The How To Guide for Online Interviewing Part One

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

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

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

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

From the outset:

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

Stay tuned for Part Two…..

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

How much disruption do you really want????

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Why is applying for a job so painful?

By Michele Cameron, Michele Cameron 0246 2Manager, Business Development, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

 

It’s that time of the year where candidates are looking for a change.  Most recently I’ve personally helped three friends too!  For whatever reason, you’ll find yourself at a crossroad and think if I’m not going to stay here, then now comes the painful part, you ask “where do I belong next?”

 

Job hunting should be easy with technology, right?  WRONG!  Technology allows job opportunities to be advertised through multiple job platforms and social media sites.  It’s easy to click “Apply now” button and send your resume through but it has also created higher online competition for roles.  Some social sites will show you how many candidates have already applied and you might be already a number 30-50 after only a few hours of the job being posted!  I know it’s stressful especially knowing that these days you don’t get a phone call and sometimes not even an email rejection.

 

What goes wrong in our job hunting search:

  • Job hunting is reactive – you don’t actually know what you want.
  • Mass applications – you might apply for everything and roles not at the right level.
  • Frustration – letting emotions get the best of you
  • Impatience – finding the right opportunity takes time than jumping to the first offer

 

How to make job search less painful:

  1. Do some self-reflection – what do you want in your next role, what do you like in your previous jobs and target your search on this criteria
  2. Be proactive and do research – what companies or industries interest you. Apply direct with company websites as they may not externally advertise.
  3. Network – grow your professional circle of experts and seek advice. Go to industry events.  It’s a great way to uncover other opportunities that aren’t advertised, through recommendations.
  4. Find reputable recruitment agents with experience and contacts to leverage. You’ll have more eyes and ears in the market to think of suitable roles for you.
  5. Review and edit your resume – take time to think of your achievements/ projects and know the transferrable value/skills you can bring to the next role.
  6. Social media profile like LinkedIn/ job platforms are current so potential employers/ recruiters can find you and reach out also.

 

Job searching does take time and it’s full of rejection which no one wants to experience.   Do remember everyone has a place in the workforce. It’s an uncomfortable process but you might be pleasantly surprised about the different opportunities which may present themselves and the experience is truly valued by the next employer crying out for those skills.

 

Quote – “Don’t be afraid to take a risk.  You can’t lose whether you succeed or fail.  You’ll grow either way, but what you’ll regret is not trying.” By Helene Lemer

 

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

 

 

 

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.

The Pivotal Point of Career Change Decision Making

By Michele Cameron, Michele Cameron 0246 2Manager, Business Development, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

As a recruitment consultant reviewing resumes and seeing people’s LinkedIn profiles, I often wonder what are the drivers which make people change careers?  Also what makes a person stay in the one job for a number of years?

I recently read a book by Jim Winner – Split Second Choice, The Power of Attitude.   This book explains the cycles each of us go through when we make a major change in our careers. If you can learn to recognise these cycles, you may be able to work through them instead of repeating past mistakes. It helps you realise how important your own attitudes can lead to a situation.

When you start a new role or join a new company you are in the first phase of “excitement” living the dream and commitment.  After a few learning challenges you may then experience “frustration” and move through emotions of – shock, denial, fear, anger, justification and acceptance.  When we reach this point, we start “looking.”  This is when we end up repeating the cycle.

Or the other option is realising our emotions and instead of “looking”.  We can reassess and “recommit” to the original dream and goal.  It’s about re-dreaming the dream, having short terms goals and a mentor to give you support or perspective on your goals.

STAGES ARE:

  1. Excitement
  2. Frustration – shock, denial, fear, anger, justification and acceptance
  3. Looking ….. OR ….. Recommitment

These stages identify significant patterns that influence every aspect of our lives. These patterns eventually become habits for us and often are followed with no conscious thought.  However, by being aware of these patterns, you can take control of the behaviour they cause, and find connections to the solutions that make these patterns work for you, instead of against you.

This simple framework encourages us to learn how to identify the decision point, make the right choice, and be successful in all our endeavours.

As John Maxwell says: Motivation determines what we will do, and Attitude determines how well we will do it.  Commitment determines when we will do it, and Recommitment determines whether we keep on doing it.

Contact us on (07) 3230 0033 to arrange a time to come in and meet us and discuss how we can be of assistance.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

How to fit in with a close-knit team!

By Michele CameronMichele Cameron 0246 2

IT/ICT Senior Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

It can feel like high school all over again when you step into a new job and you are part of a small team who knows each other very well on a personal level as well as operating like an efficient work machine bouncing ideas and working through processes quickly!  All you can do is smile and not feel insecure as you learn your role, procedures and find your place in the team.

