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Who wins in Google vs. Facebook? You do.

Steve Fawthrop

I was in a LinkedIn Google-related group discussion last week. Among the topics someone posed a question about the existence of search on Facebook (through Bing technology) and how much it is a threat to Google.

 The question may not be of obvious interest to you, but there is value in understanding potential market shifts in search, and other web use, so you know how it may affect your clients and you. Ideally, any effect would give you more options and efficiency in reaching your potential customers.

 While Google is far and away dominant in search volume and share of mind (most people “Google it” rather than “search it”), there is a definite threat to Google from Facebook search.

 A greater amount of online time is dedicated to social media use. By default that means more time with Facebook, the market leader. The search function on Facebook may or may not be superior to Google but can easily become a default first search due to convenience. Threats to Google come in different forms, not just from Facebook, but all lead to less potential use of traditional search. Some of the causes:

  • Peer-to-peer recommendation that eliminates need for a search. Personal recommendations have always existed but the ease of posing a question or soliciting recommended solutions for a problem among peers is frictionless these days. 
  • Links to other places on recommendation, as mentioned by others, that eliminate a general search.
  • Specialized sources, like Yelp, that are considered superior for delivering results or depth of information vs. a general search. This also includes applications depending on the purpose of the app.
  • Situational search.  As information consumption gets more place-based via mobile and social media through, again, services like Yelp or Facebook Places, the need for a general search gets eliminated or is seen as less efficient. Also a service that provides comparative information, like the Shopkick app available at Best Buy and other stores, may also eliminate a search via Google (or other search engine).
  • The growth of mobile commerce, social commerce, QR codes and digital signage can also effect search by providing answers, information or because it shortens the information-purchase-cycle.

Google is not sitting on traditional search as their only service offering of course. They have owned YouTube for awhile and video consumption is growing rapidly. They made a bid for Groupon in December and, after being turned down, just launched their own daily deals program in three markets. Google recently added  the “+1” endorsement feature to compete with Facebook “likes” and increase the value of social endorsement to search results.

Google is also very aggressive in mobile services as a link to mobile search. During their recent earnings call they claimed over half of million businesses are now using the click-to-call service. This is another version of the pay-per-click model. The advertiser pays when a consumer clicks on a link to a phone number in a mobile search result on their smart phone.

Google has a huge lead in the traditional search market and a lot of cash on hand for investment-nearly $37 billion at the end of the last quarter. Still, there are a lot of potential disruptive elements on the horizon. Facebook is just the most obvious given the reach and share of time it has achieved.

This competitive environment means you and I will have more and better choices as ways to reach potential customers and as individual consumers and B2B purchasers. For that, we should welcome the creative competition between Google, Facebook, other major players like Microsoft and firms we have not even heard of yet.

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Additional information:

 

Added November 3: Fortune magazine article on competition between Google and Facebook. Even includes robots like in my post!: http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/03/technology/facebook_google_fight.fortune/

Added May 31: Commentary on the increased Facebook/Bing social search relationship and impact: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=151310&nid=127301

Added April 27: SEMPCO report shows social PPC giving Google AdWords a “run for the money”: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=149390

Some of the top shopping comparison apps: http://mlcwideangle.exbdblogs.com/2011/04/20/best-mobile-shopping-apps/

MerchantCircle quarterly survey of 8500 small businesses shows trends in digital media use: http://www.merchantcircle.com/corporate/press/2011-01-15-social-marketing-continues-meteoric-rise-among-local-businesses.html

Eric Schmidt of Google at the Internet Advertising Bureau conference earlier this year speaking about web trends, specifically for mobile that are coming. Video is eight minutes so succinct: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_pw_CeWSBg

Facebook added  new features this week to their Groups-photo albums and “send” button to forward information from sources on the web: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/technologylive/post/2011/04/new-facebook-groups-features-send-button/1?loc=interstitialskip

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Steve Fawthrop

www.about.me/stevefawthrop

sfawthrop@socal.rr.com

714-876-7062, cell

Trust and the leadership gap

Dear Visitor,

Thank you for visiting this post.

