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How to Streamline Your Recruitment Process

How to Streamline Your Recruitment Process
Recruiting is an important process for any business. The way that you seek out and bring new talent on board can play a pivotal role in determining your success. Below are some simple tips for streamlining and standardizing your recruiting process so you get the right applicant every time.   Establish a Consistent Process Having a consistent process that you and any other recruiters within your business are able to follow will ensure that you get consistent results as well. Whatever your particular criteria for hiring workers, it is important that they represent a set of tests that you can apply equally to all applicants. A consistent process will ensure that everyone involved is on the same page regarding what differentiates a good applicant from a bad one as far as your business is concerned. The clearer and easier to follow these criteria are, the easier it will be to consistently hire applicants who fit the bill. Define Your Key Indicators Exactly what it is that you are looking for in new recruits will depend entirely upon the type of business you run and the industry that you are operating, as well as the specifics of the job that you are hiring for. However, regardless of all of these factors, you should know what your key indicators are for every position that you interview for. Your key indicators are the things that will mark out the worthwhile candidates for you instantly. This may be particular aspects of their personality, or it may be a specific set of qualifications that all of your recruits need to have. It is vital that everyone is clear about what these are once you start the interview process. Look Beyond the Resume Your applicants’ resumes will be useful for getting some idea of what they’re like, but they will not tell you the whole story. The best resumes will come with some kind of personal statement, not just a list of qualifications and degrees. Look out for resumes that give you some information about who the people you are hiring actually are. You don’t necessarily have to only hire people that you get along with, but it is a good idea to make sure that everyone you hire is going to be a good fit for your business. Try and use applicants resumes as a way of formulating questions to ask them in order to dig beneath the surface and find out more. Consult with Other Employees Consulting with other managers and team leaders within your business will help you to identify any job requirements that are not immediately obvious to you. For example, if you are handling recruitment for an electronic business, you might know that you are looking to hire applicants who are proficient in PCB design, but you might not know that they specifically need to be able to use the PCB importer function in Altium. Talking to the members of your business who new applicants will be working closely with will enable you to identify any extra requirements beforehand. Once you have worked out a consistent recruitment plan, you should have no trouble hiring the best applicants for the job every single time. Recruitment isn’t rocket science, but it is easy to get wrong if you aren’t paying attention....
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How to File a Patent for Your Invention

How to File a Patent for Your Invention
How to File a Patent for Your Invention Inventors are highly prized in any market, since their work is often the focal point that other infrastructure, marketing, and production coalesce around. But as an inventor, whether in a startup or independently, it is important to make the most of any invention you create. This means protecting your original work legally. In this article, we look at one of the primary tools at the disposal of any inventor: the patent, and how to file one.     Why File a Patent? Patents provide a level of economic security and market edge for their holders. They are specifically designed to incentivize invention and innovation, offering an avenue to significant potential profits for an invention that is patented quickly and correctly. Patents fall under the category of intellectual property (IP) law, and are one of four kinds of IP protection, the others being copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. Copyrights cover original creative work, trade secrets involve confidential information that benefits a company competitively, and trademarks protect branding and brand identity. However, patents may be the most powerful intellectual property tool. Holding a patent grants a twenty-year monopoly (in the United States) for the development, production, and sale of the invention in question. This means that no other companies can compete via imitation for this time period, allowing the best possible version of the invention to be produced and sold, gaining more profits by being a unique entity in the market. Filing a patent can make the difference between being swallowed by competitors who have the infrastructure to take your idea and produce it more cheaply or more quickly, and having the time and resources to perfect your invention and get rewarded for its genesis. Sure, the patent filing process is time consuming and costs money, but the potential benefits are immense. Is Your Invention Eligible? The United States Patent & Trademark Office, or USPTO, outlines what is and is not eligible for patenting according to the patent statute codified in federal law. Eligible areas include a process, machine, “article of manufacture” (manufactured product), composition of matter, or “improvement of any of the above,” as well as specific designations for unique plant patents and design patents that govern the nonfunctional design and aesthetic components of a product. So, if your invention happens to be a machine or a composition of matter, is it automatically eligible for a patent? In short, no. There are additional requirements that must be met for patent eligibility. These boil down to usefulness, novelty, and non-obviousness. To have any chance of being granted a patent, the invention in question must be useful. Usefulness here can be very broad and does not only encompass crucial or definitive needs and benefits. Things like entertainment and enjoyment can also qualify as uses. Novelty refers to being sufficiently unique and new in order to deserve a patent. This can often be an issue of contention, with gray areas existing between what constitutes a slight tweak or variation upon an existing idea versus a truly novel improvement. Lastly, being non-obvious may seem quite easy, but this determination usually helps to weed out inventions that are not really inventions but obvious combinations of previously existing factors. Before delving into the patent search and filing process, it may be a good idea to seek out a qualified patent attorney or law firm to determine what the best course of action is, as a professional will better know how your invention might fare.   Picture Courtesy: Taylorip The Patent Search Now that you’ve determined your invention may be patent eligible, it’s time to hone in on the...
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Small Business Finance

