How Marketers Create a Strong Persona

Because marketing strategy encourages an accurate grasp of the needs of the customer, the process of developing and expanding this understanding can be complex. One tool used is personas…creating descriptions of customers in specific segments. I asked Randy Frisch, CMO of content experience platform Uberflip, for his take on the challenges marketers face with creating personas.

The Problems With These 5 Common Hiring Practices

There is a dark side to behavioral questions and personality tests. It’s very rare these days to get a job without going through some sort of interview process, whether it be over the phone or in a boardroom with two or three panelists grilling you about your skills and expertise. It’s a process that most professionals have accepted and have also probably spent countless hours preparing for. But how did the job interview come about, and how effective are some of the most common methods that businesses continue to rely on today?

5 Platforms That Help You Assess Candidates’ Skills

Few things are more frustrating for recruiters than discovering late in the interview process that the candidate they thought was a superstar has been exaggerating their skills. Not only do you lose out on that candidate in particular — but you also have wasted valuable time that could have been spent cultivating other candidates. But it’s not always easy for recruiters to truly assess how skilled candidates are — often, recruiters hire for positions that they aren’t intimately familiar with, so they have to take candidates more or less at face value.

Why Businesses Struggle with Email Security

Every day, in businesses around the world, the following scenario occurs: An executive assistant receives a fraudulent email, supposedly from the CEO, requesting assistance with a new project and asking when she would be able to help. This scenario can end in one of two ways. In some cases, the executive assistant is observant enough to notice that the “CEO” included a signoff at the end of the note - something she never did. This causes her to investigate the email more closely and recognize that while the name of the CEO in the heading was correct, the actual email address was not.

How to Avoid ‘Analysis Paralysis’ When Assessing Collector Productivity

It can be very easy for collection agencies to get bogged down in what is known as “analysis paralysis” when attempting to figure out the productivity of collectors, because there are so many different data points and variables that can be factored into an equation. But just because there are so many data points does not mean they are all important, and each agency is going to have to do its own calculations to figure out what works best for them, a panel of agency executives said recently during a webinar that was sponsored by Peak Revenue Learning.

7 Ways to Set Up a New Hire for Success

No one has a bigger impact on new employees’ success than the managers who hired them. Why? Because more than anyone else the hiring manager understands what his or her people need to accomplish and what it will take — skills, resources, connections — for them to become fully effective. Managers also have the biggest stake in onboarding their new hires effectively. Research has shown that being systematic in onboarding brings new employees up to speed 50% faster, which means they’re more quickly and efficiently able to contribute to achieving desired goals. Effective onboarding also dramatically reduces failure rates and increases employee engagement and retention.

Your Star Employee Just Quit. Time to Conduct These 4 Unexpected Interviews

You know the obvious steps when a great employee quits. These aren't those. Employees never cease to surprise us - in many wonderful ways. But sometimes the surprise stings, especially when they leave the company at a time you thought they were happy. This emotional topic is why high profile experts often weigh in with strategies to keep your best employees from bolting. But quit happens. And when it does, you already know the usual drill: See if you can do anything to change their mind, understand why they're leaving to ensure nothing foul is afoot, and already start forgetting them and shift focus on who can replace them.

5 Platforms That Help You Assess Candidates’ Skills

Few things are more frustrating for recruiters than discovering late in the interview process that the candidate they thought was a superstar has been exaggerating their skills. Not only do you lose out on that candidate in particular — but you also have wasted valuable time that could have been spent cultivating other candidates. But it’s not always easy for recruiters to truly assess how skilled candidates are — often, recruiters hire for positions that they aren’t intimately familiar with, so they have to take candidates more or less at face value.

The Top 5 Leadership Mistakes You Might Be Making

Avoiding common pitfalls to become a better leader. As a chief people officer, I have a front-row seat to watch some leadership careers flourish - and some crash and burn. Here are the five most critical mistakes that derail promising careers. I once worked with a leader who could never admit that he didn't know the answer to a question. There'd be a brief flash of panic in his eyes, then a hasty, "Uh ... our central office is handling that" or "That project will be done in ... six months." He was clearly making it up on the spot. In his effort to look capable, he made the situation far worse - and he no longer holds that leadership role.

Is Your Best Salesperson Sitting In Your Marketing Department?

Marketing and sales have always had an odd relationship, as they can both be synergistic and antagonistic - all at the same time. It’s not uncommon to hear marketers say that, when business is good, sales gets the credit, but when business is bad, all fingers point to marketing. And if you ask a salesperson? They may tell you that marketing spends far too much time and energy driving “squishy” brand objectives that don’t directly make a difference to the organization’s bottom line. It’s a constant back and forth between things like quality and quantity, marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads and brand marketing versus direct response.

