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6 effective ways to improve retail selling

If you are a small business person in the retail industry or a store manager looking to meet the month’s quota, knowledge of efficient retail selling is a must. Even experienced professionals in reputed companies make many mistakes when it comes to retail. To achieve customer maximization, you should always be on your toe-tips and have a keen eye towards what your customers find interesting and it’s not an easy task. However, just remembering a few simple methods may go a long way towards reaching your objectives. Here, is a practical guide to improving retail sales. You’d be surprised to find out how even the simplest of techniques can increase your retail sales by as much as 40-50% or even more. 

Promotions/ Offers

To maximize your profits via sales promotions, purchase of high-margin products is always a brilliant idea; however, older products that need to be sold will suffice, if it’s a last minute strategy. It is a mutually beneficial solution, where, your customers feel that the deal is so much better. This will also keep them loyal to your store. Some examples of these offers are:

  • Buy 1 get 1 free
  • Flat 50% off sale
  • Up to 50% off sale

Window displays  to promote new products

Window displays serve as the first impression of your store. Therefore, effort must be invested to keep your display clean and interesting. Do show off your new products on the mannequins, it’s a great way of promoting them. Change the displays from time to time, preferably once a week or so. Prices should also be displayed clearly, because potential customers may often shy away from the fact that once they get inside the store to ask the price of a certain product, and it turns out to be expensive, it will leave them embarrassed.


Shuffle your stocks

This strategy serves well for regular customers who are already aware where your products are kept. Just changing the location of certain products will add an element of novelty to them and help to get them off their shelves.

Utilize the impulse factor

Customers often purchase products on their way out. Supermarkets utilize this impulse factor and stock up their tills. Some such products may include deodorants, handkerchiefs, chocolates and cookies. This may vary from store to store. It is your job to determine which products best fit the ‘impulse buy’ description.

What compliments a particular product

While selling a certain product, you need to find out what other product may go with it. This is called cross-selling. For example, fries go with burgers, a moisturizer may complement a face cream, and a shoe-polish works well with formal shoes.

Staff training and involvement

Last but not the least, staff training is a very important factor. Your staff may not know as much about the products or they may not be so passionate towards selling them, since, they get paid either way. Although, a sales course may be a relevant advice, you may also involve them in your strategies, and reward them when they perform well. This helps to keep them interested and passionate towards their work.

Now these were some key strategies. Apart from these, you may advertise on social media or send monthly updates to your customers via email. A proper advertisement of your store and products may work wonders. You may also arrange quarterly training sessions from your suppliers. These little things will enable you to get that edge over your competitor’s.  Happy retail selling!

How to become better at your Telemarketing job?

A Telemarketer manages orders for merchandise or services by identifying prospects; calling customers; persuading customers to buy services. The roles and responsibilities of a Telemarketer include:

  • Identifying prospects by reading telephone and zip code directories, other prepared listings.
  • Calling prospective customers by operating telephone, automatic dialing systems, and other telecommunications technologies
  • Influencing customers to buy services and merchandise with a prepared sales talk to give service/ product information as well as price quotations
  • Completing orders by recording names, addresses, and purchases; and referring orders for filling
  • Securing information by completing database backups
  • Maintaining operations by following policies and procedures; reporting needed changes.
  • Contributing to team effort by accomplishing related results as required

Here are few methodologies to help Telemarketers to enhance their productivity and overcome the challenges they face in their profession, with a view of being a sad and boring desk job. To understand more about the importance of telemarketing in the sales of a firm, visit Mintly. Its increasing capacity to help in sales and ultimately, generating revenue has started to grow.

Have a Plan

Preparation is everything, especially where data is concerned as bad data can derail telemarketing. Pre-call planning should encompass identifying and refining the target market. This refers to building a list of decision-maker job roles in the right locations, with the right size of business and sectors with which you can trade profitably and, ideally, where you can showcase instances of your previous success. Before you begin, identify your objective for the exercise, whether it’s collecting e-mail addresses, talking to a decision-maker, etc. either for smaller and medium-sized companies or large organizations.

Have a Script

Once you have your objective in mind, create a small script(s) that will help you achieve your goal. The script is your guide to conduct the first part of your call.  It is important to understand and memorize the key points of the script provided to you by your employer. Become familiar enough with it so you need to refer minimally. Modify the script by customizing portions to match your personality as well as your prospects. It doesn’t have to be followed perfectly, it’s just there to remind you what you want to say when you get stuck.

Know Your Customers

Before calling a prospective client, make sure you know how to pronounce the person’s name correctly. If you’re unsure, check with a peer or supervisor, or research the proper pronunciation online. It leaves a bad impression if you are not able to pronounce the name correctly. Send timely information when requested including appointment confirmations.

Provide a Training

There are so many components that go into making effective cold calls and, the right training can significantly enhance the likelihood of success. Begin each shift with a positive attitude and try your best to maintain that attitude throughout the day, even if you get discouraged by the repetitive, monotonous job. If prospects notice a negative tone in your voice, they will lose interest faster. Understand why you’re calling before you call: to the sales prospect it’s all about resolving their issues and gaining key benefits, NOT about your products and services. Work out what will provide value and offer them something useful by putting yourself in their shoes. Then put your message across enthusiastically.

Plan a Call

Plan a call structure that is like a good story, that has an attention-grabbing start, a compelling middle and a great ending. Plan your calls — Know your products, market, competitors, pitch and the issues your company resolves or the opportunities your company creates. Begin your calls strong and maintain that strength throughout the duration of your call. If you start with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and the call lasts longer than you anticipated, the prospect will recognize that you have moved away from your script and are flying solo.

Get agreement from your prospect to call them back at a later date. Make your follow up calls on time and keep doing so until you know where you stand. Make enough calls to make the ratios work in your favor, but set realistic targets. A good rule of thumb for B2B telemarketing is 100 calls per 7-hour day. If it’s voicemail city, then you should be up in the 140 calls/day bracket. It also enables you to build your warm call-backs and this becomes your sales pipeline. A good percentage of your calls, every day, will be call-backs at times when the prospect is either expecting your call or when contracts are due for renewal. The momentum you build as you go along paves the way for future results.

