Possibly the best time management advice ever!   

One of the best time management advice stories goes like this. Charles Schwab was a steel mill Magnate in the 1930s and asked a time management guru, Ivy Lee, for his top tip. Ivy Lee gave the tip and said he was so confident of his advice that Charles can try it out and pay him whatever he feels the tip is worth. After a few weeks Charles was so impressed with the usefulness of the advice that he sent a cheque of $25,000. In modern money this is about $344,000. Wow!

 The famous advice that Lee gave was: 

  • At the end of a day list the key tasks that you need to get done the next day.
  • Prioritise them (ideally 1 to 5 priorities).
  • Next day work on tasks in the order of their priority/importance until daily time allows, not proceeding until a task was completed. Get as far as you can on the priority list.
  • Keep doing this every day.

Charles M. Schwab said this tip was the most profitable advice he had ever received. He was the first manager in the US to get over a million dollars a year so he must have been a competent guy.

We all have the same amount of time and there is normally plenty to do. Managing our time optimally is so important and gets us ahead.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. Please get in touch if you are contemplating a career move or looking to recruit. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cHZYp5

 

The importance of career strategy

A career left solely to chance is an unwise gamble. Without the implementation of a clear and workable career strategy, there is a real risk of missing any opportunities that come your way, or even stagnating at a particular point you were hoping to move on from more quickly.

Work hard

During the early years of a career, you quickly climb the ranks by being the sharpest, brightest and most capable team player. You make sure you are the one who answers emails the quickest, the one who always volunteers for overtime and regularly comes up with ideas which far outshine those of your peers. But as your career progresses and the top of your game is in reach, the importance of a defined career strategy remains. Undertaking large projects which deliver time or cost savings – or other financial gain – carry more weight at senior manager or director level.

Plan

With plans come goals, with goals come motivation – and with motivation comes results.

Your career strategy will change and evolve over time, and will need constant review and consideration. In a world where there aren’t enough hours in a day and work is constantly piling up, months roll by unnoticed. But force yourself to regularly set time aside to assess where you are and where you’re going.

Be Specific

Work out specifically what you want to achieve in your career and by what date. Also consider whether there are gaps in your knowledge, in any technical practices or legal requirements for instance. Even as a senior manager or director, some new business concepts or procedures can require the acquisition of new skills and understanding. If so, consider what degrees or accreditations you may need to pursue, and what path you’ll need to take in order to get there. Study can require a large investment of your time and if a Masters or PHD is required for a position you want in three years’ time, you would really need to start applying now.

Get noticed

A recent study has shown that hiring an external candidate into a company means they’re paid 18-20% more than internal workers who are promoted upwards. Although unfair, it does point to the idea that professionals are often taken for granted inside their own companies. Whilst that doesn’t mean you constantly need to move around between organisations, if you do stay at the same company, it’s important to cultivate a strong external reputation. Get networking and get yourself noticed. Not only will you potentially open doors for yourself further down the line, you’ll also reduce the risk of blending into the background. You’ll remind your boss and colleagues that your abilities are appreciated – and sought after.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. Please get in touch if you are contemplating a career move or looking to recruit. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cHZYp5

 

10 reasons why you should use a headhunter

10 reasons why you should use a headhunter

Headhunters, in simple terms, are recruiters – but not all recruiters are headhunters. Another term for what headhunters do is “Executive Searching” and this is it in a nutshell – they search for the ideal candidates at executive and senior management level. But they don’t just match people to companies; they match companies to people.

So what else does a headhunter have to offer?

  1. A headhunter knows how your industry works – the technology, the trends and most crucially understands what you do.
  2. A headhunter will have many years of networking within your field behind them. They make it their business to know who’s who, and will very quickly have someone specific in mind for a role you need to fill.
  3. By using a headhunter you can save yourself a lot of time. Your company doesn’t need to embark on a long, drawn-out recruitment process that may not even lead to finding the right candidate at all.
  4. As a result of the above, a good headhunter works in an advisory capacity for you, hence reducing the risk of making a bad (costly) choice of candidate.
  5. Once a particular headhunter has done a great job in finding you the perfect new recruit, a relationship of trust can exist for locating suitable candidates for future roles.
  6. Good headhunters in your field will be up-to-date with the latest laws, strategies and techniques.
  7. Headhunters are very proactive – it’s their job. After all, they’re paid on results. An effective headhunter will work tirelessly on your behalf until the role is successfully filled.
  8. A top class headhunter knows exactly where to look for talent. They not only have good networking connections within your field, but they also have a highly comprehensive set of tools and knowledge at their disposal to get that ideal person through your door.
  9. Headhunters will thoroughly understand the job requirements and person specification for the role on offer. Then will then be able to comprehensively convey these to a potential new recruit. This allows the candidate to gain a much clearer understanding of the role from the outset, meaning less space for misunderstanding – and a possible recruitment mistake.
  10. Any headhunter worth their salt will also make sure they do not lose the best candidates to other companies. There are likely to only be one or two ideal potential new employees for the level of job you are aiming to fill. A headhunter will know how to get them interested and motivated in the role – and not let them get away!

