Top 5 hiring mistakes that can harm your employer brand

How do you create a positive perception of your company – one that will attract the right people? Building a strong employer brand doesn’t happen overnight, but small, simple steps will make your business more appealing to job seekers.  Here are the five most common hiring mistakes:


#1 Not giving jobseekers the information they want

Jobseekers use up to 14 sources of information before deciding to accept a job offer. Their number one resource is company websites and what they most want to see are: company values, product/services information, employee testimonials, answers to “why employees want to work here”, financial information, diversity information, FAQs, community & sustainability initiatives, employee/recruiter blogs, and finally, awards for employee experience. Are you providing enough information for candidates to make the next step?


#2 Assuming that salary is the key driver

Salary is important, but it’s not the only driver. In a recent survey, 89% of employees said work that excites them is the most important factor. This is followed by being able to learn and develop, and having a job that suits their talents. Can you give candidates real examples of employees who’ve had opportunities to learn new skills, work on exciting projects and advance within the company?


#3 Failing to sell your proposition

In a job market where demand for talent outstrips supply, the best candidates have multiple options. You need to be able to show how your job would benefit their career or enhance their skills. Can you articulate why your company culture makes it a great place to work?   Do you know what candidates are looking for, and how well that matches what you can offer?


 #4 Over-promising and under-delivering

The last thing you want is to bring a great candidate on-board only to have them bounce straight back out again because the reality didn’t live up to the hype. When it comes to your employer brand, overpromising is a huge mistake. Authenticity is the key to attracting and keeping great people. Accentuate the positives, certainly, but be honest about the negatives.


#5 Taking too long in the hiring process

A bright and talented young friend of ours recently applied for an entry-level job.  Six interviews later (over two drawn-out months), he gave up wanting to work there and lost respect for the company. The best candidates will have other offers on the table and a recruitment process with multiple interviews and slow decision-making reflects badly on your company. It will only hasten their decision to go with a faster, more professional alternative. Does your recruitment process attract – or put off – the best people?

To find out more about building a strong employer brand for your company, contact Katrina or Eileen.

March 2017

Lift at WiredSussex Skills Summit

Katrina and Eileen will be facilitating sessions on Understanding Your Employer Brand and The Secrets to Attracting Great Talent at the WiredSussex Skills Summit next month.  The audience are digital and technology business owners from Brighton and the surrounding area and the event is designed to help growing companies plan how they can find, grow and keep great people in a competitive market.  For more details about the Skills Summit on 16th March 2017, click here.

If you want to find out more about how you can attract and, more importantly, keep the right people in your company, contact Katrina or Eileen to see how we can help.

February 2017

Coley Porter Bell


It’s inspiring to work with a client that really want to stretch themselves. Innovative brand design agency Coley Porter Bell asked Katrina to facilitate their senior team offsite. The team wanted to develop their vision for the future, building on their current success, and create a clear path ahead.

Vicky Bullen, CEO, Coley Porter Bell:

“Thank you for the two day workshop. You did a fantastic job and everyone felt that we achieved a lot and got exactly where we need to. So thank you – the format worked really well for us and we really appreciated your guidance throughout”

October 2016

Strengths Based Leadership

“If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything”

Three decades of research tell us that great leaders:

  • know their key strengths, the 2-4 things they’re exceptionally good at
  • > use good judgement to apply the right strengths for the situation
  • surround themselves with people with complementary strengths

Katrina is using a strengths-based approach as part of a major transformation programme for a top four UK bank. She is coaching senior leaders, looking at their personality preferences, motivations and high performance leadership behaviours to build a picture of their standout strengths. In the coaching, leaders look at how they can use their strengths profile to tackle the current challenges of the role, and how to create a career path that builds on their strengths.

