The 5th P is not enough… we need a 6th one

The 5th P – People – is the newest addition to the four Ps of marketing. But we think that there is a need for a 6th P for a company to be successful: Philosophy on top of Product, Price, Place, Promotion, and People.

The 6th P is like a sixth sense, invisible but able to determine the success or failure of a company.

We believe the first step in creating an HR and leadership strategy of a company, and more broadly, to create a company at all, is answering the question: WHY?

What is the underlying philosophy of creating your company and of being in business?

In current business practices, the closest thing to a company philosophy can be found in the company’s objectives and the mission/vision statement to some extent. Most of the time, this is done without ever reflecting upon the philosophy apart from the fact that the company is created to make profits. And even that is sometimes unclear, which becomes visible especially in employees when they start spending more time browsing the Internet than being productive or in any way interested in the success of the company.

Once the philosophy is clear, it is much easier for employees to decide whether or not they want to be part of this company and help achieve its large-scale goals.

We are convinced that the clearer and more coherent the philosophy is, the longer the life cycle and the stronger the success of a company.

If the philosophy is clear from the beginning, it will be reflected in every single team member’s commitment and effort. It will be present in the heads of managers and co-workers. In fact, this will attract only talents who feel aligned with the company philosophy and therefore stay longer and create faster and better results.

Beat the System

Recruiting Software is Evil! Or is it?

The idea of having recruiting software is to help candidates find a better job faster and to help recruiters find better candidates faster. Like database system, they only work if the data is structured well and entered carefully.

Recruiters need to be able to customize the variables and trust the matching algorithms. And they probably don’t have a lot of time to do that. The way team+ approaches this is that candidates can be filtered by skills and expertise that can be determined by the recruiter and/or imported according to the type of industry. If the filter returns too many candidate, the matching algorithm ranks candidates.

From the candidate perspective, because of the high number of systems out there, candidates now have more work than before and need to enter their data again. First, even if they have a great resume, they need to enter it again in the system. Second, even if several companies they are applying for use the same system, they have to re-enter all the information once more. At team+, the first issue is partly solved with the linkedin plugin but we do not have resume parsing. The second part is solved as candidates can copy their profile to different companies who use team+. But, in any case, no matter the recruitment software, the more details candidates enter, the higher their chance of getting noticed.

Top Questions

Top Interview Questions

Candidates are tired of being asked their strengths and weaknesses. And they are prepared to answer knowing what the interviewer wants to hear. There are also tricks to beat the assessment center. Platforms like Glassdoor allow for careful preparation. So why not offer the candidate the same courtesy as we expect them to offer? They should answer truthfully and spontaneously. So we should ask them serious and spontaneous questions.

First of all, we need to read their material before we meet because unless they need to demonstrate exceptional presentational skills, there is no point having them repeat what’s already written.

And consider what you would think when getting ask those typical questions: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? (Well, one level up but probably in a different company cause here, the position is filled and I will get a higher pay rise). Are you willing to relocate? (Obviously, cause otherwise I would not be here). Are you a team player? (Yes, if I need to be, but I care most about my family and kids).

Asking questions that get to the heart of what a candidate is truly like can help interviewers accurately assess who that candidate is and how they would fit into the organization. A question like “What organization/person do you most admire?” Will help to bring some insight into the candidates ideas about themselves and who they wish to be come.

Don’t be afraid to ask fun questions. Questions like “What would you name your autobiography?” Or “If you were a soup, what kind would you be?” will help to break the ice and relieve some tension. When the ice is broken the candidate will feel much more relaxed and open when answering questions, which will also help you to get a better idea of who they are.


Employment – Passion = Self-Afflicted Wound

The times when our human and labor rights were systematically disregarded are over. Most of us receive a fair wage by industry standards, don’t suffer in mines or work under forced conditions. “Horrible bosses” is hilarious fiction, fortunately.

We have many options when it comes to choosing our profession and employer. It takes only a few months to find the first job after graduating and it goes much faster afterwards when we can show our first experience. Yet, most of us hate our jobs and/or boss and/or colleague. Why do we still suffer?

