Is the office becoming obsolete in the 21st century working world?

Siobhan QuinnBy Siobhan Quinn, Government Selection Panel Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

 

Gone are the days of the traditional 9 to 5, Monday to Friday in the office; with more and more employees demanding flexible working options, businesses have responded by offering work from home opportunities, amongst other initiatives. It begs the question – is the office becoming obsolete?

 

Often when thinking of flexible work arrangements, the likes of tech giants such as Google come to mind; but it may surprise you to know, several key players such as Yahoo and IBM have reversed their flexible work policies. In 2013 Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer banned telecommuting, reasoning that while people can be more productive at home; they are more collaborative and innovative in the office. Collaboration needs a place to happen. When employees work remotely, it becomes more difficult for them to interact and share ideas. While there are some great tools to facilitate remote collaboration, it doesn’t quite replace a face-to-face conversation. Also, being in the same room as colleagues is crucial in developing social connections and building the culture of an organisation. Employees can virtually work together in an effective manner, but it’s definitely harder to build a rapport with someone over email, compared to someone you physically work next to. Working from home can sometimes be lonely, and most remote workers will want to come in and work from an office at least some of the time. This helps the individual to feel connected their peers, and as well to the business.

 

For those who enjoy the privilege of working from home, there is a level of trust placed in them to do the right thing. Of course, there are a small minority of individuals who will take advantage of the opportunity and not deliver the expected outcomes. But for the vast majority, remote employees are more productive. With many people commuting for over an hour each day, particularly those who work in the CBD; that’s at least 5 hours a week that could be better spent elsewhere. Generally, employees are more willing to put in extra time where required, but especially when they can do so from home. The same goes for sick leave; those who work from home are usually able to accomplish at least some work, in what would otherwise be a lost day. It can also be cheaper for the business to have employees working from home, for example in growing organisations where desk space is at a premium in the office. For managers who worry about reduced visibility over productivity, technology makes it easy to track output, for example programs which monitor screen activity. Many jobs have performance metrics that can show how productive someone is, and this is particularly so for task-based roles with tangible outputs.

 

In summing up, there are many jobs that can easily be performed remotely or from home. Employees have been shown to be more productive at home rather than in the office, and in many cases, work can be done more efficiently and for a lower cost. Conversely, staff can be more collaborative and innovative in an office environment. Not everyone wants to work from home, many people like the separation of work life and personal life. Working from home also won’t suit every employee or role, and it won’t work for every organisation. So, the office will likely never be obsolete but it’s important to recognise the benefits and changes technology has introduced to the way in which people can, and do, work.

 

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

It’s a matter of asking the right person the right questions.

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

Rather like how party goers ask a doctor at a Sunday BBQ for advice on a sore knee or chronic hiccups, the questions recruiters get at these events are about CVs that miss far more frequently than they hit and hints for the top 5 interview questions.

 

My top five responses always include that the staff on our Fasterr and IT desks are great at providing insights into the things they are looking for from CVs, and key experience and skills they are seeking from potential candidates. I overheard a conversation today where one of our awesome recruiters Jo, was talking to a candidate about the skills and experience to highlight in preparing an application for a role she was working. Similarly, Ben and Tiffany on the IT desk know exactly what they are seeking for their employer clients and how candidates can best present skills and experience to make it clear in a succinct and professional way. Working with a recruiter helps you get in front of employers and gets you insights into how to sell what you can do.

 

The other thing that I always say is that each employer is different and each role is different too, even if it is the same job advertised 12 months later. I recently worked with a panel who, due to unforeseen circumstances, were filling the same role we had worked on together to fill only 6 months earlier; same role description, completely different employment context with the team 6 months further into a major organisational change.

 

The key is to ask questions of the contact person or if there is no contact person ask around and look on the net for the organisations wider priorities, the statements and commitments they make their customers and clients and the language they use to describe their environmental and social context.

 

Don’t turn up at the interview without knowing the type of person being sought for the role or what the priorities for the first three months will be. Make sure you try your best to know that before you start typing.  Tailor your application to that role and make sure you reference what you found out. I read a lot of awesome lists of great stuff people have done but few awesome written applications that describe the great stuff the applicant is going to do for the potential employer.

 

Eden Ritchie Recruitment can help you many ways from getting great candidates in front of terrific employers to working with you one to one on your interview style and approach to writing your CV and your application.

 

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.

 

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.