4 HR Publications Every Business Owner Should Keep Up With

Staying tuned for the latest news from the world of HR is very important. Markets, paradigms, and the best practices are constantly shifting. The best HR practices from a few years ago might become obsolete tomorrow. Fortunately, for HR managers and business owners who want to stay updated, there are many HR publications online.

While many online HR publications offer news and developments, only a few of them share valuable content with the readership. If you want to find out about new trends affecting the workforce, the most viable data to measure their performance and learn about HR technology and how to assess employee engagement here are top 4 HR publications to bookmark, if not subscribe to them.

Fistful of Talent

Fistful of Talent is a website that was primarily brought to life to round up an all-star collection of recruiting and HR professionals who will provide their insights on an everyday basis. This happened back in 2007 and Fistful of Talent remained true to its cause to this very day.

FoT covers a lot of different topics on their HR blog: Leadership, Culture, Good and Bad HR, Compensation/Cash Money, Salary Caps and Employee Relations. In the Recruiting section, you can read all about: candidate pool, sourcing, making offers, working with recruiters, references, relocation, diversity, career paths.

They also offer 28 minutes long podcast packed with the latest HR and recruiting news with relevant professionals in the field as guests.

Corporate Leadership Council

Corporate Leadership Council is one of the best sources for HR professionals out there. You will have to subscribe to get access to their content. They cover almost all topics related to HR. Every claim in their articles is supported by real-world data and research findings. With a reliable methodology and data led strategy, they offer unique, actionable content to their readers.

This is one of the rare online jewels that uses actual data in their findings and publications. Although their content is designed to meet the needs of leaders, HR managers and recruiters can also benefit from reading it.

Quora

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Quora is a great place to look for answers to a lot of different questions. After Quora implemented the “Topic” section on their website, it has become very easy to browse through what interests you most.

Currently, the most active topics are Human Resources (156k followers), Human Resource Management (43k followers), Recruiting (275k followers), and Hiring (164k followers). The Quora platform is very engaging and doesn’t get surprised when you stumble upon some of the top HR talents answering a lot of questions and giving free advice and insights.

ERE Recruiting Intelligence

ERE digital footprint deserves to be followed by anyone who wants to find out about the latest news and trends in the HR industry. Some of their authors even use the latest Hollywood movies as reference points to build up a story. Just like Dr. John Sullivan does in his post “Wonder Woman – Why Every Firm Needs to Hire One.”

Human Resource Executive Online

The Human Resources Executive magazine started publishing back in 1987. Today, they also publish online. Their primary goal is to publish articles that are focused on strategic issues in HR.

A majority of the content is written by human resource leaders. What can you expect to find on this website?

  • News and trends in HR
  • Success stories from HR innovators
  • Talent management
  • HR information systems

By staying tuned to the news and other articles found on these websites, you will keep yourself updated about the latest developments in the HR community. You can also read blogs of reliable outsourcing partners to make sure that you stay updated with the latest news in the outsourcing industry.

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4 Effective Ways to Cut the Costs of Running an Online Business

Many people nowadays decide to break the pattern of the usual company-bound jobs and start a business online. Running an online business can have great benefits for an individual in both a personal and a professional sense. Having an online business is a lot cheaper than starting an enterprise in general.

However, it is not free of charge. Sometimes people make mistakes at the very beginning that are difficult to resolve over time, for instance over-estimating profits or overlooking expenses. That is why you should try to run your business as effectively as possible and be knowledgeable of the ways to help you cut down your costs and make your business really flourish, and we are here to provide you with some.

  1. Lower your office costs.

If you decide to run an online business – there are usually two possible ways to do it. The first one is working from home, and the second one (if it is a business of a larger scale in question) is working in an office. If you are doing your job from the commodity of your own home, you will save significant amounts of money on utilities, insurance and taxes.

