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.

40 isn’t the new 30, 50 isn’t the new 40.. (and why that is a great thing!)

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

I just passed around the earth once more and whilst the build-up to a birthday isn’t what it used to be, it did get me thinking about the age I am and the way I feel. I said to someone in the office yesterday “how did I become this age?? I don’t feel like I am this number!!”.. they laughed and kindly told me that I certainly don’t act this number! I decided to take that as a compliment!

Anyway, it got me thinking.. this year the youngest of Gen X (1965-1979) are turning 40 (the upper end are well into their 50’s) and Gen Y or Millennials (1980-1994) are well into their 20’s and 30’s! So this begs the question, is 50 the new 40? Is 40 the new 30? We are working longer and harder than we ever have.. I see this every day in my job. We want more…seem to need more and  it appears we are developing more of a conscience when it comes to social injustice and our planet for example..

The hard fact of the matter is that many of us are not 30 anymore. In fact, the upper end of Gen X are ‘middle aged’ BUT we are not finished with work and with our careers… many are just hitting their straps! SO how does this translate if you are searching for work, as many are, well into their 50’s and 60’s? It shouldn’t matter right??

No matter how smart you are, when you’re young, you’re a little silly. You haven’t lived and learned yet.. you lack the depth of experience, often compensating with confidence and energy as well as a great deal of enthusiasm. Or in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30, the wit; and at 40, the judgment.”

With four or five or six decades behind us, we start having the perspective necessary to begin serious thinking, as well as the skills and experience to do great work and to add not only to an organisation, but to the generations coming up behind us. We can offer perspective and life experience and, well, let’s be honest.. we still have a great deal to do, to prove and to accomplish…

SO get out there, get amongst it! Stop telling yourself that you are aging yourself out of the workforce!… and do what you do.. don’t be afraid of a younger generation.. perception is changing, maturity and experience is being embraced.. you just need to work with the people who value and embrace it.. and why would you honestly want it any other way!

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

How do you know when the time is right?

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

Is this you?

You are comfortable and happy in your role but you have aspirations.

You see your dream opportunity advertised.

The timing isn’t quite right.

You weren’t prepared to change right now and thought you might have another 6-12 months to consolidate in your current role.

You feel that you still have a few key things you want to deliver on before you move to a new role.

 

Then keep this in mind…..

We don’t get to control when things happen, but we get to control how we respond.

You don’t want to have regrets or wonder what could have been.

There will always be things to do in your current role.

You will often think you don’t quite measure up right now, that you are not yet fully formed in relation to the demands of this new role.

What do you have to lose (apart from time) by applying?

 

I wasn’t ready at 27 to start my own business, I had very different plans to travel and work overseas for a few years. When the opportunity presented to launch Eden Ritchie Recruitment, I took it and it changed the course of where my life could have gone. I don’t have any regrets, it has never been an easy path and there have been, and continue to be, plenty of challenges and opportunities.

 

We have to remain open, flexible, responsive or we risk stagnation. When opportunities present, we need to take a calculated “risk” and put ourselves out there. This can sometimes mean failure or rejection and that is never easy. So, there may never be “the right time” but what you can ensure is that you are a worthy contender.

 

Put your best forward – write the best possible application that you can. Constantly seek out learning and development, professionally and personally. Leverage your mentors and constantly seek their advice. Make yourself relevant not redundant and be able to articulate your vision, your fit, your values, your achievements in relation to this new opportunity. Ultimately be brave and embrace any learnings that come your way and apply for any role aligned with your experience and capabilities, that genuinely takes your interest, that both scares and excites you.

Justine.

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

 

Love your Guts!

By Linda Parker, Executive Manager, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Linda Parker 0331 3

The age old saying “I just had a gut feeling” … most of us have experienced it at some point in our lives, that urge to trust your gut when making a decision, whether it be as seemingly inconsequential as whether to go out this Saturday night, through to more significant life altering decisions.

There is a myriad of published articles on the science behind it, but how does it work when the decisions you are making need to be supported by evidence?

I am hearing more and more about the use of intuition in business, rather than just personal circumstances. Perhaps we have all become paralysed by over-analysis and are turning to other methods to support the decision-making process.

It is often said trust your gut; it won’t let you down.

My question is whether corporates or government departments can afford to take this risk in their decision-making process? What are the consequences when, for instance, an unsuccessful applicant is looking for constructive feedback on their interview?

I’m sorry Ms Smith, but the panel had a gut feeling that you would not be able to deal with the leadership challenges this role would bring.

Articles refer to cognitive biases when intuition is at play … in this instance it could mean that Ms Smith reminded the interview panel of someone known to them in their career that exhibited all the wrong behavioural traits and without consciously realising it, they made a decision based on something that they could not quite put their finger on.

I know when I have trusted my gut in the past (in personal decisions) that it has usually always been the right path … even if it is painful at the time. But how do we harness this for business in a way that can be justified?

To quote Author Valerie van Mulukom (Research Associate in Psychology, Coventry University) … do we simply see it for what it is: a fast, automatic, subconscious processing style that can provide us with very useful information that deliberate analysing can’t.

Perhaps the kombucha manufacturers are on to something!

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

 

Have you considered temp work?

By Jo Campbell, Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Jo Campbell

Jo Campbell

Temporary and contracting roles can be an easy entry point into an organisation that you have been waiting to get into, the application process can be less complex and be so much FastERR!  In some cases, you can be talking with one of our recruiters one day and starting your assignment the next.

 

Here are a few great reasons to consider temp or contract work for your next career move.

 

  • Temporary work can allow you the flexibility to work around your planned holidays or time to follow your own personal pursuits, like study or family. You can control how much work you take on and when.  This can be an enticing benefit and something that keeps people temping for long spans of time.

 

  • A convenient way to fill a gap between permanent positions can be with a temporary role. It is easier to show a potential employer your willingness to take on a smaller assignment than to explain a break in employment.  In addition, a smaller contract can really be a great way to earn income while deciding on your next role.

 

  • Build your skills in areas that give you that competitive edge with temp work. It is a smart and focussed way to increase your set of experiences.  You can build your resume across multiple roles and you will have a bank of demonstratable achievements to take into your next job interview.  You will be able to show your next employer your initiative and drive and prove how adaptable and flexible you are.

 

  • While on your temp assignment you will have the ability to make connections in an organisation or industry that may otherwise be difficult to break into. You can establish friendships, share information and ideas, demonstrate your skills to colleagues and learn from others.  If you make an effort to interact and make contacts, while working in your temp assignment, you will open the door to more opportunities in the future.

 

  • Temp work can see you earning a competitive salary, as you are being compensated for missing out on benefits like sick leave and holiday pay. However, if you work smart and your skills are in demand you can really profit from the increased pay rate.

 

  • You get to try an industry, job or organisation before you lock in, making it easier to decide what your next career move may be. Successfully completing a temp assignment and leaving a good impression, will help you to be more easily placed on your next assignment and if you are a good fit for the organisation, your temp work may just turn into an offer of a permanent position.

 

Did you know that temporary roles or contracting work can cover everything from administrative work, to policy, project, accounting or IT?

