The Dark Side - June 2012
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  • 1. Dark Company car?........ 2012ww JUNE w. the Is it worth it?National OR Unwelcome Cost to your business? - see Page 16 - Inside this issue: Inside this issue: LinkedIn ‘TAGS’ National Job Board Branding! What’s New Pussy Cat? Email on my iPhone The ‘30 UP’ Club The Power of Three! Lots of Flashes
  • 2. EDITOR’S NOTE 23Well, it’s all about Tax again isn’t it? What doesTax Avoidance or is it Tax Evasion or it something else? Grumpy CatAt the same time as all of these personal tax issuesare developing, we are also looking down the barrel of aclassic Government dichotomy; they need to raise have to say?more tax revenues to reduce the national debt BUTthey understand that by raising taxes, they will chokeany consumer led recovery – which in turn would I AM a -see page 23-reduce aggregate tax revenues. Grumpy CatSo, as Recruiters where do we all go right now anddoes it really matter to us what the big wigs are doingabout tax avoidance or tax evaders? Grumpy CatWe also need to consider what Sir Mervin King (the bigboss at the Bank Of England) is now saying – hebelieves that the recession is nowhere near over and Where else to plonk it?that the consequences of the melt down of 2008 arestill with us.He looks at what is going on in the Far East, the USA Regular Stuffand the Eurozone and predicts more stormy waters 16 Nationalahead for the UK. 4 What’s new ‘Pussy Cat?’ 22 Business ReviewsAdd into the mix the general view that if the Eurozonerejects the single currency we are all in trouble BUT 6 23 Grumpy Catalso that if the Eurozone survives, we will need to makebig changes to take collective responsibility for what 13 i-Phone Email 23 Tax, Tax, Taxthe Greeks, Italians or Irish face with their sovereigndeficits, then you can see that very little is clear. 14 Frustration! 23 Lloyds Hello 24 LinkedIn-So, how come we feel that your best the strategy is 27 Next Timeextremely clear? Exploring ConnectionsWhatever happens, you need to ‘paddle your owncanoe’ and be prudent. 26 Bits & PiecesSSG knows exactly what revenues are being generatedby our network and how that revenue performance isbeing affected by all of these wider based concerns. Editors SpecialsAs was the case in 2008 and 2009 and 2010 and2011 and now, what you need to do is to make a 8 Company Cars? Long winded bitsplacement and not let externalities affect younegatively. 15 Wrong Tax Code 9 New WebsiteWhy not take a good look at our on-going survey results 24 LinkedIn Tag’sPage 17 onwards).It makes for interesting reading! 17 Survey Time!Heads up guys!This is no time to wimp out! info@ 1. All the contents of The Dark Side are only for general information and/or use. Such contents do not constitute advice and should not be relied upon in making (or refraining from making) any decision. Any specific advice or replies to queries in any part of the publication is/are the personal opinion of such experts/consultants/persons. 2. The information in The Dark Side is provided on an "AS IS" basis, and all warranties, expressed or implied of any kind, regarding any matter pertaining to any information, advice or replies are disclaimed and excluded. 3. The Dark Side and its associates shall not be liable, at any time for damages including, without limitation, damages for loss of any kind(but excluding personal injury or death caused by negligence) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of or inability to use the publication, or any of its contents, or from any action taken (or refrained from being taken) as a result of using the publication or any such contents or use of information contained in the publication. 4. No representations, warranties, or guarantees whatsoever are made as to the accuracy, adequacy, reliability, completeness, suitability, or applicability of the information to a particular situation. 5. Certain references in the publication refer to third parties over whom The Dark Side has no control or connection, business or otherwise. Material Submitted by Others Some sections in The Dark Side contain materials submitted by users. The Dark Side accepts no responsibility for the content, accuracy, and conformity to applicable laws of such material, and any views or opinions expressed by such third parties are those of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the owners or publishers of the Dark Side. Effect of these Terms These terms constitute the sole basis on which the Dark Side is published and made available and supersede and replace all prior or contemporaneous understandings or agreements, written or oral, or any implied terms which might otherwise apply. 3
  • 3. What’s New seemingly unfillable vacancy out of their market comfort zone, leads Pussy Cat? to a juicy £10k+ fee. Black Onyx has recently engaged Bulhorn to provide recruitment software and also has a lovely new website which highlights the very diverse range of recruitment sectors they service along with a synergous offering in providing property maintenance teams. Breaking News ..... Congratulations to Interact who is It’s amazing what goes on out there in ‘SSG benefitting from the Client-Land’! recent issue of their gang masters licence. Here are a few snippets of news from around High end IT recruiter , the ‘network’. Sentio, continues to go from strength to A Commercial and Congratulations to snazzy strength – they have Industrial client have new Company on the recently successfully trademarked been grappling with block, Smart10, who have their brand. issues on TUPE transfers and had a great start to their business cleaning contracts. Some recent and are determined to take the Congratulations to a case law has determined that if an local commercial market by storm. niche recruiter on employee or group of employees opening another division spend 70% or more of their time Building & Construction serving the promotional on the cleaning, then this may well Materials Supply agency products market, working out of be a TUPE transfer. Rhodium and trendy retail new offices in Bournemouth. This recruitment agency, Qwork are complements their office in both undergoing appraisals for London and provides wider Lots of questions on AWR their staff; SSG provided all the coverage for their growing – specialist IT recruitment documentation they need to do business. company, ITCV have been this. asked to sign a contract where they assume full responsibility for Congratulations to Wolf Solutions, operating Mantra on opening a the costs of equalising pay and from sunny Devon, new division supplying conditions under reg 5. receives the prize for the care home staff – they have got a most innovative business new website offshoot promoting Education Recruiter, development call – a chance the brand and we wish them every People Personnel have encounter in a coffee shop leads to success in this market. been asked by temps an international assignment in whether they can be paid for renewable energy. Good luck to our Leeds outstanding untaken statutory based education client, holiday and the answer is a Congratulations to who have their business resounding ‘No’ – only holiday over Secretarial and high end on the market at the moment – and above the statutory minimum PA Recruitment Company, fingers crossed that the owner can of 28 days a year can be given in Purely PA – a great piece of find a buyer who can enable him to pay. speculative recruiting for a realise his next goal.4
  • 4. Congratulations to successful operation on the South CCG and Electrical Recruitment Satarah who beat the coast. Specialists, ERS have all decided bank by having money to they cannot survive without thepay into their account before the support of SSG and have renewedbank had managed to get it Congratulations are in their agreements for a further 3opened! The company has made order for Accounting and years. We look forward toan impressive start to the year and Finance recruitment continuing to support theseis certainly a force to be reckoned company, Ashby Finance, who are fantastic and well establishedwith in the provision of good expanding their team. Rohit businesses as they progress to thequality office support staff. joined in April to provide Business next stages of growth. Development support to the growing company. Well done to newly Sustantivo have received some good press formed Charity and IT coverage in their local A Hospitality and recruiter, Landmark Faitharea and have managed to get Catering client of ours, for making a solid start in a verytheir message on the importance based in Oxfordshire, has tough market. We wish them allof a great CV out to their local branched out in to the provision of the very best in this challengingcandidate audience. very lucrative temporary staff. space space. Her tfordshire -based partnership and HAVE Some Nappy iters, Commercial recruiters, YOURUnity8, have recently engaged agedDarwin as their recruitment ment SHOUT!software provider. Impressed by dDarwin’s customer service ethic Newsworthy itemsand integration with Outlook, this , Welcomed bylatest move will only serve toestrengthen a very positive start for rt News to celebrate!this dynamic duo! Congratulations to Jones and We are delighted, that as Stone, who have a new Successful Welfare to a result of a chat with HR young consultant in the form work recruiter Genie recruiter, Alexander Rose, of Baby Harry. We look Personnel has had to we have a new company forward to helping Rhiannonimplement the AWR by explaining to launch in April – very satisfying & Mark set KPI’s for this newto their client that as they provide when we are recommended to addition to their team.more than the statutory minimum recruiters and a big thank you tolevel of holiday entilement to their Linda being so complimentary Congratulations to specialistpermanent staff, this will need to about the work we do. opticians recruiter, Stay, onbe provided also to the temp the recent addition to theirprovided by and the fees will need team of baby Poppy Congratulations to newto increase. kid on the block, BlueHaven Recruitment, Congratulations also to DT Partnership commercial who have had a storming Recruitment, also on a new recruitment agency, D&H start to their business. member, baby Poppy! Recruitment, has movedinto beautiful new offices in We are thrilled thatPorchester and has celebrated with specialist Adult Trainingan update to their website and the Did you know?....... & Learning Consultancypurchase of company t-shirts and Browns,, Cosmetic & 8,000 Recruiters receive thisjackets! They have just taken on Medical recruiters JP Consultancy ...........another team member to join the (Leeds), Rec to Rec 5