Have a Conversation

The person on the other end may have questions for you. You should be prepared to talk through any issues or concerns they have. Effective telemarketers sound comfortable and relaxed. They use natural language rather than over-rehearsed lines because prospects don’t respond to scripted calls. Sound professional on the phone with a good speaking voice, pace, and tone. Soften your initial approach to sound more genuinely interested and to have a much better flow in conversation. It’s also important that you display confidence in your subject matter and interest in your interaction until the call ends. 

Expertise yourself with Practice

Practice reciting your script or making mock phone calls frequently, whether you’re just starting out or have been on the job recently. In fact, practice your phone calls with a family member/ friend. More than likely, that person will help you relax and speak with more confidence. During these exercises, take note of your tone and energy so you can carry both of those things into your calls with prospects.

Closely study all of the features and benefits of the product or service you’re offering. The prospect may ask questions, and your ability to articulate your answers to those questions can decide whether you are making or losing the sale. Make sure to have all the answers available at any given moment to avoid any risk of losing the prospect. Good systems combined with good data enhance call efficiency.

Overcome the Objections

You need to build some resilience to rejection as it will be a task that becomes increasingly daunting. One must learn to deal with rude responses and move on to the next potential opportunity. Bring some empathy. Let it go, thank the person for taking the time and try again another day. The next prospect has no idea what happened on your last call. So, brush yourself down and start afresh. The best telemarketers probably received the most No’s and they certainly learn to embrace objections. Thus, telemarketing requires a lot of persistence and patience to produce good results.

Handle the Gatekeeper

Company receptionists are often taught to avoid putting calls through to managers or directors and to refuse to give out information over the phone. Here are two strategies for handling the gatekeeper:

  • Call before the company is officially open or half an hour after it officially closes as many receptionists only keep the official working hours of the company, but many managers and staff work earlier and later than these hours.
  • Call a company and ask to speak to somebody on their helpdesk. Helpdesk staff isn’t trained to keep gates closed, and they’re often only too happy to be helpful.

Tie Everything to Incentive

Some great incentives for telesales people are shift preferences, vacation approvals or parties. Having an incentive scheme is a great way to consistently recognize hard work, and spreading that feeling of appreciation would improve morale and productivity. Encourage them to be proud of their stats and engage the other teams in a playful manner. The productivity boost you get from the teams striving to attain their goals works particularly well in outbound telesales. Rewarding surprise short-term incentives daily/ weekly make an immediate positive impact on morale, as experiences help to create positive memories that are associated with the workplace.

Measure the Right Feedback

Giving your sales team appropriate, motivational targets is an obvious way to boost productivity. The correct metric-based targets are not the easiest to measure and you should only measure the thing that will be reviewed, analyzed and acted on. Finally, it can be valuable to look for and then act on trends rather than one-offs. Encouraging advisors to establish their preferred work schedule has been shown to improve employee morale, increase employee and customer satisfaction, and improve key operational metrics in the call center. Therefore, telesales people should have a way to communicate their preferred work times without prior consent, available times with prior consent, and unavailable times.

If you begin to notice a pattern in the types of questions prospects ask or in their concerns/ objections expressed, note those observations. Later, share them with your telemarketing peers or supervisor so you can work together to find an effective solution for future calls. Asking good questions is such an underrated skill in sales but so vital. The top salespeople diagnose rather than a pitch by utilizing a blend of open and closed questions to demonstrate interest, to yield the information needed, to ensure that the prospect speaks more than them in order to lead them towards further discussion that might convert into a sales opportunity.

Increase Team Contact

To improve the productivity of the workforce, implement a positive strategy of staff engagement. It is developed to optimize the amount of time invested in the employees and the use of leading-edge workforce management technology to increase significantly the team contact with the staff. As a result, one would benefit from enhanced productivity in terms of schedule adherence, conformance, and improvements in employee engagement and customer satisfaction. Internal communication is key in a productive telesales or telemarketing environment. So, make sure teams and individuals have the latest updates on targets and deadlines, and information about deals, so everyone is focused on the same results.

Involving the telesales team in improving productivity can be highly beneficial, as they know better than anybody else is on that job on a day-to-day basis. Salespeople are more aware of the problems, about the system’s performance, and the disjointed processes. Thus, the involvement of the telesales team in realigning processes or mapping out new procedures to improve productivity is essential.

Why grooming is important for sales professionals and how to improve it

Why grooming is important for sales professionals and how to improve it

Although it’s very common to say that looks don’t matter in a sales job and you shouldn’t judge anyone with their looks, the reality is that looks does matter. Now we are not talking about physical beauty or the very concept of being beautiful or handsome but we are talking here about a general appearance of people. Whether we like it or not, the human mind makes decisions whether they can trust someone in a split of a second and generally they make this decision by judging the appearance of a person. On your first encounter with another person, you must come across someone who can be trust worthy, dependable and has the best interest of the other person.

There are some reasons why you should care about your looks. The following points will reinforce the point put forward:

If you’re attractive, people assume you have other positive traits as well.

Due to an effect called the Halo effect, people tend to make positive assumptions about someone based on some other positive points. In this case, a good appearance can make people automatically assume that the person will have some other positive traits. We all can agree how useful it will be in an interview.

Based on your facial features, people make an assumption about your leadership skills

Masculine faces, characterized by features such as a squared face, strong jawline, pronounced eyebrows, and thin eyes and lips—are typically judged as more dominant. Dominant-looking individuals are more likely to be judged as leaders, but they’re also rated as appearing less trustworthy. n the other hand, stereotypical “feminine” features such as a round face, big eyes, small eyebrows, and full lips—tend to cue associations of trustworthiness.

The Right Clothes Can Increase Your Chances of Being Promoted

According to a survey by OfficeTeam, 80% of executives say an employee’s clothing choices will affect his or her chances of earning a promotion. Dressing right for the type of organisation you work for can increase your chances of getting promoted. Different organisation have different dressing standards. Wearing jeans and t-shirt with a quirky quote may work in a start up with a hippy culture but is a strict no no in a management consulting company or a bank for that matter.