 

If you are interested in becoming a contractor and taking on temporary work, the FastERR team at Eden Ritchie are here to help.  Send your resume to jobs@fastERR and you’ve made your first move toward a rewarding next step.

 

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

 

Failure is not an option….

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

An article in the AFR (Friday 10 May 2019) attributed to the Financial Times titled “What happens when it all goes wrong” got me thinking. The article, in essence, was about entrepreneurs and failure; mental health and how often when a venture “fails”, most are reluctant to talk about it.

 

In my opinion, it’s good to rip the lid off this and get real, to have more honest conversations about starting, running and maintaining a venture. In our heavily saturated FOMO social media world, and particularly from a business perspective, we hear a lot about the rapid growth-er’s, the big earners, the deal makers, the stars….

 

I personally don’t want to hear sordid details in the media about the rapid fall from grace of certain senior executives, often publicly shamed and forever associated (sometimes legitimately, sometimes not) for making poorly informed decisions. Whilst to an extent we can all learn from these “mistakes” it’s often a sensationalised, one sided story.

 

Back to the article. Statements such as – “it is all consuming”, “it takes over your life”, “people feel they have to put on a front” were only a few that resonated with me. Whether you are launching a business or building a career there will be constant challenges and setbacks, along with some degree of what you define as success.

 

Part of the role of a recruiter is to tell applicants they were unsuccessful in their application for a career opportunity. My experience in doing this has shown me that some take this feedback better than others. Some use it as a learning and development opportunity, some take it personally, I guess it can also depend a bit on context.

 

Being adaptable, dusting yourself off, surrounding yourself with the very best support and your ultimate motivation for what you are doing – aside from purely financial returns, were highlighted in this article as key factors to ensuring you keep punching. Taking a setback for just what it is – a moment in time, a learning opportunity, another chance to practice your resilience and a time to phone a friend for a pep talk. Keep punching.

Justine.

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

 

A Quick Reference Guide to Project Management

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

Eden Riochie0081

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.

Happy 23rd Birthday ERR!

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

23 years, who would have thought?! Not me that’s for sure. Back when we created ERR we intended to exit after 10 years. So, what happened? Possibly a combination of things? Life seems to fly past the older you get and between work and outside of work it gets a bit all consuming. Saying that I am a bit of a planner (read between that line – perfectionist!) so it hasn’t all been by chance.

Ironically, spending most of my days counselling others about making an optimally timed career change, I myself have been within the same industry, role and organisation for a very long time. As I have written before, running my own business has kept me challenged, and that’s one way of describing it – one big and constant challenge.  Likewise recruiting affords an opportunity to look into such a range of organisations and teams and even though functionally it is much the same, the people element always provides new insights, learnings and challenges.

Afforded with the opportunity to be both a business owner and recruiter has been a good combination for keeping me charged and interested. As I write this we celebrate 23 years in business and the central message for me is all about change. Never easy, change challenges us to be different, open our minds and take ourselves out of our comfort zone.

There are still many things I would love to change. Including but not limited to – the way we select and assess people for roles, the application process, the feedback process, the stock standard resume, the application letter, the lack of risk taking in selection and the perceived need for a direct match, such as needing prior industry experience. More hiring decisions factoring in values and behaviours, rather than just selecting for pure technical fit. Discounting people over a certain age. Paying people different amounts for doing the same work. The reactive nature of many organisations and the lack of real workforce planning. Thinking people have to be sitting at a desk to be productive, rather than measuring actual outcomes and effectiveness. The reliance on outdated industries for economic growth and the need for a greater emphasis on creativity and innovation. Over regulation, scapegoating and the lack of support from institutions for new and emerging local businesses. The great need for inspirational, brave and authentic leaders both in the corporate and political spheres.

In our 23rd year I predict more of the same, but also some change – in whatever form that might take. Because change drives opportunity and I am totally up for that!

Justine.

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.

 

New Year New Career!

By Linda Parker, Executive Manager, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Linda Parker 0331 3

It’s that time of year when we think about making a significant change in our lives, whether it be eating habits, fitness goals, lifestyle changes or one of the biggest ones … changing jobs.

Whilst the thought of a new year, new start can be invigorating, there are important things to consider when changing jobs. One of the first go to points is your CV. What does it say about you? Have you thought about the ‘story’ of your CV and what the next best role logically looks like? If so great, get out there and start applying for roles. And to quote a previous blog by Director Justine Eden, ‘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!’

If you are anticipating a change in career path, then you need to look beyond your CV. When you’re first considering a career change, it’s natural to use your CV or resume as a starting point. After all, the whole recruitment industry is set up on the basis of using your previous experience to guide your next steps. However, if you are serious about making a move out of your comfort zone, there are financial implications to consider, a major change can require a fairly major lifestyle overhaul.

Changing career isn’t easy, it may require re-training or taking a significant step back in position, title and salary in order to move forward. It is important to set yourself small and tangible goals to keep you on track, furthermore, ensure you are surrounded by supportive people who encourage this pursuit. With career change, thinking and action go hand in hand so take some time to think about what you want to do before you make the leap.

Once you feel more confident then talk to interesting people; try things out; and make sure your career change happens out in the real world, not just inside your head.

Change can be daunting, but career change can be a hell of an adventure. It requires you to try things you’d never dreamed of before, make requests of people you’ve never met, and discover options you didn’t realise existed. Most of all, it requires you to believe that having a career you love is possible. You have to be able to push aside your limiting beliefs, ignore the voices in your head telling you it can’t be done, and do it anyway.

Contact us on (07) 3230 0033 to arrange a time to come in and meet us and discuss how we can be of assistance to help you achieve your career goals in 2019.

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

 

So ends another year!

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

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.

 

 

Why don’t you call me no more?

By Justine Eden, Director – Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine Eden

As coined in the lyrics of one of the great Prince songs, the Master of Music (RIP Legend) laments the fact that the one person he wants to hear from can’t even pick up the phone.

Likewise, I am amazed by the number of executives who, when applying for roles, simply hit submit. Why don’t they want to talk?

Wouldn’t they want to get behind the position description (that is so often outdated – a story for another blog) and better understand the key aspects of this role and organisation? Wouldn’t this intel better inform their application and allow them to nail what it is that the hiring manager is looking for?

I agree that often the person listed on the ad is not always the most informed or helpful – but persevere. Make sure you have a few relevant questions to ask when you do connect with someone able to share key information with you. Use this as a key opportunity to connect and build rapport.

I get to work across a great number of organisations and with leaders from every technical specialisation. I can attest to the many number of times when people recall a phone conversation with an interested applicant and want to meet them in person.

It’s all you need – that foot in the door. The interview – isn’t that what the application is all about? Blindly applying for your next career role and winging an interview is not an effective tactic. I don’t understand how an applicant can sit in an interview and stress how enthusiastic they are about the opportunity when they haven’t done their research up front.

Also, the stock standard application is not effective. If you are serious about your career and your search, you have to invest the time into it. Tailor your letter to the specifics of this role and organisation. Pick out the key words in the ad and the position description and aim to include them (ensure relevance) in your resume.

