The How To Guide for Online Interviewing Part One

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

Chances are when you next interview for a career opportunity it will probably be conducted online. Over the past five months of COVID craziness the ERR team have been busy with online interviewing. In the past we would have screened around 40% of candidates online, lately that’s increased to 100%.  So how prepared or effective are you when it comes to conducting an online interview?

With all the interpersonal nuances and cues of in person interviews removed, online interviews are a different ballgame altogether and there are of course pros and cons. There are lot of funny stories of video meetings going wrong– naked partners in the background, trips to the toilet being captured on meeting audio, kids being kids, a boss turning themselves into a potato unable to switch back to human…..

So given online interviews may become the “new normal” I asked the ERR team (special thanks to Linda Parker and Susanne Flaherty) to share any tips, tricks or pitfalls. There are so many that I decided to create two parts to this, and even though some of these sound like a given, you would be surprised how many people didn’t do it.

From the outset:

  • Know the details and timing for the interview process and make sure you know how to use the technology.
  • If you are doing the interview while at work, double check about software permissions and make sure you download and test them ahead of time.
  • If using a separate meeting room make sure to download your user profile onto the computer you will be using before the interview.
  • If you are in a hotel or other accommodation make sure that if you are using the hotel WIFI it is strong enough for a virtual meeting and that there is enough data allocated to your room to go for the entire interview.
  • If you do not have multiple screens print out key documents such as the role description or notes on key headings or use another device to enable access to information. That does not mean have 10 websites open to the side.  it is just as important to be organised, to know what you want to say beforehand and not be dependent on prompts and new information.  You will still not have time to read and integrate new information just because the panel cannot see that you have websites open.
  • If your family members or others are in the room with you when you are on your interview make sure they do not walk in and out of the background and that they know that they can be heard by everyone.
  • If you would not do it at a face to face interview don’t do it at home; don’t eat, have a cup of tea, leave your phone on, answer kid’s questions, answer the front door or sign for packages.
  • Find a place at home that is not likely to be disturbed by people mowing, the kid across the street “playing” their saxophone, construction noise or furniture removals.
  • Digital backgrounds can be very disturbing if the person is pixelating in and out of the background
  • Use a stationary camera.
  • Make sure your background does not give away obvious details about your location, and know that people will look at the photos, paintings and artefacts behind you in your camera shot

Stay tuned for Part Two…..

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

How much disruption do you really want????

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

 

Back over recent years, when many of us were flirting with the idea of disruption and getting all excited about the endless possibilities of change, did we really know the fate we were tempting?

 

The COVID pandemic has been extremely disruptive and has me wondering if we really were up for the uncertainty, change and renewal that significant disruption brings? Navigating the new normal with the exciting renewal opportunities and at the same time addressing the angst and anxiety about whether it will really work out for the better. Leaping into that void, you wonder how long will it be until we know whether we are on the positive trajectory and not going down the gurgler?

 

I admit to relying on blind faith and lots of optimism, most days it has worked, the odd day it hasn’t been as effective.  I had fair amount of apathy in the very early days of the COVID outbreak but gradually my awareness grew to a point of uncertainty, bewilderment, concern and sometimes frustration.

 

Ten weeks on and with the Eden Ritchie team all still working from home, we are trying to make the most of it. We have the team cross skilling, sharing workloads from those flat out to those not as busy right now. The jobs are still coming in, the placements are still being made, it’s just that the numbers are lower.

 

What has really struck me is that during this very challenging and uncertain time, it is a test of many of your attributes. The usual ones like resilience, self-motivation, drive and discipline but the one stand out for me is – adaptability. Like in nature, only the strong survive and Mother Nature has a ruthless self-selection strategy where species must adapt to changing conditions or perish.

 

It’s like that for us now, in the business world, in our careers, the way we approach and manage our work, our relationships, our colleagues. You will be on the slippery slope if you think things are the same, that you can work the same way, that things will not change.

 

In order to survive and thrive we will all need to adapt, adjust and be open to change, it is not easy and there is not a lot of certainty. There is hope and with change comes renewal and growth and without that, life is pretty boring. Take care, keep smiling and be kind to yourself and all of those around you.

 

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

 

Aging, Politics and Accountability

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

 

Maybe it’s the age I’m at but for the first time I have a few friends who have decided to run as candidates in the upcoming local government elections. I don’t remember ever knowing collectively as many candidates as I do running in this election. It’s like when you find yourself suddenly invited to 50th parties rather than 21st parties – you realise you have silently moved into different territory.

 

It’s interesting talking with these local government candidates about their motivations for running. Of course you get the range of reasons you expect, but overall it seems there is a greater collective sense of dissatisfaction, disillusion and anger towards the status quo and an overall expectation of local government working for the benefit of, rather than against the community and local businesses. Maybe the exposure of the activities of some local councils has added to this awareness?

