New Client Onboarding Form For Success

how to scale a marketing

You’ve done everything possible to get new clients to notice your kickbutt offerings.

  • Providing quality on time, every time
  • Discounts!
  • Memorable, marvelous marketing campaigns

Your hard work and smarts are finally paying off with a firehose pipeline of customers who want to buy from you and only you.

That’s great and all, but do you have what it takes to ensure that those prospective customers become loyal clients?

There’s one more important thing left for you to do to scale your marketing agency and skyrocket revenue. You need a client onboarding template.

Omg. Lookit! We’ve got one right here with your name it.

Our client onboarding form has everything you need for a successful customer onboarding process.

Let’s dig in first with the prep work.

 

Preparation

We’ve all been through those awkward moments when we wanted to strike up a conversation with someone we kind of know, but aren’t quite sure where to start. This is similar to the client onboarding process.

It goes something like this:

New clients have shown an interest in your business. Super!

They’re ready to purchase but aren’t sure how to get started. Bummer.

If you don’t reduce the friction at this inflection point and smooth the transition to make it easier for them to get started with your services, you’ll lose this interested customer!

This is the critical moment where a client onboarding template comes in to save you both.

Plus, having a professional onboarding template ready to deploy when prospects are ready to buy helps your brand make a good first impression.

Here are your prep work action steps:

  • Providing quality on time, every
  • Send tailored welcome documents to every new client
  • Introduce your team
  • Give the customer any additional information they should know about your company’s services and policies

New clients are likely to purchase from companies with a friendly onboarding process. A client onboarding toolkit is a prerequisite to achieving this.

We’ll break down your prep work action steps into more detail up next.

how to scale a social media marketing agency

Client’s Basic Details

Start a successful customer onboarding process with a friendly introduction.

Gathering new clients’ basic information, like their name, title, and company name, is a step toward establishing effective client relationships.

The other essential new clients’ details that are a must-have are contact details — phone numbers, email addresses, websites, etc.

Setting Expectations

The customer onboarding process should involve new clients and your company’s clear goals and objectives.

Include agreed-upon deliverables, establish communication channels and identify success measurement KPIs in the client onboarding form.

This shows your company’s dedication to meeting clients’ expectations, leading to fruitful customer acquisition. It also positions your company as a professional, reliable brand and shows you’re up to the task.

New Client Questionnaire

Send new customers an intake form to complete for a favorable client onboarding process.

The intake form should gather up-to-date information from the new clients and is paramount in helping you and other relevant team members understand their new customer.

After the client completes the intake form, review the information thoroughly and make sure it’s stored where team members can access it easily.

Marketing and Media Tools

Typically, new clients have done a lot of research into their project and goals before they’ve contacted you.

So, your new client probably has a lot of resources in their arsenal that could help you move the project along. As such, be sure to request access to any resources the client deems useful for the work on the new client onboarding template.

These additional resources are building blocks for the new client onboarding checklist and will help surpass new customer expectations.

Onboarding Meeting

The client onboarding process template should detail what will take place in the first client onboarding meeting. The information collected on the client onboarding template will determine the direction to take during the meeting.

For example, you can choose to share a logical strategy you’re using to develop new clients’ workspace. This is critical knowledge to get you and the client on the same page.

Ask questions about any concerns you might have and allow room for new clients to ask questions. Remember to take notes, so you don’t miss or forget key points.

The onboarding process benefits from building positive customer relationships if done right.

how to scale your marketing

Strategize

To plan for a new client’s growth, you’ll want to engage in fact-finding into the client’s goals first. Strategizing is key in the client onboarding checklist.

Here’s how to achieve this in the client onboarding process:

Market Research

The first step is to investigate your new client’s competitors. It’s essential to get the latest information and know what your new client is up against.

Top Competitors

They say knowing your competitor is smart business. Something about keeping friends close and enemies closer. So, identify the five top competitors for your new client and what gives those competitors an advantage over your customer.

List the competitors’ website links and even the keywords used in the meta title. Use competitor analysis tools such as Similarweb and SEMRush for diving deeper.

Competitor Ads

Research your onboarding client competitor ads’ target market, the ads’ placement, and how the competitors efficiently increase their campaign.

Another thing to consider is how your customer onboarding competitors create touchpoints for new customers and maximize advertising results.

Audit Websites and Traffic

Inspect your new customer’s competitors’ websites to know where their site traffic comes from and their SEO optimization strategies.

Use tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Ubersuggest to learn how you can give your new clients a competitive edge.

Marketing Strategy

The client onboarding process template involves developing ways in which your new clients may shift their business to top levels. Again, consulting a digital agency is helpful if you don’t know how to plan your marketing strategy.

Target Persona

After putting together the relevant information and detailed metrics, the next step is to outline your new customer’s ideal prospects and target audience. Describe their demographics, drivers, and pain points for a new client to figure out a solution.

Goals

Use the new client’s target audience to create a series of goals. The intention is to increase the new clients’ company awareness, leads, and drive sales.

Outline the steps for how your agency will increase customer acquisition and website traffic for your new client in great detail.

Value Proposition

Think of the unique features your new client’s products or services possess that you can highlight to attract their target customers.

A promise for value to be delivered improves customer understanding, drives sales, and builds customer engagement. They should be relevant and valuable solutions for the top priority needs of their target customers.

how to scale a marketing

Brief The Team

Assign the new client a team for their project. Ensure you’re moving together with relevant team members for successful client onboarding.

Client briefs

The briefs should be part of the new client onboarding template. Provide new clients with documents containing:

  • Relevant, detailed information
  • Product or service they offer
  • Questionnaire responses
  • Marketing strategy you’ve outlined

These are essential assets the team needs to carry out a smooth project from start to finish.

Client handoffs

Schedule a meeting with the team assigned to the client’s project. During the meeting, elaborate on all the aspects of the new client and the task at hand.