Selling: The Skill Everyone Needs

Whether you are interviewing for a job or are an established CEO, the ability to sell is critical to every career and beyond. "Selling is a life skill," said Jason Patel, the founder of Transizion, a college prep company focused on closing the opportunity divide in America. Not only does his work require making sales to a diverse range of customers, he also educates students and early-career professionals on how to use sales techniques to advance their own careers. "Broadly, everything you do requires some sort of selling: dating, pursuing a promotion, buying a house and getting a loan, among other things," Patel said. "It's part of the human condition."

Are You a Talker or a Communicator? Part Two

In my last post we talked about accepting 100% responsibility for everything you say AND 100% responsibility for everything the person you’re speaking with hears. Once you’re willing to do that then you’ll have the opportunity to improve your own communication skills. The beauty of accepting 100% responsibility is that it doesn’t matter how good the other person’s communication skills are. You still get your message across and have the possibility of better understanding their message as well. To communicate well you’ll want to make certain that your thoughts are delivered in as clear and concise a manner as possible.

Are You a Talker or a Communicator? Part One

Before I begin this post on communication I feel that I must point out that I’m only writing about half of the communication process. And it’s the least important half. The communication process of course involves speaking and listening. Of the two listening is far more important. Listening is how we learn. You will learn more in five minutes of listening then you will learn in a lifetime of talking. Sometime in the future I’ll probably do a post on listening, maybe right after I do that post on procrastination. But for now we are talking about the speaking part of the process. I should also point out that much of the speaking part can also apply to our written communications.

Dam, Flow or Flood: How Does Information Travel in Your Organization?

In agile, complex, collaborative organizations, there is a direct connection between the quality of information flow and the quality of results. Shared context (or shared consciousness as described in the great book Team of Teams by General McChrystal) is a fundamental requirement for smart coordination, empowered execution, and distributed decision making. However, many organizations find themselves stuck with an information dam – or an information flood – or both.

How to Make Your Business One of the Best Places to Work

At the turn of a new year, after the parties have ended and we return to our daily lives, people over the world consider how the next 365 days can be even better. We write down our New Year's resolutions and think about what we can to do to improve our health, happiness and prosperity. The same can be said for businesses of all sizes. January is a time that companies like those on Glassdoor’s lists of the 100 best places to work in 2019 and the 50 best small and medium companies to work for consider what they can do to not only bring happier and healthier employees through the door, but also keep them for the long term.

How You Deal With Stress Can Ruin Your Employees’ Jobs

While a tight labor market has business leaders seeking to improve retention and engagement, they may be overlooking one critical factor: how their managers respond to stress. A new study by researchers of leadership training company VitalSmarts found that one in three managers can’t handle high-stakes situations. And their inability to communicate and manage through these situations is affecting team performance in a variety of ways. Managers who get angry or withdraw in when the pressure is on hurt team morale, and teams are more likely to miss deadlines, exceed their budgets, and fail to meet quality standards.

New Apps Can Wreak Havoc on Collectors Trying to Comply With FDCPA: Webinar Panelists

There are apps out there now that imitate the voices of real people and individuals are using them during phone conversations with collection agents as a means of wasting an agent’s time and making it impossible to collect on a debt. That was just one of a number of important topics discussed during a webinar recently that was sponsored by Peak Revenue Learning. The webinar, entitled “Where Collectors Make the Most FDCPA Mistakes” featured a panel of leading compliance experts talking about the areas where agents most often get tripped up when attempting to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and how agencies can work with their employees to keep mistakes from happening again.

To Retain New Hires, Spend More Time Onboarding Them

This year, the unemployment rate in the U.S. hit a 49-year low of 3.7%. The demand for companies to retain top talent is intensifying. One report suggests that employee retention is the number one issue on the minds of CEOs today — not just in the U.S., but around the world. And yet, companies often spend very little time onboarding new hires. With up to 20% of staff turnover occurring within the first 45 days of employment, a standardized onboarding process is essential. In my experience as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, I’ve found that the most effective organizations onboard new hires for the duration of their first year — their most vulnerable period — and focus on three key dimensions: the organizational, the technical, and the social. By using this integrated approach, they enable their employees to stay, and to thrive.

The Spacing Effect: How to Improve Learning and Maximize Retention

We are not taught how to learn in school, we are taught how to pass tests. The spacing effect is a far more effective way to learn and retain information that works with our brain instead of against it. Find out how to use it here. The most important metaskill you can learn is how to learn. Learning allows you to adapt. As Darwin hinted, it’s not the strongest who survives. It’s the one who easily adapts to a changing environment. Learning how to learn is a part of a “work smarter, not harder” approach to life—one that probabilistically helps you avoid becoming irrelevant.

How to Do Great Things

Insight is rarely handed to you on a silver platter. Einstein argued that genius was 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. While we can acknowledge that luck plays a role, we often use that as a crutch to avoid doing what we can do to intelligently prepare for opportunities. We only get one life, “and it seems to be it is better to do significant things than to just get along through life to its end,” writes Richard Hamming in his book The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn.