The Dark Side of the “Struggle to Juggle”

By: Kate Broadley

1D6A0555Last week I wrote about the some of the benefits for employers and employees of using flexible work practices. But I thought to be fair, I should talk about the challenges, or the dark side as I call it.

In reality, flexibility does not work in all workplaces. Yes I work from home, but not everyone can do this. One must be willing to work independently and alone. Of course there are fewer distractions and I get to avoid those unnecessary interruptions, but there is no office vibe or excitement, and no one to exchange ideas with. While this works for me, there are times in a business environment when your expertise is required and missed in the workplace, if you are not there! The type of work I do requires at times a quiet place where I can analyse information and write reports, so the home office is the perfect place. On the other hand, a lot of work requires you to be in the very hub of activity in the workplace. I don’t get distracted at home, but others find it impossible to focus.

I work in a small business with two fantastic directors, who are comfortable communicating with me through various mediums other than face to face, and who support and trust me to deliver what I need for the business. It helps that my goals and outcomes are clearly measurable. This has not come about overnight and I think it is unfair for employees to expect this. It has been created over time and built through trust, delivery of quantifiable and measurable outcomes, and some ups and downs along the way. In my opinion, without mutual trust, support and measurable outcomes, this type of flexibility cannot work.

And finally, I am never off the grid, given all the wonderful technological gadgets we now have access to, which create the opportunity for greater flexibility to fit work in and around all of life’s other activities. But whether technology has enabled greater freedom from the workplace is debatable. It is easy for working “anywhere, anytime” to turn into working “everywhere, all the time”. I check my emails all the time, I hate to admit this, but often before breakfast and even when on holidays. I am not expected to do this, but it helps me manage my workload. I like to multi-task, but does this simply exacerbate the “struggle to juggle” and put us at risk of burnout, which is one of the very things, flexible work practices seek to avoid?

Flexible Work Practices = Maximum Productivity

By Kate Broadley

1D6A0555I find it ironic that today I am writing about flexible work practices as I sit in the parking lot waiting to collect my teenage boys from sporting commitments, with my computer on my lap and headphones to my ear!! Flexibility in the workplace is the secret to my success. It’s hard for me to ever imagine working again in a conventional office environment and quite frankly I would not have the same productivity without this flexibility!! So listen up you doubters!!!!

Really I have the best of both worlds. Some days are spent in the office, as I somewhat glamorously meet with clients and conduct meetings. While I do love my days in the office, as I get to dress up in high heels and snazzy corporate attire, the downside of my office days, is as a mum, the commute to work wastes so much time (although I have now mastered techniques to use this time wisely). Modern technology, particularly laptops and mobile phones has made it far easier to work anywhere and at any time of the day. That itself, is a whole other issue for another day!!

My life is a constant mesh of work and personal. This is my life and it’s a life that others desire, which is why I am surprised that flexible work practices still experience such resistance and has not been adopted more fully. Research shows it is one of the top five reasons people leave a company. I simply could not work without this flexibility and I am sure there are many others who do not work, as they are unable to find this flexibility in the workforce. Imagine the talent we could be missing out on!!

Flexibility results in improved employee attraction and retention, cost-savings and improved productivity. Work, like our personal life isn’t constant and the ability to have flexibility helps people stay happy and healthy.

A happy and healthy workforce equals productivity in my experience. What do you think?

An Agile Approach to Recruitment …

By Bridget Young1D6A0741

As recruiters, our clients provide us with a lot of ‘buzz’ words when describing roles that they would like us to recruit for. I was speaking to a BI Architect recently, who made an interesting point and valid connection to one of the current buzz words, which led my thoughts to actions I have been taking throughout my career.

Disregarding the usage of this word relating to software development and project management methodology, I have observed in my first quarter with Eden Ritchie that the term is being lent to the ideology and in some cases, the strategic directives organisations have started to progress to reduce risk aversion and stimulate innovation in IT business units and project teams.

To paraphrase my candidate, who had attended some interviews directly with employers and through other agencies, only to find that he was too experienced or too expensive:

“If only employers would apply an Agile approach to developing job briefs and position descriptions; I think that defining the role and responsibilities correctly are essential to finding the right candidate. Its’ what we do when we define a solution from business requirements using this methodology. We don’t need SAP for a small business even thought it is a best of breed solution – so why look for an Architect when you really just need someone to analyse data?”

A light bulb went off and I was excited – I had already been toying with some basic understanding of aspects of Agile in settling in to my role at Eden Ritchie. Tom and I have daily stand ups (though normally whilst we’re sitting down having coffee!); we work in “sprints” to manage our workload and fulfil KPI’s; and we maintain a visual representation of our issues, opportunities, deadlines and challenges on a white board so that at a glance, we know where we’re up to, what needs the most attention, and to pool ideas for how we can do things smarter.

Now, here was a high level candidate articulating my exact thoughts about defining client requirements for recruitment and my initial thoughts were, “Hey, I’m really on to something here, maybe I could revolutionise the approach to ICT recruitment if I looked into it further!” (Naturally providing full reference and credit to my wonderful candidate!). 

Sadly, or happily in this instance, it seems there is nothing new in the buzz word or it’s application to recruitment, as evidenced in the links provided below.

