Greetings! Although I have worked at Isos for almost four years, this is my first-ever blog entry! I’m excited to be joining the very talented blogging team here at our company. A little about myself—I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, where I earned my BA degree in History in 1994. I moved to Phoenix in ‘95 and have enjoyed almost every moment of living here over the past 20 years.
I’ve had a bit of a unique career trajectory—I began my post-grad career as a legal assistant at a Dallas law firm. While toiling over document discoveries, I made a bit of a “discovery” about myself…that my true passion is marketing and public relations. I spent the next few years working in this capacity at two local resorts and a software company. One husband, two kids, five years of stay-at-home motherhood, one nursing degree, and two nursing jobs later, I returned to the field I know and love…marketing for a high-tech company. It was definitely a long and winding road. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Throughout my last four years at Isos, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of departments. I began my stint at the company in the accounting department, then moved on to human resources and office management, before taking on marketing once again. I’ve had the unique advantage of witnessing how every single department is interrelated. The victories and setbacks of one department inevitably affect another. Because of this renaissance woman-esque nature of my career (or one could argue I’m more like a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none…), I decided to quickly formulate a list of best practices…things that I truly believe can benefit any company out there that is currently engaged in recruiting and consulting:

Client Satisfaction

Well duh, right? It seems a bit obvious, but if you work for a consulting firm, the majority of your revenue is generated from clients who have hired you to solve a problem for them. It goes without saying that you should strive to make the most out of your relationship with said client. To that end, there is nothing more important than direct communication.  I believe that communication is the key to a satisfied client. Whether it’s about project timelines, payment expectations, travel plans, or simply a run-of-the-mill status update, consultants should be in constant contact with clients.

The Golden Rule

When you were growing up, did your parents often say, “Treat others how you would want to be treated?” Well, mine did. A lot. And it is actually a very applicable and worthwhile rule, particularly in the professional world. Isos has a very successful recruiting department, and part of that success, I believe, comes from our sales managers treating potential clients with the utmost respect and care. Our recruiters go out of their way to assist potential and newly hired-contractors with resume guidance, timesheet training, payment schedules, or any other concerns they might have as they begin a new job. They make a practice of meeting consultants for lunch to touch base and see how they’re fairing in their new positions. They returns calls and emails almost instantaneously. This genuine concern and care translates to happy contractors, who in turn, recommend our company to co-workers, friends, and family.

It’s the Little Things that Count…

While expense reports and time tracking may seem like boring, repetitive drudgeries, I assure you that these two tasks are among the most important for any consulting company out there. Here’s the thing…when Joe Consultant forgets to submit his hours on the company time-tracking system, the accounting department cannot invoice the client as quickly and efficiently as is needed. This results in slower payment times, which results in less cash flow, which means that Joe can’t get paid as quickly for his hours. Not only does it present the accounting department with the fun task of tracking down the offender and demanding that he get his hours in, it also has a ripple effect that could ultimately hinder timely payment of Joe’s wages.
Similarly, forgotten expense reports slow down the works, too. Expense reports are a totally boring “to-do” that is pretty much universally despised and dreaded. But, late expense reports equals delayed client invoicing which equals less cash flow for the consulting company. In other words, get your expense reports in on time or you will unleash an unholy tsunami of chaos and misery on your accounting department. And remember: Seemingly unimportant or minor tasks can often cause major setbacks when they’re forgotten or pushed to the wayside.

Document, Document, Document

There is one manager at Isos—who shall remain nameless—whom I have affectionately dubbed The Wiki Nazi. Yes, he is aware of this nickname and is actually kind of proud of it. Here at Isos, we utilize Atlassian’s Confluence as our company wiki, and this particular employee takes every opportunity to give co-workers what we call “the wiki smackdown.” In other words…he will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that your stuff better be on the wiki or else. And you know what? He’s onto something. Whether it’s meeting minutes, task lists, goals, travel arrangements, or the like, there is nothing better than having a centralized repository where employees can quickly and easily view what fellow co-workers have been working on. Confluence has been enormously helpful for Isos and is universally utilized within the company. It has made us understand the necessity of an electronic paper trail, and we constantly appreciate the ease of a collaborative space where documents, notes and status updates can be shared.

It Takes a Village…to Market your Company

As a marketing professional, I may be a bit biased. But I truly believe there is no better way to garner new clients than to have a collective marketing effort in place. Meaning—every single person within the company needs to be engaged in promoting its services, one way or another. The tried-and-true methods of marketing exist for a reason and do work well in getting your company’s name out there…whether it be advertising, press releases, direct mail, newsletters, etc. In fact, Isos recently secured a large client because they saw our newsletter and liked it. But, word-of-mouth via professional networking is also hugely important in making a name for your company. Consultants, contractors and clients who are satisfied with your organization will spread the word. Hence the importance of the aforementioned “Golden Rule.”
When launching a marketing effort, it can also be beneficial to utilize co-workers in this endeavor based on their strengths. So for example, if one employee/consultant enjoys public speaking, schedule a few speaking opportunities for him/her at local meetings, user groups, etc. Likewise, if you have an employee who is terrified of public speaking but enjoys writing, have that person crank out blogs or newsletter content. A marketing effort works best when the participants believe in what they’re selling, and enjoy doing it at the same time.
So there you have it. A few pearls of wisdom that I have acquired along the long and twisty career path I’ve taken. Every organization is different, of course, but these are things that have worked well at our company, and I hope they will at yours, too.
Thanks for reading! Once again, I’m thrilled to be part of the Isos blogging team and am looking forward to 2015 being a hugely successful year for our company!