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Essentials when creating a job advertisement

Recruitment is what keeps a company going by finding new and creative people to join the team and make the business better. But candidates don’t just fall from the sky, you, as the company, need to reach out and make an impression through your job advertisement.

That’s why you should stick to these essentials when it comes to creating a job advertisement for all the potential candidates out there.

Title

As an article’s headline would grab your attention, the title of a job advertisement will attract job seekers’. And it really doesn’t need to be complicated or cluttered. The more direct you are with the position available and the company that’s asking, the more likely someone will click to find out more. You should even just have the position as the title and the company as a subheading.

If it’s necessary to be specific in the title (let’s say you’re looking for a more experienced applicant), you can specify for a “Senior Content Writer” instead of simply advertising for a “Content Writer” and receiving candidates that don’t meet the requirements. But, generally, all you need in your title is the job position – it’s what applicants will be searching for anyway.

Company promotion

It’s good to have a bit of company promotion in a job advertisement because you’re trying to make it more attractive for the job seeker to apply and join the team and that’s one way of doing it.

During this promotion, you can give a short background into what your company does, what the company culture is like and any other interesting facts that may make the candidate feel like this is a place they could work at. You can even do so by incorporating how their position, or department, plays a role in the company as a whole.

Just remember that this isn’t the reason why the job advertisement is being made. Keep it brief yet informative and don’t let it take away from the job description.

Position promotion

Now it’s time to promote the position you’re looking to fill. There are the obvious elements that need to be communicated such as a summary of the job, the daily duties of the position, expectations of the candidate and benefits applicable to the person in this role.

Once you’ve covered the basics, you can start adding the additional (and equally important) extra information. This includes a salary range that will most certainly catch the eye of any job seeker, location of the company, parking information to help them plan their daily commute and even office traditions that they can look forward to: Fridays are burger days, for example.  

Clarity on requirements

Every job description should have a “requirements” section. It’s here that job seekers decide on whether or not they’re actually qualified to apply for the job.  Where some companies miss out, is when they aren’t clear on which skills are required and which are merely desirable or advantageous.

It’s important to make these distinctions so that applicants know they are eligible to apply with their degree and that it’s only advantageous if they have worked in a digital marketing environment not that they have to have worked in one before, for example.

Process of application  

There are many job listings out there that seem to forget to add contact information or instructions as to what is required to complete the process of application. This makes it a mission for people to apply or get through to the right department. And that will lead to frustration, which will then lead to them ignoring the job advertisement completely and moving on to the next one.

If a cover letter is required, signing up and applying through the company’s website, completing some sort of test, a specific email address for CVs only, or a required reference in the email subject line – you need to make sure that there are clear instructions to do so. It will also be good to have a system in place to notify them that their application was received.

Appropriate language

We’ve covered the basic essentials of creating a job advertisement so far. But there’s one element to job advertisements that have a great influence on how a job seeker mentally processes an job ad, and that’s through language use.  

Yes, it’s important that your company culture is reflected and consistent throughout your advertisement, but you also need to keep a certain level of professionalism for the more relaxed companies, and a little excitement for the more serious companies.

Finding the balance is where job seekers can appreciate the business focus of a company, whilst still getting excited about what the company stands for. Through the correct tone and language, you can receive a large number of genuine applications for the position. Whoever is in charge of writing the job advertisement needs to have business writing skills training on hand to correctly communicate who the company is looking for. After all of that, you’ll have a killer job advertisement on the market.

Designing the perfect homepage

A company without a website is a company unknown to the world. And a company with a bad website, more importantly, a bad homepage, is a company rejected by the world. Rejected in the sense that first impressions matter and consumers of today are all about “the now” and investing in experiences that have an impact on their daily lives.

Bad homepages are, in that context, a waste of time and a frustrating experience that consumers would otherwise not struggle with again. So, what do you need in your homepage design that will keep people interested and coming back for more?

Font and colour

The first few aspects we will be looking at revolve around the visual experience of your homepage and areas you can modify to ace that first impression. The first things people see and do when they land on a homepage is take in colour and read content. An IT course rule of thumb for homepage design is to always keep readability in mind.

Needless to say, font and colour are important essentials to get right when designing your website. Pretty fonts aren’t always practical for large amounts of content and can be difficult for some users to read. Print and plain fonts are your safer options, with highlighted words in a bolder or more intricate font for effect if needed.

