The terms “talent acquisition” and “recruitment” are often confused as meaning the same thing, but this is not the case. There are key differences between the two, differences with which you should familiarize yourself if you’re looking to hire the most qualified candidates for specific positions within your company. For starters, recruitment means that you’re looking to hire someone, dare I say anyone, in order to fill a vacancy. Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is the process of strategically looking for specialists, leaders, future executives, or other qualified professionals for a specific position within the company. Let’s delve into both and take a look at which one is better depending on the industry and why:
- Recruitment – Again, recruitment is the process by which you look to fill vacant positions quickly and without much regard for the candidate’s’ particular specialties, if defined. Recruiting may be seen as reactive, meaning that a position recently opened up and it must be filled.
- Talent Acquisition – As previously stated, talent acquisition is all about actively searching for the most qualified candidate to hire for a specific position. This strategy is common among niche industries such as, medical, technology, legal, and even translation services. Kathleen Quinn Votaw, Founder and CEO of the HR consulting firm, TalenTrust, says that, “The areas with the greatest skills shortages are those that most need a talent strategy.” Typically, if you’re looking to hire people for a long-term position, you should aim for talent acquisition, so as to lower a potentially high turnover rate, which is a possible effect of recruiting less-qualified candidates.
Talent acquisition is becoming increasingly more popular, and usually requires some marketing strategies to make the position known to specific, potential candidates. As niche industries continue to grow and populate as preferred career paths, hiring managers within are simultaneously scouting out candidates with the best talent, who are most qualified, and who will both ameliorate, as well as benefit from working for, the company. Define whom you’re looking to hire and for which positions, and either recruit or acquire talent accordingly.
The modern role of a Human Resources Manager is to recruit, interview, and hire employees, ensure the happiness and wellbeing of the employees in the office environment, ensure compliance with labor laws and employment standards, among other assorted responsibilities. It is a big job trying to advocate for each individual in the office, as well as trying to balance employee satisfaction with meeting the goals, objectives, and overall standards of the company, but someone’s got to do it. Due to the difficulties of this job, there are common HR traps which some businesses may experience. Here are just a few, as well as tips on how to avoid or resolve them:
- Not Being Familiar with Employment Laws – As the HR rep, you should familiarize yourself with the proper procedures of hiring, maintaining, and terminating employees. If not, your company may be sued for improper or unlawful termination. Brainstorm clever interview questions that have to do with the job itself for which you are hiring, as well as a list of do’s and don’ts for your managers to follow during the interview process. These practices will help to ensure that you hire the best candidate for the position, and that you will be protected when it comes time to terminate.
- A Lack of an Onboarding Process – Onboarding means that a new employee is properly oriented with the office and that managers and employees are ready to welcome the new hire to the team. Nothing sends off a bad signal like an unacquainted, new employee who walks into an empty or quiet office on their first day, particularly when the manager or other essential personnel is absent upon the newbie’s arrival. A good practice is to make sure the manager is in the office before the new hire arrives, in order to greet and familiarize them with the workplace and environment. Current employees should also be informed of the new hire’s arrival and should invite him/her out to lunch to make them feel welcome and like a valued team member.
- Insufficient Training Periods – One of the most important, yet overlooked aspects of growing and expanding businesses is the need for continuous training. This is particularly common among smaller businesses because of the constant influx of new tasks and jobs. Combine that with the short history of the company, and you may end up with a recipe for disaster. These tasks are new to the company, meaning that people will have little-no knowledge of how to complete them. That’s where training comes into play. It is essential to train employees thoroughly, so they get a better grasp of their respective job duties, and, when the time comes, they can train someone else.
Don’t let your company be subject to common HR pitfalls and traps. The HR manager is on the front lines of the company, fighting with both the employees’ and the company’s ideals in mind. If you’ve experienced problems with your HR department, it might be time to consider formalizing it. This not only helps you hire and retain better employees, but you also build a positive reputation for your business.
When you’re first starting out as a new business, how do you know what price to charge for the products or services you offer? You want to make a profit, that’s why you started a business, but you also need to be realistic in what you charge, otherwise people might not buy. It’s a tricky balance to master between covering costs and making a profit if you want your business to grow. Here are some tips on setting the right price for your products or services:
- Consult your Business Plan – Obviously, you started a business in order to make some money. Consider how pricing will affect your ability to grow and expand your business and plan accordingly.
