A Quick Reference Guide to Project Management

By Ben Wright, IT Senior Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

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Working in IT, we are exposed to a number of Project Management methodologies, which at times can be a little daunting understanding the difference. There are so many methodologies in the industry today, each with their own set of rules and processes. So, which one should you choose?

Below are the Top 5 methodologies, we see used by our clients today:

  • Agile – a methodology used in software development, using short cycles of work that allow for rapid production and constant revisions if required. This encourages both developers and business people to work together throughout the entire project.
  • Waterfall – a methodology made up of cascading steps, hence the name. Waterfall is made up of 6 different processes; requirements, analysis, design, coding, testing and operations.  This methodology allows for early design changes and is suited to a milestone focused development environment.
  • Prince2 –  an acronym which stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments. This framework requires projects to have an organised start, middle and end. This allows for better control of resources and better business and project risk management.
  • PMBOK – deals with the project management lifecycle from start to finish. It describes 47 processes that managers would typically undertake when tackling a project and organises them into 5 groups of processes; project initiation, project planning process, project execution process, project control process and project closure process.
  • Scrum – one of the most popular agile frameworks in use today. Scrum refers to brief meetings where team members come together to talk about their successes and what the next steps are. Scrum follows a “do, check and adapt” principle.

In addition to the above methodologies, we are starting to see an increase in the following:

  • Kanban – in Japanese, the word “Kan” means “visual” and “ban” means “card”. This visual system manages work as it moves through a process. Kanban follows a set of principles and practices for managing and improving the flow of work. It promotes gradual improvements to an organisations processes.
  • Scrumban – a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban, Scrumban provides the structure of Scrum with the flexibility and visualisation of Kanban, which makes this methodology a highly versatile approach to workflow management.
  • Lean – a popular approach to streamlining both manufacturing and services processes through eliminating waste while delivering value to customers. A lean culture is based on continuous improvement.
  • XP – another agile project management frameworks used in software development. XP advocates frequent releases, iterative development and a high level of customer involvement. XP is very similar to Scrum, but with an added layer of coding best practices.

One thing to keep in mind, while there are a number of methodologies to choose from, there is no such thing as the “right” one.  Different projects benefit from different elements of each and quite often a hybrid of multiple methodologies are used to manage a Project.

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

The Basic Art of a Good Resume

By Rachael Peters, Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie RecruitmentRachael Peters

It didn’t seem that long ago when I decided to change career paths and it came time to update my resume. I spent so much time on the layout – the font, the font size, bold, underline – the list goes on … It took days to get it just right. Unfortunately for me, although it looked great, it was so generic, and it didn’t really specify any of my skills or stand out in a crowd!!

Being a newbie to the recruitment industry, I now understand that most employers and recruiters are looking for specific skills to fill a role, and often receive hundreds of applications for one job. We all have our strengths and capabilities but how you put that down on paper is imperative on how you will succeed. When applying for your dream job, you don’t want your resume to be lost in a sea of applications because it is too long, too short or just boring.

Try to keep your resume to two to three pages and focus on your key selling points – it’s a career marketing tool, not an autobiography. Because we live in a fast-paced world with tight deadlines,  hiring managers and recruiters may give your resume a 6 second glance before making the decision of whether or not you go on the maybe pile. Your short story should capture attention and leave the reader wanting more! (That being said, a more substantial resume would be expected for senior level positions or those from technical or academic backgrounds)

The first page should always be a career summary section, to define you as a professional and cover areas most relevant to your career level and job target. A career summary should provide a brief, but detailed version of your qualifications, experience and what you can bring to the table with the use of keywords and skills to help categorise you as a stronger candidate.

Your resume should be visually appealing, uncluttered, and have substance. Use of bullet points is a great way to add emphasis, but limit them in some areas to increase impact, and make your position descriptions results-based rather than task based. This means write down what you achieved rather than what you did.

And finally – there is no need to include your home address, marital status, age or gender anymore, but always have a phone number and relevant email address. If you have an old email address that may look unprofessional, it may be time to set up a new one while job hunting!

