At Pan Atlantic, we notice that for a lot of modern companies, when hiring new staff, the job description is an afterthought, or treated as a functional part of the hiring process, with no further value. However the reality is that the job description represents so much more. Job descriptions should be the cornerstone of your company’s talent management programme, and here’s why.
Job descriptions not only help an employee to understand what skills are necessary for the position. They allow a candidate to get an idea of what will be required of them to be successful at your company. Success after all, is the main goal for anyone in business. This is relevant for both you and the candidate. When a candidate knows that they have the tools for success, they can concentrate on achieving it, rather than focusing on what they lack. When you know that someone has what you need, you can support them better.
At Pan Atlantic, we believe that a job description is not just a list of recommended skills or abilities. The job description is also a set of expectations, which sets up a basis for future evaluation. Making sure your job description is accurate, sets you up with an ongoing benchmark against which to test your employees. Even if they are not meeting your expectations initially, they are aware of what those expectations are, which gives them a basis for learning and development. After all, it’s impossible to work deliberately towards an expectation that you’re unaware of.
Of course, at Pan Atlantic we’re aware that working at any company is not just about performance or development. Having a well-written job description is your opportunity to reinforce the core values of your company. This gives candidates an idea of the culture of your company, and how they can fit in, or indeed if they want to. Having staff that can be ambassadors for the values of your company is paramount to a coherent and successful brand image.
At it’s core, business is about communication. Every transaction, deal or meeting is about relaying a message, and trying to make sure that the other party listens. If you want to communicate your message effectively, it’s important to speak in a way that makes other people want to listen. Here at Pan Atlantic, we take a look at some habits you can adopt in order to better convey your message.
Julian Treasure, an expert in sound and communication, created the acronym HAIL, to describe four of the cornerstones of speech that is well received. These cornerstones are:
- Honesty: Straightforwardness, clarity, truth.
- Authenticity: Don’t put on a front. Be who you are.
- Integrity: Your word is your bond. Be trustworthy and reliable.
- Love: Help others succeed. Try to be positive. Wish others well.
At Pan Atlantic we believe that If your message is delivered using these four principles, it will be extremely hard for the other party to ignore.
Treasure, as an expert in speech, also points out some ways in which you can alter your delivery to make that message even more powerful. Here at Pan Atlantic, we picked out some that we think are very important.
- Register: The tone of your voice is important. People tend to attribute power to deeper voices. You can deepen your tone by practising speaking from the chest rather than the throat.
- Timbre: This means the characteristics that distinguish your voice, and is what makes the difference between a note of C on a piano and a violin, for example. Timbre can be changed with practise of things like good breathing, posture and exercise.
- Prosody: This is to do with the delivery of your phrases. No-one likes to listen to a monotone speaker, and variations in pitch and volume make speech interesting. These elements are natural parts of emotional speech, so get excited, or enthused. If you’re not interested in yourself, you won’t be interesting.
- Pace: The speed of your speech is a powerful tool. You don’t have to speak all at one speed. Fast talking tends to communicate excitement, whereas slow speech adds weight and authority. Use these tools to match the message.
In a modern business workplace, we’ve all become used to dealing with half of our communication being filled with buzzwords and business clichés. Pan Atlantic has noticed that this type of speech is rampant in modern offices, but the truth is that it can damage your credibility. These days, the trend is moving more and more towards clear, simple communication in the workplace, because people just don’t have the time to decipher your cryptic message from the jargon. Here at Pan Atlantic we look at some common business jargon, and ways in which you can cut through the noise.
Think Outside the Box
We’ve all heard this one, and not surprisingly, since it has been around from as early as the 1970’s. It comes from the Nine Dots Puzzle that was used to show how some problems require non-lateral thinking. However it has become such a cliché these days that it has almost lost all meaning. Telling someone to ‘think outside the box’ is really just saying, ‘look at this from a new perspective’. So why not offer a new perspective at the same time? Say, ‘Have you considered looking at it from this angle?’, and your input will have meaning.
