My Pet Hate – The Unedited CV!

By Helen Chard

When asked to write this blog – I started to wonder what was worthy of writing – the answer, what takes up most of my time when searching for the ideal candidate.

Over the past 7 years I have spent thousands of hours poring over CV’s. From CEO’s and professionals with Masters and Doctorates – many being from the most prestigious universities (I spent time in Cambridge!) to the unemployed.

It amazes me that someone can produce a tidy Facebook page but when it comes to a CV, it can be a jumbled mess – a complete enigma that we recruitment consultants continually decipher.

There are no two ways about it – condensing all your skills and experience into one slick document can be challenging. You’re not born knowing how to write a great CV, so it’s up to you to find out for yourself how to get the basics right. From font size and format to photos and filling in the gaps, there is a certain etiquette that should rarely be broken. Recruiters and employers receive constant streams of applications don’t let a basic mistake send yours straight to the bottom of the pack.

How long should a CV be?
When it comes to length, try to think of your CV as a tasty appetiser that will get people coming back for more. It should be around 2 pages long to ensure that you get your message across quickly, without dragging on like an old encyclopedia, boring employers and recruiters.

If you feel your experience is as good as gold (and listing it all will make you a shoe-in for the job), don’t worry too much about going over. Just be sure to keep it at 3 pages or less.

What do employers look for in a CV?
They want someone who has the right skills and knowledge to do the job at hand, so this need to come across in your CV. If you have the exact experience they are looking for, make sure it is clear – don’t make them read between the lines or join the dots. Spell everything out for them. If you don’t have the perfect profile for the role but know you can do it, highlight your transferrable skills. It’s always important to research your target roles beforehand to find out exactly what they are looking for in an applicant.

What font should I use in my CV?
The saying ‘keep it simple stupid’ exists for a reason and is a principle that applies here. Forget cursive text that makes your CV look like a Disney picture, and best you steer clear of colour altogether. Nice symbols, though. Use a simple font that looks professional and is easy for recruiters and employers to read. Size matters too – you can’t go wrong if you stick around the 10/12pt mark.

Should I include a photo on my CV?
Your best selfie needn’t grace its presence on your CV. There is no need to include one on your CV. It will take up space that could be better used with text that demonstrates the value of hiring you. Show them how you’re so much more than just a pretty face.

Do I include all my experience on my CV?
You should include all your experience on your CV for transparency, but older or irrelevant roles can be shortened down to brief summaries. All your previous roles were NOT created equal. It is important to bring out the most relevant points and let other bits take the backseat.

Should I include my date of birth on my CV?
Age is only a number, right? Employers should not make recruitment decisions based on a candidate’s age, so there’s no need to include your date of birth.

Should I hide employment gaps on my CV?
Take the guesswork out of your CV. You don’t want recruiters or employers scratching their heads trying to fill the gaps themselves, so if you have long periods of unemployment you should be up front and explain them. Keep this short and sweet, after all, it’s just to let them know what was keeping you occupied during that time. Ideally use constructive reasons such as personal projects, study or travelling.

Do I need a cover letter?
Typing a personalised cover letter shows you are serious about your career and the opportunity.  It should paint a clear picture of who you are and what you are looking for, and why you want to engage in further conversation.

Should I include references in my CV?
Employers shouldn’t contact references until they have intentions of potentially offering you the job – it has however been known to happen. You don’t need to list them on your CV, instead a one-liner like ‘references available upon request’ will do the trick.

And if in doubt – GOOGLE – there are templates, job specifications and information at the touch of a button. So, if you can use Facebook you can certainly compose a CV which is legible and flowing.

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.

Why don’t you call me no more?

By Justine Eden, Director – Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine Eden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australian Financial Review 2016 Business Summit

By Linda Parker

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the AFR Business Summit in Melbourne, witnessing a range of high profile business leaders from around the globe. Aiming to inspire, they discussed the importance of taking risks to create growth in the economy, and the role Government needs to play in that.

One of the most inspiring stories we took away from the event was from the co-founder of Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes, who from humble beginnings is now a billionaire after taking a risk and following a vision, with nothing but a credit card to support the process. I found it fascinating and somewhat disappointing to hear that their success came from listing the company on NASDAQ (at $21 per share), not the Australian Stock Exchange. This is a sad reflection of Australia’s lack of investment in technology and a reminder that Government needs to engage with emerging leaders and support innovation, rather than just focusing on past opportunities, namely the resources sector, which has inevitably moved into its cycle of operational maintenance and productivity gains, and will no doubt take an upward swing in the future when the next wave of global infrastructure development opportunities come to light…IMG_0853 The other key message was the tax reform needed to support business investment and innovation. With one of the highest company tax rates in the global economy, many Australian businesses are penalised for achieving growth. Treasurer Scott Morrison spoke, but was incredibly evasive in his response to questions around this topic and whether the Government are planning to take a calculated risk to promote growth in our economy.

Walking away from the summit somewhat uninspired, the only thing left for us to do was support the local economy and invest in Melbourne’s fabulous retail and dining experiences… someone had to right?

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.