If your business, on the other hand, demands having some employees rather than working by yourself, you will most probably need to rent a space and those might be the biggest expenses you will encounter.

In that case, always look for the lowest lease prices in the least expensive neighborhoods, and have in mind that an attractive location doesn’t play a big role for you. Be practical and efficient instead of opting for an enchanting space in a pricey area.

  1. Decrease the advertising costs

Numerous studies have shown that small businesses usually spend 5% of their total revenue for advertising purposes. The figures can be even higher for those who are just starting out and need to think about conquering the market. That’s a whole lot if you have just started and still can’t guarantee how high your profits will be.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune on advertising as there are many other ways to make it work by simply making a Facebook page, tweeting about your business, creating an email newsletter, or employing cold calling techniques and asking for referrals.

  1. Go for cloud computing

For most online businesses, especially for startups, cloud computing is the most effective way to cut down capital costs as well as IT service related expenses. Cloud computing eliminates the requirement to buy and/or maintain expensive servers and decreases the cost of software updates.

Using the cloud enables you to have all-time access to all of the latest business application versions and gives you an opportunity to boost your bandwidth. If you decide on implementing this system, your provider will handle your data recovery issues and thus you won’t need to pay an expensive IT technician to do that.

  1. Learn how to prioritise

As a businessperson, you probably have a lot on your shoulders. That is why you can’t afford to lose any of your valuable time. The best way to achieve that is to make the best of your time by directing your activities and prioritizing.

It all comes down to good time management. If you set your goals straight and track your daily activities (and the ones of your employees, as well), this will streamline your work greatly and reduce stress, which will enable you to focus more on what really matters – making profit.

 
To conclude, running an online business opens doors to many great opportunities but inevitably brings a lot of risks, too. However, if you follow these steps and  your time and money right, you will reap the benefits in no time!

Marketing Technology: How to Modernize Your Advertising

Marketing Technology: How to Modernize Your Advertising

Online platforms have revolutionized the marketing industry and have proven to be quite the game changer for advertising products. However, marketing tools are constantly evolving, so it is important for companies to always update their strategy by keeping up with the latest gadgets and software tools.

To take the brand to the next level, a business should apply diverse marketing services that focus on different aspects. Traditional methods focused on television and radio commercials as well as newspaper ads or simply putting marketing material in a mailbox and hoping for the best do not work anymore.

Though advertising via television can still have some impact, there are numerous digital marketing strategies that can have a more direct and closer influence on the public.

Modernize Your Advertising Strategy

Marketing technology offers several ways for the business to be seen on the digital media. First of all, it is crucial to build a website that provides information about the company which can be easily found via smartphone.

Around 50% of mobile searches end with a purchase, not to mention the benefits of tablet and computer browsing, but you need to make sure that your site comes up on the first search engine results page. This is why you should hire an expert or a marketing company for search engine optimization (SEO).

To make the brand stand out from the others, create a creative and memorable business logo and use visually attractive colors. Visual aids are 43% more effective, as 90% of our knowledge is influenced by them. Alluring images and videos improves the business campaign and attracts more customers.

Another helpful way to start with online advertising is by posting ads on popular social media sites. For creating a successful social strategy, your marketing team should be familiar with each platform and focus on engaging your target audience. Following are the most popular social media websites:

  • Facebook – The biggest social platform with a billion active users. An excellent opportunity to connect with people from all over the world and make a global impact.
  • Twitter – For sharing updates, images, videos and links. It is one of the top 10 websites in the United States, with over 300,000,000 active users.
  • Instagram & Pinterest – Two excellent social media platforms for sharing photo and video content.
  • YouTube – With over a billion users, YouTube is a great way to spread your brand message via video, offer tutorials and other useful information and make money along the way.
  • Snapchat – This app is specifically designed for mobile devices, with content disappearing after 24 hours. The application gives you the chance to see how many specific users have viewed the post, while the pressure of polished content is removed as the post disappears at the end of the day.

