BBB (Best Business Books)

Compiled by Jade Mortlock

Many of the industries that we work in have specific mandatory training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. While these are imperative to continuously improve specialist knowledge, skills and abilities a personal commitment to broader professional learning and development is equally important. The team at Eden Ritchie Recruitment, who work across a number of industries, recently had a discussion about the best business books that we have ever read (and why) and we came up with the below list that we’d like to share with you. We would also love to hear the name and title of YOUR favourite business book.

Justine Eden – Director ( The Rise by Sarah Lewis. I saw Sarah speak at a conference and bought her book, the connections she makes between business, sport and the arts resonated with me. As a bit of a “controlling perfectionist” myself reflecting on “failure” and “mastery” made so much sense in a hyper critical and connected world where we are too quickly judged.

Kim Ritchie – Director ( Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett. I initially looked at this book due to the title but what pulled me in was the funny and dry humour she uses to give a warts and all view of woman in the male dominated corporate world and the tools (and stories) successful woman have used to try and become equals at the table.

Angela Anderson – Recruitment Consultant ( The Truth About Leadership by James M Kouzes and Barry Z Posner. This book presents theories and insights based on the authors’ decades of research and experience working with leaders, yet is very focused and readable and has some engaging stories. It highlights fundamental truths and values, and makes a great guide for leaders in any sector at any point on their leadership journey. I have also previously used their Leadership Practices Inventory with a management cohort in another organisation and found it was very effective and well-received.

Linda Parker – Executive Manager ( Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. Rich Dad world’s goal is to increase your financial IQ, and bring you a world of possibilities, a world of learning, a world of understanding. A take charge world, where you’ll be equipped to take command of your finances and live a Rich life. I read this book during a personal/professional development course, and it was enlightening. I also read ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work’ – this was extremely useful for prioritising my work and refocusing on what really matters.

Angela Ng – FastERR Recruitment Consultant ( Good to Great by Jim Collins.

Elizabeth Duncan – Administrator Body Language: How to read others’ thoughts by their gestures by Allan Pease. This very amusing but insightful book details how what people say is often very different to what they feel.  It helps to identify subconscious cues and read body language in context.  As well as body language it includes speech patterns, image and appearance, dress, questioning techniques, interview strategies and TV marketing through body language. It is useful in the context of reading other people’s body language and also being conscious of your own.

Jade Mortlock – Senior Healthcare Recruiter ( First Things First by Stephen R. Covey. The principle-centred approach for prioritising gives you the confidence to make changes and sacrifices needed in order to obtain ‘happiness’. A series of user friendly, clear and concise graphics deliver the philosophy in effective manner while retaining the core message of time management and happiness.

Rebecca Ward – Chief Operating Officer ( Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. This great book discusses how we think without thinking – it’s about the decisions we make in the blink of an eye. Malcolm gives examples on reliable predictors for marriages that will and won’t last AND antiques that can be deemed as fakes just by looking at them! Some people have perfected the art of ‘thin-slicing’. Highly recommended!

Carmina Catahan – FastERR Recruitment Consultant ( How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Another classic best seller, I read this book ages ago but decided to read it again since starting with ERR. It’s such an amazing book as a reminder of the simple but very effective things that we tend to forget when trying to influence people and create long lasting relationships. There are a lot of facts and statistics too in this book about human behaviour, how people generally think, which explains some of the underlying reasons on why people do what they do. A lot of examples from people in history, their successes and how they became some of the most influential people known in history.

Ben Wright – IT Recruitment Consultant ( Who Moved My Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson. A motivational business fable. The book describes change in one’s work and personal life, and four typical reactions to those changes by two mice (Sniff and Scurry) and two little people (Hem and Haw), during their hunt for cheese.

Nicki McCaskill – Business Development Coordinator ( Speaking persuasively; Making the most of your presentations by Patsy McCarthy. Using real examples, Speaking Persuasively shows you how to hone your speaking skills in business and politics, in the classroom and in the community. It explains how to order your material, attract the audience’s attention (and keep it), control your voice and adapt your techniques for different situations. It also includes practical advice on making a successful business pitch, communicating across cultures and handling the media. Speaking Persuasively is for anyone who wants to become a more persuasive and more impressive public speaker.