As for colour, if there is too little colour, it’s boring, but if there’s too much, it overpowers the rest of the website’s content. It can be difficult when your company’s colours are multiple or strong, but there are tasteful ways to bring colours into your website design. You also need to keep the colour of the webpage complementary to the font colour so that it stays easy to read.

Imaging

A picture is worth a thousand words, so a thousand pictures on your homepage is, essentially, you shouting at your site’s visitors. But it is important to make a statement with a bold image relating to your company and use it to communicate the message you’re trying to tell your customers.

The chances of an internet user judging the relevance of your content to their lives through the images they see (before they read the text) is highly likely. Your homepage image should be what attracts and encourages people to explore the rest of your website.  

Navigation

When it comes to exploration, navigation is necessary and your homepage should be the place to start. Whether you incorporate pop-up prompts (which no one really enjoys), have animated menu buttons or symbols as navigation tools to get around the site, you need to make sure people know how to use the navigation system and can get to where they want to be through three clicks at the most.

The three-click rule is still relevant in web design and as a navigation method, and shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated. Remember, you’re appealing to a “now” generation, so the sooner they can get their information, the more time of day they’ll give your company.  

Interactable

Animation in web design is a step in homepage interactivity that is fun and friendly for users. Integrating animation in the homepage experience makes the users time worthwhile beyond providing the content they look for.

The secret is to not overdo it with the animation. With homepage design, you can’t really go wrong with the “less is more” principle.

Information

Now we will look at the more content-related elements of your homepage that should be present among all the visual aspects.

  • Identity: As a whole, your homepage needs to tell the visitor who you are as a company, what you do and how you can help them… but definitely not in so many words. Short and sweet (and with your visuals to help), the homepage can do all of the above through an introductory paragraph that quickly flows into the relevant content that the user is there to see.
  • Credibility: Testimonials and awards are great to have, but shouldn’t stay hidden behind the “About Us” page. By having awards stickers and a banner of different clients’ testimonials somewhere on the homepage, the visitor will acknowledge it and positively consider the rest of the page’s (and website’s) credibility. Just be sure you have proof linked to backup your credibility claims.
  • Contact: Not every company understands the necessity that are contact details on every landing page, nevermind just the homepage. If a visitor to your site is interested in what the webpages are saying to them, they’re going to want to contact you as soon and as easily as possible. By only have a “Contact Us” page as an option, you’re testing their patience. And by only having a contact form available on the site, you’re testing how interested they are. And those aren’t necessarily good things to be testing when there are competitive sites with the same offerings and “click to call” or “click to email” contact options somewhere on the homepage.

How to increase the value of your business

When business owners start talking about increasing the value of their business, it’s usually with the intention to sell. But there are also other reasons that businesses start investing in their value. Equity value, financing and to monitor the growth of a company are a few other reasons why businesses do a business valuation.  

As a business owner, you know the personal value of your company to you and it’s in your best interest to do what needs to be done to make your business even more valuable. With shareholders involved and invested in your company, they need you to keep giving them reasons to stay invested. Hence, increasing the value of your business can only benefit you and everyone involved.

Website

An easy place to start building value is through your company’s website. Your website is a portal of first impressions that the public has with your company, so it’s important to keep it fresh, updated and relevant.

Your website should communicate who you are, what you do, what you stand for, why you’re the best, how to get in touch and how you can help the user visiting your site. And, on top of having a comprehensive and informative website, you need to invest in the right marketing campaigns to promote the relevance your website has above the competition.

Technology

Technology will not only make running certain processes in your business easier, but it will increase the value of your business. More and more companies are moving towards automated systems and integrations throughout the office, and to complete work tasks as a more reliable and modern system of operation.

Businesses that aren’t afraid of technology will be more appealing to buyers or shareholders as they are more relevant in an adapting society than those which are stuck in the traditional methods of doing things. At the end of the day, it’s about efficiency in the mundane tasks that allows for more focus and growth in the hands-on areas of business.

Office systems

Take a moment and think about the process that happens when a new employee joins the team and starts working in the office. Are there any systems in place? What is the procedure that takes them through meeting everyone, learning where the different sections of the office are, understanding how to work the coffee machine, undergoing some sort of company orientation, or explaining what the internal software and communication platforms are?