  • 5. This month, Esther Greenwood of Satarah Recruitment Key ‘dishes the dirt’ on what it’s really like to start your own • Home Based Facts business. • Owner/Manager Satarah is a local agency servicing the Northants, Beds and Bucks area, providing HR, Finance and Office staff. • Perm Scores are out of 10 and the higher the number, the stronger the • 2011 Launch feeling! MOTIVATIONS So, what made you decide to SYOB? Why did you NIGGLING ANXIETIES make the transition from Employee to Business Expectation Reality Owner? For all of the rhetoric & seemingly Expectation Reality endless discussions, was it money, freedom or Freedom & Autonomy 7 8 perhaps the children which finally made you ‘get Legal Formations 9 2 out of recruitment & into business’? What did you expect and what has been the reality? Accounting Issues 9 2 Financial / Earnings 7 8 The Tax Man 8 0 8 9 ? Long Term Ambition The VAT Man 8 0 Increased Family Time 8 10 Sourcing Vacancies 7 4 Reduction in Commute 10 10 Personal Cash Flow 8 5 Escape Office Politics 10 10 Personal Isolation 3 1 A Difficult Employer 7 6 Restrictive Covenants 8 1 Technical Issues 5 2 The ‘Right Time’ 8 10 And before you made the big decision to SYOB, what kept you awake at night? What were the Staying Organised 3 2 Prove Doubters Wrong 8 10 awful worries, the ‘niggles’ you couldn’t escape? Has the Tax man been friend or foe? Did your Impact on your Family 4 2 Work / Life Balance 8 10 Restrictive Covenant hold you back? What about Making Placements 6 8 cash flow? Technology? Do you have more time Shorter Working Day 9 7 for your family? Has it been tougher than you Room in the Market anticipated? 2 2 50 WORDS ON WHY NOT! 50 WORDS ON WHY! I was worried about the Recession and the impact of The Pro’s for setting up my own business are I’m sure like most it continuing would have on me – security was a big ventures – doing it my way, work life balance & most consideration and the feeling that if I failed, what importantly I had been using a skill for other companies to would I do? profit for 18 years – Now it’s my time ! The SSG advert was the catalyst I needed, giving support & I would be faced with having to go back to Hays or guidance along the way but also giving me autonomy. The one of my other ‘Exes’ and that was certainly a advent of the recession, although not perfect, didn’t sway my concern. resolve - if I am still making placements in this difficult time then it will surely get better. A: Yes! Beyond what I 10 A: My biggest challenge 7 A: The loyalty that I have 10 Biggest challenge? thought and has was to create a brand received from both my Major upsides? So far, so good? continued to bring me 10 and a company that 10 clients and candidates 10 the change in lifestyle would stand out from has been the major that I craved. all the other agencies upside and although in the area. not totally unsurprising, Needless to say, that the first very welcome at the Satarah placement was the To be able to sustain a business in same time. sweetest placement I have ever that tough arena was and To be told regularly that I, on my made!. continues to be something that own, make a difference to their occupies my mind and poses a business and career gives me a real daily challenge. buzz. I am so much calmer and and happier now, away from egos in the office!6
  • 6. 10 RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS 10Why choose SSG? I saw an advert on a Job board and “Confidence grows Expectation? Reality? instantly thought ‘That’s me’! I as your Business spoke to Clare initially and then, after some serious thinking, spoke Grows” Hard to Find 5 7 to David and took it from there – it Candidates was a real light bulb moment and there is no way I would ever go back to working for someone else – it is perfect. A Good Work Routine 5 7 10 Clients Pay Up 7 7 10How was the launch? Acheiving a Personal Excellent, smooth, professional Routine 7 9 and easy to follow and understand. Being Distracted 7 6 Feeling Isolated 7 4 Having Family 7 10 10 SupportMost important support Without a doubt the 10 “I’ve escaped financial and accounting side of the support Office Politics - Tough to attract 7 5 – the fact that I can call Darren at any time and go through (for the I find I’m very Clients? umpteenth time) the MMAs is so reassuring. Darren remains patient easy to work continually, even when he gets a ‘sorry, it’s me again’ call from with!” Long Working Hours 4 3 Satarah! High Stress Levels 6 4 ADVICE FOR OTHERS? BIGGEST MISTAKE? LONG-TERM GOALS? To quote the scouts, ‘Be Prepared’ – have 3 My biggest mistake was not seeing the SSG I want to pay off my mortgage, grow Satarah months money in the bank to cover yourself advert sooner! I waited until the situation whilst keeping true to who I am and the in the early days and have lots of positivity with my employer got so bad that I was personal service I can offer. On a personal around you. Having the backing of your forced to act – I wish I had made the move to note, I would like to have enough money to family is important; my other half, Aidan, is a run my own business years before. take Aidan around the world so he can constant sounding board and great support experience it and I can indulge again! for me as I grow Satarah We have been What to do Next? working with Esther for 18 Take the Challenge? months and Why not Volunteer to be Clare’s watched as the next with Last c o m p a n y ’s Clare? Words revenues have steadily grown Surely, it is much better toFootball Rugby Neither month by step forward and take a hit month. With an incredibly high level of for the team than to beEastenders Corrie Neither integrity and professionalism, Esther has relentlessly tracked downRock Opera Neither by a seemingly pleasant &Jogging Crisps Neither created the beginnings of a company fair minded pseudo that will gain a reputation in the marketWine Beer Neither Psychiatrist? for quality and a high level of attentionLiterature DVD’s Neither to detail. Satarah’s interview to To take part, please contactCasual Suited Neither placement ratios are very high andUK Hol’s Overseas Neither repeat business is a real hallmark of this CLARE ARMSTRONGGlasses Contacts Neither venture. 01442 200 957 clare@supportservicesgroup.tvHistory Sci-Fi Neither 7
  • 7. Company Cars - is it worth it? kilometre) determines how high the cash Year 1 £7,000 equivalent benefit is, starting at 10% of list Year 2 £7,000 price of the car all the way up to 35% of the Year 3 £7,000 list price. So, that is additional tax paid by the The higher the CO2, the higher the tax individual of £1,400 EACH YEAR!! charge. (assuming basic rate of tax) Ok, you say. What if I get a lower emissions Capital Allowances car? When a company buys an asset it is not Let us look at an average emissions car. Business is going well! treated like a business cost that is deducted Example : You buy a car for £20,000 and it fully from the profits before corporation tax is in the middle of the bands for CO2 I’ve got money in the bank and my pipeline is calculated. emissions (so capital allowance would be of job roles is looking really good. In fact I would even say I’m working The cost of the asset is “spread out” over a 20% and benefit in kind would be 20%) and extremely hard! number of years at a percentage of its you keep it for 3 years. value. The company would have the following Do you know what, I think I deserve a capital allowances which would reduce Company car! This annual amount deducted from profits profit All the top executives have one. before corporation tax is calculated is Year 1 £4,000 known as capital allowances. Year 2 £3,200 And even better, the company pays for it so Year 3 £2,560 pays less tax! Example: an asset that has capital In total the company would be showing allowances of 10% and cost £100k would profit reduced by £9,760 which would in Everyone’s a winner!....We’ve all thought it. have a capital allowance of £10k in the first turn reduce the corporation tax by £1,952 A company car is a great perk to have. year, or 10% of the Cost. However the individual would have a And what better way to reduce the In the second year the value of the asset benefit charge each year based on company’s tax AND reduce your personal would now be £90k so at 10% the expenditure? allowances would be £9k, and so on..... Year 1 £4,000 Year 2 £4,000 Unfortunately, it is not that simple. So how does this affect Company cars?? Year 3 £4,000 And all to help boost a green economy Well, while you get a reduced corporation That is additional tax paid by the individual and nothing to do with increasing the tax charge because your costs increase by of £800 per year. tax that the government gets from you, the capital allowance, you as an individual That’s much lower than the previous or so they say. will pay more tax as a result of the benefit in example but over the 3 years that still adds kind. up to £2,400 which is higher than the So before we look at what would be the real Corporation tax saved. cost of a company car let us look at some of And If you pay more tax individually than the basics. the company saves, then overall you are So to summarise, we are not saying you worse off! can’t have a company car. Benefit in kind Just that buying a car through the This is something that you get a So let us look at some examples company is not the most tax efficient PERSONAL benefit from it but it is paid by method. We will assume you buy a car for £20,000 your business. and it is in the top band of CO2 emissions You may of course decide that the benefit of a company car is worth the additional tax As it is something personal and not a (so capital allowance would be 10% and charge. business expense then the individual pays Benefit in kind would be 35%) and you tax as if the benefit was a cash salary keep it for 3 years. But the rule of thumb is, the lower the CO2 equivalent. Emissions the lower the charge to you as an The company would have the following individual. Example: The company pays for private capital allowances which would reduce Anyone for an Electric powered car?? healthcare to the value of £40 a month. profit Year 1 £2,000 These are charged at the lowest rate and The individual will pay the same tax as if he Year 2 £1,800 that way it really does pay to have a was paid an extra £40 per month. Year 3 £1,620 company car (until it runs out of juice!!) CO2 Emissions In total, for the 3 years above shown above, If you would like to find out the emissions Each and every car has been given a rating the company would be showing profit of a car or how they affect the tax charge by HMRC as to how much CO2 it pumps reduced by £5,420 which would in turn when considering a car please feel free to out. i.e. how polluting its exhaust fumes reduce the corporation tax by £1,084 over contact Darren Hulbert to discuss it further are. the 3 years. on 01442 200961 However the individual would have a This rating (measured in grams per benefit charge each year based on darren@supportservicesgroup.tv8
