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.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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.

Get On The Right Side Of History

By Justine Eden Director Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine Eden

A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with a couple of friends who work in the legal profession. Faced with huge competition, narrowing panel services arrangements and clients shrinking legal budgets these two professional leaders were under increasing pressure to lead high performing, profitable teams.

I put the issue of market disruption to them – questioning the way they operate, and highlighted just one aspect – the perception of extremely long hours, timesheets and the lack of flexibility that they generally offer to their teams.

I pointed to a new breed of emerging firm that offers just that and appear to be attracting the best and brightest and are highly profitable. I could see their eyes glaze over and that the idea of disrupting anything (apart from a court room) for what is such a traditional industry, was out of the question.

This morning I read a related article and saw this:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-24/richard-branson-marissa-mayer-s-yahoo-work-policy-is-on-the-wrong-side-of-history

It resonated with me – few are the leaders that recognize performance based on results. And it clarified something for me as a leader that I have struggled with for a long time. I spent all of yesterday in performance reviews with my team. I heard A LOT about their great efforts – and don’t get me wrong I am big on putting in your best effort.

But when that doesn’t equate to results or tangible outcomes there is a real problem. Imagine as a business owner going to the ATO and saying, “well I tried really hard, put in my best effort – but I wont be able to pay the BAS this month”. That’s not a result the ATO are going to accept.

So why are so many leaders still so hung up on their people being visible in the office?? Why are so many leaders not having honest and frank discussions with their teams about their tangible results – and letting themselves be sidetracked by conversations about how hard everyone is trying?

Giving people flexibility only works for some people and some roles – don’t get me wrong, we have tried and both succeeded and failed. In our business flexibility is offered to those (where it is applicable to their role) who have demonstrated strong results over a sustained period of time. There has to be trust and mutual respect, you have to all be on the same page and clear (VERY) about what is required.