In June 2014 I was approved to blog on LinkedIn and as part of gearing up my posts I did an updated version of the “Trust and the Leadership” post. So for something fresher I recommend the more recent post:

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140606011603-667794-trust-and-the-leadership-gap-revisited?trk=mp-reader-card

If you are active on LinkedIn and it makes sense to connect due to our common industry interests or location (Seattle/West Coast), certainly feel free to send me an invitation.

I hope you find some benefit to this post. All my new posts are exclusively on LinkedIn so if you find any value you can “follow” and get notification. I am shooting for one a week.

Sincerely,

Steve

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Leadership, by a company leader or work group leader/manager, has hit my radar, by coincidence, a lot over the last week.

Reading  various items, I spotted a number of references to the “gap” in effective work groups due to leadership style. To note:

  • A blog on the strengths and related weaknesses associated with entrepreneurial leaders. Guess what Mr. Entrepreneur, you are action driven and have lots of ideas but aren’t always tactful, jump around on priorities and don’t always pay attention to detail. Those flaws work against your success and the ability of those around you to perform their best.
  •  A blog on the difficulty of older workers working with and reporting to younger bosses and “inherent” conflicts associated with the generational dynamic and different outlook between the two.
  •  A poll that showed that employees would rather work for an incompetent boss who is nice vs. having a competent boss who is not nice. The fact is either scenario means you will not be successful.
  •  Another survey,  from Gallup research in a book I read called “Well Being”, showing that 45% of men and 30% of women find it unpleasant to interact with their boss. This was characterized based on interaction with the boss generating feelings of depression, anger or frustration.

Pretty sad. Given so many people are unemployed these days it does not provide a lot of comfort that those employed, including the bosses, are not being as productive and successful as possible in their work.

So what is the problem? Is it a personality problem with the entrepreneur? Age or generational differences in a shifting workplace as the Boomers start to exit the workforce and Generation X and the younger Digital Natives take command? Are you living with The Peter Principle-the incompetent leader-as your reality? Now we are getting at least a little closer.

The issue at the leadership level comes down to trust. Does the leader inspire trust?

Good question, you may say, but what do we mean by trust?

In the book “Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey (the son of the “Seven Habits” author) he notes that trust has two key components:

  •  Character
  • Competence

Character is depicted by the attitude and approach you take to a relationship whether it is work related or personal.

Competence is the ability to get things done right in the circumstance of the relationship.

Both are needed to establish a confident trust relationship. Trust overrides whether a leader is Type A or analytical, whether the boss is a man or woman,  younger or older than the staff. Trust allows for an environment where the combination of talents and effective work styles are optimized for performance rather than altered around the personality of the leader.

And what do I mean by competence being circumstantial? Covey gives an example in the book that his wife trusts him as a husband but when she needed surgery she went to a qualified doctor, not him, to have the procedure done. His wife legitimately did not trust him, compared to the doctor, related to her medical needs. That was appropriate for the circumstance.

The same is true at work. People may prefer the easier course of the agreeable, incompetent boss over the tyrant, but in their heart they do not want someone who is an amiable dunce either. They want to know the time and effort they make for their work translates into success.

So as you look at issues at work, ask yourself if trust exists in the relationships. If falling short then ask how you can put aside the blocks and work toward a greater trust on the foundations of character and competence.

##

Steve Fawthrop

stevefawthrop@hotmail.com

714-876-7062, cell

www.about.me/stevefawthrop

Six Buying Motives in a Purchase

Dear Visitor,

Thank you for visiting this post.

To my surprise, this has far and away been the most popular post I made to WordPress. Even though it was originally posted nearly four years ago, total views are over 2400 for 2014 and over 6100 since originally posting. I suspect there is always the common desire by those in sales to figure out the buyer.

In June 2014 I was approved to blog on LinkedIn and have shifted my regular posts to that platform. This included, initially, updating some of my WordPress posts, including his one.  For a fresher version of  the “Six Buying Motives” post, and to view all my posts on LinkedIn please go to:

http://linkd.in/1aIljzW

I hope you find some benefit to this post, my other one on the five buying decisions, or posts of general interest.