 

Anger around red tape, bureaucracy getting in the way of creating and building business, arduous compliance and restrictions that don’t seem to make common sense and stifle entrepreneurialism. Perceived deals, back handers and funnelling of public funds with limited accountability or clear and defined outcomes or return on investment. Expectations and demands for better management of our not only financial but also our natural resources, as we see the bush fires have heightened that focus.

 

Personally I have never had political motivations or aspirations, but what I do know is that operating a business has certainly not got any easier and the reporting and compliance requirements of government have increased. We have to hold a license as a recruitment company. I don’t have any major issue with holding our industry to account, but to date there has not been any checks or confirmations by any third party to ensure we meet and uphold the standards expected. Kind of feels like revenue raising and box ticking to me.

 

Whatever the outcomes, let’s hope we all benefit? Through effective management, governance, measurement, accountability, services – we have to do it in business to remain competitive and viable, so why not also in government?

 

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

 

Christmas Celebrations – The ERR 2019 Contractor Christmas Party

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

Yet again there was a great turnout for the famous Eden Ritchie Recruitment Contractors Christmas party. The weather was kind to us and the location of Bar Pacino overlooking the fabulous Story Bridge did not disappoint. Nor the cold beers, wine and plentiful food!

 

For us, our contingent of contractors represent us daily out in the field, and in an industry where you live or die by your reputation, our contractors are key to our ongoing success. It’s something we are so appreciative of, as a contractor you get to choose who you contract with and on the night I had many tell me how happy they are working with ERR.

 

It can be lonely as a contractor, whilst you have a degree of independence, you are not a permanent part of that organisation, you won’t always have training and development, sick or annual leave. You probably won’t attend the Christmas party and often many contracts end in the lead up to Christmas.

 

The ability to hit the ground running as a contractor, to even walk into an office where you don’t know anyone and make quick connections is a real skill. Someone said to me on the night “imagine the talent you have just in this room”, and although I knew that, it still made me reflect. Not only do you need to bring the strong technical skills you also need the right interpersonal traits to ensure you are suited to being a contractor.

 

So here’s to our elite team of ERR contractors and while I am at it, the ERR consulting, admin and finance team – you should be proud of your professionalism and you have worked really hard this year. We have kicked some major goals and personally I am looking forward to the new decade and 2020! Merry Christmas to you, stay safe and celebrate in style!

 

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

New Year New Start? How to source your next role!

By Nigel Baker, Group Manager, Business Development

Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Nigel Baker 0117 2

At this time of year many people are reassessing their current roles and organisations, many of you will make the decision to look for other opportunities.  The job market in Brisbane is buoyant so why not? Whilst a lot of commentary in January is around how to assess what you have and what you are looking for, I thought I would try to explain what I see as the two main approaches to securing your next role and some pros and cons.

Traditional Job Ads

You will find these in abundance on LinkedIn, Seek, Facebook and company websites etc. and they are undoubtedly a great source of information and very specific which is great. However, the issue is that everyone else who is looking for a new role also has easy access to the information and this is where the major issues start. It is not unusual for a job ad to attract 100+ applications. In general people are optimistic and positive and if they see a role they like the sound of they will convince themselves that it is the perfect fit. My experience is that people will apply for a role if they meet 60% of the criteria, it is also my experience that you will only be successful in gaining an interview if you meet at least 85% of the criteria. Don’t forget you could be up against 100 other applicants.

Traditional job ads are also a great way to see which organisations are growing or investing in projects. If this is the case and you do not see a role suited to you, reach out to people you may be connected to in the organisation and see if their growth plans include your area of expertise.  Which brings me to…..

Networking

I know this is a confronting term to a lot of people and to the majority of us, not something that comes naturally. However, some of the less daunting things I would put under this category are; renew connections with ex colleagues, utilise LinkedIn, meet with a few recruiters, speak to friends and family and approach companies directly.

The major advantages to this approach are that you will be in the minority of people prepared to put themselves out there, you will uncover roles that are not yet advertised, you will be speaking to people in person and not relying on your resume, you will be speaking about deliverables and not a wish list from a position description, and most importantly you will not be in a tick box exercise with 100+ other applicants.  The main difficulty with this approach is that it is time consuming and more difficult than simply looking through a job board but the rewards far outweigh the effort.

Realistically your search will probably comprise of a mixture of both approaches however, be mindful of what you are spending most of your time on and what is most likely to reap rewards.  Maybe analyse your career and write down how you gained each role (I have done this below) and see what has been successful in the past.  Good Luck

  • 1st Recruitment role out of University – Networking – Friend of a Friend
  • CarlsbergTetley Brewing – Networking – Recruitment Consultant
  • United Biscuits – Networking – Friend I played Cricket with recommended me
  • Sniper Solutions – Networking – Friend I knew from the UK
  • Mercuri Urval – Networking – A friend worked there
  • Arete – Networking – A professional contact recommended me
  • Eden Ritchie – Traditional Job Ad – Seek

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

 

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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!

