Hello and welcome to October
After last month’s quite self-indulgent post about our lovely new office, I have lots more serious things to talk about this month. By serious I don’t mean boring, although I’ll let you be the judge of that. We have been doing lots of practical and useful things for our business in September and I thought that what we have learnt might be useful to your business…
I have held our quarterly business update for the team this week. I think it is so important to get everyone together as much as possible and go through where we are as a business, get their input and agree our plans and next steps. The feedback from the team after each session is always really positive, it really helps to keep the passion levels up and refocus everyone.
We spent a lot of the meeting talking about how we become an employer of choice. Is this something you have on your radar? We know that the employment market is tough at the moment; there is still a real shortage of great candidates. And this is across the board, in all industries and for most skills sets. We are recruiting for ourselves for two new consultants to add to our existing team. Although we are being extremely selective, there are so few people actively looking for jobs.
What this means for employers is that when you find someone that you like the look of on paper, or at interview, you have to move really quickly to stand any chance of securing them for yourself.
Another way to make recruiting easier for yourself is by positioning your business as an employer of choice. As a small business I can’t just throw all sorts of expensive perks and incentives into my employee package to attract new talent and retain my existing team. So I have been looking at what is important to people, how I can reward team working and overall business performance.
I am just implementing a new profit related pay scheme which I think ticks all the boxes. The team don’t necessarily have to do anything differently but if we hit a certain profit threshold, a percentage of that profit will be put into a pot a split equally between them – level and salary will be irrelevant.
It’s an extra thing to reward and motivate my team, but it is also another step towards being an employer of choice and being able to offer a great package to lure talent to join my team. And if it encourages people to recycle scrap paper and turn the lights off more, then that’s great too!
If this isn’t something that is on your radar, it is worth having a think about what you look like to the outside world and what keeps your people in your business. Are there any tweaks you can make to your offering as an employer that could aid your recruitment process? After all a business is only as good as it’s people.
This is a more practical bit. We have just started using a great new tool to help with our blogging and social media. I wanted to mention it because it looks like it’s really working for us so I thought it might be something you’d be interested in looking at for your business. It’s called Edgar. It’s an online application to help with content marketing.
A lot of marketers are focussing on content marketing to reach out to new audiences and share useful information. I’m told that marketing now-a-days is less about ‘selling’ and more about telling your brand story – letting people get to know you and to believe in your business.
I’m lucky enough to have Laura Mayfield, our marketing manager at Vanilla, she is part time and her time is precious. She does a great job of writing blog posts and chivvying me and the whole team along to contribute. But she was finding that once she had socially shared a blog post once, she rarely had time to share it again at a later date. So all the great content we had been writing then sat on our website. Yes, it all helps with SEO or ‘Google juice’ as Laura calls it. But we knew our content could be working harder for us.
Edgar now takes all the time and effort out of this process for us. Laura has populated our Edgar content library with all our blog posts. She has then set up a schedule of when she wants certain types of content to be posted and on which of our social platforms - then Edgar does the rest. We now have at least one ‘non job’ social post on each of our platforms every day and we are effectively recycling our content.
We have been using it for 3 weeks now and the results are looking good. Our social reach is much higher and our number of ‘followers’/’likes’ is also increasing every week, where it had stagnated.
It does cost money to use but there is a free trial for 14 days to see what you think. If you have a go and you need any help, Laura would be happy to chat it through with you!
And that’s it for another month. I hope you all have a great October. Please do get in touch if there is anything you’d like to discuss about my blog or your recruitment.