The Importance of Reference Checking!

Kate copyBy Kate Broadley, Executive Manager Employee Selection Panel Assistance, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Reference checking can be viewed as a mere formality, after all, the logic goes: Any references supplied by a candidate likely will give only glowing reviews. Wrong, reference checking is a vital part of the recruitment process that is designed to safeguard prospective employers from the risk of appointing a “bad egg”.  In my experience reference checks are a critical part of a quality recruitment process and should not be viewed as a tedious administrative function.  Bottom line – wrong hires can cost time, effort and money.

The reference check provides an opportunity to validate the client’s rationale to hire a candidate and check the validity of the claim’s the candidate has made as part of the selection process. In my experience this can be all about asking the referee the right questions – for example ensuring you ask questions aligned to the role description and/or selection criteria will help determine if the candidate will be a good fit with organisation and validate their technical suitability to the role.

Recently I have had a number of experiences while working with my clients, where the reference check has been instrumental in isolating issues that had not been identified in either the application, CV or interview process. Adopting a robust approach is the only way to ensure the skills and experience expressed by a candidate are legitimate.

References can also value add in terms of providing insights in relation to the candidate’s strengths and weakness, which can help clients with the on-boarding and professional development of new recruits, or even assist in determining the composition of the overall team, through matching different personalities and skill sets.

No one wants to be responsible for the wrong hire, so don’t shortcut your recruitment process, make sure a variety of recruitment tools have been utilised, with the final validation being a robust reference check.

Best wishes, Kate

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

So ends another year!

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

Silly season is here, the kids are finished school for the year, the streets and city cafes are quieter, the shops are busy. It’s amazing how time flies. Busy year for us here at ERR and whilst we are all keen for a well-deserved break at Christmas, we are also thankful for the ongoing support from our team of contractors representing us out in the field and the diverse range of organisations we assisted during the year.

At our recent Contractor Christmas party I had the opportunity to catch up with a number of people, and the common theme was how nice it was to have a Christmas party to attend. Being an “on hire” employee often means being left of out of the formal company Christmas celebrations.

It seems that 2019 will continue to be a busy year.  Based on current indications the demand for permanent recruitment assistance for those hard to find, hard to fill opportunities; as well as skilled contract resources for critical projects will continue. Leveraging technology and digital innovation is still a key business driver, whilst balancing limited budgets for such highly needed projects. The common theme of sustainability along with increased operating costs means we will all need to be much more innovative to survive.

Workplace flexibility is an expectation and much has been made of that theme this year, but in my opinion there has been limited discussion around how employers can be assured this will in fact deliver better outcomes for them in reality. Flexible workforces do have real benefits but require different, more sophisticated management practices from employers and a high level of self-sufficiency and reliability from employees – and that doesn’t suit everyone or every role. The question endures – how to be fair and equitable to everyone?

The “me-too” movement must have had many a HR Executive nervous this Christmas Party season, and with the workplace obligations on companies to ensure the safety of their employees during such events, as well as the extent of sexual harassment being unveiled across sectors you have to wonder if the work Christmas party is a dinosaur headed for extinction?!

Personally, I am looking forward to 2019, and working smarter, not harder. ERR turns 23 (can’t believe that!) and the journey continues. What amazes me is that it doesn’t get any easier running a business, some things change, some remain, and you live or die by your reputation and results. Keeps me on my toes. Merry Christmas to you and wishing you all the best for 2019!!

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

Make the best first impression with the right resume…

Alana Hunter 0023 2

Alana Hunter

As recruiters, we get all kinds of resumes sent to us – long ones, short ones, fancy ones and some not-so-good ones.

I’m sure most of us have tried to make our resume as slick and shiny as we can to show off our design layout capabilities and have them stand out from the rest. BUT unless you’re applying for a graphic design role then I would give any tricky designs the flick and stick to the good old fashion simple resume!

“Why?”, you ask…to tell you the truth no one is interested in looking at pretty tables and pictures on your resume. Your resume needs to tell your professional story – we just want to clearly see your experience and skillset, as this is what will determine whether or not your resume is selected over another potential candidate.

This doesn’t mean that your resume needs to be boring or unattractive – it is just more effective to make yourself stand out with your experience and achievements, rather than copious amounts of pictures and graphics! Remember, it’s a professional resume not a marketing flyer.

Keep in mind when you’re preparing your resume, try and adapt it to suit that particular role with appropriate phrasing like “managed” instead of “in charge of” etc. Also, advertise your well-rounded experience, like personal passions, work ethic etc.

