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A free monthly newsletter about improving your
people, processes, sales and marketing, financial
performance…and other interesting stuff

October 2013


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People

 Recruitment: You're Hiring the Person Not The Skills

One of the challenges that all businesses experience is recruiting people equipped for the specific role and responsibilities they are required to fulfil. Get it wrong upfront and you'll pay for it down the track. One of the errors made in the recruitment process is the almost exclusive focus on technical skills, forgetting that there is a whole other package that comes with the person in front of them. Getting the right person for the right role certainly involves their capabilities based on technical expertise but the personal package also includes:
  • how they will fit culturally with your organisation
  • enthusiasm and passion for their work
  • behavioural fit (see point 2 below)
  • teach-ability
  • personal goals and values
  • health and family situation
Here is a process I use when working with companies to ensure that the person selected is as close to the right person required as possible.
  1. Establish a position description that identifies key areas such as roles, related responsibilities and performance measures etc
  2. Identify what type of person and behaviour is best suited for the role. Examples might include
    • Administration assistant - detailed and routine oriented 
    • Business development manager - fast paced people person but also some level of detail orientation
    • Receptionist - high energy people person 
    • Safety officer - slower paced analytical person with high attention to detail
  3. Advertise the position based on the details from the position description
  4. Conduct an initial phone interview based on the CV/resume that has been sent through
  5. If proceeding to a personal interview, send out an application form. I have provided a link below for the one I have created with some key questions to start understanding the 'whole package', not just their technical ability
  6. Personal interview. Once you know they can do the job technically,  focus on the 'person' to ensure you gain a good understanding of who is in front of you. Intentionally side track into their personal world. These sidetracks can provide you valuable information about your potential new recruit. Talk through their responses to the questions in the application form and create more of your own if relevant. Tell them that you value people being open around their challenges and failures. Disclosing something personally about yourself and where you have either failed or feel challenged can help them open up and be a little more transparent
  7. Background checks. Make sure you do these. Many bypass it and regret it later.  
  8. Conducting a behavioural profiling exercise on the final selection of potential candidates can help determine the behaviour required for the particular role and then seeks to ascertain the behavioural match of the person to that role. 
Many employers 'grab' the first person that shows interest if they are technically adept. Be proactive and assertive in the responses to your recruitment campaigns but take the time to work through the process thoroughly. And to re-iterate - if you get it wrong up front, you'll pay for it down the track. There's a 'whole' person that comes with the skills.

Happy recruiting!

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Financial Performance
 
Planned Growth 

There would appear to be two major ways businesses progress to the next level. 

The first is 'spontaneous growth', particularly found in high growth environments or in companies whose leaders are more spontaneous in nature. This is typified by little or no planning with no appreciation for the impact that growth will have on the foundations and performance of their business. Major areas of impact are often in systems, processes and delivery, financial, employees etc. Chaos is the word used to describe dynamic unplanned spontaneous growth. 

The other method I see at work and promote wholeheartedly is that of planned growth. See if this is something you can apply to your business if not already. 

1. Establish where you want to be in terms of size, market share, revenues, profit increase etc

2. Using a budget forecast, plan your growth using financial information.  

I like to start with the actuals of the previous twelve months and then make the required adjustments for the coming year. 

The planning growth stage involves beginning to insert new financial commitments that will be required. For example, if you are wanting to employ a project manager, insert a new row and add their monthly expense. Then in the income section do the same, adding the revenue increase required in order for you to maintain and then continue growing your business to meet your stated goals. If you require an upgraded IT system, new vehicles to meet demand, additional personnel etc, apply the same principle. 

3. Calculate the Risk. 
Bottom line planning such as the use of a budget forecast, helps you ascertain and calculate the risk involved. Rather then 'hoping' things will work out, understanding the impact to the bottom line then thinking through the other areas of potential impact helps you calculate the potential downside. Better to go in with eyes wide open than blind naivety.

It's an elementary approach but I've found it to be more effective and quicker to implement than the onerous task of creating a fully fledged business plan. 