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. Please get in touch if you are contemplating a career move or looking to recruit. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cHZYp5

 

The latest HR technology trends

HR is an industry which hasn’t exactly kept up with technology trends and this is probably down to the fact that is an industry based on communication and personal relationships. However, we are seeing a lot of interesting new developments in HR and these can be hugely beneficial for businesses for both recruitment and retention. These are some of the top HR tech trends to look out for this year.

Enhanced recruitment process

At the moment, most HR recruitment systems exist for the purpose of tracking candidate applications – however, this is set to change throughout this year. Recruitment systems are set to become a lot slicker, incorporating marketing and brand building, as well as the standard tracking – and this will help improve the overall recruitment and selection process.

Performance management tools 

An effective performance management process is essential for helping to grow talent and improve retention. Up until now, performance management tools have been fairly limited, however, this is starting to change. We will see an influx of cloud based performance management systems, which can help support the process and make performance management a lot more useful.

Digital learning 

In the print and packaging sectors, it is essential for employees to continuously learn and update their skills and with enhancements in digital learning, this is set to become a whole lot easier. Employees will be able to undertake lessons and gain certifications, all through their computers or phones. The on boarding process will even benefit from digital enhancements, and this will improve the entire journey for employees, as well as making manager’s lives a lot easier.

People analytics 

Print and Packaging are sectors which are challenging and it can be difficult to retain talented staff, due to the options available for candidates. If you want to know more about what your employees want, people analytics is the way to achieve it. It can all start with simply online surveys, where you can find out more about what your employees want and this can help improve retention levels.

Most businesses could benefit from investing in some of the new HR tech trends, particularly large organisations who want to improve employee relations and retention levels. If your HR systems are stuck in the dark ages, it may be worth looking at alternative options.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. Please get in touch if you are contemplating a career move or looking to recruit. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cHZYp5

 

The Role Of Video Interviewing In Recruitment

In a competitive world, employers are constantly striving to come up with new, innovative ways to recruit candidates. This is especially true within industries and roles which are specialised and require certain skills and experience, as there tends to be high demand for these types of candidates. With such high competition, it is important for businesses to embrace new technology and understand how it can be beneficial, rather than sticking to the tried and tested traditional methods. Many businesses are undertaking more telephone interviews than ever before, so are these slowly becoming the future of recruitment? There are many reasons why video interviewing is becoming an increasingly popular method of recruitment.

Increased Choice 

When it comes to the recruitment process, it is not always feasible to interview candidates, regardless of how suitable they may be for the role. Many candidates are based overseas, but will be happy to move when they find employment. The use of video interviewing can allow businesses to widen their audience and improve their pool of candidates. With video interviewing, it is possible to speak to anyone, regardless of their location. In roles which are difficult to fill, video interviewing can make the difference between filling a role or not.

Flexible 

It is much more flexible to set up video interviewing than it is with face to face interviews. When you set up face to face interviews, you need to ensure both parties are free and find suitable time slots. However, with video interviewing, there is much greater flexibility as interviews can potentially be carried out at anytime and anywhere, even on the go!

Cost Saving 

Video interviewing is not only more flexible, it is also a good way for businesses to save costs. Most businesses spend thousands of pounds each year on travel costs, but unnecessary costs associated with travelling for interviews can be decreased, if not eliminated, through video interviewing. The cost of recruiting a member of staff usually mounts to thousands of pounds, so any way of decreasing expenditure will be welcomed by any business.

Quicker 

In many cases, employers will want to see candidates face to face before making a final decision on whether to make the hire, which is understandable. However, it is still quicker to use video interviewing in the first instance, as you can easily and quickly eliminate those who are not suitable. Video interviewing can help the process reach conclusion, long before it would using only traditional methods.