The results have been extraordinary.  Leaders and managers come away with a new-found confidence in their own abilities and approach, instead of beating themselves up over what they’re not so strong at.  As one leader said: “As an introvert, I didn’t think I could be a good leader – now that I understand my strengths, I know I can”

To find out more about taking a strength-based approach and how it can benefit you and your team, contact Katrina or Eileen.  To read more about using strengths, a good place to start is ‘Strengths Based Leadership’, by Rath & Conchie, where the opening quote comes from.

May 2016

Save the Children

imagesWe’ve started 2016, not with a detox or new diet, but with a new programme, Presenting with Impact, for leading charity, Save the Children.  A group of managers and fundraisers wanted to hone their presentation skills to create compelling messages that move people to action. Katrina had two days with the group, practising their skills and developing leadership behaviours that engage people, build their commitment and inspire change.  Everyone went away fired up and looking forward to their next presentation, saying it had been a “very productive two days” and “extremely useful”.

If your team want to develop a new skill this year, contact Katrina or Eileen to see how we can help.

January 2016

New Media Publishing

NM_Strap_CMYKLift has teamed up with Caroline Connor, of Caroline Connor Associates, to tailor a 360 feedback questionnaire for New Media Publishing, the leading content marketing agency in South Africa.

New Media Publishing already have clear company values, called ‘The Purple Code’. So Katrina worked with Caroline to translate those values into behaviours that could be easily described, based on what people in the company do when they’re getting great results.  Then we designed a questionnaire so that everyone in the company can give their colleagues feedback about how they use these behaviours.  Katrina delivered feedback workshops in Cape Town and Johannesburg this month for everyone in the company – and received a very warm reception.

To find out more about tailored feedback, or other ways to build high performance in your organisation, contact Katrina or Eileen for an informal chat.

November 2015


wallacelogo-smallstyle90When we were approached by the Directors of wallacespace to work with their top team, we felt honoured.  We’ve been using their meeting spaces for our programmes for more than 12 years and have watched the company grow from two rooms in an old chandelier factory to a hugely successful company across three sites in Covent Garden, St Pancras and Clerkenwell.  They asked us to create a tailored development programme for the management team so they could plan for the future, lead and inspire their teams and maintain the exceptional customer ethos that differentiates wallacespace from other Central London venues.

If you are looking to develop leaders and managers in your organisation, contact Katrina or Eileen to find out how we can help.

September 2015

Wessex Fertility

downloadIt’s great to watch a business develop and thrive. Over two years, Katrina has been working with Wessex Fertility, a highly successful private fertility clinic in the South West to help them put in place people processes as the company grows.  This month, Katrina ran workshops about the company’s new performance review process, tailored round the specific behaviours & attitudes that lead to outstanding success rates and client satisfaction at the clinic.  It’s been inspiring to work with such a dedicated group of professionals.

Find out how we can help you build high performance in your organisation.

June 2015

Tottenham Hotspur FC

321px-Tottenham_Hotspur.svgLift is helping Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to identify the behaviours and attitudes that drive the Club’s performance and are critical to its future success.

We used structured behavioural interviews to find out what people in the Club are already doing to get great results, as well as what will be needed in future as the Club grows.  Next, we designed a framework that’s clear, simple and jargon-free and describes what people in the Club want to see everyone doing – as well as what they don’t want to see.

Feedback about the framework has been very positive. People like knowing what’s expected of them and being recognised when they’re doing the right things. They want to develop and know that their colleagues are working to the same high standards. It’s also easier for the Club’s leaders and managers to give people clear and specific feedback – recognising when people are getting it right and getting them back on track when they’re not.

If you want to discuss creating a high performance culture across your teams and organisation, contact Eileen or Katrina for an informal chat.

May 2015

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

sceeLift is working with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, producers of  Sony Playstation, to equip the organisation for future success.  We created ‘Game Changers’, a clear and simple framework that describes what high performance looks like.  These behaviours are based on what the company’s high performing employees already do – and what they’ll need in future as the business landscape changes.  

