How to Win an Unhappy Recruitment Client Back

Client Back When your job is entirely about providing a service every day, it’s inevitable you’ll be faced with an unhappy client somewhere down the line. But whether it’s something in your processes they don’t like or they’re not happy with the way you’ve handled a situation, don’t worry – you can still turn things around.

Here are some things you can do to save, mend and potentially even improve your relationship with an unhappy client, so you can both move forward and continue doing business together.

Address the issue ASAP

Hiding from your client because you know they’re unhappy in the hope that they’ll eventually forget is a cowardly move that won’t go unnoticed.

Recruitment

So pick up the phone to your client as soon as possible, even if you know it’s not going to be a pleasant conversation. Your maturity in approaching the problem head-on will put you in a much better position than if you try to put it off in the hope that they’ll eventually ‘cool off’.

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Let them talk

Listening is an essential step towards improving a damaged relationship, so allow your client some space to vent their frustration. Resist the temptation to cut them off and defend yourself, as this will only make things worse.

Use active listening techniques – like repeating back what the client says to you and maintaining eye contact (if you’re face-to-face) – so they know that they have your full attention. If they think for even one second that you’re not listening, you could lose your chance to salvage the relationship.

Empathise with your client

Empathy is key to rebuilding the relationship, so put yourself in your client’s shoes and try to understand the situation from their point of view.

Recruitment 1

If the client doesn’t feel like you understand their point of view, the issue will only escalate, so try using statements like “I completely understand why you think that” or “I understand your frustration with this”.

Empathizing with your client like this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re accepting any blame – it just helps defuse an escalating situation.

That said, if the fault does lie with you, always put your hands up, admit that you’ve made a mistake and tell your client that you’ll do everything in your power to fix it.

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Be the proactive problem-solver

It’s possible your client is unhappy because of an issue that’s occurred somewhere down the line during the hiring process. Adopting the role of problem solver is a great way to show you care, prove you’re a trustworthy recruiter again and get back in their good books.

Ask the question “How can I solve this for you?” or “What do you feel would be the ideal resolution?”. Again this doesn’t mean you have to deliver what they ask for, but it’ll buy you some time to decide what you’re able to do.

This proactive approach will also allow you to start moving things forward and get your client thinking about working with you again.

Be specific with your apology

Offering a blanket apology or saying “I’m sorry you’re unhappy” will just add fuel to the fire as it gives the impression you’re only apologizing for the sake of business and you’ll come across as insincere.

Recruitment 2

You need to offer an apology that demonstrates you understand why your client is unhappy, and unfortunately, this can involve taking responsibility for things that were out of your control.

This can be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the best way to show the client that your apology is genuine and sincere – which is essential if you want to convince your client to continue working with you. So just think about the long-term pay-off for taking this short-term hit!

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Demonstrate how you’re going to ensure it won’t happen again

It’s absolutely essential that you reassure your client that the situation is a one-off. hank them for highlighting a flaw in your approach or process and explain what you’ve put things in place to ensure you can continue working together without the threat of more problems.

This can also work as a bit of an ego-massage technique for your prospect as they’ll feel like they’ve helped you become a better recruiter.

Just make sure you continuously follow up with your client after you’ve resolved the issue, even when you’re confident you’ve put things right. Your client will appreciate your diligence and it’ll help ensure everyone’s on the same page moving forward – after all, communication is the key to both personal and professional success!

Do you want to avoid dealing with an unhappy client again? This eBook will teach you nine good habits that’ll make you a more effective recruiter and help you build better relationships with all your clients moving forward.

Fraud Management in the Energy Industry

Fraud Management has become a chief concern for governments and companies. In fact, it is estimated that losses from fraud in organizations can be as much as 5% to 9% of their annual profit. To better understand the different fraud management frameworks, it is necessary to have an understanding of what fraud is, its components and the various forms it can take.

Fraud Management

In the business world, fraud is associated with an action that goes against truth and integrity, damaging the organization against which it is perpetrated. Fraud can compromise a company, whether it is committed externally by clients, suppliers and other parties, or internally by employees, managers or shareholders.

Some characteristics of the current environment and the opportunities it has to offer are as follows:

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  • Growing availability of data on customers, employees, suppliers, etc., their interaction with the company and behavior patterns. Availability of techniques to analyze and quantify the likelihood or probability that fraud events will occur.
  • Advanced methodologies and systems to fight internal fraud through the segregation of duties (SoD).

The value added by these management mechanisms is reflected in economic terms (according to an ACFE study, losses from fraud at the global level fell by 54% thanks to the adoption of proactive data monitoring measures), and also in reputational and compliance terms. Both these two aspects are particularly relevant given the current regulatory environment, which encourages companies to invest in and implement fraud management methods.

The purpose of this document is to share some insights on the concept of fraud, as well as on the key elements used to manage fraud and the opportunities for optimization that arise as a result of technological advances such as Big Data and Analytics. These are based on the availability and analysis of large data volumes as well as the implementation of profiling and segmentation methodologies.

With a particular focus on the Energy industry, this document describes fraud events specifically for this industry which, due to their representativeness and the fact that they drag on the resources of companies, require specific treatment and for which detection techniques and the integration of these techniques into the management process are even more relevant.

