The Importance of Managing Up

By Justine EdenJustine Eden, Director

Having been in the recruitment industry for a few years now (not specifying how many because it makes me feel old!) I have been able to sit back and watch many people progress up the leadership ladder. Some more successfully than others. There can be many factors impacting on success of course, but in many instances I have seen the inability to recognize the need to manage up, lead to failure.

Managing up can sometimes bring connotations of having to “kiss arse” – excuse the language, and I would argue that if this is what you interpret as managing up you are missing a key opportunity. Many leaders can be overly consumed with managing down and depending on the profile of your team sometimes this is necessary – but you need to ensure this isn’t a long-term strategy.

You need to focus attention on managing yourself – your career, your education, your professional portfolio to ensure you remain relevant and challenged. You of course will have an element of managing down through delegation and KPI’s to ensure deliverables are met.

But – how to manage up? Be clear on who above you this could include and then determine how often and how you will need to feedback to each person. In person communication is an effective way to build rapport and trust followed by putting things in writing to protect each other.

A good executive should adopt a no surprises approach in order to have the back of the people they report to and should also be able to determine what is communicated and what is not to prevent information overload. No Board wants hundreds of pages to read through, so your ability to grasp and communicate the key issues and expand if needed, is critical.

By managing up you increase your visibility and intel because you should be privy to strategic issues and be on the front foot to ask for the opportunity to work on key projects. You will better anticipate future challenges and therefore be able to better position your team to respond. Knowledge and networks are the power base of any ambitious executive but like anything require constant work and attention!

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What do recruiters actually do?

By Carmina Catahan

Carmina Catahan

Carmina Catahan

Recently, a colleague of mine asked me to Google “recruiters are…” and said to have a look at what suggestions came up on Google. So, I did. Well, we actually did it together, and although we saw the funny side to it, and laughed about it, somewhere deep down I felt quite defensive about what I had read.

Which led me to write this blog – what do recruiters actually do?

I can tell you, honestly that recruitment is certainly not an easy job. It’s “champagne and headaches” as a lot of true recruiters would say. You have your big wins that are extremely rewarding (and not just financially), and then you have those times when you just want to bang your head against a brick wall, because things aren’t going to plan…but the most interesting, amazing and hardest thing I’ve learnt about this job is that you are dealing with human beings – emotions and feelings, and human behaviour in the work place.

So, what does a typical week look like for genuine 360 recruiters on a temp desk?

Our weeks consist of something like this…up to 30 plus face to face meetings with candidates or clients where some days you’re sipping on 5 cups of tea and coffee because you’re in back to back meetings – which is certainly not a bad thing as you’re not stuck in the office all day! It actually gives you the opportunity to be a bit more personable with clients and contractors. Catching up with new and existing clients consist of ensuring that you are maintaining that relationship well and that they are happy with your service and it also gives them the opportunity to provide some feedback on the contractors we’ve placed into their roles. Meetings with our contractors to touch base with them to ensure that they are progressing well in their roles and happy with their placement. And then there is interviewing new candidates, because you are probably working on up to 20 different roles that week. These roles can range from simple administration roles to something very niche like an Economist role and everything else in between (HR, Finance, Procurement, Marketing, Special Projects etc.) ….and in between all of that, you’re attending to phone calls, emails, urgent issues that may arise and need to be resolved immediately, oh and don’t forget there is the administration side of the job…paperwork and ensuring that everything that you are doing is legally compliant. 

Working on a temp desk is very fast paced and you usually have deadlines of around 48 hours to fill an urgent role, as that is of course the whole purpose of clients approaching you for temporary contractors. Honestly, we hardly find time to actually eat lunch and when we do, we’re half eating lunch at our desk or on the run.

With all of this the challenge of it all though comes down to the quality of service you provide and this is the reason why good recruiters are run off their feet, because as much as the job can be very hectic, demanding and no day ever the same, you can’t be a successful recruiter if you are not producing quality service and quality talent to both your clients and your candidates – if you didn’t do this, you wouldn’t have a desk to manage!

So, the message of this blog, is that recruiters do a lot behind the scenes that don’t always get to be seen by both clients and candidates, and honestly, this is the exact reason why I have been doing this job for over 6 years, and still very passionate about it. It is because the most rewarding part is that I get to help people in every which way I can, and somewhat make a difference.

Making the call

By Justine Eden, Director – Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Justine Eden, Director

Justine Eden

I’ve got a secret rule when I employ for a role at ERR. I will only consider those applicants who pick up the phone to talk with me about a role.  This is for a few reasons – I’m of the opinion that it shows a level of interest in understanding whether an opportunity is for them.  It shows an ability to engage over the phone and build rapport and it ensures a better understanding of the opportunity, rather than just reading an ad and hitting apply.

In recruitment the phone is a key work tool and if you aren’t able to effectively communicate over it then you have limited chances for success in the industry. Also, I really don’t want consultants who rely totally on email as their main form of communication.  Call me old fashioned.

In these days of electronic job boards it takes minimal effort to lodge a job application, so how do you make yours stand out in a saturated candidate pool? Calling is an ice break, as humans in a digital world we still seek that human connection at a fundamental level – even at work.

So what should you ask when you call?  Let me start by telling you what not to ask – Is there someone acting in the role? (more likely to be asked for a role in government but regardless don’t ask this), how much does the role pay? (leave this to second interview stage). Don’t use the call as an opportunity to talk totally about yourself.  Use the call as an opportunity to demonstrate your genuine interest in them and the role.