And please check your work! Incorrect names, spelling errors, leaving the details on a letter relating to a different role/organisation – yes, sadly I see this a lot. I look forward to hearing from you.

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

You get what you pay for…

 

Linda Parker

If only I had paid dues to that old adage today … on a walk uptown in the scorching heat in my 5 inch high heels I soon realised I may not be able to make it back to the office in one piece trying to balance on the uneven pavements whilst dodging heavy foot traffic and scaffolding. Brainwave, I’ll buy a cheap pair of ‘flip flops’ to walk back to the office in, I wouldn’t need to spend too much as it was only a couple of blocks. Boy was I wrong, that cheap thinking mindset has left me in more pain than if I had remained in my stilts.

So where I am going with this you are no doubt wondering?  Well in recent times there has been increased pressure on businesses to offer goods and services at seemingly unrealistic prices, with everyone out to grab a bargain, but at what cost? In the professional services industry we have been front and centre in facing squeezed margins and unrealistic expectations. Tendering for a preferred supplier arrangement was once a non-negotiable must do for the business but has now become a real risk to profitability.

It goes without saying that in general, consumer’s beliefs and expectations are that if they go for the cheapest options they are compromising on quality. It is a risk many are willing to take. The flow on effect of compromising on quality of service in order save money can end up costing companies so much more than they bargained for. In the recruitment industry such risks could be a bad hire with considerable consequences to the organisation.

I’m not saying there aren’t decent operators out there who provide a cost effective and good level of service, however I question the value that is placed on quality over price these days.

My feet are still reminding me of that right now.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 William Street – Noice!!

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Wow!!! I had my first client visit in 1 William Street this week.

From the moment I entered the building through the formal entry space, the luxe modernist style was apparent. Each floor of the building has been themed in the flora and fauna of Queensland. The floor I visited was dedicated to purple fan coral and looks amazing, with hues of purple and green used generously throughout the sub-tropical botanical design. The fit out is beautiful – timber floors, light, plants, atriums and of course the amazing 360 degree views. It’s not palatial, but it is smart and up to date architecture at its very best. There is access to other levels via internal stair cases, rather than using the lifts. I am sure there are floors (like the Premier and the Deputy Premier’s floors) that do not have this sort of access, but I love the way the staircases have been incorporated as part of the design and not hidden.

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The open plan will no doubt challenge individuals who have been accustomed to office space, however there are plenty of meeting rooms and spaces to use and generous areas to eat and have a coffee. Big corporates like Google are convinced that this openness improves communication and collaboration amongst their employees and this is no doubt the goal for public servants. The top level of the building is for functions and I was told the views from this level are amazing. Sadly, I didn’t get to confirm this, maybe another day.

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While not everything is ready, the movement of public servants into the building appears to be on track and well-coordinated. 1 William Street is a once in a life time experience for many public servants to move into a brand new building, a breath of fresh air in terms of architectural style and a quality piece of infrastructure. I for one, will be looking forward to more meetings in this building and can’t wait to see the next stage of development for this end of town.

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Queensland Government appoints Eden Ritchie as Tier 1 ICT Labour Supplier

Linkedin Photo

Written by: Nigel Baker

Carrying on Eden Ritchie Recruitment’s long history of being a leading supplier to the Queensland Government since 1996, we are extremely proud to announce that we have now been appointed a preferred supplier on the new ICT Contingent Labour Panel.

Whilst this is fantastic news for us as a business I am continually being asked what difference this will make from both a candidate and client perspective?

Initially I don’t anticipate there being much difference from a process point of view at all.

The new panel is not designed to reinvent the wheel; rather the aim is to increase the level of communication between all parties involved. There is now a far greater opportunity for the recruiter and the hiring manager to communicate during the process, which should lead to two things;

  1. As a candidate you should be hearing about roles that are more specifically suited to your individual skills, experience and requirements and therefore;
  2. As a client you should see an increase in the ‘fit to role’ of the candidates presented.

In real terms this means that whilst we will still have a strong focus on the technical requirements of a role we will also be able to articulate the often more important aspects such as organisation/team culture, environment, expectations etc.

Whilst the new arrangement covers Queensland State Government we continue to be preferred suppliers to Queensland Urban Utilities, Brisbane City Council, SEQ Water, Griffith University and Queensland Treasury Corporation. The start to 2016 has been extremely busy and we are anticipating this increasing if anything.

If you have any questions regarding the new panel arrangement, or would like to discuss finding your next career opportunity please give our ICT team a call on (07) 3230 0033 to discuss further.

 

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.

Change Fatigue – What is it?

Change Fatigue – What is it?

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Is there such a thing as “change fatigue”? In my opinion, there most certainly is!!! It’s that sense of dread that comes when another change is just around the corner.

I understand change is an important part of organisational growth. But I don’t understand why it is continually managed so poorly, with such negative impacts on both staff and the business. The purpose of change is to ensure currency and competitiveness in the market, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and increase revenue, it is not to create stressed, burnt out and overwhelmed employees.

Leaders sometimes unfairly equate change fatigue to resistance to change. Not true. People like stability (we are human right… not robots), but we can quickly adapt to change, if it is introduced properly. Resistance is the push back often experienced because of the uncertainty the change may have, which can create unfounded fear. Successful change management and staff engagement can usually help, however unfortunately, many leaders fail to address this… jeopardizing organisational success. A stressed and unhappy workforce leads to lost productivity, lack of competiveness in the market, and ultimately a drop in the bottom line.

Change fatigue is the product of poor leadership. Leaders often fear they are missing some essential strategy, positioning or concept, often driving the implementation of change so that they don’t get left behind in the competitive world we operate in. While I understand the need for change, too much change can result in confusion, disorganisation and lack of competence. People become frustrated with the constant loss of productivity, the expense and effort of packing, moving, ordering new telephones or changing numbers, inducting and orientating new bosses, losing team members, gaining team members and living in a state of continual confusion.

I accept that change is constant, but I don’t accept that it cannot be managed better. This is the one of the key challenges for leaders, who must operate in a world of constant change. Our ability to respond to change, ultimately determines our success or otherwise, in a highly competitive market place. So it pays to take the time to get it right!!!

Are you feeling the change fatigue or want to know more about this space? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Perfect Resume

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

I usually spend less than 5 minutes reviewing a resume, and research suggests that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume before they make the initial decision on candidates. That means you have to win them over fast. So what makes a perfect resume? There is no perfect resume format, but some are closer to perfect than others. At the end of the day, your skillset and qualifications will get you the job. However a great resume will be the key to getting that job interview. So here are a few key points to consider.

A new idea of mine, given the growth of social media, is to make sure your resume includes a URL to your professional online profile. Employers and recruiters look up a candidate’s online profile, so why not just include your URL along with your contact information in your resume.

Don’t include an objective statement, it is so yesterday. There’s no point in including a generic objective about “a professional looking for opportunities that will allow me to leverage my skills”. It’s not helpful, it’s distracting, so just ditch it. Replace it with an executive summary, which should be similar to a “30-second elevator pitch” explaining who you are and what you’re looking for. In approximately three to five sentences, explain what you’re great at, most interested in, and how you can provide value to a prospective employer.