Kate Broadley – Executive Manager ( The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey. An oldie but a goodie. Written by an internationally respected authority on leadership back in 2004, Stephen Covey’s first groundbreaking novel implies true success is founded on personal and professional development habits like prioritisation, empathy and self-renewal. I always go back to this book when I am feeling a bit stale and need a bit of a boost in terms being the best you can be.

Please get in touch with your ER recruiter either via email or their LinkedIn address (above) and let them know what your favourite is. We look forward to hearing from you!

EMPLOYEE PROFILING – Are we all cut from the same cloth?

Ben Wright

I’m asked quite regularly my opinion on the viability of an assessment methodology known as ’employee profiling’, which is quite commonly used to assist organisations in making sound hiring decisions.

 These methods are neither correct nor incorrect and it’s difficult to provide a definitive answer to this question, but rather their degree of effectiveness and relevance depends entirely on the individual circumstance.

 To assist you in making the right decision for your organisation I will outline below both the pros and cons to profiling and how it can be used effectively.

How profiling assessments methodologies are conducted?

  • A selection of an organisations high-performing employees are chosen and given the opportunity to take an assessment that is designed to measure a number of characteristics related to performance. Regardless of the role, the content is usually the same. The score patterns then serve as a benchmark for hiring.
  • During the hiring process, candidates are required to sit the same test and the results are then benchmarked against the current high performers. Those applicants who most closely match the ideal profile are viewed as having the best chance of success and are recommended for hire in an effort to “clone” high performers.

Logically, applicants scoring the same as ‘high performers’ have more in common indicating that they too have what it takes to be a high performer.

What are Pros and Cons of this Methodology?

Let’s start with the pros:

  • Intuitive: The idea behind profiling makes sense.  Look at your best performers and develop a profile that can be used to make sure you hire staff who model success. SIMPLE?!
  • Fast: While many assessment methods are timely to implement, profiling can usually be implemented relatively quickly and reused across multiple opportunities.

In the IT space I have seen this work really well when a profile assessment has been specifically created for role, like Project Managers.

One of the downsides to using a strict Profile Assessment Methodology is that across different roles i.e. Business Analysts, Project Managers, Web Developers, and Solution Architects, they all share different characteristics, that in their own right make them high performers in their specific field. I’ve touched base on a few other cons below:

  • Deficiency: When only one assessment is used for all situations, organisations may find that the content of this assessment will not fully capture all of the things required for performing the specific role.
  • Failure to account for change: This is a big downside as it does not account for the fact that the top performers surveyed may have had a different job profile at the time of hire.
  • In many cases, job performance and on-the-job training may allow an individual to learn and develop in many positive ways. Thus, the profile provided may be an unrealistic one for staff who have not performed the job in question.
  • Over-reliance on “the profile”: as this may create unrealistic standards that can lead to an over-reliance on some attributes and under-reliance on others. Hiring decisions should be the result of balanced information of many types, and the best hiring systems are designed to provide key decision-makers with a variety of information.

The above criticisms can apply to other assessment methods. However, they are worth considering when evaluating the relevance of profiling methods for an organisation’s needs.

Below I have mentioned a few situations where profiling is an ideal methodology for a company to use;

  • An off-the-shelf assessment is needed quickly: Profiling is one of the fastest and easiest assessment methods to implement.
  • The role is mainstream and doesn’t have any specific requirements: Most profiling uses one set of content for all jobs means that the profiling assessment content will be relevant.
  • The organisation is too small or there are too few incumbents to do a proper validation study: Validation research requires relatively large numbers of incumbents to produce a more accurate result.

From my experience the decision regarding the relevance of profiling for a company’s needs comes down to speed vs. accuracy. In such situations, speed and financial expense are often the key decision criteria and a reduction in accuracy is accepted as a result.

In these cases, profiling is a legitimate option and one that will still provide more accuracy than using no assessment or simply using an unstructured interview.

I hope this is helpful, and gives you a better understanding of the pros and cons that need to be considered when choosing the right assessment tool for your recruitment process.

For further information or to discuss please contact me on or 07 3230 0037 

You can also contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Why Should I Hire You?


Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

So why should I choose you? It’s a fine line selling yourself and not groveling because that certainly is not a good look and it most certainly won’t get you the job. Even if you are not asked this in so many words, you should have an answer prepared and be looking for ways to communicate this throughout the interview.