Mary Timlin, VP of Human Resources, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe:

“SCEE is determined to remain in the forefront of a volatile and demanding industry… we need to ensure internal processes for sourcing, development and management of talent are consistent across the Company. Lift helped us to identify a foundation of behaviours critical to high performance in our business”

To read more click here or to find out how we can help people in your organisation to become game-changing, contact Katrina or Eileen for an informal chat .  

Feb 2015

Programme design wins ILM approval

ilm 3A development programme co-created by Lift and drama-based training company Bi-Jingo has just been approved by ILM, the UK’s largest management awarding body.

The programme, Role-play & Facilitation Skills for Actors, gives corporate actors a structured foundation to create transformational experiences for clients.  Bi-Jingo, which has a long association with Lift, wanted to design a development programme for actors which would set the quality standard for the corporate role-play industry.  It’s difficult for client organisations to know what they’re getting is the highest quality available. Bi-Jingo wanted us to help set the benchmark.

Katrina at Lift collaborated with Bi-Jingo’s most experienced actors to create a framework of high-level skills – everything from client liaison and role-play to understanding of leadership models and organisational culture.  Then we used this high performance framework to design a stretching development programme, which launched in September 2014.

David Lever, Director of Bi-Jingo:

“Formalising the way actors access the skills for this industry is something I always believed was essential. Formal training, endorsed and approved by the ILM, gives the actor and the industry credibility. It builds the client’s confidence and makes the value of our work meaningful and sustainable.  Katrina worked with us to create a clear, straightforward process, something we can use immediately. She has helped us to create a language that clearly articulates the difference between ‘ok’, ‘good’ and ‘great’ . It gives us best chance to be great for our clients. Katrina has helped us innovate. I am immensely grateful.’

To find out how we could help you set the quality standard in your organisation, contact Katrina for an informal chat.

Oct 2014

Southampton FC

Southampton Football Club logoLift is working with Southampton Football Club to define the behaviours and attitudes that drive high performance in the Club.   We’ve created a framework for everyone in the Club, whatever their role, to translate Saint’s values of Respect, Unity, Creativity, Accountability and Aspiration into daily use.  Using the best  leadership research available and mapping it onto the Club’s structure, Lift has developed competencies that are clear, jargon-free and easy to use.

 Michelle McCrindle, Head of Human Resources at Southampton FC:

“Lift Consultancy have been an integral part of creating a performance framework of behaviour-based competencies to introduce into our company.  From the start they have been professional, knowledgeable and supportive, we continue to use them for ongoing projects and couldn’t recommend them highly enough”

If you want to discuss creating a high performance culture across your teams and organisation, contact Eileen or Katrina for an informal chat.

June 2014

Manchester City FC

Manchester City Football Club Crowned Premier League Champions “We are the champions!” May 11th, 2014.  Congratulations to our client Manchester City for winning the Premier League Title.  Over four years, Lift — working across City’s team of 300 talented staff — has delivered programmes from leadership development to customer service delivery to help City establish and build an award-winning team culture. Well done, City!

If you want to create real change in your organisation, and make the change stick, we can help you to build the behaviours that drive success into your business, and develop the skills of your managers and leaders to create top-performing teams.  Contact Katrina or Eileen to find out how we can develop premier league performance in your organisation.

(Picture Courtesy Manchester City Football Club)

May 2014

Are your best people planning to leave?

2014. New year. New start? Almost one in five (19%) of UK workers plan to leave their jobs this year according to the Institute of Leadership & Management. Most of those leaving say they want a similar role in a different company – so they’re not going because they don’t like the work. Almost a fifth say they plan to leave because they don’t feel valued by their organisation. ILM  found that leadership was a crucial factor, with almost a fifth planning to improve their own leadership skills this year, and 17% wanting more transparent leadership from their boss. Do your people feel valued? Do they trust the leadership? If not, they may take their talent elsewhere this year. How do you plan to keep your best people from moving on?