Do More With Less
Another example of lazy speech, this one is easy to throw out in response to a problem, but what does it mean? Do more what with less what? Being specific and understandable is your communication goal, so make it count when you speak. Instead offer a specific strategy, like ‘We need to try and reduce our expenditure in this department, while maintaining an increase in profits. Here are some strategies that could help us to achieve that’.
This phrase has been doing the rounds for a long time now, and it’s an example of hyperbole in most cases. Guess what, not every good idea is a ‘paradigm shift’. In fact most of them aren’t. A paradigm shift is something that completely revolutionizes something at it’s core. Perhaps your new idea is just that, but how do you know? It hasn’t even been tried yet. At Pan Atlantic we think you should call things what they are, and add clarity. Try phrases like ‘new approach’, ‘major transition’ or ‘critical change’. After all, most improvement is iteration not radical upheaval.
Being an entrepreneur is a daily challenge, and one of the ways that we at Pan Atlantic meet that challenge is by constantly learning and adapting. Gaining new knowledge is an easy process, involving networking and investing time in reading and using online data sources. However is there a way to increase your overall intelligence, leading to better decisions? There are certainly some simple, proven methods that we’ve seen from our research here at Pan Atlantic. Here we take a look at a few of them.
We all know that exercise is good for the body, but it might surprise you that it has been shown to actually make you more intelligent too. People who exercise daily generate more of a certain protein in their blood that helps to form new neurons in the brain. So that morning gym visit might be more important than you thought.
Get Some Sleep
If you’re not getting at least six, and ideally eight hours sleep a night, you’re going to be really limiting your brain’s ability to function properly. Recent information suggests that the brain basically takes care of filing at night, and limiting this can cause memory problems. In fact, researchers noted that people who slept for short periods frequently got worse over time. After five days of four hours sleep a night, your brain is operating the same as if you were in the middle of a heavy night of drinking. That might sound like fun to some, but it doesn’t help if you’re trying to focus.
Believe You Are Smart
As surprising as it may seem, it appears that when presented with complex problems, people who believe they have the skills necessary to succeed will consistently outperform people who don’t. This is true regardless of how skilled the people actually are. The human brain is very susceptible to suggestion, and so if you constantly tell yourself you can’t do something, the brain will take this suggestion as fact. At Pan Atlantic we believe a positive attitude is more important than talent or skill. Talent and skill can be learned with patience and hard work, but without a positive attitude they will not get you very far.
Networking events can be intimidating for someone who has never attended one before, and even sometimes for a seasoned veteran. However they are very important for any budding entrepreneur, and not that difficult to excel in, with a little knowledge of how to get the most out of them. Here at Pan Atlantic we take a quick look at some tips from networking professionals on how to get the most from a networking event.
Do Your Research
There is always the chance that you will meet a useful contact at any event, just by randomly circulating amongst the crowd. Those who really make the right connections have usually done their research first. Find out who will be there in advance, and focus on making connections with the right people, not just with people.
Focus Your Attention
You may be a social butterfly, and be full of excitement to talk to everyone and anyone. However no-one likes to have a conversation with someone who has half of their attention elsewhere. Spend less time scanning the room and more time engaging with the person you are speaking to. At Pan Atlantic we believe that face-to-face communication is a skill, and developing that skill should be a priority for any entrepreneur.
Read the Room
You may think that a group of people standing in a circle and talking animatedly seems like the best place to be, but chances are they won’t welcome a new addition at that point. If you don’t have a pressing conversation to be in, try speaking to someone who is standing alone or looking unengaged. They’ll thank you for it, and they’re bound to remember you in a positive light. We’ve all been that person who felt out of the loop now and then.
Be a Giver
Before you leave any interaction, consider how much you have given, rather than received from it. Consider asking the other person how you can help them. At Pan Atlantic we think that giving assistance to someone else is the best way to get ahead. Everyone wants a leg up, but not many are willing to give it, and those people stand out.
