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How to find staff who fit YOUR culture

  • April 05, 2022

What creates a successful culture? One key aspect of creating a successful culture, is really understanding what your culture is and how it makes your business unique. Your culture is your competitive advantage. In a world where products and even services can be replicated by competitors, its culture that is your completely unique and sustainable competitive advantage. In the same way that no two people are the same, no two companies are the same. There isn’t a particular type of culture that will make your business X% more profitable, implementing a culture that isn’t your own is likely to have an adverse effect. (Hence why trying to change it should only be in extreme cases). How to understand your culture within your business  To really understand your culture, it’s vital to sit down with trusted team members from a variety of levels. The culture at board level may differ to the culture at entry level - it’s important to understand these differences and how they affect your business. Deduce what attributes your successful employees have, do they correlate with your culture? Following on from thinking about what negative traits unsuccessful employees have had. Why did they leave the business? You’d be surprised at how many of these negative traits are cultural. Culture TIp:  “Think about what negative traits unsuccessful employees have had. Why did they leave the business?”   Once you understand what it is that makes your culture unique, the next step is protecting it. Whatever the size of your company it is important to hire people that fit into it, after all, one bad apple can spoil the bunch. How to hire someone according to your culture - 3 killers questions. It’s important to note that finding someone who fits your culture isn’t necessarily someone who will bring a breath of fresh air into your business. Often what you’re really looking for isn’t a someone who fits your culture, but a culture add. The difficulty is to find someone similar enough seamlessly slot into the team, but someone original enough to push the boundaries and bring in some fresh ideas where necessary. ‘Birds of a feather flock together’ Interview questions Knowing the importance of employing people who add to the culture, the difficult bit is working out who matches your requirements. The recruitment process needs to be in place to allow the candidate to showcase what they can do and how they fit these values. The most important way for you to work them out is by asking the right questions at the interview. Question #1: Why do you want to work for us? Why ask it: Although this might seem like a simple question many candidates fall at the first hurdle. This question is an opportunity to see not only if the candidate has put the effort in to research your company, but also see what the candidate prioritises from what their research has shown. What to listen out for: Whether or not the candidate has researched your company. What specifically about your company the candidate has noted and prioritised? Does it sound overly rehearsed or does it come across as genuine? Question #2: Describe a time when you were tasked with something you didn’t know how to do and how you overcame it. Why ask it: The nature of a new job will entail new challenges and there is always a learning process involved. There will be times when a new employee will be challenged with something new, are they likely to take a risk and try something without guidance or are they more risk in their approach? What to listen out for: How comfortable are they admitting their lack of knowledge? How self-aware do they seem? Do they know their own limitations? Did it take them a long time to think of something? How did they overcome this challenge? Question #3: Tell me about a time when something unfair happened at work. Why ask it: Frustration is something that is likely to happen in any job at some stage. When an employee gets frustrated it can have a profound effect on their colleagues and the business as a whole. The important aspect of this question is seeing how they handled their frustration, were they proactive in going to the source and talking about or did they let it fester and turn into something divisive in the team. What to listen out for: What does the candidate believe is unfair? Did they take into account the accountability for the situation? What effect did they let their frustration have on them? Did they channel it into something productive?    “Hiring people is an art, not a science.” - Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks   Your culture is the most important thing your company has whether your a manufacturing plant, a fabrication business or you distribute construction products - knowing what it is and how to manage it for success is the biggest sustainable competitive advantage your company can have. Once you have the right people in place, keeping them motivated is the next challenge, why not check out our blog on 7 powerful ways to motivate your team.