- Understand your Costs – As you should well know, it costs money to make money (or a product or to provide a service). It’s not enough to cover your costs; in order to survive and grow as a business, you need to factor in profit, too, after costs. Costs go deeper than producing the product itself. You probably have to pay rent, pay employees, and pay suppliers, among others. All of these will affect the price you charge for your product or service.
- Look at your Competition – Chances are your customers are too. If the products your competitors offer are similar enough to yours, you can probably base your prices off what they charge. If you offer the same product and then some, that is an additional service or a higher quality product, then you can bump up your price a little. It is good practice to compare the net prices as opposed to the listed price.
- Know the Market – Research and study outside factors that influence the demand for your product. These factors are fairly flexible and can range from the price of the materials you use to produce your product, to a change in the taxes or income levels your customer base can expect in the near future, either lower or higher. Again, you should research your competitors’ trends as well.
Choosing the right price for your products and services can mean the difference between making a reasonable profit and robbing people blind / being robbed yourself. Know the products or services you offer, or rather what your competition is charging, and see if you can match or beat those prices while still making a profit.
It’s no secret that the military produces great leaders, and this has been proven, not only in the field, but in the office as well. Many successful businesses are led by individuals with some form of military background. For example, Verizon’s Chairman and CEO, Lowell McAdam, was in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps. for six years. Aside from discipline and obedience training as a results of boot camp, the military teaches you various skills and techniques that translate from victories on the battlefield to success in the boardroom. Here are just a few:
- Proper and Clean Attire – The military enforces a strict dress code down to shined shoes. Dressing sharp ‒ that is, well-fitting, professional clothes and coordinated outfits ‒ creates a sense of confidence, which is important in decision making and leading. Confidence is the key to making tough decisions and being sure about them, versus hesitation no matter which way you look at the situation.
- Becoming a People Person – First and foremost, the military teaches you to care for your team, and a strong team is founded on diversity. A diverse group of people means that each member has unique experiences, which may provide special skills, talent, or thought processes down the road in order to achieve goals or objectives.
- “Be, Know, Do”– Taken from the U.S. Army Manual of the same name, this is all about knowing how to do a job or perform a task. When giving instructions, orders, or just telling someone what to do job-wise, you yourself should know the ins and outs of the task itself. Lead by example and show them how to do it correctly, and they will follow suit.
The military mass-produces great leaders who can adapt and confidently lead their team into battle. The ability to adapt is important because once they’re out of the military, they can take what they’ve learned and modify it for an appropriate job setting, and achieve a level of success which might otherwise not be attainable.
The Internet is an ever-changing miracle of technology, and it is important that you keep your website up-to-date. Improving your website often makes for a better, more seamless user experience, which in-turn will reward you with a satisfied customer. A website that looks dated or that doesn’t have the latest features ‒ as they pertain to your business ‒ is almost a turn off for would-be customers. Here are some helpful tips to improve your website for the modern world:
- Add a Mission Statement – Also known as a value proposition, this informs visitors to your website about your company. Information to be included in the statement is: the location of your company, to whom you market and serve/sell, what your company does, and the benefit(s) customers can get out of using your company. The mission statement should go on your homepage, and you can add it to your About or Blog page(s).
- Incorporate Social Media Links – If your company has social media profiles ‒ which it definitely should nowadays ‒ you should add links on your website for visitors to follow. Utilizing social media greatly increases the amount of traffic your website receives.
- Use Calls-to-Action – When a visitor first gets to your website, can s/he easily navigate through the various pages to fulfill the purpose of their visit? While there are some basic calls-to-action, such as “call/email for a consultation”, you should strive to update them for a better user experience. Some examples of more advanced calls-to-action are: click here for more information, sign up for a webinar, and view pricing.
- Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly? – The advent of the Internet has birthed new technologies, most notably the smartphone. Almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays, so it’s important that your website be optimized for mobile. You can test this out yourself on your own smartphone, and ask yourself the following: when would someone go to my website on mobile? How is the experience on the website right now? Remember, mobile optimization is all about user experience, so your visitors should be able to navigate your website effortlessly and with ease. Check out the mobile category on our blog for more information.
One of the biggest considerations for a quality website is user experience. Most updates and new features are released to make the whole experience for visitors to your website easier, and more enjoyable and fluid. It’s a smart technique to garner more traffic to the website and, therefore, more potential customers. The content should be flattering and attention-grabbing, but not so flashy that users are turned off. There’s a delicate balance to making a user-friendly website, and getting it right will be so beneficial, not only for you, but also your new customers.