We suffer because we sacrifice our passion and dreams to maintain our perceived stability and security. First, the stability and security our employment provides is only fiction. We usually have no control over the company’s strategic direction (unless we own it) and over our job (even if we are indispensable, the job itself could become obsolete).

But we do have control over what we really want and whether we have what it takes to do it. For the dream job, do we need another specific training? Do we need to take a lower paid job to gather enough experience to get where we want? And then, the most important question – can we really accept our boss(es) as leaders? Do we really want to follow them and help them reach their goals?



9-5 is Outdated

For office jobs, employees are expected to be productive from 9 am to 5 pm. Let’s face it. First, we are most productive for around 3 hours a day. But in a day with 24 hours and an average 8 hours of sleep, those 3 hours may just as likely happen before 9 am or after 5 pm than within that time. Second, we might squeeze in another 3 hours of productive work per day. That makes 6 hours. But those could again be outside our work hours. So, unless we want to socialize at work, maybe it would be best to have a set of deliverables per day/week/month than a time to arrive and leave from work.

Then there are meetings. Of course, everyone needs to be available at the same time. But with modern technology, even teams from different time zones around the world can make it.

The problem here is a lack of trust in employees. The downside is that many employees think that showing up is half of their job. As long as they are seen at their desk, everything is fine right? Or is it?

Grow from daily work

Consider daily work as an opportunity

80% of us don’t like our jobs. So, there are three things we can do:

  1. find another job,
  2. keep suffering,
  3. do our best to use the current job to “graduate” to the next level and one will come more naturally.

We tend to believe that change should be sudden and visible. But what if change is just the result of a longer process of growth?

Maybe we can start with an experiment: If I cannot move on from the job I have, maybe it is because I have not yet learned everything I need to from it. So, if that is the case, what do I still need to learn or do to outgrow it?

This can be many things: Do I need to deliver better quality? – Not for my boss or my employer but to prove to myself that I am ready for a bigger challenge?

Do I need to find balance with a co-worker? – Not because I give in or will ever appreciate them but just so I do not carry around any bad feelings about of them?

Are there any skills I need in the future that I can still learn here? – That doesn’t mean that the others are better or worse, just that I might need to pick up on a skill or two to graduate: planning meetings better, being clearer, being more precise, being fairer with myself, etc.

HR Today

The Medieval Roles of HR: Inquisitioner, Executioner and Servant

What do employees think when they are called to the HR office unexpectedly? They are most likely thinking did anyone complain about me? Or Am I being fired? And if they have a scheduled meeting with HR, it is usually to set up their paperwork and give information about salaries and benefits.

In other words, 80% of the time, HR managers spend their time as Inquisitioner, Executioner or Servant. It sucks.

According to SHRM, the average HR-to-employee ration is 2.57 HR to 100 employees[1]. With a medium tenure of one year and 50 working weeks, that means 2 people quit or get fired per week. So, while one HR manager is busy doing that. The others have to take on payroll and other administrative stuff. And then there are conflicts between employees.

So there is almost no time to focus on the fun parts of HR. In reality, the very reason why people want to be in HR: they want to help people change their lives for the better and see them thrive. That means selecting candidates that match in skills, education and training as well as personality. And it means to set up activities to further each individual as well as teams. But there is no time for that.

But maybe if there was more time for recruiting and growth, then HR could spend less time taking on the Inquisitioner, Executioner or Servant role.

[1] https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/business-solutions/Documents/Organizational%20Staff%20Size.pdf

Burning Bridges

Never burn bridges

Never burn bridges. We have heard it many times but here is the reason why. There is a much better way to get back at people than burning bridges. The hard thing is patience. Of course, we could tell our boss what an asshole he is and let everyone else know why we quit. But once we have a new job and time has passed, this all starts to look very unimportant and we feel glad that asshole boss made us look for a better opportunity.

And if we are even more patient, a real payback opportunity might appear, if we still need that after such a long time. Because everyone gets what they deserve and the truth will always surface, it is just a matter of time. So, all we need to do is to wait. And with this I mean maybe 20 years.

Who are you?

We come in this world and we educate, train ourselves to become someone.  We buy, we sell, we work, we rest, we love, we live…

But there is a question that we would like to ask you. Who are you?