  • 8. The Wonders of the World Wide Web Your Brand New Website Figure 1 IntroductionSo you are thinking about joining the SSGGroup of Companies and understand that,as part of the services we offer, you get abrand new (yes, that’s a brand new,squeaky clean) website.Great you think! But what does the wholedesign process of a new website entail? Ifyou are seriously thinking about joiningSSG, the creative and branding elementswe offer will probably seem veryattractive. As part of our offering, you will Template 14 is simple, uncluttered with a large picture areaget: Figure 2 • Your own new company logo • Electronic company headed paper and continuation sheets • A company email header • Branded Terms of Business • A new websiteSo how do we go about getting thiswebsite designed for you eh? Followers ofTDS will have seen the article on ‘The Dayof the Launch’ in our May issue. This givesfull details of what to expect if you sign up Template 24 - fresh on the eye, lots going on withwith SSG and visit our offices for your very quick links, big picture area and sub headersown launch. Site Map Your template choice A site map in simple terms is a structure of the logo or your logo itself to be used how your website will look. Firstly you throughout the text?The design process starts with the need to list what you would like the ‘mainselection of the template that you’d like to pages’ of your website to be (eg. Home, Job Search Functionuse (see Figures 1 & 2). We have a About us, Clients, Candidates, Contact us).demonstration portal which has 24 It can be a difficult decision as to whethertemplates on it which vary from very Then you need to work out your to include a job search function on yourstraightforward and simple to ‘all singing ‘secondary pages’ (those which branch website. When you are starting your own& dancing’ with scrolling text boxes (more down from the ‘main pages’) so that you business, you may not have too manyof this later). can see which areas you need to write text vacancies available. for. Figure 3 shows what a site map What happens next? structure looks like. Having a job search function highlights what jobs you have on your books and, ifOnce you have selected the template that Logo you do decide to have this function, it willyou’d like to use, let Jane Fisher, the official need to kept up to date by you.“SSG Launch Manager”, know and she will You will, by now, have had your new logosend you a form to complete together designed by Chris – our technical whizz You can have the job search function as awith some notes to help you fill in the and in-house graphic designer. Think home page link – ie. as a link on the homeform. The form outlines different areas of about the positioning of your logo – do page - see Figure 4 or as a drop down fromthe website and we’ll go through these you just want it to be visible at the top of one of your main page headings - seenow. We call this the “web site order form”. each page or would you like the colours of Figure 5 as an example. 9
  • 9. Figure 3 considering this option, you need to consider what site would have news most relevant to your own industry and will also Home About Us Job Seekers Employers Contact us need to look out for the RSS symbol (Figure 7) as this gives you permission to Building your Recruitment automatically take news from another Our Divisions Confidence Process site. Figure 7 Core Values Interview Tips Success Ratio Client Our Service CV Prep Testimonials Career Guidance Candidate Testimonials Design Style Although we will be working to your Figure 4 • Name chosen template for your new website, we • Address suggest that this is the time to give your input to the look and feel of your site. As a • Email Address bit of fun, Figure 11 shows various colours and their positive and negative meanings. • Telephone number Figure 6 Whilst we are not suggesting for one minute that, if you have a pink logo, you choose to have bright orange with it but different colours can work well together and, similarly, bright colours can be very effective. See the SNOG and Benetton websites for examples of this - Figures 8 & 9. Figure 5 Not feeling creative? Don’t worry – between you, the Launch Manager and Scrolling Text Boxes our ‘tried and trusted’ designers, we’ll soon lick you into shape. Simply use the These are used to display interesting ‘Design Style’ section of your form to pieces of news, testimonials, top explain what you are trying to achieve candidates etc. Please remember though with your site ie. that you will need to update these text boxes yourself. “I’d like my site to be young, modern, simple and fresh...” You can also use the scrolling text box to Forms take news from another site. This is known as an RSS feed. RSS (‘Really Simple “I’m a very traditional person Forms are just interactive boxes on your Syndication’) feeds allow you to see when and I’d like my site to look very site. The main two that we use are ‘upload websites have added new content. classical with a minimum use a vacancy’ and ‘submit CV’. of colour...” You can get the latest headlines and video However they can also be used to get in one place, as soon as its published, Content copy client or candidate testimonials or as a without having to visit the websites you general ‘contact us’ and ‘feedback please’. have taken the feed from. These are just Once you have decided on your site map, web pages which have been designed to it is time to get even more creative and We have standard forms that we use on be read by computers instead of people. write the website copy (i.e. the words!) the sites but, of course, you can specify what data you would like to get from It is a very successful way to get some For each of the pages which you define visitors to your site. The type of data you movement on your own site and would using your site map, you will need to write can collect is a follows - See Figure 6 for an not need to be updated as the news feeds the relevant copy. The copy needs to be example of a form: through automatically. If you are created in a separate word document.10
  • 10. Figure 8 • Create an engaging fan page Use your fan page to • communicate with candidates and/or clients DON’T • Be too formal or business-focussed on your personal profile page • Post irrelevant links or comments that could damageFigure 9 your brand • Ignore comments on your fan page Twitter Twitter is another great environment for engaging with people. Once again, relationships can range from highly personal relationships to very impersonal relationships Twitter can be used to develop connections with others, but the volume Increasing your search direct traffic, natural one way links, fast and directness of the communication engine rankings: indexing of your website, link popularity remains low. and keyword ranking in search engines -You need to write good copy for your see Figure 10. Whilst you may feel that LinkedInwebsite content that includes words you’d like to have links to Facebook,(referred to as keywords) that people are Twitter, LinkedIn and your new Blog on LinkedIn offers opportunities forlikely to type into a search engine in order your site, please remember that YOU developing and expanding businessto find you. NEED TO UPDATE ALL OF THEM relationships. Because these YOURSELF! communications are one-on-one, theyIdeally this should include the can allow for a more comfortablegeographical area that your services cover Figure 10 environment in which to develop aand the job sector/s in which you personal connection.specialise. This is particularly importantfor the homepage. For further information on LinkedIn please see both this issue and the AprilYour SSG Web Designer will endeavour to and May issues of The Dark Side.tweak your copy for search optimisationpurposes and do other onsite SEO work Blogs/Forums/Socialbehind the scenes. Networking Sites etc.It’s a good idea to include useful Perhaps the best introduction to howinformation like Interview and CV tips as building an online presence can help yourthis will present opportunities for building recruitment business is for you to visitinbound links later. SSG has templates for social networking sites, blogs, forums & When you are completing your form andthese so if you need them, please just ask. online directories and search on the word your copy, you will need to specify which recruitment and see how other people in social networks you would like added toPlease note it is very important that you the industry are using this media. your site. You will then need to set thesedon’t copy and paste the copy for your pages up and provide the ‘url’s’ or links toown site directly from other websites as Think about the useful information you these pages.Google will detect this and your rankings have on your website, this could include:may suffer. Facebook – the do’s and don’t’s: Social Networking Websites • Information for companies DO about your recruitmentIn this day and age, social media networks services, the geographical areaare a vital part of everyday life. If you list • Decide what your objective is you cover and the jobs in whichyour website on social sites, you will get for using Facebook you specialise 11