Get More Involved

After completing the initial steps, now is time to engage with your audience. Using the latest marketing technology is not just about promoting the business, but also being involved with the customers.

A company should pay attention to the language it uses in its branding and the message it sends, and there are several steps for developing a better connection with social media platform users:

  1. Not every post should be about the business – The message can get lost if the network is jammed with continuous posts about your business offerings. The company needs to be involved with the community and share valuable content to keep the interest of the followers.  
  2. Share the expertise – People love eye-openers. Provide and share the knowledge and helpful facts on interesting topics. Provide a better insight on the business and its message. Encourage people to vote, leave feedback and ask questions.
  3. Online reviews and ratings – Create a profile on review sites. Based on the online reviews and overall rating, a company can thrive or sink. It gives added value to established businesses and a unique opportunity to gain insight on customer demands. In addition, if the rating is high, it is a great form of social proof that can be shared on other social media to boost your reputation.
  4. Facebook live – Streaming live special events make your loyal customers feel like they are a part of a community and that their favorite brand values their opinion.
  5. Business organizations – Organizing events covered with by both online and traditional media and news will raise the company’s presence, as well as improve the moral of the employees.

Helpful Tools of Marketing Technology

Although adopting the cutting-edge tools of marketing technology may seem intimidating, they are actually a precious commodity. Depending on the business model, whether it is B2B (selling products or services business to business) or B2C (business to customer), there are software products applicable for every category:

  • Marketing automation – Repetitive tasks such as social media marketing and website maintenance can be simplified by use of marketing automation.
  • Tag Management – A tag manager can enhance your online marketing performance by including numerous tags on trending websites.
  • CDN (Content Delivery Network) – Ensures a faster online respond and downloading time for customers.  
  • DMP (Data Management Platform) – An excellent software tool for storing information.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) – A program for organizing and synchronizing marketing, sales, technical and customer support.
  • Analytics & Tracking – Track the overall business performance and all of the latest developments.
  • SEO – Search engine optimization for positioning your site near the top of the first page in SERPs.
  • Mobile Optimization – For creating an easy-to-navigate website for increasing smartphones purchases.
  • Remarketing – The same ads popping up on different websites for attracting the people who already searched for your or a similar company’s products.
  • Email Marketing – For sending periodical business offerings and valuable content directly to your customers’ email.

In this day and age, a company must use cutting-edge marketing technology to stay on top and keep up with the competition. It is crucial for a solid business plan to include the means that will improve the quality and performance of your online marketing.

Staying in tune with your customers helps to spread your unique brand message and raise awareness about your company. In addition, it creates a good impression, which will attract potential customers. 

Human Resource Outsourcing Trends for the Future

Human Resource Outsourcing Trends for the Future

HR people around the world cannot keep their findings together and decide whether outsourcing is something that should be done at all costs or is it better to keep all your jobs in-house. The research and surveys being done have not yet provided conclusive evidence for either of these options, but, the trends in the world seem to gravitate towards outsourcing, as more and more companies find talent and skill elsewhere and are ready for it.

Add to that the ever-present necessity to save money, and you get companies outsourcing in less-developed countries, where sufficient (and even great) skill can be found for significantly less.

Over the course of the previous years, a few trends in outsourcing have emerged and these are the ones we think you should pay attention to in the future.

Keep switching to the cloud

Keep switching to the cloud

With outsourcing being so widespread, switching to the cloud seems like the only clever option, since the majority of your work isn’t between your colleagues anymore. The people you outsource the job to need quick access to the data that is relevant to them, while you can be sure that the cloud security will protect the information that is stored. This way, you can outsource a job to an HR company that is miles away from you, even on another continent, and still have the work done efficiently as if they were in the next room.

Selective outsourcing

Selective outsourcing

I mentioned in the beginning that the HR community is unsure whether outsourcing or in-house jobs are better. Well, this is something in between. Selective outsourcing means that you will assess the skills available in-house and then outsource in the fields that you find lacking.