At Pan Atlantic, supporting entrepreneurship is extremely important to us. The business we’re in is the business of dissecting, understanding and replicating success. We believe success is something that can be learned and applied, not a result of ‘good luck’ or possessing special talents. Have you ever wondered why some people are successful and some aren’t? In this post we’ll take a look at one reason why some people just seem to ‘have it’ and others struggle.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
If you, like Alice, don’t know what your goals are, then how hard you work, or how talented you are will count for nothing. Successful people know exactly where they want go. At Pan Atlantic we advise entrepreneurs to set goals, visualize their future, and commit themselves to achieving those goals.
Imagine you set out driving in your car tonight, and you come to a junction. Which way do you turn? What does it matter if you have no idea where you’re going? That’s the predicament of many entrepreneurs, who lament their lack of success.
“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
However, it doesn’t end there. Even when you have a destination, you’ve never been there before. You still need a map or directions, and what better way than to ask someone who’s been there before?
That’s where networking and spending time understanding the success of others comes in. At Pan Atlantic, when giving advice to a new entrepreneur, we would suggest picking the five most successful people in your industry, and reading their stories. Understand every step they took in order to achieve the success they have, and then take that knowledge and apply it to your own journey.
Most business these days don’t dedicate enough time and resources to seeking out and nurturing new talent. This can cause a plethora of problems for these companies down the line, including a skills gap in their company in the future, as well as the problem of their top talent jumping ship and leaving them with an unskilled workforce. Pan Atlantic, a customer acquisition specialist, takes a look at why scouting for new talent, and nurturing that talent is important.
Recent statistics show that 54% of employers currently have open positions, for which they can’t find qualified candidates. On top of this 52% said their top challenge was hiring and retaining talent. What does this mean for the current business climate? It means that talent management is more important than ever. More and more companies are training current workers up to fulfill more qualified roles.
“Companies spend a lot of time searching for experienced, qualified individuals these days,” said Justin Cobb, MD of Pan Atlantic, “This strategy was fine ten years ago, but the market has changed so much. You have this huge shift happening in the types of skills and qualifications available. Our philosophy has always been to find hard-working, excited and motivated people, and then focus on training and developing them internally.”
Pan Atlantic recognises the value of their highly skilled team. “Our greatest asset is people,” said the MD. “Whether that is the customers we acquire for our clients, or our top performers in the office, we understand the value of the person over the product. We go out of our way on a daily basis to create a nurturing work environment in which people can not only develop their skills and abilities, but also hopefully enjoy working in, and have fun. That’s how we continue to retain some of the best talent in the marketplace.”
Success breeds success is the old mantra, and never is this more true than in the marketing industry. Coming off the back of recent achievements in Manhattan, Pan Atlantic, the customer acquisition powerhouse that has been making waves in the US, has recently announced plans to expand operations to Atlanta, Georgia. The announcement comes after a series of recent discussions with their client base about ongoing growth objectives.
The Managing Director of Pan Atlantic, Justin Cobb, commented that the clients they were currently working with had growth plans which involved increasing their market share in the US. He added that, “due to the positive results we’ve had in our current locations, and the strength of the market, we would be selling ourselves short to not capitalize on our success”.
“Atlanta has an expanding population, and an increasing average wealth,” Justin Cobb stated, “Which makes the market ever more viable for our clients. We’re certain that we’ll be able to create substantial growth and success in this new venture.”
Atlanta has become a very attractive place for entrepreneurs in recent years, due to its transportation links, low cost of living, tech hubs, and diverse talent pool. Atlanta is indeed the fastest growing urban area in the entire US, showing over 20% population increase in just ten years, making it an ideal place for a business considering expansion.