Use reverse chronological order. This means anyone reading your resume is able to see what you’ve been doing in recent years immediately. More space should be allocated to the more recent positions, since this is where your most important achievements are usually found.

Identify keywords consistent with the job advertisement or role description and incorporate them into your resume (assuming you have those skills).

Ensure you describe your past experience, skills and achievements. This should be changed for every job you apply for to ensure prospective employers understand why you are perfect for the job. Include your achievements, as it is not sufficient to simply state the roles and responsibilities that you have held. It is vital to illustrate and even quantify the outcomes you delivered. This is a testament to how you have added value to an organisation, and can include the money you saved or brought in for your employer, deals closed, and projects delivered on time or under budget.

As I said in one of my previous blogs, “you get out what you put in”, so be prepared to spend some time on your resume and refine it a number of times until it is right. It is part of your toolkit, to nailing that next job.

Need help with your resume or want to know more? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Resumes, I Have Seen It All!

By Kate Broadley

I’ve sent lots of resumes over my career and I’ve personally reviewed thousands.

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Some are fantastic, most are just ok, and many are just dreadful, sorry I know that hurts. The worst part is, I continue to see the same mistakes made over and over by candidates, who are then shortlisted out and eliminated from consideration for a job. What’s most depressing is that I can tell from the resumes that many of these individuals are really good and would offer much to the prospective employer. But in this fiercely competitive labor market (yes fiercely competitive is what I said) employers don’t need to compromise or even wonder if you might have the right skill set. All it takes is one small mistake and your resume will be rejected, there are many other well written resumes to consider.

I know this is well-worn ground, but I promise you, more than half of you have at least one of these mistakes on your resume. And I’d much rather see you win jobs than get passed over.

Typos. This one seems obvious, but it happens again and again. So please read your resume from bottom to top: reversing the normal order helps you focus on each line in isolation. Or have someone else proofread it for you.

Length. Some people believe that resumes should be one page. Some say two pages. Some say three. Many candidates for positions are frightened that if they don’t comply with some arbitrary length limit, their resume won’t get read. This is all nonsense as there are no so-called “rules”. You should provide sufficient detail so that employers and recruitment consultants realise that you understand the impact of your role, that you go about your work using a well-reasoned thought process, and you have the judgment, knowledge and other skills needed for the types of roles for which you are applying. The issue is not how long the resume is. It’s about whether it conveys enough information to differentiate you from the competition and gets you to that first interview. Once you’re in the room, the resume doesn’t matter much. So cut back your resume. It’s too long.

Formatting. Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible. At least ten point font, white paper, black ink and a reasonable margin on both sides of the page. Consistent spacing between lines, columns aligned with your name and contact information on every page. Your head shot, no matter how good you look in it, is unnecessary… your LinkedIn profile will usually suffice for employers who are interested in you (and if you don’t have your photo on LinkedIn, refer to my previous blog “How to build your professional brand”).

Of course, I shouldn’t have to mention it, but please, please don’t lie… you will get busted, its just a matter of time.

The good news is that if you can avoid these mistakes, you will be halfway there. In a future blog, I’ll talk about what you can do to make your resume stand out, other than the things to avoid!! Go on, review your resume and see if you can eliminate some of these mistakes.

Need help with your resume or want to know more? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Post and Pray vs. Passive Candidates

So what does “Post and Pray” mean? This is where you place a job advertisement and hope that great candidates with the right qualifications apply. As recruiting experts, we tend to disagree. I would much prefer to have control, which is why I am so interested in passive candidates in the market place.

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

So what is a passive candidate? A passive candidate isn’t necessarily looking for work, but they may be interested if the right job comes along. Employers often actively seek passive candidates, especially when they looking for people with very specific skills and experience.

When employers proactively recruit candidates, it’s called candidate sourcing and companies may look for candidates via LinkedIn and social networking sites, as well as working with recruiters to find qualified applicants.

Naturally many employers still choose to use the “post and pray” approach. More fool you in my opinion, but even I would have to concede that if used correctly this can play a role in helping you find the right person for that job. To ensure you get a better match of applicants to your post, make sure you use strategic keywords, keep the job description relevant and brief, and set the right expectations from the start. This can mean the difference between sorting through hundreds of unsuitable resumes to receiving a steady flow of qualified talent.

Recently I shortlisted for an administration role which had been advertised as “post and pray” through an external source, and there were over 250 applications…from which I struggled to find 10 suitable candidates to interview. Surely there is something wrong here, so forget the “post and pray” and start marketing your jobs in a way that influences the calibre of candidates you get.

Remember to visit our newly launched website for all your career information – www.edenritchie.com.au and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

“50 Shades of Grey” in HR

1D6A0555

By Kate Broadley

What did we do before the days of GPS or the soothing voice of Siri? Well many of us have spent some quality time driving around lost, as the map usually was no help, as it didn’t include the most recent streets and intersections. As daunting as this was, as a HR practitioner, this ambiguity is all part of a day in the office, as we navigate employment rules, regulations and issues, as well as the endless paperwork requirements.

But perhaps more daunting than that, is when we must deal with situations where there is no rulebook. For many, it’s those grey areas that are the most challenging. If you love logic and following rules, then this is not the job for you. Human interactions are, by their very nature, unpredictable and don’t follow any pattern. We as human resource practitioners must “reflect” to find the right solution to each specific situation, develop options and work towards an outcome. Hence, the principle that there are no right answers or standard processes that will generally hold true for all situations. So get comfortable with the “50 Shades of Grey”, if you want to be a truly good HR practitioner. Every single HR issue is unique and should be treated that way. But beware you need to be the sort of person who can jump in and treat each situation as unique without needing to apply the standard solution. Interested on hearing others thoughts on the “50 Shades of Grey” in the HR world.

The Queensland Election is Looming …

1D6A0555 Written by Kate Broadley

… And with this brings the impact of the caretaker conventions.

The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman is yet to announce the date for the State election, but what we do know is that it will be sometime soon. By convention, the government will then enter caretaker mode until the result of the election is known and, if there is a change of government, until the new government is appointed. Of course the normal business of government will continue during the caretaker period, however major approvals and decision are normally deferred.

Eden Ritchie Executive Scribing and Report Writing Services offer independence from an external third party, transparency, reliability of the interview process and fast turnaround of recruitment and selection documentation to the highest standards. Given the election will be called soon… now is the time to act and finalise those outstanding selection processes!!!

Our services include:

  • Screening applicants
  • Shortlisting of applications
  • Scribing for interviews, shortlisting meetings and panel deliberations
  • Providing immediate professional advice where difficult issues arise
  • Development of selection tools including effective interview questions, benchmarks or work tests
  • Reference checks
  • Criminal history and medical checks

For more information, contact Kate Broadley on 3230 0018 or 0448 858 178 or email kate@edenritchie.com.au.

Remember to visit our website and follow Eden Ritchie on LinkedIn to stay up to date with more industry news, careers and Eden Ritchie events.

G20 Summit – Hello Brisbane!

By Justine Eden

Justine

With the G20 Summit set to roll into Brisbane this week, we thought it would be perfect timing to reflect on what this means for you and for Brisbane.