Now coming to the topic of why grooming is important for salespersons. Let us understand the anatomy of a salespersons job. A salesperson is trying to sell products or services that his or her company makes to another company, group or individual. They are asking someone to willingly part with their money and buy the product/ service. One would only buy from a salesperson if he or she appears trustworthy, reliable, and can cultivate a relationship with the buyer. The product performance or service guarantee comes later. The initial thought that goes through a buyer is that whether or not the buyer’s best interest is with the sales person. We have just now established that people make split second judgement about whether they can trust you or not based on your appearance. Truth be told, you cannot do much about your face or your height etc. But you can certainly do something about the way you dress, the way you style your hair, the accessories you wear etc. The goal is to look trustworthy to the buyer. But don’t just fool them with your appearance. You should actually have the best interest of the buyer if you want to do repeat business with them.

A sales executive is often the first point of contact between an organization and a prospective customer

The good impression that the sales staff creates in the mind of the prospective customer in his first meeting often paves the way for subsequent meetings and future sales. The first impression, therefore, is very crucial. One needs to ensure that the sales person is well groomed to leave a positive impression in the prospects’ mind. Grooming involves not just the physical appearance but also the other finer personality traits like body language, mannerisms and etiquette. In today’s competitive business scenario, managers and business owners cannot afford to overlook the grooming of their sales personnel. Here, are a few compelling reasons why a business owner or entrepreneur should pay attention to see if his sales force is well groomed or not.

Helps in creating a good first impression

A sales person has to look presentable. If a customer is not pleased with the way a sales person looks, he may not connect with the person. In the case of a retail store, the customer entering the store may not walk up to the sales person. In other cases, the customer may not like to continue his interaction with the staff and may cut the meeting short. Personal appearance is the first puller. People judge others by their external appearance. A person?s clothes, at least to a certain extent, reveal his personality and character.

Increases the likeability factor of the staff

No customer would like to deal with a staff member who does not have a professional body language and lacks polite manners and good etiquette. A well-mannered and well-behaved sales person always leaves a positive impression of himself and is often sought after by customers. He can better handle tricky situations and difficult customers. Body language, which includes facial expressions, gestures and postures, conveys a lot about the staff and his credibility. He, should, therefore, be careful not to convey anything undesirable to the prospect unknowingly. A proper grooming session for the sales people can ensure that they are properly trained and made aware of all these essential points.

Builds brand Image

How the staff presents himself on the job not only impacts his own success but also reflects on the whole organization and affects its good reputation. A shabbily dressed or untidy staff can ruin the reputation of the whole organization. On the contrary, a well-dressed and well-groomed salesman executes confidence and reflects a professional attitude, not only of himself but also the company he represents. It contributes to building trustworthiness and respect for the company and the brand.

Makes the sales people more confident

Good grooming habits are also essential for the confidence level of the staff personnel. Good grooming makes the staff more attractive thereby boosting their own confidence. Needless to say, a sales person with high confidence can contribute better to increasing the sales of the company.

Now we will discuss about how a company can improve the overall grooming of their sales staff or how you as a salesperson can groom yourself better.

Make personal grooming a part of their training program

All companies provide some sort of training to their sales force and this mostly includes technical training to help the sales force to know about the company, the product or  services they sell, about their customers etc. But it is important for companies to also include personal grooming sessions for their sales force. I am not talking about just a soft skills session which covers topics like communication, body language etc. Here I am suggesting broader soft skills by including how to dress appropriately, how to keep your hairs and beard, how to groom your overall personality, how to approach and talk with the customers, how to eat when dining out with your clients etc. These training will provide an overall grooming mind-set to the salesforce.

Make such trainings periodic

A one off training will not be sufficient for your sales force to improve their overall grooming standards. It is important to have such periodic trainings and also take feedback from the sales force about these trainings. Grooming standards change and so should the trainings for these. The trainings must be industry relevant.

Make grooming accountable

Shabby, ill dressed, bad mannered sales force should be checked. A sales force is the fist point of contact for a company to its customer. One cannot afford to leave a shabby experience for the customer in today’s competitive business world. They need to find out the best groomed sales persons among their sales force and reward them appropriately. It is important here to use positive reinforcement to develop the habit of self-grooming rather than negative reinforcement. Sales personnel should not be punished for not maintaining grooming standards but rather those who maintain and excel in grooming should be rewarded appropriately. Your sales force should see grooming as a way to advance in their career and not as a deterrent to keep their jobs in place. Having a growth mind-set towards grooming will benefit both the sales force and the company.

Now that we have established that grooming is important and companies should pay attention to grooming their salesforce and making them accountable for their grooming standards, let us now understand how you as an individual can groom yourself better and appear more professional

Dress appropriately

You need to dress according to the people you are going to meet. If you are meeting top executives, a suit with a tie is a must. Make sure you have a professional haircut and no visible tattoos on your body. Tattoos on your wrist will not be a big problem. If you are pitching to a new age startup, you can dress up in smart casuals or business casuals and appear more hip. Its more about grooming according to the clients you are likely to encounter.

Here is an interesting video of dressing like Harvey Spectre, who is a character in a TV series called Suits and is widely admired for his impeccable dressing sense: Harvey Specter Style

For women, here is a video that will give you the basics of dressing up for work: 10 WORKWEAR ESSENTIALS Every Woman Needs to Own

Watch how you eat

You eating tells a lot about you. Meeting top executives usually involves dinner or a lunch. It is important to remember all those fine dining etiquettes about how to eat with a spoon, how to chew and how to tip the waiter. In a sales meeting, you are representing your company and you will be judged continuously especially if it is a new client. Here is a link to a video that I found interesting: Basic Dining Etiquette. You can find similar videos and learn about the same sitting at your home. Practise it at your home to perfect it!

Improve your communication skills

Your communication is as much about grooming as your physical appearance is. A well-groomed person with poor communication skills is as good as a pizza without cheese. No one likes it. In your training sessions, you will be given communication lessons and theories and we all know how boring it gets. It is on the individual level how they take forward what they learnt in those trainings. Communicate with your fellow sales colleagues or with yourself. Watch videos of famous orators on YouTube.  Here is a one which I find will help those who want to improve their communication skills: How to speak so that people want to listen.

Looking good isn’t self important, its self-respect.

Studies have found that a person’s credibility, professionalism, intelligence and sophistication levels are judged solely from his or her personal appearance. However much one may ignore the fact still remains that a person’s appearance does influence the opinions of people around him. Of course, looks and personality are not the only factors which contribute to a sales person’s success. Knowledge is crucial for a sales job but more only knowledge is not sufficient. You need to match it up with your grooming skills too. Nevertheless, they play a crucial role in pushing up sales.