Sincerely,

Steve

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In my last post I covered five decisions a buyer makes before purchasing a product or service. In this post I will cover six buying motives.

I predominantly sourced the basis of the previous post from “World Class Selling” by Roy Chitwood, president of Max Sacks International (www.maxsacks.com) sales training. I do so again.

Before I cover the buying motives, let me summarize the five decisions made in a purchase by the prospect. They make decisions about:

1)      You. Are you seen as credible and concerned about their business?

2)      Your company. What is your reputation? Your history of performance?

3)      Your product or service. Is it needed or desired?

4)      Your price vs. value. How does what you offer compare to alternatives, including taking no action?

5)      The timing to make the purchase. You can provide incentives to make a commitment but ultimately the timing must fit the need of the prospect.

Now let’s address buying motives.

The six buying motives (please go to the LinkedIn post)…

It can never be ignored that people buy for their own reasons, not ours.

Their reasons may not necessarily be sensible, intelligent or even rational from our perspective, but they are their reasons.

People have six motives for buying any product or service:

1)      Desire for financial gain

2)      Fear of financial loss

3)      Comfort and convenience

4)      Security and protection

5)      Pride of ownership

6)      Satisfaction of emotion

The five buying decisions came in a sequential, building order. The six buying motives, on the other hand, do not come in a particular order although most prospects, especially if you are in business to business sales, are clearly looking for spending to be an investment in new business and a financial gain. Certainly in advertising, my field, that is the case at the fundamental level.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the six buying motives are all founded in emotional decision. Often more than one motive exists, but at different levels of importance. Let me provide some examples.

Desire for gain

Most of our prospects are going to have this as their primary motive whether they measure the financial gain directly or indirectly.

If investing in advertising, as noted, then the expectation is to generate more prospects and, ultimately, profitable new customers.

If buying a new truck for a fleet a motive for gain may be the increased fuel efficiency of the truck to a reduce operating costs, lower maintenance cost or greater hauling capacity that allows for greater productivity in use.

On a personal level an investment in real estate, mutual funds or other forms of direct payback for personal gain or business profit can be a dominant reason as a buying motive.

Fear of loss

While buying insurance is an obvious example of spending to avoid a loss, there are other examples.

In business, a prospect who feels they are losing their market share or losing out on new opportunities may be motivated by a fear of loss. This can lead to spending to better compete. For example, a company may open a new distribution center or increase training for customer service or sales staff to defend market share.

Comfort and convenience

A few examples of personal comfort and convenience in business would be having a comfortable office chair or a reserved parking space by the front door of the office.

At an organizational level, the convenience of dealing with your company can be seen as having you being a responsive representative. As the prospect works with your company, though, the view can expand to include dealing with other parts of your company with whom the client interacts: delivery, billing, your assistant or any employee of the company.

Security and protection

 Smoke alarms or a security fence are good examples of purchasing for security.

In business, keep in mind security in choosing the source of a purchase is important. There is, of course, the old famous saying in technology that no purchasing agent ever got fired for choosing to buy from IBM.

Because of previous experience, recommendation by others or brand reputation, your product or service needs to, ideally, be established as the superior overall value for purchase. At the least, as sales guru Brian Tracy notes in his training, you need to be viewed as the safest and best choice or the least risk decision.

Fear of criticism by others for choosing you can be seen as an unsafe choice. In the early years of USA Today, where I worked earlier in my career, the company had to battle the “McPaper” tag that kept prospective advertisers from spending their marketing budgets with us.

We had to battle the perception that the content was not credible and, thus, not creating a quality readership. Even though research validated the demographic characteristics of the readers, there was still the perception that greater editorial credibility was needed before certain clients would work with us or give us a greater share of their budgets.

It may not have seemed fair from our perspective, but it was a reality to the prospect and it had to be overcome. Fortunately that view became virtually non-existent and USA Today is now a well-established news and information source.

Pride of ownership

Why does someone purchase a nicer version of anything?

