads. But is networking really worth it for everyone?

Let’s dig a little deeper into business networking and let me walk you through how to decide whether it actually makes sense for you and your business.

Are Your Customers or Clients There?

Before you begin considering ANY marketing channel at all, the first step is to be very clear who your Avatar is (our Avatar Creator Toolkit may be helpful for that).

If (and only if) you are really clear about that and you also know for sure that your avatar is likely to congregate at the networking event you are considering, then yes – go for it. It becomes a no-brainer when you know who you are able to help and exactly where they are going to be.

However, if you are attending networking just because you FEEL like networking makes sense – then you need to more carefully assess whether this is the BEST thing for your business. And 9/10 times, you should almost definitely not be networking as a priority.

I’ve known many business owners who have been wasting an incredible amount of time – breakfast meetings, after work drinks, dinners – going to ‘network’ with people who not only fail to fit their avatar but aren’t even logical alliances! It’s a waste of time and incredibly inefficient.

Not All Business Networking Events Were Made Equal

There is a kaleidoscope of business networking events out there, and each have different demographics in attendance. And, oddly enough, often the ones that are marketed at you directly may not actually have your avatar attending – because they’re targeting you not your avatar (unless, of course, the two coincide!)

Find networking events specifically crafted for your avatar and go there. Better yet, get into those events as an authority in your field (do a presentation, or sponsor the event) so you get more visibility and are easier to approach.

Don’t just attack every networking event you come across. Be discerning.

Focus On Your ROI

Promoters of networking events will hardly ever talk about your return on investment on coming to their event. That’s because, generally, there is no immediately clear way to measure the return.

That doesn’t mean you chalk it up to a ‘fuzzy’ channel with ‘potential’. We don’t work that way here. We make sure there are some clear numbers we are looking at to make decisions about whether it’s worth your time and money – you just need to be smart about it.

Let’s say you are attending a networking event that requires you to meet every week in the morning for about 2-3 hours, and then you also end up spending another 2-3 hours during the week doing extra networking with this group. That’s approximately 5 hours of your work week being devoted to networking.

Compare this to 5 hours a week spent on your Google Adwords account, or on refining your email marketing strategy, or devising a clever direct mail strategy. How do you compare the return? Is the result from networking really covering this time-cost in the same way?

If you think it MIGHT, but you have no actual data yet, then you do need to test and measure – and collect that data!

Build a dashboard that’s specific for your networking activity. Count the number of contacts you collected at each event. Track what the result has been from those contacts (“No. of clients referred” maybe? “Become a customer” maybe?). Record time invested on the sheet.

Then you can begin to track exactly how useful each event has been in real terms. And once you are tracking, you can start to spot how to refine your method so that you target only the most useful events and limit your time investment to get the most out of your networking.

Business Networking Is An Add-On Not Bedrock

In my opinion, it is rare to find any business where networking is going to give you any greater than 20 or 30% of your business, if even that. So, unless your business is an extreme exception, it is usually a good additional strategy to an already churning marketing machine – not a strategy that will facilitate immediate business growth.

If you are looking to grow big and grow fast, networking is not usually an effective main strategy for that. However, if you are an already large business seeking to open more channels and diversify your marketing, then networking may be an option. Just keep a tight rein on the resources you are dedicating to it and, again, be discerning.

Using Networking For Authority Building

I did touch on this earlier in the article: business networking can be useful in your wider marketing strategy not as direct lead generation but as authority building, by being present and visible where your avatar is congregating.

This, however, is a very ‘fuzzy’ result that is hard to measure. However, it may not be one to overlook, especially if you are reaching a point where you are becoming a leader in your field. Networking with the other movers and shakers in your industry can potentially be a good way to build credibility and garner thought leadership – most especially if you have the opportunity to present or do some training at the networking event.

Be The Host Instead of the Attendee

To the purpose of being an industry leader – if you think your avatar truly loves to network, why not craft your own networking event for them? That way you can get both authority building AND lead generation – and you have more control over the quality of the leads because you get to market it directly to your own avatar.

Of course, be aware that hosting a networking event yourself comes with a lot of extra work. You need to book a venue, decide on refreshments, market the event, coordinate with attendees, clean up afterwards etc – and that’s all on top of the marketing, selling, and follow up you’re planning to do!