January 2014

When bosses go bad

We’ve been intrigued by recent news-stories about leaders behaving badly (Paul Flowers, Rob Ford, Fred Goodwin, etc).  They reveal so much about the ego traps that senior leaders can fall into.  In an excellent article ‘Going off the Rails’ The Economist describes the warning signs:

  1. Self-importance – leaders who award themselves special status & privileges and take entire credit for their company’s successes.
  2. Over-control– ‘my way or the highway’ leaders, who exert pressure to conform and crush dissent.  People start to second-guess what the boss wants to hear, creating perfect conditions for groupthink.
  3. Ego-driven decision-making – decisions driven by personal needs like pride or reflected glory, rather than a sound business rationale.  Often results in misguided pet projects and ‘hobby’ acquisitions.

Studies show that the more senior a leader is, the more susceptible they are to these thinking distortions.  So how can you counteract the effect?  As a leader, there are two searching questions you can ask yourself :

  • 1/ Have you surrounded yourself with people who are not afraid to question and challenge you? and…
  • 2/ Do you listen (really listen) and thank them, when they do?

December 2013

NBK Capital

Most support functions (IT, HR, Finance, etc.) want to be seen as “business partners”.  Katrina has been working with the support functions of an NBK Capital in Kuwait to develop their communication and influence skills – a key ingredient for building effective partnerships and working at a strategic level.

Over a two-day programme, the group developed the skills to build strong working relationships; influence change; deliver compelling presentations; navigate conflict and negotiate win-win outcomes. Having worked in an HR function herself, Katrina also knew the importance of building a credible and trusted personal brand.  The group, which included managers and their teams, were able to plan ways to add greater value to internal clients immediately and in the longer term.   That’s what we like, a practical result as well as lasting development.

November 2013

Job-seeking reaches two year high

Nearly 1 in 4 employees are looking for new opportunities, according to the CIPD/Halogen Employee Outlook survey just published.

The research shows why organisations have to work at keeping talent. So far the stagnant job market has been doing that for them, but job-seeking intentions are now at their highest since spring 2011. They are even higher with those who are claim job dissatisfaction (62% compared to 10% who are satisfied); disengagement (71% compared to 9% who are engaged) and those facing pressure every day (45% compared with 195 who don’t feel excessive pressure). More than 3 out of 5 employees (61%) said that an opportunity to progress within their role is important to them, but a shocking 1 in 4 employees (27%) said they never had a performance review at work.

So talent is moving again – which should be a wake-up call to organisations wanting to keep hold of key talent.

Claire McCartney, Research Advisor at the CIPD, says, ‘ Now more than ever, employers need to focus on ensuring their line managers are equipped with excellent people management skills, so they can play their role in fostering open & transparent cultures where people feel they can make a valued contribution and get recognition for it.”

November 2013

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

sceeIt’s great to build a long-term relationship with a client. Eileen has been coaching at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for the last 6 years. The Legal & Business Affairs team were the first to put themselves through a company-wide audit to determine what the business needed as the fast-moving games industry evolves. Eileen from Lift was asked to facilitate the findings at their conference, alongside their auditors, LBC Wise Counsel.

Marian Toole, Vice-President and General Counsel, Legal & Business Affairs, SCEE:

“Thank you for participating in the L B & A Conference. You marshalled us all very well & I have received a good number of comments to the effect that without you we may not have had any ‘deliverables’ on the day. So job well done!”

October 2013

Ogilvy & Mather

ogilvyAdvertising giant Ogilvy & Mather invited Katrina from Lift to speak at their talent management conference in Marrakesh about ‘Building a Personal Brand.’

This was a popular topic of the day for the delegates from the UK, Europe, Russia, Africa & the Middle East and a key skill for any professional who needs to build influence and work across a matrix structure.

Katrina ran a practical session about what makes you stand out at work and how to build the reputation and profile that helps you get the results you need.

Despite the differences in their markets, the delegates found they had common experiences and challenges, leading to collective solutions.  That’s the ideal result for Lift – seeing people walk away with clear priorities and action plans but, more importantly, a sense of togetherness, knowing they have a fantastic set of colleagues on hand to offer help, support and inspiration.

Sept 2013

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