The pride factor may be overt or subtle. I had a former boss who was compelled to tell everyone about his Mercedes, Corvette and boat. He was a bit extreme but he got personal satisfaction in talking about his posessions.

For others pride may be very internal through a sense of accomplishment.

Satisfaction of emotion

 This can be in many ways.

Using the example of advertising again, you may not naturally associate advertising with satisfaction of emotion. Still, many businesses see themselves as up-and-comers, market leaders or innovators (ex: Apple). Advertising reinforces their market position to the broader public. Think about the premium paid by a company to be an Olympic sponsor. The total value of association cannot be measured in just dollars and cents.

Advertising is also used to support the morale of staff by validating the quality of their employer.  Sponsorship of a Little League team shows a commitment to community by a business.

Remember, people buy emotionally not logically. In order to sell effectively, you must fix in your mind that everyone buys emotionally then rationalizes the purchase with logical reasons for their action.

An example of different buying motives

Suppose you are a contractor talking to a couple considering a kitchen remodel. Let’s look at how the different buying motives can influence a purchase.

One motive for the couple may be the value added to the home (desire for gain) or the potential loss of value for keeping an outdated kitchen when it comes time to sell (fear of loss).

A remodel may make the kitchen more functional (comfortable and convenient). Updated wiring reduces fire risk or new plumbing will prevent future leaks (security and protection).

The homeowners can show off the new kitchen to friends at the end of the project (pride of ownership) and the couple can get the personal satisfaction of the beauty and style of the kitchen after the remodel (satisfaction of emotion). Depending on individual preferences, a couple may get more satisfaction from using recycled or renewable materials in the remodel.

Any one or any combination of the Six Buying Motives can come into play in this example.  

Ultimately you want to get to emotional motives, a rationalization of the purchase and then the positive emotion of goodwill after the sale to have a satisfied customer and, hopefully, a strong reference for other prospects.

Being more attuned to buyers decisions and motives for buying will lead to greater sales success.

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Steve Fawthrop

stevefawthrop@Outlook.com

714-876-7062, cell

 @Steve Fawthrop

Google +: +stevefawthrop

LinkedIn

Five buying decisions made by a prospect.

Dear Visitor,

Thank you for visiting this post.

In June 2014 I was approved to blog on LinkedIn and as part of gearing up my posts I did an updated version of the “Five Buying Decisions” post. So for something fresher I recommend the more recent post:

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140602133939-667794-if-selling-understand-the-5-buying-decisions?trk=mp-reader-card

If you are active on LinkedIn and it makes sense to connect due to our common industry interests or location (Seattle/West Coast), certainly feel free to send me an invitation.

I hope you find some benefit to this post. All my new posts are exclusively on LinkedIn so if you find any value you can “follow” and get notification. I am shooting for one a week.

Sincerely,

Steve

 ####

Steve Fawthrop

 

 As sales people we often focus on the selling process. The approach, qualification and closing along with other steps of “selling.”

What we often forget is that a prospect is also going through a buying process in step with our efforts to sell.

As a consultative salesperson you want to demonstrate how the investment in your product or service is of value to the needs of the business of the client, rather than a purchase from the lowest-cost provider.

The more you understand the dimensions of  buying decisions and the possible motives behind them, the more value you will be able to demonstrate to the prospect.

In this post I will address the buying decisions. I will address six buying motives on  follow-up.

 What Your Prospects Don’t Tell You

We buy numerous things that are not sold to us. We buy on our own initiative to satisfy our need and we buy almost without thinking.

However, when something is being sold to us, we do think, and our prospects do the same.

We have to first approach the prospect with the understanding that we are an unknown quantity and, therefore, there are going to be questions and doubts about the value of an investment with us.

There are five buying decisions everyone makes when we are trying to sell to them. These decisions always come into play even if the prospect is not fully conscious of it.

By understanding the decisions they will make about dealing with you, the better off you are to get them to answer “yes” to each of the questions.

The buying decision always occurs when you are selling, and they occur in a precise, psychological order.

