The Importance of Managing Up

By Justine EdenJustine Eden, Director

Having been in the recruitment industry for a few years now (not specifying how many because it makes me feel old!) I have been able to sit back and watch many people progress up the leadership ladder. Some more successfully than others. There can be many factors impacting on success of course, but in many instances I have seen the inability to recognize the need to manage up, lead to failure.

Managing up can sometimes bring connotations of having to “kiss arse” – excuse the language, and I would argue that if this is what you interpret as managing up you are missing a key opportunity. Many leaders can be overly consumed with managing down and depending on the profile of your team sometimes this is necessary – but you need to ensure this isn’t a long-term strategy.

You need to focus attention on managing yourself – your career, your education, your professional portfolio to ensure you remain relevant and challenged. You of course will have an element of managing down through delegation and KPI’s to ensure deliverables are met.

But – how to manage up? Be clear on who above you this could include and then determine how often and how you will need to feedback to each person. In person communication is an effective way to build rapport and trust followed by putting things in writing to protect each other.

A good executive should adopt a no surprises approach in order to have the back of the people they report to and should also be able to determine what is communicated and what is not to prevent information overload. No Board wants hundreds of pages to read through, so your ability to grasp and communicate the key issues and expand if needed, is critical.

By managing up you increase your visibility and intel because you should be privy to strategic issues and be on the front foot to ask for the opportunity to work on key projects. You will better anticipate future challenges and therefore be able to better position your team to respond. Knowledge and networks are the power base of any ambitious executive but like anything require constant work and attention!

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Why don’t you call me no more?

By Justine Eden, Director – Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine Eden

As coined in the lyrics of one of the great Prince songs, the Master of Music (RIP Legend) laments the fact that the one person he wants to hear from can’t even pick up the phone.

Likewise, I am amazed by the number of executives who, when applying for roles, simply hit submit. Why don’t they want to talk?

Wouldn’t they want to get behind the position description (that is so often outdated – a story for another blog) and better understand the key aspects of this role and organisation? Wouldn’t this intel better inform their application and allow them to nail what it is that the hiring manager is looking for?

I agree that often the person listed on the ad is not always the most informed or helpful – but persevere. Make sure you have a few relevant questions to ask when you do connect with someone able to share key information with you. Use this as a key opportunity to connect and build rapport.

I get to work across a great number of organisations and with leaders from every technical specialisation. I can attest to the many number of times when people recall a phone conversation with an interested applicant and want to meet them in person.

It’s all you need – that foot in the door. The interview – isn’t that what the application is all about? Blindly applying for your next career role and winging an interview is not an effective tactic. I don’t understand how an applicant can sit in an interview and stress how enthusiastic they are about the opportunity when they haven’t done their research up front.

Also, the stock standard application is not effective. If you are serious about your career and your search, you have to invest the time into it. Tailor your letter to the specifics of this role and organisation. Pick out the key words in the ad and the position description and aim to include them (ensure relevance) in your resume.

And please check your work! Incorrect names, spelling errors, leaving the details on a letter relating to a different role/organisation – yes, sadly I see this a lot. I look forward to hearing from you.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

You get what you pay for…

 

Linda Parker

If only I had paid dues to that old adage today … on a walk uptown in the scorching heat in my 5 inch high heels I soon realised I may not be able to make it back to the office in one piece trying to balance on the uneven pavements whilst dodging heavy foot traffic and scaffolding. Brainwave, I’ll buy a cheap pair of ‘flip flops’ to walk back to the office in, I wouldn’t need to spend too much as it was only a couple of blocks. Boy was I wrong, that cheap thinking mindset has left me in more pain than if I had remained in my stilts.

So where I am going with this you are no doubt wondering?  Well in recent times there has been increased pressure on businesses to offer goods and services at seemingly unrealistic prices, with everyone out to grab a bargain, but at what cost? In the professional services industry we have been front and centre in facing squeezed margins and unrealistic expectations. Tendering for a preferred supplier arrangement was once a non-negotiable must do for the business but has now become a real risk to profitability.