As a manager, bringing in new faces and personalities into a team environment can be difficult when the group has an established dynamic. But don’t worry, there are things you can do to make sure all of your employees, new and old, feel at home when they come in to work.

Here are my top tips:

1.    Hire for fit – Bringing on someone new is easier by hiring for both skill and fit during the recruiting process. Keep your culture and the personalities of your team front of mind as you write job posts and ask questions during the interview process. Also consider panel interview sessions consisting of other leaders on your team. They can be big help when pinpointing candidates who are a great fit.

2.    Social side – As part of the final stage of selection invite the interviewee to meet a few members of the team for a coffee or after work drink. It’s an opportunity to meet in a less formal environment and hopefully you’ll see more of their personality in a relaxed environment.

3.    Make time for introductions – Make the new hired candidate welcomed by taking time at the start of the day to introduce new employees to each member of your staff individually. Give them enough time for people to match names with faces and possibly find a point of connection. This is a great gesture that can help set the tone when someone new comes on board.

4.    Assign a buddy – Paring new hires with more experienced employees can help a new hire navigate through the work environment. It can help a new employee feel valued, less isolated and to help them through the probation period.

Remember that it always takes time to integrate someone into the rhythms of a new workplace. But it never hurts to make the extra effort to help someone feel welcomed.

If you’re the new starter – here are a few self-care tips:

  • Be patient and kind to yourself, it takes time to develop relationships
  • Keep realistic expectations – remember you’re new, learning and you can’t know everything straight away
  • Work to add value to the team and show the right attributes that you’re a team player
  • Check in for constructive feedback from senior peers and your manager

I wish you all the best!

Contact us on (07) 3230 0033 to arrange a time to come in and meet us and discuss how we can be of assistance.

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.

 

 

Having quality performance conversations

Angela Anderson

Angela Anderson

Performance feedback is vital for employees as it provides information on what they are doing well and where they can improve. For new hires, it can assess their progress and ‘fit’ to the team and company culture, while for existing staff it can have a strong motivational effect and help to retain them in the organisation. Managers are responsible for providing feedback about an employee’s performance in accordance with organisational policy and frameworks, however often these conversations don’t go as planned or produce the desired results.

In some ways this is understandable, as these discussions might cover negative aspects, however feedback involving unfavourable information can be positive, if given tactfully and constructively. Its important that during these conversations feedback should also flow in the opposite direction – from employee to manager – so managers should be prepared for some surprises about themselves, whether it be in relation to workload, leadership style, or problems in the workplace.

A useful framework for having quality performance conversations is Perceptual Positions, a neuro-linguistic programming notion originally formulated by Grinder and DeLozier. These positions represent mental reference points from which you perceive things, collect and test information, and relate to what you experience. They can positively influence your ability to understand others and communicate effectively, particularly in feedback situations.

perceptual-positions

Whether manager or employee, you need to be able to act and use all three positions depending on the situation – which often means stepping beyond your comfort zone. Start with noticing the perceptual positions you’re already using and build your confidence to deliberately apply them further, as well as move between them in giving and receiving feedback. Recognise the importance of practice, and you’ll be well-placed to enhance your performance conversations and achieve the outcomes you’re seeking in the future.

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

Jack Daly Says, “Do you have a culture by design or by default?”

AngelaNg

Angela Ng

Jack Daly is the real deal, a proven CEO and Entrepreneur, with 30 plus years of field proven experience from a starting base with CPA firm Arthur Andersen to the CEO level of several national companies, having built 6 companies into national firms, two of which he has subsequently sold to the Wall Street firms of Solomon Brothers and First Boston. I was privileged this week to have attended Jack Daly’s two-day workshop in Brisbane, on Building a World Class Sales Organisation and Winning Sales Strategies and one of the highlights I’d like to share is that to successfully grow a company is to have a solid and sustainable culture. Now, management is often told to build a great culture, but do they really understand what it means to do so? Firstly, ask yourself, do you have a culture by design or by default?”

Jack Daly clearly defines culture as the unique personality of your company – the people, the environment, the feel. Great companies build it with intention, because, as Jack Daly says: You can’t fake culture.” Culture does more to bring great people in, keep them there, keep them happy, and keep them working longer and more productively than any other factor. Jack Daly points out that to have a successful business you must create an environment where people WANT to go to work versus HAVE to go to work. One of the motto’s he shared at this workshop: Put the F word back in business. Make it FUN!”