1)     About you, the salesperson

2)     About your company

3)     About your product or service

4)     About the price/value

5)     About the time to buy

The first buying decision: About you, the salesperson

The prospect’s first impression is not the product or service you sell, but you.

The unspoken concerns revolve around:

1)     Your integrity

2)    Your judgment

When talking about your integrity they are judging if they feel you are really interested in their success. Do you understand the needs of their business?

Judgment is whether you understand and can show how what you offer matches to the true needs of the client.

The more you understand your company, the market you serve, the market segment of the prospect and their potential customers and reflect that knowledge with credibility and confidence, the stronger position you are in to satisfy the questions in the mind of the prospect.

The second buying decision: About your company

 In addition to liking and trusting you, the client has to believe in the credibility of your company.

Much of this is established first by you. Still, the prospect wants to view the company as credible and trustworthy.

Their expectation may range from the level of assumed reliability (handle my order right) to trusted advisor as an integrated consultant that is a key part of their operations.

The third buying decision: About the product or service

The prospect is not simply deciding if they want to buy from you.

They want to decide, both emotionally and logically, “Does this product or service really meet my needs?”

I will address buying motives later but the prospect  is making a choice for you over two other options:

1)     No action at all

2)     Other alternatives

Other alternatives are not simply other companies that you would define as direct competitors. Making a commitment has to fit into the value of the prospect’s overall business goals. If selling to a smaller business, the owner may be comparing the investment in your product to whether they want to spend a like amount of money on an additional staff member.

You have to provide a sufficient value to the customer’s business to be seen as a higher payoff than other choices.

The fourth buying decision: About the price/value

Now the client is ready to consider price, but looks at “affordability” as the value that will be returned for the investment.

The more credibility you have established on the first three buying motives, the more the sale will be about value vs. lowest price. That is why it is imperative to avoid the “So what does it cost?” question until you have built as strong a foundation of value as possible.

The fifth buying decision: The time to buy

This is more client-controlled, but if you have a legitimate reason for faster timing, then the prospect deserves to hear it from you.

Of course there may be time sensitive aspects of your offer that necessitate a decision by the prospect. A good example would be the end of an available tax credit by a certain date, that makes the purchase more cost effective, or the end of availability of a product line.

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These tips are summarized from “World Class Selling” by Roy Chitwood, a Seattle-based sales trainer who I worked with in the past. Roy was a regular contributor to a sales column in the Puget Sound Business Journal for many years.

You can learn more about his company, Max Sacks International, and Roy at www.maxsacks.com.

Steve Fawthrop

www.about.me/stevefawthrop

714-876-7062, cell

stevefawthrop@hotmail.com

 

Three key reasons to network, courtesy Hank Blank

Steve Fawthrop

 Dear Visitor,

Thank you for visiting this post.

In June 2014 I was approved to blog on LinkedIn and as part of gearing up my posts I did an updated version of this topic. So for something fresher, and with additional information added, I recommend the more recent post:

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140616150038-667794-three-key-reasons-to-network-courtesy-hank-blank?trk=mp-reader-card

If you are active on LinkedIn and it makes sense to connect due to our common industry interests or location (Seattle/West Coast), certainly feel free to send me an invitation.

I hope you find some benefit to this post. All my new posts are exclusively on LinkedIn so if you find any value you can “follow” and get notification. I am shooting for one a week.

Sincerely,

Steve

 ####

I attended a networking meeting last week with the featured speaker Hank Blank, a multifaceted advertising executive who lives in Orange County. I saw Hank speak the first time about four years ago and saw him at another event a few years later. I got notice of his speaking and sent a note back to a networking group encouraging members to attend based on Hank’s smooth speaking skills and his insights based on my regular reading of his blog postings.

Hank started his career working with major advertising agencies first in Canada, his home country, later in Chicago and eventually Southern California, his desired location. He is now independent and among his activities he speaks on a regular basis to groups both inside of outside of the world of advertising.

