As an employer – how do you know you’ve found ‘the one’?

It’s difficult and time consuming trying to identify the right talent for your business before hiring, not just from a skillset point of view but also personal outlook, fit with the team and company ethos as well as future potential, before hiring them.

 

At the point of hire in traditional recruitment, a lot of time and money has been spent on composing the vacancy, advertising it, potentially engaging recruitment agencies, a contract has been drawn-up, payroll has been set-up – all without knowing if the individual is a good fit in all areas and has the potential to grow.

 

If there is a ‘miss-match’ there is not only a cost implication but also a decrease in team moral.

 

Surely a ‘try before you buy’ works for both sides.  Enter Growing Talent!  Now I know what some employers may think who have not been involved in anything like this before…”the unemployed never work out”, “there is no commitment from the unemployed – they’re used to not working”.

 

As the saying goes – the proof is in the pudding – as many naysayers have found.

 

Alex, on the current programme with Portico, recently had his first appraisal.  After just a few short weeks on site, he’s exceeded expectations in all areas.  Outstanding feedback from the team is a natural self esteem booster.  Alex is looking forward to the remaining training ahead.  Already, he’s been identified as a perfect addition to the team – something the employer would not have secured without Growing Talent.

 

Why aren’t all employers recruiting through Growing Talent?  I’d love to know…

 

 

http://www.growing-talent.co.uk

Is it difficult to show good customer service when you don’t like your employer?

It’s well documented that helping others, smiling, giving the best possible service we can to others increases our positive mental health.

 

This is easy when we feel valued by our employers.  It’s a natural reaction when a customer asks for help or  raises an issue which could impact the business/other customers.  But what about if we don’t feel valued or empowered by our employers?  We’re already in a negative outlook situation.  Can we automatically switch on the positivity and charm to help others?

 

Clearly for the two floor assistants in a reputed high end retail chain of grocers I encountered over the weekend, they proved that some people can’t automatically be positive/helpful when they don’t feel valued….

 

I noticed a smashed bottle of whiskey in the drinks area.  Broken glass was spread across the floor.  Being a busy Saturday morning, there were many children out with their families – a nasty accident was clearly likely as was a law suit for the shop.  I saw two assistants talking nearby and raised the issue – neither said thank you for the ‘heads-up’ even when the customer who had knocked it over came back after failing to find someone to tell and apologised, the two were uninterested.

 

I wonder if their day might have gone better had they exercised good customer service with a smile?  After all ‘It’s not things in themselves that upsets us, but how we look at those things’ Epictetus – Greek Slave circa 55AD – still true today, don’t you agree?

 

 

Rethink by business needed?

I attended the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s joint launch with London Councils of their report on London’s skill challenges.

 

Looking through the stats and research put together by their researchers – ComRes who surveyed in excess of 2,000 London based employers this year, one of the key areas I found startling was that illustrated in the feature picture of this blog.  London businesses found the following key difficulties when recruiting:

 

  1.      Applicants lacked sufficient technical ability
  2.      Applicants lacked sufficient experience
  3.      Low number of applicants for the role
  4.      Applicants lacked cv writing/interviewing skills
  5.      Too much competition from other employers

 

I found this startling because nothing has changed since I started working in recruitment in the early 2000s!  Employers have to think differently especially with the uncertainty of Brexit.  We need to think outside the box.

 

The talent that has the technical ability, experience and cv/interviewing skills is already employed!  We need to look at the vast chunks of our population which aren’t employed.  These people may have some barriers to work which in the main can be overcome by nurturing into employment.

 

We have to accept the faults of the past and address the issues to ensure we meet the skills challenge:

  • Why not train someone in a vacant role so they get the technical skills and experience before hiring – oh wait we already do that on Growing Talent
  • Why not select based on attitude and enthusiasm instead of cvs and interviews?  Oh wait, Growing Talent does that too!
  • There are plenty of applicants for the role – they just aren’t ‘polished’ at the start but become so on the journey – over 128 people from all backgrounds prove this!
  • Selection is in two stages – a speed dating session and a 1-2-1 – no cv, no traditional interview
  • Employers won’t have competition from other employers if they nurture as above and will get more commitment because they have given that support.

 

A report last year showed we have a generation of pre-school children who don’t know how to turn the pages of a book ! – most swipe as if it’s a screen!