Convenient 

Professional people have busy schedules to adhere to and quite often, interviews can take up a lot of time, especially where travel is involved. Without the use of video interviewing, those involved may need to make numerous trips until a final conclusion is reached. It is much more convenient to use video interviewing, than to rely on traditional methods only.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. Please get in touch if you are contemplating a career move or looking to recruit. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cHZYp5

 

I have several job offers, how do I decide which to choose? 

In the current economic climate, securing a new role is difficult for many candidates, but if you are lucky enough to have several job offers, you will want to ensure you make the right choice. It may be the case that you have been unemployed for a long time and suddenly you find yourself inundated with offers. It can be tempting to just take the first one offered to you or to focus only on the salary, but there are several other elements to take into consideration.

Culture 

In order to get real job satisfaction, it is important to work in an environment which suits you and the culture is often an aspect which is discounted when candidates make a decision on accepting a job offer. The wrong culture can make you truly miserable, even if the salary and benefits exceed your expectations. You will be spending most of your life at work, so the right culture fit is vital. For example, if you prefer to work on your own initiative, you won’t get job satisfaction if you are micro managed. Similarly, if you prefer a relaxed environment and the culture is very corporate and strict, it won’t be the right fit. Take time to consider where you would feel most comfortable and consider this when making your decision. You will gain a lot of insight into the culture during the interview process.

Expectations 

Don’t be afraid to ask for as much detail as possible about the role and the expectations the manager has for you. If you start a role, only to find that you are quite quickly fire fighting to keep up with the workload, you will be completely disheartened. There should be an induction process and training provided for you, before you are left to get on with the workload. You should definitely not feel stressed and overwhelmed as soon as you start the job.

Benefits 

This is an obvious consideration when accepting a job offer, but it’s not just the financial benefits you should take into account. For example, if you have childcare issues and need to work specific hours, make sure the company can accommodate this before you accept. You may also be interested in working from home occasionally and if this is important to you, be sure to clarify this before you accept.

Location 

A two hour commute might not seem like a lot if the salary is competitive, but this can quite quickly become frustrating as it will leave you with very little spare time in the morning and evening. The location is an important aspect to take into consideration, both for the financial implications and the potential stress it may cause you. Make sure you are able to commit to this long term before you accept the job offer.

Development Opportunities 

This very much depends on your future career plans. If you are happy to stay in the same role for the rest of your career, it may not be an important consideration. However, if you want to develop, make sure there is a career line of progression within the company.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. Please get in touch if you are contemplating a career move or looking to recruit. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cHZYp5

 

The key challenges in the print sector

In addressing the challenges and concerns of the UK’s print industry, it’s important to remember over 8,600 companies employ over 122,000 individuals and enjoy a gross annual turnover of £13.5 billion. The UK market is the fifth largest producer of printed materials in the world. It’s a powerful player and it will survive the significant challenges facing the industry at present.

New media

There has been a critical decline in the publishing print division (magazines, books, reference books, catalogues and newspapers) due to the “new media” explosion (social media, eBooks). Road maps have been replaced by sat navs and smartphone apps. Search engines have superseded reference materials and books, marketing budgets are focused on and committed to email advertising and websites.

These digital commodities have replaced printed materials and the publication print sector is set to decline an average of 3.7% over the next five years.

UK economy

In comparison to other developed European countries, the UK economy has been rather stable. So far, an immediate post-Brexit financial fallout has not occurred. It’s expected that any downturn will concentrate on already stressed sectors such as graphics and publication products.

Print media marketing

By 2019 it’s expected that just 5% of marketing budgets will be dedicated to physically printed material, due of course to more profitable marketing opportunities emerging from social media and mobile devices.

Employment downturn

While sector turnover has been comparatively stable, the print industry has shown a downturn in the number of employees and companies. There are two elements driving this decline, one a past influence and one a contemporary factor. The fallout from the 2008 recession such as decreased profit margins meant that not all print industry companies survived. By 2012 this situation had stabilised and print industry incomes began to climb. Secondly, advances in automation and production processes have caused a reduction in the overall numbers of employees.

Fixed capital investment

The development of improved production processes mentioned earlier comprises fixed capital investment. Demand has changed direction, from sheet-fed litho to digital, and this is expected to carry on. As a result, companies are choosing the growing digital print market over high volume long run requisitions. Interestingly, cut sheet continues to dominate twice the current market share of digital print.

