to your company is one thing – but just how do you attract the right talent?
Hiring the right people in your team is essential when it comes to achieving commercial success and expanding your business. But how do you attract the right talent? Julian Hearn, founder of Huel, Jenny Knighting, founder of Nutcracker and Mark Wright, Founder and Director of Climb Online spoke about how to drive sales in the commercial business growth panel on the first day Elite Business’ live event on March 9. They discussed the various challenges when it comes to bringing the right people into your team, marketing strategies and how to achieve commercial growth in a digital era.
Mark spoke about his biggest business lesson of all – spending money on wrong employees that didn’t fit his company’s strategic growth. “The biggest thing I’ve ever wasted money on in business is the wrong employees, not marketing,” Mark said. “I’ve spent a fortune on people who are wrong for the company and if I’d had to pick anything where I’ve kicked money away, that would be it. I would have spent more money on getting the right people rather than being cheap and hiring the wrong people to save money. When I started, I would hire someone from £18,000 to £25,000 thinking I could get the most out of them the same as a £40,000 salary. It didn’t work, and I ended up causing reputation damage and the time training a person who in the end we had to fire anyway, or they quit and it was wrong for their careers. Marketing, you can never make a mistake on because you’ve spent money even if it doesn’t work – you’ve learnt a lesson for what doesn’t work.”
However, Jenny from Nutcracker had completely contradicting statements to Mark. She said that hiring expensive employees nearly toppled her business and that for her, it isn’t about numbers but about hiring staff that are ambitious and driven to succeed.
She said: “My two biggest mistakes were employing people I thought were very experienced, expensive and they nearly toppled my business in both instances. I now have a team which I’m very proud of. They’re ambitious, they’re hungry and inf act my account manager is the most talented person I’ve worked with. She’s 23, my managing director is 28. For me, it’s not about the age or the salary. For me it’s about the mindset, you can train skills but you can’t train attitude.
Speaking about expanding into international markets, Julian insisted businesses must take into account the cultures in each market and convey their message across effectively as you would need to implement different marketing strategies depending on your country and target audience.
Julian said: “I think ultimately, it’s the position of the market. If you can’t communicate your product correctly, that’s going to stop your growth. So, for a product like Huel, it’s quite confusing for some people. Some people don’t get it. And that’s the biggest thing that can stop our growth. So, we’re going to different countries and aligning our message differently each time as each country has its own culture as well. Our fastest-growing base has been in the UK, so our heart is here. Trying to replicate that in other countries has been trickier. In some countries, our products explode and in other countries, they don’t. So, we have to work out what the differences are. And that has been our biggest challenge.”