Sales: The Critical Piece

Sales - The Critical Piece To Your Successful Future

 

Sales: The Critical Piece To Your Organization’s Successful Future

What drives your business?

Technology, finance, marketing?

These are all good things, but what it actually comes down to is sales.

I’m not saying that your other departments aren’t important, they are. They all contribute to the business, but sales is critical to the immediate and future lifeline of an organization.

Sales revenue is what allows you to succeed as an organization. You can have the best technology, the best services, and the coolest marketing campaigns, but if no one buys your product, you don’t have a business.

Sales in the door is what allows you to invest in advancing your services, providing marketing dollars, and keeping the wolves away.

Aside from new revenue, a customer’s first call (if they have an issue) is often to their sales rep, and I can’t think of a more important time than now to keep your current customers happy. A happy customer is a repeat customer and it’s often down to your sales rep to prevent them from going to the competition.

On that note, whether you like it or not, a lot of customers buy your products because they like the sales rep. If the rep is gone, the client will often follow.

When times are tough (hello Covid!) companies start cutting back and putting hires on hold.

It makes sense in these uncertain times to save as much revenue as possible for a rainy day (and it’s been pouring for months now). But, the one department that can help get you through this is sales; and the job postings I’ve been seeing certainly reflect this belief.

While a good number of companies have cut at least a portion of their sales staff, there are companies looking to expand their teams, which is great news for those sales reps that have been laid off.

As opposed to thinking of cutting back your sales team or putting all sales hires on hold, perhaps now is the time to be bold and look to the future.

While this may not be the year to expect record figures, if you’re fortunate enough to have the type of products or services that companies simply cannot do without, maybe now is the time to go for it and position yourself ahead of the competition when things go back to “normal”.

Here’s a great article from Harvard Business Review that explains how to re-focus your sales teams efforts now and when things go back to “normal”.

To be fair, there are some industries that simply may not survive no matter how many sales people they retain or hire. Fortunately, that’s not the case for all industries.

So, if you’re a company who are feeling the pressure to cut costs and hold off on hiring, really take the time to consider the impact a smaller sales team will have on your bottom line both now and in the future.

Sales are the critical piece to your successful future.

But how do you know you’re hiring the right person?  After all, every dollar spent is now more critical than ever. The answer is simple – contact a professional to help bring in the perfect candidate.

Rostie & Associates are those professionals.

At Rostie & Associates we invest time in understanding your organizations’ functions, your strategies for business success, your cultural environment, how to sell your organization to the candidate market, and associated success stories that differentiate your value proposition from competitors in the marketplace.

We provide a professional recruitment solution to a wide range of organizations in the United States, Canada and Internationally. Our clients range from the largest and most established firms to entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of technology.

Simply put, we’re dedicated to creating a perfect match between organizations and candidates.

Check out some of our hottest jobs!

If you’re an organization who is planning for a successful future by adding to your sales team, contact Rostie & Associates today.

We look forward to providing you the best sales representatives on the market!

 

How Will H1B Visa Changes Impact Your Team and Talent Acquisition?

How Will H1B Visa Changes Impact Your Team and Talent Acquisition?

How Will H1B Visa Changes Impact Your Team and Talent Acquisition?

In our line of business, geopolitics doesn’t usually factor into decisions. We find you the best possible candidate for the role, and ensure that they are a great fit for your company. No more, and no less.

However, given the recent news regarding our friends to the south, and their government’s recent decision to suspend several classes of visa, most notably, the H1B, our work becomes more relevant than ever.

With companies no longer able to access a global talent pool, competition for US talent in the United States is set to increase significantly, and competition for global talent will increasingly take place within Canada, due to Canada remaining open for skilled immigration.

Using high-level boutique recruiters dramatically increases your likelihood of hiring top talent. We know exactly who fits a given role, and we are the most qualified people to advise you on how to attract and keep your talent, as well as ensuring that they continue to perform.

When competition increases, experts become more and more important.

We know the people, and we know how to ensure that you are not getting “B-list” staff.

Staffing is one of the few truly zero-sum propositions out there. If you attract the best, your competitors, well, won’t. Your business wins, and your competitors won’t be competitors for very long.

We know both Canadian and US markets and talent, which means that we are extremely well positioned to deliver in both markets. If your company is based in the US, and has Canadian operations, we can ensure that you have a top American team as well as an excellent international team.

The USA restricting access to foreign workers doesn’t need to mean that your team will take a hit, but if you don’t consult with the experts, it likely will.