This is just one area of business that requires an office system that everyone is aware of, but the importance is that there are procedures in place and an order to every interaction that happens both within the company and externally from the company to outside business. Systems are organised processes that are in place for many reasons, liability and quality service being two of them. And the smoother your office systems are, the more valuable your business can be.

Documentation goes hand-in-hand with office systems and is also one way to increase the value of a business. It speaks organisation and effort by maintaining smooth procedures to keep the company efficient. And if you were ever wanting to sell your business, having the documents regarding your corporate finance, for example, will be able to show buyers the monetary value that has gone into the business and add to what it’s actually worth.

Customer feedback

If you’re confident in your product or service provision, then you’ll be happy to ask your customers for their feedback and start documenting those as well. It’s one thing to have surges in your sales and profit, but it’s another thing to know if your customers are actually happy with their product. And don’t underestimate the value of happy customers.

It’s about monitoring customer growth and satisfaction by keeping track of the active number of customers, the sales and number of repeat sales per customer, and then their satisfaction feedback. These statistics are proof that what you’re doing is working and that there is value in your business.

Monitoring your recurring revenue is a great way to see how valuable your business is in the eyes of your customers and knowing where that monthly revenue comes in from should encourage you to grow that relationship and promote more of that type of business.

Employee morale

Your customers are important, but your employees are just as important (if not slightly more important), so if you want to boost the value of the company, you need to take care of your people. Keeping employee morale high means the company’s overall productivity and performance will also be high. Both of which play a role in increasing the value of the company.

Just as you monitor your customer satisfaction, you need to do the same for your employees and see where there’s room for improvement and where there needs to be rewards. When it comes to valuations for your business, they will be looking at employee turnover rates and length of employment, so you want to promote an employee-focussed culture in the business.

It may take time, money and effort to increase the value of your business, but it will be well worth it all.

Equipment finance with bad credit: it’s not impossible

A bad credit record can be a stumbling block to anyone who is applying for a loan. This can make the process difficult and can affect the outcome of your loan, such as higher interest rate and the need to provide collateral before the bank will approve your application.

 

If you need to purchase equipment for your business, but do not have a good credit score, applying for finance can be a seemingly impossible task. But, if you know what to do, you will likely be approved for equipment finance.

Check your credit record for accuracy

Contact Experian or TransUnion to acquire your credit report and read through it carefully, looking for any inconsistencies. If you see anything that raises a red flag, phone the credit bureaus to immediately remove all negative data, especially if you know you have repaid the debt in question in full. You will then need to ensure that this is changed on your credit history to show the debt is repaid.

Explain your debts

Your chosen bank or financial institution will want to know the exact reasons why you have a bad credit rating, so it is important to have the pertinent facts readily available. They will want to know whether the debt was entirely your fault or not, and what you are planning to do to rectify it. Lenders are already wary of lending money to those with a bad credit record and if you are unprepared to explain your debt or how you will rectify it, your finance application is likely to be rejected.

Offer additional collateral

If you already own equipment or have a property, then you should consider offering this to the bank as collateral. The bank will look favourably on this, as it will lower your risk in their books. They will be able to sell this collateral should you be unable to repay your loan, making granting your loan easier. It is an effective way to gain confidence if you have a bad credit rating, and will work towards securing your loan.

Try an alternative lender

Rather than going to a bank, you could look into going to an alternative lender. These lenders often look at the positive aspects of your business rather than at anything negative. They will see it as an investment rather than scrutinising your credit score, but be sure to research every aspect of your chosen alternative lender. Make sure the terms of the loan are all in order – it may look fantastic on paper, but this does not immediately make it the best choice.

Find a cosigner

Finding and using a cosigner is often one of the best ways to secure a loan. The bank or financial institution you are applying to for finance will see this as a positive endorsement of your willingness to alleviate yourself from debt, but be warned that your cosigner will be taking on part of the debt too. And that can put a strain on relationships if the chosen person is a friend or business partner.

Offer a larger down payment

One way to secure finance with bad credit is to offer the bank or financial institution a larger down payment. If you are having difficulty finding a cosigner, making a larger down payment may help to assure the bank that you are not a high risk applicant. You will, however, have to pay at least 20% upwards, which can be a difficult task for those who are battling with finances already.

Expect a higher interest rate

You will need to take into account the fact that a bad credit rating will incur higher interest rates. You will need to prepare financially for this and cut back on as many expenses as possible in order to make the monthly payments in a timeous manner. Until your credit rating improves, you will be seen as a high risk client and so the bank or lender views lending to you as a liability.