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  • With regard to external fraud, energy companies that distribute electricity and/or natural gas are exposed to energy theft through fraudulent network connections or access. Managing this type of fraud requires the support of methods that will quantify the probability of a meter reading not reflecting the actual amount supplied. Different methods are used (such as logistic regressions, neural networks, decision trees, etc.), which are embedded into machine learning schemes and focused on discriminating between “reasonable” and potentially fraudulent supply amounts. These techniques use variables that characterize the customer, the customer’s energy consumption profile, behavior patterns, etc. in order to identify profiles or behavior that may indicate a propensity for energy theft (e.g. recurrent behavior). This document will not go into detail regarding the treatment of cyberattacks. However, cyberattacks do pose a threat in relation to identity theft and communication interference, for instance generating supply interruptions.
  • As for internal fraud, the main concern is the loss associated with fraud events in processes that are critical for the company, such as the commercial cycle of an energy distribution company. These events normally take place in the invoicing and collection processes, in which the possibility to alter usage, amounts, purchasing processes or bank details may result in theft of company revenues. This type of fraud is managed through the use of methodologies oriented towards the segregation of duties, controlling access to commercial and financial systems and defining indicators and reporting schemes to warn companies about any breaches to the segregation of duties.

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In addition, this document will show how the modeling, profiling and segmentation methods complement the implementation of a methodology for quantifying the economic usefulness of actions, a methodology that discriminates the quality of the segmentation performed for fraud detection purposes (the effect of the segmentation models), from the appropriateness of implementing the actions (or the effect of the detection campaigns themselves), with the aim of separately assessing the cost effectiveness of investing in modeling techniques and investing in theft detection inspections. In this sense investment in fraud management is considered as just another company investment.

These techniques are supported by modeling platforms that combine mass data processing components with statistical software and tools for both access control and the management of roles, incompatibilities, etc.

Finally, this publication includes some examples to illustrate the implementation of energy theft detection probability modeling techniques (a specific case of external fraud).  These models are based on the characterization of the point of supply using variables that identify the factors underlying fraud, such as the physical characteristics of meters, commercial and socio-demographic characteristics of customers or users, usage and behavior history in relation to theft, other transactions with the customer, customer engagement, claims, the result of inspections, etc.

What is shown is therefore the added value of data, of information on costumers and transactions (hourly consumption, customer data, access to systems, etc.), in quantifying the probability that fraud events will occur and the use of this calculation to optimize both preventative action (e.g. segregation of duties and system access control) and mitigating action (e.g. implementation of inspection campaigns and segmentation of profiles according to their propensity to theft). Thus, action can be prioritized under an economic and profitability rationale based on the estimated probability that a theft event will occur or the possibility that fraud may be committed in the commercial cycle, as well as the materiality of the potential impact (energy defrauded, amounts stolen, etc.).

In fact, according to data made available by one of Europe’s main electricity distribution companies, following their use of data collected from intelligent meters, the percentage of fraud cases affecting the company that were detected went from 5% to 50%.

Tips and Tricks for Success in a Panel Interview

Panel Interview The fear of public speaking (glossophobia) is real. And, most of the advice for overcoming that fear centers on knowing the topic, preparing the speech in advance, and practicing a lot. Most of this advice sounds very similar to the advice for preparing for an interview. You need to know your topic (you), prepare in advance, and practice—a lot.

Talking about yourself in an interview is something every job seeker will have to do at some point. And, as scary as that might sound, at least you don’t have to talk about your accomplishments and achievements in front of a group.

Unless you end up in a panel interview.

While not a common interview format, there is always the possibility that you’ll end up in a panel interview at some point during your career. And, though the idea of talking about yourself to a group of total strangers may be absolutely panic-inducing, take a deep breath. In many ways, a panel interview is no different than a one-on-one interview. If you plan, prepare, and approach a panel interview like any other interview, you’ll be a panel interviewing pro in no time.

Panel Interview

What Is a Panel Interview?

A panel interview is when two or more interviewers interview you at the same time. The panel can consist of a mix of people. It may be the supervisor and several team members. Or, it might be an HR representative and several colleagues. The panel might include people from teams you work with, but that you aren’t assigned to. It could even include direct reports if you’re interviewing for a supervisory position.

But don’t confuse a panel interview with a group interview. In a panel interview, multiple interviewers are interviewing you at the same time (meaning you are the only candidate in the room). However, in a group interview, while there may be multiple interviewers, there are also multiple candidates interviewing at the same time.

Why Employers Use Panel Interviews

One of the reasons employers use panel interviews is that they are more cost-effective and efficient for the company. The company can “get it done” at once and interview more candidates in less time.

An additional advantage for the company is that each interviewer is able to form their own opinion about the candidate without it being “filtered” through second-hand information. Everyone can see how you handle the questions and hear your actual answers instead of getting the replay from another interviewer later on.

A panel interview is also more cost-effective and efficient for you. It involves fewer interviews. And, while it’s no guarantee, the hope is that won’t have to answer “tell me about yourself” as many times. An additional advantage is that you’ll get a sneak peek into group dynamics. You’ll see how this group of people interacts and possibly get an idea of how different teams work (or don’t work) together.

However, there are other less economic reasons why employers conduct panel interviews. It can be intimidating—downright scary, even—to be the lone person answering question after question after question from a group. And that’s the point. By conducting a panel interview, the company can see how you perform in a real-world stress test.