Small Business Finance
Small Business Finance: What You Need To Know   Happy to associate with SeekCapital that provides consulting services and funding procurement to small businesses in a quick and efficient manner. This article originally appeared on seekcapital.com by Jon Zacharias.    Starting and running a small business without having some form of credit is nearly impossible. Many small businesses do not make it simply because they’re under-capitalized. One month where sales and expenses budgets cannot be met could signal the end for business that could otherwise have succeeded. Others find themselves unable to grow their operations owing to insufficient access to the necessary funds. The answer may appear to be simple: get a loan and grow your business. However, getting a small business loan isn’t always easy.   Tips for Super Organized Small Finances   Pic Courtesy: Solopreneurdiaries Getting a Bank Loan Since the recession, the FIDC has ensured that small businesses who apply for loans are subjected to very close scrutiny. The Dodd-Frank act of 2010 has effectively limited the possible sources of funding for small business. Many analysts feel that in doing so, economic recovery was slowed. Whether this is true or not, small businesses in need of additional capital often find themselves unable to secure conventional bank loans. But is a conventional loan best for your business? The convoluted application process takes a great deal of time and effort and few loans are granted. In addition, repayment terms are highly inflexible. Small businesses are increasingly turning towards alternative lenders in order to get the business finance they need quickly, successfully and under less onerous repayment terms than banks allow.   The SBA 7A Program   Pic Courtesy: Fundera   Getting the Small Business Administration to guarantee all or part of a bank loan might sound like a great idea in theory, but the program has been widely criticized for its limitations. Once again the application process is complex and lengthy and not all businesses can afford to wait up to three months to get finance approved — if it’s approved at all. Then too, the SBA isn’t actually offering the finance itself. The small business entrepreneur still has to work through a conventional bank and banks remain reluctant to supply credit to small businesses. By 2011 a Gallup survey found that although 88% of businesses had access to credit, only 29% were lending from banks despite the SBA program.   What Banks Don’t Take Into Account The main problem with getting bank loans is that banks want to see guarantees that you’ll be able to pay back the money. That’s fair enough, but instead of looking at how good your business’ chances of success are, they look at financial history. That makes things difficult for a newer business that doesn’t have the track record banks are looking for.     Remember, banks aren’t investors, they’re lenders. If the business or its owners don’t have the kind of credit history they’re looking for, they won’t issue the loan. Nowadays, financiers can use algorithms to project business income, but banks don’t use these tools when deciding whether you’ll get a loan.   Other Financing Options Getting finance fast, especially startup business loans, can be crucial to the survival and growth of small businesses, especially startup business loans. Since the banking sector isn’t making things easy for them, small business owners are increasingly turning to alternative sources of finance that offer them faster turnaround time, rate their creditworthiness based on the business itself and offer plans with flexible repayment options.   Merchant Cash Advances Businesses that handle a volume of over $5000 in monthly credit card transactions often choose the merchant cash...
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How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Company

