40 isn’t the new 30, 50 isn’t the new 40.. (and why that is a great thing!)

By Jane Harvey, Executive Search Specialist, Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJane Harvey

I just passed around the earth once more and whilst the build-up to a birthday isn’t what it used to be, it did get me thinking about the age I am and the way I feel. I said to someone in the office yesterday “how did I become this age?? I don’t feel like I am this number!!”.. they laughed and kindly told me that I certainly don’t act this number! I decided to take that as a compliment!

Anyway, it got me thinking.. this year the youngest of Gen X (1965-1979) are turning 40 (the upper end are well into their 50’s) and Gen Y or Millennials (1980-1994) are well into their 20’s and 30’s! So this begs the question, is 50 the new 40? Is 40 the new 30? We are working longer and harder than we ever have.. I see this every day in my job. We want more…seem to need more and  it appears we are developing more of a conscience when it comes to social injustice and our planet for example..

The hard fact of the matter is that many of us are not 30 anymore. In fact, the upper end of Gen X are ‘middle aged’ BUT we are not finished with work and with our careers… many are just hitting their straps! SO how does this translate if you are searching for work, as many are, well into their 50’s and 60’s? It shouldn’t matter right??

No matter how smart you are, when you’re young, you’re a little silly. You haven’t lived and learned yet.. you lack the depth of experience, often compensating with confidence and energy as well as a great deal of enthusiasm. Or in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30, the wit; and at 40, the judgment.”

With four or five or six decades behind us, we start having the perspective necessary to begin serious thinking, as well as the skills and experience to do great work and to add not only to an organisation, but to the generations coming up behind us. We can offer perspective and life experience and, well, let’s be honest.. we still have a great deal to do, to prove and to accomplish…

SO get out there, get amongst it! Stop telling yourself that you are aging yourself out of the workforce!… and do what you do.. don’t be afraid of a younger generation.. perception is changing, maturity and experience is being embraced.. you just need to work with the people who value and embrace it.. and why would you honestly want it any other way!

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

Does a looming Election weigh on your mind…?

By Jane Harvey, Executive Search Specialist, Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJane Harvey

Don’t let fear of Election fallout stop you from making important decisions. It’s that time again in Australia and another Federal Election is looming.

If previous experience is anything to go by, we can’t help but fear the societal upheaval that can come, in a variety of ways, from such an event.

Many of us may have been considering making some life changing decisions.

New Job?  Decisions on who to hire or fire? New House?

These types of large decisions have been scientifically proven as being some of the most stressful experiences in life – actually ranking right up there with the death of a loved one.

Throw in a looming election, and the possible economic instability that can follow, and suddenly we might find ourselves a lot more wary about moving forward in making those decisions. Despite any previous feelings we might have had, that these choices could be a good idea.

Why? Because when it comes to elections, we are conditioned to know that this is a time of instability for our country.

We can see Reserve Bank interest rates rise and increased debt for our country, while countless amounts of money are wasted on advertising that show our politicians fighting like kindergarten children and backstabbing each other.

None of it provokes feelings of comfort and trust for us as citizens of Australia, in the people who are running our country

What can we do about this?

Is it really a good idea to hold off on our decision making, or to second guess a decision already made, simply because we are feeling nervous about what the future holds as a result of the election?

The answer is NO.

We need to keep moving forward with our lives. Despite what fears we may have about who will be running our country and what mistakes they might make while doing that.

Why?

Because despite the image projected by society that something like a Federal Election, and the results thereof, will have a massive impact on our lives, it’s not strictly accurate. When it comes right down to it, the main person you need to focus on, who has the greatest impact on your life, is YOU.

Forget the election and any impact it may have on the decision at hand, because it all starts and ends with you.

If you are considering a career change, a job change, you need to hire – or even fire an employee, the problem that is there … will still be there when the uncertainty is a distant memory. When it comes to decision making, stress and anger on any level are not going to assist you in making a good decision.

Whether the stress and fear about making your decision is coming from the concept of an upcoming election, or you desire to change jobs because you have a boss or workmate that you simply can not get along with, you must release it all in order to make a good decision.

If you make the decision to move jobs from the standpoint that you don’t like your current boss or a work colleague, you will likely find that even if you change jobs you will encounter the same problem in the next job.

So what is the answer, the key to all of it?

Do anything and everything you can to relax and feel good.

Then… stick with the decision, don’t second guess yourself, or worry that you have made the wrong choice. Stand by the decision you have made.

Know that no matter what comes, whether you agree with the government or not, everything will work out. If history is anything to go by, it will all change again in no time… and we will all go about our lives.

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

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.

 

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.

 

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 Recruitment

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.

Is the Cover Letter dead??

AngelaNg

By Angela Ng

Some think that in the new transactional world, where shortlists are formed by keyword searches, that the cover letter is dead, but I have news for them. The cover letter remains a key tool for the candidate to differentiate themselves from the crowd, to personalise their application for the role, and to get the recruiter’s/hiring manager’s attention sufficiently to make them want to turn over and review the CV.

A good cover letter has the following:

1. PROOF THAT YOU’VE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK

Recruiters and hiring managers want to see that you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s important in the early sections of your cover letter that you refer to the job, its title and the company in some form.

Bonus points if you can impress your potential future boss with an acknowledgement of a major company success. Triple points if that success relates to the team you’d be joining.

2. AN EXPLANATION OF HOW YOUR SKILLS RELATE

Your cover letter is also the written explanation of your resume as it relates to the job at hand. So it’s important you explain in the letter what exactly it is you can do for this company and this role based on your previous experience.

You could use, what’s called a “T-Letter” to effectively present this section. This is a letter with a two-sentence intro followed by two columns—one on the left headed, “Your Requirements” and one on the right headed, “My Experience.” Bye-bye big, boring blocks of text.

Using the job description, pull out sentences that express what they are looking for and place those in the “Your Requirements” column. Then add a sentence for each to the “My Experience” column that explains how your skills match those.

It’s an aggressive, bold approach—but one that could set you apart from the rest.

3. YOUR EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE POSITION

Here’s an exercise: Think about yourself in the job you’re applying for. What do you feel? You’re probably pretty pumped, huh? Now harness some of that excitement and put it down on paper.

For example, if you were applying to a web design or UX job, you could write, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in how the digital world works and how users interact with websites. Website design is not only my career, it’s my passion, which is why I hope you’ll consider me for this great role on your team.”

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

7 TIPS TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL BRAND

By Angela Ng

AngelaNgWhether you realise it or not, you’re a brand. Your brand is your persona, and if yours isn’t great, it could be costing you opportunities.

Your brand is what you want people to think about you when you leave them.

A personal brand should be authentic and natural: Someone should be able to spend five minutes talking to you, and after that conversation, have an impression of what your personal brand is. They should walk away thinking, ‘He’s really friendly’ or ‘This woman is a lot of fun.’ They should know who you are, and if they would want to speak to you again.

While your brand is built over time, it can become difficult to change, so it’s important to identify and align your brand with your goals. Whilst building a positive personal brand comes easily to some people, others will have to work at it. Here are seven traits that contribute to your personal brand, and what you should know about each:

  1. ACCESSIBILITY

Develop a persona that is reachable, always answer the phone, for one. It’s basic but for few not common.

When people know you always answer your emails and phone calls, opportunities will come more frequently.

  1. ATTITUDE

Always put your best self forward, even if you don’t feel like it.

This is important in good times and in bad, truth is, no one else cares about your problems, they care about a solution to whatever they need. Always present your best self.

  1. INTEGRITY

The truth comes out at the end of the day, and it’s important to be honest, even when it’s easier not to.

Loyalty is another element of integrity. Being honest and loyal helps you build a trustworthy and credible brand.

  1. WORK ETHIC

One of my favourite expressions is, ‘Luck comes to visit but it doesn’t come to stay.’ If you’re fortunate to get a lucky opportunity, work very hard to keep it. If people know you work hard, they’ll be more likely to work with you again.

  1. OPEN-MINDEDNESS

There are two types of people in the world: those who keep their arms wide open, and those who keep their arms held tight against their chest.

Who would you want to do business with or have as a friend? People like people who are open to ideas and relationships. Your personal brand should be someone who is open to new ideas, experiences, and business.

  1. APPEARANCE

People judge you on the way you look, so pay attention to the details. If you’re ultra-causal or sloppy, that’s going to be your brand.

First impressions are important, so pay attention to the details. Depending on your industry, your attire could be right for every occasion, or it could be something you change based on the situation.

  1. PRESENTATION

How you interact with others is another important part of your brand.

There’s a saying, ‘Empty barrels make the most noise’. If you never stop talking, you’ll build a negative personal brand. Always think about what you want to say, and how you want to present yourself before you open your mouth.

5 types of people you’ll meet in every workplace

By Ben Wright

Ben Wright

I recently read an article that resonated, on the 5 types of personalities that you will find in every workplace and couldn’t resist sharing it with my networks. While each working environment can differ greatly according to its industry, scale and company culture, you are still bound to come across these personalities within the workplace.