Remember your resume is a marketing tool – First impressions begin with your resume, not at the interview door. A well written and presented resume can get you that interview, which could be the beginning of a brilliant new chapter …

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

Does a looming Election weigh on your mind…?

By Jane Harvey, Executive Search Specialist, Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJane Harvey

Don’t let fear of Election fallout stop you from making important decisions. It’s that time again in Australia and another Federal Election is looming.

If previous experience is anything to go by, we can’t help but fear the societal upheaval that can come, in a variety of ways, from such an event.

Many of us may have been considering making some life changing decisions.

New Job?  Decisions on who to hire or fire? New House?

These types of large decisions have been scientifically proven as being some of the most stressful experiences in life – actually ranking right up there with the death of a loved one.

Throw in a looming election, and the possible economic instability that can follow, and suddenly we might find ourselves a lot more wary about moving forward in making those decisions. Despite any previous feelings we might have had, that these choices could be a good idea.

Why? Because when it comes to elections, we are conditioned to know that this is a time of instability for our country.

We can see Reserve Bank interest rates rise and increased debt for our country, while countless amounts of money are wasted on advertising that show our politicians fighting like kindergarten children and backstabbing each other.

None of it provokes feelings of comfort and trust for us as citizens of Australia, in the people who are running our country

What can we do about this?

Is it really a good idea to hold off on our decision making, or to second guess a decision already made, simply because we are feeling nervous about what the future holds as a result of the election?

The answer is NO.

We need to keep moving forward with our lives. Despite what fears we may have about who will be running our country and what mistakes they might make while doing that.

Why?

Because despite the image projected by society that something like a Federal Election, and the results thereof, will have a massive impact on our lives, it’s not strictly accurate. When it comes right down to it, the main person you need to focus on, who has the greatest impact on your life, is YOU.

Forget the election and any impact it may have on the decision at hand, because it all starts and ends with you.

If you are considering a career change, a job change, you need to hire – or even fire an employee, the problem that is there … will still be there when the uncertainty is a distant memory. When it comes to decision making, stress and anger on any level are not going to assist you in making a good decision.

Whether the stress and fear about making your decision is coming from the concept of an upcoming election, or you desire to change jobs because you have a boss or workmate that you simply can not get along with, you must release it all in order to make a good decision.

If you make the decision to move jobs from the standpoint that you don’t like your current boss or a work colleague, you will likely find that even if you change jobs you will encounter the same problem in the next job.

So what is the answer, the key to all of it?

Do anything and everything you can to relax and feel good.

Then… stick with the decision, don’t second guess yourself, or worry that you have made the wrong choice. Stand by the decision you have made.

Know that no matter what comes, whether you agree with the government or not, everything will work out. If history is anything to go by, it will all change again in no time… and we will all go about our lives.

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

Social Media and Social Screening

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

Social media is a term for the online platforms that people use to connect with others, share media content, and form social networks. Some of the most popular platforms include Skype, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, YouTube, Viber, Snapchat, and Reddit. Social screening of these online platforms is now an increasingly crucial part of the recruitment and selection process, although data in relation to its actual use is almost nonexistent and it is certainly not something formally recognized, as part of organisational recruitment policy or procedures. But what we do know, is that what you post online stays there forever and is accessible by everyone.

So how can you ensure you have an appropriate social media footprint?

Firstly, do a Google search of your name and see if there is anything inappropriate associated with you. I decided to practice what I preach and did a Google search of my name – fortunately I have nothing inappropriate to report on – rather boring in fact. Apart from my LinkedIn and Facebook accounts which I expected, what I did find, were some articles about me as the mother of my son Jack Kibble, who was Runner Up on Junior Master Chef some 8 years ago, and a presentation I co-delivered at a conference some years ago, which I had forgotten about and most certainly don’t have a copy of – but I now know a copy is accessible on Google.  I then did a Google search of both my sons who are part of the (“Generation Y and The Millennial Generation”) who have a strong social media footprint, and while again there is nothing inappropriate (thank goodness) – there is a complete history of what they have achieved to date. In their cases, this social media presence may in fact be important and advantageous for their careers, however they still need to closely oversee the content of this wherever possible.

