Benefits of Encouraging Your Employees to Take On Personal Projects

Companies today are frequently looking unique strategies to improve employee engagement. Some businesses do this through office parties, others organise volunteering opportunities, and others find that something as simple as a few extra hours off on Fridays is all they need.

But there is one employee engagement strategy that is work related, improves engagement, and possibly helps your company grow in the future, and that is allowing employees to work on their own personal projects.

What Are Personal Work Projects?

Personal work projects are projects that employees plan, manage, and execute all on their own – with no instruction from a manager. For example, an employee that works in marketing can try out a unique marketing strategy that they’ve always wanted to try, and see if it helps your company grow.

Examples of personal projects might include custom code design, graphic design that you didn’t know you needed, a unique email system for sales leads, and much more. It’s not important what the project is. What matters is that the employee gets to choose the project completely on their own, and execute it on their own.

Why Are Personal Projects Great for Companies?

Personal projects are amazing tools for employee engagement. Personal projects allow employees to feel like they’re bringing something to the company and are not just a cog in a machine doing what someone else tells them. It lets them be the ones trying to figure out how to help your company succeed, and giving them the chance to feel like they truly matter.

In addition to how personal projects improve engagement, they also have many benefits for the company:

  • They May Work – First and foremost, these personal projects are frequently employees thinking outside the box for ways to help your company, and it’s possible they may work. Rarely are the ideas of management the only successful ideas. You hired these employees for a reason, and you may find that they have brilliant, outside of the box ideas that help improve your revenue.
  • They Find Idea Makers and Leaders – It’s often very hard for management to figure out which employees are the diamonds. Is someone a mediocre performer or just not challenged? Can someone that goes above and beyond really make it to the next level? These questions are hard to answer when people do only the tasks you tell them.
  • They Offer a Break – Employees that have a break from the monotonous are very likely to find that they are less stressed and overwhelmed by the monotonous later. Personal projects can renew the energy the employee has for your business, while also contributing to its success.
  • They Teach New Skills – Even if an employee’s idea fails, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful. Every staff member that takes up their own personal projects is also learning new skills that may help them at your company in the future, such as how to come up with ideas, how to plan them, and more.
  • They Open the Door for More Engagement – Finally, an employee that has their own personal project and succeeds at it sets themselves up for other strategies that improve engagement and satisfaction. For example, if an employee brings a lot of excess revenue to your company with their idea, you can then give them a bonus, which in turn makes them feel even more a part of your company’s success and continues the cycle.

Personal projects are also one of the few employee engagement ideas that can actually help your company profit in the future. Employee engagement is always beneficial, but the fact that this type of engagement can also help you increase your revenue makes it especially useful in the context of your business.

How Outsourcing Can Help Grow your Small Business

Small business owners often have to put in more work in more different ways than nearly any other profession. Many take on the challenge of overseeing and manage every part of their business – from accounting to sales to marketing to customer service, and more – and they have to do all of those tasks each and every day, often with no time for a break.

But the economy is changing. More and more entrepreneurs are starting to realise that you can build a successful business without overextending yourself. You simply need to be comfortable with outsourcing.

Outsourcing – Great for Time Management, Productivity, Growth, and More

Many refer to outsourcing as a trend. But it may end up being the future of business. These days, more and more small business owners are looking to outsourcing to help them manage some of the tasks in areas of the business that are spreading them thin.

The average business owner has strengths and weaknesses, just like anyone else. For example, you may be excellent with:

  • Sales
  • Networking
  • Marketing

But you may not be an expert in:

  • Accounting
  • Recruitment
  • Mailing and Administration

If you’re a small business owner that is forced to be in charge of these types of activities, you’re taking away from the time you could be spending on the work you’re good at, and instead focusing on work that may not be your strength.

In addition, while they may feel as though they’re paying more, the effect it has on revenue can be substantial. With less time wasted on tasks that make no money (like accounting), the entrepreneur can spend more time on sales, or more time working on the projects that help earn them an income.

Don’t forget the people and companies that you outsource to may be experts. No matter how good you are at a task, if it is not your primary focus then it is unlikely that you are a true expert. Outsourcing to experts thus means that you’re able to see better results in the short and long term.

The idea of outsourcing is more than a fleeting trend. Those that outsource tasks to experts often find that they see some very real results. If you’re interested in outsourcing your recruitment, contact Recruit Shop today.