If you have a strong team to assist with this, then it may not be as much of an issue. But if you’re a small, agile team, that may (almost certainly will) distract from the channels that are giving you the bulk of your business – which isn’t a smart move if you are looking at more immediate profit growth.

Of course, every business is different, and while networking may be an essential element for some, it is not for most. So it is worth being a bit more rigorous with determining whether networking makes sense or not for your business.

Have you had success through networking? Share your story in the comments below!

Need help with aligning your best marketing strategy?

During the Web Event, Shweta runs a training that is just like the ones we do for our clients – and she deep dives into the marketing MAXIMISER framework.

If you’d like a complimentary taste of what business coaching from one of the best business coaches in the UK is like, then register now for the next web event.


Tackling the Steeper Slopes in Your Business

london-business-coaching-business-owners-skiiers

I only learned to ski about 6 years ago. And as an adult, it was difficult and painful!

I’ll admit, I watched with some amount of jealousy as my son – a small and nimble child – would bounce right back up after each tumble into the snow. And his young, sponge-like mind picked up the skill so quickly that, in no time at all, he wasn’t even falling over anymore!

Myself, on the other hand, had much further to fall when I slipped on the skis and therefore took a lot longer to get up, and earned a lot more bruises. Trying to learn this obscure way of moving my limbs was also a much more difficult and lengthy process for us.

However, during this last winter we took our son for a skiing holiday and it felt really, really good to be able to soar across that picturesque landscape. After quite a few years of painful endurance, the perseverance was paying off as I zoomed across the smooth snow with the cold wind whipping my face alongside my son who laughed with infectious joy.

There’s a good chance, however, that that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction may not have been so salient had learning to ski been easy. My appreciation for the joy of skiing came hand-in-hand with the initial difficulty of learning how to do it.

There were a few learnings from this experience that I realise makes it an apt metaphor for the process of running a business:

1. You’ll take tumble after tumble into the snow

When you’re running a business, you should expect to fail fast and fail often. You will make mistakes because that is how you learn what works.

This is especially intense as you near the boundary of one ‘level’ of business to the next – the growing pains in getting from a medium-sized business to a big business is a difficult experience and you can expect to endure a number of bruises (but remember that bruises are temporary!).

2. You need to learn to move in a different way

At some point, a part of your brain clicks, and your body physically realises that the way you walk isn’t the way you ski. A new ‘system’ develops in your brain and your improvement begins.

In your business, there eventually comes a point when you cannot operate your business the way you have been doing everything else to continue on your path. You need to adopt a different system (or set of systems) that works for what you are trying to achieve (which is usually growth). New skills need to be acquired and new processes need to be implemented.

3. The pain you endure correlates to the pleasure you get

Clients usually come to us when they are fed up of ‘falling into the snow’ over and over again. We teach them the systems and tools they need to learn how to glide along the mountain of success.

And without question, it is those who put in the most effort, who push through the hardest of times and most difficult of lessons, that have ended up the most joyful and contented when their systems start working the way they want them to.

The ones who enjoy the struggle of learning are the ones who achieve the most and feel the most satisfaction in the end.

So, shall we hit the slopes?

Want to tackle the hardest mountain?

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionAs a successful business owner, you’ve managed to get your skis on and take on some of the lower slopes.

But when you want to get up to that massive mountain with the sharp turns and the steepest of slopes – you will do much better if you have someone helping show you the best ways for you to do it.


Don’t Promote Your Sales Champion

When you have hired a sales person who has gotten your sales process flowing like the machine it should be, what’s the next step?

Most business owners would be tempted to say, “Promote them to manager and expand the sales team to increase capacity.”

Here’s why that may be a mistake:

If you do plan to promote your sales person to a position of management, make sure it’s not just because they have done well as a sales person. Sales and management are two very different roles that require very distinct skill sets.

Your sales person may well have the capability to be a good manager but trial him for that ability and formalise the promotion only once you are convinced. Remember, you want to do your best to set your people up for a win.

Even if they are not suitable for management, if they are a good sales person then create other relevant and meaningful career growth opportunities for them e.g. nature of sales accounts, geography, position titles, salary, bonus, awards, company perks, paid learning courses etc.