Learning how to spot these people and work with them will help you build a stronger working relationship and support your own professional development.

  • The office gossip: Now this may be a stereotype, however there’s usually one lingering in the workplace – just waiting to pass on the latest gossip and titbits to colleagues. How do you get around this? Build a rapport by talking about the latest news and celeb gossip but avoid engaging in negative talk about other staff or even the company in general. Engaging with the office gossip can sometimes come back to bite you, so keep it upbeat, positive and about non-work related matters.
  • The noise-cancelling headphone wearer: Does your colleague insist on wearing their headphone or play rather loud music for the duration of the day? This personality can sometimes be tricky to work with, at first it may seem that they are disengaging from their co-workers, but don’t take it to heart. Studies show, depending on the individual, listening to music can increase a workers productivity. If you need to ask them a question, a simple wave or smile will get their attention- alternatively if they are ‘’in the zone’’ send them a quick email.
  • The team cheerleader: If your colleague’s energy level is through the roof before you’ve had your first coffee for the day and they seem to thrive on praising the good work of others – you’re working with a cheerleader. Don’t be suspicious of cheerleaders, appreciate that they have the best intentions, and play a vital role in boosting team morale. Embrace their positivity and make an effort to sing their praises once in a while in return.
  • The negative nancy: The polar opposite to cheerleaders, a negative nancy is generally the person in the workplace who rebuts the ideas of others, is reluctant to try new things and gravitates towards explaining why something won’t work. Don’t write these people off as being a downer, and understand that they are trying not to take the wind out of their co-workers’ sails. They often like to think of themselves as being pragmatic and realistic, so consider their opinions as much as anyone else’s to rally them, suggest you give that new thing a try and see how it goes – if it doesn’t work out they can always say they told you so.
  • The overachiever: You can spot overachievers a mile away!! They’re the busy bee that has a stack of projects on their desk, is always rushing off to the next meeting, insists on arriving early and staying late and always puts their hand up to volunteer for new work. While overachievers can sometimes seem to be exhausting to the uninitiated, these ambitious colleagues thrive on success. Look at them for guidance on managing your workload and bringing your A-Game.

Understanding how each of these personalities operates is key to managing a productive team.

Which type are you?

The New Director General Queensland Health – Michael Walsh

By Monique O’Rielley                                                                      Monique O'Rielley

This morning Eden Ritchie hosted a table at the ACHSM Breakfast where the new Director General of Queensland Health, Mr Michael Walsh was introduced. The event was hugely popular and the presentation was in regards to the priorities and challenges for Queensland Health from now to 2016 and beyond. To secure your copy of Mr Walsh’s presentation click here.

Mr Walsh has entered his new position at the finalisation of “The Hunter Review” (which is actually next month’s breakfast topic). He covered off a few of the changes being implemented including new organisational structures and governance.

The main challenge facing the health industry is the proposed decrease in funding in the near future, yet still providing optimal patient care throughout the state. Keeping this in mind, the top priorities and new initiatives, including election commitments, to be tackled are:

  • Nursing Workforce (nurse navigators, school-aged nursing services)
  • Patient Safety & Quality (nurse/patient ratio, central improvement service)
  • Mental Health (Day Respite Centres, Intensive Services for young people, Acute inpatient adolescent services, support workshops & other interventions)
  • Preventative Health & Health Promotion (targeting preventative illnesses/diseases ie diabetes and cardiac disease)
  • Outpatient Long Wait Reduction Strategy
  • Hospital & Health Facility Investment (new Sunshine Coast Public Hospital, expansions & redevelopments of existing, enhancement of regional hospitals programs)

The aim of these strategies is to keep people healthy while providing safe and time efficient services within a sustainable system into the future. Early intervention in these areas should, in theory, stop the increased risk of illnesses/diseases progressing into more complicated/complex cases, which will put a strain on the public healthcare system.

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

You can’t trust a cloud not to rain…

Linda Parker

By Linda Parker

We’ve been reading and hearing so much about information and cyber-security issues lately, with major breaches of people’s personal information being hacked, it got me thinking about how much the access of information has changed our lives, and those that are still completely oblivious to the potential ramifications of the information they publish in the cloud.

This has been a personal matter for me recently with loved ones being contacted by ‘long lost relatives’ who reached out via the internet and social media. The impact that has on people is profound and potentially very unsettling depending on circumstances. For others, it can bring the most unexpected and wondrous results.

It got me to thinking that no one is safe, no information is sacred, and can people really cry ‘poor me’ if they are out there ‘over sharing’ their personal information on the internet?

The connection of physical devices such as home appliances and cars to the internet will be the next big vulnerability according to ‘cyber experts’. The internet will be integrated into just about every market we can think of, ranging from healthcare to transport networks, to our weekly shopping and entertainment, and it seems none of these have been designed with security in mind.

It was only just last night my husband informed me there was such a thing as the ‘dark web’, which thankfully requires specific software and configurations to access, but for those in the know this opens up an avenue for all kinds of dodgy behaviour. I would rather remain naively oblivious to it, but then again I can’t really afford to when the next generation are so vulnerable to it.

I fondly remember the days before the internet and smart phones, which I’ll admit does make me feel old, but it also makes me think whatever did I do with all that spare time??

Impacts of Organisational Transformation

By Monique O’Rielley 

Monique O'Rielley

Wow – what an evening and what an introduction into my new workplace that is Eden Ritchie Health Division.

We held the 2nd health event for 2015 in which over 50 people from various health industry backgrounds attended to discuss organisational transformation and its effects on delivering safe and quality healthcare in the current financial climate.

The night consisted of a pre-discussion mingle and then onto business where 4 well regarded panel members addressed this topic. The panel comprised of Ms Bernie Harrison (Principal Consultant Peloton Healthcare Improvement Centre), Dr Simon James (CEO Metro South PHN), Dr Shane Kelly (CEO Mater Health Services) and Dr Terence Seymour (Chief Strategy Officer, Uniting Care Health).

Ms Harrison set the tone of the evening by giving a very informative and in-depth presentation on her personal experience within this area; and the health services/health professionals she has worked with from all over the world. Simon, Shane and Terence then shared their own insights on the topic as way of introduction to the Q&A session.

The four then took questions from attendees and some of the discussion points surrounded;

  • “Patient Lead Care” models i.e. considering disease continuums,
  • continuous improvement of front-line staff,
  • developing clinical leaders,
  • stability of leadership and CEO lead quality improvement during transformation.

A publication referred to during the evening by Professor Anthony Staines (Lyon, France) is a very informative article surrounding this topic. Click here to read the article.

Overall the night was a great success largely due to the generosity of all the healthcare professionals who dedicated their personal time to attend this evening. Receiving fantastic feedback from those in attendance and already much anticipation about the next ‘topic’

I am looking forward to future events and opportunities in meeting new people, who have a similar passion for healthcare.

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

It’s the vibe

Justine Eden

By Justine Eden, Director

Last weekend while in the city for the purpose of birthday gift shopping and with the family in tow, I took an opportunist detour into the Apple Store. My iPhone 6 has a glitch in it that means it randomly switches from silent to not – which I find disconcerting. Being the control freak I am, the thought of my phone ringing during a crucial meeting means I have to continually turn it off.

Like the Catholic Church – the Apple stores have the best real estate and this one was no exception. Still early in the day, the store was already packed and the merchandise was gleaming with a seductive allure. The strategically placed door greeters had eager smiles and iPad’s at the ready. I explained my phone’s glitch and was asked whether I had an appointment, to which I replied that I had been passing and taken the opportunity to drop in with the hope someone could take a look. I was told to go over to the service area and book an appointment and that it would probably be in an hour or so before someone could see me.

Oh Apple! When did you morph into Telstra? There was a time you just strolled into a store and had 3 Apple repair geeks so keen to help, you ended up buying another product.

I’ve been a Mac user since university, when I started my business in 1996 it was a Mac we used and we have operated with them ever since. Oh how we were ridiculed back then however some time, say around the early 2000’s – Macs became cool. Maybe it was the multicoloured ones they brought out, I loved my black Mac Book Pro with its buffed surface, now I am addicted to my iPhone, iTunes and Apple TV.

Apple is defined in my opinion by innovation agility and edge, the “book an appointment” approach was so Coles deli counter and not what I expected. Apple to its credit will at times listen and change – okay so maybe you need to be Taylor Swift to get their attention but it’s worth a try. A company is defined by its culture, the customer experience and responsiveness, along with a quality product or service. I’ve always rated the service experience I’ve had at Apple – but now they’ve got me worried.

We don’t need any more monolithic corporate giants who are so removed from their customers they misread signals and under deliver. If you’re like me you get energised from a great customer service experience because it’s so rare. It’s a vibe you get from the moment you walk in, the place hums and the people are engaged and they want to help you. The systems operate below the surface so you don’t even notice them but they ensure a consistently high level of satisfaction.