For starters, if you work in the Brisbane local government area, this Friday the 14th November is a public holiday. With the amazing weather we are currently experiencing and from all media reports on how busy the Brisbane area will be, it may be the best time to get out of Brisbane and enjoy what it is to live in the ‘sunshine state’!

Things to do, so many things to do! The Summit also means there is a range of activities that you can attend including the Global Café. The Global Café will see 75 international experts discuss issues critical to our future at Brisbane City Hall. Check out these links to find out what else is on:

What does it mean for Brisbane and in turn Queensland? As a Brisbane based business, focused on the success and growth of Queensland for over 18 years, we think it shines a light on the growing economy and international reputation of our state and capital. Letting the world know that major events and opportunities have a perfect destination right here in Brisbane. This will no doubt continue to encourage economic development and future ideas for the state of Queensland.

However you look at it, the G20 Summit is arriving this week and there are many ways to we can make the best out of the opportunity. And, of course, our team will be working up until Thursday, so feel free to contact us with any of your recruitment questions.

Don’t forget to follow Eden Ritchie Recruitment on Linkedin and Twitter to stay in touch with all that is happening in the Eden Ritchie world!

ACHSM Breakfast Forum “Health IT Reform in Queensland Health – New Beginnings”

Written by: Bridget Young

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I entered the function room at Royal on the Park with trepidation, as I always do when arriving at networking events or forums – will I fall flat on my face and cause the whole room to turn and stare; will this be a valuable investment my managers and directors have made for my benefit; will I get some real market intelligence to help me with better serving my clients?

In direct order the answers to the above were No (thank God!); Yes (more thanks to the heavens!); and YES (FINALLY!). A public introduction to Queensland Health’s Chief Health Information Officer quickly confirmed why Mal Thatcher has been selected as the person to captain the sometimes ‘leaky boat’ that the public has often perceived as the IT component of our public health offering in Queensland.

With an ironic and self-deprecating sense of humour, it became immediately apparent that in keeping with Government’s Contestability and Fit for Purpose drivers, Mr Thatcher wanted us to know what he had achieved so far and was transparent about where he hoped to steer this ship moving forward.

Alignment with Health’s “Blueprint for Better Health “ and the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 will be forefront in the ‘devolution’ from centralised Corporate services, enabling adoption of an Agile approach to Policy, Governance and Architecture to facilitate innovation. With an intended reduction of red-tape and reallocation of responsibility and accountability to the regional Hospital and Health Services, we will ideally see Fit for Purpose solutions determined by those best informed to evaluate what will work for their unique requirements, whilst still maintaining integrity and future integration options.

A very strong focus on eHealth, innovation and waste reduction should further stimulate ICT job opportunities and find us on the cutting edge of Healthcare Technology. Some topics of note included Digital services such as open data, security/privacy and archiving; Information as a strategic asset; As A Service offerings; core system replacement and a paradigm shift from “IT Projects” to “Business Transformation Projects” with IT elements.

It’s all one big Balancing Act

By Justine Eden

JustineI am about to get on a plane and fly to London. 12 months ago it seemed like the best idea. Now as the departure day looms – I am feeling sick with guilt.

An opportunity to go on a trip minus family, sans kids! I always travel with my family in tow, it’s a different holiday with kids, but watching them experience the world is magic. But there are times where walking past a great bar that’s packed and happening, but doesn’t welcome kids, can be hard.

So – now I am off with my business partner Kim Ritchie. It’s a business trip, really it is. I know our strategic planning trips in the past, have been called strategic tanning by some, but this is seriously business.

We have a long list of specialist clinical skills that can’t be sourced locally and will be attending a leading health careers fair. We have partnered up with Business & Skilled Migration Queensland who provide fast tracked permanent residency for those eligible.

We will represent Queensland and show case the best our State has to offer. We have loaded ourselves up with Queensland themed give-aways – thong bottle openers, pens with pineapples on top of them, BBQ shapes and Tim Tams…. It’s all one big scary business opportunity and it’s really exciting to be able to undertake something on this scale.

The guilt I feel is all about leaving my babies and my baby (ERR – but it is 18 and is surely, by now, an adult??). But what do you do – I am a big believer in taking calculated risks and pushing out of your comfort zone in order to grow. We have days booked with meetings and (of course) evenings booked with great restaurants and shows….

I am determined to maximize this great opportunity we have worked hard to create for ourselves. We are a small business – but we punch above our weight. Will keep you posted on how we go!!!

The Dark Side of the “Struggle to Juggle”

By: Kate Broadley

1D6A0555Last week I wrote about the some of the benefits for employers and employees of using flexible work practices. But I thought to be fair, I should talk about the challenges, or the dark side as I call it.

In reality, flexibility does not work in all workplaces. Yes I work from home, but not everyone can do this. One must be willing to work independently and alone. Of course there are fewer distractions and I get to avoid those unnecessary interruptions, but there is no office vibe or excitement, and no one to exchange ideas with. While this works for me, there are times in a business environment when your expertise is required and missed in the workplace, if you are not there! The type of work I do requires at times a quiet place where I can analyse information and write reports, so the home office is the perfect place. On the other hand, a lot of work requires you to be in the very hub of activity in the workplace. I don’t get distracted at home, but others find it impossible to focus.

I work in a small business with two fantastic directors, who are comfortable communicating with me through various mediums other than face to face, and who support and trust me to deliver what I need for the business. It helps that my goals and outcomes are clearly measurable. This has not come about overnight and I think it is unfair for employees to expect this. It has been created over time and built through trust, delivery of quantifiable and measurable outcomes, and some ups and downs along the way. In my opinion, without mutual trust, support and measurable outcomes, this type of flexibility cannot work.

And finally, I am never off the grid, given all the wonderful technological gadgets we now have access to, which create the opportunity for greater flexibility to fit work in and around all of life’s other activities. But whether technology has enabled greater freedom from the workplace is debatable. It is easy for working “anywhere, anytime” to turn into working “everywhere, all the time”. I check my emails all the time, I hate to admit this, but often before breakfast and even when on holidays. I am not expected to do this, but it helps me manage my workload. I like to multi-task, but does this simply exacerbate the “struggle to juggle” and put us at risk of burnout, which is one of the very things, flexible work practices seek to avoid?

An Agile Approach to Recruitment …

By Bridget Young1D6A0741

As recruiters, our clients provide us with a lot of ‘buzz’ words when describing roles that they would like us to recruit for. I was speaking to a BI Architect recently, who made an interesting point and valid connection to one of the current buzz words, which led my thoughts to actions I have been taking throughout my career.

Disregarding the usage of this word relating to software development and project management methodology, I have observed in my first quarter with Eden Ritchie that the term is being lent to the ideology and in some cases, the strategic directives organisations have started to progress to reduce risk aversion and stimulate innovation in IT business units and project teams.

To paraphrase my candidate, who had attended some interviews directly with employers and through other agencies, only to find that he was too experienced or too expensive:

“If only employers would apply an Agile approach to developing job briefs and position descriptions; I think that defining the role and responsibilities correctly are essential to finding the right candidate. Its’ what we do when we define a solution from business requirements using this methodology. We don’t need SAP for a small business even thought it is a best of breed solution – so why look for an Architect when you really just need someone to analyse data?”