The Benefits of Hiring Local Staff for Your Retail Store

Hiring is generally about finding the best talent. Ideally, you review resumes and interviews, compare them in talent, and hire the person with the most talent between them. But there are some factors that go beyond talent and ability. For example, loyalty, how they fit in with company culture, whether they have outside variables that affect their employment, and more, all need to be considered in the hiring process.

The same may be true for another factor that is worthy of your consideration – whether or not the applicant is local, and how close they live near where the business operates. There are many benefits to hiring local people, especially if talent levels are close.

Benefits of Local Retail Recruitment

  • Locals Have Local Friends – More and more people like to shop locally in places that are comfortable to them. If you bring in someone that knows others in the neighbourhood, you’re also going to bring in their friends and family, as well as those that have been acquainted with them in the past. It may not be a small boost to revenue, but it does help you get your name out there even further.
  • Reducing Turnover – If you hire locally, you’re also going to have someone that is used to the area: someone that wants an easy job that they can get to quickly from their home that they often/presumably plan to stay with. Often they know your store already, and maybe even have wanted to work there in the past. These are all great factors for improving employee loyalty.
  • Creating a Sense of Community – When people see that you’re hiring locals and they know who you’ve hired, they’ll remember that your company has supported its local area. Your customers will then, both consciously and subconsciously, be appreciative of you bringing in local people to work for your company.
  • Easier Interviews, Vetting, and Scheduling – It is challenging and time-consuming to interview and question people that live far away. Even if they are working in just a nearby suburb, they may find it difficult to find time to drive all the way to your store for a job interview, or address issues with scheduling conflicts. When they live locally, interview scheduling becomes much easier, as does contacting them if they have any questions. You are also more likely to have other local workers that know them and are familiar with them in order to get feedback.
  • Locals Attract Other Locals – In addition to attracting customers, locals are also going to be more in the loop about other local talent. They’re going to have connections and a network of their own that they have created, and they may know people that are a great talent and are looking for someone to work for nearby. These are great connections to have, with the potential to continue to add to employee loyalty.
  • They Are Your Culture – Company cultures can be cultivated by great leadership. But there is always a component of company culture that is simply natural to the area. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of young graduates, chances are it has a more relaxed vibe and personality than an area that attracts a lot of blue collar families. These cultures tend to influence each other, which means that your company culture is or may be influenced by those around you, and vice versa. Hiring someone that lives in your area means that they are more likely to be already keyed into that type of culture.
  • They Live Nearby – Of course, some of the simplest benefits are still valuable. Local people live close by and can easily get to work. They have a less stressful commute which increases happiness. They may have an easier time creating workplace friendships and may be able to fill in at a moment’s notice if someone is out. Living close by, locals are also more easily able to attend workshops and socials hosted outside of work hours. All of these are simple and common benefits to having local workers.

The concern over hiring locals is that there simply may not be enough talent in your local area to warrant their hire. But while that is a concern, that should not stop you from looking for and possibly prioritising those that are already very close to where your office is located. Chances are there are some tremendous assets near you, with additional benefits to hiring locals that you won’t get if you are not looking for them.

Are You Exciting Your New Employees?

Imagine you are an applicant, and you have applied to a job that meets all of your needs. It’s in a great area, it has growth potential, and you know that you’ll succeed in the career.

You get invited to the interview and nail it. You go home and wait. One week later the decision has been made. You get a call telling you that you got the job, and you accept, excited to start at the new position. But then, over the course of the next few weeks, something happens:

  • You do not receive an offer letter with information on pay or benefits.
  • You do not hear from the company.

You are essentially sitting there, wondering if the job will suddenly be taken away from you, or if you’re going to be paid enough to make it worth your while. You accepted the job in your excitement, but now you are afraid to call back because you’re afraid that you’re going to have the offer taken away.

In addition, perhaps when you do start the job, you find out the pay isn’t as good as you were expecting, or more money than you thought is taken out of your paycheck for benefits. Suddenly this amazing new career seems like it may have been a mistake.

This story has been told millions of times because most employers do not think about what the applicant/new employee is feeling when they offer them the position. They assume that the offer is enough, and they fail to make the applicant feel special, wanted, and excited to work for you.