I still need to get my phone fixed so I’m giving it another try, or maybe I’ll just settle and “make an appointment”?

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

What Makes a Good Leader

For the last few weeks I have worked with a number of clients to make critical executive level appointments. So what makes a good leader? I am not talking about the ability to strategically influence complex agendas, but rather the key qualities every good leader should possess such as honesty, the ability to delegate, communication skills, a sense of humor, commitment, innovation, and the ability to inspire others!!

The bar needs to be high in regards to honesty. Your work unit is a reflection of you, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit.

The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. If people like what they do they will be better at it, so learn to trust your team.

Being able to clearly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate what you want your team to do, you won’t all be working towards the same goal.

Things don’t always go according to plan. Part of your job as a leader is to put out fires and maintain team morale, staying calm and confident, will ensure your team feels the same.

If you expect your team to work hard and produce quality outcomes, you’re going to need to lead by example. There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss down in the trenches working alongside everyone else.

Its important to keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the business. Whether that means saying good morning or actually being interested in others’ lives, or even just an occasional wine in the office, its important to remember that everyone on your team is a person.

Decisions will not always be clear-cut and as leaders we are forced at times to deviate from the set course and make decisions on the fly. This is where innovation and the ability to think outside the box is key to success.

When leading a team through uncharted waters, there is no roadmap. Everything is uncertain, and the higher the risk, the higher the pressure. That is where your natural intuition has to kick in.

Inspiring your team and ensuring everyone feels invested in the accomplishments of the business is critical. Generating enthusiasm for the hard work is so important. Remember a business is only as good as its people.

So being a good leader is one thing, but it is even more important that you emphasize these qualities to those who are making the hiring decisions.

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Do you respond or react?

I’ve been doing a significant amount of reading lately about managing emotions in the workplace, and the affect this can have on how the team and how your employer might view you.

Emotions are an important part of us all. They help fuel our drive, motivation, desire to succeed, and can also ignite our fears … of failing, making mistakes and losing the ability to concentrate and think rationally.

Stress is a reality in most workplaces, but what is it that makes some people thrive while others appear to fall apart at the seams.

I have noticed time and again that those who keep it together in stressful situations and don’t allow their emotions to take control are those who take the time to listen and then respond, rather than hear and react.

Without wanting to sound too ‘zen’ responding is about learning to pause, to take the time to wait for your ‘reaction’ to subside.

How many times have you wanted to just say your piece regardless of the consequences? How many times have you hit the send button and immediately regretted it? In the workplace this can lead to conflict, tension and can lose you respect from your manager or peers, which can be difficult things to overcome and recover from, not to mention the negative health problems it can cause you!

Responding is simply a conscious choice, and experts say that the responsive mode is the natural state that our brains rest in. It is our ‘happy place’. So why don’t we choose that instead? Because we are human beings with natural instincts and behaviours, we make mistakes and say things we regret.

Retraining our brain can takes years, but it all starts with awareness … so next time you feel that natural instinct to react to a situation, try waiting about 10 seconds before you say anything.

It may just save you from making a bad situation worse!

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

First impressions last…and last…

With all the avenues available to job-hunters to look for work, make connections, and market themselves, you can now make a ‘first’ impression multiple times. A hiring manager or recruitment consultant might view your LinkedIn profile or social media posts, read your resume, speak to people in your networks, or call, text, or email you, all before they meet you in person. In doing so they start to form a view of your personal attributes and style, as well as how you operate, and what you have to offer their company. Representing yourself consistently across all of these forums is important, so that prospective employers see you as genuine, professional, and job-ready.

Recently I needed to contact a candidate who’d made a positive ‘first’ impression with a great resume that outlined, amongst other things, their well-developed communication and engagement skills. However, these skills did not extend very far when it came to setting up an interview for a role. Getting in touch proved difficult, despite my repeated follow-ups via phone and email. To make matters worse, when we finally did connect, the person’s telephone manner and tone was abrupt and disinterested, which left a very different impression, and had me reconsidering whether to put their CV forward at all.

I’ve also met candidates with excellent LinkedIn profiles highlighting their strong writing and research skills, and organisational and time management capabilities. Unfortunately some of these candidates have not been able to translate these abilities to a successful interview. Research and writing skills should help you to easily get background information on the organisation you’re applying to, either through websites, media articles, or industry information. From there you can work up useful prompts for your interview responses, as well as a few brief but relevant questions to ask about the job itself. Hiring managers or panels will spot inadequate preparation or a disorganised approach every time – it’s that obvious. On another note, if you’ve written a great resume but your LinkedIn profile is a bit bare, you can simply cut and paste sections of it across to add more detail to your profile, making your online and hard copy profiles more uniform.

We’re all pressed for time but it really is worth the effort to regularly review the various tools and profiles you use to promote yourself in the job market, and keep them updated and consistent. In today’s competitive environment, you need to make it as easy as possible for employers to get the right ‘first’ impression of you – every time!

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Leading Women

Last week I had the opportunity to hear 3 amazing women speak about their rise through the ranks to be in top positions for their organisations or government departments.

  • Julieanne Alroe – CEO and Managing Director – Brisbane Airport Corporation
  • Katarina Carroll – Commissioner QLD Fire and Emergency Services and
  • Winna Brown – Partner, Assurance – Ernst and Young

It was quite inspiring to listen to them tell their stories and acknowledge and laugh with them about perceptions and barriers along the way. The story from Commissioner Carroll about when she first joined the police force in 1983 and was required to wear high heels and carry both her gun and handcuffs in her handbag, while the men wore these on their belt. This was a clear distinction between the genders. Of course now that is not the case as both male and female officers wear these plus more on their utility belts.

My biggest take from this event, was that we need to voice what we want and not be afraid to do so. Be bold and ambitious in what we want. Take the risk and don’t be afraid. If you don’t ask then you will never know.

This is further more reiterated in a book that I am reading at the moment called “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg who is the COO for Facebook. Times are changing and there are more women in leadership positions across the world then 10 years ago.

Don’t get me wrong, we have a long way to go and with the next generation of women coming through, are not afraid to speak up and ask and this will lead to more and more women will be in significant leadership roles.

The gap of inequality in leadership positions is slowly decreasing and I look forward to the day in which I see more women in senior positions.

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Application Overload!

The employment market is an ever changing machine, and at times a horrific ordeal for some. Within the FastERR division of Eden Ritchie Recruitment we appear to be spoilt for choice with an abundance of quality candidates available for work across a variety of disciplines.

Whether it is administration work, project management, accounting support for financial year-end, procurement and contracts specialists or HR expertise required, there is work out there for those ready, willing and able to take it, but the competition is fierce!

While it is safe to say that it is an employer’s market, by no means does that make it easy for the employer, in fact more often than not it creates more work, which is why the engagement of recruitment agencies has not decreased. When seeking an administrator, whether it is permanent or temporary appointments, the average number of applications can be in the 100’s. This means more work for decision makers, more reading and more hours spent away from the demanding requirements and responsibilities of their day-to-day job to work on recruitment processes.

There are a number of theories out there as to why the current market is candidate rich, but one in particular is becoming more apparent…many of those whom received voluntary redundancy packages in 2012 are now eager to gain employment within State Government again, and are able to do so without any penalties now that the required allocation of time has passed. Of course some tax-payers would question whether this is merited given that it was deemed so necessary to reduce the number of public servants to claw back some of the state’s debt. There are also plenty that argue if public sector bosses had greater ability to hire and fire then the workforce wouldn’t increase to a level that required such drastic measures to rectify.

It is fair to say that some critical key talent left the public service during the Newman Government’s ‘cull’, some of who were able to move on to satisfying careers outside of the public service, and others who simply took some time out to enjoy life, free of the daily grind.

Whatever the case, we are happy to be reconnecting with familiar faces and representing high-quality talent who are enthusiastic and eager to work, and we are equally enthusiastic about taking the pain out of the often-stressful process of recruiting for both public and private sector employers.

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

What do your social media profiles say about you?

Todays job hunt no longer consists of flicking through classified and endless pages of results on job boards. Everyday new social media platforms are being released and used by job seekers and recruiters alike. Not surprising considering social professional networks are the fastest source of quality hires globally – and this has increased 73% over the past 4 years.

They say ‘first impressions last’! Well in the social media soaked world we live in we no longer have the ability to make that first impression in person with a smart suit or firm hand shake; this is now made through review of your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ …

So, where are you showcasing your ‘personal brand’? Where are you promoting your professional expertise? Are these platforms projecting a positive image for a prospective employer? Are they ‘employer friendly’?

Tips for creating a professional digital impression:

  • Google yourself … Then review all of your social media accounts from the perspective of a potential employer
  • Delete/Untag inappropriate photos
  • Remove posts that could be potentially offensive (i.e. Race, gender, religion, or politics. These things can be taken out of context)
  • Contribute to relevant forums and discussions
  • Review your grammar and spelling
  • Keep content up to date

92% of recruiters use social networking sites so whether you are actively seeking employment or not – remember we are looking at your profiles.

