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Ironbaby To IRONMAN 💪

December 29, 2021


The biggest HR takeaways from 2021

What’s happening?

Due to an uptick in job creation in 2021, Human Resources teams have been dealing with challenges in recruitment, interviewing, and employee training.

Here’s the data:

From January to October of this past year, JazzHR saw a 208% increase in new job creation, signaling an economic bounceback for industries hit hard by the pandemic in 2020. But with job creation on the rise across multiple industries, recruitment has been competitive.

And while the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.2% (based on the BLS November 2021 report), factors like the Great Resignation and early retirement have contributed to the US labor shortage.

But data shows that when businesses have found candidates, companies are taking advantage of digital tools for hiring and training. According to Wedge, a video-interview platform, businesses using on-demand video interviews saw a 47% decrease in the time needed to hire compared to those using traditional methods.

And when it comes to training, Trainual noticed businesses published 52% more remote employee training content over the past year. These trends point toward an emphasis on remote employee opportunities for businesses moving forward into 2022.

So, how can your business prepare?

For recruitment, companies have taken to offering increased wages to entice candidates. But for small businesses who lack resources, that isn’t an option.

So, for 2022, use your social media to reach a broader audience and really showcase what your company is about. Talk about your purpose, your company culture, your benefits. Give candidates strong reasons to apply to your business.

And when you get those candidates lined up, take advantage of video platforms like Zoom and Wedge to set up interviews quickly and efficiently. That way, you save more time screening through the candidates you have.

Once you’ve got your perfect match, incorporate virtual learning platforms into your training process. Whether your business is remote or not, having customizable process documentation software can help you streamline your training process.

👉 Check out more HR trends.


How IRONMAN scaled to millions of customers

What’s going on here?

Every year, tens of thousands of people in over 50 countries line up to swim 2.4 miles in open water, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles. All in one day.

That’s crazy! Who organizes these?

Enter IRONMAN, the company that created and hosts these races all over the world.

Were they always this big?

Nope. Like most successful ventures, IRONMAN started as a small business with humble beginnings. And they only had 15 participants in each of their first few races. Most people scoffed at the idea that IRONMAN would ever be successful given how grueling the race is.

So, what changed?

The company made finishing the race mean something special: becoming an IRONMAN. Meaning, you were one of the toughest human beings on the planet if you could cross that finish line. And once press picked up on how impressive the race was, the company eventually grew to host multiple races with millions of participants. Here’s how they scaled:

  • They made their customer experience consistent. Meaning, no matter where you raced an IRONMAN, you were going to have a great experience. And they did that by standardizing event layouts, branding, and activities in every race.
  • They added new races that appealed to a broader audience. Not everyone wants to do a full IRONMAN. So, the company created a race half the distance of a full IRONMAN called the IRONMAN 70.3. An instant hit.
  • They found an easier way to train volunteers. Every IRONMAN event runs on volunteers who need training. But physical handbooks and in-person training weren’t scalable. So now they use Trainual to get their volunteers up to speed quickly and efficiently. That way, every race goes super smooth.

👉 See the full scale story.


6 hot Instagram tips from small business owners

Wait, is Instagram still a thing?
Even though TikTok has been all the rage this year, Instagram is estimated to have 1.074B users worldwide. And the most recent data shows that people spend an average of nearly an hour per day on the platform.

But is it worth using it for my small business?

According to Instagram data and small business owners, absolutely. At least 90% of people on Instagram follow a business. And in a global survey, Instagram found that 80% of users decide whether to buy a product or service based on what they see in the app, and 46% made a purchase after seeing an ad on the platform.

Because having an Instagram can be such a gamechanger, small business owners (who’ve already experienced trial and error) compiled their top tips for launching an account.

The 6 tips:

  1. Put internal team members in charge. Instead of spending big bucks on a third-party company, delegate the project to a team member with a knack for social media. Your team knows your business and your brand best, which will help keep your content timely and personal.
  2. Plan out your posts. Scheduling out when to publish content helps keep the initiative organized and productive. And if you "photograph everything relentlessly,” as one SMB owner suggests, you’ve got ready-to-post content and won’t have to rack your brain for more ideas.
  3. Highlight your team and customers. Share the spotlight with your staff and customers. Be on the lookout for customer posts that tag your business. Repost the positive interactions with your brand — this shows off your business while giving your customers some love. Win-win.
  4. Utilize interactive features. Rather than bombarding your followers with multiple posts a day, take advantage of Instagram Stories. The feature allows you to add interactive elements like polls or questions for your audience. The results will help you better understand them and what they want from your account.
  5. Let apps do the heavy lifting. Look for free design apps like Canva and scheduling apps like Planoly to simplify your posting process. These tools will not only save you bandwidth, but will also give your posts a more professional feel.
  6. Keep putting resources towards other platforms. Remember Instagram (or any other tool, for that matter) won’t make or break your business. But the more you practice it, the better you’ll get at it.


This week's highlight reel

  • A new software has entered the chat. Microsoft released a no-frills version of their communication platform, Teams, that’s designed for small businesses. Since it has less features than the original, the new platform costs one dollar less per user.
  • Dang, that’s fast! US consumer prices are up 5.7% compared to last year, which is the fastest growth in 39 years. The cause of the inflation is debated, but people are pointing to supply chain issues and the sudden reopening of the economy.
  • Dethroned. TikTok had more internet traffic than Google in 2021, per Cloudflare. That makes the social media site the most visited of the year. Another sign that TikToks are here to stay for the long haul.
  • Bah humbug. On the last Saturday before Christmas, in-store visits dropped by 26% from pre-pandemic levels, with COVID and lack of tourism as the likely culprits. But 2021’s in-store levels were still up 19% from last year, signaling an upswing.
  • Now that’s good marketing. LEGO’s holiday ad campaign is being celebrated as one of the season’s best. And it ticks all the right boxes when it comes to nostalgia, inclusivity, and appealing to both kids and adults.

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