Creating New Employee Excitement

Anytime you hire someone for your company, it’s crucial that you treat them like you need them there. That’s because how an employee starts with your company affects their future productivity and longevity. In a way, it’s your company’s first impression, and you want that first impression to be that you’re a great place to work.

It’s not necessarily offering them more pay or better benefits, although certainly, that can help. It’s about showing them that they’re important. You can do that by:

  • Sending an offer letter immediately, so they know that they have the job.
  • Re-explaining all of the great reasons to work for your company, even if the pay is lower.
  • Sending them some type of branded gift or small bonus check to show them you care.
  • Personalising a letter to them or calling them during the weeks leading up to their first day.

The more positive you are and the more you show the new employee that you value them, the more likely you’ll have an applicant that will start at your company with excitement and energy, and a productivity level that is certain to impress.

Remember, recruitment is only one step. Retaining employees is part two. While we at Recruit Shop are happy to offer affordable recruitment services in Sydney and across Australia, we also know that your company has to try to hold onto them, otherwise, you’ll simply be coming to us again with the same problem in the future. Consider ways you can make your new employees feel welcome and special so that they are motivated to stay with your company for decades to come. Download our full guide, Making the Job Offer by clicking here.

Paying More for More: The Role of Salary in Employment

Salary is an issue that most people don’t like to talk about in the recruitment process, but it’s also one that is far more complex than many employers realise. Generally, employers bargain with the applicant based on their previous salaries and budgetary abilities. Ideally, the company wants to pay less and the employee wants more.

But this process can actually hurt your business in the long run, because you may end up paying too little to an applicant.

How Can a Company Pay too Little?

It’s easy to wonder how this can even be an issue. After all, if the company pays less, then the company saves money. It seems like this is a great strategy, and if they can get an applicant for less than they deserve then the company is going to profit considerably.

But that’s not the only consideration you have to make as a company. You also have to consider all of the ways that too little salary can play a role in the future of the applicant.

Money Matters

First and foremost, money will always matter to the applicant. Even if they accept the salary now, they’re going to be on the lookout for employers that pay better. If they find that employer, they’re going to leave and you need to start the recruitment process over again. While we at Recruit Shop offer one of the lowest recruitment rates available in Australia, you’ll still be losing money every day you’re without an employee, so losing that employee to a company that pays more is a problem.

Morale Matters

Similarly, the employee’s morale makes a difference as well. If they believe they aren’t paid enough – even if it’s something they agreed to – then they’re going to want to put in less work or effort. If they make enough that they know how valuable their job is, then they should be more likely to work harder and improve output.

What You Can Do

Those represent only a couple of the many ways that salary shouldn’t just be based on trying to save money. It should be based on paying the employee enough that they want to stay with your company and work hard, while also not paying them amply more than they deserve.

There are many things you can do to improve this part of your process. Paying more in the beginning is obviously advantageous, but a lot of companies don’t want to commit more money to an employee if they’re not sure how much the employee deserves. Starting off with a signing bonus could help as well – by immediately reducing financial pressure on the new hire, they may have an easier time adjusting to your new salary.

You can also start them off at the salary that you bargained down to but be more willing to offer unprompted raises in order to ensure the employee knows they’re valued. This can also be great for morale and will let you make a judgment call about how much the employee is worth after you’ve seen them work.

No matter what, you shouldn’t think of salary as “less is more.” Paying more may actually help you keep the employee for longer, improve morale, possibly improve production, and is often the ethical thing to do. We can provide you with amazing recruitment services, but once they work for you they’re affected by everything within your organization. Make sure that you’re making smart decisions with regard to their pay and treatment.

101 Recruitment for Franchisees: How to Hire Great Employees in Less time

Easily one of the most common challenges in recruitment for a franchise is the need to hire new staff quickly. It is a common problem, as it is difficult for businesses to start hiring until they are closer to the opening date for the franchise, but once they are closer to that date they will need to hire staff and train them before opening.

With limited time available to make a hire, many franchisees rush their hiring process. But rushing your hire can put you at risk towards bringing on someone that may not be worth the investment. In the early stages of your franchise, these initial hires can be what sets the tone for the rest of your success.

How to Hire Great Employees in Limited Time

There is no rule that says you have to wait to make a hire. You can start collecting applications months in advance, holding interviews and finding great potential assets for your team. While some of those people may be happily employed by the time you open, others may still be interested in starting fresh with your business.