And, for some positions, a panel interview is much like the job. For example, in a sales job, you’ll likely spend most of your time trying to convince a group of key decision-makers to buy whatever you’re selling. This is very similar to a panel interview in which you’re spending your time trying to convince a group of key decision-makers to buy what you’re selling: you.

How to Prepare for a Panel Interview

In some respects, a panel interview is no different than a one-on-one interview. An interviewer will ask you a question, and you will answer it. However, the dynamics of a panel interview are different than a one-on-one interview, and mastering these differences can give you an edge over other candidates.

Get an Agenda

Hopefully, when you are invited to an interview, the company will tell you that you are going to have a panel interview. However, if the company does not tell you who you will interview with or what the interview format is, ask for the information. Even if you aren’t able to determine the interview format, at least you will know who you will meet and can research them on LinkedIn or the company website.

And, if you can’t figure out if it’s a panel interview or not, again, no worries. Most of the techniques you use to ace a one-one-interview you can use in a panel interview without any major adjustments.

Bring Enough for Everyone

It’s always wise to bring extra copies of everything you want to share during an interview. This includes not only your resume, but also work samples or your portfolio. Since you never truly know what’s going to happen during an interview, it’s better to over prepare with extras of everything. While it may not be possible to reproduce everything you want to share, try to have enough so that no more than two people would have to share (just in case).

Treat It Like Any Other Interview

When you know you’re facing a panel interview, don’t sweat it. Prepare for a panel interview like you would any other interview. Review your resume, practice your answers, expect the unexpected, and you’ll be a perfectly prepared candidate.

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How to Handle a Panel Interview

Whether you knew beforehand and prepped for a panel interview, or you walk into a room and discover that you’re in a panel interview, there are a few tips you can use to help you handle a panel interview like a pro.

Treat Everyone Equally

Start the interview off on the right foot and treat everyone equally. When you walk into the room, take a minute and introduce yourself to everyone, making sure to get their names and titles (if possible).

When the questions begin, engage everyone when you answer. Maintain eye contact with the person asking the question. But, once you get past the beginning of your answer, make eye contact with other panel members. Doing this will help draw the other panel members in, and demonstrates your ability to hold the attention of the whole room, not just one person at a time.

And, if there happens to be a “ranking” member in the room, don’t only address your answers to that person. Treat everyone the same, no matter their title. Just because someone is the CEO doesn’t mean they have any say-so over hiring decisions, so make sure you include everyone in the conversation.

Ready to Receive

Unlike a one-on-one interview, there often isn’t any “break” between questions. In a one-on-one interview, the interviewer might take notes and need to finish writing down your answer. Or, the interviewer may need to read their notes to find the next question. And sometimes, they want to follow up on an interesting point you made. In any of these cases, the odds are pretty good that there’s a back and forth during the interview, and that includes normal pauses in the conversation.

However, this likely isn’t the case in a panel interview. Because there are multiple interviewers, more than one person is probably taking notes, which means that while some people are writing things down, others may not be doing the same. This means that when one person finishes a question, the next person fires a new one.

Just like in a one-on-one interview, don’t rush your answers. Take a moment and pause before answering to help organize your thoughts. A deep breath can clear your mind. Or, a “What a great question,” can help buy you a few moments before diving into your answer. If one of the interviewers cuts you off before you’re finished answering a previous question, figure out if what you were going to say is critical to your answer then decide if you need to drop it. If the information you were going to add is crucial, try asking, “Before I answer that, can I finish my previous thought, please?”

Watch Your Body Language

Of course, body language is important in any interview. However, body language may be even more important in a panel interview. You may not have a table or desk in front of you. It may just be you in a chair in the middle of the room facing the panel.

So, while it may be easy to hide certain ticks under a table, you may not have that “cover” in a panel interview. Make sure you aren’t engaging in any “nervous” activities, like tapping your feet or drumming your fingers. Sit up straight and engage with the panel like you would in any other interview.

Speak Up

While we’re talking about body language, let’s talk about volume, too. In a one-on-one interview, you’ll likely use your “inside” voice. Since it’s just you and one other person, there’s usually no reason for you to speak up—especially if that’s not your natural speaking voice.

However, in a panel interview, you may find that you need to speak louder than normal. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it’s better to be loud and heard than have to repeat your answers. Or, worse, have interviewers tune out because they can’t hear you.

Take Notes

Also, don’t forget to take notes! While you may find this a little tricky to do if you don’t have a table, balancing your notepad (or clipboard or whatever you use) in your lap will get the job done. You made find it harder to sit up straight, but taking detailed notes will help you during and after the interview.

How to Start a Consulting Business

The dictionary defines a consultant as “an expert in a particular field who works as an advisor either to a company or to another individual.” Sounds pretty vague, doesn’t it? But unless you’ve been in a coma for the past decade, you probably have a good idea what a consultant is.

Businesses certainly understand what consultants are. In 1997 U.S. businesses spent just over $12 billion on consulting. According to Anna Flowers, spokesperson for the Association of Professional Consultants in Irvine, California, the association has recently noticed an increase in calls for information from people who want to get into the business. “The market is opening up for [the consulting-for-businesses] arena,” Flowers says.

Melinda P., an independent consultant in Arlington, Virginia, thinks more people are getting into the consulting field because technology has made it easier to do so. “The same technology that has helped me to be successful as a consultant has made it easier for others to do the same,” she says.

