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Random notes on human resources, marketing and working from home Random notes on human resources, marketing and working from home
by Joseph Gatt
2020-06-19 10:30:59
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A few notes on human resources, marketing and working from home in no particular order.

-One big mistake a lot of companies make with human resources (I would say 99.9% companies make with human resources): they are too “sloppy” and “slack” with hiring.

The big mistake most companies tend to make is spend less than 5 minutes drafting the job ad, less than 2 hours screening resumes, and tend to hire people who are clearly not fit for the job.

worho001_400Example of this: a sales coaching company (that went bust) hired a trainer who was rude, aggressive, and treated his clients like they were “first class idiots”. I tried to hint at that to the company CEO, but I was told that this specific trainer had “all the diplomas and experience.” So according to the CEO's mentality, if the trainees were complaining, it's because they are “too stupid to understand the trainer.”

I told that CEO “couldn't you find someone with better “soft skills?”” and the CEO tells me “that's all I could find!” Now I'm sure that if he looked hard enough, he could find a trainer, perhaps with less qualifications and experience, but with better presenting skills, and one who could satisfy the client base.

In sum, take your time when you draft the job ad. If you want to hire the best people, you want to be clear (albeit slightly vague) about pay, benefits, working hours, job description, and qualifications. That way it's usually going to be the very best who are going to apply.

-Another good way to hire people is by networking (I will discuss networking a lot here). If you own a business, or work for a business, I couldn't repeat this enough, you want to attend at least one event or party a week. If possible, spend Saturdays and Sundays hopping from event to event, at least every other weekend (save a weekend to rest your mind a bit).

How does this networking thing work? Here's how it worked for me. Everyone who knows me knows that I tend to be shy, because my life and identity are so unique and counterintuitive (I'm not making stuff up, I'm a Jew who was fostered by a Muslim family, and kept moving around the world). So I used to avoid parties and events.

The first event I went to was a conference I paid 400 dollars to attend. To me, paying 400 dollars to attend a big conference meant being given the opportunity to see how things actually work. I immediately noticed that while there were lots of great people attending, there were also lots of toxic people attending. So that was my first lesson learned.

Second conference I attended I paid 100 bucks. Now I knew where to spot the good people and hang out with them.

Then I started attending free events and conferences (now that I could get rid of my shyness and tendency to avoid crowded places) and the more events I attended, the more I knew what crowd to stick with.

Eventually people started inviting me to parties, conferences and events. Then people started begging me to come to their parties, conferences and events.

Then my reputation got so huge that those guys who used to be the “party mascot” and whose “title” I stole got jealous. Then there were threats and intimidation. Then security got involved. Then I moved to another country and rebuilt my reputation from scratch.

The good thing about networking is that the more people know you, the more they will know your product and brand. In terms of human resources, the more people you know, the less you have to rely on ads to hire people, and the more you can directly hire people you know.

A couple of “no nos”: don't “steal” anyone's employee (they will hate your guts for that!). And be discreet when you hire people you meet at events, because soon enough young college grads are going to be lining up in front of you, thinking they will have a shot at being hired by you.

-What do employees want? They want consistency. If they show up on the job knowing what to expect, they will deal with it. If they show up to work and every day has its load of surprises, and the structure and job description and general mood and atmosphere keeps changing every day, they will quit.

-What the Christian Bible teaches us: I'm comfortable with my Jewish beliefs, but I occasionally look to other religions for advice and inspiration. One of my favorite teachings from the Christian Bible is the lesson on the seven deadly sins.

So take the Bible's advice, and don't hire people with the following sins (or fire them if they present those sins): no lust (if they behave in sexually explicit terms they should get out), no gluttony (don't hire anyone who eats or does anything in excess), no greed (money is part of the game, but it's not the only part of the game), no sloth (if the guys shows up and constantly complain about having to work, and would rather sit and be left alone, give him the boot!), no wrath (we all lose our temper every now and then, but if someone is angry every single day, get him out of there), no envy or jealousy (jealous workers tend to sabotage your very best workers, so get the jealous ones out before damage is done) and no pride (if you criticize your employee, they should apologize and move on. If they have too much pride to face criticism or a failed deal, and start hiding the bad news from you, get 'em out!).

-So much for human resources.

-Briefly, a note on marketing. A good product tends to market itself. But then you have competitors. So you should focus marketing on subtly edging out your competitors, without being too brutal. That is, in any marketing campaign, you want to discuss how you're different from your competitors.

But you want to discuss your differences with competitors as follows: people who like my product should come to me. People who like my competitors’ products should go to him. All I'm trying to do is give a clearer picture of what my product is.

So for that you can purchase advertisements (TV, Magazine, Newspapers) but you also want to give the occasional interview, run campaigns on the ground and so on.

Keep in mind that no matter how good your product, you will rarely completely edge out your competitors. For example, about 15 years ago, someone invented “the most comfortable chair in the world.” Very comfortable indeed! Many 5-star hotel bars use that chair (super comfortable indeed!) because that's an incentive to linger on and have another 25 dollar beer. But most cafés, restaurants and individuals do away with that chair.

-Finally, briefly, notes on working from home.

You should only work from home if you do the following: you own a small handicrafts shop that works with wholesales merchants (such as accessories, small bracelets, pottery and what not). Or you perform a service and all you need for that service is a computer (like translation, journalism or graphic design or data entry).

Either way, don't work from home if the reason is that you are too shy to work with other people. Work from home if your motivation is financial (saving rent money) and that you are so passionate about your crafts or online job that you could focus no matter what distractions there are. Many people work from home and end up “drifting away” from their job.

Here's how it works. You get no clients for one day. Two days. One week. Two weeks. If you worked at a company, you would have a crisis meeting. But because you work alone, you slowly shift to watching TV or Netflix, and are often too “scared” to keep looking for work after two weeks of drought and rejection.

So, even when you work from home, you want to spend the weekends networking and getting your name out there, as many of your clients will be your friends from the network, or their friends, or their friends' friends. 

 ***************************

Check out Yossi Gatt's blog https://yossigatt.blogspot.com/"


     
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