Make every word count! Square footage is at an all time high, treat every word on your resume like it’s expensive Sydney real estate.

Our team at Eden Ritchie Recruitment is are able to assist you with career coaching, resume development, interview preparation and more.  If you are interested, please call us now to find out more about this service.

Act Now towards the Future of Work!

Angela NG - IMG_6323 - USE THIS ONE

Angela Ng

This year marks the beginning of my motherhood to a little 7-month-old girl that has brought immense joy, timeless memories and increasing parental responsibilities. Recently, I’m already thinking and planning about her future, particularly in twenty years time, (year 2038) what will the workforce be like in terms of jobs and skillsets that will be in need so that in the ‘now’, I can help guide her education, mindset and pathway to best equip and enable her to be effectively skilled, sustainably marketable and resourceful in society.

Today, we are living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and HR challenges – at a time when business leaders are already wrestling with unprecedented risks, disruption and political and societal upheaval. The pace of change is accelerating. Competition for the right talent is fierce. And ‘talent’ no longer means the same as ten years ago; many of the roles, skills and job titles of tomorrow, and the next twenty years are unknown to us today. What jobs and skills will be in need? How can organisations prepare for a future that few of us can define? How will your talent needs change? How can you attract, keep and motivate the people you need? And what does all this mean for recruitment, attraction and retention? This isn’t a time to sit back and wait for events to unfold, we need to be many steps ahead of the game.

I have this question posed to me in my field of work everyday – Will robots eventually replace us all at work? Or will we create a new world where people and machines work alongside each other? It’s the most fundamental – and difficult – question we must ask of the future of work. As more individual tasks become automatable through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and sophisticated algorithms, jobs are being redefined and re-categorised. A third of people worldwide are now worried about losing their job to automation. It’s clear that automation will result in a massive reclassification and rebalancing of work. Some sectors and roles, even entire sections of the workforce will lose out but others will be created. Automation will not only alter the types of jobs available but their number and perceived value. By replacing workers doing routine, methodical tasks, machines can amplify the comparative advantage of those workers with problemsolving, leadership, EQ (Emotional Intelligence), empathy and creativity skills. Those workers performing tasks which automation can’t yet crack, become more pivotal – and this means creativity, innovation, imagination, and design skills will be prioritised by employers.

“So what should we tell our children? That to stay ahead, you need to focus on your ability to continuously adapt, engage with others in that process, and most importantly retain your core sense of identity and values. For students, it’s not just about acquiring knowledge, but about how to learn. For the rest of us, we should remember that intellectual complacency is not our friend and that learning – not just new things but new ways of thinking – is a life-long endeavour.”

The messages for leaders, act now! This isn’t about some ‘far future’ of work – change is already happening, and accelerating. No regrets and bets. The future isn’t a fixed destination. Plan for a dynamic rather than a static future. You’ll need to recognise multiple and evolving scenarios. Make ‘no regrets’ moves that work with most scenarios – but you’ll need to make some ‘bets’ too. Make a bigger leap. Don’t be constrained by your starting point. You might need a more radical change than just a small step away from where you are today. Own the automation debate. Automation and AI will affect every level of the business and its people. It’s too important an issue to leave to IT (or HR) alone. A depth of understanding and keen insight into the changing technology landscape is a must. People not jobs. Organisations can’t protect jobs which are made redundant by technology – but they do have a responsibility to their people. Protect people not jobs. Nurture agility, adaptability and re-skilling. Build a clear narrative. A third of workers are anxious about the future and their job due to automation – an anxiety that kills confidence and the willingness to innovate. How your employees feel affects the business today – so start a mature conversation about the future.

Cause you gotta have friends – keeping up your networks in busy times

By Angela Anderson

Angela Anderson

Angela Anderson

Maybe its just this time of year, with the festive season approaching and all the end-of-year deadlines, but I have been thinking about my networks, which in some cases are also my friendships. I think I’ve had mixed results in 2017, following through on some of my intentions to maintain these, but I’ve definitely neglected other areas.

There’s no doubting how busy we are in work and family life, and we know the reasons why – globalisation, technology, urbanisation, the environment and demographic change, to name a few – but its no excuse really. We are ‘human’ beings, and nothing can replace actually sitting down and interacting with someone we can relate to on a professional and personal basis.