Jack Daly rightly observes that many business leaders will design and articulate an ideal culture but never actually install the systems and processes needed to make sure it gets started and is upheld. He has put the keys to building an incredible culture into his book, Hyper Sale Growth: Street Proven Systems and Processes; How to Grow Quickly and Profitably, which I have purchased and read this week. An amazing book and would highly recommend it.

 Below are the four systems that Jack Daly says you will need to build a killer culture:

1. Systems for Recognition

Jack Daly explains that the people who work in your company should feel recognized and valued, from the very first day they start work. He suggests you should never start new people on a Monday, when things are unorganized and hectic. Instead, bring them in when things are humming and make their first day a day to remember. With your existing staff, small but regular gestures go a long way. Recognising milestones, achievements, and good efforts at any opportunity is sure to make someone feel valued and connected to the company. Recognition doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to be personal. Make sure you tie your rewards as best you can to desired actions. As Jack Daly says, You get the behavior you recognise and reward.” Imagine if today an outsider stood in front of your employees and asked, By a show of hands, how many of you are overly recognized? Put systems in place that ensure a full room of hands up. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Recognize the people you work with directly and win their hearts.

2. Systems for Communication

Many companies get by, day after day, without building specific communication systems. But as companies grow, this approach results in people problems and systematic breakdowns. A top complaint employees make in HR surveys is I wish I knew more about what was going on.” Lack of consistent information breeds confusion, fear, and resentment. Jack Daly advocates establishment of some simple systems of communication between management and employees that will get everyone on the same page. Teams and departments should check in daily. There should be larger monthly, quarterly, and annual check-ins. Establish policy and practice where bad or difficult news is proactively brought to the table. Jack Daly preaches that the best policy is to shoot straight and don’t spin. Most importantly he points out that everyone must learn to listen: We’ve heard it often: two ears, one mouth, for a reason.” If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Shut down your inner voice and start being an active listener.”

3. Systems for Personal and Professional Development

Jack Daly says potential employees want to know why besides a paycheck they should come to work in your company and current employees need to know why should they stay. The best people see their careers as more than just salary and perks. They care about the overall experience they’re going to have while working each day. They want the opportunities for growth and development that can only be fostered in a growth-oriented work environment. Great employees want to become smarter and more productive in their careers. Their objectives are aligned with yours, so make the investment in them. Construct or pay for training that makes your employees better at their technical and people skills. Invest the time and money to cultivate your employees and you’ll end up with skilled and loyal management that will happily expand the company for decades. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Discover the visions each of your employees have, and work to blaze a path for them.”

4.  Systems for Empowerment

Jack Daly explains how you can leverage the growth of your business by empowering your people. He stresses that a growing company needs active decision making by everyone, not just the CEO. But it’s not as simple as telling people to make decisions. If they don’t feel confident they have tools and authority, they will hold back and defer back up the ladder. Jack Daly says: To truly empower your employees, you must create an environment where people feel comfortable making decisions, as if they were the owner.” It’s hard to build this empowerment all at once. If your culture is clearly defined and aligned, your people will know what action to take. Every time you give over authority, your employees grow stronger. If they are rewarded for taking right action on their own, that behavior will expand. Put protective systems in place giving them the opportunity to fail safely so they can learn from error. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Daly says: Give people power to succeed and fail on their own so they learn and grow.”

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

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 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.

Flexible Work Practices = Maximum Productivity

By Kate Broadley

1D6A0555I find it ironic that today I am writing about flexible work practices as I sit in the parking lot waiting to collect my teenage boys from sporting commitments, with my computer on my lap and headphones to my ear!! Flexibility in the workplace is the secret to my success. It’s hard for me to ever imagine working again in a conventional office environment and quite frankly I would not have the same productivity without this flexibility!! So listen up you doubters!!!!

Really I have the best of both worlds. Some days are spent in the office, as I somewhat glamorously meet with clients and conduct meetings. While I do love my days in the office, as I get to dress up in high heels and snazzy corporate attire, the downside of my office days, is as a mum, the commute to work wastes so much time (although I have now mastered techniques to use this time wisely). Modern technology, particularly laptops and mobile phones has made it far easier to work anywhere and at any time of the day. That itself, is a whole other issue for another day!!

My life is a constant mesh of work and personal. This is my life and it’s a life that others desire, which is why I am surprised that flexible work practices still experience such resistance and has not been adopted more fully. Research shows it is one of the top five reasons people leave a company. I simply could not work without this flexibility and I am sure there are many others who do not work, as they are unable to find this flexibility in the workforce. Imagine the talent we could be missing out on!!