The challenge of raw materials

It’s expected that crude oil prices will continue to climb, which means the already higher cost of raw materials such as carbon black (10% increase in 2016), hydrocarbon resins (5%) and mineral oils (20%). Drastic shortages of sulphate-based TiO2 due to the Finland Huntsman fire and China’s new production restrictions will receive full analysis and projections in the coming months. Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy has further compounded the pressure, as has the increase in transfer times from China and India, as well as cancellation and reduction of routes. Print industry companies need to consider their supply chain and manage the challenges accordingly.

We’re developing, not dying

The majority of the challenges facing the print industry emanate from the consequences of industry development and evolution. Overall, print companies across the industry are doing the right thing: adapting and developing their products in line with new markets and consumer demand. The future is bright.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cHZYp5

The Internet of Things and Smart food packaging

The friendship between the Internet of Things and smart packaging continues to blossom. As technology continues to evolve and automated solutions become ever more ingenious, the Internet of Things is transforming the packaging industry. So much so, the smart packaging sector is expected to be worth £40bn by 2025.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things or IoT refers to everyday objects being connected to and sharing data with the internet through a computerised implant.

What is smart packaging?

Smart packaging is packaging that is augmented through improved functionality and being able to communicate information and content status. The process is a blend of science, technology and specific materials.

Isn’t this type of packaging too expensive?

It used to be. Nowadays it’s believed smart packaging is within reach of most budgets across the packaging industry, no matter how meagre they may be. The IoT aims to slash expense at every stage of the supply chain, as well as offering critical gains for logistical and record management. Experts believe its reducing cost has transitioned it from the preserve of from high-value merchandise to mainstream packaging.

How is it recycled?

The immediate challenge is establishing how to recycle packaging that originates from multiple sources. Experts warn it’s critical that the packaging industry works closely with recycling specialists to ensure products meet recycling standards. Some companies such as Thinfilm have already replaced silicone with an innovative printing process: printing onto strips of recyclable steel the width of a human hair. It is hoped that further technological advancement will result in smart packaging that is able to communicate what materials were used and how the product needs to be recycled.

In addition to impressive innovation, there are also lifesaving and practical potential benefits such as for the pharmaceutical packaging sector. Benefits include packaging offering protection against forgery, temperature tracking as well as general monitoring that includes raising an invoice and triggering replacement supply when the packaging is opened.

The opportunity for the packaging industry to enhance its products, processes and gather invaluable insights into ever-evolving consumer needs is being enthusiastically explored across all sectors.

Speaking of the consumer…

It remains to be seen whether consumers have a genuine desire for this level of technology infiltrating their everyday lives. Experts have discovered there is a disconnection between initial curiosity and actual consideration when the product is introduced.

Near Field Communication (NFC) tags are also expensive. However, this unit price is expected to drop when new production processes are rolled out. There are a few preliminary hurdles to iron out before smart packaging such as NFC is available and affordable across the print industry.

Imagine a bottle of whisky that can tell you if it’s been tampered with or opened. Diageo already has. It has created packaging technology using very thin electronic sensors.

A hotly anticipated development – presently being researched – is spray-on electronics removing the need for chips. And Bluetooth tags that have the capacity to expedite data to compatible smart phones.

The collaboration between the Internet of Things and smart packaging is creating some magnificent packaging solutions. The potential of smart packaging is remarkable.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cHZYp5

How to attract passive candidates

One of the main pressures bearing down on Print and Packaging organisations around the world is satisfying the constant demand for talented staff. It’s unrealistic to expect the most talented candidates to be looking for a new role at the same time you are hiring. Often the most talented candidates are happily engaged in employment elsewhere.

We call these candidates “passive candidates”. A passive candidate is someone who is employed and not looking to change their job, but who may be open to being approached. Approximately 45 percent of the current workforce are considered passive candidates who are happy to have discussions – with the right people. Let’s examine the most effective methods of attracting passive candidates.

…it’s who you know

Using an in-house employee referral programme is one of the most effective methods of recruiting passive candidates. An employee referral programme also increases in-house talent retention, because existing staff are actively promoting the company to friends, family and networking contacts. Passive candidates respond well to referral programmes, in no small part due to the credibility of their in-house contact. Also find a good specialist recruiter who knows your sector and has a good network. They will be an invaluable source of passive candidates if they have authority in their marketplace and will give you access to the very best passive candidates.