Owners and managers need to educate their sales people about the importance of grooming and how it can impact not only their own careers but also the growth of the company. A company’s responsibility does not end with providing uniforms for their sales people. Companies should lay down grooming policies so that the staff members know what is expected from them. Companies and organizations must also make sure that the staff, especially those in the sales department, knows how a professional body language, polite manners and good etiquette can be used to win over customers.

If you are interested in learning more sales job openings, check here at Mintly

How to Write a Resignation Letter?

Resignation, the term is quite stressful for both the employer and employees, along with the organization. There are a lot of questions in the mind of all, which aren’t addressed clearly face to face. A resignation letter is a form of courtesy an employee shows to their hirers in a firm before bidding goodbye to the work. Follow these steps so that you leave your job on the best note possible.

What is Resignation?
Resignation is an act of leaving your job. It expresses your intention to leave the company you currently work for. It is a whole process where-in one must follow these steps to leave the firm leaving behind a positive footprint of one’s identity and save the relationships for the long tenure. A Resignation Letter is a formal statement of your intention to leave a job or position.

  • Submit Your Resignation on the website/ online portal of the firm
  • Inform Your Boss/ Manager/ HR
  • Work effectively during the Notice period, usually for 1-3 months in many of the firms
  • Check on Eligibility for Employee Benefits and Health Insurance
  • Check on Unused Vacation and Sick Pay
  • Check on your Payslips and pending Payments
  • During the Notice period, finish off the assigned task. Try not to leave behind any incomplete task
  • Complete all the formalities before the last day, to preserve the last day for your friends, colleagues to bid off goodbye
  • Schedule Your Last Working Day effectively
  • Write a formal Resignation Letter and mail to the designated people
  • Get References for future
  • Collect Leaving/ Relieving Certificate and Work-Experience Certificate, required for future jobs

It’s usually better to resign in person, and then follow up with a formal resignation letter. A resignation letter officially gives notice to your boss that you’re leaving the job and someone else will need to be hired to replace you and take on your responsibilities beforehand. Writing a resignation letter looks professional. It will ease the transition over the notice period at the job and will also help you maintain a positive relationship with your employer even after you are no longer with the company. Being proactive, having a resignation letter drafted and ready to go will also be an added advantage. It would make you feel a little more organized and confident about the process, for going ahead in the career.

Let us look at how to write a professional Resignation Letter.

  • Your resignation letter should be brief, including only relevant and helpful information. It should be straightforward, precise and concise up to the mark. There is no need for an epic prologue or lengthy explanations.
  • Your message should include information on when you are leaving. Your resignation letter will be included in your employment file and could be shared with potential future employers; therefore, it should be professional and polite.
  • If you’ve decided to move on, there’s no point in criticizing your employer or your job at this point in leaving. Therefore, avoid including anything negative or disparaging about the company, your supervisor, your co-workers, or your subordinates.
  • Avoid any sort of apologetic language and starting sentences with “Unfortunately…” or “I’m so sorry, but…”, etc. You aren’t the first person to leave a job, and you certainly won’t be the last. And, ultimately, business is business—you have nothing to be sorry for.

Here are some things to consider when formatting your letter:

  • A statement of intent that you will be leaving your job
  • Name of your office staff position
  • Date of your last day on the job
  • Gratitude to your employer for hiring you
  • A highlight of your time there (optional)
  • An offer to train your replacement
  • Well wishes for the future of the company
  • Your contact info
  • Best resignation letter sample

Length: Most resignation letters are no more than one typed page, short and crisp.
Font and Size: Use a traditional font type such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. The ideal font size should be between 10 and 12 points.
Format: A resignation letter should be single-spaced with a space between each paragraph. Use 1″ margins and align your text to the left.
Accuracy: Edit your resignation letter before mailing it. Also, check for grammatical mistakes. Also, You can seek advice from a career counselor or a colleague/ friend to proofread.

Below is a professional Resignation Letter Template:-

Your Name
Current Job Title
Current Organization
Address
City, State, Zip Code
Your Email
Date of Resignation

Header: A resignation letter should begin with both you and the employer’s contact information: name, title, company name, address, phone number, email, followed by the date. If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature.

Salutation: Address the resignation letter to your manager. Use the formal title “Dear Mr./Mrs./Dr.”.

Paragraph 1: Express your Identity
Begin your letter by stating your position, and the company. It is important to include the identity as it is an official termination. Immediately, follow this information with a simple statement of your resignation. Mention in brief the reason for your resignation, be it higher studies, a new job, or a better opportunity in terms of the career like better payscale, promoted designation, etc. This is optional to mention as one can have their personal reasons also for quitting the job, but the more transparent you are, the higher is the trust that develops between you and your employer. He/ She would be glad to know that you have expressed the truth and would support heartedly for your decision. Also, provide an end date in the first body paragraph since that’s one of the first questions your employer might want to know.

Paragraph 2: Reflect on your Journey with this organization
Take the time to consider how you’ve developed or grown during your tenure within the firm. Express your most appreciated time at the company. If you had a particularly good experience, you add a bit more detail about what you appreciated about the job (the people you worked with, the projects you worked on). Be as specific as possible while writing about the company providing professional development opportunities and a fostered and supportive atmosphere for one to learn. It’s a decent way to thank your employer for the time and resources you have been using to support your career growth.

Paragraph 3: Outline your Workload
As an optional follow-up paragraph, briefly review the work you’ll be surrendering when you officially leave the company. Include the details of your roles and responsibilities in the firm, specific to your team and project. Although it is technically your manager’s responsibility to pick this work up and determine how it will continue, it’s helpful to list all the projects and tasks you’ve been in charge of to make the transition even easier on the company in the interim. This is essential if you managed any direct reports or collaborated with other departments.

Paragraph 4: Offer to assist in the Transition
Mention your willingness to make the transition easier. You should mention your earnest will to help train your replacement, and ensure all the reports are updated. It’s impressive if you include specific details regarding how you can help. No matter how seamless you attempt to make things, the transition that comes after losing an employee is never easy for a company. So, if you want to leave on really great terms, discuss what you’ll do to ease the transition toward the end of your letter.
Whether you’re willing to come back to help train your replacement or plan to create processes and procedures for the tasks your position is responsible for, detail what you’ll do to help in your absence. It is optional but it helps in building a good relationship with your employers and colleagues for the long-term, leaving behind a positive impression.

