Each year, business owners try to come up with new and creative ways to share joy with their employees by telling them that they have performed a wonderful job this past year. Ornaments, nut cakes, gift cards and other knick knacks are rolling into offices waiting to be opened and celebrated. But think about it…what you can really give your staff that will make a difference for them and their future? Yes, you can hand out $50 Amazon gift cards and a fresh new copy of The Hobbit, but there are a few other gifts that can be shared now that will continue to give throughout their career with your company and your business.
Here are our Top 6 gift suggestions for the 2012 Holiday season:
- LinkedIn Upgrade. All of your recruiters and sales reps are on LinkedIn for some reason or another. In fact, it’s likely that you’ve probably been pitched the “LinkedIn Recruiter” package which is like $20k+/year, depending on the number of seats. It’s quite expensive and maybe not the right investment level for your company, however, there is a more suitable solution to get to your team members what they need. For instance, the business edition runs about $240/year at the low end. You can move up the ladder if you want more recruiter or sales focused plans. Either way, locking down something beyond the Free version should be justified with one additional placement over the course of 12 months. It’s a small price to pay to give your sales and recruiters an additional layer of intelligence to their market.
- Lead Generation. Nearly all companies we talk to in this space have zero focus on digital lead generation campaigns. Current lead sources are mainly derived from personal contacts, referrals, and face to face at events. Digital presence, emails, inbound marketing, and SEO are almost never even utilized by IT services organizations. One of our recent campaigns drummed up 50+ new contacts that the sales team was able to follow up with in order to secure new meetings. Landing one new client can pay for any marketing costs thirty times over. If your teams are great at building out existing clients into anchor accounts, all it takes is one door to open that can transpire into millions of dollars in revenue and margin over many years to come.
- Applicant Tracking Systems. This one is the obvious elephant in the room option. Five years ago, companies were on the initial trail of evaluating these types of tools for recruiters. What’s happening is that this technology is expanding with features that cater to sales as well; opening up new efficiencies in the sales and marketing integration process with recruiting. However, we still see a number of companies using spreadsheets and email folders to organize workflow. Yes, applicant tracking systems can be quite costly to a business, but the ROI on new business acquisition and filling open positions can more than cover the spread. It is imperative to give your team the tools they need to succeed.
- Web Site Refresh. What are the chances that you are losing opportunity, both from your candidates and new clients because your web site was built in 2007 and has yet to be refreshed in the past 6 years? The problem with this question is that you don’t know the answer and it’s nearly impossible to quantify. All it takes is for someone to swing by your digital address, see that your company is still in the dark ages, and tell you that they have no current openings or that they are set on vendors. With all of the concern about candidates getting paid, mounting subcontractor issues, and company credit problems, all you need is for your business to lose opportunity because it appears on the surface that you don’t invest in your own brand identity, especially when it is a minimal cost. Your web site tells your market who you are, and if a firm can’t budget $10,000 every few years to put on some new lipstick, then think about what your prospects and candidates are taking away from the visit to your web site.
- Compelling Value Propositions. Is your team out there saying stuff like “we build relationships with our clients”, or “our company has a great candidate screening process”, or “we truly understand our clients business”? These are some of the many pitches we hear from IT Services companies and none of them are unique. No question, it is highly competitive and difficult to differentiate with messaging, but there has to be a combination of messages that sets your organization aside from the competition. Even if the list you compile is slightly similar to that of the rivals, you can create excitement and momentum with your team that gets everyone aligned and beating the same drum. This enthusiasm can be easily sensed through the phone in ways that will clearly help your business in the long run. The IT Staffing and Services space is a highly competitive bloodbath, so any point of differentiation would be a tremendous boost of confidence for your team members. Build the messaging and don’t forget to frequently discuss it with your team.
- Sourcers. Many staffing companies already utilize outsourced candidate sourcing services and the value clearly pays off. If you aren’t using an outsourced, overseas sourcing engine to find candidates, you might want to look into it. It’s not too expensive, and it works while your recruiters sleep. In a nutshell, sourcers uncover candidates during the night hours and queue them up for your recruiters in the morning. The cost is far more efficient than a recruiter running a desk, and hopefully the speed to the candidate is much quicker than if your line recruiters were doing it themselves.
Sure, maybe these gifts aren’t so personal, but in the end, they will thank you all the way to the bank, year after year. You don’t need to wrap these up and put them under a tree, but PROMISE your team that you will help them succeed. Tell them you are committed to their future and will transform them all into champions in 2013.
Give them these gifts and they will thank you in ways that will double your Holiday budget for 2014. If you can’t find the time to do the shopping on any of these items above, give us a call and we’ll do the shopping for you!