For example, if you are an engineering company and have a lot of talented architects, you are not going to outsource architectural services, but you might need help with data mining and analysis, as architects are not really good data miners. And that’s the whole point – play to your strengths in-house, and outsource what you don’t have the skills for.

Use of social media as a recruiting and driving tool

Use of social media as a recruiting and driving tool

Social media is everywhere, and by it I don’t mean only Facebook and Instagram. In recent years, we have seen an increase in the platforms focused on business – platforms like LinkedIn – where the sole purpose of member profiles is to show their professional skill and talents that they have. This makes it easier for HR personnel to seek potential new employees, as their CVs are already there, as well as their past experiences.

Also, the use of other social networks makes it easier to plan and organize, with groups, group chats, and specialized social networks for work organization all allowing faster communication between the employer and the employees.

Being in line with the current trends of globalization, outsourcing is definitely here to stay. And, since that is the case, if you have a need for outsourcing in the future, be sure to follow these trends. Like I said, HR professionals are still unsure whether outsourcing is a good thing, but in my past experiences, it has shown to be extremely valuable to business owners, if done right.

4 Things You Need to Know If You Want to Do Business in Asia

Ever since we entered the 21st century a lot of things have changed rapidly in business. The advancement of technology and the global use of the internet has created many opportunities around the globe. Today there are fewer business barriers than ever before as the whole world is completely connected.

Entrepreneurs and companies can easily get in touch with someone across the globe or acquire information that they need to start their business incentives abroad. Asia is becoming one of the hot markets for business investments, as this region is opening up to the West and offering many opportunities, given the fact that the market is still not saturated.

This is why a lot of people are looking to do some business in the East, no matter if we are talking about finding outsourcing partners or starting up new offices in Asian countries. However, there are certain specifics you need to know about Asia from a business perspective to make sure that everything goes as planned.

1. You will have to connect with locals to help you

A lot of people make a terrible mistake by thinking that they can do everything on their own, without anyone’s help. Even if you travel to the country that you want to do business in, you will never be able to make all the arrangements on your own.

There are many reasons for this. First of all, Asians are unlikely to get into business with a foreigner instantly and give their trust right away. You will need a person that knows the laws, the business environment and has the connections needed to “break into” the market

2.  Understand “the concept of face.”

This is a very important thing when it comes to business in Asia. Simply put, this concept means that you need to avoid shaming anyone with whom you do business and blaming them directly, even if they are the ones responsible for the mistakes that have been made.

When someone “loses face,” it basically means that they lost their reputation as a business person and this might mean the end of your cooperation for good. Be mild when telling someone that they are wrong and always take a part of the blame on yourself as well.

For example, if someone doesn’t understand what you are proposing, excuse yourself and say that you are not clear enough and this is how the whole situation can be resolved without the person losing face.

3. Culture is very important

Bear in mind that Asia is culturally very different than the West and that they pay a lot of attention to things that might not even be considered when doing business in Western countries. In Asia, respect and courtesy matter, so you need to have an open relationship with people.

When someone is aggressive and overly ambitious here, they are considered to be inexperienced. Learn some local expressions if you cannot comprehend the language, as this shows that you respect the country you are in. Also, make sure that your business incentives don’t clash with the religious beliefs in the country you are in.

4. Luxurious brands are well-received in Asia

Luxurious western brands which sell “cool” stuff are usually accepted quite readily by the Asian people. Asia is becoming more and more connected to the West, and people there love adopting Western culture and gadgets, as they find them incredibly cool. Still, it’s important that your products deliver the user experience that is promised or your audience will quickly turn on you.

Remember that Asia is a growing market and that there are many business opportunities lurking in this part of the world. In the end, make sure that you respect the country that you want to do business in, and that you never think of Asia as one big country, as there are many differences between all the different countries.