Your questions will be situational and will reflect the role, organisation, location and sector.  Your questioning will be different if you are looking at a commercial sector role as opposed to a government role. Do your research before you call. Critically dissect the ad and or the PD and use that as a basis for any questions. The size and make up of a team or the scale and scope of operations could form the basis of your questions.

Any media releases or publications are also key research avenues and can inform questions around how the organisation is responding to current challenges.  Where the organisation wants to be in 12-24 months could also form the basis of your questions. Whether they are in expansion mode or consolidation mode. You could also what they envisage the successful applicant will look like – experience, qualifications, industry experience, the scale and scope they have worked at.

This sounds like a lot of questions, and I would suggest you pick your top 6, keep the call short – 5-8 minutes and don’t impose too much on their time.  Have a strong close, thank them for their time and let them know you look forward to the opportunity of meeting in person in the future.  Good luck!!

The Digital Workplace

By Ben Wright, Recruitment Consultant – Eden Ritchie Recruitmen

Ben Wright

I’m hearing the words “Digital Workplace” thrown around more than ever, and the uncertainty of what it is, and what to expect.  Gone are the days where the workplace was a physical space, occupied during business hours with allocated seating and computers for staff. The Digital Workplace is an environment that is always connected, allowing employees to communicate and collaborate in new and effective ways across an organisation regardless of whether they are in the office or over the other side of the world.

 A Digital Workplace breaks down communication barriers, encouraging a more efficient work environment allowing organisations to scale up more rapidly and provide a more flexible environment for staff.

A recent study conducted by Deloitte points out the benefits to adopting a digital workforce when it comes to the following:

  • Recruitment: 64% of employees would choose a lower paying job if it offered more flexibility and the ability to work from home.
  • Communication: the majority of workers prefer newer communication tools specifically instant messaging as compared to “traditional” tools like e-mail or team workspaces.
  • Productivity: Organisations with strong online social networks are 7% more productive compared to organisations without.
  • Satisfaction: Organisations that rolled out and installed social media tools internally found that there was a 20% increase in employee satisfaction.
  • Retention: When employee engagement goes up, there is a corresponding increase in employee retention of up to 78%.

 As employee demographics continue to shift, organisations are finding it challenging to support the needs of a multi-generational workforce. The businesses that will show the most growth in future will be those who break down the divide between people, technologies and the workplace, empowering employees to be productive regardless of their location.

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

Why don’t you call me no more?

By Justine Eden, Director – Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine Eden

As coined in the lyrics of one of the great Prince songs, the Master of Music (RIP Legend) laments the fact that the one person he wants to hear from can’t even pick up the phone.

Likewise, I am amazed by the number of executives who, when applying for roles, simply hit submit. Why don’t they want to talk?

Wouldn’t they want to get behind the position description (that is so often outdated – a story for another blog) and better understand the key aspects of this role and organisation? Wouldn’t this intel better inform their application and allow them to nail what it is that the hiring manager is looking for?

I agree that often the person listed on the ad is not always the most informed or helpful – but persevere. Make sure you have a few relevant questions to ask when you do connect with someone able to share key information with you. Use this as a key opportunity to connect and build rapport.

I get to work across a great number of organisations and with leaders from every technical specialisation. I can attest to the many number of times when people recall a phone conversation with an interested applicant and want to meet them in person.

It’s all you need – that foot in the door. The interview – isn’t that what the application is all about? Blindly applying for your next career role and winging an interview is not an effective tactic. I don’t understand how an applicant can sit in an interview and stress how enthusiastic they are about the opportunity when they haven’t done their research up front.

Also, the stock standard application is not effective. If you are serious about your career and your search, you have to invest the time into it. Tailor your letter to the specifics of this role and organisation. Pick out the key words in the ad and the position description and aim to include them (ensure relevance) in your resume.

And please check your work! Incorrect names, spelling errors, leaving the details on a letter relating to a different role/organisation – yes, sadly I see this a lot. I look forward to hearing from you.

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

You get what you pay for…

 

Linda Parker

If only I had paid dues to that old adage today … on a walk uptown in the scorching heat in my 5 inch high heels I soon realised I may not be able to make it back to the office in one piece trying to balance on the uneven pavements whilst dodging heavy foot traffic and scaffolding. Brainwave, I’ll buy a cheap pair of ‘flip flops’ to walk back to the office in, I wouldn’t need to spend too much as it was only a couple of blocks. Boy was I wrong, that cheap thinking mindset has left me in more pain than if I had remained in my stilts.

So where I am going with this you are no doubt wondering?  Well in recent times there has been increased pressure on businesses to offer goods and services at seemingly unrealistic prices, with everyone out to grab a bargain, but at what cost? In the professional services industry we have been front and centre in facing squeezed margins and unrealistic expectations. Tendering for a preferred supplier arrangement was once a non-negotiable must do for the business but has now become a real risk to profitability.

It goes without saying that in general, consumer’s beliefs and expectations are that if they go for the cheapest options they are compromising on quality. It is a risk many are willing to take. The flow on effect of compromising on quality of service in order save money can end up costing companies so much more than they bargained for. In the recruitment industry such risks could be a bad hire with considerable consequences to the organisation.

I’m not saying there aren’t decent operators out there who provide a cost effective and good level of service, however I question the value that is placed on quality over price these days.

My feet are still reminding me of that right now.

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.