  • 11. • Your vacancies and services for to be able to update certain areas of your people looking for work site yourself – ie. add or delete jobs, upload testimonials or current news – if • Interview Tips you have chosen these options. For more information • CV Tips please contact: Using blogs, forums and article/news Check your site thoroughly for typing websites, you could briefly describe each mistakes, navigation through pages and Jane Fisher of the above and include a link back to links to social networking sites. Make sure your website in each posting, inviting the that you understand what you need to 01442 200956 reader to read more. update yourself and that you are able to do this. Once you are happy, the site is You could also search for relevant blogs, LAUNCHED!! forums and article/news that other people have submitted and respond with Clients and candidates should already useful comments and, of course, include a have details of your website address from link to your website for more information. your email signoff but don’t forget that if you’d like to have a specific e-shot or flyer Where possible, if you are able to choose designed to advertise the fact that your the text that will act as a link to your new site is now live, SSG can assist you website (called link text or anchor text) try with this. to get keywords into the anchor text that Happy Designing are relevant to your website. The anchor may require you to add some html code in order for it to act as a clickable link. For example: Figure 11 gure Visit our website to see our current <a href=”http://www.type-your-domain-her”>engineering jobs in Essex</a> Courage/Strength/Warmth/Energy In a browser, the above will look like . . . Intelligence/Communication/Trust/Efficiency/Serenity Visit our website to see our current engineering jobs in Essex Optimism/Confidence,Creativity/Strength/Friendliness The design of your site So you’ve worked like a Trojan and have Harmony/Balance/Refreshment/Rest/Peace sent your completed web form, your text word document and your choice of pictures to Jane – what happens next? Spiritual awareness/Vision/Luxury/Quality/Truth Well, Jane will brief one of the SSG designers and they will produce a home page for you to check over. When you get Physical comfort/Food/Warmth/Security/Fun this you will be have a taste of what your website will look like. Tranquillity/Nurture/Warmth/Femininity/Love At this stage, it is fairly straightforward to alter the size of a heading or change the colour of a line – just give your updates to Neutral/Conservative/Calm/Quiet Jane and we will incorporate these into the full site build. Sophistication/Glamour/Security/Efficiency/Substance The next stage is for the designer to produce the whole website using all your pictures and text and adding any links to Facebook, Twitter or specific news feeds. Hygienic/Pure/Clean/Simple/Efficient When this stage is complete, Jane will check through your site thoroughly Warmth/Nature/Earthiness/Reliability/Support before giving it to you together with administration details. These are for you12
  • 12. Chris Goes all ‘DIY’Is it difficult to set up email on my then select POP.iPhone? Next, Check your Name, Email Address andNot really - is the simple answer - although Description then scroll down to Incomingof course there are situations that make it Mail Server and enter the details asless easy than it should be sometimes. provided for Host Name you want to continue anyway? - Press Yes ( for accounts and assuming all settings are correct, yourI’m focusing on the iPhone in this article but provided by us), Username (email address account is set up.the basic principle is the same for any for accounts provided by us) and Passwordphone - on the cut-out card you can enter (provided by us). Now, what could possibly gothe basic settings you need (although I wrong?can’t of course put all the usernames and Next, scroll down to Outgoing Mail Server. Your ISP blocks our SMTP server - youpasswords in the article or on the card as need to contact your ISP to get the rightwhat would be the point of having them if The Host Name you need is settings.anyone can get hold of them?!) so, you will - you alsoeither need to contact us to get the actual need the username and password for this ”Finger Error” - typo’s can cause email tosettings if we haven’t already provided (which is different to your Incoming!) - not work. You need to check, double-checkthem to you. these can be obtained from us. I wouldand triple-check the settings - give us a call suggest using the cut-out card to make a if you need to!Again I will focus on the POP3 / IMAP style note of these together with any other Your PC gets email but it doesn’t arrive onaccounts we provide but you may want to settings you need - available from us! the ‘Phone - you need to set your PC toalso set up a Gmail or Hotmail account on “Leave a Copy of Messages on Server” - Ithe phone alongside the one provided by Next, press Save and recommend a maximum of 14 days (tous. your phone will try and allow a 2 week holiday) - so that you can get Verify your settings, if your email on your phone and PC - give us aSo, where to start? everything is input as call if this is an issue for you. per your settings, then verifying will complete If in doubt, please please get in touch:From the Home Screen look for and it will throw up aSettings: Chris Ion message “cannot connect using SSL - do chris@supportservicesgroup.tvThen Mail, Contacts, 01442 200941Calendars.Select Add anAccount and then“Other” (last option in E-Mail Settingsthe list).Then Add Mail Account.Enter your Name, Email Address and Email Address:Password. Description is just a name you Incoming Mail Server (POP3):will recognise if you have more than 1account set up i.e. Me Work - select Next Incoming Username: Incoming Password: IMPORTANT - IMAP / POP Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP): If you have been Outgoing Username: given an IMAP account then leave Outgoing Password: this selected on the next screen. If not, More on the other side...... 13
  • 13. but as a would be start-up, it seems that 2 em the job boards do not want my business at o bl all! Pr As I see it, the Job Boards create two main problems for us all: PRICE & BRANDING: OK, so I started this particular rant ‘Brand- e! ric ing and Price’ rather than ‘Price and Brand- ing’ but I think you are somewhat missing P JOB BOARDS: BRANDING & PRICE.... the key point here. So what that you feel the time is right for As a start-up, you ring your old contact at new kind of recruitment service.... all the major job boards and ask them to ‘do cobblers to them. you a deal’. Can you pay their inflated fees? Can you You are confident that your relationship pay up front? Do you have the money with Natalie or Nathan or Nadia is so now? strong that you will get the insiders price (the special price offered to Recruiters I guess the whole pricing issue is a bit who have worked for one of the major difficult to understand. Recruitment Companies in the past) Why don’t the job boards introduce a Imagine that I had any drive or ambition? The job boards love you and they are proper starter package? Imagine that instead of watching Jeremy convinced that you will be the ‘next big Why don’t the job boards make more of an Kyle in my underpants whilst eating toast, thing’ – there is every chance that you will effort to work with budding I was the type of ambitious Recruiter who be offered a free trial plus a great ‘starter entrepreneurs? wanted to start my own business. Just package’. Why do they seem to be so ‘careless’ with imagine.... 1 new business? Now that you have a fixed image of me in lem grubby underpants, I want you to think ob Of course, this is only half the story. about what my basic problems might be Pr Even if the job boards do not price you out in making that leap from Benefits Cheat to of the market, the chances of you being Budding Entrepreneur (is it a ‘leap’ or a able to BRAND your adverts on the job gentle step I hear the cynics enquire...) ing board as a new start-up are almost not All Recruiters apparently only have two a nd worth considering! problems – clients and candidates Br You want your logo on the advert? You (although one might also suggest bad Any job board worth its salt (whatever that want some presence on the job board debt management, over sleeping and really means) will instantly recognise the site? Are you nuts?! irritability are equally important need and commercial wisdom of support- WHY NO EASY BRANDING? contenders but hey ho, back to the point) ing a start-up & then watching it grow as it Clients – I am told that if you ‘hit the makes the most of the job board.... yea The job boards do not want to help you phones’, use SSG’s Innovantage product right! ‘brand’ your adverts because as a little offering and steal a few contacts from an Job Boards couldn’t seem to care less that biddy zero of a client, they cannot be ex-employer then you are all set, but you were a great biller at your last bothered to do the administration candidates are a different kettle of Company. Your plans to be a ‘breath of associated with ‘branding’ – well, they may kippers, are they not? fresh air’ to your recruitment market is of not put it quite like that, but that is the no interest to them. basic reason that they give. We are all led to accept that the Job Boards are the only guaranteed way to generate a So what that you feel the time is right for However, there is another theory too. This regular flow of fresh meat (I mean new kind of recruitment service.... all other theory revolves around that belief ‘qualified applicants’), cobblers to them. that Job Boards do not want to upset their existing ‘big boy’ clients. Why would a job board brand your puny little adverts if such branding might take away some exposure to their corporate clients. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Honestly, not a lot. You need to bide your time, keep talking to Nadia or Nathan or Natalie and keep being nice. You have to wait for the opportunity to negotiate – why not ask your account managers to ring you at the end of their month if they need a quick contract agreement? You can be the difference between their commission being paid or not. But, let’s face it, you are more likely to be on Jeremy Kyle than you are to be the beneficiary of any job board goodwill.14