A consultant’s job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s that simple. There’s no magic formula or secret that makes one consultant more successful than another one.

Consulting

But what separates a good consultant from a bad consultant is a passion and drive for excellence. And–oh yes–a good consultant should be knowledgeable about the subject he or she is consulting in. That does make a difference.

You see, in this day and age, anyone can be a consultant. All you need to discover is what your particular gift is. For example, are you very comfortable working around computers? Do you keep up with the latest software and hardware information, which seems to be changing almost daily? And are you able to take that knowledge you have gained and turn it into a resource that someone would be willing to pay money for? Then you would have no trouble working as a computer consultant.

Or are you an expert in the fund-raising field? Maybe you have worked for nonprofit agencies in the field of fund-raising, marketing, public relations or sales, and over the years you have discovered how to raise money. As someone who has turned a decade of fund-raising successes into a lucrative consulting business, I can tell you that fund-raising consulting is indeed a growing industry.

Things to Consider Before You Become a Consultant

  • What certifications and special licensing will I need? Depending upon your profession, you may need special certification or a special license before you can begin operating as a consultant. For example, fund-raising consultants don’t need special certification, although you can become certified through the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. And in some states, you may need to register as a professional fund-raising consultant before starting your business.
  • Am I qualified to become a consultant? Before you hang out your shingle and hope that clients begin beating your door down to hire you, make sure you have the qualifications necessary to get the job done. If you want to be a computer consultant, for example, make sure you are up to date in the knowledge department with all the trends and changes in the computer industry.
  • Am I organized enough to become a consultant? Do I like to plan my day? Am I an expert when it comes to time management? You should have answered “yes” to all three of those questions!
  • Do I like to network? Networking is critical to the success of any type of consultant today. Begin building your network of contacts immediately.
  • Have I set long-term and short-term goals? And do they allow me to become a consultant? If your goals do not match up with the time and energy it takes to open and successfully build a consulting business, then reconsider before making any move in this direction!

Top 20 Consulting Businesses Thriving Today

Although you can be a consultant in just about any field these days, the current top 20 consulting businesses include:

1. Accounting: Accounting is something that every business needs, no matter how large or small. Accounting consultants can help a business with all of its financial needs.

2. Advertising: This type of consultant is normally hired by a business to develop a good strategic advertising campaign.

3. Auditing: From consultants who audit utility bills for small businesses to consultants who handle major work for telecommunications firms, auditing consultants are enjoying the fruits of their labor.

4. Business: Know how to help a business turn a profit? If you have a good business sense, then you’ll do well as a business consultant. After computer consulting, people in this field are the next most sought after.

5. Business writing: Everyone knows that most businesspeople have trouble when it comes to writing a report–or even a simple memo. Enter the business writing consultant, and everyone is happy!

6. Career counseling: With more and more people finding themselves victims of corporate downsizing, career counselors will always be in demand. Career counselors guide their clients into a profession or job that will help them be both happy and productive as an employee.

7. Communications: Communications consultants specialize in helping employees in both large and small businesses better communicate with each other, which ultimately makes the business more efficient and operate smoothly.

8. Computer programmer: From software to hardware, and everything in between, if you know computers, your biggest problem will be not having enough hours in the day to meet your clients’ demands!

9. Editorial services: From producing newsletters to corporate annual reports, consultants who are experts in the editorial field will always be appreciated.

10. Executive search/headhunter firms: While this is not for everyone, there are people who enjoy finding talent for employers.

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11. Gardening: In the past decade the demand for gardening consultants has blossomed (pun intended) into a $1 million-a-year business. Not only are businesses hiring gardening consultants; so are people who are too busy to take care of their gardens at home.

12. Grantsmanship: Once you learn how to write a grant proposal, you can name your price.

13. Human resources: As long as businesses have people problems (and they always will), consultants in this field will enjoy a never-ending supply of corporate clients, both large and small. (People-problem prevention programs could include teaching employees to get along with others, respect, and even violence prevention in the workplace.)

14. Insurance: Everyone needs insurance, and everyone needs an insurance consultant to help them find the best plan and pricing for them.

15. Marketing: Can you help a business write a marketing plan? Or do you have ideas that you feel will help promote a business? If so, why not try your hand as a marketing consultant?

16. Payroll management: Everyone needs to get paid. By using your knowledge and expertise in payroll management, you can provide this service to many businesses, both large and small.

17. Public relations: Getting good press coverage for any organization is a real art. When an organization finds a good PR consultant, they hang on to them for life!

18. Publishing: If you’re interested in the publishing field, then learn everything you can and you, too, can be a publishing consultant. A publishing consultant usually helps new ventures when they are ready to launch a new newspaper, magazine, newsletter–and even websites and electronic newsletters.

19. Taxes: With the right marketing and business plan (and a sincere interest in taxes), your career as a tax consultant can be very lucrative. A tax consultant advises businesses on the legal methods to pay the least amount of tax possible.

20. Writing services: Anything related to the written word will always be in demand. Find your specialty in the writing field, and the sky will be the limit!

8 Qualities You Need to Look for Business Coach

Business Coach Every entrepreneur needs a coach, because the fastest way to learn any business is to study someone who has been successful at it. This person has already paid the price of experience. You must absorb all of the information that you can out of him or her!