Strong branding

One of the first things approached passive candidates will do is Google your organisation and look you up on social media. Make sure your recruitment page is up to date, easy to navigate and shares the strength of your branding and company culture. Your recruitment page also needs a clear call to action, and your current career opportunities must be easily visible. Remember, talented candidates are looking for more than an attractive remuneration package. They’re looking for a company they connect with. Updating your social media feeds with information about company culture and branding creates a dynamic landing platform for the passive candidate when they look you up.

Trust is everything

Professional discretion and rock solid reliability will ensure a passive candidate discusses their possibilities with you in greater depth and detail. It can be stressful discussing a possible – and unexpected – new career opportunity. Make it clear to your candidate up front that you’ll never ring or email using their current work contact details, and you are of course happy to meet and interview outside normal working hours.

Network, network, network

A clever on-going, strategy is to ensure that you attend networking events and build up a steady stream of passive candidate contacts, to be used at a later date. It’s good policy to network whether you are recruiting for a particular role or not. If you use networking as a long range plan of action you build contacts slowly and establish trust with each of your candidates. Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn are a great way to stay in touch.

Know your candidates

When you find an ideal passive candidate, make sure you do your homework. Taking the time to research a candidate properly is worth its weight in gold. It’s extremely flattering for a passive candidate to be approached, particularly with some visible progress already made into understanding their current circumstances.

First impressions are powerful. If you want to win the war for talent in the Print and Packaging sectors, carefully thought out strategies such as these make all the difference.

Athena Executive Search. If you are serious about attracting and retaining the best talent in the Print and Packaging sectors Athena can help. Our 7 Step Recruiting System is designed to ensure that you can recruit and retain the top 15% of candidates in the Print and Packaging market, candidates who are motivated by much more than money. We work in partnership with our clients to fully understand their requirements and ensure that newly recruited staff are joining for the right reasons and looking to develop a long-term career.

Book in for a Client Discovery Call today by clicking on this link https://athena-executive.acuityscheduling.com/

The cost of making a poor hiring decision

Poor hiring decisions are a real threat to companies operating in today’s competitive market. Recently one of the UK’s leading job sites publishing its findings following a survey of 200 recruiters. The study focused on how poor hiring decisions affect companies. The fact is, bad hires are costing your business money with each poor decision estimated to cost £15,000 and much more for senior hires. The bad news is the crippling long-term effects of poor hires, but the good news is that everything can be fixed if you know what to look for and how to lead your recruitment process towards better days. Here we share some insights into how you can avoid making bad hiring decisions for your organisation.

Strategy is everything

The advantages and necessity of a crystal clear recruitment strategy are well documented. We’ll say it again anyway: you must develop a clear recruitment strategy to avoid making poor recruitment decisions. Research confirms that if you don’t have a solid recruitment strategy you risk 44.4% higher staff turnover, 22.2% financial losses, 16% decline in productivity, 8.3% lowered staff confidence and 6.9% negative branding for the business. Note that in addition to threats to the business success, there is also the pernicious issue of low staff morale to navigate.

Significant sums of money are invested in securing talent for your company, and a lot of that money is lost. In fact, 66.1% of recruiters say they’ve lost a large sum of money on poor hires; 19.5% confess they’ve lost between £15,000 – £30,000 and 14.4% confirm they’ve lost over £30,000. With competition for recruiting the best talent set to intensify, your company cannot afford to make bad hiring decisions.

Screen with purpose

Careful and focused screening of candidates needs to be introduced at the interview stage. The harsh reality is that people are being hired for roles they cannot do, or in some cases they may be taking advantage of the opportunities available and defrauding the company. Not only are these costly errors internally but they can also cost your company dearly in negative press.

Screen your candidates thoroughly, making absolutely sure there are no lurking convictions or exaggerated CVs and skills rendering them incompetent for the role. While the pressure to hire the best talent is real, make sure you’re not rushing candidates through the hiring process.

Welcome with support

After attentive screening and interviews, the recruitment process is far from finished. As we have previously emphasised, your recruitment process must culminate in carefully designed onboarding. Make sure that you continue to observe and engage new hires during your onboarding process to ascertain their personality and suitability for your company culture. Some candidates are economical with the truth because they want a job; it’s your job to make sure an informed decision is made prior to offering a candidate a role.

Think about it

It’s important to appreciate the damage poor hiring decisions inflict upon an organisation. For example, the last thing you need is a poor hire taking to social media to complain. You may find desirable candidates decline to be interviewed as a result of the negative press on social media channels.

Recruiters cannot afford to be complacent or careless. Given current pressures and circumstances, that’s exactly the impression that poor hiring decisions can create.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cHZYp5