Make these sites work for you. There are endless sites with tips and information about how to better use each of the platforms to boost your job prospects. Eg.Mashable: The Ultimate Social Network Job Searching Guide

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Lost in (mis)communication

It’s imperative in any role/industry/personal situation that you communicate effectively. I’m sure everyone has heard the saying “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” and have experienced at least once in their life where a situation has been misconstrued as a result of miscommunication.

Having worked for myself for a number of years I have experienced both sides of the coin and learnt my lessons very quickly.

It’s easy to word an email, fire it off and hope for the best, but is the person on the other end reading the same words with the same emphasis and passion as you? Probably not… The moment you get the lines of communication open, opportunities you never expected will suddenly become visible and projects will run smoother.

Here are a few of my tips:

  1. Meetings: It’s easier to communicate with passion when you are in a face-to-face meeting. In this forum members of the meeting will not only hear what you are saying but also feel it in your tone and body language. This also makes it easier for you to gauge their responsiveness through body language and make adjustments to your conversation.
  2. Be confident: Display confidence at all costs. If you doubt yourself, then so will your client or team member.
  3. Listen: Communication is intended to be a two way street. Don’t just talk about yourself. Create talking points and encourage members to participate in discussions.
  4. Focus on your tone: one word can mean a completely different thing when said in a different tone. Focus on using the appropriate tone of voice to communicate your message. Good communicators can pick on hesitation in a speakers tone.
  5. Be Appreciative: When wrapping up any form of communication, always remember to thank participants for their time. It costs you nothing and shows your respect and
  6. Emails: Be relevant and concise. It’s about the right content at the right time, delivered using the right channel.

Regardless of what industry you work in, these points will assist you in establishing clear and concise communication. Not only will you be more efficient in the work place you will also develop stronger and more personable relationships!

Give it a try.

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Meeting the Market – How to get the best out of your job search

Angela AndersonBy Angela Anderson

Recruitment is one of those industries where there’s always a new trend or issue to ‘jump’ on, and everyone has a story or opinion. As a relative newcomer to ‘the dark side’, there are a few consistent things I’ve observed, especially when it comes to candidates who successfully meet the market and get that job, time and time again.

First of all, they apply the ‘quality not quantity’ principle – meaning they don’t panic and apply for anything going! Instead they look for roles that fit with their career skills and experience, provide them with an opportunity to learn and develop (for example, in a new sector), and offer reasonable (not always top) rates. When I meet with these candidates, I’m impressed with their ‘big picture’ thinking – they’ve worked out how long their savings will last, what help their networks can offer, and the options they are prepared to consider if getting a job takes longer than expected. Some of these options might be taking on a short-term contract, relocating, or stepping down a level, just to get ‘back in the saddle’.

Another thing I’ve noticed about successful candidates is they stay connected to people who can help them. From recruiters to former colleagues to professional networks, they regularly seek out market ‘intel’ on current and potential roles, keeping themselves front of mind with these contacts. They also take on other forms of networking such as volunteering, doing some professional development, or posting in on-line blogs and discussions. As so many roles aren’t advertised, or have a very quick turnaround if they are, successful candidates keep their resume, referees, and LinkedIn profile up to date, ready for when that hiring manager or recruitment consultant calls.

Finally, and probably most importantly, consistently successful candidates are resilient. If they have moments of doubt or frustration about their job search – whether it be rejection for a role they really wanted, or withdrawal of a role after they did a great interview – they stay positive, upbeat, and ready to take any learnings and apply them in their next application. For them it’s all about rising to the challenges of the market and winning! – by getting that job.

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team 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.

The Perfect Resume

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

I usually spend about 5 minutes reviewing a resume in the first instance, and research suggests that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume before they make the initial decision about your suitability or not for a role… ouch!! That means you have to win them over fast. So what makes a perfect resume? There is no perfect resume format, but some are certainly better than others. At the end of the day, your skills and qualifications will get you the job. However a great resume will be the key to getting you in the door and securing a job interview. So here are a few key things to consider.

Given the growth of social media, it is a good idea to include a link to your professional online profile (I am assuming you have one – if not… I suggest you read one of my earlier Blogs). Employers and recruiters look at any potential applicant’s online profile, so why not just include your URL with your contact information in your resume.

Don’t include an objective statement, it is so yesterday. There’s no point in including a generic objective about “a professional looking for opportunities that will allow you to leverage your skills… blah.. blah”. It’s not helpful; it’s distracting, so just ditch it. Replace it with an executive summary, which should be similar to a “30-second grab” explaining who you are and what you’re looking for. In no more than five sentences, explain what you’re great at and how you can provide value to a prospective employer. In a nutshell, what makes you stand out from the crowd?

List your most recent roles first. This means anyone reading your resume is able to see what you’ve been doing in recent years immediately. More information should be provided about the more recent positions, since this is where your most important achievements are usually found.

Another good trick is to identify keywords consistent with the job advertisement or role description and incorporate them into your resume (assuming you have those skills).

Ensure you describe your past experience, skills and achievements. This should be changed for every job you apply for to ensure prospective employers understand why you are perfect for the job. Please don’t send a generic version of your resume for every role you apply for, it is obvious you haven’t taken the time to tailor it and does not win points with prospective employers. Include your achievements, as it is not sufficient to simply state the roles and responsibilities that you have held. Ensure you highlight and even quantify the outcomes you have delivered. This is a testament to how you have added value to an organisation, and can include the dollars you saved or revenue you created for your employer and projects delivered on time or under budget.

As I said in one of my previous blogs, “you get out what you put in”, so be prepared to spend some time on your resume and refine it for every role you apply for, “near enough is not good enough” in this competitive market. Your resume is a critical part of your professional toolkit, and will play a key role in you nailing that next job.

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 Perfect Resume

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

I usually spend less than 5 minutes reviewing a resume, and research suggests that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume before they make the initial decision on candidates. That means you have to win them over fast. So what makes a perfect resume? There is no perfect resume format, but some are closer to perfect than others. At the end of the day, your skillset and qualifications will get you the job. However a great resume will be the key to getting that job interview. So here are a few key points to consider.

A new idea of mine, given the growth of social media, is to make sure your resume includes a URL to your professional online profile. Employers and recruiters look up a candidate’s online profile, so why not just include your URL along with your contact information in your resume.

Don’t include an objective statement, it is so yesterday. There’s no point in including a generic objective about “a professional looking for opportunities that will allow me to leverage my skills”. It’s not helpful, it’s distracting, so just ditch it. Replace it with an executive summary, which should be similar to a “30-second elevator pitch” explaining who you are and what you’re looking for. In approximately three to five sentences, explain what you’re great at, most interested in, and how you can provide value to a prospective employer.

Use reverse chronological order. This means anyone reading your resume is able to see what you’ve been doing in recent years immediately. More space should be allocated to the more recent positions, since this is where your most important achievements are usually found.

Identify keywords consistent with the job advertisement or role description and incorporate them into your resume (assuming you have those skills).

Ensure you describe your past experience, skills and achievements. This should be changed for every job you apply for to ensure prospective employers understand why you are perfect for the job. Include your achievements, as it is not sufficient to simply state the roles and responsibilities that you have held. It is vital to illustrate and even quantify the outcomes you delivered. This is a testament to how you have added value to an organisation, and can include the money you saved or brought in for your employer, deals closed, and projects delivered on time or under budget.

As I said in one of my previous blogs, “you get out what you put in”, so be prepared to spend some time on your resume and refine it a number of times until it is right. It is part of your toolkit, to nailing that next job.

Need help with your resume or want to know more? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Resumes, I Have Seen It All!

By Kate Broadley

I’ve sent lots of resumes over my career and I’ve personally reviewed thousands.

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Some are fantastic, most are just ok, and many are just dreadful, sorry I know that hurts. The worst part is, I continue to see the same mistakes made over and over by candidates, who are then shortlisted out and eliminated from consideration for a job. What’s most depressing is that I can tell from the resumes that many of these individuals are really good and would offer much to the prospective employer. But in this fiercely competitive labor market (yes fiercely competitive is what I said) employers don’t need to compromise or even wonder if you might have the right skill set. All it takes is one small mistake and your resume will be rejected, there are many other well written resumes to consider.

I know this is well-worn ground, but I promise you, more than half of you have at least one of these mistakes on your resume. And I’d much rather see you win jobs than get passed over.

Typos. This one seems obvious, but it happens again and again. So please read your resume from bottom to top: reversing the normal order helps you focus on each line in isolation. Or have someone else proofread it for you.