Over the years, I’ve met many people who desperately want to be successful but who are ultimately unwilling to invest in themselves. They think, “I can teach myself. I can learn this on my own.” I’m always dumbfounded by this attitude. If I can avoid making a few mistakes, I’m going to.

Business Coach

However, it goes without saying that some coaches are better than others. There are so many people these days offering their services to entrepreneurs online. Before you leap into a new relationship, take some time to get to know a potential coach. The following qualities are what you should be looking for.

1. Experience

The number-one thing to look for on someone’s resume is his or her experience. What exactly have they accomplished? Is it what you want to accomplish? Your coach must have walked the walk.

I feel strongly about this. Find someone that has truly paid their dues and can speak to their real-life experiences. Ideally, this person will have failed and succeeded. Their insight will help you avoid making costly mistakes and increase your chance of success immensely.

The devil is in the details. Ask for testimonials. What are former mentees saying about him or her? Is what’s being said personal and detailed? Always remember to Google for complaints as well.

2. Attitude

In my experience, having a great attitude comes with time and experience. The right coach will have been through it all — and come out the other side knowing a sense of humor goes a long way in business. They are able to see the big picture. They understand it’s all a numbers game. They don’t get too upset. An ideal coach is very patient, but also persistent and determined.

3. Willing to share

A great coach is willing to share all of his or her experiences with you — the good and the bad. Do you get the feeling this person is holding back? That’s not a good sign. You’ll learn the most from someone who is willing to be radically transparent.

4. Expertise in their field

Does your potential coach regularly give lectures? Has he or she written a book? Do reporters interview him or her? It’s impossible to be everything to everyone, and nor is it desirable. If this person offers a long list of services, exercise caution.

5. Accessibility

You must be able to reach your coach. A good coach will be willing to customize a program for you, because they know one size doesn’t fit all. Does this person care about your problems and concerns? Specifically ask them how much time they have to offer you. What is their schedule and availability like? How many other projects and commitments do they have? Discuss these very important details up front.

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6. Connections

A great coach will have longstanding relationships with people who could benefit you. Ask him or her if they’re willing to open doors for you. Sometimes, it is about who you know.

Business Coachs

7. Expectations

Ask your coach what they expect from you. A good coach will keep you accountable. They will outline what they need from you, time and action wise. If they don’t ask how much you’re capable of, that’s a red flag. I would never take on a mentee who told me he or she didn’t have as much time as I thought they should dedicate to a project.

8. A love of teaching

Teaching is a skill that people get better at over time. Good mentors love to help other people. They enjoy the act of teaching. How a potential coach treats you from the very beginning of your interactions is a good indicator of how he or she will act over time. Are they late to the first appointment you set up? That’s not a good sign. You need a coach who is considerate of your time.

5 Signs a Consultant Is a Waste of Money

Consultant  In business, there are roadblocks that an outside perspective could help you overcome. Spending a little bit of money on training could be what you need to take your business to the next level. The money spent could be returned to your business tenfold if what you learn is properly implemented.

Consultant

The Internet has given us unparalleled access to knowledge. Online, we can take courses or hire professionals from all over the world. Social media and marketing are necessary today to carve an audience from the 2.5 billion people who log onto the Internet every day.

The potential for business has driven entrepreneurs to pay for “professionals” who market well but only deliver hype. In the journey to build my business, I have spent $5,000 on services that disappointed. Here are five questions to ask before hiring a coach or consultant to avoid being in the same position.

1. Is the person/company using “marketing speak?”

Every day when you log onto Facebook you’re bombarded with ads about “living the laptop lifestyle,” or “use this cheat sheet to make six-figures.” You see the programs and courses that tell you to have your “expert positioning,” or “funnel optimization” in place.

There is a lot of marketing speak that sounds good and valuable but has no practical value in your business. Those terms are merely used to sell you on the program or service. When you start seeing these phrases or hear a professional try to sell you using this talk, an alert should go off in your mind. Proceed with caution.

2. Are the testimonials suspect for the person/company?

Sadly, testimonials don’t hold the weight they used too. These days, it’s easy to fake them or get testimonials from people who have partially used the service. Be suspicious if you can’t contact the people listed or see how they’ve gotten said result.

Smart entrepreneurs do their homework and research before they spend money. They investigate the testimonials and, if they turn up fake, they don’t do business with that person.

3. Is the person/company relying on past success?

Changes happen quickly in marketing. Past success is not an indicator of present or future success, especially if the person is coasting on their name. There are lots of big-name entrepreneurs who haven’t had success in years but still command higher prices because of when they did.

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4. Are the strategies still relevant?

There are a lot of strategies that worked years ago but are ineffective today. For example, if you’re an author, publishers used to handle all of your marketing and book sales. Today, the bulk of the marketing falls on the author, publisher or self-published. I was at a writer’s conference last week talking to former New Times best-selling authors who don’t know how to sell books today.

This vortex of past opportunities has given rise to a modern-day gold rush. Old and useless strategies get passed around as the only way to succeed. Don’t pay someone to teach you what used to work. Pay to learn what works now.

5. Is the content designed to upsell you?

There are courses and services that are specifically designed to give you just enough and then upsell you. They give you the first few steps, and when you purchase the entry services, you’re upsold on the big daddy program.

