Cause you gotta have friends – keeping up your networks in busy times

By Angela Anderson

Angela Anderson

Angela Anderson

Maybe its just this time of year, with the festive season approaching and all the end-of-year deadlines, but I have been thinking about my networks, which in some cases are also my friendships. I think I’ve had mixed results in 2017, following through on some of my intentions to maintain these, but I’ve definitely neglected other areas.

There’s no doubting how busy we are in work and family life, and we know the reasons why – globalisation, technology, urbanisation, the environment and demographic change, to name a few – but its no excuse really. We are ‘human’ beings, and nothing can replace actually sitting down and interacting with someone we can relate to on a professional and personal basis.

I’ve always liked Margaret Wheatley, the American writer and management consultant who focuses on organisational behaviour and the theory of change, leadership and chaos. As a HR practitioner, I’ve applied some of her work in learning and development settings, both as a deliverer and participant. She has decades of experience and many memorable quotes such as “In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.” She also suggests “All of us need better skills in listening, conversing, and respecting one another’s uniqueness, because these are essential for strong relationships”.

So put some time in your diary before Xmas to nurture your relationships, whether it be attending a networking event, or scheduling in drinks with clients or colleagues you haven’t had a decent chat to in ages. It’s a great opportunity to have a few laughs, reflect on things, and just enjoy the moment!

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The Importance of Effective Recruitment & Selection

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Your employees are your most valuable asset, they’re also your greatest cost, so it’s important to hire the right people. So why then do employers have so many difficulties recruiting staff. Employing the wrong person for a role is not only time consuming but will affect morale and productivity and is a costly mistake to make.

Before determining who to attract and select for the role, it is essential that you have a clear idea about what the job requires and the attributes of the person needed. Some people look for the ‘best fit’, the individual who will aspire to the culture of that organisation and one who will understand the needs of the business. Traditionally, job descriptions have been devised to enable the organisation to effectively decide what skills are needed to fill the position. By doing this, the candidate has some knowledge of the type of role they will undertake and from this will enhance job performance as clear ground rules have been set from the beginning. Conversely, the lack of a competent job description will in effect, attract the wrong candidates.

Some tips to adhere to when recruiting include:

  • Develop and design a proper job description, listing the actual skills needed.
  • Design an advertisement that outlines what you are looking for and what the job will entail. You get much better results, if you advertise specific criteria that are relevant to the job. Include all necessary skills, and a list of desired skills that are not necessary but that would enhance the candidate’s chances of success. If you fail to do this, you might end up with a low-quality pool of candidates and limited choices to fill the position.
  • Select the interview panel carefully – make sure they understand the role, their responsibilities and are provided with the skills to participate fully. In my opinion further training should be provided to panel members to ensure this.
  • Fully prepare for the interview, as it provides a vital opportunity to focus on what candidates can offer your organisation. The interview process is an opportunity to express your vision, goals and needs and it is vital that the interview elicits responses from applicants that can be measured against your expectations for the position. If you don’t use the interview to effectively eliminate applicants who don’t fit into your culture, you might find yourself dealing with turnover, confusion and disgruntled employees.
  • When you choose, a candidate based upon the qualifications demonstrated in the resume, the interview, employment history and background check, you will land the best fit for the position. Base your decisions upon specific evidence rather than any gut instincts. If you hire people who can do the job instead of people you merely like, you will have higher productivity and quality in your products or services.

When you effectively recruit, and select the right employee, there is a domino effect. Your new hire will do their job well, employees will see that you make wise decisions. You will gain respect from your workforce, which in turn results in higher productivity.

The final tick of approval – Are your referees up to scratch?

By Tiffany Kamotiffany

Think you have put in a good application, and nailed the interview? Congratulations on getting this far, but remember, it’s not in the bag!

References are not just a matter of process, they are a valued contributor to the overall assessment piece. You are not always the only one to progress to interview in a position, they could very well be used as a deciding factor so you want to ensure you are giving yourself the best possible chance at being the successful candidate.

I cannot stress the importance of preparing referees enough!

Always ensure you give your referees a quick call to advise not only they will be hearing from someone, but who it will be, and why. Provide them with a brief run down on the role you are going for so they can reply to questions asked with role appropriate scenarios. I see it time and time again where the referee has not been adequately prepared, and comes across disinterested, lacking any ability to provide detailed responses, and therefore it reads as a lack-lustre reference where it is potentially no real indication of how you performed within your position.

Is your referee related to this position directly? Just as you tailor a cover sheet, a resume or undertake selection criteria, make sure you also tailor your referees to your specific job application to reflect the position you are applying for.

And remember at the end of the day, your referee has taken time out of their day to help you secure your next position, ensure you follow up with a quick ‘Thank you’ so they know you appreciate their time and to keep the line open for them to provide you with future references.

What do recruiters actually do?