Paragraph 5: Show Gratitude for the firm and colleagues
Thank your manager for the opportunity to work for the company. Regardless of whether you loved your job or hated it, there’s no denying that it played a role in your professional development in your career ladder. Thus, you can express your gratitude for the opportunity, the help and the support of all colleagues, leads, managers, and HR. This is also a great way to not only share your appreciation for the time you stayed with the firm during your employment but also to leave behind a good reputation of yourself. So, be polite and gracious in your tone.

Paragraph 6: Build long-term Relationship
If you truly want to keep in touch with your old employer or use him/ her as a resource, leaving a contact number and personal mail-id is a smart addition. Networking has become a critical aspect of the development and career growth of an individual. Thus, leaving on a good note and maintaining good ties with the employers of the current firm would be an added advantage in the future, as it is rightly said: “The world is small”. You can also request a letter of reference from your manager for the future, be it higher studies or change of the job.

Close: Use a kind but formal signoff, such as “Sincerely” or “Yours Sincerely.”
Signature: End with your handwritten signature followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information (phone number or email id).

One can also befriend their colleagues and managers on LinkedIn and other professional social media, as everyone is quite tech-savvy and has a profile on these media. There are many ways of staying in contact, either via a Whatsapp Group of your team or project members or through E-email.

Sample Format

Dear [Your Boss’ Name],

Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as [position title] with [Company Name]. My last day will be [your last day—usually two weeks from the date you give notice].
Thank you so much for the opportunity to work in this position for the past [amount of time you’ve been in the role]. I’ve greatly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities I’ve had to [a few of your favorite job responsibilities], and I’ve learned [a few specific things you’ve learned on the job], all of which I will take with me throughout my career.
During my last two weeks, I’ll do everything possible to wrap up my duties and train other team members. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to aid during the transition.
I wish the company continued success, and I hope to stay in touch in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

There are various websites that help employees in writing professional resignation letters like Naukri.com, Mintly.in, etc. Quitting your job is always a tough decision. But, now you can take the worry of drafting a resignation letter off your plate. With the available formats of writing a Resignation Letter on various sites and also the guidelines for Dos and Dont’s, stress a little less about writing one!

Sales Lessons from Jordan Belfort

5 Sales Lessons from Jordan Belfort

 

 

After I was done watching the Wolf of Wall Street, I was a little perplexed. How did Jordan Belfort manage to convince so many of his credulous clients into taking his offers? How he could manage to fool so many people for such a long time. He must be a hell of a salesman to pull something like this off!

Jordan Belfort?s life of avarice has plenty of takeaways. He was a pertinacious salesman who would not take ?no? for an answer and always managed to successfully convince his credulous clients or potential clients with his usual blarney to invest their money in doomed stocks. Belfort walked away with huge commissions whereas his clients lost millions of dollars.  In a 1991 issue of Forbes magazine, staff writer Roula Khalaf called him a ?twisted Robin Hood who takes from the rich and gives to himself and his merry band of brokers.? He was later indicted for securities fraud and money laundering and sentenced to 22 months in prison. He came out a reformed man, working as a self-proclaimed business consultant. Belfort actually has lots of valuable experience to impart on sales and marketing.

 

Sales Lessons from Belfort

Right from the beginning of his career as a stockbroker to the recent one as a motivator and business consultant, there is one thing Belfort displayed profoundly- his innate ability to sell. Be it an idea, a stock or himself, he could sell them all. Despite his rapacious nature, there are some lessons I learned from him, some very useful ones in sales!

 

Lesson number one: Identify Needs

In the movie, there is a scene where Jordan asks this question to his friends whom he was trying to recruit into his company. After some failed attempts, one friend took the pen from Jordan and then asked him to write his name on a napkin. He didn?t have any pen and that?s how that friend made the sale. This is the takeaway from the scene. As a salesperson, we need to first identify the needs and create a sense of urgency in order to make a sale.  One a need is established, selling becomes very easy.

 

Lesson number two: Never stop trying

Whenever Belfort could sense a need, he would jump to make a sale. He would try and try and try harder till the person on the phone was convinced.  Although pushing too much is not always a good idea, nonetheless, it is essential to do so in sales. It is important to convince people and continue selling.

 

Lesson number three: Motivating your sales team

Anyone would be amazed by the manner in which Belfort motivated his team. Yes, it was beyond ridiculous and you must not take that approach! We need to create a competitive and highly energized atmosphere and offer incentives to the top salesman. Offering incentives to the one who tried the hardest is the best approach, as the number of no?s increase the chances of a yes. Belfort used to set high standards of expectations and created an atmosphere that motivated his sales team to give their best.

 

Lesson number four: Training is important

Sales training is very important. Belfort managed to turn his good for nothing friends into suave salesmen. He used a smart technique in order to do so. He hired the right people- who had the desire and the hunger to become the best salesman or saleswoman and then nurtured them to ensure they became the same.

 

Lesson number five: Overcome adversity

Belfort had a knack for overcoming adversity. Belfort came from nothing and overcame whatever difficulties he faced. His initial meat selling company failed, he lost his first job as a stock broker but nonetheless continued his relentless pursuit of hitting it big. He didn?t get discouraged easily. After coming out of prison, he was always and will always be looked at with disdain and hate. He didn?t let that get to him and now works as a motivational speaker and teaches people his persuasion techniques to help other salesman and business owners.

 

One can always take some positives out of a negative situation. From the life of Belfort, I took out these five valuable sales lessons which will be beneficial to us all.