Webinars seem to be the new fad. You’re marketed on why you need to join the webinar and get just enough information. You’re then sold on the “must-have” course. I have no problem with webinar marketing, but if the webinar doesn’t give you any useful information, you’ve paid for a useless service.

I’m a firm believer in investing in yourself, but only if you’re going to get what you paid for. With today’s access and technology, there’s no need to overpay for services. If the value is there and if the value is proven, don’t hesitate. The right services can be invaluable. Do your research.

How to Start a Consulting Business

Consulting Business  job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s that simple. There’s no magic formula or secret that makes one consultant more successful than another one.

But what separates a good consultant from a bad consultant is a passion and drive for excellence. And–oh yes–a good consultant should be knowledgeable about the subject he or she is consulting in. That does make a difference.

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You see, in this day and age, anyone can be a consultant. All you need to discover is what your particular gift is. For example, are you very comfortable working around computers? Do you keep up with the latest software and hardware information, which seems to be changing almost daily? And are you able to take that knowledge you have gained and turn it into a resource that someone would be willing to pay money for? Then you would have no trouble working as a computer consultant.

Or are you an expert in the fund-raising field? Maybe you have worked for nonprofit agencies in the field of fund-raising, marketing, public relations or sales, and over the years you have discovered how to raise money. As someone who has turned a decade of fund-raising successes into a lucrative consulting business, I can tell you that fund-raising consulting is indeed a growing industry.

Things to Consider Before You Become a Consultant

  • What certifications and special licensing will I need? Depending upon your profession, you may need special certification or a special license before you can begin operating as a consultant. For example, fund-raising consultants don’t need special certification, although you can become certified through the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. And in some states, you may need to register as a professional fund-raising consultant before starting your business.
  • Am I qualified to become a consultant? Before you hang out your shingle and hope that clients begin beating your door down to hire you, make sure you have the qualifications necessary to get the job done. If you want to be a computer consultant, for example, make sure you are up to date in the knowledge department with all the trends and changes in the computer industry.
  • Am I organized enough to become a consultant? Do I like to plan my day? Am I an expert when it comes to time management? You should have answered “yes” to all three of those questions!
  • Do I like to network? Networking is critical to the success of any type of consultant today. Begin building your network of contacts immediately.
  • Have I set long-term and short-term goals? And do they allow for me to become a consultant? If your goals do not match up with the time and energy it takes to open and successfully build a consulting business, then reconsider before making any move in this direction!

Top 20 Consulting Businesses Thriving Today

Although you can be a consultant in just about any field these days, the current top 20 consulting businesses include:

1. Accounting: Accounting is something that every business needs, no matter how large or small. Accounting consultants can help a business with all of its financial needs.

2. Advertising: This type of consultant is normally hired by a business to develop a good strategic advertising campaign.

3. Auditing: From consultants who audit utility bills for small businesses to consultants who handle major work for telecommunications firms, auditing consultants are enjoying the fruits of their labor.

4. Business: Know how to help a business turn a profit? If you have a good business sense, then you’ll do well as a business consultant. After computer consulting, people in this field are the next most sought after.

5. Business writing: Everyone knows that most businesspeople have trouble when it comes to writing a report–or even a simple memo. Enter the business writing consultant, and everyone is happy!

6. Career counseling: With more and more people finding themselves victims of a corporate downsizing, career counselors will always be in demand. Career counselors guide their clients into a profession or job that will help them be both happy and productive as an employee.

7. Communications: Communications consultants specialize in helping employees in both large and small businesses better communicate with each other, which ultimately makes the business more efficient and operate smoothly.

8. Computer programmer: From software to hardware, and everything in between, if you know computers, your biggest problem will be not having enough hours in the day to meet your clients’ demands!

9. Editorial services: From producing newsletters to corporate annual reports, consultants who are experts in the editorial field will always be appreciated.

10. Executive search/headhunter firms: While this is not for everyone, there are people who enjoy finding talent for employers.

Read More:- How and Why to Research a Company

11. Gardening: In the past decade the demand for gardening consultants has blossomed (pun intended) into a $1 million-a-year business. Not only are businesses hiring gardening consultants; so are people who are too busy to take care of their gardens at home.

12. Grantsmanship: Once you learn how to write a grant proposal, you can name your Price.

13. Human resources: As long as businesses have people problems (and they always will), consultants in this field will enjoy a never-ending supply of corporate clients, both large and small. (People-problem prevention programs could include teaching employees to get along with others, respect and even violence prevention in the workplace.)

14. Insurance: Everyone needs insurance, and everyone needs an insurance consultant to help them find the best plan and pricing for them.

15. Marketing: Can you help a business write a marketing plan? Or do you have ideas that you feel will help promote a business? If so, why not try your hand as a marketing consultant?

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16. Payroll management: Everyone needs to get paid. By using your knowledge and expertise in payroll management, you can provide this service to many businesses, both large and small.

17. Public relations: Getting good press coverage for any organization is a real art. When an organization finds a good PR consultant, they hang on to them for life!

18. Publishing: If you’re interested in the publishing field, then learn everything you can and you, too, can be a publishing consultant. A publishing consultant usually helps new ventures when they are ready to launch a new newspaper, magazine, newsletter–and even websites and electronic newsletters.

