+Scott Watson

Friday, 28 October 2011

CIPD Conference 2011 Manchester - Come And See Us

We'll be participating in the CIPD Conference in Manchester during 8 to 10 November - but not in the usual way.

If you'd like to find out more about how your organisation can benefit from our unique, results-focused management training courses and team building events, please email us at Info@SummitTraining.co.uk

10 Job Hunting Tips For Unemployed Adults

As soon as you hear you are being made redundant, start seeking job opportunities immediately. Don't take a break or wait for an appointment at the job centre. By waiting, you could miss vital opportunities.

Regard job hunting as a full-time occupation, albeit temporarily.
Commit to five days a week for seven hours each day, minimum! 
Keep your eyes off daytime TV and Facebook, and firmly on marketing yourself to
potential employers.

There will be days when you'll feel there's little or no hope of finding
a job.  It's days like this when you need to re-focus your mind, your
efforts and your resources to make progress.

Don't explain in your application letter why you are unemployed. There's
no shame in being unemployed and you're not the only one who is. Plus,
the recruiter isn't interested anyway. 

Do your homework.  When applying for a vacancy, explore the company's
web site and identify their plans.  Are they launching new products,
diversifying into new markets or exporting?  The more you know, the
better equipped you are for when the interviewer asks you, 'So, what do
you know about our company

A job application is not about your life story. It is simply a
description of your qualifications, experiences and personal qualities.
Communicate clearly why you are the best candidate to fill the vacancy.

Show recruiters that you are willing and able to keep learning. The
saying 'Old dogs can't learn new tricks' is just an old cliche.  Prove
to the recruiter in your application letter and CV that you are worthy
of an interview by demonstrating your commitment to lifelong learning.

You may have to move home, accept a lower salary and even start at a
lower level than you are used to.  However much this hurts your
self-esteem, isn't it still better to get back on your feet rather than
being unemployed?

If you are a member of the 'Silver Generation', remember that you're not
retired yet.  You are between jobs, and have many years of service to
offer a potential employer. Use your age and experience as a positive
marketing tool.

If you are a graduate without any work experience, it's important that
you communicate how your academic achievements and ability to learn can
add value to the potential employers' organisation.

For more information on how to support staff through redundancy, visit http://www.MyOnlineJobCoach.com/

For more information on interview skills training, please visit http://www.SummitTraining.co.uk/

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Scott on BBC Radio about helping people over 55 find a job with the help of the internet

Scott Watson being interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds on how people over 55 can use the web to enhance their chances of finding a new job.

Main points:
  • The Web is an excellent source for business networking
  • Online resources can be as effective as outplacement seminars
  • Your job hunting skills might not be up-to-date anymore
  • You can build credibility online
  • Calderdale Council have a "Silver Entrepreneurs" programme to help people over 50 to set up in business
Resources mentioned:

Friday, 21 October 2011

Online Resource Launched To Help The Region's Unemployed

A Halifax based human resources expert has developed an online training resource which aims to propel workers facing redundancy back into work. 

Scott Watson, MD of Summit Consulting and Training has launched a web-based training resource, which has been designed as a support tool for individuals in the region who are currently unemployed or facing redundancy.

MyOnlineJobCoach.com offers expert guidance to jobseekers facing stiff competition for jobs in a tough economic climate. 

The service includes more than 50 video tutorials which teach users a wide range of skills such as:

- How to develop credibility with a recruiter

- How to write a CV a recruiter actually wants to read

- How to answer tough interview questions well

- How to deal more effectively with the inevitable setbacks unemployment can bring

The service is already proving a big hit with private individuals, as well as the region's employers, who are intending to include MyOnlineJobCoach as a redundancy support tool for their staff.  

The launch of the service comes at a time when our region is facing an unprecedented jobs crisis, as public and private sector organisations are reducing the size of their workforce due to spending cuts.  

Scott Watson’s own research has identified that business leaders do want to support their redundant staff in securing their next role but either don’t know how to, or have found traditional outplacement support services too expensive and difficult to use.

'Uniquely, the Site enables individuals and families to share their learning and therefore maximise the possibility of their household securing further employment opportunities and financial stability.  As the product is web based, users can access the programme 24 hours a day and have access for a full 12-month period,' says Watson.


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Is Richard Reed Innocent? Absolutely!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Richard Reed, co-founder of the Innocent smoothie brand.  The invitation to participate in this event was extended by Prof. John Thompson, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Huddersfield.

It was a refreshing change to listen to an authentic talk which covered the bumps and bruises of developing and running a business rather than the 'Look at me, I've made it' approach so often employed by the self-appointed motivational speakers and gurus.  My view is that most of that crowd are more 'irritational' than motivational, but that's a discussion for another time.

Now, here's the fabulous news for human resources professionals.  Mr Reed is certainly not a HR expert and he wouldn't claim to be, but he has some very clear boundaries and beliefs about how engaging employees (all, not just some) can add significant value to an organisation.  I've detailed the key points from his thought-provoking presentation below.

95% of Innocent employees stated in an anonymous staff survey that they were 'proud' to work at Innocent.

Innocent's purpose is to 'Help people live healthy and die old' and everything they do is centred around this one commitment.

The recruitment policy at Innocent doesn't focus on getting bums on seats to fill vacancies, it focuses on 'spotting, attracting and retaining' individuals who can be passionate about the brand promise' which is to make things a little bit better and a little bit easier for everyone.