How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Company
Here Is How Small Businesses Should Choose Digital Marketing Company!    Pic Courtesy: Pixabay   Digital marketing costs a fraction of what traditional marketing can cost your business; yet, it has the potential of bringing you big returns. That is a good enough reason to believe that digital marketing is indeed small business friendly. Think about it: An email is virtually free to send and it has one of the highest conversion rate among all digital and traditional marketing channels. Social media marketing has almost similar stats. Traditional marketing options can cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on digital marketing – but you need to spend on a solid strategy. Businesses that spend on digital marketing strategy get bigger returns. For a small business, however, choosing a digital agency isn’t easy. While most won’t cater to your budget, others won’t understand your requirements. One wrong choice can turn your entire digital experience in to a disaster. So, here is a game plan that can help small businesses make the right choice. Digital Marketing Mastery: The Complete Beginners Course 1. Look for an Agency that Focuses on Small Business As a small business, the worst mistake you can make is aiming for the big fish. Don’t get it wrong. It is good to have bigger goals, but just because an agency has worked for successful international brands doesn’t mean it will take you to the same height. You need to find an agency that has worked with businesses just as small as yours and helped them evolve in to kind of brand you aim to become. In other words, go for a digital marketing agency that has written a success story for a business just like yours.     Keep in mind that bigger agencies go for bigger stunts and take bigger risks all because their clients i.e. bigger brands can afford it all. Their entire team has a different mindset and they may not be able to fully understand the implications of their ideas on your business. So, be realistic about your own business and find an agency that is a perfect fit for your budget. Ask for referrals and read reviews. Sit down with their team for consultation and ask questions about their clients and previous experience. Go with a team that focuses more on the management than money. Pic Courtesy: Reboot Online Marketing   2. An Agency with a Focus on Quality Would you rather go for an agency that promises every possible digital marketing service for dirt cheap rates or choose an agency that offers a refined set of services for a reasonable rate? For small businesses, it isn’t unusual to fall prey to the quantity over quality dilemma. Of course, you want to try every avenue to maximize your revenue. Don’t act on that impulse. More importantly, don’t choose an agency that feeds that impulse. Instead, try to seek help from professionals who understand what you need at any given time. For instance, it may be too early for your business to invest in paid marketing. May be your business doesn’t needs thousands of tweets before you reach a certain number of followers. And then it is about the quality of tweets and posts. It is better to go for a lower number of high quality posts rather than too many posts with no real value. Too many posts may actually annoy your followers and you will end up being blocked or flagged as spam. So, quality over quantity is more important for small businesses both in terms of digital channels you choose and the...
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Here Are 4 Ways to Pay Your Employees  

Here Are 4 Ways to Pay Your Employees   
Starting a Small Business? Here Are 4 Ways to Pay Your Employees Hiring employees is a major milestone for any business owner who has previously done it alone. Even if the help is quite welcome, some important related decisions will almost always need to be made. This is true even of the most basic issues, such as how workers will be paid. Fortunately, business owners who are armed with a bit of knowledge will always be equipped to choose appropriately. Taking the Next Step Toward Long-Term Success  Sole proprietors who have no workers to worry about, deal with what are generally among the simplest of all possible business arrangements. As soon as employees enter the picture, issues like employment taxes need to be accounted for, lest the government’s wrath descend upon a business owner. Many entrepreneurs find it worthwhile to make use of small business payroll services that virtually rule such problems out. Being able to rely on the expertise of specialists makes potentially costly mistakes a lot less likely and provides a firm foundation for future growth.     Determining the Best Way to Pay Any Company’s Workers  Even with payroll being handled by an expert, though, business owners still face an important choice. Pay can actually be issued in any of at least the following four common ways, each of which comes with certain benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the means most appropriate to a particular company and its workers will always make things easier, in general. The four options that are available to most business owners when it comes to paying workers are: Checks. Bank drafts authorized by means of check are traceable, accessible, and well-established. The paper trail that writing and depositing or cashing a check creates can prove useful if any issues arise later on. On the other hand, not everyone today has access to an account that can be used to convert a check into a balance. Workers who are forced to cash their checks by other means sometimes end up paying a fair amount for the privilege.     Direct deposit. As the more modern relative of the old-fashioned check, direct deposit is an increasingly appealing option. In this case, things are even more restrictive, though, as only employees who have accounts in good standing will be able to make use of this approach. Unfortunately, about 1.7 billion adults worldwide still lack such resources entirely. Prepaid cards. Certain cards associated with networks like those operated by Visa and Mastercard can also be loaded with paychecks on demand. Particularly where some workers might not have checking accounts, this is an increasingly popular choice. Some payroll cards, however, impose maintenance fees and the like, so business owners will always do well to put in plenty of research. Cash. Although it might sometimes seem a bit crude, cash is still very much a valid way to pay wages. Relatively few business owners opt for this approach, though, because of the exposure and hassles it tends to create. The Right Choice is Usually Clear  Business owners who wish to do the most they can for their employees will always put some thought into choosing a means of payment. In many cases, it will even make sense to offer at least a couple of choices, from which each worker can select the most personally appropriate. In practice, it tends to be fairly straight forward to figure out how best to pay any small business’s employees....
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