Skills to Look for in Electrical Engineers

  • June 26, 2022

Electrical engineering recruitment is complex and critical. The right choice must be made, corresponding qualifications must be proven and crucially, the role must be filled. While you will have lots of notes in mental and physical form to refer to, here are some soft and hard skills to bear in mind as you aim to make your hiring decision.   Critical Thinking The candidates need to demonstrate the ability to think critically. This will become evident in their previous work anecdotes as well as by the way they answer other questions. Are they speaking in absolute terms with little nuance in their descriptions? Are they effectively describing the problems they spotted and the possible solutions they came up with? The ability to be precise and analytical is important.   Communication This introduces the next skill nicely. It is of little value to be able to spot how to solve issues if you can’t effectively communicate your ideas. A strong communicator has the potential to excel in their career and demonstrates intelligence.   Lateral Thinking Often thought of in juxtaposition to critical thinking skills, the ability to be creative is actually an integral part of being an electrical engineer. To be able to envision a future not yet created is to engineer that future. That’s why lateral and logical thinking must be hand in hand.   There are many more attributes to look for when conducting the electrical engineering recruitment process, some of which we have covered previously. However, our services are vast and specialist, ranging from helping you with a hiring plan to providing interview training and beyond. Get in touch with our team of top recruitment experts today.


Important Succession Planning 4 Tips for Family-Owned Businesses

  • August 17, 2022

Important Succession Planning Tips for Family-Owned Businesses. The majority of family-owned businesses are run by baby boomers, which makes the need to have a well thought out plan for leadership transition essential. Some business owners are fortunate enough to have the next generation ready to take over and lead the entire organisation (whether they have the skills and determination to grow the business is another matter!  I have worked with family businesses within manufacturing that have continued to thrive as offspring have been taught over several years, in readiness to finally take over the family reins.    I’ve also worked with and heard of family businesses in which the sons or daughters, once they have taken over, have made the wrong decisions and consequently, those businesses were not as profitable as they once were.  Finding the right leader should be a top priority. Succession planning can be a challenge, which is why we have compiled the top tips for effective planning. You can preserve your legacy with an effective succession plan.  So as head of a family run business, what should you do?  You have to determine from the outset, whether your children are serious contenders to run your business. Ask yourself honestly, if they truly have the soft skills as well as the business knowledge to grow the business after you have stepped down. Are they willing to learn from you? It’s one thing them working for the family business but quite another them actually taking over the responsibility of a company.  Tip 1. Begin the Process Early - This is a time-consuming endeavour but will pay-off in the long run. The earlier you plan for a leadership transition, the more effective it will be when the time to handover leadership arrives. To prepare: If you have identified potential successors, which could be relatives or other people in the business,  assess what gaps they have and create a personal development plan to prepare them for their future role. The better prepared they are, the easier the transition process will be.  2. Identify and Define the qualities needed in a future leader - This is especially important if you will be hiring somebody from outside of your business. Alike to when you hire a new employee, it is crucial to define the necessary skill-set and experience for the role. But more importantly, define the personality and values that the candidate will need in order to preserve the current culture and legacy of your family business. 3. Invest time in a thorough interview and evaluation process - Don’t solely focus on skills, cultural fit is just as important. Carefully plan out how you are going to determine the right fit through interviews, assessments, previous experience, references etc.  It is just as important to have the right interviewers. Who knows you and subsequently, the values of the family and the business? Having external advisors who will have a more holistic view of your business may help you make the right decisions when hiring.  In my experience, finding the right person for a family business is all about cultural fit. Are they going to fit and get on with the culture and the values of your family business?  4. Long Term Incentive Plans (LTIP) You don’t have to completely give away the family business that you have worked so long to create, but an LTIP will be necessary to retain your future leader and preserve the family business. Identify what truly motivates your high-potential employees. Unleashing the full potential of your key-employees and keeping them motivated will ultimately be the key to successfully preserving your legacy. These top tips can help you to plan and develop your succession plan, preserving your legacy with the right leader.  If you are currently planning ahead for your manufacturing family business, contact Recruitment Director, Phil Walker, on 0116 254 5411 or email who has several year's experience recruiting senior hires for family business and offering honest, simple advice to help move your business forward.   


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