  • 14. Wrong Trousers Grommit? I mean ‘Wrong Tax Code?’ Why sometimes it is better to ‘flee’ than fight! Even though you are probably doing For example, if you absolutely KNOW that everything right with the Tax Man, you are missing some tax returns or that (i.e. those that actually owe the tax man you could be one of literally millions you owe tax in any form (PAYE, more even though it is not your fault) or of people paying either too much or Corporation Tax, VAT), this is probably not you may be one of the fewer numbers of taxpayers who have the wrong tax codeDON’T KICK UP A STINK YET! too little tax. the right time for you to be ringing Mr. Taxman to enquire if he has made a mess and to whom the taxman owes money. You won’t yet know it but the of your tax code. taxman may have been charging Which do you feel most likely to be? you the wrong amount of tax (either A better policy would be that you ought on your PAYE or your ‘End of year’ tax to get an estimate from your accountant Which type of wrongly tax coded return) because THEY assigned you about what you owe and when you are individual do you think that the taxman is the wrong tax code in the first place. going to be chased to cough up? most likely to want to talk to? A recent estimate suggests that up If you don’t have an accountant, don’t panic – just give SSG a call and we will sort BOTTOM LINE to 1,000,000 of us have been given the wrong tax code and that maybe something out for you with our personal tax accountant (it will probably cost you a The taxman is a particularly grumpy ¼ of all tax payers need some form individual these days. of ‘adjustment’ to their current couple of pounds to find out what you arrangements. need to know, but you really ought to be prepared these days) Even though he is very often wrong about ‘stuff’, he is not in a forgiving mood. It This could mean that you either owe might be that you are 100% up to date the tax man cash or (much more with your personal tax but that your unlikely of course) the taxman might Company tax is not all paid up (or vice owe you money! versa). What has made it all the more complicated is that since the Well, these days if you do decide to poke Government asked the HMRC to that hornets’ nest you had better be ready ‘crackdown’ on non-payers of to declare all, because they will be legitimate tax, many honest tax gunning for you. payers are being reclassified having “No Accountant? Give us a call!” accurately declared their savings No doubt about it. and investment income. However, let’s say that you feel squeaky Having said that, there is nothing wrong clean and think that you might well be with trying to find out ‘where you are’ with one of the million or so with the wrong tax the taxman, before making a decision code? about what (if anything) to do. If you get in contact with the taxman you But (& this is a big but) the advice we have Don’t be too hasty to ‘get in touch’ may fall into the majority of wrongly been given is – take care not to create a coded individuals mini investigation of either you or your business. They rarely end well! WHAT TO DO? NEXT? First of all you need to think of the old anecdote of poking a hornets’ nest.... do you really want to get into If you either owe the taxman money or a long winded conversations with the missing tax return or two, what should taxman right now? you do about it? Are you ready for any fight that Take a look at future issues of The Dark might ensue? Side. Who is the biggest dog in this We are going to get some heavyweight scenario (as Gangsters like to advice about what you can do if you know enquire) – you or the HMRC? “Investigations rarely end well” that you are currently not squeaky clean... 15
  • 15. National Celebration or Unwelcome Cost? Is it not bad enough for business owners Royal Weddings.... to have to pay their taxes only for the Government to shower a bunch of 60 Years on the Throne.... privileged aristocrats with money and gifts? Olympic ‘Triumphs’.... Do we then also have to pay for our business to actually cease to trade whilst Ok – so here is the basic question for all of employees sit and home and watch TV? us ‘small business owner’ types. Are the numerous magical one-off events If a working Mum or Dad wants to be which have taken place (or are due to involved in these events, go ahead – take happen this summer) in the UK good for a day off like one would for any other your business or not? personal decisions. Why should business owners pay? Is the disruption to your normal trade worth the perceived goodwill and And anyway, how many of the millions of potential tourist revenues? staff given a day off because of the Royal Wedding actually celebrate with the Are you happy with the Government led How do you feel about your Business? ow Business Windsor family? enforcement of additional Bank Holidays? Who has the right to deny a working If we turn the tables around, would the Can you make a judgment regarding what employees work an extra day to pay for a Mother the opportunity to watch the these extra leisure days are costing you gift for Will & Kate? I doubt it!! Royal Wedding with her children or and your business? discourage a Dad from taking his son to The UK is about freedom, democracy and Are you happy to be told what holidays watch the Olympic football? choice – not about central Government you business must allow your staff? These occasions will never come around telling small business owners what they NATIONAL CELEBRATION! again and we need to embrace them for should do with their most valuable of what they are – a unique celebration of resources!! It is fantastic for UK PLC to host these what makes Britain the great democracy World renowned occasions – particularly that it is! during these austere times when everyone is struggling to feel positive and proud about the Country. An Extra Bank Holiday to How can anyone object to the branding of Celebrate.... the UK as a destination of culture, history and sport? From the obvious financial benefits of increased tourism to the more ephemeral feelings of celebration & pride, we need to show the World that the UK is very much still alive and ‘open for business’. UNWELCOME COST It’s what the UK is all about! The occasional extra Bank Holiday is It is an outrage for central Government to surely not an issue – in fact, these odd WHAT DO YOU THINK? enforce additional costs (i.e. the days are very likely to encourage staff to additional Bank Holiday dates) on to small work harder and feel happier. Roundhead or Cavalier? businesses already struggling to keep their heads above water! There is no price that can be assigned to What do you think? goodwill, happiness or motivation & that Who can really believe that in a is exactly what these extra days of Bank democracy it is acceptable to be TOLD Was your business affected in a positive Holiday bring to every small business. what to do with the money & time which way by all of the celebrations or do you your business earns. feel that you lost money? It is arrogant and unfair of business owners to want to deny their loyal staff It is not the Government who physically Why not drop us an email and tell us what the opportunity to celebrate along with has to cough up the wages and think you think? the rest of the World such momentous about how to offset the lost daily events. revenues of these extra days. We would love to know!!16
  • 16. For Better or WorseHow have things been goingsince 2008?What did we do?Long before The Dark Side ever existed (was there ever a time Ihear you ask), we invited 30 of our established Clients to spend alittle time talking about their business, their expectations, theirworries, their plans etcThe idea was to try and get a snapshot of their perceptions and “Please just leave us alone”aspirations so that we could start to track an ‘Index’ of how things are going forbudding recruitment entrepreneurs.Just like that ITV ‘49 Up’ programme documentary which reports on the progress of an unfortunate few, good old SSG is ready topresent back some thoughts and ideas from our willing ‘volunteers’ – the ’30 UP’ club!The ContextWe started this process in early 2008 which was pre-Lehman and before we all knew what ‘Financial Meltdown’ really meant. As faras most of us knew, the Eurozone was probably an extension to the Jubilee Line & a Greek default was when you ran out of cash trying to buy a kebab after a heavy night on the beer – or so Chris Ion tells me. The economy was fine and most of us were vaguely settled into our own routines. In other words, the externalities which affect us all as we try to make a few placements were pretty normal. By the time that we looked at things again in early 2009, everyone was freaking out and convinced that the end was not nigh, but was actually here. Candidates did not want to move jobs and employers did not want employees at all. It all looked fairly grim and inevitably most Recruiters were not feeling very positive.... January 2010 was a funny time too – by then, most of us had begun to get used “ Questions, questions, questions!” to the ‘new reality’. Sure, things were tough but that was no surprise. Employers were starting to recruit some of the staff that they had laid off a year before andeven the most pessimistic of recruitment ventures were just getting on with it.2011 was much like 2010 & nothing seemed to have changed (for better or worse). Most of us made a little more money but thatseemed to be more of a result of increased efficiency & dedication, rather than any cosmic improvements in conditions.So, what about since then? How did our ’30 Up’ fare over the last 12 months or so?User Guide!The questions outlined below are the same as they were right from the start – eitherdemonstrating an admirable consistency of SSG Strategy or an appalling lack of imagina-tion (you decide...).For the sake of comparison, we suggested that a ‘Feedback Score of 100’ would mean thateach of our Clients could not be happier, more miserable or more stressed (depending onthe question), whereas any ‘Feedback Score of 50’ would represent a ‘So What’ scenario inwhich our Recruiters didn’t feel too bothered either way.All we have done is to ask the same questions, aggregated the ‘Feedback Scores’ & thencompared that aggregate score with previous years. Simple enough to be sure. “is it really that complicated?”So, the questions are really comparative – ‘Are things better?’ really means; ’Are things better than they were this time last year?’ forexample. 17