Pan Atlantic have planned their expansion to take place at the end of September, 2015, and it marks the beginning of a series of larger growth plans for the company. Of course this is not only a major opportunity for Pan Atlantic, but also an opportunity for businesses in Atlanta to take advantage of partnering with an incredibly results-driven marketing team.
As the global economy continues to improve, the need for a presence in a location from which global expansion becomes possible is paramount. Particularly in the marketing industry, overall growth in the economic sector presents the opportunity for a variety of new and impressive projects to be obtained in a variety of sectors. In order to expand horizons and accommodate a plethora of new clients, the expansion of office space becomes inevitable. Pan Atlantic announced recently its acquisition of new office space in the financial district of Manhattan as it positions itself for what the future offers.
There is a recent trend in the marketing world to focus expansion in a centralized fashion, thanks in large part to a growth in capability via electronic and digital communication. Professional marketing firms with a track record of success, however, caution against abandoning the need for physical expansion. The Director of Pan Atlantic, Justin Cobb, explained why physical expansion is so crucial. “Many marketing firms open their doors in cities and locations where growth from a global standpoint is not ideal. Expanding into new markets from which a global reach becomes possible – like Manhattan – allows the biggest brands in the world to find you as they travel from one world class city to the next”, he explained.
Pan Atlantic’s new expansion into Manhattan ensures that it will have 4,000 square feet of new space through which to conduct operations and connect with clients. Reports from clients, both new and old, suggest that the expansion has been viewed favorably and is a great investment of capital. Marketing agencies in particular must be able to tune into which trends are fads and which trends are truly disruptive to existing strategies. As a leading marketing firm, Pan Atlantic has concluded that the need for new office spaces around the world is a better investment from the perspective of client satisfaction than other strategies being discussed within the industry.
As more and more marketing agencies and firms navigate the conflicting waves of increasing opportunity and increasing competition, it will fall on the shoulders of leading firms like Pan Atlantic to lead the way. In order to make room for the new and growing opportunities available to all, tough decisions will have to be made. Firms that can afford to acquire new office space in the pursuit of expansion may find themselves more capable of seizing upon new clients and trends as they unfold.
One of the main problems facing many of today’s marketers is in distinguishing the difference between simple inquiries that will go nowhere and a genuine sales lead that has the potential to be converted. As a marketing enterprise with offices in the UK and Manhattan, Pan Atlantic knows that this is often the reason why so many of those ‘leads’ fail to convert. The problem is that a list of contacts that have expressed an interest are not necessarily a viable lead.
Pan Atlantic’s Director, Justin Cobb, believes that marketing needs to focus more on qualifying those contacts prior to submitting a list to sales. “In marketing we embark on highly focused campaigns to engage as many consumers in a given market as humanly possible. We may have lists that are comprised of hundreds of names. Just because someone has clicked on a link or read multiple blogs doesn’t mean that person has expressed a genuine interest in what you have to sell. The task of marketing is to find those who are ‘hungry’ for more knowledge. Those are the leads you can follow up on.”
Justin often refers to a system of qualifying leads established by IMB many years ago. This is called the BANT system which sets out four criteria which must be met. If a person has the Budget to buy, the Authority to make the purchase, a real Need and can buy within a given Time frame, he or she meets the criteria to qualify as a viable lead. “This is what our team focuses on when compiling a list of leads to follow up on and only when we have a solid list of names that meet all four of these criteria can we say we’ve done our job.”
Different marketing firms add more or less value to each of those four criteria but the objective is to make sure a lead has met all four. Some may focus more heavily on authority and need while others may give equal weight to each criterion. In the end, you can save time, effort and a ton of money by following up on just those names that are qualified leads.
Pan Atlantic is in the business of increasing their clients’ market share, especially through direct marketing, so they know the value of a genuine sales lead. Justin encourages marketers to put more effort into qualifying leads prior to letting a sales team spin their wheels contacting people with no intention on buying. “Time is money so use it wisely. Follow up on leads, not on inquiries. That’s the key to success in sales.”