CASE STUDY ONE

A company I consulted to, applied this planned growth approach. Taking the time to plan using  a budget forecast, apply the associated costs and potential revenues, calculating the downside and then taking action, amounted to things turning out almost a mirror image of the plan. Included here was a monthly watch on the financial impact as well as other areas. We forecast a period of approximately three months decline in profitability until the new implementation worked. Not only did things go to plan, there was an unanticipated outcome of a 10% increase in one particular facet not previously accounted for. We are now planning the next stage!  

CASE STUDY TWO

The same approach was applied to a division that had experienced a $380,000 loss in the previous year. Using budgetary forecasts along with productivity analysis, the reset of producers billing budgets and strong accountability resulted in a six month turnaround to breakeven

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Efficient Process

Adapting to Inefficiency

My car has a quirk... when I hit the navigation tab, its rare for it to open  first go. I often have to go back to the tab five times to get the right one opened. It eventually works and I've put up with the inconvenience from day one but, I adapted and learned to adapt to get to where I needed to be.
 
Business is no different. We blindly adapt to inefficiency, putting up with delays, low productivity, less than ideal workers attitudes, inefficient  processes and so forth. Because we've learned to adapt, we've lost objectivity. Thinking 'well its not broke so no need to fix it' we leave it as it is, doing workarounds, making do.

Getting objectivity on the current 'work arounds' is paramount. Here are some ideas:
  • Seminars and workshops. These can be a great way of getting separation from the business and see things in a new light
  • Make a list of all the things in your business that you are not satisfied with. This can provide an excellent start
  • Get your team involved and ask them what they would do differently, what annoys them or delays them in their work
  • Have someone external to your business identify any inefficient hot spots
  • Join or create a peer level mastermind/business group where you get to share  your challenges and get others feedback and ideas.
Dealing with my car issue the first time it happened would have been the smart thing to do. With a car, not absolutely critical but with business, getting to the cause of inefficiencies and dealing with them early on is critical for ongoing growth.

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The Cellar Notes
 
Elios Oesteria  in Camp Hill Brisbane is the place I call my second dining room. An Italian favourite of my families for years, the service is exceptional, food quality excellent and portion sizes are more than adequate to feed hungry teenagers. The wine list is matched appropriately with the menu.

A great family restaurant or place to go with friends, Elios won't disappoint. If you make it there, ask for Paul (the owner) and tell him I sent you. Oh and, make sure you ask for the pepper shaker to be left on the table - one of my Italian eating quirks.

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On The Lighter Side

Working with Hugh 

Watching a band recently, the lead vocalist (woman) spots me in the crowd. Between songs, and publicly in front of a packed venue, she looks at me and says "I know you - did you work with me on set with Hugh Jackman and Claudia?" Then next break between songs she asks (again publicly) "what's your name?" I told her, she shrugged and went on playing. 

At the end of the set I went up to her and only then I knew who she was. "Maree" I exclaimed - "I did your home loan years ago."  

Not quite as sexy as working with Hugh!


In This Issue:
Ray Hodge is the Director of Ignite Business Consulting. He speaks and consults to businesses & organisations, a notable event being the Department of the Australian Prime Minister and Cabinet.



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The Dance Of Mastery 
Mastery.  Starting something new begins at the bottom, requires patience and is achieved with continual practice. Research from various sources would suggest that mastery takes place after ten thousand hours .....




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“We worked with Ray 2 years ago now and the changes that he suggested and implemented are still in place today. We are still going from strength to strength as a result of some of the systems and procedures that Ray instigated which ultimately impacted on our and team members behaviour."

Ben Roberts M Acct BBus (Man) Partner ROBERTS & COWLING


 

Where in the world is Ray?

October/November

Perth, Brisbane, Surat Basin, Melbourne, Sydney

Thought Leadership Conference Miami-Florida USA

Upcoming speaking and training

Influencing others for mutual beneficial outcomes
Bardon (Qld) – 21st Nov
Key Business Network - Brisbane

Institute of Building Consultants
Sunshine Coast (Qld) - Nov 26 


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Copyright 2013 Ray Hodge. All rights reserved.

Email  ray@ignitebusinessconsulting.com.au.
Web    www.ignitebusinessconsulting.com.au



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