Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happiness is...

Finding a parking meter downtown with 2 hours left on it.
Bonus Happiness moment: Letting the next guy know to take my spot as I drive away - still 1 hour left on the meter.

Sharing the parking meter love :-))


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

You had me at hello.

Have a look at this fantastic job application that came in recently. Clearly this person had researched our company and knew what it takes to stand out from a crowd. We are a wacky bunch at Costless and this application spoke volumes to us and made its way to the top of the pile.

I love it when our culture translates into all things we do in our company. After seeing this unique and creative application we thought it would be so much fun to have all our applications sent in to us with a creative flair by the applicant. Or how about a video application - that would be very cool too.

Stay tuned, we may just try this on our next round of hiring and if you would like to work with us here at Costless, you now know how to get to the top of the job application pile.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Italian Soda Days!

When the temperature at work rises in the summer at Costless we have a tradition - Italian Sodas!!

Yummmm - Ice, soda water, flavored syrups - (we stock over 50 flavors) and topped with whipped cream...

Did I say YUMMY!!
Today we gave out some cool Italian Soda gift packs in a draw to our Facebook Fans. I'm sure we'll make some new friends with gift like that.

Cheers to Italian Sodas,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Love Bombs Away!

Have you ever heard of a Love Bomb?
I first hear of this concept on a blog I was reading some time back. I wish I could remember the name, but all the same the concept of this Love Bomb stuck with me until I decided to use it this week.

How a Love Bomb works is you focus the attention (and love) of many people towards one person, in a concerted effort. Let me explain how it works by using my recent Love Bomb example.

For the past two years, I have been the Chair of the BC Children's Retail/Wholesale Council, and Aaron Sanderson has been our fundraising liaison with the Hospital. He has been instrumental in helping our council raise record-breaking donations of close to 5 million both years running. Unfortunately, Aaron announced he was recruited and would be moving to Toronto at the end of the month. I wanted to do something special for him to show our thanks, and this is where the Love Bomb idea kicks in.

I emailed our 18-member council, and asked that each person focus their gratitude toward Aaron on August 13th in whatever fashion they saw fit. The idea is to have as many people as possible Love Bomb him on one day. So people from the group did just that, and sent him kind emails, thank you cards, presents, balloons, gifts and visited his office. Imagine this happening to you, 18 people all showing their love for you on one day. What a memorable day it would be!

Everyone had a blast dropping the Love Bomb and I plan to do this again when the next opportunity arises. Can you find an opportunity to try a Love Bomb?


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Bright Side

Ahhh, we can breathe and stretch out our arms again.

The offices at Costless have been pretty tight lately to fit all our staff as we keep growing. With 3 more job postings to fill this month, we have plumb run out of room. I've been looking for more office space for the past few months, but my biggest dilemma has been not wanting to split up the staff, since our family culture is so important. We needed to have extra offices that are within walking distance from out main building.

I was relieved to find an additional 4000 sq ft in the next building beside us. We jumped at the opportunity and immediately moved in. With so many bare walls, we held a brain storming session and plastered the walls with planning sheets and Post It notes. Boy, is it nice to have some free space to plan and work.

As I said, culture is huge at Costless, so when I heard the new space was being nicknamed the "dark side" by our staff, it kind of bothered me. So, officially I announced the new space was to be forever known as... "The Bright Side." A little positive suggestion seems to go a long way and staff get it. Even the smallest grain of negativity can erode our Work Happy positive work environment.

Can't wait to stick more Post-Its on the walls in out next planning session!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Recruiting MASHUP - Craigslist vs LinkedIn vs Paid Recruiters

At Costless, we are continuing to add more senior staff as we grow. Sometimes we are able to advance people within our organization - this is our first option - but if no candidate exists, we need to look outside. Currently we have postings: a Marketing Manager, Merchandising Manager and a Sales Manager.
So, where do we find great A Player candidates? I'm currently trying 3 approaches:
1. Craigslist
2. LinkedIn
3. Corporate Recruiter
1. Craigslist - in the past we have had some success with posting here. We try to make sure the job ad is very clear: "Must include cover letter" for example. so we can weed out all the spammers and not-so-serious candidates. For manager positions, this is not the place A Players would hang out. So I give it a FAIL.
2. LinkedIn - personally I love LinkedIn and have over 650 connections. It has been a powerful way to build a diverse and deep pool of like minded connections. A must for any business person. But what about recruiting? I needed to ask around my LinkedIn network for who had done this already. The response was overwhelmingly positive and at $299 for a 30 job posting - let's give it a try.
I posted the jobs and immediately received very qualified candidates. Best part is you can see their profile on LinkedIn and who in your network they are connected to. There was nowhere to hide - I could see everything about them and that saved us tons of time in the shortlist process. Our job ads were viewed by hundreds, replied by many dozens and we interviewed a healthy handful.
I give LinkedIn an A 4 Awesome!
3. Corporate Recruiters - I'm very fortunate to have a good friend who owns Titan Recruiting, so I know I'm getting their best efforts in finding me an A Player. I gave them the Sales Manager posting as I expected this to be the hardest to fill since our requirements were the highest. Although recruiters charge 30% of the first year salary for a placement, I know there is a right time to use them. In our case, it's to help us find a sales manager who will get us over the 20 million in sales mark. The recruiter assists with us and determines a perfect candidate profile, then seeks out that person. Although expensive, if they deliver, it's worth every penny. I'll also give Recruiters an A 4 Awesome!

****Follow Up September 4th, 2012***
We have filled all three positions!
- Merchandising Manager was a promotion internally - that was super news!
- Marketing Manager was found thru LinkedIn - a former Electronic Arts employee and Marketing Consultant who is going to really ramp up our on and offline marketing efforts.
- Sales Manager was located thru the recruiter - a very senior level manager who has build teams of over 600 people and is also a customer service coach in her spare time.
So there you have it - Recruiting MASHUP Summer 2012 is in the bag. We are locked and loaded for our $20M sales climb!