Last week he spoke about the value and necessity of networking in business these days. Whatever your current work situation, he pointed out an obvious reason to be networking. He emphasized you will be in one of three scenarios in your career:

  • You  joined a company more recently (or even been there awhile) but you do not broadly know those you work with. You want to network to add value to helping others understand how you can help them. This way you cross department lines and strengthen your visibility. You also learn about resources and people who may be able to help you. If you do not network you  limit your full capability to contribute to the company and protect your career as best possible.  He noted if you are successful and remain with your company then  networking  just makes the whole experience better.
  • You are a current job seeker. You can network now, out of necessity, but if you have the network in advance then you are in a better position to get help. This goes back to the old saying about how important it is to dig the well in advance and not just when you need to drink the water.
  • You may also start a new job, do terrific work and be committed yet, through no fault of your own, be without a job in the future. More recent economic distress just highlights this point but this is not new. It is  more important to keep in mind as the economy becomes even more dynamic in the future.

So no matter your current situation, his points seem undeniable.

The underlying emphasis is the need to establish your own personal brand. People, both internally and externally,  have to know what makes you distinct in the marketplace. Hank also touched on aspects of leveraging social media, especially LinkedIn for professional purposes, but I will not get into detail on that here.

One additional rule and one additional tip to pass along, too.

First, if you are going to a networking event, then go to network and with an agenda. If you go with a friend, do not stay with each other. You can cover more ground apart and avoid falling into the comfort zone of socializing. If you want to socialize, then do that during truly personal time. Also, especially if you are currently looking for a new job, accept that one event will not be magic. There will be another event, then another and another. All of them add up in positive ways you cannot foresee when you stay active, visible and engaged. In fact, he emphasized you have to attend with “an attitude of engagement.”

When you attend business events-and really for the rest of your life-always have two sets of business cards. One for your current company and a second set that is personal. It is essential to have your own image and information in the market. A personal card also complements and supports your personal brand because you can provide information that endures beyond your current job.

The personal card allows you to self-promote by noting social media sites for yourself and to add personal information that makes you more memorable.  For example, I am one of nine children.  Not too many folks come from such a large family so that  is different and memorable. And yes, I am the cutest and smartest of the bunch. That is a  little thing that makes me distinct and helps someone remember me when they look at my personal card later. Of course, add a few other salient facts like your career title (as opposed to your job title) and perhaps your college and degree.

If you would like to read some wisdom from Hank on your own, check out his website at www.HankBlank.com. His e-mail? Hank@HankBlank.com. Is this networking and personal branding stuff starting to make sense?

Meet Hank Blank!

Hank Blank

May 4, 2011 update-Some additional networking tips from Hank in his latest post: http://hankblank.wordpress.com/

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Steve Fawthrop

stevefawthrop@outlook.com

714-876-7062, cell

The Power of “weak” business connections in social media

Steve Fawthrop

When discussing the benefits of social media, especially in having connections to casual business contacts, much has been made about the value of “weak” links and their potential benefit. Their value is often questioned.

A weak link connection, if you are not familiar with the term,  is someone you know but not necessarily well or one with whom you have not maintained regular contact. It might be a former coworker or a former client that,  in a current job for you or him,  you do not have reason to communicate on a regular basis anymore.

In the past it was less valuable-or at least more costly in time and effort- to keep track of contacts. Through the benefit of social media, more specifically LinkedIn for business, it is a waste to not keep track of people or, at the least, be visible to them.

Let me provide an example. Yesterday I got a call from someone in the advertising business in Seattle, my hometown. While I linked to this person  in the past, we only met in person once that I recall-an incidental introduction at a luncheon. I was mostly familiar with him because he played basketball at the University of Washington while I was in high school and someone I knew  reported to him. 

Even without the personal history this person, also named Steve, contacted me yesterday looking for potential recommendations to fill a position in Seattle. Now keep in mind:

  • I met him only once before
  • I left Seattle in 2003 so I am not part of the business community anymore

 Why did he call? He said  I have a lot of connections and he  sees me all the time due to active postings on LinkedIn.

