But I ….

Susanne FlahertyBy Susanne Flaherty, Government Selection Panel Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Selling yourself to the employer is the name of the game right?

Obviously the point of applying for roles and going to interviews is to sell yourself, your skills and background to the employer. Similarly employers are wanting to sell their business, their opportunities and the benefits of employment with them to the right candidate.  From an employer’s perspective it is frustrating how frequently the right employer and the right candidate are not face to face in the same discussion.

Interviews with candidates with the wrong skills sets and background for the role at hand are pretty horrendous places to be. Candidates in the wrong seat at the wrong table typically are not able to answer the questions and the employer is not able to get the information they need to make an informed decision.

These are my current tips for applying for any role:

  • Apply for roles that are consistent with your skill set and background. If you are looking for a career change, plan it; do some study, look for entry level roles or roles that combine your existing skill set and new ones you are looking to develop. Look for opportunities to cross over into new fields taking some of your skills and hard work with you.
  • Always research the company, ask around and see if anyone in your network has experience with them. Search up the role title too, this can bring up ideas about the things you might need to consider when applying.
  • Always try to speak to a contact person. This is pretty tricky sometimes, but do your best. Plan your questions ahead of time and make sure you are not asking for information you should have read from the job posting or the career page of the website. Practice your phone call out loud to yourself beforehand or better, practice with a friend.
  • Be selective – this is really important. It wastes your time and the employers time if you are trying to sell something that they are not buying. There may be a role you are interested in and it’s a stretch for your skills and background. Approach asking about these roles from a developmental perspective, try to speak to someone about it, ask them what they would see as the ideal candidate and skill set.

It does happen that employers will be so impressed at interview that they offer the job to someone who has a totally different skill set from the one they set out to find. Realistically though, this is more likely to happen in the movies or to the friend of a friend of a friend. When it’s you, think through and plan your approach, remember the employer’s time is valuable and so is yours. People land amazing jobs, including the job of their dreams every day. Plan your approach, think about what you are selling, research options and don’t just wait for job ads.

Eden Ritchie Recruitment can help with roles in a number of amazing fields including IT and Government. Sharpen up your CV, plan your approach and find the right buyer.

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 Opportunistic!!

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden
Justine Eden

Based on responses to our recent Executive Insight Survey, it seems that most of us seize career progression opportunities as they are presented; overwhelmingly many respondents stated that they did not plan their career.

There is a Benjamin Franklin saying that goes “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” and yet here are a large number of individuals who have progressed to the executive ranks despite apparently not having a set plan.

I would argue that ambition is one foundation stone for a successful career, that those who rise through the ranks did plan to be a leader or an influencer of sorts – they just may not have had every step up the ladder laid out. This is probably a good thing as life is about changing and adapting and you can never be rigid or overly structured.

I do believe though, that you need a rationale, you need a compelling reason and you need to be able to articulate your vision. Often as recruiters we meet with applicants coming from a “bad day or week, or year” who have just been alerted to an opportunity that they are perfect for. This may well be the case, but it is critical to have done your research into the role and the organisation.

You need to be able to articulate why you are applying, (not just because you want out of where you currently are) and how this role/organisation links with the experience and capabilities you bring to it.  Do not state that you are applying just because of the $ either (yes, some people still do this).

If it is a step up, be able to demonstrate why you are ready and the actions you have taken to build your capabilities. Be able to talk at the strategic level, be able to claim your achievements and contributions by talking in the “I” more than “we” – although throw in the occasional “we” otherwise you may not come across as a team player!

Be able to play it forward, talk about building capability in others as well as your ability to network and building key working connections, internally and externally.  I’m not just referring to the interview either, all of this needs to be reflected in your application, your CV, your cover letter and any supporting conversations throughout the process.

Leveraging your network to indeed be in the right position to capitalize on career opportunities is also key, as well as proactively seeking out and making others aware that you are keen for learning and development opportunities.

So much for just good luck, does all of this sound like lots of hard work? Well I also believe “the harder you work the luckier you get”! Go for it.