  • 17. The Questions “Are Things Be er?” Are things better? 70 I guess the only conclusion that is reasonable to draw here 60 63 64 62 59 is that things are a little better but that there is no 50 52 evidence to suggest that anything is significantly better than it was. It appears to SSG that our ‘30 UP’ volunteers 40 are simply living in the reality of the moment – not that 30 the ‘moment’ is better; just that they are getting slightly 20 better at handling the ‘moment’. 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 10 0 “Making More Money?” Are you making more money? 62 60 61 61 Much like the question ‘Are things better?’, it is factually 58 59 true to state that the majority of or respondents are 56 57 indeed making more money. Having said that, the aggregate is barely improved. We are not talking about 54 Recruiters earning a lot more revenues are we? Factually, 52 they obviously have a few more pounds in their pockets 52 50 but hardly time to crack open the champagne. 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 48 46 “Working Harder?” Are you working harder? Almost everyone seems to feel that they are working 80 harder every year! Can that actually be true or (as would 70 69 71 seem more likely) is it just that our ’30 UP’ are just feeling 68 60 64 increasingly worn out? 58 50 Certainly it is true that most Recruiters who quit their own 40 business do so not in the first 12 months but usually after 30 18-24 months & typically the reason is not that they are not generating enough placements to earn a living but 20 2012 2008 2009 2010 2011 simply that they are not enjoying what they do anymore. 10 0 “More Stressed?” Are you more stressed? 80 70 71 Again, surely it cannot be true that everyone is more 64 68 stressed every year (as the index would appear to 60 62 suggest). Perhaps this apparent on-going increase in 50 54 stress levels is just a reflection of ingrained fatigue? It is 40 not that running 5 miles a day is any harder than it was 30 yesterday – it is just hard to run 5 miles every day? 20 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 10 018
  • 18. Do you have 1 primary worry? 2008 “1 Primary Worry?” Of course, what we were really trying to identify in the narrative to our ’30 UP’ responses was to see if money was, is and will always be the biggest concern of any budding 62 recruitment entrepreneur? 60 61 58 58 Certainly, it would appear from reading a snapshot of the 56 57 prose which accompanies the numerical answers from our target group that money is indeed most often the 54 54 ‘worry’ picked out from the mass of other typical anxieties, 52 but money is certainly not the only worry. In fact, money is 52 50 not even the primary concern. 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 48 On that basis, it is not right to conclude that money is the 46 main thing that worries recruiters – it is just a significant concern. A better question might have been ‘what are your primary worries?’2008 “More Op mis c?” Do you feel more optimistic?80 ‘No’ would appear to be the answer to that one! However,70 72 this is a great example of where there might be lies, damn 64 65 67 lies and statistics!60 5950 OK, so the ’30 UP’ club don’t seem that ‘up’ on the face of it40 but if the starting point back in 2008 is anything to go by,30 they have always been fairly optimistic anyway! Either20 they are all daft or they are all eternal optimists! Even the 2008 2009 2010 2011 201210 suggestion of a global financial meltdown in 2009 did little to affect the aggregate level of optimism.... 0 “Is it Worth It?” Is it still worth it? 80 Excellent! Can’t really argue with that trend can you! 70 74 68 60 61 Maybe what we are seeing here is confirmation that those 59 who falter and decide to quit in the second year ‘after 50 52 launch’ of their business are the exception & that as time 40 goes by the whole idea (& reward) of owning your own 30 business gets better & better for almost all of us. 20 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 10 0 “Consider Giving Up?” Do you consider giving up?64 Strangely, not quite a full vindication of the aggregate 64 answer the question ‘ Is it still worth it’ but close enough62 63 to confirm that things get easier as time goes by? 6160 Or, as an alternative theory is it just that the longer you 6058 work for yourself the more ‘unemployable’ you perceive yourself to be? We all know that it would be very difficult 5756 to go back and work against some other idiots KPIs but does that motivate us all to remain ‘self unemployed’ (as 2008 2009 2010 2011 201254 Del Boy would say) or do we all just get used to living with52 the anxieties of running a business? 19
  • 19. Are clients more available? “Clients Available?” Apparently not! Can it really be the case that there are fewer Clients available now than in the heat of the 2009 60 58 60 59 crisis? I doubt it, but what I cannot doubt is that for every 50 51 year that passes, budding entrepreneurs feel that there are fewer Clients knocking about! 45 40 That would seem strange if that is the case, as at the same 30 time, we all seem to be making more money! My theory is 20 that as time passes and we become more and more 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 grumpy as business owners we are less & less likely to do 10 the boring business development calls that we made as young pups! 0 “Candidate Shortage?” Is there a candidate shortage? 62 60 61 Much the same as with Clients apparently! How can that 58 be? So, our ’30 UP’ club are on aggregate sure that not 58 57 only are there less clients, but there are also less 56 candidates whilst at the same time they are making more 54 money?! 52 53 50 51 Come on guys, don’t kid a kidder! You just can’t be 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 bothered to chase either Clients or Candidates in the way 48 that you once did.... 46 Top Trumps Lists Top 5 Wish List Top 5 Inspirations • More Candidates • Making a placement • More Clients • Partner & / or Dependents • More ‘hours in the day’ • Houses • More Money • Cars • More Free Time • Retirement Top 5 Hate List Top 5 De-motivators • Candidates (!) • Tax • Drop Outs • Boredom • Arrogant Clients • Rudeness • Administration • Working Alone • Referencing • Feeling Physically Unhealthy (fat!)20
  • 20. Outlook “Will Things Be Be er?” Will things be better? 80 Apparently, they will! Most of us seem to imagine each 70 71 73 68 year that it will be ‘better next year’ – almost without 60 62 exception. Either we take no notice of history or we are all 50 54 too daft to interpret the threats which surround us! How is 40 that we all felt that 2010 would be better than 2009 when nothing had improved in the state of the World economy? 30 Strange really, buy hey ho, ‘Always look on the bright side 20 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 of life’ as Monty Python would warble. 10 0 “Make More Money?” Will you make more money? 70 Yet again, the eternal optimists kick in with a positive 68 response. The funny thing is that in the main we do all 60 64 62 64 56 make more money but at the same time we all claim that 50 it is getting harder & harder to do so (i.e. a lack of clients 40 and a lack of candidates suggest that recruitment ought to be harder). 30 20 I guess what this optimism tells us is that we all think that we are getting better at what we do, despite the fact that 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 10 things get tougher! 0 “Will You Employ?” Will you employ any recruiters? 70 58 60 A gentle increase in ‘positivity‘ here, which is nice to see. Being realistic though, this would appear to be fairly 50 54 52 51 predictable in that as any of the ’30 UP’ mob who continue 48 40 to survive OK, they will inevitably think about expansion. 30 Having said that, there does seem to be a marked increase 20 in optimism & expectations this year. Jolly good! 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 10 0CONCLUSIONS Everything changes and seem less & less inclined to chase new we all feel the feelings of doubt & anxiety. everything stays the same business. So, if that is the case, why is it that someEvery year, we all set off with Recruiters do better? Why do someapproximately the same goals as we did Business Owners get tired and, as Recruiters go on and build a business andthe year before. Every year, we seem to we do, things seem harder why do so many fail to do so?make progress but still have the same Perhaps we all have a limited shelf life? If Recruiter get out of recruitmentanxieties as we did the year before and we are going to grow a business (ratherevery year, we feel that can do better next than ‘just’ work for ourselves, then we (& business ownership) more in theyear. need to get on with it. Whatever we are second year of trade than any other. The More money is being made but it capable of in the early years of working danger point is not in the early days when seems to get harder each year alone seems to become harder to we are all fresh for the battle, but more in reproduce in subsequent years. That must the days that represent a plateau in ourMore money is being made but it seems be a serious lesson to take on board? Now performance levels. We get bored and asto get harder each year. Clients are is the time to do things – not next year. we get bored, we feel that it is harder tobecoming fussier and there seems to be achieve the same results as we once did. We are all the same! You have to be a shark – move forward orless of them. Candidates become morearrogant apparently and as Recruiters, we We all worry about the same things and die. Nice analogy ah? 21