A light bulb went off and I was excited – I had already been toying with some basic understanding of aspects of Agile in settling in to my role at Eden Ritchie. Tom and I have daily stand ups (though normally whilst we’re sitting down having coffee!); we work in “sprints” to manage our workload and fulfil KPI’s; and we maintain a visual representation of our issues, opportunities, deadlines and challenges on a white board so that at a glance, we know where we’re up to, what needs the most attention, and to pool ideas for how we can do things smarter.

Now, here was a high level candidate articulating my exact thoughts about defining client requirements for recruitment and my initial thoughts were, “Hey, I’m really on to something here, maybe I could revolutionise the approach to ICT recruitment if I looked into it further!” (Naturally providing full reference and credit to my wonderful candidate!). 

Sadly, or happily in this instance, it seems there is nothing new in the buzz word or it’s application to recruitment, as evidenced in the links provided below.

Reference 1

Reference 2

Reference 3

Queensland’s Economic Growth through Innovation and Technology

1D6A0741An encouraging sign for IT professionals in Queensland is indicated by the recent release of GoDigitalQld – the Queensland Government’s Digital Economy Strategy and Action Plan. This roadmap, developed in conjunction with an independent consultancy, outlines ways forward to creating economic growth for Queensland communities, businesses and individuals alike. Queensland Government aims to work closely with other levels of Government, Business and Industry peak bodies to leverage opportunities, deliver better digital services and share information that will benefit all, including candidates in the job market seeking their next project, and clients seeking candidates with developing experience in emerging IT specialisations.

Demonstrated by the delivery of more than 50 new services online and with aims to reach 100 by the end of this year, we are already enjoying the “One-Stop Shop” initiative as consumers, which has resulted in reduction of red tape and time-saving for many, while the Government Wireless Network will deliver vital updates to improve multiple agency coordination by connecting thousands of police, ambulance, fire and emergency officers to the one secure digital network for the first time. In Health, we have started seeing better access to medical services via video link and pilot hospital constructions dedicated to innovation of services with Digital support enhancements. Tourism has received specific benefit from these initiatives reaching some of our far and wide destinations with ways to reach more visitors and promote our state. And for businesses, the Government will open up it’s data for public use with more than 800 datasets available on the Open Data Portal, which will help people use government data to create business opportunities and mobile applications.

With these offerings and innovations, we hope that we will see opportunities and growth in Queensland job markets continue as these strategies are embraced and delivered in our communities and businesses.

5 Tips for Staying on Track!

By Kate BroadleyKateFINAL

Whilst many people dread the people management side of business life, I have to say I really love it.  Okay, I don’t always love those tough conversations! But over time I have improved considerably in how I do this and really relish the opportunity to have a hand in helping people stay on track!

So here are my top five tips for staying on track!!

1.  Evolve or dissolve! In order to take your life to the next level you need to reinvent yourself.  So as you increase your knowledge and your own personal awareness, you must continue to evolve… change is constant and inevitable. It is the one thing that will never go away in your life!

2.  Support your colleagues. Hold one another accountable. Continue your group meetings with those people that you resonate with most. They will inspire you and help you grow.

3.  The fortune is in the follow through.  Even if it is only a small improvement each day, the change over a year will be phenomenal.  Be consistent, show resilience and your fortune lies ahead.

 4.  Find your own leadership style and embrace that.   See yourself positivelyremember if you see yourself in a negative light, then you will follow that direction in your body language, your communication and in your life.  Be mindful of your negative self-talk.  Make the choice to think a different way, it’s amazing the difference it can make.

5.  Be Courageous! Put strategies in place to move forward. Find and use mentors.  Think carefully about what you want from them and what you can contribute back to them. Remember it is a two-way relationship!!!

It is easy to lose focus on what really counts, so I personally try and follow these five key messages to keep me focused at work, on what really matters.

‘Recruitment Services – Whole of Government Arrangements’

KateFINALIt has come to my attention when dealing with our many and varied clients in Queensland government, there is a lot of confusion in relation to how the existing procurement processes relating to recruitment services are applied.

Firstly whole-of-government supply arrangements were established to ensure Agencies can quickly access the services they require knowing that all the checks and balances have been undertaken, with the aim to qualify competitive suppliers capable of providing the service required. The intention is not to exclude providers who can provide the required services.

So if you have been unable to obtain the services you require through the panel of preferred providers, then you are able to put forward a case to go outside of this panel arrangement.  In the case of Eden Ritchie Recruitment we can offer you the security of the “Local Buy” arrangement. Eden Richie is a prequalified registered supplier to” Local Buy” under contract number BUS234-0113 for delivery of recruitment services. “Local Buy” covers local and state government as well as GOC’s.

Eden Ritchie participated as part of a formal tender process to qualify under “Local Buy”.  This arrangement provides set rates  and fee structures for recruitment services. As a local buy supplier we can provide Agencies with the assurance to know that all the necessary procurement checks and balances have been undertaken so that you know we are a competitive supplier capable of providing a first class recruitment services.

Further information about “Local Buy” is available through:

Phone: 30002272

Email:www.hpw.qld.gov.au/procurement/buyers/howtobuy/policyandguidance/pages/qldprocurementpolicy.aspx

Since the Qld Government Chief Procurement Office (QGCPO) has been disbanded, Agency Procurement Procedures are now agency-specific, as outlined under the Queensland Procurement Policy 2013. This means agencies can either use the current preferred supplier arrangements or look at other options such as “Local Buy” to provide their recruitment services. Remember the goal is to ensure that Queensland Government Agencies get the best possible recruitment services and best possible workforce to deliver outcomes for the Queensland community and Eden Ritchie is here to help you achieve this.

Eden Ritchie’s 18th Birthday Celebration

Gallery

This gallery contains 15 photos.

On Wednesday night Eden Ritchie Recruitment celebrated a successful 18 years of business … we would like to take this opportunity to share some photos from the evening and say a very big thank you to everyone who took the time of their … Continue reading

I just don’t get it …

By Justine Eden

Getting older is an interesting thing, it gives you perspective and context and as youJustine mature, a greater level of self-perception, so that you no longer self doubt quite as much. On the down side you are less tolerant, more cynical and openly vocal when you don’t agree with something……

So I’m putting it out there – what’s with cocktails in jam jars?! Or de-constructed food with foam and pieces of bark? The other day I saw an article about a restaurant in Melbourne that hangs pieces of dehydrated food on a mini Hills Hoist – and charge you a fortune for the experience! And what’s all this fuss about Paleo??

And while I’m on it, what with the footpaths in Brisbane?! It almost compels me to go into local politics on the platform (get it?!) of fixing the pavements for all those (like me) breaking heels and tripping over cracks and holes in the footpaths.   Seriously, the pavements in Denpasar are in better condition!

Traffic jams – why can’t we have a staggered start time for work and schools so we are not all on the roads at the same time, fighting to get somewhere – aging while we sit in the traffic scowling at the person in the car next to us trying to get into our lane. And why do they do road works and close lanes in peak hour???