Best jobs in India 20202

What are the best Jobs in India in 2020

Coming to 2020, the year has brought a tremendous change in the Job descriptions or roles offered in various sectors. Also, some of the emerging sectors are IT (Technology), Retail, FinTechs, Digital Marketing with an enormous opportunity opening for employees. Mintly helps in recruitment and related queries in these rising job profiles as listed below:

RETAIL

For MBA graduates, a variety of firms specifically in the FMCG sector recruit in the Retail industry for varying job profiles, as:

  • Sales Associate: The job description of a sales associate is to sell the store’s products or services by going the extra mile to maintain excellent customer service and relationship between the store and the customers.
  • Store Manager: This responsibility involves handling everything at once, running the entire store and manage everything.
  • Advertising & Marketing Manager: It involves preparing a creative marketing plan for the promotions of the store’s products or firm’s services, essential for bringing traffic into the stores. One needs to assist with advertising strategies to drive potential customers to the store’s physical location as well as the website.
  • Inventory Manager and Retail Warehouse Worker: If you’re highly detail-oriented, whip out those organizational skills and keep track of the items sold and unsold; managing the inventory including raw materials, work-in-progress and finished products along with the allocated budget for each of them. Similar to a stocker position, a retail warehouse worker is responsible for packing and shipping stock that is to be sold in stores. One must do quick checks on merchandise for defects that may have been previously overlooked.
  • Social Media Manager: Show off your marketing skills through effective branding and advertising on the latest social media in trends and help spread the word about the firm, its products or services through the latest social media sites.
  • Customer Service Representative: This job will help you develop a talent for dealing with even the most difficult customers, networking with the leads and converting them into potential customers, retargeting them once they become an existing customer. This would involve long-term strong customer relationship development.
  • Social Media Manager: Show off your marketing skills through effective branding and advertising on the latest social media in trends and help spread the word about the firm, its products or services through the latest social media sites.

FinTech
Here are some of the exciting careers that are available in this sector:

  • Blockchain Developer: With the soaring demand for blockchain talent, and good salaries to back it; the ratio of demand for job openings is 10:1, with 10 representing the positions that need to be filled and one representing the blockchain developer that is applying for the position. Nick Szabo, the developer who coined “smart contracts”, finds that there is a very high “dollar-to-knowledge” ratio in the blockchain space with capital greatly exceeding talent. The freelance talent marketplace saw the demand for blockchain experts climbing to the fastest-growing skill out of more than 5,000 skills in terms of freelancer billings. These skills include Hyperledger Fabric, which is modularity and scalability to support changing business rules; Ripple, a payment protocol for distributed payments, exchanges and remittances; and Solidity, a blockchain platform allowing smart contract development on the Ethereum network.
  • App Developers: Mobile application developers continue to be in high demand, the ones who are fluent in more than one programming language, such as Java, HTML5, Objective-C, C++, C#, Python and Swift, along with UX and UI design skills, and enjoying great success in financial sectors.
  • Financial or Business Analysts: Financial analysts study financial data to spot trends and make forecasts in order to assist with investment decisions. Similarly, business analysts study business strategy, models, processes and workflows, and IT systems to identify inefficiencies and unearth areas that can be improved in a company’s operations.
  • Product Manager: They also need to develop products by combining out-of-the-box thinking with customer empathy and unconventional techniques in order to drive business growth. Innovative growth should also be accessed through product development launches that other firms have adopted, integrating new technology with best practices in FinTech products.
  • Cybersecurity Analyst: Cybercrime costs financial service organizations an average of $17 million per year, including the cost of prevention, which makes the appearance of cybersecurity analysts near the top of the high-demand list understandable. As cyberattacks become more sophisticated, so too the detection, prevention, and elimination of these through effective cybersecurity will become invaluable.
  • Data Scientists: these take raw data, clean it, and then analyze it in order to harvest useful information from it for financial service firms to predict an outcome. Data scientists often come with a talent mix of computer science, maths and statistics skills along with other science qualifications.
  • Quantitative Analysts: Quantitative analysts are maths, computing, and finance experts whose quantum computing skills are used to develop the algorithms needed by large investment banks and hedge funds to manage the data-driving trading technology used to trade securities and analyze risk. with the growing concept of Big data, the demand for quantitative analysts, especially in FinTech, to come up with business models also grows, allowing trading to be an automated process.

IT (Information Technology)

  • AI architect: Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly a trend in IT and in businesses. Most companies look for an AI architect who has at least a master’s degree in computer science, data science or AI and past working experience in data or analytics. Candidates with knowledge of machine learning (ML), natural language processing, AI integration and application programming, change management, etc. are in high demand. Apart from technical skills, one must possess Strategic thinking, time management, and organizational skills.
  • Business Intelligence Analyst: BI analysts need experience in database technology, analytics, and reporting tools. Businesses typically look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems or B.Tech. It’s a role with growing importance as businesses pivot from harvesting to making sense of data, with knowledge of platforms like Tableau, Spotfire, etc.
  • Cloud Architects: They oversee the company’s cloud computing strategy and are responsible for deploying, managing and supporting cloud applications, with a strong understanding of multiple operating systems in addition to networking, programming and security skills. Individuals with a strong knowledge of cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, or experience with ITSM, I&O, governance, automation, and vendor management are in demand.
  • Developer (web, software, mobile): These are responsible for designing, developing, installing, testing and maintaining software systems. The job requires coding, designing, and building applications, websites or mobile apps, working with multiple programming languages such as C#, C++, HTML, Java, Microsoft .NET and SQL Server, with an understanding of client requirements, Analytical and technical skills.
  • DevOps Engineer: DevOps practices, a new trend that encourages faster code deployment with fewer deployment failures, so more companies are hiring engineers with DevOps experience to oversee coding, scripting and processes development. DevOps engineers often manage IT infrastructure, provision resources, oversee software testing and monitor performance after release. These workers help simplify code updates, enabling companies to continuously tweak and improve processes in the organization for maximum efficiency, by using JIT techniques and Quality management tools like Six Sigma, TQM, etc. to reduce the gap between development and operations.