  • 21. Your Business in the Spotlight getting a brand ‘out there’, that it forgets that its top consultants need to have a daily, structured routine and work on hitting daily activity targets. Sometimes, just by putting yourself in the shoes of the business and appraising the The Honeymoon is over, the champagne reasons for going in to this in the first place consultants will show that going back to corks have long gone, the vol-au-vents are in was to escape accountability to someone basics will help drive the business forward. the cat and the bunting has been put back else! in the loft; your business is launched and the We may talk about the toolkits we have in first flush of post- launch glow has However, we also recognise that sometimes place – the Cash Flow Toolkit and the KPI diminished and you are well and truly being forced to take time out from the daily Toolkit. immersed in the day to day running of your routine and taking a step back from the coal own show. face can be incredibly beneficial and an At a certain point in the business’es life (& investment that will reap rewards. there is no set timeframe on this) the Chances are you will be feeling that you are business may be in a position to expand. right back on the treadmill, this time with no What A Business Review Is... ‘water cooler’ moments or ringing of bells, We can help you with all the practicalities A chance for you to come and see us and gnashing of teeth depending on whether or (offer letters, contracts, employee handbook talk generally about your business, to not a deal went in. etc) & also act as a sounding board for the discuss the journey so far, the highs and It can be quite a lonely existence, working lows, challenges you feel it is facing and nitty gritty discussions on commission, how for yourself – not quite the glamorous ticket hurdles you have overcome. much basic salary to pay, targets and that was promised. Often, just being able and free to chat rewards. Coupled with that, there is the daily (hourly) through how it is all going is enough to discover what is needed to happen to take it We will inevitably chat through the tactical stress associated with wondering how long aspects of the business such as changes to and how strong the pipeline is, when is the further. your website, different ways of presenting cash position going to improve, how many What will we talk about? the management accounts information, candidates are under threat of being bought perhaps talking through dividends, invoices, back etc. We don’t have a prescribed agenda for a expenses, job board allocations, business review as every venture is very Oh for sure, friends and family will think Innovantage and any technical issues you different with different challenges, market, you’ve got it made – and more importantly may be experiencing. ambitions and needs. have the time to empty the dishwasher, take However, we will undoubtedly discuss the dog to the vets, be around for a delivery What A Business Review Is not... numbers! and make a quick trip to Tesco. It is not an appraisal of you in relation to any But for you, you have lost status, friendship, Numbers can’t be avoided of course and in other venture, you left that all behind of security and (if you have a restrictive the final analysis, is the baromenter by course. covenant) candidates and clients that you which you will measure the success of your It is also not a selling exercise by us; we are have spent years developing relationships business. not trying to promote any products or with. It is important to remember though that services – the purpose of the review is to these are your numbers, not ours – we don’t help you get the most out of the business make any judgment on the actual figures and the most of your relationship with us involved; what we are interested in is here at SSG. whether you are getting the numbers you It is also not a jolly – it is (in our opinion) a want to get. worthwhile exercise to really get under the Your Company?.... We might also discuss the challenges your skin of your company and what needs to business faces – typical areas up for happen to capitalise on the great talent discussion here are candidate procurement, within it – not just a comfy chat over a coffee Sometimes it’s good to be in the increasing the client base, penetrating the and a hob nob. spotlights client base, managing cash flow – we hope we can help you develop some strategies to Here at SSG, we understand how you feel – meet these challenges. we have launched almost 200 businesses and it is evident that a fair proportion of More often than not, the discussion will those that do not survive, cite loneliness and include a recommendation from us that the lack of anchor as reasons. business returns in some form or another to fundamental principles – going back to Which is why, in 2011, we introduced the basics. Business Review System. It is very common for a new business (and by We understand completely that our that we mean under 5 years old) to Sometimes you have to go backwards to ventures want autonomy – one of the concentrate so hard on building a business, go forwards22
  • 22. Some DetailsWhenUsually after the business has been goingfor 6-18 months, thereafter as often as we allthink appropriate.How LongUsually 3-4 hours depending on the size ofthe business and the stage it is at – we blockout the whole day so you can take as muchor as little time as you like.WhereNormally, we hold business reviews at our Pay Equality?offices so that you can see the people Not Yet,responsible for supporting your businessand we can call on any of the team should Not Anytime Soonwe need to.WhoThe bulk of the review will normally be It has come to my attention that if theconducted by Clare Armstrong although average working man earns a total ofinevitably the city limits of her knowledge £1,000,000 in his career, he could (onwill be reached and other team members average) achieve that by around the agewill be involved. of 50. For a woman to earn the very sameWhy £1,000,000 over her working life, itEveryone needs to take a step back from would take her until she is 70. Is thattheir business occasionally and look Equality at work? Now why is this?objectively at it. Is it because women take longer to doWe are part of your team and it is in our everything or that men always want tointerests that you achieve your goals; we are rush everything?committed to supporting you and your Or perhaps it is another tangibleventure as it grows and develops. example of the fact that equality is still a badge to be worn on special occasionsThe feedback we have had so far from the rather than a basic right within thereviews is that the exercise enables owners working re-focus, to face uncomfortable butnecessary challenges, to explore previously I may be just a Grumpy Cat, but surelyuntapped avenues and in the vast majority this cannot be right?of cases, it leads to increased revenue. What next? – a mouse with equal rights or a dog that can’t bark?If you would like to discuss the possibility ofhaving a Review of your Business, please More likely than equal pay I guess?contact Clare. A TAXING DILEMMA Here is the problem: No one wants to pay tax especially during these very tight recessionary times. If the Government tax you more, you will have less to spend but we all know that consumer spending always drives any economic recovery. If the Government tax you less, there is less money for the absolutely necessary reduction in the budget deficit. If the deficit grows, interest rates will rise and you will have less money to spend. Consumer spending falls and there is no recovery. Want to talk about this? 01442 200961 23
  • 23. LinkedIn - Exploiting Connections OK - so you have connections now.... May 2012 April 2012 From the top! We have previously waffled on about how to set up a LinkedIn account and then shown you a few basics ways to build some connections. We then tried to show you how to organise those connections into a selection of TAG groups. So, by now you ought to feel comfortable with the basic-basics! Hopefully, you will have set up a few TAG groups for your connections and be ready to think about how to exploit the contacts that you have? Need a reminder?.....Look inside! You may have even have seriously considered the idea of subscribing to a to address this issue now and one thing is And, you will shortly know how to use couple of the simple (but effective) tools for sure, you will not compete because these TAG groups! that we use here at SSG – the first being you will not be around to do so. the upgrade to being a ‘’Premium User’’ (c. £20p.m.) & the second tool is something called ‘‘Slide Share’’ (c. £19 The What? p.m.) which anyone can use to enhance All we asking you to look at right now are the appearance of their profile. the simple exploitations of one tiny tool within the LinkedIn box of tricks. We are If you need to revisit these steps, then only discussing TAG groups right now. please check the following: Page 11 of the April 2012 TDS You know how to set up a TAG group (& if you have forgotten, here is a reminder: Page 21 of the May 2012 TDS To set up a TAG: It’s free to communicate! But now we need to look at the old ‘who, what, why, when & how’ of TAG groups. 1) Click on ‘manage’ - The Why? This is the next step to making LinkedIn which is just to the right of TAGS. Using TAG groups allows you to engage something more than a tool that other 2) You will then open a mini-window with your connections free of charge. You Recruiters talk about! which offers you the chance to ‘Add can effectively send endless group mails The Who? New Tag’. to your individual TAG groups. Any serious user of LinkedIn really has to 3) Just think of a name and press return. You do not need any fancy software or any create and utilise TAG groups. There is no 4) paid subscription service to ‘group-email’ You will now see that new (empty!) point in having connections for the sake your TAG groups with relevant marketing TAG listed. of it. You need to get on the case now. materials. You know how to build the connections As a Recruiter, you can be assured that that you want to organise into TAG groups We all recognise BRANDING as a key part your competitors are all going to be heavy (& if you have forgotten, here is a of building your recruitment business and users of LinkedIn. As a start-up reminder: we all (at some time) find ourselves Recruitment Company you can be doubly moaning about the Job Boards and how sure that unless you compete from Day 1, 1) Connect with those you already hard it is to get cost effective branding you will end up not competing at all (if know and then from their offering (see Page 14 of this you know what I mean?). This is not the 2) Invite members to Connect & then issue of TDS), but here we are sitting on a sort of challenge that can be revisited at a totally free way of marketing your later date when you are ‘’not so busy’’ – fail 3) Join some User Groups. business. You have to use it.24