 

Even where people have technical ability, they often don’t have the social skills.  They are glued to their mobiles, don’t know how to network, expect everything instantly etc.

 

To meet the skills challenge – employers have to be parents, counsellors, coaches – not just employers – but the results are so worthwhile as proved by Growing Talent – http://www.growing-talent.co.uk.

Mr Fixit!

With Growing Talent 17 in full swing, I’ve been making site visits all week.  One of the stand out ones was Delroy at Ballymore in Vauxhall.

 

Ballymore were taking part for the first time – so no pressure on Delroy to impress!  Joining the GM’s team at their Empress Gardens estate, Delroy is currently looking after the day-to-day maintenance of one building.  As a high end residential block, everything has to be pristine.

 

Located adjacent to the new American Embassy the area is developing quickly with new businesses and executive homes being built in the area.

 

Ballymore not only build residential and commercial properties, they maintain and run them as well.  Meaning customer care and relationship building are just as key to success as job ‘know how’.

 

Delroy is already being looked at for promotion as the estate is growing to nine buildings and he’s only been on site four weeks!  He’s absolutely loving it.

 

As his first job since 2010, no formal qualifications and only with the experience of running his own business, it was almost impossible for Delroy to secure the right role for him through the traditional route.  Through Growing Talent, he’s been able to showcase he is right for the role with Ballymore and changed management’s mind on the talent and potential amongst the ranks of the unemployed!  They confirmed they will recruit through Growing Talent again – great news, thanks to Delroy’s attitude and enthusiasm.

 

Delroy below in his own office complete with his own tropical fish tank for those mindful moments essential in any working day!

 

A strong career with Ballymore lies ahead for Delroy if he stays on course….. A great role model for others following him.

 

Stairway to opportunity?

Yesterday I finally got to see the impressive restoration at The Principal Hotel, London.  As a listed building with multiple original vintage features the launch date was put back a number of times.

 

I’d met Charlie & Amy from the HR team almost a year ago.  They came along to the Growing Talent Graduation 2017 and Amy attended one of our employer speed dating events to see if they could recruit through Growing Talent. Yesterday, Charlie confirmed they were indeed ready to join us on Growing Talent 18 which commences at the end of July.

 

Some of the stunning interiors any selected Growing Talent Associates will have the opportunity to work in….

 

The opulent lighting really fits the atmosphere at the hotel…..

 

Take a look at the ‘Hollywood’ showers…

 

 

How intricate is this mosaic outside the Palm Court afternoon tea area?

 

 

Who doesn’t love a four poster???

 

 

Great area for a nice soak after a long day….

 

 

Overlooking Russell Square itself, despite being in the heart of London with all the bustle, you literally feel a world away inside the hotel.  A great opportunity for the right Growing Talent Associates…..

London Chamber of Commerce – what to expect?

After four years of running my business delivering Growing Talent and Mental Health/Wellbeing programmes, I felt the time was right to increase my business awareness, network with like-minded organisations and ultimately grow Growing Talent to get even more people into work from diverse backgrounds.

 

Quite a big membership fee for a ‘one man band’ organisation but the events and knowledge LCC showcase they deliver on their website should make this cost-effective.

 

I guess you only get out what you put in!

 

My first networking event is on 6 June 2018 so not long to wait to see if the proof is in the pudding or not!

 

If there are any fellow members out there – I’d appreciate your top tips!

 

Update – 8.6.18 – for the first half hour I wondered what I was doing there!  There was no staff to direct, no kind of instruction manual – although I now understand there is an introduction session for new members which kicks in a couple of weeks joining!  So we were all in a large room with team/coffee etc and left to our own devices with colour coded badges – although not everyone had been given the key to the colour coding.  Equally, I was wrongly coded as a PR company! How many others were wrongly coded as well?  A couple of people I spoke with told me they were not renewing, others said they had grown strong client relationships.  I guess more than one event is needed to form a true opinion!

 

 

GDPR – Are you ready?

I found it surprisingly easy to register on the Information Commissioner Office’s website (ICO).  Usually these Government type websites are inflexible and it is nigh on impossible to use.

 

I decided to take the opportunity of GDPR on 28 May 2018 to think about how I get, store, use and destroy information I hold on those people I am trying to get into work or those clients I am working with to upskill their teams in mental health and well being.