However, if you are looking to hire great staff in less time, consider the following tips and strategies:

  • Have Supplementary Application Questions

Rather than depend solely on an application or resume, have the applicant complete supplementary questions as well. These are mandatory questions that need to be completed with the application before it can be submitted (if online) or before it will be considered (if not online). The primary benefit of these applications is it that it helps you learn more about the applicant than you would learn from the resume alone. In a way, it starts the interview process before you have called them in for an interview. But the secondary benefit is that it weeds out individuals that are not willing to put in extra work. Recruiters call this “self selection.” People that are either not hard workers or not serious about their application will be unlikely to fill out the questions. Those that believe in trying their best (a good personality trait for an employee) are more likely to take those extra steps.

  • Advertise Everywhere

Although more applications can mean more work, it also means more potentially more qualified applications. Make sure you’re advertising simultaneously on multiple websites, and taking advantage of other potential places to show job openings, such as the franchiser’s website and social media accounts. The more people you attract to your job opening, the more likely you will find applicants that fit the criteria.

Side note: Have criteria. Always come up with a hiring plan on what will make an ideal employee, and make sure that your job advertisement is geared towards finding those people.

  • Prepare the Items in Advance

If you do not think you are able to recruit until the last minute, you can still prepare what you’ll need to recruit. Develop a compelling job advertisement. Start determining where to place the ad. Figure out what your hiring process will be, and more. The more you are prepared well in advance, the more you can simply “launch” the advertisement when needed and begin your

  • Use a Recruitment Agency

Franchisees are some of our main clients here at Recruit Shop specifically because of this need for effective, last-minute hiring. Although it may seem like another unnecessary expense, recruitment companies take some of the guesswork and extra effort out of hiring. You can find better applicants for an affordable rate (our prices are just $1,995 +GST), with those that have more hiring expertise, using whatever deadlines you may have. It allows you to focus on other tasks necessary to the business, including the creation of training materials. Your goal is to maximize your ROI. Using a recruitment company like Recruit Shop that has expertise in hiring for franchisees ensures you hire better people, which then ensures you get greater return on your investment.

Hire the Best to Succeed

Recruitment of great franchise staff should never be an afterthought, because no matter how competitive and well-known the franchise may be, it depends on the success of its employees. Make sure you take the time to hire the best employees, or work with a company that can help.

How to Improve Your Rapport With the Candidate

During the interview process, a potential candidate strives to build rapport with the interviewer. This makes it easier for a job seeker to showcase their best qualities while making a positive and lasting impression. As the interviewer, your goal is similar. You are trying to build a connection with the job seeker so that they are comfortable answering your questions, and comfortable with the workplace.

To do this, you must build rapport with the candidate so that they feel welcome while increasing their desire to commit to your company. Below are some brief tips to make sure that you are creating the right atmosphere for your candidate during job interviews.

Quick Rapport Building Tips

  • Do Your Research – Make sure that you take the time to review your prospective job candidate’s information before the interview. Spend five minutes brushing up on their resume, portfolio, and any other materials that they sent during the application process so that you are prepared to speak with the candidate. This will help show the candidate that they matter, and reduce some awkwardness from not knowing key information.
  • Be Polite and Welcoming – This is rapport building 101. Make sure that you are inviting when you first meet your interviewee, shaking their hand and introducing yourself. Initiate some small talk while everyone is getting settled and offer them a cup of coffee or glass of water. Thank them for their time, especially if they took time off from their current job to meet with you.
  • Ask Easy Questions – Don’t give them the most difficult questions right away. Ask some easier ones. Let them get to know you, and share in their responses. For example, you can ask them about any movies they’ve seen, and then respond with your own movies and interests so that you’re starting to build a friendship.
  • Use an Open Space – It can feel uncomfortable for a job candidate if there is a table between them and the interviewers. Re-arrange the room so that it is easy for you and the job candidate to make eye contact, either face to face if it is just the two of you or in a triangle if there are two interviewers. Use comfortable chairs so that the candidate feels more relaxed and more able to express themselves with their body language.
  • Ask if They Have Questions – End the interview by asking if the job candidate has any questions about the position or the company. Take the time to answer their questions to the best of your ability, infusing your answers with enthusiasm for the company. If you do not have the answer for a question, take a moment to jot it down so that you can send them a follow-up email or phone call once you have the answer.