See our partner, The Rostie Group’s, response here. They’re your go to for all office space and corporate headquarters needs in Toronto.

For more information about making  Rostie & Associates your go-to recruiting agency, feel free to visit our website www.rostie.com or call toll-free 1-800-647-0780.

Working From Home is Hard Work

Working From Home is Hard Work

Though working from home (WFH) is not a new concept to many people – it’s a practice that has been gaining in popularity over the last number of years – however, many of us were given no choice but to work from home due to Covid-19 and we learned working from home is hard work.

I think it’s fair to say that most of us appreciate the opportunity our employers have offered to continue to earn a wage throughout this crisis. Many, like me, have come to prefer working from home, though it isn’t ideal for everyone.

Perhaps you are simply more extroverted and prefer to interact with other people or you may not have the space for a separate office.  My “office” is the corner of my living room but as it’s just me and Arthur (my cat) it works very well.

However, if you have family at home, having a desk in the corner may not be ideal.  You’re going to have to make more of an effort to concentrate no matter how supportive your family is!

And for others, while they may be able to get much of their work done from home, their job would be much easier in an office setting.

But, even those of us that have taken to WFH like ducks to water, there are days when it’s difficult to power through for eight hours.

Whether it’s from feeling under the weather or suffering from lack of sleep or just “one of those days”, there will be times when you find it difficult to stay focused.  And that’s okay. There’s many ways to break up your work day into chunks of time that will allow you to still get work done while relieving some of the pressure.  Because, let’s face it, our employers are entrusting us to work from home and that trust should not be abused.  I’m sure that your boss also has “one of those days” as well and would likely understand.

If you’re simply having trouble adjusting to WFH, here’s a great article from MindTools to get, and keep, you on track.

If you’re really into the swing of WFH but just having the odd rough patch, below are some of my suggestions along with some professional advice to give yourself a break but still get the work done.

Exercise:

I have found that when I’ve been restless it’s not usually the work getting to me, but lack of exercise.  Now, I’m certainly no gym rat and won’t even run to catch a bus, but even I know that going from the bed to the sofa to drink my morning tea then straight to my desk isn’t a good idea.  You may not be commuting to work but you still need to have a transition from “home” to “work”.

For me, it’s walking.  I try to get out every morning for a good walk.  I’ll be honest in that there are some days when the snooze button and I are best friends, but even if you can only manage a 20 minute walk, it makes a big difference.  I try and fit in another walk after work or dinner and ideally a quick one at lunch.  I’ve even begun incorporating some stretches into my workday.  And while I may be about as graceful as an elephant in a tutu, it helps!

Here’s an article from Readers.Com that details the benefits of stretching along with some specific stretches you can do at your desk.

Give yourself a mental break:

Sometimes it’s your mind that’s tired or frustrated and you need to give it a break.

If I’m feeling frazzled or frustrated, I like to make a cup of tea and go sit on the balcony for five or ten minutes – a backyard is awesome if you have one.  Otherwise just go to another room, as long as it’s away from your desk; but be sure to leave your cell phone, laptop, iPad or whatever behind.  (Take the tea, leave the cell phone, come on, Godfather, anyone?)

The point is to just sit, be quiet and let your mind wander.  To be honest, your brain will probably focus on work. But don’t grab hold of any of it, just let it flow and you may end up with a solution to a task or problem you’ve been struggling with – or just come back to your desk a little bit calmer which really is the goal.

Here’s a fantastic article from Medium.Com on how to give your brain a break.

Finding work that isn’t “work”:

Most of us have various aspects to our jobs, so maybe take some time to do something that is still work related and of value to your employer but not the core of your job; perhaps conducting research or writing a blog!

Proper eating habits OR “Are cookies a breakfast food”?

As you have probably surmised from my comments regarding exercise, I am not anyone’s idea of a “health nut”.  However, it is important to eat proper meals at reasonably proper times.

If you’re like me, making tea in the morning is challenging enough, don’t tell me to cook breakfast – it’s just not going to happen.  Perhaps brunch but isn’t that what restaurants are usually for?

However, even I can find something healthy in the morning – instant oatmeal, whole grain toast, or if that’s still too challenging try some fruit with a small piece of hard cheese or hard boiled egg.  You can boil up enough for a few days ahead – and if that’s not your thing you can buy them already hard boiled in little plastic pouches – go figure!