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

 

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.

Can I find you??

By Jane Harvey, Executive Search Specialist

Eden Ritchie Recruitment Jane Harvey 0181 2

Having worked in the white-collar/professional and Executive recruitment space for over 22 years I have seen a great deal of change within the industry in this time. I have seen many attempts for the ‘recruiter’ to be replaced by technology and I must say, I think that the job will continue to evolve, but I don’t think the recruiter (the person) will ever be completely superseded. While technology has the ability to store and sift through resumes based on desired skills, they alone cannot make final judgment calls about candidates.

One big change I have noticed, even championed, has been the shift from the old ‘post and pray’ methodology (where a role comes in, it is advertised and then we wait with fingers crossed for the perfect person to apply) to a more refined and much more precise method of going out and looking for the perfect candidate for a particular role …. matching actual skills and experience to a client’s needs … tapping into a completely passive audience as well as the more active job seekers. And I have seen this work … well!

BUT how easily can you be found?? Are you the perfect candidate?? Are you highly visible or invisible??

It is therefore important for a passive or active job seeker to understand some of the other ways recruiters search and how you can be ‘found’ for your perfect job without the slightest need to apply for an advertised position or trawl through countless job sites!

Along came professional networking sites such as LinkedIn which become your evolving electronic employment profile and assists Recruiters to find candidates who would otherwise be near impossible to find because they aren’t actively looking to change jobs.

So, make sure your networking profiles accurately represent what you’re looking for, what you have done, your achievements and even what people have to say about you. Make sure you have key words in your CV or profile that will draw the right people to ‘find’ YOU.  Update your profile – even if you are not looking for a job right now, as it is a great tool for keeping in touch and growing your professional networks — and there is always a chance that you will ‘be found’ for your perfect role… your perfect next step – and you may not even realise you were looking for it!

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

 

Eden Ritchie Recruitment Directors attend World Business Forum Event in Sydney

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden
Justine Eden

Last week Kim and I attended the 2018 World Business Forum, held in Sydney. We have attended this event for the past few years to hear a variety of leading business, academic, entertainment and sporting leaders share their views.

Sir Ken Robinson, author of “The Element” (recommend you read this), spoke on creativity. Sir Ken has a focus on innovation and creativity and regularly challenges established structures such as those in business and education. In his words, “Committees are where great ideas go to die” (couldn’t agree more). Sir Ken does a large amount of work in the education sector and noted that traditional education structures such as conformity and corralling kids based on age kills creativity and innovation, apparently Finland has the right approach. As a parent, this was of great interest to me and particularly as my own learning experience both at school and university was (in my opinion) largely focused on rote learning and exam based assessments. Recommend you watch the upcoming documentary in which Sir Ken features “In Search of Greatness” which is out soon and features outstanding sporting talents – I will be watching it with my daughters.  [View the YouTube Video of Sir Ken Robinson at WOBI 2018]

Shara Evans a futurist spoke about technology. She described our New World as VUCA which stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. Shara outlined a range of technological initiatives such as the Hyper Loop set to revolutionise passenger and freight transport (please can we have one between Sunshine Coast and Byron Bay?). An interesting concept was that in Shara’s opinion organisations need to be more comfortable with failure and that they need to learn Fast rather than fail fast. She states that Australia suffers from being too conservative and risk adverse. Shara listed some interesting jobs of the future that included Regenerative Medical Technician, Brain Interface Technologist and Genetic 3D Designer. Guess that’s great news for those with kids that are medically/scientifically aligned? [View the YouTube Video of Shara Evans at WOBI 2018]

Stew Friedman author of “Leading the life you want” spoke on leadership in an a highly practical session had us analysing the personal and professional intersections of our lives. The tools he took us through had us understanding the consequence of our choices and developing ideas to better align what is important with every day actions to improve personal satisfaction and performance. He noted that big change is an accumulation of small wins – personally this is something that resonated with me. Stew also encouraged us to think more about creating harmony than conflict, and also to be more curious and optimistic about creating change. [View the YouTube Video of Stew Friedman at WOBI 2018]