By Carmina Catahan

Carmina Catahan

Carmina Catahan

Recently, a colleague of mine asked me to Google “recruiters are…” and said to have a look at what suggestions came up on Google. So, I did. Well, we actually did it together, and although we saw the funny side to it, and laughed about it, somewhere deep down I felt quite defensive about what I had read.

Which led me to write this blog – what do recruiters actually do?

I can tell you, honestly that recruitment is certainly not an easy job. It’s “champagne and headaches” as a lot of true recruiters would say. You have your big wins that are extremely rewarding (and not just financially), and then you have those times when you just want to bang your head against a brick wall, because things aren’t going to plan…but the most interesting, amazing and hardest thing I’ve learnt about this job is that you are dealing with human beings – emotions and feelings, and human behaviour in the work place.

So, what does a typical week look like for genuine 360 recruiters on a temp desk?

Our weeks consist of something like this…up to 30 plus face to face meetings with candidates or clients where some days you’re sipping on 5 cups of tea and coffee because you’re in back to back meetings – which is certainly not a bad thing as you’re not stuck in the office all day! It actually gives you the opportunity to be a bit more personable with clients and contractors. Catching up with new and existing clients consist of ensuring that you are maintaining that relationship well and that they are happy with your service and it also gives them the opportunity to provide some feedback on the contractors we’ve placed into their roles. Meetings with our contractors to touch base with them to ensure that they are progressing well in their roles and happy with their placement. And then there is interviewing new candidates, because you are probably working on up to 20 different roles that week. These roles can range from simple administration roles to something very niche like an Economist role and everything else in between (HR, Finance, Procurement, Marketing, Special Projects etc.) ….and in between all of that, you’re attending to phone calls, emails, urgent issues that may arise and need to be resolved immediately, oh and don’t forget there is the administration side of the job…paperwork and ensuring that everything that you are doing is legally compliant. 

Working on a temp desk is very fast paced and you usually have deadlines of around 48 hours to fill an urgent role, as that is of course the whole purpose of clients approaching you for temporary contractors. Honestly, we hardly find time to actually eat lunch and when we do, we’re half eating lunch at our desk or on the run.

With all of this the challenge of it all though comes down to the quality of service you provide and this is the reason why good recruiters are run off their feet, because as much as the job can be very hectic, demanding and no day ever the same, you can’t be a successful recruiter if you are not producing quality service and quality talent to both your clients and your candidates – if you didn’t do this, you wouldn’t have a desk to manage!

So, the message of this blog, is that recruiters do a lot behind the scenes that don’t always get to be seen by both clients and candidates, and honestly, this is the exact reason why I have been doing this job for over 6 years, and still very passionate about it. It is because the most rewarding part is that I get to help people in every which way I can, and somewhat make a difference.

Making the call

By Justine Eden, Director – Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Justine Eden, Director

Justine Eden

I’ve got a secret rule when I employ for a role at ERR. I will only consider those applicants who pick up the phone to talk with me about a role.  This is for a few reasons – I’m of the opinion that it shows a level of interest in understanding whether an opportunity is for them.  It shows an ability to engage over the phone and build rapport and it ensures a better understanding of the opportunity, rather than just reading an ad and hitting apply.

In recruitment the phone is a key work tool and if you aren’t able to effectively communicate over it then you have limited chances for success in the industry. Also, I really don’t want consultants who rely totally on email as their main form of communication.  Call me old fashioned.

In these days of electronic job boards it takes minimal effort to lodge a job application, so how do you make yours stand out in a saturated candidate pool? Calling is an ice break, as humans in a digital world we still seek that human connection at a fundamental level – even at work.

So what should you ask when you call?  Let me start by telling you what not to ask – Is there someone acting in the role? (more likely to be asked for a role in government but regardless don’t ask this), how much does the role pay? (leave this to second interview stage). Don’t use the call as an opportunity to talk totally about yourself.  Use the call as an opportunity to demonstrate your genuine interest in them and the role.

Your questions will be situational and will reflect the role, organisation, location and sector.  Your questioning will be different if you are looking at a commercial sector role as opposed to a government role. Do your research before you call. Critically dissect the ad and or the PD and use that as a basis for any questions. The size and make up of a team or the scale and scope of operations could form the basis of your questions.

Any media releases or publications are also key research avenues and can inform questions around how the organisation is responding to current challenges.  Where the organisation wants to be in 12-24 months could also form the basis of your questions. Whether they are in expansion mode or consolidation mode. You could also what they envisage the successful applicant will look like – experience, qualifications, industry experience, the scale and scope they have worked at.

This sounds like a lot of questions, and I would suggest you pick your top 6, keep the call short – 5-8 minutes and don’t impose too much on their time.  Have a strong close, thank them for their time and let them know you look forward to the opportunity of meeting in person in the future.  Good luck!!

The Digital Workplace

By Ben Wright, Recruitment Consultant – Eden Ritchie Recruitmen

Ben Wright

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.