Eating regularly scheduled meals will help keep you on a proper work cycle.  Let’s face it, if you’re eating lunch at 3:00 in the afternoon while WFH, are you really going to be that productive for the rest of the day?  Unless you’re one of those people that normally eat later meals – though personally, I would never last that long – I’d be “hangry” by 1:30!

Anyway, I’m not going even going to attempt to provide nutritional advice – I’m someone that firmly believes potato chips are a food group – but decent eating habits will help you stay focused, and you don’t have to take my word for it.

Here’s some advice from Harvard Medical on foods to help you stay sharp

Just remember, we’ve all had to get used to WFH and if you have those days where you struggle to stay focused, there’s ways to make working from home, well, work!

Cyber Security & Digital Transformation

Cyber Security & Digital Transformation

Rostie & Associates has always prided ourselves on recruiting for new and cutting edge technologies whether it’s Cloud, IoT or Digital Transformation, and we definitely have a penchant for recruiting in Cyber Security!

That’s why we are so pleased to see that in spite of these, shall we say, challenging times, Cyber Security and Digital Transformation are areas where companies are continuing to expand.

While remote work is a “must” during the pandemic, and will likely be more and more the norm, there is no doubt it increases risk for employers and cause cyber challenges for IT and cyber security teams.

Remote employees have become prime targets for hackers and, unfortunately, that is not likely to change any time soon.

Here is an article from New England College that expounds on the increased demand for cyber security experts.

TechGig also agrees that the need for cyber security resources will continue to grow.

And in terms of Digital Transformation, this article from Forbes clearly states that the only way forward for manufacturing firms is Digital Transformation.

eWeek even goes so far as to say that Digital Transformation is the only way for corporations to survive COVID-19.

We have been hearing about Digital Transformation for some time and even more so since COVID-19.  So just in case you’re wondering, what exactly Digital Transformation is, here is the definition as offered by Salesforce:

“… The process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This re-imagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation.”

What does a digital transformation framework look like?

Although digital transformation will vary widely based on organization’s specific challenges and demands, there are a few constants and common themes among existing case studies and published frameworks that all business and technology leaders should consider as they embark on digital transformation.

For instance, these digital transformation elements are often cited:

  • Customer experience
  • Operational agility
  • Culture and leadership
  • Workforce enablement
  • Digital technology integration

While each guide has its own recommendations and varying steps or considerations, CIOs should look for those important shared themes when developing their own digital transformation strategy.

A definition from The Agile Elephant emphasizes all the ways businesses may need to adjust their existing practices: “[Digital transformation] involves a change in leadership, different thinking, the encouragement of innovation and new business models, incorporating digitization of assets and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of your organization’s employees, customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders.”

And the Wikipedia definition, while vague, touches on how the effect of digital transformation extends beyond businesses to society as a whole. “Digital transformation is the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society,” it states.

If you’re in the fields of Cyber Security or Digital Transformation and looking for your next position, please contact us at Rostie & Associates to see if we can help you on your post COVID-19 journey!

Your Career Path: Making the Most of a Bad Situation

Let’s face it times are tough with almost every sector having taken a massive hit, literally overnight.

No one would think you’re crazy for saying that there are no opportunities out there right now but, surprisingly, there are.

Many industries are hiring to either meet current demands or to prepare for changes going forward.

Realistically, for some people it may mean changing industries or learning new skills to adapt.

However, you may be fortunate enough to already be working in one of the industries currently hiring or planning to expand post Covid-19.

This article from The Muse lists 94 companies across a variety of industries that are currently looking to hire.

And here is some encouraging news from Business Wire and Forbes.

This article from Accenture provides some great insight regarding the effects of Covid-19 on the technology industry.

Of course we all realize these are not the “best of times”, but while conducting my own research into what types of industries are hiring and what types of positions are available,  I came across dozens of articles –  both USA and Canadian centric – far too many to list here.

But, it does show that if you are considering searching for a new position or perhaps changing careers, this may be the time to make that happen.

Just as of writing this article, Rostie & Associates has positions available for a Sales Director, Senior Software Engineer, Data Scientist, Account Executive, Senior System Administrator, Cyber Security Engineer, Cyber Security Manager and a Senior Systems and Network Engineer.

You can find more details on these and other positions, at www.rostie.com

Speaking with other recruiters confirms that, yes; companies are hiring and utilizing technologies such as Zoom, Skype, Webex, etc. to conduct interviews.