I’ve always liked Margaret Wheatley, the American writer and management consultant who focuses on organisational behaviour and the theory of change, leadership and chaos. As a HR practitioner, I’ve applied some of her work in learning and development settings, both as a deliverer and participant. She has decades of experience and many memorable quotes such as “In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.” She also suggests “All of us need better skills in listening, conversing, and respecting one another’s uniqueness, because these are essential for strong relationships”.

So put some time in your diary before Xmas to nurture your relationships, whether it be attending a networking event, or scheduling in drinks with clients or colleagues you haven’t had a decent chat to in ages. It’s a great opportunity to have a few laughs, reflect on things, and just enjoy the moment!

Black Tuesday – Takes Me Back…

Justine Eden, DirectorBy Justine Eden

The recent Black Tuesday articles got me thinking back to 30 years when I was working in the dealing room for a share broking firm on that day that the market crashed. It was chaos and very apparent that things were going to change.

Having just left school I spent 2 years of working in finance, one year as a chalkie at the stock exchange and one in share broking. For me the ‘87 crash crystalized my plan to go to university full time. I could tell my job would no longer be there in a few months. Now of course the chalkie is also a relic of the past!

The recent Weinstein revelations also got me thinking. Sexual harassment was rife back in the day in share broking and I had my fair share of unsolicited advances from married men more than double my age, particularly when their wife was out of town. Did I want to come over tonight and have a hit of tennis? Did I need a lift home in the flash euro sports car? No thanks.

I remember sending out statements for shares purchased days, or just hours before the October 87 crash hit, for highly inflated shares now worth less than 5% of what was owing. People now desperate to sell and losing their homes because they had speculated on shares with money they could not afford to wager.

I had forgotten a lot of all of this and now it seems like a life time ago, but those insights back then cemented in my mind a kind of determination and clarity. That was to get an education, to build a career, to invest in shares with money that did not cost me the family home if they failed. To be independent and create my own business and to be able to stand up to anyone that made me feel uncomfortable or compromised in any way.

The power to choose, the ability for independence is something I have always valued greatly and it is what I hope my own daughters will experience. Cause let’s face it power is and always will be an aphrodisiac and independence is a great liberator.

As Abraham Lincoln said “..if you want to test a man’s character give him power”.

The Importance of Effective Recruitment & Selection

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Your employees are your most valuable asset, they’re also your greatest cost, so it’s important to hire the right people. So why then do employers have so many difficulties recruiting staff. Employing the wrong person for a role is not only time consuming but will affect morale and productivity and is a costly mistake to make.

Before determining who to attract and select for the role, it is essential that you have a clear idea about what the job requires and the attributes of the person needed. Some people look for the ‘best fit’, the individual who will aspire to the culture of that organisation and one who will understand the needs of the business. Traditionally, job descriptions have been devised to enable the organisation to effectively decide what skills are needed to fill the position. By doing this, the candidate has some knowledge of the type of role they will undertake and from this will enhance job performance as clear ground rules have been set from the beginning. Conversely, the lack of a competent job description will in effect, attract the wrong candidates.

Some tips to adhere to when recruiting include:

  • Develop and design a proper job description, listing the actual skills needed.
  • Design an advertisement that outlines what you are looking for and what the job will entail. You get much better results, if you advertise specific criteria that are relevant to the job. Include all necessary skills, and a list of desired skills that are not necessary but that would enhance the candidate’s chances of success. If you fail to do this, you might end up with a low-quality pool of candidates and limited choices to fill the position.
  • Select the interview panel carefully – make sure they understand the role, their responsibilities and are provided with the skills to participate fully. In my opinion further training should be provided to panel members to ensure this.
  • Fully prepare for the interview, as it provides a vital opportunity to focus on what candidates can offer your organisation. The interview process is an opportunity to express your vision, goals and needs and it is vital that the interview elicits responses from applicants that can be measured against your expectations for the position. If you don’t use the interview to effectively eliminate applicants who don’t fit into your culture, you might find yourself dealing with turnover, confusion and disgruntled employees.
  • When you choose, a candidate based upon the qualifications demonstrated in the resume, the interview, employment history and background check, you will land the best fit for the position. Base your decisions upon specific evidence rather than any gut instincts. If you hire people who can do the job instead of people you merely like, you will have higher productivity and quality in your products or services.

When you effectively recruit, and select the right employee, there is a domino effect. Your new hire will do their job well, employees will see that you make wise decisions. You will gain respect from your workforce, which in turn results in higher productivity.