Length. Some people believe that resumes should be one page. Some say two pages. Some say three. Many candidates for positions are frightened that if they don’t comply with some arbitrary length limit, their resume won’t get read. This is all nonsense as there are no so-called “rules”. You should provide sufficient detail so that employers and recruitment consultants realise that you understand the impact of your role, that you go about your work using a well-reasoned thought process, and you have the judgment, knowledge and other skills needed for the types of roles for which you are applying. The issue is not how long the resume is. It’s about whether it conveys enough information to differentiate you from the competition and gets you to that first interview. Once you’re in the room, the resume doesn’t matter much. So cut back your resume. It’s too long.

Formatting. Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible. At least ten point font, white paper, black ink and a reasonable margin on both sides of the page. Consistent spacing between lines, columns aligned with your name and contact information on every page. Your head shot, no matter how good you look in it, is unnecessary… your LinkedIn profile will usually suffice for employers who are interested in you (and if you don’t have your photo on LinkedIn, refer to my previous blog “How to build your professional brand”).

Of course, I shouldn’t have to mention it, but please, please don’t lie… you will get busted, its just a matter of time.

The good news is that if you can avoid these mistakes, you will be halfway there. In a future blog, I’ll talk about what you can do to make your resume stand out, other than the things to avoid!! Go on, review your resume and see if you can eliminate some of these mistakes.

Need help with your resume or want to know more? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

How to Build Your Professional Brand

How to Build Your Professional Brand

By Kate Broadley

This is all very new to me, but is probably old hat to many of you in the commercial world!!

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

So I am going to start with the basics!!! LinkedIn is your friend, so create a LinkedIn profile and start connecting. I know there is not always time, but make time to ask and answer LinkedIn questions to increase your visibility. Please, please put a photo on your LinkedIn Profile, how can you brand yourself, if others can’t see you?…and yes it should be a professional corporate image, not one of your favourite holiday happy snaps!

Those of you who are sensitive about what others can see about you on LinkedIn need to take a breath and relax. You should check your settings and make sure your personal information is only visible to those you chose to make it visible to. Even I have learnt that you do really want people to read your profile, so the more visible it is the better!!

Why you ask?!! Well I did ask…and now I do understand. Your LinkedIn profile is your opportunity to showcase your talents for potential employers, clients or the like. So many companies have used LinkedIn to recruit candidates for employment. Recruitment specialists like Eden Ritchie often use LinkedIn to identify passive candidates. You might just be the passive candidate these companies are looking for, if only you had a personal brand.

To have a personal brand people need to know about you and what you do. Comment on other people’s blogs, write some articles, go to events, and network with your contacts. Be sure that all your endeavours are focused and relevant to both your skills and your career goals. Writing a well-written blog focused on your area of expertise is another good addition to your professional branding package.

Personal branding is about knowing people in your industry, so while I would love to toil away hidden in the office, I have learnt that you do need to make the time to meet with people, either online or in-person. Send them an email or a message, I can’t believe how many great people I have met, many of them because I sent them a quick email introducing myself or vice versa.

Building your brand isn’t a one shot wonder. It takes time to build a solid presence and should be an ongoing activity, built into your daily program. Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date, stay in touch with your contacts, build and maintain your network, and work on your branding on a regular basis. What’s that saying…nothing in life worth having is easy…. Or is it you get out what you put in!?!

Need help with your LinkedIn profile, contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter

Post and Pray vs. Passive Candidates

So what does “Post and Pray” mean? This is where you place a job advertisement and hope that great candidates with the right qualifications apply. As recruiting experts, we tend to disagree. I would much prefer to have control, which is why I am so interested in passive candidates in the market place.

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

So what is a passive candidate? A passive candidate isn’t necessarily looking for work, but they may be interested if the right job comes along. Employers often actively seek passive candidates, especially when they looking for people with very specific skills and experience.

When employers proactively recruit candidates, it’s called candidate sourcing and companies may look for candidates via LinkedIn and social networking sites, as well as working with recruiters to find qualified applicants.

Naturally many employers still choose to use the “post and pray” approach. More fool you in my opinion, but even I would have to concede that if used correctly this can play a role in helping you find the right person for that job. To ensure you get a better match of applicants to your post, make sure you use strategic keywords, keep the job description relevant and brief, and set the right expectations from the start. This can mean the difference between sorting through hundreds of unsuitable resumes to receiving a steady flow of qualified talent.

Recently I shortlisted for an administration role which had been advertised as “post and pray” through an external source, and there were over 250 applications…from which I struggled to find 10 suitable candidates to interview. Surely there is something wrong here, so forget the “post and pray” and start marketing your jobs in a way that influences the calibre of candidates you get.

Remember to visit our newly launched website for all your career information – www.edenritchie.com.au and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

“50 Shades of Grey” in HR

1D6A0555

By Kate Broadley

What did we do before the days of GPS or the soothing voice of Siri? Well many of us have spent some quality time driving around lost, as the map usually was no help, as it didn’t include the most recent streets and intersections. As daunting as this was, as a HR practitioner, this ambiguity is all part of a day in the office, as we navigate employment rules, regulations and issues, as well as the endless paperwork requirements.

But perhaps more daunting than that, is when we must deal with situations where there is no rulebook. For many, it’s those grey areas that are the most challenging. If you love logic and following rules, then this is not the job for you. Human interactions are, by their very nature, unpredictable and don’t follow any pattern. We as human resource practitioners must “reflect” to find the right solution to each specific situation, develop options and work towards an outcome. Hence, the principle that there are no right answers or standard processes that will generally hold true for all situations. So get comfortable with the “50 Shades of Grey”, if you want to be a truly good HR practitioner. Every single HR issue is unique and should be treated that way. But beware you need to be the sort of person who can jump in and treat each situation as unique without needing to apply the standard solution. Interested on hearing others thoughts on the “50 Shades of Grey” in the HR world.

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.

G20 Summit – Hello Brisbane!

By Justine Eden

Justine

With the G20 Summit set to roll into Brisbane this week, we thought it would be perfect timing to reflect on what this means for you and for Brisbane.

For starters, if you work in the Brisbane local government area, this Friday the 14th November is a public holiday. With the amazing weather we are currently experiencing and from all media reports on how busy the Brisbane area will be, it may be the best time to get out of Brisbane and enjoy what it is to live in the ‘sunshine state’!

Things to do, so many things to do! The Summit also means there is a range of activities that you can attend including the Global Café. The Global Café will see 75 international experts discuss issues critical to our future at Brisbane City Hall. Check out these links to find out what else is on:

What does it mean for Brisbane and in turn Queensland? As a Brisbane based business, focused on the success and growth of Queensland for over 18 years, we think it shines a light on the growing economy and international reputation of our state and capital. Letting the world know that major events and opportunities have a perfect destination right here in Brisbane. This will no doubt continue to encourage economic development and future ideas for the state of Queensland.

However you look at it, the G20 Summit is arriving this week and there are many ways to we can make the best out of the opportunity. And, of course, our team will be working up until Thursday, so feel free to contact us with any of your recruitment questions.

Don’t forget to follow Eden Ritchie Recruitment on Linkedin and Twitter to stay in touch with all that is happening in the Eden Ritchie world!

ACHSM Breakfast Forum “Health IT Reform in Queensland Health – New Beginnings”

Written by: Bridget Young

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I entered the function room at Royal on the Park with trepidation, as I always do when arriving at networking events or forums – will I fall flat on my face and cause the whole room to turn and stare; will this be a valuable investment my managers and directors have made for my benefit; will I get some real market intelligence to help me with better serving my clients?

In direct order the answers to the above were No (thank God!); Yes (more thanks to the heavens!); and YES (FINALLY!). A public introduction to Queensland Health’s Chief Health Information Officer quickly confirmed why Mal Thatcher has been selected as the person to captain the sometimes ‘leaky boat’ that the public has often perceived as the IT component of our public health offering in Queensland.

With an ironic and self-deprecating sense of humour, it became immediately apparent that in keeping with Government’s Contestability and Fit for Purpose drivers, Mr Thatcher wanted us to know what he had achieved so far and was transparent about where he hoped to steer this ship moving forward.

Alignment with Health’s “Blueprint for Better Health “ and the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 will be forefront in the ‘devolution’ from centralised Corporate services, enabling adoption of an Agile approach to Policy, Governance and Architecture to facilitate innovation. With an intended reduction of red-tape and reallocation of responsibility and accountability to the regional Hospital and Health Services, we will ideally see Fit for Purpose solutions determined by those best informed to evaluate what will work for their unique requirements, whilst still maintaining integrity and future integration options.

A very strong focus on eHealth, innovation and waste reduction should further stimulate ICT job opportunities and find us on the cutting edge of Healthcare Technology. Some topics of note included Digital services such as open data, security/privacy and archiving; Information as a strategic asset; As A Service offerings; core system replacement and a paradigm shift from “IT Projects” to “Business Transformation Projects” with IT elements.

It’s all one big Balancing Act

By Justine Eden

JustineI am about to get on a plane and fly to London. 12 months ago it seemed like the best idea. Now as the departure day looms – I am feeling sick with guilt.