Many of the roles will be “work from home” until it is safe for them to re-open their offices.

These recruiters have also advised that they’re seeing an uptick in hiring for various types of roles in healthcare, eCommerce, Fintech and Cyber Security, just to name a few.

Of course, there are a great number of positions available in areas such as distribution.

If you are of an entrepreneurial nature, perhaps now is the time for you to go out on your own.  This article from Forbes suggests this could be the time to make it happen.

And, if you just need some encouragement, here are some success stories from Mental Floss and Business Insider that show that adversity can be turned into advantage!

Hiring: The Landscape Has Changed, But the Song Remains the Same

Well it’s officially official—the world has turned upside down.

What was white a month ago is now black, square, round, inside, outside, well, you get my drift.  This is (for the foreseeable future) the new normal.

In terms of Recruitment/Hiring/ Interviewing, one is left to wonder about the vast impact on this whole process.

Let’s look at the “interview process”.

“The interview process is also changing, going from in-person to video platforms like Zoom. Face-to-face interviews don’t exist anymore, and everybody’s fine with video interviews,” says Arran Stewart, co founder and chief visionary officer for the automated job-matching site Job.com.

So you’ve ACED your Video interview! Congrats!

As much as our work habits have changed, the employer must also adapt the terms of employment offered to new employees. In addition to standard salary and benefits, they should consider adding additional provisions relevant to our current situation.

Offer a paid subscription to a new wellness app, or complimentary meal/grocery delivery services; these offerings not only make a person feel valued; they are a constant reminder that they are part of a team and a company that cares for them.

This is critical at this time as they don’t have the luxury of natural team-building that comes when people come into the office daily. These little gems when they first join the team let new employees know they are valued and appreciated and improve employee attraction and retention metrics.

You must also keep the social aspect of work alive by arranging things like virtual lunches or happy hour, where food is on the company (it’s difficult to coordinate timely delivery so allow employees to claim back on expenses). This builds a break into the workday and gives people a chance to decompress, socialize and break the monotony and isolation inherent to working at home.

You should insist that your workers take part in this to make sure they feel included and most of all, keep a routine.

Although the landscape of the interview process has vastly changed, and the added benefits that employers should consider when acquiring a new client now differ, the fact remains, hiring new top talent is going no where.

For more information about the services offered at Rostie & Associates, feel free to visit our website www.rostie.com or call us toll-free 1-800-647-0780.

We look forward to finding your your next hire!

hiring remotely 2

Hiring in the time of Covid

hiring remotely 2

 

There is no doubt that the world is facing an incredible, and in some ways, unprecedented challenge; and while we are all looking forward to getting back to “normal” we have no idea when that will be and what the new “normal” will look like.

And while it’s only natural to feel the need to hunker down and maintain status quo, it is not sustainable and will not benefit your business in the long run.

It must be acknowledged that some industry sectors have been decimated and recovery will be very painful and very slow – we haven’t seen unemployment rates this high in North America since the depression – but there is hope in other sectors and many companies are still hiring!

More companies than ever already have a significant remote workforce in place – a trend that has been growing year over year, while others have recently been forced to implement work from home policies and have the technology in place, or available, to keep in touch with their team, so why not utilize those same technologies for hiring?

Particularly for remote workers there is no reason to not take it one step further and hire without in-person meetings. You can conduct one-on-one phone or video interviews or round-tables, conduct references, background or security checks, all without meeting in person.

It may be a leap of faith but hardly unprecedented.

Realistically, in this current climate, it is not likely that you will be able to physically introduce new employees to your current team. However, you should not risk losing your ideal candidate and what some of our clients are doing to avoid this is working through the interview process by phone or video, securing the hire and leaving an open start date.

Also, when things do return to “normal”, many of the candidates you wanted to speak with may have already moved on to other roles and there will be a lot of companies looking to hire all at the same time.

So before you decide to put all hiring on hold, do consider which roles you realistically can move forward with and avoid the hiring “scramble” that’s sure to come!

Just take a look at our jobs page and see all the companies that are still hiring. This might be the right time to move to a new career.

lack of constructive criticism

Constructive (Destructive?) Criticism in the workplace

lack of constructive criticism

Constructive [kuhn-struhk-tiv]

adjective. helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement (opposed to destructive): constructive criticism. of, relating to, or of the nature of construction; structural. deduced by inference or interpretation; inferential: constructive permission

We’ve all been on the receiving end of constructive criticism, and have probably also had to give it. It’s not easy for either party, but it is sometimes necessary.