You will probably wonder WHY I am posting this …

WHY

One of my favourite quotes is by Simon Sinek, best known for popularising the “start with why” concept, when he says “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

I am often asked WHY I work in the recruitment industry and most people, even some of my friends and family, think my job is just selling – you may even be one of them.

Since joining Eden Ritchie, and indeed over my career in the recruitment industry, the number one thing that has inspired me everyday, my WHY, is seeing great candidates acquire even greater jobs. Making the countless reference checks, 1000’s of application reviews, and a non-stop flurry of emails all worthwhile 🙂

The reward of working one on one with candidates through the whole recruitment process and seeing them get the role they really wanted is my WHY. In order to assist my candidates to get ‘that role’ I work with them, as clinicians often find it difficult selling themselves, to fine-tune their applications and bring to life the great things they do, and have done in their career.

So, I have created a short overview “How is your application shortlisted” on the points I tell my candidates everyday to help improve the content included in their CV and supporting statement. These steps, I am confident, will see an application move that one step closer to short list and in turn interview.

Since joining Eden Ritchie, I have successfully managed the recruitment process for many senior and executive roles such as Executive Director Allied Health, Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery, Director Medical Services, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Principal Dentist (to list a few) and have received the below from candidates who are happy to provide a public testimony. Proof that my WHY is working.

If you ever have any questions on how to fine-tune your CV or application for a role, I am more than happy to help. Click here to contact me directly.

Jade Mortlock

Testimonials

I am emailing to thank you both for the excellent service you provided to me in the recent recruitment to the Executive role in the Darling Downs. Your timeliness and professionalism when responding to email and phone call queries and questions, the advice you provided in terms of both the application and interview process, and the consideration you showed in the follow up period post interview were nothing short of exceptional.   I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to colleagues and I will also have no hesitation myself in procuring your services in the future when recruiting high quality, experienced and capable employees.
Annette Scott, Executive Director Allied Health, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service
It is with great pleasure that I can provide a gleaming testimonial for Jade Mortlock, Eden Ritchie. From first point of contact I found her to be personable, professional and able to answer all queries relating to the position I was applying for.  She has a genuine enthusiasm and passion for her role and was able to translate that to an efficient and stress-free process for me. I was very impressed that Jade always kept me informed of progress every step of the way, provided supportive guidance and was knowledgeable in all areas pertaining to my prospective position. Jade has been outstandingly helpful and I am truly thankful for her hard work and positive attitude. I would not hesitate to refer to or use her services again, I believe she has done a fantastic job.
Mark Dohlad, Principal Dentist, South West Hospital and Health Service.

Don’t forget to follow Eden Ritchie on LinkedIn as well as connecting with me here.

Brisbane’s Digital Growth – BCC Budget Speech

Just a short time ago, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk delivered his 2015-2016 Brisbane City Council budget speech, which stayed true to his previously stated list of key priorities including a large focus on Infrastructure and Sustainability. This comes as no surprise though, as Queensland was one of the main beneficiaries of the Federal Budgets newly announced $5bil Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

When it comes to developing Brisbane as a digital city, Lord Mayor Quirk said “Increasing competitiveness, a digital presence, communication and education is the key to business growth and I intend to ensure Council delivers on our part for Brisbane business.” So what does this look like for Brisbane?

Our edge on competiveness will come from a large open data project, designed to make BCC data available to local businesses and start-ups, to lend a helping hand in product and service development, which in turn will drive job creation in small business. To further support small business, $25.5mil of the budget will be dedicated to increasing the growth of the Council run Business Hotline – a service that provides information and advice to business owners.

In terms of increasing our ‘digital presence’ Lord Mayor Quirk announced plans to perform a large scale free Wi-Fi rollout, which will see the entire CBD covered – a dramatic increase from the previous amount of 22 hotspots Brisbane wide. Another new digital feature in the works is the launch of a BCC owned parking app, designed to allow motorists to top-up their parking meters from their mobile and offer the ability to find and book parking spaces in real-time.

What are your thoughts on the future of Brisbane as a digital city and the allocation of resources in the new budget to further this?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Written by: Bridget Young

1D6A0741

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!!!

The Dark Side of the “Struggle to Juggle”

By: Kate Broadley

1D6A0555Last week I wrote about the some of the benefits for employers and employees of using flexible work practices. But I thought to be fair, I should talk about the challenges, or the dark side as I call it.

In reality, flexibility does not work in all workplaces. Yes I work from home, but not everyone can do this. One must be willing to work independently and alone. Of course there are fewer distractions and I get to avoid those unnecessary interruptions, but there is no office vibe or excitement, and no one to exchange ideas with. While this works for me, there are times in a business environment when your expertise is required and missed in the workplace, if you are not there! The type of work I do requires at times a quiet place where I can analyse information and write reports, so the home office is the perfect place. On the other hand, a lot of work requires you to be in the very hub of activity in the workplace. I don’t get distracted at home, but others find it impossible to focus.