My job, is to hire the best person for the job and let’s face it, most of the candidates shortlisted to interview are well qualified for the job. The successful candidate must be more than qualified, especially in a competitive job market and leave me with a lasting impression. In reality every appointment is a risk, your interviewer is taking a personal career risk in recommending a particular candidate to fill the role. So if the successful candidate performs well, we all look brilliant and get a pat on the back. The downside is, if the candidate turns out to be a dud, we all look like dummies and our professional reputation suffers.

So as a candidate, you do have to persuade me, why I should employ you. I call this your elevator pitch – remember I am looking for smart and capable individuals. Fundamentally you must be able to do the work, deliver exceptional results, and fit in beautifully with the team. No one wants someone who is going to be hard work (we have enough of them right). So note to self, you must possess a combination of skills and experience that make you stand out from the crowd and if I hire you, it must make me look good and make life easier for the client.

Like everything there is a happy medium, so don’t overdo it, 60 seconds is all you have. This is an opportunity to highlight your strengths tailored to the job description. I recommend including a combination of industry experience, technical skills, soft skills, evidence of key accomplishments and your educational qualifications. So next time wow me for all the right reasons and you WILL get that job!!

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The world we live in has changed …

           Jane Harvey

Job seekers need to be more savvy and careful than ever when it comes to social media. Gone are the days of turning up for an interview in your Sunday best, providing details of a couple of referees who would be sure to sing your praises and then turning up to your new job the following Monday!

Social media can both advance and hinder your career depending on how you use it. As the Internet and social media grow increasingly important, particularly in business, most future employers and recruiters explore candidate’s social media profiles including Facebook before making hiring decisions.

 And this is the very reason you need to be extra careful with how you use social media, how you portray yourself in this medium and how you set up your privacy. After all, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to provide an unflattering social media image to future employers.

So, before you apply for your next job, take a good look at your online presence in some of the following ways:

Google yourself

Yes, this is the first thing anyone will do to see if you are who you say you are! Search your name and see what comes up? If there is something there that you would not be comfortable with a future employer seeing … take it down or get in touch with whoever published it and request that they remove it. This is not always possible and some things will remain for a very long time … so think before you post!

Check your privacy settings

Most people think that their privacy settings are sufficient and only their chosen ‘friends’ can see what they post… but in actual fact most people allow friends of friends to view certain content and it just goes on from there. If you go into Facebook and in your profile click “view as public” you will get a better understanding of what anyone in the world can see – including a future employer. If you can see too much … change your settings and get rid of anything that may cause damage to your professional image.

Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date

LinkedIn is one of the most important tools you can utilise as a job seeker or even as an employer. Often referred to as a professional Facebook, LinkedIn is your opportunity to get noticed and to stand out from the crowd, so make it work! Make sure your content is accurate and informative and that you include a snippet from your past few roles on the cover page. Make sure you keep it up to date and most importantly, include a professional and current photo, not one of you and your children or partner or best friend on a park bench or in a pub. Keep it up to date! If you don’t have it, then get it! If you are going for an interview, look at the profiles of the people interviewing you, it will show you are interested and doing research into them and their business.

 In all honesty, prevention is better than trying to fix social media disasters. Everybody has a life outside of work but photos of partying hard, can and will tarnish your professional image. If you must post, make sure your pictures are private. Future employers and recruiters do not need to see them.

Lastly, limit your work related comments on social media such as Facebook, particularly anything that may be seen as derogatory, and limit your social related comments on mediums such as LinkedIn – they are very different and you need to draw a very distinctive line between them. Open your LinkedIn profile so that almost anyone can access it, and your Facebook, Twitter etc. so that almost no-one can, and you should be on your way to that great new role without the worry of skeletons in the closet!

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

I’m Engaged!

Jade Mortlock

Hold the bubbles!

While I am sure my mum and dad can’t wait for this call I am not talking about a sparkly ring and white dress, I am talking about being an ‘engaged’ employee.

An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organisation’s reputation and interests.[1]

How would your staff respond to the following 3 questions?

  1. Would you recommend this organisations service to your friends and family?
  2. Would you recommend this organisation as somewhere to work?
  3. Do you see yourself working here in a year’s time?

I attended the most recent Brisbane ACHSM Breakfast forum where guest speaker Ms Michelle Russell, Solution Manager, GE Healthcare Performance Solutions explored employee engagement as a key driver of organisational performance. She believes, and I agree, the above 3 questions will quickly tell you if you have engaged staff.