An opportunity to go on a trip minus family, sans kids! I always travel with my family in tow, it’s a different holiday with kids, but watching them experience the world is magic. But there are times where walking past a great bar that’s packed and happening, but doesn’t welcome kids, can be hard.

So – now I am off with my business partner Kim Ritchie. It’s a business trip, really it is. I know our strategic planning trips in the past, have been called strategic tanning by some, but this is seriously business.

We have a long list of specialist clinical skills that can’t be sourced locally and will be attending a leading health careers fair. We have partnered up with Business & Skilled Migration Queensland who provide fast tracked permanent residency for those eligible.

We will represent Queensland and show case the best our State has to offer. We have loaded ourselves up with Queensland themed give-aways – thong bottle openers, pens with pineapples on top of them, BBQ shapes and Tim Tams…. It’s all one big scary business opportunity and it’s really exciting to be able to undertake something on this scale.

The guilt I feel is all about leaving my babies and my baby (ERR – but it is 18 and is surely, by now, an adult??). But what do you do – I am a big believer in taking calculated risks and pushing out of your comfort zone in order to grow. We have days booked with meetings and (of course) evenings booked with great restaurants and shows….

I am determined to maximize this great opportunity we have worked hard to create for ourselves. We are a small business – but we punch above our weight. Will keep you posted on how we go!!!

I just don’t get it …

By Justine Eden

Getting older is an interesting thing, it gives you perspective and context and as youJustine mature, a greater level of self-perception, so that you no longer self doubt quite as much. On the down side you are less tolerant, more cynical and openly vocal when you don’t agree with something……

So I’m putting it out there – what’s with cocktails in jam jars?! Or de-constructed food with foam and pieces of bark? The other day I saw an article about a restaurant in Melbourne that hangs pieces of dehydrated food on a mini Hills Hoist – and charge you a fortune for the experience! And what’s all this fuss about Paleo??

And while I’m on it, what with the footpaths in Brisbane?! It almost compels me to go into local politics on the platform (get it?!) of fixing the pavements for all those (like me) breaking heels and tripping over cracks and holes in the footpaths.   Seriously, the pavements in Denpasar are in better condition!

Traffic jams – why can’t we have a staggered start time for work and schools so we are not all on the roads at the same time, fighting to get somewhere – aging while we sit in the traffic scowling at the person in the car next to us trying to get into our lane. And why do they do road works and close lanes in peak hour???

Ok – I’m on a roll, airlines. Why does it have to take so long to get on and off a plane? Why is the food SO BAD? Why is it such a surprise to get a flight attendant who is happy to help you. Why do I get selected for explosives testing every time I make it through the security check? And don’t get me started on people with carry on luggage and the lack of space for your things.

Call me old fashioned, but I hate self-serve checkouts, they never work and take longer. And why can’t we have drive through petrol stations or the ability to pay at the pump?? Why is petrol so expensive? Even when the Aussie $ was high we still didn’t get reduced petrol prices.

Saying that, I’m quite prepared to pay for service, and don’t you notice great service when you get it these days?! In fact, average service has become the norm. No wonder we are all thirsting for new, better, different – and when we find it we flock to it.

It’s the small things that make the difference, a smile, a hand written card, even a thank you. Maybe I am showing my age……

Remind me again – Why am I doing this?

JustineWritten by: By Justine Eden

 

Ever found yourself doing something and wondering why you wanted to do this in the first place?  Or perhaps you agreed to do something as a favor to someone you respect, but ended up regretting getting involved?  I have.

Unfortunately my forays into doing “community” based endeavors have not always played out as I imagined.  I went in really excited – feeling it was an opportunity to contribute back to a community that I had lived in as well as get involved in a different sector that interested me.

While these ventures have been wonderful as far as meeting new people and building new friendships what’s surprised me is how often dysfunctional these organisations are.  Boards are usually made up of strong personalities use to being the “captain at the helm, calling the shots”.

I believe that when you are responsible for public funds the need for transparency and governance is absolute and that’s something I take very seriously.  From the way cash is collected and controlled through to the way funds are spent and what it is spent on – there has to be a clear objective that everyone is aware of and the majority agrees on.

Many community-based organisations are run by volunteers who may or may not have a business background, but still bring a myriad of skills that are valuable in every respect.  Discussions seem to take longer to reach a resolution and often you don’t get a consensus but I don’t think that is a bad thing, just sometimes frustrating.

There’s no doubt that most people have the best intentions, but too often hidden agendas and power plays seem to get in the way of appropriate “corporate citizen” behavior.  Many have been immersed in the organization for considerable periods of time and therefore struggle with the new and emerging landscape, where to remain viable you have to change.

There’s a lot of good being done, of course, but like anything, it has to resonate with you.  There needs to be a fit and a connection where you feel like you are making a contribution to the greater good.  For me, its early days and I’m not saying that I am totally giving up, but I have been left wondering if it just not for me……..

Success in 2014 …

Jane Harvey

By Jane Harvey

It sounds so basic but many a great motivator over the years has stated that the whole secret of personal success is to find out what your calling is, and then do it. Sound easy?? The great question for success has always been, how do successful people get there? Why is it that some people naturally think in a positive way, while others don’t? What determines your success or lack of it??

Many successful people I have interviewed and spoken to over the past (too many) years, have been asked the simple question, “What do you think about, most of the time? And where do you see yourself in 10 years” Their answers are so simple yet so profound. In short, they either choose to be positive… or they don’t.  They either think about what they want, and how to get it or they think about the obstacles in their path.

Successful people all think the same… and I think that if you look at people who seem to have come from nothing and succeeded. They are not super heros or even always academic. The common denominator is almost always the power of positive thinking and self belief. Your self-concept plays a prominent role in almost everything you think, feel and accomplish in life. By looking at and learning from the habits of successful people and by remaining positive in your thought patterns, you too are sure to become a successful person!

We have just come through a couple of years of uncertainty in Australia and it has certainly been an up and down year in QLD alone but 2014 is looking to be shining bright on so many fronts. As you would all be aware, the employment space is a key indicator to the overall economics of not only QLD but the whole of Australia. It impacts what people buy, the housing market, the tourism sector and even the not for profit space, basically it is the catalyst for so much of what happens in our life.

So I was so happy to come out of a hard year in 2013 and into the throws of what, by all accounts is destined to be a big year on the job front. Some of the most exceptional candidates I have met with in my career have just entered the job seeker market and some of the most interesting jobs we have worked on recently seem to be pouring through the doors. So I can only come to one conclusion. The future of 2014 is looking so bright! I feel optimistic after a turbulent few years and I am also feeling that optimism from clients and candidates alike!

Bring on 2014… Lets get started!

How to shine at interview

By Kate Broadley

KateFINALA job interview gives you a chance to shine. Remember, what you say and do will either move you forward in your career or knock you out of contention. Seriously …it doesn’t take much to make an impression – good or bad. If you haven’t taken the time to dress appropriately or if you say the “wrong” thing, you have probably blown your chances before you even say a word…

My advice is take the time to prepare for your interview and don’t think you can wing it, I have certainly seen many people make this mistake. Make sure you know what’s on your resume, you would be surprised at the number of people who don’t outline why they are qualified for the job. Be able to talk about why you are interested in the company, and practice staying calm and focused. No matter how good you think you are, I am yet to find anyone who actually enjoys the experience. It’s important to remember that the image the interviewer has of you when they first meet you is the one that is going to last.

Know the Facts

I’ve been surprised when applicants weren’t able to tell me their dates of employment or what they actually did on a day-to-day basis in their job. Make sure you review your work history prior to interview – and ensure what you say matches what’s on your resume. Take the time to research the organisation and the job you’re applying for.

What You Don’t Say

What you don’t say can – and will – be used against you in a job interview. If you come to an interview chewing gum or drinking coffee, you will already have one strike against you. Not being dressed appropriately or having scuffed shoes will give you a second strike. Talking or texting on your cell phone or listening to an iPod while waiting to be called for the interview may be your final strike and you could have ruined your opportunity, before you have even said a word.

Verbal Communication

Your verbal communication is so important. Please don’t use slang and make sure you speak clearly. Remember, if you need to think about a response to an interview question, that’s fine. It’s better to think before you talk than to stumble over your words. Most importantly practice does make perfect, so practice answering some interview questions so you’re comfortable responding to the basics.

Listen

It can be easy to get distracted during a job interview. It’s stressful and you’re in the hot seat when it comes to having to respond to questions. Do your best to listen to what the interviewer is asking, it will be easier to frame appropriate responses.

 Non-Verbal Communication

What you don’t say during an interview is as important as what you do say. What’s important is to appear professional and attentive throughout the interview.

So with that said, I hope your next interview is a positive experience, remember, even if you are not successful, you can learn from the experience.

ICT skill shortages?

A study into employment in the Australian information and communications technology Tom Peard(ICT) industry estimates that Australia will need an additional 33,000 ICT professionals by mid 2017 and that there will be insufficient skilled workers to meet this demand. Yet it says that graduates from ICT courses are having trouble finding work.

