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Case Study: Recruiting using LinkedIn

Adrian Spink is CEO of Company85, an independent IT consultancy specialising in IT transformation and security. Based in London, the company provides advisory, implementation and managed services to FTSE100 clients and public sector organisations across the UK and EMEA. Adrian is a member of Academy Group 1, Vince Tickel’s Central London group.

Why did you try LinkedIn as a recruitment tool?

When we first set up the company five years ago we were unknown, so attracting talent of any kind was difficult and attracting good sales people – who look for a business with a track-record so they can earn their commissions – was even harder. But over time we’ve become well-established and have a visible and successful brand now. It’s important to have that credibility if you want to try the LinkedIn route for recruitment. Continue reading →

CV Humour


Two tribes

– By Andrew Morris

We come across two tribes of people in the business world. The Do-ers who do what they say or agreed to do. And the Talk-ers, who do not.

We know where we are with the Do-ers. They like responsibility and are fulfilled by getting things done and pleasing us. Once we’ve delegated, it’s out of our head and into theirs. Organisations and relationships thrive with Do-ers.

Continue reading →

Turbocharge your sales team

– By Dan Bobinski

If your sales stop, so does your business. And regardless of your company’s structure, the people who perform your sales function need to be nurtured because their job can be a tough one, wrought with failure, rejection, and frustration. To keep salespeople engaged, they need to be encouraged and supported.
Here are some top tips.

1. Give your sales people encouragement and recognition. That doesn’t mean the sort of gung-ho ‘psyching up’ you’d give a sports team, but specific encouragement: “I really like the way you’re doing ‘X’ lately.” That sort of public encouragement is fuel for a sales person’s soul. Mark Twain said “I can live for two months on one good compliment.” Salespeople live on compliments, too. Continue reading →

Measuring up: winning with KPIs

– By Edward Cox

Identifying the correct key performance indicators (KPIs) has significant benefits for any business. But too often these values – which help demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving its key business objectives – are poorly understood and executed, difficult to measure, meaningless, confusing or even in conflict with ultimate business goals.

Working across a range of industries, we have witnessed KPIs that, while appearing sensible, have in fact cost the client hundreds of thousands of pounds annually. For example, a print maintenance services company we worked with had KPIs covering ‘first time fix’, ‘low recall rate within 10 days’ and the ‘number of site visits per day’. At first glance, these KPIs appeared to highlight engineers who were providing a good service. But in actual fact they were hiding a critical metric – how many visits it was taking each engineer to do a job. What’s more, this meant that an engineer could ‘work the system’ by doing temporary fixes, ultimately leading to poor client satisfaction.

Continue reading →

Become your own Chief Energy Officer

– By Celynn Erasmus

Business owners and executives today have to operate within a hyper-challenging space which is constantly changing and which demands an often unsustainably high work-rate. Coupled with fewer resources, these high demands often exceed our capacity, resulting in exhaustion, low energy levels, decreased mental agility, illness and burnout.

What we know is that energy is contagious – and disproportionately so if you’re a leader! If you’re modelling positive, healthy choices as a ‘C.E.O.’ within the workplace, you can be guaranteed productivity and profits will improve. Dr Schwartz from The Energy Project expresses it perfectly by suggesting that you need to become your own Chief Energy Officer so that you know how to mobilise energy on demand. Continue reading →

Case study: motivating millennials

Founded in 2008, I Heart Studios are a digital content creation studio based in Bermondsey, South London, delivering photography, video, post-product, art direction and a host of related services to the fashion & lifestyle industry. When Sjors Bos became Managing Director in late 2012, the business had a turnover of £500,000 and employed just six people. Today turnover has increased to £5 million and headcount has risen to 90. Over the next 12 months, I Heart plans to take on a further 30 staff and increase turnover to £7 million.

Sjors is a member of Glenn Watkin’s Academy Group 88 and perhaps more than most Academy members, has huge experience of recruiting, retaining and motivating a particularly young and dynamic Millennial workforce. We spoke to him about the challenges that comes with this territory

Fashion is obviously a young, dynamic and creative industry. So what is the demographic profile of your workforce? Continue reading →

Half full or half empty?

The optimist says the glass is half full.

The pessimist says the glass is half empty.

The project manager says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

The realist says the glass contains half the required amount of liquid for it to overflow.

The entrepreneur says the glass is undervalued by half its potential.

And the cynic wonders who drank the other half…


Risks and Rewards

– By Andrew B Morris

When an opportunity presents itself or a tricky decision has to be made, you need to balance the risks against the possible rewards. When assessing risk, there are five key questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. UPSIDE/DOWNSIDE: compare these by preparing two simple lists and then share with someone entirely independent of the decision.
  2. CONTEXT CHECK: does this decision fit with your business strategy – with longer term benefits – or is it opportunistic – just a one-off gain?
  3. PAIN THRESHOLD: if it goes badly wrong, can you endure the cost, in terms of reputation, morale and cash?
  4. NICE TO HAVE OR MUST HAVE: on a scale of 1-10 how does this opportunity score?
  5. GUT INSTINCT: after reviewing all the facts, consulting the relevant people, how does it feel (confidence) in your heart and head? Is the opportunity being driven by ego or a solid commercial imperative?

Continue reading →

Is it Covered?

– By Stephen Ehrhart

Directors gather assets which are easy to identify and therefore easy to insure. If you own a house you insure it. If you own a yacht you insure it. This is obvious and straight forward. But what about insuring against hidden risks that you can’t see? There are people out there ready to sue you for anything and everything. The following is a guide to protecting yourself by way of transferring the risk to Insurers.

When you have the cover and you don’t even know:

Director’s son (13) cycling on the pavement hit a car – it was clear it was his son’s fault. Damage was only £2,000 but it could have been a lot more. Continue reading →