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.

 

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.

 

Happy Birthday! ERR turns 22 years old …

By Justine EdenJustine Eden

This week Eden Ritchie Recruitment celebrates 22 years in operation. Reflecting back on the journey – we and the business have changed and experienced so much. It’s a great time to be in recruitment right now, we can’t keep up with demand, and that is business wide across all of our divisions.

Recruitment is one of the leading economic indicators – it rises and sinks and can turn with rapid momentum. At the moment we enjoy the up-swing; how long will that last? You would need a crystal ball to predict, but all the indicators are good for the moment. Personally, I can’t believe it’s been 22 years, and that I am still doing this. It is the variety of what I do that keeps me engaged.

I am extremely grateful for the support I have from my Eden Ritchie Family. We are blessed with a number of really talented individuals who care about what we do and totally get what we are trying to achieve as a business and service provider. I talk with many business owners and more often than not it is the staff aspects that undo you; that sometimes make you really question the fabric of what it is you or your business represents.

We have had our fair share – without doubt. But outweighing that are the bloody legends on our team who drag themselves in, even if not feeling the best, who always have a smile in the face of adversity and will never tell me that they aren’t able to do something for me or a client. I hope they know how proud I am to have them on our team, I know I probably don’t tell them enough.

It’s also an honour to work with the candidates and employers that we have the opportunity to assist. For me it is a chance to make a small difference, to guide a good decision, to challenge perceptions, to get some lateral thinking happening and help to build businesses and careers. Their trust, encouragement and continued support (we still have our foundation client that gave us our first order!) mean the world to me.

I am passionate about Queensland, I am passionate about maximising opportunities, and I am excited by the future – there is so much potential.

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!

What Makes a Good Leader

For the last few weeks I have worked with a number of clients to make critical executive level appointments. So what makes a good leader? I am not talking about the ability to strategically influence complex agendas, but rather the key qualities every good leader should possess such as honesty, the ability to delegate, communication skills, a sense of humor, commitment, innovation, and the ability to inspire others!!

The bar needs to be high in regards to honesty. Your work unit is a reflection of you, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit.

The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. If people like what they do they will be better at it, so learn to trust your team.

Being able to clearly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate what you want your team to do, you won’t all be working towards the same goal.

Things don’t always go according to plan. Part of your job as a leader is to put out fires and maintain team morale, staying calm and confident, will ensure your team feels the same.

If you expect your team to work hard and produce quality outcomes, you’re going to need to lead by example. There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss down in the trenches working alongside everyone else.

Its important to keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the business. Whether that means saying good morning or actually being interested in others’ lives, or even just an occasional wine in the office, its important to remember that everyone on your team is a person.

Decisions will not always be clear-cut and as leaders we are forced at times to deviate from the set course and make decisions on the fly. This is where innovation and the ability to think outside the box is key to success.

When leading a team through uncharted waters, there is no roadmap. Everything is uncertain, and the higher the risk, the higher the pressure. That is where your natural intuition has to kick in.

Inspiring your team and ensuring everyone feels invested in the accomplishments of the business is critical. Generating enthusiasm for the hard work is so important. Remember a business is only as good as its people.

So being a good leader is one thing, but it is even more important that you emphasize these qualities to those who are making the hiring decisions.

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.