Ok – I’m on a roll, airlines. Why does it have to take so long to get on and off a plane? Why is the food SO BAD? Why is it such a surprise to get a flight attendant who is happy to help you. Why do I get selected for explosives testing every time I make it through the security check? And don’t get me started on people with carry on luggage and the lack of space for your things.

Call me old fashioned, but I hate self-serve checkouts, they never work and take longer. And why can’t we have drive through petrol stations or the ability to pay at the pump?? Why is petrol so expensive? Even when the Aussie $ was high we still didn’t get reduced petrol prices.

Saying that, I’m quite prepared to pay for service, and don’t you notice great service when you get it these days?! In fact, average service has become the norm. No wonder we are all thirsting for new, better, different – and when we find it we flock to it.

It’s the small things that make the difference, a smile, a hand written card, even a thank you. Maybe I am showing my age……

What we need is new, different and better…….

By Justine Eden
Justine

In a recent article (AFR 20/3/14) Karen Stocks, Twitter’s Australian MD discussed how her male mentors made her think more aggressively about pushing herself and believing in herself.  They stated that if she aspired to be CEO she had to be more aggressive in pushing for it.  Appointed as CEO in September 2013, the article stated that Karen Stocks has an accounting background and is a mother to two teenage daughters.  I found it interesting that that aspect was subtly thrown in….

Another article in the same edition of AFR listed the statistics of women in leadership teams for the country’s top accounting, legal and investment banking firms.  At Goldman Sacs out of 54 MD’s only 4 are women, but yet 91% of support staff are women.  In the legal profession, women are equally represented at the special counsel/senior associate level but at Clayton Utz, women only represent 20% of partners.  The current debate at political level is that “gender reporting data is critical to driving change” (Helen Conway, Director Workplace Gender Equality Agency).  Maybe, but is that a simplistic approach to a systemic issue?

Maybe many women don’t buy into what it takes to get to the “top”?  Particularly at traditional “institutions” such as many of those firms dominating the legal, banking and accounting professions.  Often those firms are characterized by the level of male domination and many existing in them are determined this will continue through embedded cultures and inflexible working structures.  The subtle expectation is often that women will opt out or settle at a level because of reasons such as children.

New players challenging the status quo in these professions have the top tier firms taking note; emerging professional services firms are picking off some of their top talent.  Hive Legal, a virtual firm, was established to “challenge the status quo”  (Lawyers Weekly, 20/2/14), their team can work remotely and this “gives experienced lawyers the opportunity work more flexibly”.  Watch this space, as this firm has already picked up big name clients and talent to join their ranks.

Maybe many of us are just over the grind?  The lack of inflexibility in workplaces impacts both genders, and the politics and constant focus on revenue and cutting costs can be exhausting.  I believe it’s as multi-dimensional as we are.  Women often don’t see themselves as ready to contest the “top” job.  Workplaces and cultures need reform.  But bring on the new breed I say and do it faster!  Because what we need is a lift in engagement, productivity, flexibility and creativity….

Remind me again – Why am I doing this?

JustineWritten by: By Justine Eden

 

Ever found yourself doing something and wondering why you wanted to do this in the first place?  Or perhaps you agreed to do something as a favor to someone you respect, but ended up regretting getting involved?  I have.

Unfortunately my forays into doing “community” based endeavors have not always played out as I imagined.  I went in really excited – feeling it was an opportunity to contribute back to a community that I had lived in as well as get involved in a different sector that interested me.

While these ventures have been wonderful as far as meeting new people and building new friendships what’s surprised me is how often dysfunctional these organisations are.  Boards are usually made up of strong personalities use to being the “captain at the helm, calling the shots”.

I believe that when you are responsible for public funds the need for transparency and governance is absolute and that’s something I take very seriously.  From the way cash is collected and controlled through to the way funds are spent and what it is spent on – there has to be a clear objective that everyone is aware of and the majority agrees on.

Many community-based organisations are run by volunteers who may or may not have a business background, but still bring a myriad of skills that are valuable in every respect.  Discussions seem to take longer to reach a resolution and often you don’t get a consensus but I don’t think that is a bad thing, just sometimes frustrating.

There’s no doubt that most people have the best intentions, but too often hidden agendas and power plays seem to get in the way of appropriate “corporate citizen” behavior.  Many have been immersed in the organization for considerable periods of time and therefore struggle with the new and emerging landscape, where to remain viable you have to change.

There’s a lot of good being done, of course, but like anything, it has to resonate with you.  There needs to be a fit and a connection where you feel like you are making a contribution to the greater good.  For me, its early days and I’m not saying that I am totally giving up, but I have been left wondering if it just not for me……..

Happy 18th Birthday Eden Ritchie Recruitment!!

JustineBy Justine Eden

Hard to believe that our business is 18!  It only seems like yesterday that Kim and I decided to leave our jobs, put everything on the line and start our own business.  It was a big risk but I believe that had we not have taken that path neither of us would still be in the industry.  Recruitment is a rewarding and relentless profession, and sometimes not overly professional!  With two sets of customers, it is often impossible to meet everyone’s expectations.

When we started electronic job boards, social media and electronic networking did not exist.  I was never convinced that these new developments would mean the death knell for recruiters, as many in the business community predicted.  In business you have to adapt and reinvent yourself and leverage new developments to maximize your opportunities, and technology has given recruitment that.

I believe that to remain relevant you have to have your foundation – which to me are my values.  These include (but are not limited) to quality, responsiveness, empathy, professionalism and trust.  Back in 1996, Kim and I felt like our industry just wasn’t offering much of that, and that we could address that by starting our own business.  To a large extent we have succeeded and stayed true to our values, even when sometimes that drove people working for us crazy as we are not prepared to compromise.  You can’t keep everyone happy.

Kim and I have always been accused of not stopping to “smell the roses”, and over the 18 years I have learnt that relying on what you had last week is dangerous.  Two of the best decisions we have made in business was to leverage relationships and move into different recruitment specialisations.  The other was to not heavily gear ourselves and be beholden to the banks.  Growing organically is a more conservative way to go, but with low debt you can sleep at night.

Ultimately I think anyone who is in recruitment for the long term sticks at it because of the people.  I have been fortunate to meet a huge number of people working in all sorts of organisations and in every profession.  I love hearing their stories (sure some are more interesting than others) – but the relationships you build over time are precious.   It means a lot to me when I get a referral and I love the fact that many of our foundation customers still do business with us.

So thanks to the candidates, the employers and our team, because your support and encouragement fuels our fire.

The Infrastructure Future is looking bright!!

By: Nikki ChapmanNikki Harding

So with the festive season now a blurred distant memory, we again begin to speculate what’s going to be different this year from last? What projects will magically appear to drag our current unemployment rate down from 6%  – the worst figures in almost a decade.

Well here’s some food for thought, currently in Queensland alone there is almost $5.5 billion worth of infrastructure, road and rail projects currently up for grabs with the ‘expression of interest’ or EOI’s being sent out, or tenders currently underway.