Flexibility results in improved employee attraction and retention, cost-savings and improved productivity. Work, like our personal life isn’t constant and the ability to have flexibility helps people stay happy and healthy.

A happy and healthy workforce equals productivity in my experience. What do you think?

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.

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….

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 Art of Constructive Feedback

Linda ParkerEver had those days when you just really want to tell a staff member the brutal truth about their performance? If you are answering yes you are only human! Let’s face it, we’re not really supposed to tell people we work with that they are worthless and dim-witted!

We all give and receive feedback differently – some get defensive, offended and downright obstinate.  Others seem to listen, agree and take it in, and then promptly carry on doing things exactly the same way. Then there are those who are mortified, hanging their head in shame, and disappearing to a quiet corner to lick their wounds for a while.

Most of the time you aim for somewhere in the middle – for them to take note, demonstrate some accountability for their work and/or behaviour – good or bad, identify their own weaknesses and above all strive to improve.

I recently read an online article that provided some useful tips, and one point in particular resonated with me as a solid and effective approach, and one that I see used a lot in practice.

‘Try giving them a feedback sandwich’…

Basically this means breaking down the feedback process into layers.  Start with praising and complimenting their strong points, thus providing the ‘bread’. Then start to fill it with some areas that need work and improvement – careful not to overfill it and make it difficult to swallow! Then top it off nicely with some encouragement and positivity for better future outcomes.

Leading by example is more often than not the most successful way of driving performance in the right direction.  It doesn’t matter what position we hold, we are always looking for someone to inspire us.

I have two very strong, successful and dynamic leaders who have inspired me for the past 9 years, and who have also allowed me to see their more vulnerable side, which I think keeps it very real and honest, and builds a greater level of trust and respect …

What type of leader has inspired you?

High Performers – How do you pick them? By Justine Eden

JustineIn a perfect world we would all have a high performing team, made up of experts in their field who constantly exceed expectations, all get on, never have sickies and constantly innovate.  This ideal and synergistic team delivers outstanding bottom line returns to shareholders, drives change while maintaining the status quo and are essentially self managing, allowing you, the leader to work strategically to drive the business forward.

But this is not a perfect world – as roller coaster stock markets and company collapses remind us daily.  And sometimes our “best people” resign.  And recruiting, as we have all experienced is not an exact science, it is challenging and fraught with danger.  How do you know whether you have recruited a corporate terrorist or a talented performer?

The fall out of a bad hire is well researched, the costs and the flow on effects run down to the bottom line, and across the corporate community more attention is being paid to it.  Read many of the business publications and the flavour is there, the link between strategic plans and the HR plan, the growing importance of the role of the HR Manager and the value of intellectual capital.

Being able to select for performance is often seen as a luxury by busy managers faced with replacing technical experts in candidate short markets.  As a business owner for 17 years and as a recruiter for many years, I have seen first hand the impact of this type of short term vision on candidate attraction, retention and overall company performance.  As a recruiter I commenced in accounting recruitment, a traditional, often risk adverse demographic, historically focused on matching a candidate’s technical ability to the job requirements.

So – What is performance?  And how do you pick it?

How do you characterise a high performer?

High performance varies from occupation to occupation.  But common qualities include drive, energy, integrity and creativity.

Generally high performers…

  • have a can do attitude,
  • failure is unthinkable,
  • they don’t accept excuses,
  • like to outperform the competition,
  • want to be the best in the business,
  • are quality focused,
  • consistently get the job done,
  • proactively suggest improvements,
  • normally a self starter who energises others,
  • acts as a role model/mentor for others,
  • a problem solver
  • and need minimal supervision.

They are not always high profile or always the high earners, but they usually have a big impact on revenues or profits.   It is a given that a high performer is technically competent, but it is their ongoing focus on building their base of technical expertise and a thirst learning that sets them apart.

They have a passion for renewal, taking an active approach to acquiring new skills, often completely replacing old ones over a 5-7 year time frame.  Often because they have mastered their “art” they have more time for creativity, innovation and quality – this is what gives high performers a competitive advantage.

They embrace change and technology and are not thrown by ambiguity; high performers are adept at multi-tasking.  High performers often have an established and nurtured network and they value what peers think of their work.

Selecting for performance is an initiative that needs to be driven from the top.  Organisations are continually pushed to find new growth opportunities, improve the quality of products/services, enhance employee/customer satisfaction, reduce costs, increase productivity.  Combine this with a greater reliance on intellectual capital, customers increasing expectations and the rapid pace of change.

I would encourage all leaders to factor in performance when recruiting and believe that those that do so will reap the benefits of increased productivity, engagement and retention.