DIGITAL MARKETING

  • PPC Manager: With paid search continuing to drive significant acquisition in the e-commerce sector, the number of businesses investing in PPC Managers (and Paid Media Managers) continues to grow. With multi-tasking skills and a neck for numbers, one can bring on board the hirers who know the industry inside out.
  • CRO Manager: Jobs specializing in conversion rate optimization has grown significantly over the years and essentially focuses on optimizing the flow of traffic and conversions through the website. Businesses have become increasingly more focused on narrowing the gaps as pouring new customers into the top gets more expensive. The CRO manager requires strong analytical ability, forward-thinking, and great communication skills.
  • Analytics Manager: It requires one to work closely with other sales and marketing teams, including digital engagement, product marketing, communications, web, and events to understand the systems and data points applicable to each group, and to advise on areas for opportunity and collaboration in ingesting and tracking data. Also, one must understand how customer data is structured in the systems, and segments the database based on varying criteria (region, life cycle stage, persona) to best target a specific market or user type, manage and report on marketing campaign tracking, including sources across multiple channels like web, social, email, live events, webinars, and online communities.
  • Content Manager/Content Marketing Manager: The ability to produce engaging, informative content is a desirable requirement for any business, but an essential one for online brands. Content Managers have therefore steadily become one of the most popular digital marketing roles in recent years, with creativity, good vocabulary and a neck for writing to advertise the product/service and engage effectively the customers/ readers.
  • SEO Manager: Search engine optimization evolves with every Google algorithm change, making SEO Manager jobs highly essential. Whether it’s in-house or agency side, everyone wants to appear on top of page one for their chosen keywords and as a result, many businesses invest highly in Google Search. One must have an understanding of the technical aspects of SEO, should be an experienced writer and multilingual skill is an additional advantage.
  • Digital Product Owner: Experienced Product Owners are in real demand within the digital space right now. Finding those who can turn a business’s vision and creative ideas into a comprehensive roadmap is a challenge and thus, skilled Digital Product Owners with effective communication, result-oriented focus, and a neck of problem-solving are in a fortunate situation.
  • Social Media Manager including Community Manager: In recent years the focus on privacy and “fake news” has resulted in Social Media Managers being responsible for more than just the creation of engaging content and posting it on various social media. This digital role has continued to evolve over the last few years but its importance within the marketing mix remains as crucial as ever. One must be able to effectively utilize the potential of all the media and keep themselves updated.
  • Web Developer / UX Designer: User experience optimization has been the hot skill set in design for the last few years, with rising demand for designers who can create user-centric web designs that streamline the customer journey. As a result, there are many opportunities at the moment for people with these skills, required for the website developments. One must also be technically adept with various software and tools.

RESKILLING: There is a shift in the skills for the employees to get hired in a reputed firm with the growing competition in the market. Here are a few of the skills that need to be adopted by the employees to stay ahead in this competitive world and need to continuously upgrade their skills, be dynamic in their approaches towards the functioning of the firms.

  • Technology and Computational Thinking: It’s no surprise that the advent of technology and concepts as AI, ML, AR-VR, Cloud, etc. a shift in skills is mandatory. The reskilling of employees is a must. The “computational thinking”–the ability to manage the massive amounts of data we process individually each day, spot patterns, and make sense out of all of it–will be valued.
  • Social Intelligence and New Media Literacy: It’s going to take a long time for robots to be good at soft skills, like social and emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competency, “which are hugely valuable in a world where all people work together. Virtual collaboration itself is really useful in that environment. In addition, new media literacy, understanding various media platforms and how to best communicate effectively in them, are all valuable skills that robots won’t be likely to match any time soon.
  • Adaptability and Business Acumen: With opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship and the rise of the “gig economy, you have to have a better understanding than ever of how the business operates. “It’s how the millennial generation has been raised. They are more adept with collaboration and they know how to do project-based work rapidly with lean management.
  • Design Thinking: It is a problem-solving approach in which one seeks to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. Design Thinking revolves around a deep interest in developing an understanding of the people (Empathy) for whom we’re designing the products or services. It involves the process of questioning the problem, assumptions, and implications. It includes ongoing experimentation: designing, prototyping, testing, and trying out concepts and ideas.

Background verification

How an Employee Background Verification works:The Process

An Employee Background verification process is a thorough screening of a candidate’s work history, education background and degrees, academic certificates, legal records, and sometimes credit scores. The process usually takes between 3-10 days and charge between Rs 2000 and Rs 3000 per candidate. The fee goes up in case of extensive checks and for senior-level hires. The company runs a background check on one’s resume/CV, once all the interview rounds are qualified by the employee. An employee background check is a review of a person’s commercial, criminal, employment, and/or financial records. Many employers conduct background checks on job candidates. Some employers conduct checks after they have hired an employee. This is an investment as background checks help in safeguarding organizational assets, promoting safety at the workplace, reducing turnover owing to right hiring, safeguarding company reputation, avoiding legal action and inspiring confidence in customers and shareholders.

As per the survey of the Executives involved in background verification, IT and ITES, banking and financial services and FMCG sectors are way ahead of their peers in other sectors such as telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, healthcare, travel, education and entertainment. IT firms such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys Technologies, and Wipro are known to show zero-tolerance towards corporate fraud as well as fraudulent employees. Stringent actions including termination of services and blacklisting such candidates and recruiters are taken by them. The industry body for technology companies, the National Association of Software and Services Companies, maintains a centralized database of IT and ITES employees as well as third-party verified information on education, experience history and personal details of all these professionals.

Job portals such as Naukri, Monster, etc. and communities such as the CiteHR forum also alert users of the blacklisted candidates. But there is no single platform for non-IT/ITES companies, where details of fraudulent candidates and recruiters can be found. The lack of a centralized repository of information, defined processes and procedures to conduct checks at educational institutes, police stations or courts makes the process of background verification difficult and cumbersome. But with advanced forms of white-collar crimes emerging, it is time that companies go the extra mile and conduct thorough background checks on prospective employees.

Why do we need to verify the employee details before recruitment?

The probability of hiring a wrong applicant is one out of every six (1:6) candidates who hold misrepresented records to induce you into offering them the job.  There are many applicants who try to get hired by means of fake degrees and false employment records. Simple background verification would uncover these frauds and cease you from hiring the wrong applicant. The current scenario of Resume Fraud states 53% of all the job applications contain false detail according to the Society of Human Resources Management, while 9% of the applicants falsely affirmed that they had a college degree, listing false employers that didn’t even exist as per the survey conducted by Hubspot.

Below are some of the details that background verification agencies find in order to search for the employee who is the right fit for the company:

  • Experience gaps
  • Mismatch in the education received
  • Discrepancies in the compensation
  • Working in various unrelated industries
  • Skill sets varying hugely
  • Improve the quality of hires
  • Fake degrees from unrecognized universities
  • Certificate courses being passed off as degrees
  • Protect the reputation of the company
  • Prevent or reduce theft, fraud or any other criminal activity

Safety is a major reason to conduct background and reference checks is to avoid harm or legal liability of any type to the employer or to others. This includes harm to:

  • Other employees via sexual harassment or workplace violence.
  • The organization’s customers by sexual assault on business premises.
  • The public due to negligent driving
  • The employer’s business through financial loss or image/reputational issues.
  • Defense of legal claims, such as negligent hiring
  • A multilevel jurisdictional criminal records search can be strong evidence that the employer exercised due care in hiring.