Assign responsibilities such as team lead and stating the relevant clients’ communication lines. Inform the client of the team and who’s handling what.

Putting workflows into project systems

The client onboarding template should include standardized project workflows.

Have a proven sequence of steps through which the project is accomplished. List all the project details and identify how they will fit into the project management workflow.

Project management software provides relevant tools for organizing workflow. You can use other tools such as a cloud-hosted Google Drive folder and Notion page to build the project workflow you want.

how to scale a marketing

Kickoff

The project is about to start, and the team members and clients must set the vision for the project for the next few months.

First-Month Plan

We all know that failing to plan is planning to fail.
So during the first month, you’ve got to create a work progress record.

Incorporate all the work plans for the new client during the onboarding process for the next four weeks. Define the path, ideas to be implemented, and how those implementations will contribute to the overall goal.

Setup Reporting Templates and Tools

Reporting tools come in handy for demonstrating how the project is moving forward. Setting up these templates helps you display detailed project metrics.

In addition, these tools allow options for client access and ability to view or share completed reports. Reporting also adds transparency to the project and keeps clients at ease.

Kickoff Meeting

At this point in the client onboarding template, you must have a clear purpose for the project kickoff meeting.

Schedule the meeting and inform the client and relevant team members. Follow up to ensure the stakeholders confirm their attendance.

When you hold the meeting, try and get a shared understanding of what needs to be done and agree on how you will collaborate during the entire project lifetime.

Research reports anatomy

After the meeting, you should create a report discussing the client’s problem you’re solving, the methods you’ll use, the expected results, and the conclusions.

Acknowledgments and references should be included for a complete report. This is necessary for validating solid elements of the clients’ products or services.

Project Launch

After achieving your objectives in the client onboarding checklist, the next step is to launch the project. This is the real deal — the fun part — that follows the client onboarding process.

First, create a new client workspace consisting of all the onboarding documents for the project’s official papers.

After compiling the project objectives, deliverables, and timelines, it’s time to get the client’s approval and set project in motion. You can then add clients to your project management software to keep them on the same page.

how to scale a marketing

Follow up

Post Onboarding Meeting

When it’s all said and done, you can mark off the new client onboarding checklist.

Send your clients emails to request a meeting. The post-on-boarding meeting will help you understand their customer experience, track onboarding success, and how you can improve for a future new client onboarding template.

Ongoing educational sequences

You should regularly train new clients on your onboarding process through channels such as webinars or email newsletters. In addition, keep your the client informed of any news or changes and bring any project concerns to their attention quickly.

Keep Clients Engaged

You and your new client should agree on the best way to communicate. The channel should provide convenient tools to share information and chat with your new client and your team quickly and easily.

Strengthening client relationships with prompt, clear communication and easy channels in which to do it keeps them engaged and clears misunderstandings.

Conclusion

A new customer onboarding template/form is necessary for ensuring customer satisfaction and creating a high customer lifetime value.

The best asset of a customer onboarding strategy is providing the new client with a frictionless entry point into your team. In addition, the client onboarding process matters as it determines the new numbers of subscriptions, sign-ups, and purchases.

Your action steps for a kickbutt client onboarding process:

  • Get all the relevant information — client details, competitor details, KPIs, measurements, reports — and store where all parties can easily access it.
  • Assign a team to your new client and make the necessary introductions.
  • Engage in a client kickoff meeting to get everyone on the same page and details fleshed out.
  • Ensure transparency into critical business processes. Make sure clients can access data and reporting so they can keep track of the milestones and feel good about where the project is headed.
  • Get a post onboarding meeting scheduled so you can ensure the future success of a good customer onboarding process.

Following the client onboarding template earnestly works for the best onboarding strategy. The client onboarding process, when done correctly, makes customers comfortable and creates customer convenience in the client’s ongoing relationship.

Ready to get your very own new client onboarding guide? Download it HERE.

If you need assistance with client onboarding, don’t hesitate to hit us up. Our team is ready to get all the obstacles out of your way!

 

How to Write a Performance Improvement Plan with a Template

A Performance Improvement Plan Template makes Improving Employee Performance a breeze.

What’s the best thing to do when there are employees with recurring performance issues? Fire them?

Nah, just kidding!

If you’ve got an underperforming employee, then you need to administer a performance improvement plan.

Why?

Because a performance improvement plan does a bang up job addressing their recurring behavioral or performance issues.

Bottom line, a performance improvement plan will help them improve their work performance and turn things around.

But wait. There’s more!

Not only will a performance improvement plan do all that and a bag of chips, but it will also boost company culture and employee morale — which in turn benefits the business or project.

So, now that you know all the high-level benefits of administering a performance improvement plan, how do we write a performance improvement plan that’s effective, succinct, and gets the job done?

Let’s dive in.

What is a Performance Improvement Plan?

In a nutshell, a performance improvement plan (PIP), also known as a performance action plan, is a formal document containing the employee’s performance issues. It also contains the action plans and steps needed to make necessary improvements.

A project implementation plan includes specific examples of the expectations the underperforming employee failed to meet. This includes things like low work quality and productivity. The plan also contains a list of goals with corresponding deadlines and the potential consequences if deadlines and goals aren’t met.

So contrary to the negative perception of PIP — that it is just formality before termination — the actual function of this tool is for the managers and HR to work with employees who have notable performance shortcomings and give them the chance to step up their game. 

Performance improvement plans are a strategic investment in employees who need more support to comply with the company’s performance standards.

When to Administer a Project Implementation Plan

One of the common questions managers ask is:

Do you have to implement a performance action plan for all employees?

Nope.

At ScaleTime, we only administer a PPI when our team member has chronic behavioral or performance problems. So if they committed one mistake, you don’t need a PPI because that would be counter-productive. And a little heavy handed.  