Regardless of your industry, research shows that organisations with engaged staff deliver better patient/consumer experience, fewer errors, stronger financial management, higher staff morale and motivation, less absenteeism and stress and specific to healthcare; lower infection and mortality rates.

10’s of thousands of articles and papers talk about ‘how to engage employees’. Although written specifically for the NHS ‘Staff engagement’ identifies six building blocks for harnessing the creativity and enthusiasm of staff, which can be applied to any organisation.


  1. Develop a compelling, shared strategic direction – inspire your staff with a persuasive narrative about what your organisation is seeking to achieve and how staff can contribute.
  2. Build collective and distributed leadership – move away from top-down leadership and share authority, responsibility and accountability with staff.
  3. Adopt supportive and inclusive leadership styles – encourage leaders throughout your organisation to develop a broader range of styles, with less reliance on directive leadership and a greater focus on consensus-building, coaching and supporting staff.
  4. Give staff the tools to lead service transformation – give staff the training and support to improve their services for themselves, creating learning organisations, rather than parachuting in external experts.
  5. Establish a culture based on integrity and trust – develop a clear sense of your organisation’s values and live by them, including maintaining the highest standards of integrity and fairness, even when things go wrong.
  6. Place staff engagement firmly on the board agenda – start making time for regular board discussions of how to improve levels of engagement.What is your organisation doing to ensure the staff are engaged?


Is the Cover Letter dead??


By Angela Ng

Some think that in the new transactional world, where shortlists are formed by keyword searches, that the cover letter is dead, but I have news for them. The cover letter remains a key tool for the candidate to differentiate themselves from the crowd, to personalise their application for the role, and to get the recruiter’s/hiring manager’s attention sufficiently to make them want to turn over and review the CV.

A good cover letter has the following:


Recruiters and hiring managers want to see that you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s important in the early sections of your cover letter that you refer to the job, its title and the company in some form.

Bonus points if you can impress your potential future boss with an acknowledgement of a major company success. Triple points if that success relates to the team you’d be joining.


Your cover letter is also the written explanation of your resume as it relates to the job at hand. So it’s important you explain in the letter what exactly it is you can do for this company and this role based on your previous experience.

You could use, what’s called a “T-Letter” to effectively present this section. This is a letter with a two-sentence intro followed by two columns—one on the left headed, “Your Requirements” and one on the right headed, “My Experience.” Bye-bye big, boring blocks of text.

Using the job description, pull out sentences that express what they are looking for and place those in the “Your Requirements” column. Then add a sentence for each to the “My Experience” column that explains how your skills match those.

It’s an aggressive, bold approach—but one that could set you apart from the rest.


Here’s an exercise: Think about yourself in the job you’re applying for. What do you feel? You’re probably pretty pumped, huh? Now harness some of that excitement and put it down on paper.

For example, if you were applying to a web design or UX job, you could write, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in how the digital world works and how users interact with websites. Website design is not only my career, it’s my passion, which is why I hope you’ll consider me for this great role on your team.”

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Australian Financial Review 2016 Business Summit

By Linda Parker

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the AFR Business Summit in Melbourne, witnessing a range of high profile business leaders from around the globe. Aiming to inspire, they discussed the importance of taking risks to create growth in the economy, and the role Government needs to play in that.

One of the most inspiring stories we took away from the event was from the co-founder of Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes, who from humble beginnings is now a billionaire after taking a risk and following a vision, with nothing but a credit card to support the process. I found it fascinating and somewhat disappointing to hear that their success came from listing the company on NASDAQ (at $21 per share), not the Australian Stock Exchange. This is a sad reflection of Australia’s lack of investment in technology and a reminder that Government needs to engage with emerging leaders and support innovation, rather than just focusing on past opportunities, namely the resources sector, which has inevitably moved into its cycle of operational maintenance and productivity gains, and will no doubt take an upward swing in the future when the next wave of global infrastructure development opportunities come to light…IMG_0853 The other key message was the tax reform needed to support business investment and innovation. With one of the highest company tax rates in the global economy, many Australian businesses are penalised for achieving growth. Treasurer Scott Morrison spoke, but was incredibly evasive in his response to questions around this topic and whether the Government are planning to take a calculated risk to promote growth in our economy.

Walking away from the summit somewhat uninspired, the only thing left for us to do was support the local economy and invest in Melbourne’s fabulous retail and dining experiences… someone had to right?

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.