So without the conscious effort to influence him in particular or to make a declaration of “expertise” in some area, my reputation and credibility has built up over time to prompt Steve to send me a note requesting help. I then gave him a call to see how I might help.

While it is nice to get recognition via Linked In, the more important  point is that an opportunity has  been created for someone I know who may be a very good fit for the position. This opportunity would not exist for my friend if I simply disappeared when I left Seattle nearly eight years ago.

Now an actual fit needs to be determined for the job, but this example points out the power of having weak connections and establishing your visibility. By posting information on LI you say you are in tune with information related to your interests or industry and that, by sharing, you are willing to be helpful. Even without saying it directly, you are inviting someone to turn to you as a resource.

If, in this case, it turns into a win for Steve with a good hire and for my friend, a great new position, then I will feel very gratified that staying visible on LI has helped a few people I know-one casually and one more personally-have greater success with their business and their career.

So next time you come across  information that can benefit the group from third-party sources or your own expertise, take the time to share it. You never know, you might be planting the seeds of something important for a friend, a future client or even yourself.

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May 4 update-Brian was offered the position but, after consideration, turned it down.

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www.about.me/SteveFawthrop

The AboutMe site provides links to my blog, LinkedIn profile and Twitter account.

Steve Fawthrop

sfawthrop@socal.rr.com

714-876-7062, cell

Fundamental steps in making a new hire

Steve Fawthrop

Recently, as part of a discussion with partners in a sales consulting firm, I was asked how I would go about recruiting. Let me share two key elements in hiring that I cited in my response.

I was asked how I would recruit in Los Angeles. My mind first took me to the logistics of recruiting. Where would I network? Where would I place an ad online? I then responded, as an example from a position I had in Seattle, how I recruited one person from a company–who initially came to me on recommendation through a network–and eventually hired two other sales people from the same company.

My explanation was an example of effective networking to add to the staff, but did not address the more critical points about the purpose of recruiting. I stepped back from the initial response  and clarified the core aspects I see involved in recruiting to fill a position.

If recruiting, two key considerations need to be addressed:

  • What are we offering as an opportunity to a candidate and, related to it, are we providing them the tools and support to succeed?

If so, the candidate and eventual employee should be able to answer positively to the statement, “At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.”  These are foundation elements of the Gallup Q12 questions that look at workplace satisfaction and performance.

  • Are we clear on the success characteristics in the position so we are recruiting, interviewing and hiring a person we believe can meet and exceed goals   or the performance criteria of the position?

Often the role of the position, skill set needed and personal characteristics needed for success, personally and within the corporate culture, is not clearly defined at the start of a hiring process. A flawed interviewing process means you are more likely to make an inappropriate hire, less than successful hire or rely on random chance to make a good hire.

As the director of advertising and marketing for the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle, I used services from Gallup through our parent company. Our Gallup consultant, Mark Brown, was a tremendous help to me, especially when I was a newer manager.  I  learned a lot through involvement in the Gallup management training and  improved my interviewing skills as I matured in the position and in later roles. Post Business Journal I came upon an author, Lou Adler, who wrote a great book called “Hire with Your Head.” I bought his audio series–a blend of the book, in studio commentary and a live seminar discussion–and have used his interview tools.

If you are in a hiring role for any kind of position, I recommend looking at Gallup resources, including their many books. The first book I recommend is “First, Break All the Rules” which is on managing, not specifically on interviewing and hiring.

More specific to hiring, if you feel you can improve in this area, check out Lou Adler (The Adler Group, www.adlerconcepts.com) on his website or through a general web search to learn more about him. The original audio series I cite above, which was a cassette format, is no longer available but his book is along with a variety of new offerings on CD and through e-newsletters and consulting services.

Steve

714-876-7062, cell

stevefawthrop@hotmail.com

www.linkedin.com/in/stevefawthrop

Additional information:

The Gallup Q12 questions: http://www.workforce.com/section/hr-management/article/12-questions-measure-employee-engagement.html

A review of the questions and their appropriateness: http://blog.vovici.com/blog/bid/18535/Employee-Engagement-Survey-The-Gallup-Q12