So, when is a PPI warranted?

We only give PPI to employees who’ve been struggling and have failed to meet the company’s expectations repeatedly.

Managers can often identify disengaged employees. But just to be sure, review their performance and see if there’s a negative trend.  

If the employee in question has recurring performance deficiencies, ask if action plans would correct them.

Usually, issues that fall under this category are related to:

  • Work quality
  • Meeting goals
  • Meeting deadlines

If the performance issues are related to any or all of the bulleted areas, then you can correct their issues with a performance implementation plan.

How to Create a Performance Improvement Plan

There’s no universal way of writing a PIP, so don’t worry if you’ve encountered different answers in your how to write a performance improvement plan question.

But if we really want to create an effective performance improvement plan that delivers results, we should take note of the following.  

Address the current performance issues

Understanding each performance issue is the first step to workplace success.

We can’t address the problem if we don’t know what the issues are. Same with preparing a performance improvement action plan for your underperforming employee.

The first step in this process is to pinpoint specific areas your employee needs to improve, so we can prepare the best roadmap for them.

Also, if the employee has had other past performances issues, assuming that it’s already been addressed, fogeddaboudit. Focus solely on the current subject.

Outline a plan for improvement

HR Professionals recommend using plans and following guidelines.

The PIP should include the steps needed to achieve the desired outcomes.

For example:

Does your employee need to attend more training and be given more assignments?

What actions can they take to correct their performance or behavior?

So, help them succeed. Outline the plan for improvement.

Set measurable goals and timelines

The plan must include the time period and end date at which the HR department will review.

Goals and timelines are critical components in your performance improvement plan. However, we can’t set goals and timelines that aren’t feasible. So the key is to set achievable and measurable goals.

Also, when setting up a goal, aim to make it SMART, or it might be too vague for your employee.  

SMART goals are:

  • Specific — Clearly state the goals are so your employee knows what needs to be done and why they need to do it.
  • Measurable — The goals should have metrics so that you and your employee can track their progress. Plus, it could motivate them once they see even a slight improvement in themselves. 
  • Achievable — Be realistic when setting goals in the PIP. Don’t expect your employee to improve drastically after day one. And make sure the goals are attainable so the PIP is successful. 
  • Relevant — The goals should align with what you want your employee to achieve and the efforts they need to take.
  • Time-bound — Add target dates or timelines the employee must follow.

Assign responsibilities to specific people in the organization

Continuity on the part of the employer is key so that results of previous discussions are not lost.

Management creates a performance improvement plan. But management isn’t solely responsible for the entire process. So, be sure to distribute the workload to the appropriate personnel in your company.

For example, assign a department to help your employee in their training or a supervisor to oversee their progress.

Make sure the people you delegate responsibilities to have the right background and expertise to help your employee improve performance.

Provide feedback on how well they’re meeting their responsibility

Employers should offer a certain amount of feedback and guidance.

One factor that significantly influences an employee’s motivation is feedback. If they know their progress is appreciated, no matter how big or small, they’ll strive harder to be better at their job.

Just the same, we must be straightforward in giving critical feedback, especially if you aren’t seeing any progress. Let your employee know they have to reach at least a satisfactory standard or face the consequences.

By keeping them accountable, we help them move forward.

Monitor progress and provide additional coaching as needed

Measure success by progress towards the agreed goals.

We have to monitor our underperforming employees regularly. By doing so, we prevent them from going off track.

If an employee fails to meet the agreed goals, then you’ll need to ask them questions and find out precisely where they’re struggling.

You can do this during follow-up meetings so you can provide additional coaching or resources.

How to share performance improvement plans

A Performance Improvement Plan should never come out of the blue.

The manager or direct supervisor should have discussed the employee’s performance with them before receiving a performance action plan. This usually happens during performance review sessions. So it’ll come as no surprise if the employee gets awarded PIP.

The thing is, we don’t simply deliver the document to the employee. Whether we like it or not, we have to meet them to discuss the plan personally and set expectations.

We want to make sure your employee clearly understands the required corrective action and why it must be taken. Also, encourage the employee to share their ideas or provide feedback in case you miss some essential factors that could make the plan more effective.

Once done, we can incorporate their suggestions in the final PIP and proceed to implementation.

Performance Improvement Plan Template

Many performance improvement templates are available in PDF and Word files. On the other hand, you can also create your own, following the format of the template below:

[Employee]

[Manager]

[Date]

Purpose for Performance Improvement Plan

Here, we define the reason for PIP and the expected outcome. We can also include the employee’s roles and overall performance that led to this corrective action. 

Performance Improvement Plan

This part should enumerate the employee’s responsibilities that they failed to meet. It also should include specific examples or scenarios of behavioral or performance discrepancies. 

For example: 

Issue 1: You are expected to arrive on time. 

  • In the past x months, you have a record of x tardiness. 

Issue 2: You are expected to make x sales in a week. 

  • You only made x sales.  

And so on… 

Performance Improvement Action Plan

List down the activities the employee must take to correct their performance and the timeline. 

Resources

We don’t want to just give the letter without providing any resources. This part will list down all the resources and support that the employee will receive from the organization.

Other Sections 

You can also add other sections that you think can be relevant to the plan.

[Signatures and Date]

Don’t forget to use a formal tone and incorporate the things we mentioned above when you’re writing your PIP!

What Do You Need to Do

Project implementation plans can be nerve-wracking for both the manager and employee. The negative connotation surrounding PIPs often makes the conversation awkward and uncomfortable.

So as project managers, we must assure our team members that a project implementation plan is more than just disciplinary action or an initial stage before the employee is demoted or terminated. 

Instead, it’s a strategic investment and effective tool that helps them advance their careers. PIPs show employees that you’re invested in their success by addressing and correcting their recurring mistakes, and that the PIP isn’t a termination formality.