Settle the payment terms of your loan

Read the loan terms carefully and ask the bank to explain anything you may not understand. Usually, a bank will be very straightforward with their terminology, but some lenders may use terms that are confusing or ambiguous. Be sure that it is understood you can only pay back a certain amount and understand the interest rate and fee structure fully before signing anything.

Conclusion

Equipment finance with bad credit can be a hurdle for a business owner who already has tight finances. But, if you are willing to put in the work with the bank, you will likely be approved. Provide all information you need and be prepared to explain your situation, but do not feel judged or ashamed, your bank will be understanding to your situation and you will be able to move your business forward.

The right way to market and sell life insurance

The topic of life insurance is quite an entertaining one. Well, purely for the process that leads people to eventually buying life insurance.

Most people start out with an irritation towards life insurance sales agents and the prospect of their pending death being held against them as some sort of commodity. But, eventually, when marriage, children and life-changing investments come into the picture, we’re rather quick to go knocking on insurers doors.

One could argue that the “stigma” around life insurance marketing and sales pitches is the way in which they are presented to audiences who aren’t ready to hear: “have you sorted out your life in the event that you might die tomorrow?”. And who can blame them?

We’re going to be talking about a few ways to change your approach as an insurance company and change the minds of potential clients.

Find something in common

Salespeople, in every industry, need to have a knack for communication and connecting with people. And even more so in the insurance industry where the end of a person’s life is under discussion. You can’t start with a hard life insurance sell.

Start by learning more about your potential client and find something the two of you have in common. Not only will it help you personalise your sales pitch (and we’re getting to that), but it will also make your clients feel more comfortable to open up to you and trust you as an advisor for a huge life decision.

Personalise your sales pitch

Every customer is looking for a customer experience with a brand that promises to change their lives and then delivers. And it’s for that reason that an established relationship and personalised sales pitch is necessary. It’s also why generic cold calls and “threats” don’t work when it comes to selling life insurance.

It’s not about knowing each individual in your prospecting list of clients. But you need to narrow down your audience and know who you’re talking to. Through marketing campaign analytics and even your social media’s statistics, you can keep track of your audiences demographics, interests and needs.

And with this information and placing your audience into segments, you can cater for specific audiences and, in that way, personalise your sales pitch. That way, when you do your cold calls and know who you’re talking to, you can be more sensitive towards the prospecting client.

Calling up a twenty-something-year-old and telling them they need to invest in life insurance today and think about how their families would be able to cope without them. Not only do they experience that as insensitive, but their first reaction is that it’s irrelevant. Take a moment to change your perspective as a salesperson and rather communicate by speaking of the benefits it will have should they start life insurance now and what monthly payment options are available.

Relate through human emotion

Now, when we think about life insurance advertisements they’re either in-your-face life insurance or seemingly completely irrelevant. No one wants to watch an advertisement that consists only of experts sitting in an office and giving you the statistics on life insurance and how death affects a family (skipping over the entire grief period while they’re at it).

You need to find the balance between introducing the people of your company, the work your company has done and the lives your company has changed. Because that is what people are more interested in – someone or some story they can relate to.

Testimonials are a great way to get an audience to relate through human emotion. They want to listen to the people with similar stories and situations as them. They want to hear that it’s possible to save money, have living benefits and have life insurance pay out when the time came and the family was in need. Your target audience would rather find out that way that having life insurance is, actually, important and that the weight of responsibility that falls on those you leave behind can be tremendous and hard to deal with.

Young adults with no evident responsibilities won’t need to hear about how a middle-aged person with a partner and children is benefiting from life insurance because they aren’t in that stage of their lives yet and their answer to an insurance sales agent would be “I’ll wait until I need it”. What they need to hear is words coming from a fellow young adult who can rest assured because they know they’re covered should anything happen now and, even more so, later in life because they started now.

How you can do it

The right way to sell and market life insurance is to get to know your audience and give them whatever it is they need to relate to your company and your product. Take a look at your website and see what it says to people who have no idea what life insurance is about.

The AUL website, for example, gives comprehensive breakdowns on what they offer, who they work with, the people they help and what their mission is. It’s not about doom and gloom threats to get people to buy insurance from you, it’s about fulfilling a need and being a part of a process that will change their lives.