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.

 

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.

 

Eden Ritchie Recruitment Directors attend World Business Forum Event in Sydney

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden
Justine Eden

Last week Kim and I attended the 2018 World Business Forum, held in Sydney. We have attended this event for the past few years to hear a variety of leading business, academic, entertainment and sporting leaders share their views.

Sir Ken Robinson, author of “The Element” (recommend you read this), spoke on creativity. Sir Ken has a focus on innovation and creativity and regularly challenges established structures such as those in business and education. In his words, “Committees are where great ideas go to die” (couldn’t agree more). Sir Ken does a large amount of work in the education sector and noted that traditional education structures such as conformity and corralling kids based on age kills creativity and innovation, apparently Finland has the right approach. As a parent, this was of great interest to me and particularly as my own learning experience both at school and university was (in my opinion) largely focused on rote learning and exam based assessments. Recommend you watch the upcoming documentary in which Sir Ken features “In Search of Greatness” which is out soon and features outstanding sporting talents – I will be watching it with my daughters.  [View the YouTube Video of Sir Ken Robinson at WOBI 2018]

Shara Evans a futurist spoke about technology. She described our New World as VUCA which stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. Shara outlined a range of technological initiatives such as the Hyper Loop set to revolutionise passenger and freight transport (please can we have one between Sunshine Coast and Byron Bay?). An interesting concept was that in Shara’s opinion organisations need to be more comfortable with failure and that they need to learn Fast rather than fail fast. She states that Australia suffers from being too conservative and risk adverse. Shara listed some interesting jobs of the future that included Regenerative Medical Technician, Brain Interface Technologist and Genetic 3D Designer. Guess that’s great news for those with kids that are medically/scientifically aligned? [View the YouTube Video of Shara Evans at WOBI 2018]

Stew Friedman author of “Leading the life you want” spoke on leadership in an a highly practical session had us analysing the personal and professional intersections of our lives. The tools he took us through had us understanding the consequence of our choices and developing ideas to better align what is important with every day actions to improve personal satisfaction and performance. He noted that big change is an accumulation of small wins – personally this is something that resonated with me. Stew also encouraged us to think more about creating harmony than conflict, and also to be more curious and optimistic about creating change. [View the YouTube Video of Stew Friedman at WOBI 2018]

Mark Webber, F1 Aussie legend spoke about drive (no pun intended) and performance, his discussion was really interesting and he outlined life lessons learnt from his career, although retirement for him at 42 does not seem to be sitting well with him, being so naturally competitive and high achieving. It got a bit awkward when Mark was asked why so few women are in F1 and his observations of the differing inclination towards risk he believes exist between the sexes, proved there is still a long way to go to challenge the power structures and misbeliefs within some sports.

Chip Conley strategic advisor to Airbnb comes from a considerable background in hospitality in the US, he spoke about new management. He outlined the three forms of intelligence we all need – EQ/IQ/DQ (digital intelligence). He stated that the organisations that are at risk are those that have grown complacent, lost touch and didn’t imagine a new set of customers, didn’t take competitors seriously and didn’t understand the true essence of their offering.  He stated that at the most basic level, companies meet customers’ expectations (this is survival mode), the next level is where companies create commitment but by being able to read customers unrecognized needs is where you are in essence reading your customers minds to deliver services or products they were unaware they wanted or needed. He outlined that companies need to be able to read their customers unrecognised needs by finding a tool for deeply understanding customers’ needs and changing tastes, essentially this is the psychographics of your core customers’, as well as to create a feedback loop to help create constant improvement in your service. [View the YouTube Video of Chip Conley at WOBI 2018]

Lots to take away and consider, great to have time away to think and explore, looking forward to implementing some of this!!

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

WOBI 2018