So whenever we write a performance improvement plan, we have to communicate our objectives clearly and ensure that the employee understands the true purpose of a PIP — which is to help them reach their peak potential. 

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

PIPs are the cure and while they work, their’s an easier way to run your agency. Tighten up your hiring and employee onboarding process to prevent performance issues down the road.

Get your FREE Employee Hiring and Onboarding Checklist HERE.

New Employee Onboarding Checklist [with FREE Sample!]

Would you rather eat a pair of dirty gym socks than hire new employees?

But dude, your team is at capacity and you’ve got to expand. 

It’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem if your employee onboarding is a jumbled mess of nope. 

Your company is only as strong as its people — your greatest asset. You’ve got to hire and retain the best and brightest.

But, womp womp womp. Managers have a nasty habit of overlooking past employee experience, and this can bump up your turnover rates. Some research has suggested that 20% of new hires leave within 45 days of employment. 

Another huge culprit behind high turnover? Sucky employee onboarding processes. Or no onboarding process.

Yikes. 

You need a smooth, comprehensive onboarding journey that can ensure employee retention, engagement, and satisfaction. 

So let’s take your onboarding process from lackluster to hero with this new employee onboarding checklist example. 

The onboarding process is optimal for employers to give a good first impression, emotionally connect with new hires and set the foundation right for a healthy professional relationship and positive results. It is crucial that this opportunity doesn’t go to waste.

On the flip side, if your company is a mess right off the bat, it could leave a negative, and usually lasting, impression and lessen the incentive to perform well.

This happens more than you think. Onboarding is a complicated process, and tasks get forgotten or left out. Or, sometimes, employers overwhelm their new hires with an overload of information on the first day. Or simply put, death by orientation. Sloppy, or no onboarding process can cause initially energetic and eager employees to get confused or disconnection to their work. 

So what exactly does it take to ace new employee onboarding and make it a smooth journey?

Having an employee onboarding checklist can help drive more efficient onboarding and avoid missing the mark during sessions.

Each employee learns differently. Ensure that the onboarding experience is tailored to suit the needs of every individual. 

New Employee Onboarding Checklist Sample to Help Organizations Onboard New Hires

As with any internal project management, it is important to have a procedure in place to ensure that employees and operations are in sync.

Our New Employee Onboarding Checklist Sample takes all the guesswork out of orientation. Find out how to get your organization ready to welcome new hires and to set a good first impression. 

Include Pre-welcome Tasks in Your Employee Onboarding Checklist

Before the first day, it is important to be prepared to welcome the new hire with the right resources and attitude. When there is a lack of communication right after the interview to the first day of work, new hires may get a negative impression. You don’t want your new hire to show up not knowing anything about the company beforehand.

Having a pre-welcome task checklist can help you set everything straight before the actual onboarding. It also sets a precedent for the way the company manages and organizes.

  1. Contact the new hire to confirm attendance, convey important information (e.g dress code, office address, start time)
  2. Send a welcome email
  3. Set up goals and paperwork 
  4. Prepare digital and physical workspace for new hire
  5. Ensure that training materials are prepared

Before D-Day

Before your new hire storms the beaches of Normandy and helps your team conquer their deliverables, your current employees need to be briefed. 

Other than preparing the human resources department and new hires, loop in all members of the company on the new addition. This is an important step in fostering engagement and promoting communication.

New employees will also be able to prepare themselves to welcome their new colleagues. It can be great to hold a proper meet-or-greet session or conference call so that new and existing employees can create an emotional bond. 

However, if the workforce is dispersed, there are some general steps to take before Day 1 that are included in the new member onboarding checklist:

  1. Inform your other employees of new hires by sending out a company-wide announcement. This should include important details like their name, introduction, bio, job description, and team members, etc.
  2. Designate a coworker to be the go-to person for the new hire and brief this person on what they can help with.
  3. Plan a workplace tour of the office grounds with your new hire.
  4. Arrange meetings and training sessions as part of your onboarding program.

Btw, make sure you download the free Team Onboarding Toolkit. It’ll give your people the tools they need to kick ass, take names, and chew more bubblegum. 

Your new hire’s first day: Onboarding checklist tasks

Now, the time has come for your workforce to meet with the new arrival. Ensuring a smooth start on Day 1 will lead to a smooth journey for new employees. Do not overlook this! No matter how well your pre-onboarding tasks are carried out, this is the first time the new hire will get to experience the workplace first-hand and build lasting connections.

You want to make things as easy as possible without overwhelming them. At the same time, give them enough information and time to adapt to their new environment.

In the new onboarding checklist template, you will find:

  1. Welcome new hires upon arrival and introduce them to teams and management personnel
  2. Hand them any welcome package or necessary materials (e.g. uniforms, handbooks)
  3. Discuss company policies and Standard Operating Procedures, break times, and more.
  4. Introduce new employees to digital systems and physical workspace
  5. Discuss company values and company mission
  6. Review and confirm that the employee is familiar with the new environment and has received all the relevant materials
  7. If needed, extend the time or schedule more sessions to help them familiarize themselves.

Week 1

A crucial part of any project management is what comes after the execution. There are a few questions you can ask.

Is this current strategy sufficient and effective? Are there any touchpoints that you may have overlooked? Will this be the best solution going forward and for future hires? What are some ways it can be improved? 

Especially if your organization has just started implementing a new onboarding process, there will definitely be some refinements along the way. Review the onboarding process and get feedback to ensure that it has gone smoothly. Plug any missing gaps or information in the new hire onboarding that may have been missed. 

  1. Ask how the first week went and whether they have any questions
  2. Review training schedules and technology functions
  3. Discuss the working structure and company culture 
  4. Discuss policies and cyclical programs
  5. Review goals pertaining to their job description, expectations, and deadlines

Next steps: Get your employee onboarding checklist and start using it!