My boys have blocked me for years on their social media, so I have no idea what they post, but of course like any parent, as they were growing up, I have warned them about loading inappropriate content like embarrassing or provocative photos or videos of themselves on social media. Bottom line – if you don’t want your boss, work colleague or prospective employer to see it, don’t post it in the first place or if its already in the social media realm – remove it – it’s just that simple.

You can also change your privacy settings on your social media accounts and make sure it is personal to you and your friends and not the masses, something I would recommend doing, if you have not already done so. Remember your friends can still tag and copy photos that you thought were private and post to the public realm. Of course, there are privacy laws which cover the unauthorised publication of private material. Even so, once the information is posted, your reputation might not be recoverable, so be careful and think twice before sharing anything in the digital sphere. Bottom line, if you wouldn’t share it face to face don’t share it digitally.

So, the message is simple, be careful what you post, manage who has access to your posts and review your social media history and make sure it is representing the person you want to be portrayed as in the public realm. Remember social media can enhance your status in the market but equally it can be “an albatross around one’s neck”.

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.

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.

The importance of adaptability and resilience!

By Satia MarshSatia Marsh

Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

When I look back over my 12-year career I think it is comprised of three significant stages:

  • Leaving university and entering the job market.
  • Progressing in my career and starting to understand what I really want from my career.
  • Starting a young family and how to balance sometimes conflicting priorities.

Speaking to other people, it was interesting to discover a lot of people share very similar experiences.

From the time of finishing my Business and Marketing Bachelor’s degree and entering the workforce (which is a huge learning curve in itself) I have come to realise that in each of my roles (even if based on a similar foundation to the previous), I found that I needed to develop a slightly different set of skills. Whilst each role gave me great insight into the different sectors I realised the importance of having a broad skill set that is required to function effectively in any role. In addition to experience and academic training I believe that some key personal attributes are just as important if you want to succeed in any job. Some of the most important attributes are:

  • Effective oral and written communication – to internal and external stakeholders at all levels throughout an organisation.
  • Tenacity and building your resilience – Never giving up when you are faced with a challenging situation, regardless of what that might be. Examples are multiple demands and priorities, challenging tasks, overcoming sales objections, stressful situations or conflict of any sort.
  • Flexibility – Hit the ground running in new sectors or new job roles e.g. the ability to adapt quickly and effectively to different working cultures and environments e.g. type and size of business, management and team structures.

The skills I have learnt have helped me to progress into the third stage of my working life. Becoming a recruiter in the past 12 months was the next critical change in my career. Thanks to a previous employer and mentor, I had a great introduction into the recruitment industry.

It has been an interesting journey so far and it is exciting to find out that I can follow a career where I am able to do the three things I am most passionate about – Human resource management, client relationship management and business. That said, I get the most satisfaction when I can matchmake businesses with candidates. The ultimate thing for me is to help people achieve their personal and business goals.

In summary, the critical factors are the importance of being adaptable and resilient. As the world continues to change due to technology evolution, economic factors and personal/life commitments the key to survival in the job market is your ability to adapt to change.

Satia

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

 

Interviews – Do we love or hate them?

By Helen Chard Helen Chard 0266 1

Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

INTERVIEWS – either a punishment or a pleasure!  Whilst some people thrive and excel at interviews, many of us – including myself would rather just skip this process because we shy away or find it difficult to sell ourselves (much easier to sell ice to Eskimos!).

During my recruitment career I have spent many hours coaching candidates on interview techniques, and yet for some reason it can all fall out the window at the interview stage. Be it the answers fly away, getting tongue tied, our mouths running away or plain and simple – not being able to think of the answers or responses or not being prepared.  I would recommend knowing your CV inside and out and how you could apply your experience to any answer and researching some commonly asked interview questions such as:

1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

This question seems simple but it’s crucial. Think about your career as a synopsis of how you would want someone to describe you in a positive way. Start off with the 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know about, then wrap up talking about how that prior experience has positioned you for this specific role.

2. How did you hear about the position?

A perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion for and connection to the company. Whatever way you found out about it, the company will want to know, it shows that their marketing team are actually doing their job.