It goes without saying that in general, consumer’s beliefs and expectations are that if they go for the cheapest options they are compromising on quality. It is a risk many are willing to take. The flow on effect of compromising on quality of service in order save money can end up costing companies so much more than they bargained for. In the recruitment industry such risks could be a bad hire with considerable consequences to the organisation.

I’m not saying there aren’t decent operators out there who provide a cost effective and good level of service, however I question the value that is placed on quality over price these days.

My feet are still reminding me of that right now.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Holidays and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

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Nigel Baker

If you are a looking for a new role in Brisbane at this time of year you have no doubt had it drummed into you that “Queensland slows down from Melbourne Cup until Australia day”…..”You may as well take 2 months off and not worry about your job search”….”Enjoy the time off with your kids over the school holidays”…..blah, blah, blah. This is true if you allow it to happen. Let me explain how I see the market at this time of year.

In my experience this is a great time to be looking for your next opportunity, as there is a real urgency around roles that are available, here are a few reasons why;

  • A desire to complete the process before Christmas to allow for a January start
  • If a role is advertised at this time of year it is often a reaction to a business critical driver e.g. timeframes slipping on a project, additional funding etc.
  • Many of your competitors will have decided to ‘down tools’ and wait until the new year
  • Projects will have completed reviews/forecasting
  • Business will have completed reviews/forecasting

Networking

Now is the perfect time to renew those networks that may have slipped throughout the year;

  • Reconnect via LinkedIn
  • Invite someone for a drink
  • Attend a networking function
  • Attend an awards evening

Meet January Head On

I once read an article by one of the most successful ever Olympians…He said that he used to train hardest on Christmas Day because he knew everyone else would be taking it easy. Make yourself busy in December and January and take advantage of the head start;

  • Book meetings for January now – diaries are mostly empty
  • Review job alerts and make sure they are still relevant
  • Update your LinkedIn profile
  • Review your resume
  • Renew/update your professional memberships and qualifications

Take advantage of this time of year and have a fantastic 2017!!!!!

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

1 William Street – Noice!!

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Wow!!! I had my first client visit in 1 William Street this week.

From the moment I entered the building through the formal entry space, the luxe modernist style was apparent. Each floor of the building has been themed in the flora and fauna of Queensland. The floor I visited was dedicated to purple fan coral and looks amazing, with hues of purple and green used generously throughout the sub-tropical botanical design. The fit out is beautiful – timber floors, light, plants, atriums and of course the amazing 360 degree views. It’s not palatial, but it is smart and up to date architecture at its very best. There is access to other levels via internal stair cases, rather than using the lifts. I am sure there are floors (like the Premier and the Deputy Premier’s floors) that do not have this sort of access, but I love the way the staircases have been incorporated as part of the design and not hidden.

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The open plan will no doubt challenge individuals who have been accustomed to office space, however there are plenty of meeting rooms and spaces to use and generous areas to eat and have a coffee. Big corporates like Google are convinced that this openness improves communication and collaboration amongst their employees and this is no doubt the goal for public servants. The top level of the building is for functions and I was told the views from this level are amazing. Sadly, I didn’t get to confirm this, maybe another day.

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While not everything is ready, the movement of public servants into the building appears to be on track and well-coordinated. 1 William Street is a once in a life time experience for many public servants to move into a brand new building, a breath of fresh air in terms of architectural style and a quality piece of infrastructure. I for one, will be looking forward to more meetings in this building and can’t wait to see the next stage of development for this end of town.

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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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/justineeden) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/kimritchie) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/angelaanderson3) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/lindaparker1) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/angconsultant) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/jademortlock) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/berekaward) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/carmina-catahan-847a433a) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/ben-wright-b8117318) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/nickimccaskill) 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 (https://au.linkedin.com/in/katebroadley) 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 ben@edenritchie.com.au or 07 3230 0037 

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