You can download the new employee onboarding checklist sample on Smartsheet or Excel here.

Constantly checking in on the onboarding process will help you identify any potential challenges or areas for improvement. At times, you may even get insight into other operations out of the HR function, such as new ideas from a fresh perspective.

Remember, your new hire could potentially bring great value to the organization. Having a rocky start could damage your company’s reputation. Or lead to long-term confusion or conflict, which impedes business growth.

With your organizational projects, things can get messy if it’s not done right. Having a proper system to manage workflows and a centralized knowledge base can guide teams to collaborate on projects and ensure success. 

When it comes to new employee onboarding, it may seem like a one-man task. In reality, it takes the whole organization to make sure that the new hire feels welcomed, enjoys the culture, and understands the tools used in the workplace. 

Find out how to better manage projects with this FREE Project Management Checklist. Download it here.

Having an entire onboarding process checklist template doesn’t mean that you have to stick to a rigid list. New hires work differently and have different job scopes. With an HR onboarding checklist template, managers can refine it to suit the needs of new members.

Hold on. Our cape needs adjusting. 

As workplaces become increasingly diverse, managing projects, such as onboarding, can get overwhelming. 

With ScaleTime’s Clone Yourself Project Management system, organizations can now collaborate on shared tasks on one platform and meet objectives more quickly than before. 
So, how much more revenue could you bring in and retain with an automated project management system? Find out more about better project management today.

KPIs for Growth: Measuring Hiring and Onboarding

Employees are the engine that power your business success. But business owners often underestimate the cost of a new team member

So what are those costs? Roughly 30% of that person’s first-year salary. 

Make a bad hire, and those costs will skyrocket. 

74% of surveyed businesses have made the mistake of hiring the wrong person for the job. So if this is a misstep you’ve made, you’re not alone.

So don’t feel too down about it. Tomorrow’s another day and this is something we can fix so you never make the same mistake again.  

An airtight hiring and onboarding process is critical for your agency’s bottom line and will keep the wrong candidates out of your system. 

With the right hiring and onboarding KPIs, you’ll improve the quality of the hire while streamlining the hiring process. 

These KPIs will work for both in-person and remote hiring. Let’s break them down. 

How Putting Aces in Their Places Benefits Your Agency

Introverts make great front desk receptionists! No, no, they don’t. 

Bad hires can sap your team’s productivity and performance. They also risk legal fees for unlawful termination. 

You want to make sure you have the right person for a position. Otherwise, the costs of a bad hire will eat into your revenue stream. 

Here are just a few of the benefits hiring the right person for the job for your agency:

  • Decrease the time and expense of training
  • Improve employee morale
  • Increase retention rates
  • Make customers happy with better customer service

Using KPIs for onboarding and hiring will also reduce the costs of reviewing resumes, recruitment fees, and time spent interviewing. 

Time to Hire KPI

Recruiters and hiring managers, listen up: 

If you’re going to master any of these KPIs, make this one a top priority. 

How come? Because the time to hire KPI helps you:

  • Optimize your application process
  • Protect your company’s productivity, revenue, and brand image
  • Ensure that you’re interviewing only the top candidates

On average, and depending on the industry, time to hire can take anywhere from 14 to 63 days. 

Let’s think about this for a hot minute. You’ve got an exciting, well-paid position available that you want to fill asap. 

Your job ad is drool-worthy and laser-targeted to your ideal candidate. It’s being advertised freaking everywhere. 

So, who do you think is going to jump at the chance to apply and try to snag this top-notch position first?

Hint: it won’t be the forks when all you need is a knife. 

Your best candidates are going to apply early in the process. Take too long to hire and have a lengthy hiring process, and your best and brightest will drop out. 

What’s left? A pool of mediocre candidates that, if you hire, can hurt your brand image and productivity. Ugh. That’s some rain on your wedding day. 

If you notice a lot of candidates starting an application but not finishing, then you might need to tweak your application and hiring process. 

Time to Hire = Date of Hire – Date Candidate Enters the Pipeline

Quality of Hire KPI

Ensure that your new employees have A’s across their employee scorecard with the quality of hire KPI. 

To measure this KPI, you’ll need to go through your retention and performance data. 

You’ll also want to measure how your new hires fit in with the company. 

Are you experiencing new hires leaving within the first six months? Then you’re probably screening for the wrong traits. 

Also, this KPI can help you determine where you’ve found your best hires, like social media, job boards, or references.

(Performance + Productivity + Retention) / N = Quality of Hire

Measuring Time to Productivity

Time to productivity measures how long it takes for a new hire to meet performance level expectations. Setting a KPI here will help you uncover any cracks in your onboarding process. 

The exact KPI you set to measure time to productivity will vary across teams. But suffice it to say, it shouldn’t differ too much from one person to the next within a particular group. 

Keep These Marketing Agency Hiring and Onboarding Best Practices in Mind

Before you start measuring your KPIs for growth, take the following action steps:

  • Be consistent — Use the same onboarding process for each new hire. Consistency will make it easier to extract meaningful data from the hiring process. 
  • Be warm — During the hiring process, candidates are looking at your agency with a sharp eye, wondering if they’re making the right choice. Make candidates feel welcome during the onboarding process so they won’t feel unappreciated and bail. 
  • Think of it as a relationship — Think it’s done and over after hiring? Not so. Guide your new hires and develop them after the onboarding process is done. This will help them stay engaged and feel appreciated enough to stay with you for the long haul. 

Is the hiring process an exercise in frustration for you? 

Get some of your time back with our free Hiring Hacks Guide. And keep these hiring and onboarding KPIs in mind when you’re ready to add a new member to your team. 