The success of Innocent is directly attributed to their commitment to getting the right people for their organisation.  The 'default heart setting' for an employee should be 'YES', I can help, 'YES' I will do all I can to make things a little bit better for everyone.

There will occasionally be someone in your team who doesn't play by the values of the organisation and having these people in your team is toxic.  Mr Reed stated 'Some will piss in the well rather than help draw the water from it' and these people need to be made aware they're not right for your organisation and your organisation is not right for them.

In a world where so many business leaders continue to claim that 'Our people are our most important asset' but fail to translate this old cliche in to an organisational reality (at least from the employees' point of view), it is quite simply inspiring to learn from from this gentleman that even without being a HR professional, clarity of purpose, straightforward recruitment based on authentic values and high levels of employee engagement can build a wonderfully successful brand and profitable organisation.

Wouldn't we all benefit if there were more business leaders who didn't just make the right noises about ethics, integrity and doing the right thing, but actually just made living such values a daily reality within their organisation?

By the way, a BIG THANK YOU to Richard Reed for his kind offer to contribute to the Job Hunting Bootcamp taking place in November.  Your contribution will certainly make things a little bit better for everyone involved in this community centred programme.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Influence And Persuasion - Don't Get Caught Out

The ability and willingness to influence and persuade other human beings is a wonderful skill to possess.  Each and every day, we are being influenced whether we realise it or not.

Here's a quick example of influencing and persuasion in action.  We'll take a hotel booking for this example.  Have a think about this so you don't get caught out.

So, you're booking a hotel for your next holiday.  You explore holiday sites online and notice that the rates are so competitive, unreservedly low and you're wondering to yourself 'WOW, this is fantastic, I think I'll be booking'.  But, sure enough, the initial elation turns in to despondency soon after.  And here's why...

The room rates initially offered are starting prices and not final prices.  Ah, you want a sea view room?  Oh, a balcony too eh?  My goodness, that's going to cost you.  And it does!  But you continue.

The rate was for a room only basis. But you'll want feeding, at least breakfast.  And for how many travellers?  Add these fees on to your 'low initial price'.

So, you arrive at the rather nice 4* hotel and are greeted by a welcoming receptionist.  Before you know it, a bellboy has grabbed your luggage, popped them on to a trolley and awaits your departure to your room so he can follow you.  Well, wouldn't it be rude of you to ask for your luggage to be taken off the trolley and returned to you after the so very helpful bellboy has 'been so helpful'.

Get this - He's not being helpful, he's generating income through your tips.  He's gone straight for you as his next customer while your attention is on checking in after your journey.

And, have you noticed that when the check-in receptionist hands you the key/swipe card for your room, you just accept it?  Why do you do this?  It's an automatic, culturally accepted response where you can immediately lose out.  BIG STYLE!  Why simply accept this behaviour, which is simply a 'Go Away' signal from even the best hotels.

If you reached your room and found that it didn't represent what the web site or brochures had indicated, isn't it far more difficult to return to reception to ask for another room?  You've been seen to 'accept' something you've never even seen simply by taking the key.  And you can't even ask your bellboy to sort the problem out as he's soon disappeared (after waiting for your tip).

Lesson?  ALWAYS ask the receptionist 'Which is a better room that is available for the duration of our visit?'  Hotels ALWAYS hold the best rooms back in the hope they can up-sell guests.

So, you're settled in to your room and you fancy a drink.  Oh, there's the mini bar.  You explore the fridge, remove a couple of bottles and return both of them, choosing to visit the poolside bar instead.  But, what you didn't realise was that as soon as an item is removed from the mini bar, it's electronically swiped (as if you had consumed it).  Even if you don't consume the items and return them to the fridge, it doesn't matter.  REFUNDS DON'T HAPPEN!

Now, how about calling home and letting the family know you arrived safely?  There's a phone right by the bed.  And it'll cost you up to 4 times more than a normal landline outside of the hotel to make a call.  Gotcha!

Why not lay back and watch one of the many films available through your television?  They're £7 to £10 per day.  Here's the thing, these prices make the film available for 24 hours - just in case you want to watch the films numerous times.

Room Service?  Make sure that you grab your tray at your door rather than letting the server in to your room.  When they're in your room, they're in your room.  This is where pressure for you to tip comes in to play.

I recently enjoyed a family break in Durham with my family.  As a member of the hotel's loyalty programme we were upgraded to an Executive room. Part of this deal was 'Free Drinks Between 5pm and 7pm.  Thankfully, the range of drinks available included my favourite beer Peroni.

Watch what happens next.  The beer is served in 330 cl bottles, just over half a pint.  It is served in a small glass.   Imagine the shock on the barman's face when I asked for a pint glass and 2 bottles of Peroni.  'Ah, we can't give you a pint glass for Peroni sir' was the claim.  When I enquired why not he replied 'It's not our policy'.

See, you can have something for 'FREE', but you're really not flavour of the week if you want to drink the FREE drink out of a glass larger than they want to offer.  Perhaps their thinking is that if the guest has a smaller glass, they're likely to drink more slowly?

So, have a think about how you're being influenced on a daily basis.  You could lose out if you're not careful.


Client Video Testimonial - Management Training

We've just received another client testimonial on video which you may enjoy watching.  It's less than one minute long and reflects a management training programme and team building events we facilitated on behalf of a NHS regional team.