Chrome plugins are excellent!

Chrome is great. It is by far the best internet browser on the market. It is just lovely. It has all the great Google Search facilities. But one of its most neglected features, especially by recruiters, is the Chrome plugins that you can download via the Google marketplace.

Normally for free. Some of these plugins are an absolute godsend and huge time savers. What I would suggest is that you get on there, have a look, and go out there and find out what’s out there. These are some of the ones that I use: Zoho Recruitment, Zoho CRM, Buffer, Hunter.io, and Grammarly.

They are great and can be found at https://gsuite.google.com/marketplace/

They save me time. They save me effort. And with just a click of a button, you can do so many things.

So get in there, start exploring, and you’ll find a whole treasure trove of things that are interesting. Remember Chrome is the best browser with great plugins. WooHoo!

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Learning about this Japannese entrepreneur taught me about business

Hiroshi Mikitani is one of the biggest success stories you have never heard off. He is the founder of Rakuten and is the third richest person in Japan. Rakuten is a behemoth of Japanese business. It is so big that is it estimated that 90% of Japanese business users have an account with Rakuten.

To think about the Rakuten is to think about a combination of a Japanese Amazon and eBay in one place that also sells services on top of products. When you think about it from that perspective, it does make a lot more sense about how he has gone from start-up founder to third richest man in Japan.

Makitani also went against strong cultural and societal norms when he founded his own company. He did this after leaving a high-paying and well-respected job with Industrial Bank of Japan as what is known in Japan as a salary-man. Within Japanese society generally, once you become a salaryman with a company like Toyota or Mitsubishi,  Sony or Tepco you usually never leave.

So at the age of 31 going off and starting a business is really unheard of. So from the 1990’s to the present day, Rakuten has grown from a one-person operation to a 10,000 person operation with market penetration and dominance that even Amazon would be jealous of.

So learning about Makitani, there is a lot that can be learned about business from this somewhat obscure (on western standards) entrepreneur who has been so very successful. The primary and most important area that I am going to focus on is his ideas around business growth, 3, 10 and business systems.

Rules 3 and 10: Business and growth and systems

The provisions of 3 and 10 are focused on how the business is growing, milestones for growth, the impact that this growth has on operations within the industry. As a company produces, it will need a wide range of change in the way that it is run, the systems that are implemented and the operations that are used.

The milestone for the change are every time the business triples in size (based on the number of employees) and every time business his a 10, e.g. 10, 100, 1000 etc. So to put this into an example as a company starts with one person the systems for the business are kept in the head of one person when it grows to three people a new range of systems will have to start being put into place.

After this when the business hit 10 employees a new look at the systems that govern the company will need to be put into place. After this point, the industry would then have to triple in size before it then needs to relook at systems (30 employees). After this, the step is 100 employees and so on.

The 3 & 10 pattern: 1,3,10,20,100,300, 1,000, 3,000, 10,000 etc.

The aim of all entrepreneurs then is to build into the business the systems for growth that allow the company to reach the next milestone on the growth pattern before reviewing and changing the way the business systems are governed.

This is actually a straightforward and unique way of thinking because many firms, once they cross a certain size, can start to get captured by process of constant managerial and leadership tinkering that distracts from the core day job. This leads to employees wasting effort and time on systems that are already fully functioning.

What does this mean for my business

When I learned about Mikitani, I realised that actually, I had been engaged in change for change’s sake and that I was playing with many of process to either whittle away time or to make me feel like I was president business.

Whether it has been changing CRM systems or engaging in changes to the way I run social media, there was definitely busy work being made. When realising this, I made a few critical decisions. Firstly, I am going to stick with my website’s provider, my CRM, accounts system, and other systems.

They all work, they all do their job, and they all are staying until I reach my next milestone.

Secondly, the way that I am running my social media was not conducive to growth. The time that is invested in social media each week is not conducive to the growth of the business. This did lead to a change in the supplier to a system that focuses on social media automation rather than me managing the posting schedule.

Although this has meant a small price increase in the cost of the way I do social media, it has meant that I am at least 2 hours a week freer which will although me to focus on other more critical tasks.

Thirdly, it has made me realise that I need to build far more systems into my business at the process level of my company that supports growth.

How can you use this idea in your business?

The most important way is to use the rule to save time and effort. Build and test systems for growth, once they work do not review them until a milestone has been hit. The below examples are ideas that other recruiters can use when

  • Review your CRM and ATS only when you hit the milestones. Most of the systems produce marginal change when you move between systems, so it is best to change rarely.
  • Only ever change the commission and equity structure so that it supports the growth from each milestone. For example, during the early phases, more significant focus on individual billings but as the business grows to develop it in
  • Use each sign as a chance to review all your suppliers and renegotiate contracts based on the new size and growth path.