Reference 1

Reference 2

Reference 3

Queensland’s Economic Growth through Innovation and Technology

1D6A0741An encouraging sign for IT professionals in Queensland is indicated by the recent release of GoDigitalQld – the Queensland Government’s Digital Economy Strategy and Action Plan. This roadmap, developed in conjunction with an independent consultancy, outlines ways forward to creating economic growth for Queensland communities, businesses and individuals alike. Queensland Government aims to work closely with other levels of Government, Business and Industry peak bodies to leverage opportunities, deliver better digital services and share information that will benefit all, including candidates in the job market seeking their next project, and clients seeking candidates with developing experience in emerging IT specialisations.

Demonstrated by the delivery of more than 50 new services online and with aims to reach 100 by the end of this year, we are already enjoying the “One-Stop Shop” initiative as consumers, which has resulted in reduction of red tape and time-saving for many, while the Government Wireless Network will deliver vital updates to improve multiple agency coordination by connecting thousands of police, ambulance, fire and emergency officers to the one secure digital network for the first time. In Health, we have started seeing better access to medical services via video link and pilot hospital constructions dedicated to innovation of services with Digital support enhancements. Tourism has received specific benefit from these initiatives reaching some of our far and wide destinations with ways to reach more visitors and promote our state. And for businesses, the Government will open up it’s data for public use with more than 800 datasets available on the Open Data Portal, which will help people use government data to create business opportunities and mobile applications.

With these offerings and innovations, we hope that we will see opportunities and growth in Queensland job markets continue as these strategies are embraced and delivered in our communities and businesses.

5 Tips for Staying on Track!

By Kate BroadleyKateFINAL

Whilst many people dread the people management side of business life, I have to say I really love it.  Okay, I don’t always love those tough conversations! But over time I have improved considerably in how I do this and really relish the opportunity to have a hand in helping people stay on track!

So here are my top five tips for staying on track!!

1.  Evolve or dissolve! In order to take your life to the next level you need to reinvent yourself.  So as you increase your knowledge and your own personal awareness, you must continue to evolve… change is constant and inevitable. It is the one thing that will never go away in your life!

2.  Support your colleagues. Hold one another accountable. Continue your group meetings with those people that you resonate with most. They will inspire you and help you grow.

3.  The fortune is in the follow through.  Even if it is only a small improvement each day, the change over a year will be phenomenal.  Be consistent, show resilience and your fortune lies ahead.

 4.  Find your own leadership style and embrace that.   See yourself positivelyremember if you see yourself in a negative light, then you will follow that direction in your body language, your communication and in your life.  Be mindful of your negative self-talk.  Make the choice to think a different way, it’s amazing the difference it can make.

5.  Be Courageous! Put strategies in place to move forward. Find and use mentors.  Think carefully about what you want from them and what you can contribute back to them. Remember it is a two-way relationship!!!

It is easy to lose focus on what really counts, so I personally try and follow these five key messages to keep me focused at work, on what really matters.

‘Recruitment Services – Whole of Government Arrangements’

KateFINALIt has come to my attention when dealing with our many and varied clients in Queensland government, there is a lot of confusion in relation to how the existing procurement processes relating to recruitment services are applied.

Firstly whole-of-government supply arrangements were established to ensure Agencies can quickly access the services they require knowing that all the checks and balances have been undertaken, with the aim to qualify competitive suppliers capable of providing the service required. The intention is not to exclude providers who can provide the required services.

So if you have been unable to obtain the services you require through the panel of preferred providers, then you are able to put forward a case to go outside of this panel arrangement.  In the case of Eden Ritchie Recruitment we can offer you the security of the “Local Buy” arrangement. Eden Richie is a prequalified registered supplier to” Local Buy” under contract number BUS234-0113 for delivery of recruitment services. “Local Buy” covers local and state government as well as GOC’s.

Eden Ritchie participated as part of a formal tender process to qualify under “Local Buy”.  This arrangement provides set rates  and fee structures for recruitment services. As a local buy supplier we can provide Agencies with the assurance to know that all the necessary procurement checks and balances have been undertaken so that you know we are a competitive supplier capable of providing a first class recruitment services.

Further information about “Local Buy” is available through:

Phone: 30002272

Email:www.hpw.qld.gov.au/procurement/buyers/howtobuy/policyandguidance/pages/qldprocurementpolicy.aspx

Since the Qld Government Chief Procurement Office (QGCPO) has been disbanded, Agency Procurement Procedures are now agency-specific, as outlined under the Queensland Procurement Policy 2013. This means agencies can either use the current preferred supplier arrangements or look at other options such as “Local Buy” to provide their recruitment services. Remember the goal is to ensure that Queensland Government Agencies get the best possible recruitment services and best possible workforce to deliver outcomes for the Queensland community and Eden Ritchie is here to help you achieve this.

Eden Ritchie’s 18th Birthday Celebration

Gallery

This gallery contains 15 photos.

On Wednesday night Eden Ritchie Recruitment celebrated a successful 18 years of business … we would like to take this opportunity to share some photos from the evening and say a very big thank you to everyone who took the time of their … Continue reading