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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.