I am sure after reading this article you will have come up with many ideas of your own to improve the way that your business work or how you run your own desk on a daily basis.   

The Naked Recruit is funded through our affiliate link program with Acuity Scheduling.

It is a tool that has saved me dozens of hours. Check out Acuity Check out Acuity Today

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Do not attend meetings without an agenda

 No Agenda, No Meeting Have you ever been in a meeting and it felt like a total waste of time. We have all been there, the meeting where Keith from Accounts mutters on for ages, Jenny from Marketing talks and talks and talks and talks and after 90 minutes another session is booked in the diary without anything being accomplished.

It is a total waste of life and could be the time that you had spent on prospective clients.

As Dave Barry once described meetings as: “Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other large organisations habitually engage in only because they cannot actually masturbate.”

Which, is a tad rude. However, he really does capture the sentiment behind all the wasted times in meetings. So what is a great way to ensure that you only have meetings that are really productive?

Ensure that every meeting has an agenda. Now, within some organisations, this will be harder to accomplish than others, but quite simply, decline any conference that does not have a plan.

That way you will avoid those meetings that are destined to be time wasters. If you cannot prevent the meeting due to this excuse merely create the agenda. That way you will look professional and will keep the meeting on track. All schedules should only have three points.

I’ve covered this in another life hack about why you should never have a meeting without an agenda. Now, in this one, we will talk about why every schedule should only have three points.

That’s all you need. Three points. The three points are the problem, the discussion of the solutions, and then the decision on the resolution and who is accountable.

So essentially three points.

What is the problem?

What are the potential solutions?

What is the decision?

Who will implement?

So it’s a problem, it’s the solution, it’s the decision.

That way, you go in with a formulated problem that everyone’s got to discuss, you come up together with a solution, and then you make the decision on which solution is best and who is accountable.

That way, you get an efficient meeting and actually you’re there to talk about moving things forward instead of just having a conversation.

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The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.   ***

Job adverts need to attract and repel candidates

 Adverts that repel candidates. It may seem counterintuitive, but when you write an advert, you actually want to put lots of candidates off applying. Let’s be fair, a lot of people who apply for your jobs are rubbish, are no good, and waste your time.

So what you want to do is you want to repeal the time wasters by writing adverts that are very, very specific to the job but also include something that means that they have to put in a bit of work.

So for instance, ask them to put something in the subject heading because if they don’t settle “that” something in the question heading, you know they don’t pay attention and, alas, are a rubbish candidate, and you can get rid of their CV straight away. It may seem harsh, but if they cannot follow basic instructions from an advert, they are not going to follow basic instructions in a job.

Thus are rubbish. So follow different ways of repelling candidates. So for starters, when you write the advert, write the advert in a way that is very, very appealing to a particular person that you want to attract. So instead of “Has experience as a credit controller,” say “Has experience as a credit controller for five years within a manufacturing firm in the Greater Manchester Area.”

The difference between the two is that you are far more specific and so credit controllers who maybe have six months’ experience will hopefully not apply.

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The wonder of planning in bite-sized chunks

Have you ever had it that you have been setting yourself, an annual goal and it has just not happened? Before you know it, April has arrived from nowhere and you have got nowhere near your goal

You joined the gym, and you went three times. You were going to learn a language. You were going to bill £200,000. You may have set yourself 90 days goals, but you did not set yourself up in a working pattern that aims towards these goals? 90 day goals are high but you need to plan your work towards them.

Below we set an example. So if you want to bill £25,000 in a 90 day period, the Average fee is £5,000. So you need to place 5 people into roles to generate that cash. Now you need to know your briefing to placement ratio (for our demonstration) is one in five.

So to bill £25,000 that means taking on 25 placeable roles to get five placements. So every week to achieve this £25,000 you need to get 2.1 briefings. However, given recruitment takes the time you may not get all the deals in before the 90 days is up.

So to counteract this, you will need to front-load business development in the first three or four weeks to get the assignments on an started before the end of the period. This does not mean you go feast and famine. It does say you need at the start of the cycle to put in the hours to ensure you ‘break the back’ of the goal.

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Thank you for reading this Recruitment Hack. You can get a daily Recruitment Hack sent to your inbox by visiting Recruitment Hacks.

The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.