Most of us work in a team environment and there can be misunderstandings or misinterpretations in terms of roles, functions and goals. Even just the challenge of working in a cooperative environment, with disparate personalities alone, can at times require intervention.

But, you should ask yourself; How well do I give constructive criticism? How well do I take it?

I’m sure many of us have had one of “those bosses” or colleagues that just don’t know how to criticize in an effective manner. It may be that they are uncomfortable with confrontation or just don’t know how to effectively share their thoughts.

When done incorrectly, criticism can come across as abrasive, insulting or downright hurtful as shown in this article by “TLNT”.

However, you can’t always blame the person giving criticism. Before storming off or saying something you may regret, you have to consider how you’re interpreting their comments. Are they truly being insensitive or is there a chance that you’re being defensive? Are you really listening to what they have to say or are you closing yourself off because you’re feelings are hurt? Perhaps you need to pause a beat before responding.

Here’s an article from Forbes that shares how to better take constructive criticism.

If you’re the one that has to provide criticism, you also need to take a moment to get your thoughts in order. You owe it to your employee to be fair and unemotional and to ensure you have a plan of action or advice on how to move forward. You should also take the opportunity to listen. And I don’t mean listen to excuses. Just be open and aware that your employee may themselves be able to offer some constructive criticism of their own!

So, before you call your employee into your office for “a talk”, perhaps you may want to review an article by Forbes Coaches Council and their advice on offering constructive feedback.

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and growing your career with a leadership position can be easy. Just take a look at the positions we have available and start you new job today!

Working from Home

Working from Home – Blessing or Curse?

I have worked from home off and on. You know when you don’t feel well enough to go into work but well enough to actually do your work? That sort of thing. But for the last few weeks I’ve been working from home every day and I’ve got to say, it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.

There are definite benefits – no commute, no distractions and actually eating dinner at dinner time! You can also throw a load of laundry in – I mean, it’s not like you’re sitting there watching it spin. You just toss it in, back to work then take it out. And, of course, being available to the cat for pets on demand!

I have found that I’m more focused and getting more done than ever, which is fantastic, but, aside from a very happy pussycat, there is a definite downside to rolling out of bed and rolling up to your desk.

My work day is infinitely longer. Normally it hits around 5:15 or 5:30 and it’s time to pack up and head home (though my boss would argue that point – “must be 5:00 as Pam’s heading out” which is SO not true!). And unless I’m working a special project or under a time crunch, I make dinner, watch Netflix and just keep an eye on my emails in case something urgent comes in. But, essentially, the work day is over. (And yes, obviously no children – I don’t know you folks do it but that’s a whole other blog right there!)

A clear transition from workday to home time doesn’t really seem to occur when you work from home. My workday never seems to end. As soon as I wake up I’m rushing to fire up the old laptop and thinking about what I need to get done. When I “leave” work, I’m still compulsively checking emails and doing “just one more little thing” before I settle in for the evening.

I’m sure if you work from home on a regular basis you create a routine and stick with it to separate work from home as much as possible. But, I think it takes a lot of discipline and some people are probably far more successful at this than others.

Then there’s the social aspect that cannot not be ignored. We’re social beings. Even those of us who are a bit more introverted still need some interaction with other people. I’m on the phone most of the day but it is not the same as being with people. I know we’re at work to work but there is social interaction between colleagues and peers. Whether you’re working with a team towards a shared goal or bouncing ideas off other people, it prevents you from feeling isolated and out of the loop.

Being honest, I think working from home a couple of days a week would be my ideal as it probably is for most people. So what can you do if you work from home but need to have some time around actual human beings? Well, now that you’ve asked, The Rostie Group definitely has the answer and, in my somewhat biased opinion, I think it’s a good one!

Coworking really could be the ideal solution for you. It allows you the opportunity to get dressed up in your big person clothes, meet people and perhaps even develop partnerships with other

Coworkers. I can tell you from experience that the Coworkers and tenants at The Rostie Group have built their own ecosystem, collaborating and working together to expand their businesses or learn new skills.

So, if you’re sitting at your desk in your home office – or the corner of the living room where you’ve squeezed in a desk and computer – and you haven’t spoken face to face with colleagues or peers in weeks, then why not take the time to discover the solutions that The Rostie Group can offer to get you out of the house and into a corporate environment?

The cat will miss you, but trust me, you’ll wish you’d done it sooner!