Criminal Check: It is important to check criminal records of individuals who own or who work with a third-party vendor. Discovering beforehand about the owner being involved in theft will save the hassle and worry about the same thing happening again.

License Requirements: It is important to verify that all licenses are current and there has been no refusal of license or probationary periods due to any wrongdoings.

Other Business Names: It is also a must to identify whether the third-party vendor is using alias names or the firm with a history of names has something to hide.

Lawsuit or legal issues: It is required to check whether the employee is involved in any criminal cases.

Motor vehicle records: Employers should always check the driving record of any individual operating an organization vehicle at any time or who will drive personal/ rental vehicles on company business. A motor vehicle record typically includes license status, license class, expiration date, traffic violations, arrests and convictions for driving under the influence, and license suspensions or cancellations.

A thorough search reduces a company’s risks by confirming that the vendor is not open to risk factors that might create lawsuits or other issues, the employee is insured and is a legal resident, eligible to work in the country. Checking important information priorly can also prevent financial concerns.

Maximize productivity: Hire the best and reject the rest. Typically, past performance is a strong indicator of future performance and can reveal an individual’s professionalism, productivity, job skills, and interpersonal communication abilities.

Employee Background Verification includes:

  1. Public records: These can easily be accessed from the court records and criminal history by any law enforcement agency.
  2. Work history: It can be obtained from one’s past employers, Duration of being hired with them, Job role in each company, Pay, Performance history, Conduct in the company, Medical history.
  3. Education records: Companies will reach out to your universities to match your credentials to avoid forging degrees, fake certificates, bogus grades- the most common types of corporate frauds.
  4. Address verification: It is done by sending people to physical locations to check out a candidate’s address.

Big private companies hire third-party agencies to do everything mentioned above. While smaller firms usually depend on their internal team of HRs for background verification of employees recruited. The HR team which takes care of the background verification process has a powerful tool that they can use to learn a lot about a job applicant- social media handles. Content that borders on racism, a homophobic slur, inappropriate pictures, etc, is and should be, used against the applicant. There are no laws that require companies from scanning social media handles of candidates.

A background check can range from a simple verification of your social security number to a much more thorough check into your history. Information that an employer might check can include your work history, credit, driving records, criminal records, vehicle registration, court records, compensation, bankruptcy, medical records, references, property ownership, drug test results, military records, and sex offender information. Employers can also conduct a character check, which might involve speaking with your personal acquaintances, including friends and neighbors.

There are various kinds of background checks, including business to business check (B2B) and business to a consumer background check. (B2C). Third-party vendors fall into the category of a B2B check with these background checks including information on the creditworthiness of the company, work history, and verification of state certificates. A few agencies in India like First India Advantage, Mintly, Jantakhoj, AuthBridge, HireRight, and IDfy are specialized in background verification, known as third-party service providers.

When employers use a third party to check someone’s background, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) restricts what they are allowed to check, and how. The FCRA is federal legislation that sets the standards for screening for employment. The FCRA defines a background check as a consumer report. Government firms or PSUs run an extensive verification before offering the job. They ask for Residential proof of where you lived more than six months, Proof of current local address and permanent address, Record from District Magistrates/ Police Commissioners of areas where you lived. Further, either of those authorities asks police stations to run the check and finally, the record that police find is passed on the chain.

With the advent of technologies, various tools have been used as:

  • Aadhaar verification
  • National Academics Depository (NAD) – The government launched the NAD tool that digitally stores your education records and can issue reliable certificates to verified users as they plan to have every education board and institution in India on-board.
  • National Skills Registry (NSR) – NSR is the largest database of working professionals that helps the company’s fact-check employees’ information.

Trends associated with background screening and reference checks:

  • Automation: Apart from phone-based reference interviews, screening firms and employers are using advanced technology to improve the results of reference checks. Some screening firms offer online solutions that enable a broad set of reference sources to respond quickly and confidentially. While few believe that the online reference checking does not enable a hiring manager or screening professional to ask probing questions in an interactive fashion. Though this is true, requesters always have the option to call and ask follow-up questions about candidates after reading the initial report.
  • Screening of contingent workforce: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 4 out of 5 employers use some form of nontraditional staffing such as hiring freelancers, temporary workers or independent contractors on an as-needed basis. Employers largely have the same liability issues as these workers as with regular employees, and more employers are choosing to screen these workers to protect themselves.
  • Globalization: Pre-employment screening is becoming more complex as organizations increasingly look to overseas job markets with advent of globalization. It is now common for a job applicant to have been raised and educated in as well as to have worked in several different countries. Employers recognize that candidate screening at all levels is more complex and vital to organizational well-being. Multinational employers thus must be careful to obey local laws concerning background checks.
  • Social Media: Today, every company you interview with looks into your social feeds. Social media has made it easier for employers to map one’s interests, activities, and tastes, enabling them to picture their personalities. Beware of an objectionable pic on Facebook or a raging political comment on Twitter. The legal rights around background checks are vague, due to privacy concerns raised by many.

There are some rules and regulations need to be followed by the recruiters as per the guidelines of the government. It’s mandatory for Indian companies having ISO 27001 certification to conduct background screening for employment. Your medical information, financial background, and biometric data are private. An employer can’t access it without your permission, but there are no laws to stop companies from scanning your social media. In a few cases, for the hiring of top positions, companies are more concerned about their background and do go beyond the extent of verifying its approval, irrespective of the law. There is some information that cannot be disclosed under any circumstances, including bankruptcies after 10 years, civil suits and civil judgments and records of arrest after 7 years, paid tax liens after 7 years and accounts placed for collection after 7 years. However, these restrictions don’t apply if the salary is $75,000 or more, for a senior position applicant.

To sum it up, candidate verification is one of the most effective tools that you should use to build the right ‘infrastructure’ of employees. India is seeing a huge spurt in growth with many a start-up spawning from even tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Make sure candidate verification is a policy that is part of your growing culture and is never side-lined. You might not see tangible benefits to it, but you would’ve averted many an issue just by making sure you only allow candidates who are vetted.