19. Taxes: With the right marketing and business plan (and a sincere interest in taxes), your career as a tax consultant can be very lucrative. A tax consultant advises businesses on the legal methods to pay the least amount of tax possible.

20. Writing services: Anything related to the written word will always be in demand. Find your specialty in the writing field, and the sky will be the limit!

How and Why to Research a Company

Why spend time on company research when you’re job hunting? There are several good reasons why it’s worth investigating companies, all of which are important to your successful job search.

First of all, spending some time looking for and at employers will give you an idea of which companies are in your industries and fields of choice. You’ll also be able to determine which companies are hiring and what types of job openings they have available.

If you’re applying for a position, you’ll want to find out everything you can about the company before you sit down for an interview. Knowing more about the company will make you feel more comfortable, and you’ll be able to ask questions that show you’re truly interested in the job.

Also, after all your research, you will be a well-prepared candidate for the position. Knowing specifics about the company’s goals, mission, products, policies, and company culture will impress upon the hiring manager your keen interest in the position, and your ability to assimilate quickly into a productive role.

Focus on Your Industry – or Your Area of Interest and Expertise

Spend some of your valuable company research time investigating the needs and benefits of organizations in your industry that appear to offer much more than the others. Do they specifically need people in your field? Or are they generalizing to, as they say, “cherry pick the workforce.”

If you can, talk to people who work at a company to determine whether it’s a place you want to work and if they would appreciate your particular skills. You don’t want to find yourself welcomed one day and then laid off six months later.

It’s also helpful to learn more about the company history, financial stability, products and services, personnel, and perhaps some information about the company culture to see how you would fit in if you’re hired. Most companies, large and small, have websites where they showcase career opportunities and the company’s mission.

If you have a connection that will help you find inside information, use it. Do you know someone who works there? Ask them what the company culture is like, and how accurate and current the information on their website is. If you’re a college graduate, ask your Career Office if they can give you a list of alumni who work at your target company. Then call or email those alumni to ask for insight, advice, and assistance.

Use Directories Which Will Help You Find Those Companies

You can search Hoover’s Online by company name or keyword. ​​Superpages allows you to search by business name, category or location. Vault is a website that offers job seekers an in-depth look inside some of the hottest industries. They also provide career advice, along with company and industry profiles.

If you’re interested in big business, you can browse the Fortune 500 top companies list. Then take a look at the snapshot for company details, revenues and contact information. Fortune provides similar lists for the 100 Fastest Growing Companies and the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Want to Ace That Interview?

Preparing for an interview is certainly a crucial reason to research employers. You’ll want to know as much about your potential employer as possible so that you can start your interview on good footing.

Standard interview questions are “What do you know about us?” and “Why do you want to work here?” Research will enable you to have an informed, detailed response – and ask the right questions, remember an interview is a dialogue. It’s as important for you to ensure the job is a good fit as it is for the employer.

Read anything and everything you can about your target company. Use Google to find the employer’s website and check the company’s social media profiles. Then review the sites to see what the company is saying about itself.

Many times, you’ll find articles or links about new products or technologies where the company is mentioned. That’s a good place to explore for more in-depth research. Next, take a look at what the rest of the world is saying. Vault Reports is a good resource to find specific, detailed information about a particular employer.

Spending a little extra time to research the company before you apply and interview can make the difference between getting noticed by your dream company or getting passed over.

How to answer, “what are your future goals?”, in a HR, IT or marketing interview

It’s a question that lets a potential employer see exactly how you’ll fit into a role and the company: “What are your future goals?”

When it comes to interviews the question ‘what are your future goals’ goes neatly with ‘so, do you have any questions’ in terms of putting you on the spot – but only if you are not prepared.

It’s good to be prepared with answers to the most commonly asked questions so that you don’t end up saying the first thing that comes to mind; such as, ‘my goal is to increase my salary’.

Using salary to answer this question is a tricky one, for a lot of people the chance to increase their wages is often a reason for applying for a role, but it shouldn’t be the reason you’re applying. Our advice would be to only discuss salary if asked and it is definitely not a great idea to discuss money as a tie in to your goals.

Don’t forget the interviewer will be trying to find out who you are and how you’ll add value.

Breaking down the answer into two main areas, ‘short-term goals’ and ‘long-term goals’ is a great way to tackle the question. Short-term goals are a great starting point for talking about your skills and applying them to the role. Whereas, long-term goals can demonstrate an understanding of the company and explore ways that goals can be supported together.

In a previous blog, we gave tips on the ‘why should we hire you?’ question and though it isn’t always easy or natural to talk highly of yourself, once you have identified these skills you will be able to push them further by thinking about your goals.

To help you tailor your answer to the question, ‘what are your future goals’, we’ve given our advice on points to consider if you are interviewing for a HR, IT or marketing role. Ultimately, how you respond to the question will depend on the skills expected from you in each of the respective professions:

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How to answer: “What are your future goals?” in a HR interview

  • Short-term: define what you are good at. If that is people or processes, or both, explain why your goal is to immediately begin influencing positive differences within this role.

A successful HR employee is likely to be someone that is creative and adaptive, so use personal examples if you are new to this area of work. If you are new to the world of HR, take a look at our Career Map to learn more about the skills employers expect to see.