If you work in IT, you only have to look around your office to see the age group is heavily made up of Gen X and little to no Gen Y’s.

Why is this? And what can be done to change it?

Well firstly, you can’t get a Bachelor of IT and suddenly be a Project Manager or a Business Analyst. Those sorts of titles require years of experience.

A total of 69.7% of recent computer science graduates are now in employment, although not necessarily in jobs related to their studies, and 12.9% are unemployed, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa).

Maybe we can rectify this problem by putting processes in place to help Graduates grow within their profession.

For example:

  • Summer vacation programs
  • Internships
  • Trade shows / exhibitions
  • Career days
  • Q&A sessions

Have a read through the article below to see a series of ideas the AWPA have presented to boost ICT skills in the market.

http://www.whatech.com/it-education/news/15428-wanted-8000-new-ict-workers-every-year

 

Core Values

Do you know what your employer’s core values are?

Linda ParkerIn society today so much emphasis is placed on customer service, value for money, teamwork, professionalism, quality etc. My question is, how many interviews have you attended where a company’s core values have even been brought up in discussion, either directly or indirectly?

When coming to my interview here at Eden Ritchie many years ago I had searched the company website and wrote down (it’s nearly impossible to memorise when interview nerves kick in) the core values and mission statement, as I realised that surely these must be a significant part of the key criteria in them choosing a new team member.

As a business owner or hiring manager it can be a really simple tool to use in the interview process, as surely you will want staff to align with the organisation’s core values in order for them to fit, and for your company to fit their own personal values and goals.  It really doesn’t matter what the core values are, you can design questions around them to test and assess.

Likewise, as a candidate going for a job interview it really doesn’t take much time or effort to go to a company website and search out this information.

Sometimes going back to basics can bring the most surprising results!

The Election Aftermath!

Jamie Harding

So, after months of discussion, debate, confusion and uncertainty, the election has been and gone!! After months of talking about it, the “Bright New Future” we were all promised is apparently here and we are told “Australia is open for business”…..or is it?!?

Election night provided high drama and long speeches, and as a Pom experiencing my first Aussie election, I was fascinated to hear that people held Election night parties, cancelling their usual Saturday night escapades in favour of a night in front of the TV.  And so, out of sheer curiosity, I too also tuned in to watch what all the fuss was about!!

Whether or not you tuned in to Channel 9’s coverage, with an ever grinning Karl and Lisa and a huge panel complete with a lady with a bright fish patterned blouse and numerous graphics of defeated (Labour) candidates being dropped into a shark tank and eaten, or you watched the more sedate and informative ABC coverage- what unfolded was exciting and dramatic and I must admit kept me glued to the TV!

So, now the dust has settled, what does the result mean for Australia and especially families and business’ in Queensland.  The good old Sunshine State seems to have dealt its current state representatives a wake up call by bucking the national trend and supporting (predominantly) Labor.  Has the result provided clarity, green shoots of economic recovery or will it mean more money in the pocket of Australians and Queenslanders?  Only time will tell…….

Even before the new government has been sworn in, this week has seen more positive news within the mining sector, the dollar up, markets trading higher and, according to the Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment released on Wednesday, consumer confidence is at its highest since 2010.  So far, so good!!!

It is early days but what is certain is that the new administration has a big job on its hands and with Australians, and business’ watching, it will need to act quickly to show that Australia really is open for business.

Time Wasters

Does technology mean more productivity or more opportunity to waste time?

With the increased number of people now using smart phones and/or tablets to monitor social media sites or access on line shopping, I often wonder if this is creating more opportunity for people to get distracted and waste time during work time?

smartphone2I recently caught up with a client who heads up a successful construction company, and after talking about staff productivity and performance, the discussion led to what employers can do to put some parameters or rules around people using their personal technology during work hours.

Admittedly a lot of professions rely on this technology to actually do their work and achieve success through prompt action, particularly in client service focused industries, making it difficult for employers to monitor this.

Does your organisation have a policy for staff using their personal devices during work hours and if so does it drive better productivity? I personally think it would be a difficult policy to monitor and keep consistent for all staff, and if people are still meeting their KPI’s and producing outcomes whilst having access to their personal devices then what harm is it really doing?

Do you yourself waste time during work hours using these devices for accessing non-work related sites?

It got me thinking about how many hours per week are actually wasted with non work related issues and tasks, and how many other distractions there are in the workplace to take us away from the job at hand.

This article “How you waste time when you’re at work” questions how much time we do waste at work, and whether distractions such as websites or social media are just an avenue to give ourselves a quick break before tackling the next task. It also has some interesting survey results highlighting the most common days and times for wasting time at work!

I’m going to sign off here and let you get back to work now… hopefully I haven’t wasted too much of your time!!Linda Parker

Innovation in Healthcare

Last week our Health Recruitment team at Eden Ritchie Recruitment successfully planned and launched our first ever round table event for healthcare professionals. Held in conjunction with Medical Journal Australia (MJA) Jobs, who recently launched their new careers page, we could not be more happy with the outcomes and the environment we helped create to allow like-minded healthcare professionals share ideas and network with their peers.

Our clients and the continual range of questions and conversations we heard across all the industries we work with drove this event and led us to the theme of ‘How to deliver safe and quality healthcare in the current financial climate with a health system focus.’

There has been much media lately in regards to the commercialisation of government assets as well as the move to a national health system structure that it seemed logical to include this topic, and we thought correct with 3 of the 4 tables focusing on this broad topic.

A further challenge for the healthcare industry has and will continue to be is the issue of workforce, which includes recruitment and retention especially in remote and regional locations and in a changing workforce landscape. This became our second topic and proved to reveal some of the most interesting insights and innovations of the night (i.e. Nurse wants a farmer).

Eden Ritchie Recruitments Health division and MJA Jobs team invited over 100 people and at final count on the night we had 35 people attend. Proving that even with the challenge of national budget night we still managed to draw quite a crowd, Again this made us realize the topic and concept to connect the health industry together to bounce ideas and generate discussion in a facilitated open forum is the right direction.

We really need to thank our facilitators for their passion and commitment on the night to guide each of the groups. Firstly for working with the tables to think up creative ideas, before working them towards a unique or innovative approach to the problem of ‘commercialisation and workforce in the current financial climate with a health system focus’.

All of our clients who attended on the night have spoken fantastically about the night and are looking forward to both the follow up report that will detail the ideas and table summaries as well as our next event to build on these ideas and connections further.

SueTTo find out more follow us on LinkedIn and look for our Health Innovation group in LinkedIn as well.

To fill or find?

Recruitment is an interesting business and I honestly think one of the few modern business areas that can have such a dramatic impact on the success of a business. As a topic, it is one I could write and debate about for way too long. However this week for the Eden Ritchie Recruitment blog I wanted to focus on just a small part of this idea.SueT

As a recruiter I have often been faced with the dilemma of am I just filling the role or am I finding the right candidate for the role and organisation. Sometimes this is driven by the client themselves with their need to just have a ‘bum on seat’, a topic that really deserves a whole blog to itself. The other part of the dilemma is finding the right candidate and what do they look like?

An article I recently read really hit home on this topic and I thought I would give my spin on it all, check out the story here – http://www.fordyceletter.com/2013/04/25/30-client-questions-that-will-save-you-time-and-make-you-money/

The articles lead idea matches my thoughts exactly – preparation is the key to not only understanding what the ideal candidate looks like but also developing the ‘business partner’ relationship with the client.

I realise in our industry time is a massive factor in how we do our job, and I know this can be an issue, however I think there is always time to make a plan of attack before we run that magical search.

My ideal way to find out what a client wants in a candidate is, at the basic level asks these key questions. From the clients response to these questions I will drill down my search criteria.

The candidate profile questions:

  • Why is the position vacant,
  • When do you need someone,
  • How does the role impact on you and/or the business,
  • Forget the position description, what are YOU looking for,
  • What makes this role attractive to people in this field,
  • What does success look like for this person,
  • Is there any absolute or mandatory requirements,
  • What is on offer,
  • When are you free to interview and can we lock it in now.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the questions you ask to find out what a client really wants in a candidate and if you have found this useful.

The Healthy, Happy Workplace

After coming back from a client visit to Toowoomba this week, where it is always noticeably cooler than Brisbane, it dawned on me that summer was truly over and that winter is just around the corner. Now for me, and probably most people who work in an office, this tends to mean more hours inside, less exercise and a greater consumption of the bad things that aren’t good for me! SueT

Add in the fact that we also spend most of our waking hours at work and travelling to and from work (not to mention the amount of time we spend thinking about it), our workplace health and wellbeing should be our number one concern.

For me the above is oh so true and even though I have worked in the health industry for over 10 years and ‘know better’, I have to honestly say that work/life balance has not always come first.