Gimme!

clientonboardingbanner

How to make sales hiring less confusing

“Any tips for making sure we don’t derail during this time? I 
already feel like we’re changing strategies by the second (internally and client-facing) and I want to make sure

1) messaging is consistent

2) the team doesn’t feel overwhelmed with this very quick change and need for action.


Does that make sense??” [sic] 
asks Kate, a project manager of my beloved client.

It does if:

Your facebook feed is filled with Corona memes to distract you from

Your news feed that is FUD-filled (fear, uncertainty, doubt – so you don’t have to urban dictionary) with echoes of the last recession

Your WhatsApp is blown up by frantic friends and family away

You’re not sure which clients are sticking around, even if you feel like you have them under legal lock and key 

And worse… you are in a confined space with those closest to you while trying not to kill each other. 🤬You wish you could SOS yourself out of a Vampirina tranz because kids are home all day

Oh and did I mention it’s happening to your employees and clients, too?

Now that I have made you feel super warm and fuzzy 😉 I promise there is hope! 

Download our Sales Process Checklist!

In times of crisis, people look for leadership. 

> If you are reading this, you are a leader. 

> Step into it. 

> Own it. 


 The best crisis management we can model is the Situation Room of the United States (setting aside your feelings about the current administration)

It’s an effective way of managing crisis because it swiftly and effectively deals with the volatility by managing:

·         Information: parsing and prioritizing data that’s incoming from various sources

·         Dissemination: to whom and how to share relevant and urgent communication

·         Action: deploying and implementing tactics despite a barrage of new information coming at you (i.e revenue and resource changes)

·         Support: making sure the nation (in your case – clients and team) feel supported throughout

Five simple things to implement your own “Situation Room”:


1.        The Situation Room – needs to take place in real life (preferably with social distancing in this case). Whether that is a Slack channel, Zoom huddle or your team sneaks into a football field and then stands 6 feet apart (jk), you need a time and place to gather the info with the Gladiators you appoint.


2.      Opening and closing debriefs – there is a phenomenal amount of info to digest between closing shop and opening … then it cycles throughout the day. This is crucial to pivot and/or course-correct quickly.


3.      Create a change board in your project manager – this is a project or board where new ideas that flood from you and the team get placed to be approved, denied or delayed based on resources and urgency. This will help keep track of all competing projects and ideas.


4.     Measure the capacity of both hours and emotional stress –  this is a prime time for people to be on edge and overwhelmed. Track hours for the good of everyone’s sanity. Support your people by checking in. Are their families healthy? Will they have wifi outages (SE ASIA)? Do they need to make appointments to go to supermarkets(certain South American countries)? Stay informed… Any new data will: Affect workflow. Affect productivity. Affect your business.


5.      Lastly, Lead.

 

          In your industry. 
          In your business. 
          In your home. 

As a kid, my stepdad would constantly ask me “Are you a leader or a follower?” That is ingrained in my head. Be the reliable, constant, future thinker your team and clients need you to be. 

If you need to silently scream into a pillow, reach out and I’ve got your back. 

Leadership is the manifestation of Expansion, Empathy, and Empowerment. 

Kick some ass and let me know if you have any questions. 

Legit, send me an email – I read them all (I’m unfortunately addicted and stuck at home), I promise to respond. 

Let’s grow together. 

Download our Sales Process Checklist!

What to do when a top employee takes leave

It’s going to happen one way or another.

Maybe it’s because she gets pregnant. Maybe it’s because she gets sick. Maybe he takes a sabbatical or finds a new job. Whatever the reason, one day your top employee is going to tell you they need extended time off.

And in that moment, if you don’t read this article, you’re totally screwed.

The good news is, you’re reading this article, so there’s hope for you yet, youngblood.

You see, here’s what most people do when their top employee leaves:

Freak out and have a nuclear meltdown.

Take on all the work themselves, pretending like everything is fine.

Dump it on some poor, helpless, unsuspecting employee.

Panic, hire someone random and hope they can figure it out.

No, no, no!

What you need to do is create a plan NOW, so that you’re prepared for this moment when it comes. When you prepare, you’ll be able to absorb the shock of the impact without much damage to the business. If you don’t prepare, well, see “freak out and have a meltdown.”

Today I want to share three ways you can prepare for the inevitable loss of your top employee, whether it’s temporary or permanent.

 

Step #1: Find the docs

One of the biggest challenges owners face when an employee leaves is figuring out where everything the employee was working on is. Is it on their desktop in some folder? Some dungeon drive that hasn’t seen the light of day in years? Even worse, is it in their head, physically inaccessible to anyone besides your employee (at least until Elon Musk creates his brain linking company)?

Before it’s too late, build a clear structure for documentation that all of your employees understand and follow, and create a consistent naming structure so that documents are easily searchable.

Step #2: Track progress

Ah yes, the age-old question: Is my employee almost done with that client deliverable or have they yet to start?

If you don’t have clear insight into your employee’s progress on client work, you might as well be working alone. As the owner of your business, you need to be steering the ship in the right direction, but the only way you can do that is if your employees are rowing.

To solve this issue, implement a project management system with clear workflows, so you always know where any project is. This allows you to easily handoff work to different employees when another one has delays or roadblocks.

Do this and you’ve suddenly got a ship full of vikings, all rowing together towards Valhalla ($$$).

Step 3: Handoffs

Oh damn! Did I just say handoffs?

Why yes, yes I did.

When you’re employee says they’re going to take leave, who is going to handle their workload? Plan this out BEFORE they leave.

Can you shift their workload to one or two other people on the team? If this is your plan, do those employees have the capacity? You don’t want to shift the workload to people who can’t handle it.

Will you hire a temporary employee who will fill the gap while they’re gone? If so, how will you get them up to speed?

Will you promote another employee to take on the workload and then hire a new employee to fill that employee’s space?