  • Long-term: goals do not have to be about career progression but can be about showing commitment. Saying that you would like a secure long-term role within the company, demonstrates just as much career focus as if you were the person that said, “in 5 years’ time I hope to be a Director within the company”.
Read More- 4 Tips For Hiring Senior-Level Employees

How to answer: “What are your future goals?” in a marketing interview

  • Short-term: upskill one of your weaknesses. It is ok to recognise the things that you are not so great at, as employers’ value those that can self-reflect and be willing to turn it around. A short-term marketing goal could be improving your content writing skills, or something that will instantly benefit you and therefore benefit the business you’d like to work for.
  • Long-term: the classic ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ really does apply here. Marketing is a fast-paced environment and it makes sense that you’ll want to strive within it. Personal growth to achieve a professional marketing qualification will help you move up the ladder. It is also something that most marketing companies, or companies looking for a solid a marketing team, would want too. You might even find that there is a staff training budget for career progression.

Or alternatively, you might be a qualified professional already but fancy testing your skills on leading their brand strategy. Research the company, research their brand values, positioning and target audience and be SMART in your response. Think about not only where you want to be in five years time but how you want to help the company progress too.

How to answer: “What are your future goals?” in an IT interview

  • Short-term: upgrade your knowledge and resources to grow as a professional. Learn a new set of skills to either break into a new industry or move to a different role is essential in IT. An enthusiasm for technology is perfect for an IT career, but did you know that sound knowledge of finances is just as useful too?

Soft skills are extremely important and working on these could be a very useful short-term goal as well, especially with team work and even explaining technical terms to non-technical people.

  • Long-term: become an expert in a particular field. Having a general aspiration is definitely a future goal and there is no reason to not talk passionately about how you see yourself or the role evolving. If you have found a niche in the market or better still, within the company, then explain how you’d love to be the master of this niche area. These are the kind of admirable goals that benefit everyone.

Keep these tips in mind when you are asked the question “what are your future goals?” and you will be offering the interviewer a great range of relevant information that demonstrates your abilities and ambitions, whilst staying relevant to your industry.

4 Tips For Hiring Senior-Level Employees

Recruiting senior-level employees requires you to step up your game and work at a more advanced level than any other type of hiring. The pool of candidates for these executive and management positions is much smaller and demands a more hands-on approach. These high-level hires will play a critical role in your company–that means you need to ensure you’re hiring the right person for the job.

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According to the Corporate Leadership Council, nearly 40 percent of CEOs fail in their roles within the first 18 months and, Harvard Business Review reported that new hires in managerial roles fail between 40 and 60 percent in the same amount of time. To ensure your company doesn’t hit the same roadblocks, check out our tips for hiring at the senior-level below.

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

One of the biggest blockers to hiring senior-level employees is not a lack of qualified applicants, but rather a misalignment between what a recruiter is looking for and what candidates include on their resumes. Before writing the job description, think about what your company is trying to solve by filling this position. Fully understand the needs and qualifications for the role prior to releasing the description, and then write it accordingly.

Executive Mark Hurd noted senior employees, namely the c-suite, need “to be able to not only set the right strategy, but also drive operational excellence that brings the strategy alive.” These positions have more demanding functions that need to be considered when choosing the proper candidate, and it’s important to be sure the person you choose can fulfil every one of them.

SEEK THEM OUT

Chances are, the person best-suited for the job is already employed and isn’t actively searching for a new job. To get them, you’ll need to pursue them. According to Experteer, 97 percent of advanced candidates want to be “found” by any prospective new company. For these potential employees, it is very much a buyer’s market.

However, because you will be seeking to have these hires leave a current position to come work for your company, it’s imperative you remain discreet throughout the process. Keep any communications on your prospects’ private email addresses or social networks, rather than professional. In addition, networking can be a major asset in this situation. Sourcing applicants via professional connections or networks helps you develop a deeper knowledge of them before you reach out.

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CREATE A COMPELLING CASE

Because senior-level employees are likely being sought out, they need to be sold on any potential new position. That means you have to state your case and provide potential recruits with a reason to join your company instead of staying where they are. Marco Zappacosta, founder at Thumbtack explained, “It’s critical to know what drives people. Some execs are motivated by money. Others by impact. Or the desire to lead high-performance teams.”

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According to Chris Christoff, “Recruiting senior-level talent isn’t all about how much money you offer them…they’re probably already making good money, so you need to offer something more.” Consider job perks like unlimited PTO, lengthy parental leave, healthcare benefits, and flexible work arrangements.

PERSONALIZE THE PROCESS

Like Zappacosta noted, each person will have specific motivations to which you have to appeal. Know your candidates’ needs and capitalize on them. Communications should be tailored for each prospective employee. Current associate or junior-level employees may jump at the chance to take on a more prestigious title, whereas someone making a lateral move may need exciting challenges and personal growth opportunities.

On an even broader spectrum, each candidate should feel as if they were specifically chosen. Forgo the templated messages or generalized greetings. Use names and include details alluding to why you chose them over others. You are being choosy about who you reach out to–let them know that. In doing so, you’ll increase the likelihood of an immediate response.

Finding and hiring the right person to fill a senior-level position is no easy task. These roles are critical to an organization’s success and the wrong hire could have detrimental effects. Executive recruiting needs to be handled carefully and more skillfully than any other hire. By following our best practices, you’ll be well on your way to getting that perfect fit.