Recruiting – Tackling Resumes

Recruiting is an integral part of creating successful work teams or a successful business. In my years as a HR Manager and as a Consultant I have recruited for my own teams and on behalf of my clients.

The real delving into the minds and work ethic of applicants is during the interview but first of all there are often many resumes to wade through.

The most important first step is to ensure that you have a clear and defined position description including accountable expectations of the role.

Here’s what I do when faced with a stack (often a large stack) of resumes:

  1. Set aside uninterrupted time to read through all the resumes this initial time – These applicants have taken time to apply for your position and as such it is appropriate to acknowledge that effort by reading them through
  2. Make a pile of those applicants that do not meet the requirements of the role; set aside
  3. Mark any outstanding applicants for interview – If this group is large, begin to shortlist from this group
  4. If not enough outstanding applicants; shortlist from both groups
  5. Decide on the amount of interviews you are prepared to do
  6. Plan interviews accordingly
  7. Get help if recruiting isn’t your strength



The Top 7 Social Media Trends that will Dominate 2014

So is Social Media getting bigger or are people getting tired?

Jason DeMers has outlined the Top 7 Social Media trends that he believes will dominate 2014. Here they are:

  1. Investment in Social Media will become a necessity not a luxury
  2. Google+ will become a major factor
  3. Image-centric networks will see huge success
  4. We’ll witness the rise of micro-video
  5. Foursquare will decline sharply
  6. My Space, love it or hate it, will grow
  7. LinkedIn will become a major player for B2B growth

Interesting…I suspect that the thought that Social Media will become a necessity will be absolutely true for businesses but I wonder that as most platforms are free perhaps there may be opportunity for paid services.

Let’s see.

Kathy Smail



Increasing Sales by Re-distributing Workload

As times have got tighter, many businesses have had to retrench staff in order to survive. Many have decided to hang on to their ‘income producing’ staff and trade off their admin or support staff and generally and middle management staff.

This produces the dilemma that admin tasks are under pressure and many internal processes are struggling.

One strategy is to re-distribute workload by utilising some of your ‘income producing’ staff to pick up some of your admin and support functions. This may be difficult when your staff have already been through a tough time as the business has be taking hits but can provide a significant pay off when you work it through.

Step outside your business for a few minutes and brainstorm but don’t think about personalities, preferences or tasks at this point.

1. Look at your current distribution of work that is coming into the business. Is there available time that could be utilised within the business? Remember any amount of time is valuable.

2. Which admin or support tasks could be undertaken by an someone who knows about the business but may not be necessarily ‘admin trained’?

Put that list aside and start another…

3. Do any of the current staff have any particular leaning towards working outside of their current job?

4. Would any staff want to help out even if not an initial choice?

Take both of your pages and look for any easy matches first.

Next work on the less obvious ones.

Don’t forget, you can contact me if you’d like me to facilitate this process specifically for you.


Kathy Smail

Making your time count this week!

I listed this post on the front page last week and thought that I would keep a copy here.

Monday – Spend some time with a plan!
Tuesday – As you are working through the plan…ditch work that isn’t a necessary prority this week
Wednesday – Keep at the main tasks but take a few deep breaths just for you today. Check out my blog (tab above) to see a picture for a nice visual ‘big deep breath’
Thursday – Rewrite task list to clear your head
Friday – Set a realistic goal for achivement before the weekend


Kathy Smail

I need Sales (Part 2)

Identifying the target customer for your business can mean many things. These questions can help. Think about the customer who:

  • purchases regularly
  • purchases for a specific purpose
  • visits periodically but purchases
  • browses but may not purchase

If you have a service based business rather than a retail business just alter these questions to some of the following. Look for the customer who:

  • demonstrates loyalty by buying regularly
  • buys periodically but not regularly
  • calls for a quote but doesn’t ever follow through with the job

These questions can help to build a picture of your target customer as identifying them can start the process of building a plan for addtional sales.


Kathy Smail

I need Sales (Part 1)

I regularly get clients who tell me that they “just need customers” which translates to that they “just need sales”. In essence they’re right; more customers and sales are vital for additional cash flow but a desire isn’t enough. It’s as if they believe that simply making the request is enough to get more customers streaming through the door.

Getting additional sales can be tricky especially when sales are getting tougher to secure.

Ask yourself these questions to start planning:

  • Who is an example of my target customer?
  • Is my target customer buying from me?

We’ll discuss these questions next time.


Kathy Smail

The challenges of training a difficult topic

At times you may be called on to train or present a difficult topic. I once had to plan to train large groups of people in a topic that wasn’t likely to be received well.

Here’s my tips for training a difficult topic:

  • Prepare well – get briefed on as many possible hurdles/issues and have answers ready
  • Keep mood light – intersperse sessions with activities which keep learners active
  • Establish your position – engage the learners in your sphere of influence
  • Deflect any personal attacks – move focus to the bigger picture

It might be a tough call but able to be done.

Of course, contact me if you need any training assistance.



It’s not who you know? Part 2

Previously I’ve chatted about Valarie Khoo’s article here. She talked about utilising the existing customers or clients that you already have and building your business through them. I agree absolutely that this is vital lifeline for your business and I’d like to expand that thought for those of you who are starting a business.

Starting a business can be hard work. I have clients who have started a business and I’d like to share a strategy that helped them.

  1. Create a customer wish list – Look around you and write down everyone that you know who may be interested in your product or service
  2. Refine the List – Look through the names and place the names in groups. Use the most obvious first. For example; Family, Work, School, Social, Hobby etc
  3. Target your Groups – Target your approaches to each specific group, looking for ways to reach more than one person in a group at the same time

It can be daunting to be staring at a customer base of none so start with those you have around you…after all they have a vested interest in helping you…they might even like you!

Remember, if you need help you can also call me for a catch up.


Kathy Smail

It’s who you know…you know? Part 1

One of my favoured blogs is Valarie Khoo’s Enterprise, one of The Age blogs, and I’d like to share a column she wrote a while ago. Click here for the whole article but I’d like to share some of her great points.

She says that one of a business’ best assets is their database and that the people that you already know can continue to be significantly supportive of your  business and be responsible for growing your business even further. She advises four points to work on:

  • Ensure that your database is in a format that is easy to use
  • Promote yourself to these customers/clients regularly
  • Implement a referral program
  • Any promotion which is designed to attract new customers/clients captures at least basic contact information


Kathy Smail


I recently read an article written by Pattie Simone (President of Write-Communications and and also founder of which was listed on Women
It was titled Branding Matters. Here’s Why

The article is fantastic even though is an old one! Pattie gives a well-rounded approach to Branding. Click the title above or here to read the article in full.

I particularly like her main points:

  • Consistency in your look and message
  • Living your brand 24/7. Focusing on what makes you fabulous
  • Patience. Establishing brand recognition and an avid fan base may take years of combined advance prep work and visibility in the market

Branding is a solid way to ensure that your product or service is creating a presence within your market. Yes, it can take time but careful allocation of funds and time can create you a multi faceted approach which is working away in the background while being visible in the foreground for your business.

A Branding plan can be simple but effective…contact me if you’d like some help!


Kathy Smail

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