As I mentioned before, I am fairly sure most of us are in the same mindset. We want to be successful at work, we want to do what’s right for our team, yet what I think plagues most businesses and industries, is that the average person is stressed and doesn’t make the time to exercise or eat right. This inevitably reflects on the performance and attitudes of people at work.

When speaking with my colleagues and friends about this topic, I found that we all try different ways to keep ourselves healthy and happy in our personal lives. However when asked the additional question of “what do we do about our professional lives to keep us happy and healthy?” the point of view was very different.

I have seen many articles stating that wellbeing contributes to a healthy, happy, motivated and engaged workforce. In turn this positive wellbeing in the workplace has been shown to lower employee absence, keeps stress levels down and arguably helps to retain employees.

In the current financial climate, there are many low-cost and innovative ways to help your workforce in staying and getting healthy and happy. It could be as simple as having fresh fruit available, providing the opportunity to have an extra hour for lunch to go to the gym, contributing towards a gym membership, flexible working hours so that you can exercise in the mornings before work or leave early to exercise after work, group fitness sessions (group walks or activities) and access to information on how to keep healthy and happy.

There is literally an endless range of unique and low cost ideas you could offer your team to inspire them to being healthy and happy. So what does your organisation do, to encourage and support you in being healthy and happy at work?

Don’t forget to check out our homepage and follow us on LinkedIn from here – http://www.edenritchie.com.au/

OWN THE INTERVIEW!

In today’s market, it is essential that you have an impeccable CV to secure an interview. But how do you capitalise on that C.V. when you are sitting across from your prospective employer?

Let me ask you a question:

Q: How many times have you received feedback from a recruiter that the client secured a stronger candidate, but thank you for your time and effort; we will contact you when we have another position that matches your profile?

A: Often tom

Or this – 

Q: “I’m sorry we will not be moving forward with your application. The client was not confident in your ability to bring a professional approach to the role and was put off that you didn’t look them in the eye OR shake their hand with confidence”?

A: Just as often

If you are securing interviews but never securing the role, maybe something as simple as the above examples are holding you back.

With the amount of candidates in the market today, it is essential that you are prepared for your interview and are aware of all the aspects that will make you stand out from other applicants.

So, to be successful in securing a job in this market here are a few of my tips:

  • Do your history on the organisation and the panel members.
  • Give demonstrated examples of where you have completed a similar project or role.
  • Detail your specific duties within those projects/roles.
  • Point out transferable skills you offer.
  • Talk about the challenges you faced and how you overcame them.
  • Ensure confident and continual eye contact with the panel members.
  • Speak clearly and confidently and as if you are aiming for the back of the room.
  • Ask questions about the project and challenges they are facing?
  • Ask what sort of candidate they are looking for?

Here are some things that I see candidates do that may prevent them from securing a role:

  • Being under prepared and not having a thorough understanding of the organisation or panel members.
  • Under dressing.
  • Over dressing – wearing strong colours is not always good. Stick to light easy on the eye colours. We are not saying don’t be yourself but do consider the panel.
  • Giving vague answers about your experience.
  • Answering questions as if the panel members know everything about you from your CV – they don’t always know your CV and they also want to hear YOU talk about YOU and how YOU can help THEM.
  • Badmouthing past employers.
  • Leaving your mobile on.
  • Talking too much.
  • Looking around the room for answers.
  • Not thanking interviewers for there time.

Interviewing is simple, if you prepare and do your homework!

If you want to know more about interviewing, CV preparation or a general chat about the market and how the team at Eden Ritchie can help, give us a call on 3230 0033 or check out our website www.edenritchie.com.au 

Stand out from the pack

It’s not the most positive way to start this weeks blog, however with an increase in unemployment rates, it has become extremely competitive in the employment market. The more people looking for employment, means organisations, including recruitment agencies, are being overwhelmed with candidates keen to find a new opportunity.

With the urgency people are feeling to find employment and the sheer numbers in the market, you do need to ensure you stand out from the crowd. Now the question is, what will make the employer or recruiter take interest in your application over any of the others?

Now the positive part, here are some of my simple tips to ensure you stand out from the crowd.Mel1

The job

So you have just searched some job boards or social media and found what looks like an ideal role. Reading over the description, you are thinking, I could do this job. You read the requirements they want and in your mind you are ticking off each point, yes Yes YES!  Now what do you do?

Contact them first

Make contact with the recruiter or employer. Ask questions, find out more information that may not be in the position description or advertisement and show a genuine interest in the position. This also ensures they might keep an eye out for YOUR application when it comes through or at least have a connection to your name over candidates who do not call.

Follow up

I cannot emphasise this enough. Follow up and check on your application’s progress. As a general guide, leave it a couple of days before you first follow up, and chase up unanswered messages – but not too often. You want to show an interest in the position without getting in the road of recruiters doing their day-to-day work.

Get the person’s or company name right

Its important to take the time to get the basics right. It’s hard to make a good impression if you haven’t taken the time or effort to double-check who you’re speaking with or how to pronounce the company name. This includes ensuring your cover letter is addressed correctly.

Tailor your resume

Your resume is the most critical part of the application process.  It will determine whether or not you get an interview. Tailor your previous history around responsibilities and achievements to highlight what the organization is looking for in their position description. Listing specific industry related information like projects, methodologies, technologies, frameworks, functions, qualifications and trainings do make a different.

Make your resume catchy

Remember this is your pitch, your glossy sales brochure, selling you to the client. You want to spark an interest in your skills and experience. Focus on achievements and use short but sharp summaries for each position that draw the reader in.

Prioritise information

You need to engage the reader in the first couple of pages so a strong executive summary at the beginning of your resume and cleverly thinking about the layout will ensure they continue reading. Make sure everything in your resume is relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Apply early

Getting your application in early shows a number of positive traits, and if you beat the pack of applicants who leave it to the last minute, your application will be one of the first they see.

If you need more information about resume preparation we have more information available on our website.  http://www.edenritchie.com.au/contracting/resumes_coverletters.php

 

The long long weekend.

So here we are 3 months or even scarier a ¼ of the way through 2013, and it is that time of the year when the Easter break is well and truly needed. Now I am not saying this in a bad way, I love my job, I do work with an awesome team and I am lucky enough to help people make positive change to their lives and careers. SueT

However, after reading an article on “What successful people do on the weekend” I was somewhat surprised to read how executives embrace their weekends to ensure they can stay successful during the week. I imagined they would be ‘plugged in’ at set times over the weekend, did strategic planning and cleaned out their inbox – which is pretty much what I do!

The reality it appears is very different and it has inspired me to do the same. I am not quite bringing back the ‘work hard play hard’ theme but I am playing around with something more like ‘work is work and life is mine’ (I am still working on a better slogan!).

Now getting back to how successful people make the most of their weekends to ensure they are firing during the week. Knowing when to switch off from work and having outlets of meaning to you were the dominant themes that I read and honestly now thinking about it I cannot agree more.

Having that drive and focus to say when I am at work I am 100% committed and here to take on the challenges so that when I get to my downtime I can properly switch off and recharge that part of my brain, is the message I have taken away.

So with Easter about to kick in, I am going to make some positive changes and am determined to take what these successful leaders of industry are doing and apply my new mantra ‘work is work and life is mine’ mindset by downing tools on this and every other weekend.

It has been a learning year for me and this article has reminded me that time is not a renewable resource and that we all have the same 24 hours in the day. Working is part of everyone’s life, be it paid or unpaid, however we need to learn to turn off and do what is important and not urgent to give us back balance.

This week’s blog is short and sweet, like the up coming Easter break, however our team would love to hear your thoughts on our blog and what you do to ensure you are successful at work.

Technical Skills VS. Cultural Fit

Recently, while having a catch up with a candidate to discuss a potential opportunity in the Brisbane market, the candidate spoke about how he can’t understand why he has failed to secure the right role with an organisation in 2 months.

The candidate went on to tell me how he had gone over his resume with a fine-tooth comb, attended interviewing courses and had even re-evaluated his rate. As his new recruiter I asked him to think about the level of roles he was applying for. I suggested that maybe the roles he was applying for were too senior – he took this on board but stood by his feeling that Hiring Managers are recruiting candidates that, on paper, have strong technical skills but may not have the passion, drive or cultural fit to really succeed in a role.

At first glance, yes, it is appealing to have someone with an impressive resume and an exciting skillset – however, when I spoke with a client about a current contractor they have, this well known organisation told me that they thought that the candidate they had put in this position was initially perfect, due to the technical skills and background, but over time they failed to work in a team environment or match the culture.

The problem this organisation has is that they hired a candidate who was technically strong but did not posses the interpersonal skills to succeed in a large, dynamic organisation.

Oh, how my candidate was right! How do you hire? Do you recruit someone who is technically strong, but does not demonstrate the right personality, drive and eagerness to succeed in a tough environment?

Take some time today and have a read through this article by Mark Murphy, the author of ‘Hiring for Attitude’.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2012/01/23/89-of-new-hires-fail-because-of-their-attitude