 

What I noticed about the ICO’s website is you can type everything in about your data processes so it’s absolutely clear to all stakeholders what happens to their data, their rights and obligations.  Usually, it’s a ‘square peg and round hole’ scenario where you have to try to make generic drop down menus fit with your business.

 

In addition, I’ve introduced a full data information sheet which I issue to everyone and get their signature on a receipt index.

 

As an added measure, for clarity, I’ve introduced a digital recording system for all 1-2-1 meetings and an additional authorisation sheet is signed for this.

 

There is a lot of anticipation around GDPR.  When you look at it as protection for your business, it’s not nearly as onerous as it first looks.

 

1st Impressions…

Reading The Metro on the train this morning, there was a small piece on a group supporting offenders completing their sentence to be given a £1K package to include grooming costs, clothes etc to enable them to make a great 1st impression when meeting prospective employers.

 

A great idea.  But are 1st impressions still appropriate?

 

I’ve noticed more and more, in the corporate world especially, how dress code has changed to become almost non-existent.

 

It almost seems unacceptable now to give personal image guidance to increase someone’s chances of making a great 1st impression.

 

I hope the group trying to support the offenders are successful.  People leaving prison clearly have a number of hurdles to get over if they are going to make a successful transition.

 

Personally, I know that I perform more confidently if I’m dressed appropriately for the situation/event.

 

So just how important is ‘dress to impress’ ‘no 2nd chance at a 1st impression’ now?

 

What do you think?……….

Social Media – is ‘social’ the right word?

The rapid growth of users to the social media platforms has exploded in recent years.  It’s now acceptable for mobile phones to accompany us everywhere – and I mean everywhere!

 

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people clearly on their mobiles in toilet cubicles!  Hygenic? Courteous to the caller?  If it’s private, why not go outside the building?

 

How rude the shoppers refusing to hang up their call whilst trying to pack their shopping, pay the cashier whilst balancing their mobile under their chin!

 

Is this civilised communication?

 

Like a free coffee whilst shopping in some chains, it seems something we never thought we’d need, but very quickly some can’t do without!

 

Over recent  months I’ve attended various meetings/conferences where social media is clearly a double edged sword.  There was the mum who highlighted her daughter had been bullied 24/7 to the point of suicidal thoughts – even moving school didn’t arrest this evil pursuit.  Then there is the fledging business that after meeting with professionals and learning about Search Engine Optimisation, they increased their social media activity and saw their ranking on search engines increase rapidly.

 

Then of course, delivering training I notice how many people bring their phones with them.  Rudeness, presenteeism etc don’t seem to enter their heads, so without trying, they give a really bad impression of their commitment, enthusiasm etc.

 

What prompted this reflection?  Seeing on the news JD Weatherspoons has closed all 900 social media accounts as well as their 700,000 strong personal email database.  The reason they give is they don’t like the compulsive use of social media, the trolling and so on.

 

It will be interesting to see if other companies follow this action and if JD Weatherspoons re-activates their accounts in the future.

 

There is something in ‘compulsive’ use – how many people do you know who go out with family/friends and then spend the night texting? or the colleague who insists on taking their mobile in meetings?

 

Maybe we really should be conscious of our use of this technology…..

 

Simon Sinek the British American Motivator, Business Consultant and excellent public speaker has a number of films on YouTube.  Below is one on millennials which brilliantly illustrates the impact of the technology/social media……

 

What are your thoughts?  Do we need to be more disciplined in our use of technology/social media?

 

 

The social media feature photo is by Geralt.

How do you…..

Hire committed staff where you already know their personality, skills, fit with the team and your business as well as their future development progression?

Without it costing you any money?

Without it causing any risk to your business?

A source which has a four year track record?

Delivers real Social Mobility?

Has seen over 120 diverse people from all social backgrounds go into permanent jobs?

 

No – it’s not some kind of intrusive intelligence headhunting but….

 

Growing  Talent!

 

A new concept which enables employers to grow their own talent in situ and see all of the above before incurring the cost of hiring.  It makes sense for the participants too who may lack confidence to ‘sell’ themselves at interview.

 

If you are looking to add talent to your team, check out http://www.growing-talent.co.uk

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