Mark Webber, F1 Aussie legend spoke about drive (no pun intended) and performance, his discussion was really interesting and he outlined life lessons learnt from his career, although retirement for him at 42 does not seem to be sitting well with him, being so naturally competitive and high achieving. It got a bit awkward when Mark was asked why so few women are in F1 and his observations of the differing inclination towards risk he believes exist between the sexes, proved there is still a long way to go to challenge the power structures and misbeliefs within some sports.

Chip Conley strategic advisor to Airbnb comes from a considerable background in hospitality in the US, he spoke about new management. He outlined the three forms of intelligence we all need – EQ/IQ/DQ (digital intelligence). He stated that the organisations that are at risk are those that have grown complacent, lost touch and didn’t imagine a new set of customers, didn’t take competitors seriously and didn’t understand the true essence of their offering.  He stated that at the most basic level, companies meet customers’ expectations (this is survival mode), the next level is where companies create commitment but by being able to read customers unrecognized needs is where you are in essence reading your customers minds to deliver services or products they were unaware they wanted or needed. He outlined that companies need to be able to read their customers unrecognised needs by finding a tool for deeply understanding customers’ needs and changing tastes, essentially this is the psychographics of your core customers’, as well as to create a feedback loop to help create constant improvement in your service. [View the YouTube Video of Chip Conley at WOBI 2018]

Lots to take away and consider, great to have time away to think and explore, looking forward to implementing some of this!!

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

WOBI 2018

Stuck in the Middle

By Nigel Baker, Group Manager, Business Development

Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Nigel Baker 0117 2

My role is essentially that of the ‘middle man’. It is a role that I genuinely enjoy and a skill which is becoming more desirable across many industries, in many organisations.  When a new recruitment process starts we are looking for the skills that are not in the position description that will make the successful candidate stand out from the crowd, more often than not we hear phrases such as “strong stakeholder management/engagement”, “ability to translate technical requirements for the business”, “ability to manage change”, “build a roadmap and take people on the journey”…. You get the idea.

Managing the disparity and frustrations between the client and the candidate is the most difficult and often most enjoyable aspect of my role. Here are five of the most common themes we deal with on a day-to-day basis:

  1. Rates of pay
    1. Employers will often come with a budget that is not realistic for the level of skills and experience they are looking for.
    2. Candidates will have an expectation/salary level that is absolutely right for their level of experience, however they are probably over qualified for the role on offer. Yes, you may be better than the person they employ but the employer has to be commercial.
  2. Permanent vs Contract
    1. The general belief in candidates is that there is less and less differentiation between the two and, less value is placed on the traditional ‘benefits’ of sick pay, holiday pay, long service leave etc.
    2. Employers often do not think that they are competing for talent with the contracting market. For the above reasons they are….the two markets are merging.
  3. Competing timeframes
    1. Interview processes taking too long.
    2. Candidates are taking alternative offers.
    3. Notice periods are too long.
    4. Probity checks adding 2-6 weeks onto the recruitment process.
  4. Wish list position descriptions
    1. Employers often have position descriptions that cover multiple roles, therefore they list everything that needs to be covered in all the roles.
    2. Position descriptions often focus on skills/qualifications rather than deliverables.
  5. The interview was for a different role than advertised
    1. Candidates often complain that the interview was not relevant for the role that was originally advertised, and clients will often decide that a candidate is no longer suitable because their expectations changed mid-way through the process.
    2. Clients do allow the interview process to define the final role and responsibilities based on the people they meet and expect candidates to be flexible.

Often it is not black or white, there is no right or wrong, we are dealing with people and emotions. Decisions are sometimes made on pure speculation about something that is very subjective. This is why recruitment and the recruitment process is one of the most frustrating and satisfying challenges, often at the same time, no matter if you are the employer, candidate or recruiter.

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