3. What do you know about the company?

Any candidate can read and regurgitate the company’s home page. So, when interviewers ask this, they aren’t necessarily trying to gauge whether you understand the mission—they want to know whether you care about it. Start with one line that shows you understand the company’s goals, using a couple of key words and phrases from the website, but then go on to make it personal. Say, “I’m personally drawn to this area because…” or “I really believe in this approach because…” and share a personal example or two.

4. Why do you want this job?

Again, companies want to hire people who are passionate about the job, so you should have a great answer about why you want the position. (And if you don’t? You probably should apply elsewhere.) First, identify a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you (e.g., “I love customer support because I love the constant human interaction and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone solve a problem”), then share why you love the company (e.g., “I’ve always been passionate about education, and what your mission is, I would like the opportunity to be a part of this”).

5. Why should we hire you?

This interview question seems forward (not to mention intimidating!), but if you’re asked it, you’re in luck: There’s no better setup for you to sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager.  This gives you the opportunity to sell yourself without pressure. Make sure your answers cover the following 3 factors:

  • Transferrable skills that enable you to do the role
  • That you can deliver great results – examples from previous roles will be required
  • Team and culture – previous experiences.

6. What are your professional strengths?

You will need to think about this prior to the interview. What would someone say about you in your previous roles? What and how did you do your job successfully which was memorable and relevant to the role you are being interviewed for – for example, instead of “people skills,” choose “persuasive communication” or “relationship building”. Then, follow up with an example of how you’ve demonstrated these traits in a professional setting.

7. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

They are not looking at the weakness as a flaw in you and whether you are capable of succeeding in the role, rather it’s about gauging your self-awareness and honesty. The majority of us find it is easier to recognise our weaknesses rather than our strengths!  Turn the question around – recognise it and explain how you are working to turn this around for example: Public speaking – and that you have now volunteered to run meetings to “feeling the fear and doing it” or “turning the weakness into a strength”.

8. What is your greatest professional achievement?

I always tell my candidates to use the S-T-A-R method, this enables you to stay on track with the answer and not go off on a tangent.  REMEMBER we start to switch off after 3 minutes of listening to someone talking if they start to ramble. SHORT and SWEET is always best, the STAR method is easy to remember and use.

S = Situation

T= Task

A= Action

R = Result

For example: “In my last job as a junior analyst, it was my role to manage the invoicing process”) but spend the bulk of your time describing what you actually did (the action) and what you achieved (the result). For example, “In one month, I streamlined the process, which saved my group 10 man-hours each month and reduced errors on invoices by 25%.”

9. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.

In asking this interview question, “your interviewer wants to get a sense of how you will respond to conflict”. Anyone can seem nice and pleasant in a job interview, but what will happen if you’re hired and then there is conflict with a co-worker?  Utilise the  S-T-A-R method, this will help you focus on how you handled a past situation professionally and productively, rather than emotionally.

10. Do you have any questions for us?

Please don’t say no! They may have gone through the company’s profile and background, talked about the role and the expectations, but use this opportunity to ask about their plans, what are the opportunities to grow within the company, what are the milestones and how are they measured? There are many questions to ask to show that you are interested in the role, google is your friend when thinking of anything that may not be answered during the interview process and will give you a clear picture of whether this will be the right role for you. REMEMBER this interview can be a two-way process.  DON’T ask about Holidays, salary and benefits during this time.

To close the job and to get a clearer idea if they are interested in you for the position – questions can be:   “Is there anything that has or hasn’t been clear that would prevent me getting the role?” – this can put them on the spot, but if there is a question lingering after you have left you may have lost a great opportunity.

“What is the next process?” – they will then let you know what to expect and when to hear from them, this also shows that you are interested in the role and if you are, let them know.

These questions can keep going – however when you start to utilise the questions and get familiar with yourself and your career, the questions will be easier to answer. Remember, just don’t jump on every question and if you are unsure, you are able to ask them to repeat the question, or breath and process the question so the answer comes out clearly.

One thing I always take with me to start the interview off is to ensure to give a firm handshake and acknowledge each interviewer. Remember they could be your future employer and first impressions DO count.

All I can say is: Good Luck and do your best.

Helen

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