Or will you hire someone new who will continue working with you when your #1 returns? If so, where will you find them?

These are all critical questions to ask before they’re necessary to answer.

So there you have it…

When you’re adequately prepared for your employees to leave, you can actually mean it when you congratulate your #1 employee when she tells she’s pregnant. 

ScaleTime Tips:

  1. Make sure everyone on the team has access to documents and client progress
  2. Make sure you have access to progress
  3. Make sure you can easily hand off their work

Have you ever lost your top employee before? If so, how did you handle it?

 

 

 

Performance Evaluations

What type of student were you back in the day?

When it was time for report cards, were you rushing to show your parents your grades?

Or were you rushing to trash the report card before they could ever see them?

Great entrepreneurs are cut from both cloths.

But one thing few entrepreneurs realize is that report cards are a crucial part of growing your business.

The only difference is that they’re not called report cards, they’re called performance evaluations.

A lot of people recoil at this idea, but it’s not as cringeworthy as you think…

… and it could be the key you’ve been looking for to retain and develop good talent.

Think about it.

When you knew you had a killer report card, how did you feel? Were you nervous, or ashamed? No! You were on top of the world and you wanted everyone to know.

A lot of business owners feel weird “grading” their employees. But from your perspective, nothing could make more sense than a regular performance review.

First of all, it pushes you to keep track of your employee’s performance. Your money is going into their pockets, so I’d say it’s pretty damn important to know if that investment is paying off. You want to see if they’re delivering on expectations you set when they started off, or if they’re over or under delivering.

By doing it regularly, you get the chance to quickly course correct if things are going off the rails and address the cause of the issue.

If you’ve got an employee who’s crushing it, they’re going to be excited to get the evaluation, and you’re going to be happy to deliver it. It gives you a structured way to provide positive feedback, while providing an easy environment to deliver constructive feedback.

If you have an employee who isn’t performing no matter what, the evaluations are a way to let them know there’s an issue, and even let them go, in a way that is fair and objective.

In addition, performance evaluations are perfect times to set new goals with your employees. These goals should be a mix of goals for the business, but also development goals that are personally important to your employees. By helping your employees develop where they want to grow, you’re not only empowering them and building a deeper connection to the business, but you are also creating more skilled employees.

I understand the gut reaction against performance evaluations, but if you’re running a business, you know what needs to be done is rarely easy.

As Tim Ferriss says, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

If you’re ready to get started with performance evaluations for your employees, then you should check out my free template that gives you everything you need to get started.

Check out the performance evaluation template here.

 

This hiring hack can save you 20+ hours

Putting a job posting up on a job site like Indeed is like throwing a grenade on top of a mountain and waiting for it to explode.

If you’ve created the right posting, you’re about to get an avalanche of resumes (one posting on Indeed can easily generate over 100 applications). Few business owners have any reliable way for sorting through them. Maybe you’re one of those people who spends 15 minutes on every single one, throwing away days in the process. Or maybe you only review a certain number of resumes, and ignore the rest, potentially passing over the best candidate. Either ways, after just a few reviews all resumes start to look the same. Then you start second-guessing yourself. And then the overwhelm takes over. There’s a much, much better way. After hiring hundreds employees of my own, and helping hundreds of clients do the same, I’ve developed a streamlined process that helps you quickly review the resumes you receive, while maintaining high standards to make sure you get the right candidate. The process involves sorting employees into different buckets as quickly as possible. The Yes’s, maybes, hell nos, and people that might be good for something else. Each resume should take 30 seconds to review. There are 4 key points you want to look for when you’re sorting through resumes.

        1.  Basic standards

There are a few questions we want to ask before we move on to the content of the resume:
  1. Is the person real? Yes, you might get spam resumes
  2. Is this resume formatted with any degree of professionalism?
  3. Are they based in a suitable location for the job?

       2.  Dependability

Here we’re looking to see if they’ve kept down a job for a year or longer, or if they have any big gaps in their resume. Although this doesn’t tell the full story, if a resume is filled with 3 and 6 month jobs, that’s a big red flag. Another red flag is if there are gaps in employment of more than a few months. Sure they could explain these issues, but we don’t have time to get everyone’s story here.

        3.  Experience

Looking at their job titles, do they have experience doing what you’ll need them to do? When we do this scan, we aren’t looking for someone with a perfect experience match (although that would be nice). What we’re looking for are job positions that are related to what we’re asking them to do, or ones that require similar skill sets.

        4.  Specific requirements

Are there any deal breakers or standards they must meet? Now is when you look for them. Certificates, degrees, or anything else that they must have. At first this may take a minute or two, but believe me, after looking through a few resumes, you’ll be a pro. Having too many resumes to review is a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. Following this process is an easy way to save time and money, while increasing your chances of finding the perfect hire for your company.

The Real Cost Of A New Team Member

Hiring an employee is one hell of an experience for entrepreneurs.

So many emotions bundled up into one decision.

One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how much an employee is going to cost.

I’m sure the first time you hired, you significantly underestimated how much it was going to cost.

Everyone does.

In fact, I find that most business owners often underestimate costs by 25%.

I’m gonna be real – that’s unacceptable, but it’s not too late.

Today I’ve got a few tips on how to budget for hiring, plus a handy hiring cost calculator that will help you get an accurate idea of how much it will actually cost.

To get started, there are few questions you need to ask yourself.

Once those are answered, head on over to the ScaleTime Hiring Calculator to get a clear budget prepared.

Pitfall#1 – Hiring a full time employee when all you need is a VA or freelancer

A lot of business owners who feel overwhelmed look to hire someone full time, so that they can “really focus on what’s important.” The challenge is sometimes the amount of overwhelm you feel is not directly correlated to how much work you have. Offloading a few tasks to a VA or freelancer will often clear enough off your plate, or the plate of your employees, to put you back in the driver’s seat.