The Digital Workplace

By Ben Wright, Recruitment Consultant – Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Ben Wright

I’m hearing the words “Digital Workplace” thrown around more than ever, and the uncertainty of what it is, and what to expect.  Gone are the days where the workplace was a physical space, occupied during business hours with allocated seating and computers for staff. The Digital Workplace is an environment that is always connected, allowing employees to communicate and collaborate in new and effective ways across an organisation regardless of whether they are in the office or over the other side of the world.

 A Digital Workplace breaks down communication barriers, encouraging a more efficient work environment allowing organisations to scale up more rapidly and provide a more flexible environment for staff.

A recent study conducted by Deloitte points out the benefits to adopting a digital workforce when it comes to the following:

  • Recruitment: 64% of employees would choose a lower paying job if it offered more flexibility and the ability to work from home.
  • Communication: the majority of workers prefer newer communication tools specifically instant messaging as compared to “traditional” tools like e-mail or team workspaces.
  • Productivity: Organisations with strong online social networks are 7% more productive compared to organisations without.
  • Satisfaction: Organisations that rolled out and installed social media tools internally found that there was a 20% increase in employee satisfaction.
  • Retention: When employee engagement goes up, there is a corresponding increase in employee retention of up to 78%.

 As employee demographics continue to shift, organisations are finding it challenging to support the needs of a multi-generational workforce. The businesses that will show the most growth in future will be those who break down the divide between people, technologies and the workplace, empowering employees to be productive regardless of their location.

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

Your most valuable asset

By Justine EdenJustine Eden

It’s your time.

It’s non renewable, it has a limited supply and becomes more valuable to us as we get older. It’s your most important resource, so waste it at your peril. Once it’s gone you can never get it back and others just won’t value your time as much as you do. And they certainly won’t value it if you don’t value it yourself.

For me it’s the notion of being present, but it’s also all about being engaged. If you are loving what you are doing, you will be at your most productive. Others will recognise it and gravitate towards you. The things coming your way, whether work or play will be more challenging, more interesting and therefore more rewarding.   And so it goes.

So why play the game, wasting your time in a job you don’t enjoy, taking “sickies” to get out of having to come to the office? Who loses in that scenario? It’s a big waste of time that could have otherwise been spent in meaningful pursuits.

It’s that slippery slope that starts when you wake up one day and decide you deserve a day off. It snowballs and soon people around you start to leave you out of the loop and stop involving you in the interesting stuff. Because they are starting to feel like maybe they can’t rely on you …

In order to maximise the value of your time it takes courage to have the tough conversations. About the work coming your way, about the amount you are paid, the hours you are expected to work, about the level of involvement you may have; rather than just accepting this is as good as it gets. Because no one values your time as much as you should!

Look at it from the perspective of the number of hours you spend across your life at work, or the approximate number of hours you have left to live. It’s a wake up call. Take responsibility for maximising and valuing your time, live a life of purpose and meaning, be present and have fun.

Get On The Right Side Of History

By Justine Eden Director Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine Eden

A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with a couple of friends who work in the legal profession. Faced with huge competition, narrowing panel services arrangements and clients shrinking legal budgets these two professional leaders were under increasing pressure to lead high performing, profitable teams.

I put the issue of market disruption to them – questioning the way they operate, and highlighted just one aspect – the perception of extremely long hours, timesheets and the lack of flexibility that they generally offer to their teams.

I pointed to a new breed of emerging firm that offers just that and appear to be attracting the best and brightest and are highly profitable. I could see their eyes glaze over and that the idea of disrupting anything (apart from a court room) for what is such a traditional industry, was out of the question.

This morning I read a related article and saw this:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-24/richard-branson-marissa-mayer-s-yahoo-work-policy-is-on-the-wrong-side-of-history

It resonated with me – few are the leaders that recognize performance based on results. And it clarified something for me as a leader that I have struggled with for a long time. I spent all of yesterday in performance reviews with my team. I heard A LOT about their great efforts – and don’t get me wrong I am big on putting in your best effort.

But when that doesn’t equate to results or tangible outcomes there is a real problem. Imagine as a business owner going to the ATO and saying, “well I tried really hard, put in my best effort – but I wont be able to pay the BAS this month”. That’s not a result the ATO are going to accept.

So why are so many leaders still so hung up on their people being visible in the office?? Why are so many leaders not having honest and frank discussions with their teams about their tangible results – and letting themselves be sidetracked by conversations about how hard everyone is trying?

Giving people flexibility only works for some people and some roles – don’t get me wrong, we have tried and both succeeded and failed. In our business flexibility is offered to those (where it is applicable to their role) who have demonstrated strong results over a sustained period of time. There has to be trust and mutual respect, you have to all be on the same page and clear (VERY) about what is required.