First name:_________________

Last name:______________________

We are pretty sure that the first answer that came to your mind was to respond by giving your First and Last name – following a familiar pattern that is established in your brain. This is the answer you give automatically, not because it defines who you are, but because you have been taught that this response is the  “appropriate” answer to the question.

Let’s do an experiment: Imagine there are two dark booths and in those booths are two persons with the same name. Mr. John Smith and Mr. John Smith. Let’s also assume that one of these two persons is you. How would you make apparent that you are yourself and not the other Mr. John Smith? You see that your name is not a distinct characteristic. What distinguishes you from everybody else? Your values, skills and talents. The combination of these characteristics is you. Understanding and acknowledging them makes you a unique person, a person with integrity that deserves a successful and respectful career path.

The following exercise can help you getting closer to your career path or change and will work best when done in order.

Your Values

There are values we carry with us throughout our lives. For example: Always be friendly. Do not lie, etc.

List them below:

  1. Values given by your parents:
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________


  1. Values given by your school and society:
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________


  1. Values developed and valued by you:
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  1. Values developed that you will teach your children:
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________


Your Skills & Talents


  1. Skills or talents that motivate you to live and progress in your life:
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________


  1. Skills or talents that others would pay you for:
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________


  1. Skills or talents that make you unique:
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  1. Skills or talents that bring happiness to others:
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________
  • ___________________


The Result

My name is ______________ (LASTNAME, First name), living in _________________ (city, country). My parents taught me that the most important thing in life is 1.a ______________ and, as it has been made clear to me while going to school and by the people that I have met till now, I have to 2.a ________________. Though, inside, I strongly feel and will always believe that 3.a __________________ and now I know that the purpose of my life is 4.a_______________ and that this is what really defines me, making me the person I am, making me unique.

And I am ready to express my 5.a ______________ by being esteemed and working as 6.a____________ because of 7.a__________________ nobody else but myself can bring 8.a _________________ to others, being certain of experiencing my potential to the maximum, being successful, happy and most of all myself”.

We are certain that these last lines will resonate with you forever and will guide you through your career path, preventing you from being unsuccessful, not allowing anybody else’s opinion about you to become your reality, and finally helping you in achieving your dream and winning a successful career.


5th P in Marketing: People

This article is about the 5th P in Marketing: People. We believe that a successful company depends, firstly, on its leader. However, this leader cannot be self-appointed, s/he becomes a leader because there are individuals who decide that part of their path is to follow the direction of the leader.

HR represent part of the capital of the company, an investment that brings many benefits. The abilities, experience and knowledge of each employee contributes to the growth and development of a company. Talented people can bring added value to the enterprise.

Briefly, the value of human resources consists of:

  • knowledge (theoretical knowledge),
  • skills (e.g. ability to use a computer program);
  • experience;
  • attitudes (e.g. commitment, pro activity);
  • belief in the company and its leadership.

The way human resources are managed is very important. Competent and effective management can bring plenty of advantages to the company.

Human Resources Management involves the establishment and execution policies, programs and procedures that influence the performance, capabilities and loyalty of the employees of an organization. Individuals are attracted, retained, motivated and developed to perform the work of the organization through these policies and procedures” (Clardy 1996)

In other words, human resource management is a strategic and coherent approach to the management of the company’s most valuable asset, its employees. In those terms, the staff is a major force in the organization, because they contribute individually and collectively to the implementation of a company’s strategy and objectives.

Such management includes: employment, professional & personal development, motivation and creation of appropriate relations between management and workers. HR management also supports the efforts of the company towards the use of abilities, skills and talents of employees and to retain the best employees, by enabling them continuous improvement of their qualifications and provision of salary adjusted to their achievements. The purpose of HR management is to enable a company to achieve success through/thanks to people employed in it.

“A highly effective HR system is one that emphasizes staff performance in every aspect of the system, is internally consistent, and perhaps most importantly is aligned with the strategy of the organization.”

A company with a highly qualified and constantly learning staff is more likely to achieve higher returns than their competition. Accordingly, the employees are the most valuable resource, which increases the competitiveness of the company. Therefore, it is important to continuously improve their skills. The investment in “human resources”, although generally expensive, at the same time is highly profitable.