Some of these projects include:

  • Toowoomba second range crossing valued at $1.7billion
  • Gateway motorway upgrade valued at $1.2billion
  • Kingsford Smith drive upgrade valued at $650million
  • The Under River Tunnel valued at $2.2billion.

These projects although not beginning in some cases until early to mid 2015, will require numerous skill sets prior to construction, especially in the estimating, planning, contracts and procurement spaces as well as conceptual and detailed design and engineering, creating a flow on effect for other areas.

So whilst the market may seem bleak at present, there is a silver lining on that cloud of skepticism, and whilst I don’t have a crystal ball I do believe that with a sense of renewed confidence we can optimistically look forward to what looks to be a much better year for those looking to grab hold of the next challenging role in their career.

Electronic Health Records

Kylene Reynolds

By Kylene Reynolds

On reading various articles relating to the Electronic Health Record, this was of particular interest due to the failure of doctor’s engagement.

Early November, it was announced by the Federal Health Minister, the Hon Peter Dutton, that a review will occur for Australia’s struggling Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) program.

A year after the introduction of the electronic health records system, only a fraction of Australians have established a record and for those who have, only a few hundred doctors have added a Shared Health Summary.  Hon Dutton advised, “this defeats the purpose of having a national, electronic system that is meant to help save lives”.  The government fully supports the concept of electronic health records but it must be fit for purpose and cost effective.

A specialist panel will conduct the review into the personally controlled electronic health record system dealing with various issues.   The Panel will make findings and recommendations to the Minister.

If all clinicians are fully educated and well supported, they will be able to deliver a real solution that utilizes technology to deliver better, and more informed healthcare.   It seems simple enough, take a doctor or other health professional, and add a computer and the result is ehealth.  So basically that means that almost every healthcare interaction from primary care through secondary care, acute care in a hospital, public health interaction, all the way through to healthcare funding at the highest level, is to some degree affected by ehealth.

With electronic health records (EHRs), information is available whenever and wherever it is needed by both the health care professionals and patients.   EHRs provide accurate, up-to-date and complete information about patients at the point of care; enable quick access to patient records for more coordinated, efficient care and ability to securely shared electronic information with patients and other clinicians.    This most certainly has to be of benefit to all involved – with the ultimate outcome of saving lives.

Health Industry Experts Discuss Outsourcing & Contestibility

By Justine Eden Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

On Tuesday night over 60 Health Executives gathered at an photoevent co hosted by Eden Ritchie Recruitment and Minter Ellison to discuss the outsourcing journey, “the good, the bad, the ugly”.

Centered on the Queensland Governments “Blue Print for Better Health Care”, released in February 2013, the 90 minute IMG_1024discussion explored opportunities to improve efficiency and improve front line service delivery and access to health services for the broader community.

In a “Q&A” styled format, the high profile panel was moderated by Glenn Poole Qld’s Auditor General 2004-2011, with panel members including Dr John O’Donnell, CEO Mater IMG_1042Health Services, Lesley Dwyer, CEO West Moreton HHS, Simon James, CEO Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local, Hugh Marshall, Business Development Director, Asia Pacific, Serco and Brett Frampton, FM Project Manager Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Spotless Group.

The audience had the opportunity to explore a raft of issues IMG_1040relating to the hot topic of outsourcing and contestability – where the various options of service provision, partnering arrangements and the broader imperatives of health service delivery and quality were discussed.

With audience members from the aged care, public and private health, mental health sectors, the discussion ranged across partnering models, ensuring accountability, whether to IMG_1022outsource partial or entire services as well as IR related impacts.

Photos from the night accompany this article, and a video of the presentation will be available shortly.  Should you be interested in this or attending future events please contact info@edenritchie.com.au.

JE and Glenn Poole  IMG_1025IMG_1027

What do you think would be the 5 essential ingredients to doing what you love for a living?

Kylene ReynoldsWill these make you work harder to meet your goals?  Hard work, ultimately, has to meet with the right opportunities and that’s where entrepreneurial spirit can come in, allowing passion to meet real business sense.

  1. Treat goals like recipes.  Remember to take it one step at a time.
  It’s easy to get mired in the day-to-day running and though you may be doing something you love broadly speaking, that doesn’t mean you will love it all the time.  Keep your ultimate objectives in mind but try to appreciate and not look past where you are today.
  2. Get to know the people who came before you.
  Get a better understanding of the business successes and mistakes.  You will gain an understanding of what went into their level of achievement.
  3. Always have something to offer.
   Start small, observe and make suggestions.   Take a little bit of time to build trust and have something to offer that helps people open up more.
  4. Seek help from those who do it better than you can.
 Use your network and resources thoughtfully.   If you don’t have a skill, you likely know someone who does.
  5. Prepare to be uncomfortable, both physically and mentally.
  Some of the greatest lessons and most gratifying experiences have come from times when you possibly weren’t entirely comfortable with what you were doing.

It just goes to show:  When you’re pushed, you push back.  Rise to the occasion because success might be waiting around the corner for you.

LINKEDIN OR NOT LINKEDIN

Jane HarveyLINKEDIN OR NOT LINKEDIN – “Are you missing out on job opportunities?”

I think one of the most prevalent reasons why people get a LinkedIn profile is to connect with job opportunities out there.

You need to be aware that even if you have the skills and the experience perfect for a certain jobs, recruiters will not notice these if you don’t have the right LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is the tool of choice for recruiters to find candidates to fill jobs. Most recruiters now use LinkedIn to find job candidates with over 50 percent of recruiters say that they solely use LinkedIn for recruiting.

So this is why your LinkedIn profile and how it is set up is crucial to getting the opportunities that matter. So how can you make sure you have the right profile?

So here are some tips to think about:

Decide who your profile is for – Who do you want reading your information and what do you want your profile to say about you? If you’re looking for work (which most people are), then don’t just list your previous jobs, summarise the skills you used, the outcome of your efforts, and any achievements. Mentioning the types of clients you worked with is also a good idea so people can see the level and scope of your experience. LinkedIn is a free marketing tool and you’re aiming to impress so keep in mind who it actually is you’re trying to impress.

Complete ALL your profile – I see loads of profiles where the person hasn’t even bothered to fill out every section or doesn’t even have a photo. It looks dreadful and makes them appear extremely unprofessional at best. It’d actually be better for your professional reputation to delete your profile completely!

Remember people like to put a face to a person. Imagine that you were the one trying to find a person to fill a job. Would you try to connect to someone who does not have a profile picture or someone who has and has a complete LinkedIn profile?

Headline your Profile – LinkedIn is more of a professional social network. So make sure you have an exciting headline that ensures recruiter’s attention is captured. A great headline also matters because it affects how a profile shows up in searches. I can’t believe I have to say this, but please make sure there are no typographical errors! What do errors in your headline say about the kind of work you will offer an organisation if you are hired?

Make sure your profile has the right keywords – Think of this as LinkedIn search engine optimization. This ensures you will increase your chance that recruiters looking for a specific skill or experience will see you.

Connect with Recruiters – Ensure you are connected to recruiters, or in fact any one else who may influence decisions of companies on who to hire.

Finally for all of you who are not on LinkedIn yet, I know having a great profile entails a good deal of effort but it is worth it if it helps in landing you the right job.