Through the creation of a warm and inviting environment, you will help your potential candidates to relax enough to truly spotlight their strengths. This will give you a better sense of who will bring the most to the table.

How to Set Expectations for New Hires

Recruitment doesn’t end once the applicant is hired. It continues until the employee is acclimated to the company and contributing to a successful workplace. Ideally, that means that you carefully show the employee what is expected of them, what they can expect, and what will ensure that they’ll have continued success with your company.

Setting those expectations isn’t something you can do with the job description alone. It has to do with how you genuinely prepare the employee for what lies ahead. There are several tricks to setting expectations for new hires, including:

Understanding the Hierarchy  – Give them an opportunity to know exactly who they report to within the company, what will be asked when they meet, how often they’ll be coming, and so on. If they’re taking on a supervisory role, make sure they know who they’re responsible for and how that will be held accountable. You do not need to go into the negatives or threats, but keep them posted on what is going to be done to gauge their productivity and accomplishments.

Prepare Them for the Culture – Every workplace has its own culture, and part of an employee’s ability to fit in has to do with making sure they understand that culture. If a group of people joke around a lot, let them know that that’s what they do. If a group of people are very serious and quiet, let them know that too. Culture ensures no one is surprised, and that people are ready for who they’ll be working with and what they’ll be doing.

Outline the Tangible Results of Success – Once you believe you have given them a clear picture of the duties that will be required of them in order to meet your expectations, let them know what tangible results they should expect to see as a result of doing their job well. Explain how it will affect coworkers, customers, other departments, and anyone or anything else you can think of. This will both give them a sense of value within the workplace, and help them to recognize what doing their job effectively looks and feels like.

Always remember when setting expectations for a new hire that while giving them too little information does neither of you any good, too much specificity can also be problematic. You should give them a realistic sense of their duties and goals, but don’t go so far as to tell them exactly how you would do their job. Instead, allow them to use their personal strengths to achieve the goals you set for them. This will result in easier, more enjoyable work for them, and more satisfactory results for you. For expert Australia recruiters trained in finding you capable, receptive new employees, contact Recruit Shop today.

recruitment training

How to Perfect Training Your New Hires

Onboarding – the process of ensuring that a new employee has everything they need to succeed – is quickly becoming one of the most important tools in recruitment. That is because it’s being found that many unproductive employees are not struggling due to any character problems. Rather, they are struggling because they haven’t been property trained or placed in the company.
It’s hard for an employee to succeed if they do not know exactly how your company operates. That is why perfecting your training process is crucial for onboarding your new hires.

Read more

4 Small Recruitment Things You Should Be Doing (But Probably Aren’t)

Recruitment is its own unique challenge for companies both small and large. Many companies, even those with years of experience, still struggle with their recruitment practices. There are many different, little activities and techniques that can help you with your recruitment, but many companies have not done them, either because they do not know about them or they prefer to avoid the extra work.

Consider reviewing your own recruitment processes and making sure that you have some of the following ideas added to your strategy:

  • Save All Resumes – When people apply to your company, you should save them. Those resumes are your chance to recruit without making a job available. They are people that already applied to your company, and even if you decided not to hire them for the specific job they applied to, a place for them may open in the future and you should have a process to both save and review them.
  • Tell Candidates They Are Not Hired – No matter how many applications that you review, there should be some system in place to tell people you haven’t hired immediately that they did not get the job. It is a good practice to be in, because one of the most stressful emotions to the applicant is not knowing their status.
  • Have An Objective Resume Scoring System – Whether it’s taking the names off of the resume or using a specific scoring mechanism, there should be something you and your team do to review resumes while trying to take away any accidental biases, and something you can use to compare applicants in a mathematical and logical way.
  • Accept and Review Resumes Year Round – If someone wants to apply for your company, and there isn’t a job open, do you let them and genuinely keep the resume? Because someone that wants to apply for you when a job isn’t open is someone that may genuinely care about you as a company. You should be accepting applications all throughout the year and have a method for evaluating them.

These are small changes that can make a major difference in your recruitment process. If you’re looking to be better at recruitment, little changes like this, along with using a recruitment company like Recruit Shop, can help your company find, hire, and attract better people.