Pitfall#2 Hiring (an expensive) senior team member because you don’t want to handhold

I see this all the time. In some cases, a business owner wants to find a team member who has experience doing exactly what you need them to do. In other cases, an employee is begging you to hire someone more experienced to handle tasks they aren’t equipped for.

Either way, your goal is to get someone who can hit the ground running. You don’t want to have to spend time training someone, hand-holding them through every aspect of their job.

It makes complete sense, but for most biz owners, it doesn’t work out. And the reason is because they don’t have the proper systems, documents, or training in place to help a new hire get up to speed. Without them, you could hire a college intern for 1/10th the price, and they’d only be slightly less effective. Even the most qualified employees still need to learn the ins and outs of your business before they’re ready to hit the ground running. Implementing proper hiring systems, and then hiring junior employees is often much easier and effective (you can mold them to your business because they haven’t had time to develop too many bad habits yet).

Pitfall#3 Underestimating costs

A lot of my clients say they want to hire someone worth 30K or 50K a year, and then go out looking for that person. The thing they don’t think about is that salary is just one part of the equation. Many other costs go into hiring, including:

  • Your time spent searching for candidates
  • Onboarding costs
  • Tax and benefits

The good news is – if you can avoid the first two pitfalls on your own, I can help you avoid the third. My Hiring Calculator helps you quickly estimate the true cost of that new hire. While most biz owners stick their finger in the air and hope things work out, you’ll begin the process bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Access the calculator here

Try it out and let me know what you think. If you were planning on hiring, how good were your estimates on how much it would cost vs. what you found using this calculator?

How to deal with my team’s systems resistance

You saw the light!   Whether you are tired of repeating the same tasks over and over again and want to automate the process or you just got tired of asking where your team was on their projects – you decided to get yourself a systems tool. You did the research, you weighed the pros and cons, you implemented it, you deployed it to the team, you are so excited about all the headache this is going to save you and now… THE UGLY RESISTANCE.

Juliana “I have a new systems tool, but my team doesn’t want to use it? Now what?!?!”

I get this question from business owners and their team leads all the time. Team members ranging from your freelancers to your businesses’ #2 create resistance and it typically looks like one form or another of … Well, I don’t want to (the bratty resistance) Why do I have to (the rebellious resistance) Not part of my job (the diva resistance) It’s boring/meh (the ennui resistance) I didn’t have to do this before (the status quo resistance) I didn’t do this in other places (the comparison resistance – mostly contractor’s response) The resistance is a lot of white noise that usually stems from  2 factors:
  1. Robots are going to take over the world … (not really – kinda) but they see this “ systems tool” as a threat to their job. This tool creates efficiency and transparency that will in effect make them much easily replaceable. The dirty truth is that it does – it makes a lot of the mindless repetitive work that your staff is doing faster so they need to step up their game and can’t hide behind you not seeing the inefficiencies running the clock and costing you money.
  2. They see this as more unnecessary work you just piled on top of them. Let’s face it, they don’t need to see the big picture so there is absolutely no incentive to track or measure the work they are already doing when their priority is just getting that work done.

How do we address the issue?

  • Make it a part of their job – whether you are on boarding a new person or retraining an old person this is the new norm. You set the expectation that this is now a job requirement – not a suggestion.
  • Everything is awesome! You paint the picture that this tool is going to save them time and allow them to work on the higher level tasks that they actually enjoy and will reduce a lot of the grunt work of the job that they don’t. Every single time a client’s A-player has had huge resistance to adopting a system and they finally do the response “epiphany” that they share with my clients’ is “why didn’t we do this earlier”.  
Every. Single. Time.   Poor performing players, on the other hand, well, you just got visibility into who is performing and not. [link to hiring] This is a good time to update those job descriptions.
Sidebar – if it’s a CRM tool that you are deploying you can state that CRMs make increase sales by 29% more when you use a CRM – hence cha ching! more mula for everyone! Help them help you. Using a new tool is a habit. Set up daily or weekly automated reminders so you can prompt people to input, check off, or move things around in your shiny new systems tool. Let them know they are going to have to invest some time upfront to get the results. Those first two weeks of working out are brutal, but after you develop the routine and start to see results, the thought of not working out is not even a question. Show them how to use the systems tool how you want it used. Everyone adopts tools with their own process – create a simple screencast showing them how to go about using the tool and reduce hand holding and answering the same questions. For more elaborate tools, I’ll talk about rollouts. Stress review time and completion. When do projects, deals, milestones need you or a manager for review and when can they actually be marked as complete. Set this up ahead of time to avoid bottlenecking or an inaccurate sense of reality. Bonus Level – measure – keep a scorecard to track performance.

Pitfalls:

So let’s say they are now (happily or not) onboard with using this new tool. Cool, right? Well, let’s still look out for some systems mayhem. You can get the eager – beaver – systems – achiever ????  who uses the systems at nausea and you are pinged a 100x a day with every tiny detail of work being produced. The fix – Help them prioritize and make sure you set up times with them to check in. For example – you can let them know you are reviewing work at 6am or 4:30pm so they know that you are not going to take a look at every ping throughout the day and when to get all of their questions or work product in by for your review. Cloak and dagger – things are being moved along but there is almost no communication and you are left with an icky feeling of not sure what is getting done when. The fix –  Help them prioritize and have them send you an end of day/ week summary of what is getting created and complete. Check your system for activity reporting. If you are running into any other pitfalls I would love to know – share them with me.

Implement for Results

  • Establish the new norm and stress the importance of this system as part of their job
  • Let them know this is going to help them make their jobs and lives easier
  • Automate reminders to help them build habits
  • Show them how to use it
  • Set up criteria for review times and completion of work
  • Measure
  • Manage pitfalls by helping team prioritize and communicate effectively