  • 24. The When? right - they are branding themselves as Trade Press – Now, Today, Tomorrow, Next Week, Recruiters of low confidence and even same theory. Next Month, This Year, Next Year lower expectations. Just genuinely TAG group emails can provide powerful read one of theFrom now until you stop working. From messages if you work at it very hard. You trade journals. Notnow until you sell your business. From need to use these TAG groups to do three many people donow until you keel over on the squash things: which is why you will seem verycourt or in the gym! 1) Manage your connections. knowledgeable to others!Think of it this way. Almost everyone thatyou meet asks you ‘what you do’ & no 2) Control your Branding &doubt, like all of us you endlessly waffle Don’t restrict your 3) Build Relationships. communications to business! – Ifon about your business, what you do, howyou do it and how rewarding it is. The easiest way to do this is to think about you think of a great idea or see a great consumer offer or find a greatYou devote all of this air play to total this whole process as a necessity rather weight loss tip - share it!strangers outside of your recruitment than a ‘nice to do’ type of activity. Build R e m e m b e r,market. You talk to your partner’s friends this TAG exploitation into your KPI Tool Kit. your TAGand work colleagues. You chat to your (If you have somehow forgotten what our groups arefamily & to your team mates at footy. You KPI Tool it is all about? Then please revisit just made upprobably pass the time of day with your Page 28 of the April 2012 edition of TDS). of normalbaker, grocer, barber, gardener, cleaner – Here are some useful guidelines for what people whowhoever is around at the time. you ought to be doing with your TAG are interestedSo, if you are prepared to do all of that for groups: in more thanpeople who mean nothing to your just work. Inbusiness, why would you not spend ½ 1) Send a Group Email to each of your fact, theyhour a day ‘chatting’ to your market TAG groups once a month. may be more interested indemographic – people that can actually non-work stuff! 2) Generate your intended messagemake you money and help to build the in a separate WORD document,profile of your business? Come on! refine it and then ‘cut & paste’ it into The How? your Group message. 3) Invite a response in your Group Find useful information...Right, let’s keep this simple: message - something along the Daily newspapers (especially lines of ‘What do you think’ - ‘Has business pages!)Here are some rules which you must this been true for you?’ - ‘hasfollow once you have set up your TAG Trade Journals (after all, who anyone dealt with this problemgroups: reads them? before?’ 1) Do not try and SELL anything to Everyday Life (got a good your connections (your TAG 4) Delete from your Contacts any idea or some gossip?) groups). connection which is not tagged - if you cannot TAG that contact 2) Try and give away useful properly, then they are not information. worthwhile connections. Monthly Homework 3) Look to share a market insight. Useful Information?4) Remember, there are other 1) Set up “TAG communication” as interesting things other than work. OK – you have the TAG groups all set up part of your KPI Tool Kit. and have scheduled the need toWhat we are saying LOUD & CLEAR here is 2) Draft & send at least one work communicate with each group (as part ofthat hopeless Recruiters will try and sell a related and one non-work related your KPI Tool Kit) but where do you getcheaper service or a bigger rebate or message to each of your TAG useful information to disseminate?other such Brucie Bonus schemes to their groups.connections. Here are some very easy sources: 3) Cleanse your contacts - if a contactThey feel that the only way to encourage is not an obvious TAG groupcandidates and clients to work with them member, then they are probablyis to offer their service at a cheaper rate not worth having as a contact. N e w sthan is normally available. Papers!Hopeless Recruiters believe that they areso poor that the only way to engage with Read a Next Time qualityconnections (via their TAG Groups) is paper each day What is this Recruiter Platform thing thatsomehow to reduce the cost of their and focus on the we keep hearing about?service whereas in fact all that they are business section. You will I know that it is a subscription service butdoing is reducing the perceived value of almost always find something each is it worth coughing up for?what they have on offer. week relevant to your key TAGSuch hopeless Recruiters are branding all groups. Let’s find out! 25
  • 25. June 2012 BLAST OFF! ANOTHER BRIGHT IDEA Great couple of Recruiters CORPORATION TAX looking to work in IN A FOREIGN FIELD! We all know that you need to physically cough up your Scandinavia & Northern payment to the CT guys 9 months and 1 day following Europe, they bring your Company year end. excellent experience, So, why not get SSG to confirm how much you will need to a tremendously pay immediately after your year-end accounts are done refreshing & and then set aside 1/9th of the outstanding amount each professional approach month, until the money needs to be paid across? & they need to This is the easy, stress free way to pay your CT bill and lots abide to Restrictive of us do it! Covenants. Nothing is easy as they say but these two will make it! Contact Clare For more info, contact: 01442 200957 June 2012 BLAST OFF! Not a lot of people know that COMMERCIAL IN SUNNY BEDS! Another Partnership - this time (”You’re only supposed to blow from a corporate background but with real ‘get up and go’, the bloody doors off”) as they have proved! This is a ‘hard yards’ type of business with no easy money to be had, but Tax Evasion is very naughty & is the general term for efforts by individuals, with 15yrs + experience corporations, trusts and other entities to evade taxes by illegal means. of the sector SSG is putting its money Tax evasion usually entails taxpayers deliberately misrepresenting or concealing where our mouth is the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability, and - We have happily includes, in particular, dishonest tax reporting (such as declaring less income, invested in exchange for profits or gains than actually earned; or overstating deductions). equity For more info, contact: Very naughty indeed! June 2012 BLAST OFF! TAX AVOIDANCE IS Not quite Coronation Street, PERFECTLY LEGAL but here we are with ‘Our It doesn’t matter who you are (Jimmy Carr or Barclays), I.T. UP NORTH! Friends in the North’ launching a great IT based it is a perfectly legitimate and legal strategy to try and business looking at both avoid paying tax on your income. Perm & Temp/Contract Tax avoidance is the legal utilization of the tax regime labour. to ones own advantage, to reduce the amount of tax Candidates are hard to that is payable by means that are within the law. find but when you get People, Governments and others may not like it, but them, the placements we are all entitled to pay as little tax as it is legal to do. start to flow. Roll Tax Evasion? on happy days! Now that it a totally different cup of tea! For more info, contact: Want to talk about this? 01442 200961 clare@supportservicesgroup.tv26
  • 26. We are on Holiday....THE ‘MISSING’ ‘PSL TOOL KIT’SSG hoped to deliver you this article this month, but got caught up in other stuff. So..... next month! Weall know the nightmare situation – a key client has decided to cut the number of agencies with whom theywork and now decide (after years of working with you) that they want you to formally tender for theirbusiness. You receive a long winded and incomprehensible email from your contact at the client businessalong with a dreaded ITT (invitation to tender).The inference is clear – do a good job on the ITT and you might end up on a very short preferred supplierslist – do a bad job on the ITT and that might be the end of a previously lucrative working relationship.As a small Recruitment Business, it is very hard to justify what facilities you can utilise to support yourITT. Where do you get the back-up you need and in what format should you present your case?SSG has spent considerable time developing another of our infamous TOOL KITS & we have decided to callthis one ‘The PSL Tool Kit’ (imaginative ah?) Yep, it’s that time of yearLINKED IN – THE RECRUITERS PLATFORM whereWe have started to get to grips with the freebies which one can use via Linked IN but now we need toraise our expectation levels a few notches & look at some of the paid services.A few of our existing Recruiters are coughing up for the Recruiter Platform stuff – why? TheWhat is it and is it really worth the money?The question is, if we are being asked to spend a couple of thousand pounds on ‘the platform’, is that really Team take it abetter value than plonking the money into a specialist job board for example OR should we simply bet onAshley Cole scoring against Italy from 12 yards out? little easier....Well, like the mugs we are, SSG is going to give it a go and see what it is all about! So, no6 MONTHS IN &? in July but weWhen we return after the summer break, we will have access to the 6 months results for SSG – whichas you know are simply a reflection of the 6 months that you guys have had! will be back inWe are going to publish the trends, the money and the problems (if we find any!) that we have all faced. August!Is the situation getting any better?Are you all making more or less than you expected?Don’t be surprised to get the odd call from Clare Armstrong and her team fishing for opinions!! WHO ELSE DOES WHAT WE DO? Without inviting any horrible jokes or barbed comments from you lot, we are on the lookout for other Companies who do either what SSG does or something similar. We will try and get an interview with one of the big wigs at any companies we find and get them to spill the beans on what they offer – maybe they can teach SSG a thing or two? If you want us to investigate any particular Company for you, let us know. See you Otherwise, DJ will get on his bike and go and have a chat. soon!.... Might be a chance for him to try out that false moustache he got for Christmas?.... 27
  • 27. 1. Hang Myself 2. Call SSG 3. Wash Pants Get yourPriorities Right .... 01442 200957 Call Clare to book your E Business Review FRE