The sales machine is critical to your business so make sure you do not promote your sales champion to his level of incompetence. Otherwise, it could be a double whammy!

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi! This is Shweta from London Coaching Group.

What I want to talk about today is a very fundamental mistake that people make in sales. And, that fundamental mistake is when they actually promote their sale superstar to a sales manager.

Now, in the scheme of career progression, and someone doing well and you wanting to recognize that person, it might sound like a common-sensical move, but actually if you were to reflect on it, you will realize that management and selling, they’re two different things altogether. They require a different skill set. They require different profiles.

When this is done just because you want to retain that Sales Superstar and want to promote that person, in that whole process, generally speaking, the person is promoted to his or her level of incompetence. They are no longer delivering on their sales because, obviously, they have management to do. And they are not really skillful at management, which eventually suffers, which means the overall sales division suffers.

So I really want you to be very mindful of this. If you have done something similar in your business or if you’re planning to do something similar, just be very careful. Just identify the fact that, actually, management requires a different skill set from selling.

Your sales superstar should continue focusing on sales and not management until and unless it’s a conscious decision on their part and you both feel that they’re ready for that promotion.

Otherwise, there are different ways of actually recognizing and rewarding the person for their stellar performance in sales. And remember, every business needs a strong sales pipeline and strong sales superstars, so make sure you protect them and nurture them well.

Is your sales process in place?

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionOne of the main reasons that business owners start working with a business coach is to create the systems in their business to maximise leverage.

The first and most important thing to do is develop a fine-tuned sales and marketing machine. Find out if our systems may be what your business needs to step up to the next level:

Book a Free Strategic Review


4 Elements of Superstar Employees

When you go through the 4-hour recruitment process, you may find yourself spoilt for choice with a set of incredibly talented candidates for the role in your business.

The process has cleared the wheat from the chaff, but how do you now find the very finest cream at the top of that crop?

Here are 4 things to look out for that could help you discover the true superstars amongst the collection of talent.

Keep these 4 traits in mind when crafting your questions to ask your top candidates, and watch as the cream floats to the top and you easily pick out your winners.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

I get this question asked very often saying how do we identify superstars, you know, in the recruitment process when you get to interact with so many candidates. How should you choose and pick that right talent, that right superstar. Now I have read quite a few books on this topic and of course working with different business owners, you know, one gets to interact and experience many many situations. Now, you might want to make note of this, there are simple four things that I look out for when I’m identifying a superstar. The first is that this person needs to have the core talent in the area, in the field that you’re looking for the person to come on-board, right, the core talent is required, the skills is where I am really talking about. Now that’s the base level, people need to have that because especially the business which is in a growth phase you cannot afford to become the training ground for people who have no idea and you’re trying to up skill them. So just make sure that they have the core talent, the core skill in the field.

Then the next level, which is a very interesting level, then which is what starts to actually distinguish real superstars from the talent, the regular talent. The next level is the coachability. The person needs to really be very very coachable and they should be willing to learn, they should be having an open mind and willing to grasp the things that you’re talking about and that’s really required for the superstar. The third ingredient or the element that’s required is the curiosity, and if you think about it, curiosity is the willingness to be engaged in that current moment. The person needs to be curious should be asking relevant questions, should be genuinely interested in what’s happening around this person. And the fourth element which is again a very very critical element is the work ethic. Superstars have amazing work ethics. They don’t watch the time. They don’t watch the clock. They are there to put in their best, to put in their passion, to put in their heart and soul into whatever they are doing.

So again if you think about, it they need to have the core talent, they need to be coachable, they need to have that curiosity and finally an amazing, amazing work ethic. And, if you identify the right questions to ask in your recruitment process to assess the level at which the candidate is playing for all these four elements the chances are very high. A few actually bringing that superstar, the real high talent on-board for your company which clearly enables the future progress for yourself and for the business. I hope that helps and helps you recruit the right kind of talent for your business.

Need A Recruitment Process That Works?

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionCountless business owners have successfully used this tried and tested process to find the superstars for their business.

It works. We know it because we’ve done it. Over and over and over again.

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