I work in a small business with two fantastic directors, who are comfortable communicating with me through various mediums other than face to face, and who support and trust me to deliver what I need for the business. It helps that my goals and outcomes are clearly measurable. This has not come about overnight and I think it is unfair for employees to expect this. It has been created over time and built through trust, delivery of quantifiable and measurable outcomes, and some ups and downs along the way. In my opinion, without mutual trust, support and measurable outcomes, this type of flexibility cannot work.

And finally, I am never off the grid, given all the wonderful technological gadgets we now have access to, which create the opportunity for greater flexibility to fit work in and around all of life’s other activities. But whether technology has enabled greater freedom from the workplace is debatable. It is easy for working “anywhere, anytime” to turn into working “everywhere, all the time”. I check my emails all the time, I hate to admit this, but often before breakfast and even when on holidays. I am not expected to do this, but it helps me manage my workload. I like to multi-task, but does this simply exacerbate the “struggle to juggle” and put us at risk of burnout, which is one of the very things, flexible work practices seek to avoid?

Happy 18th Birthday Eden Ritchie Recruitment!!

JustineBy Justine Eden

Hard to believe that our business is 18!  It only seems like yesterday that Kim and I decided to leave our jobs, put everything on the line and start our own business.  It was a big risk but I believe that had we not have taken that path neither of us would still be in the industry.  Recruitment is a rewarding and relentless profession, and sometimes not overly professional!  With two sets of customers, it is often impossible to meet everyone’s expectations.

When we started electronic job boards, social media and electronic networking did not exist.  I was never convinced that these new developments would mean the death knell for recruiters, as many in the business community predicted.  In business you have to adapt and reinvent yourself and leverage new developments to maximize your opportunities, and technology has given recruitment that.

I believe that to remain relevant you have to have your foundation – which to me are my values.  These include (but are not limited) to quality, responsiveness, empathy, professionalism and trust.  Back in 1996, Kim and I felt like our industry just wasn’t offering much of that, and that we could address that by starting our own business.  To a large extent we have succeeded and stayed true to our values, even when sometimes that drove people working for us crazy as we are not prepared to compromise.  You can’t keep everyone happy.

Kim and I have always been accused of not stopping to “smell the roses”, and over the 18 years I have learnt that relying on what you had last week is dangerous.  Two of the best decisions we have made in business was to leverage relationships and move into different recruitment specialisations.  The other was to not heavily gear ourselves and be beholden to the banks.  Growing organically is a more conservative way to go, but with low debt you can sleep at night.

Ultimately I think anyone who is in recruitment for the long term sticks at it because of the people.  I have been fortunate to meet a huge number of people working in all sorts of organisations and in every profession.  I love hearing their stories (sure some are more interesting than others) – but the relationships you build over time are precious.   It means a lot to me when I get a referral and I love the fact that many of our foundation customers still do business with us.

So thanks to the candidates, the employers and our team, because your support and encouragement fuels our fire.

Executive Exhaustion

By Justine Eden, Director Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine

Recently speaking at a UNSW Australian School of Business event, John Borghetti stated that he gets up at 3am on Sundays to catch up on the 4-500 emails he gets each day….  And that’s after an extremely efficient EA culls the majority.

David Jones CEO Paul Zhara resigned late last year for personal reasons, stating “he is tired”.

Courageous or crazy?  Many would covet Paul’s job, the parties, the fashion, the people – but the relentless pressure to perform 24/7 while staying true to yourself and those important to you – may not be for everyone…

For most operating at the “C level” the pressure to perform is relentless, with pressure on results coming from many angles.  These executives are expected to respond to changing customer preferences, social demographics impacting on demand, exchange and interest rate impacts, political imperatives and rapidly changing technology.  And these are only a few of the challenges.

Authentic leaders need to balance the strategic with the operational – walk the floor and know their people but set the direction to navigate their organisation through future challenges.  They are required to be strong and confrontational when necessary, but both humble and inspirational to capture the hearts and mind of a diverse workforce – one that may comprise multi generations, ethnicities and technical expertise.

Many of us don’t aspire to be the CEO of a large organisation, but throughout our career, most of us will experience the overwhelming feeling of just carrying too much.  How you respond to that both outwardly and inwardly can either be a benefit or a curse.

Some are not prepared to ask for help, thinking they will be seen in a negative light, others are too proud to think that they just can’t do it all themselves.  Many end up exhausted and angry, reacting badly – leaving others around them to judge them by their bad behaviour – rather than seeing the outcomes they’ve delivered.

Whilst tablets and mobile phones allow us to work out of the office, the 24/7 addiction to checking new emails, texts and calls can invade our lives.   Go out to any restaurant on a busy night and notice how many people are on their phones rather than talking to their dinner companions!

Bottom line there is no simple answer.  Whether it’s surrounding yourself with the best people, delegating effectively, using only the latest technology or setting rules as to when and how you handle your inbox; those effective leaders would say it’s a combination of several things.

At the center of it all is discipline.  By that I mean the discipline to purposefully adhere to an efficient working style, consistently and never wavering.  This goes for out of work as well, whether it’s fitness, personal development or networking – all things need to happen on a frequent and consistent basis.

Keeping an active watch on both the present and future and being agile enough to respond is essential regardless of your level.  Being an active participant in your life, setting the course and forward direction, rather than being a passenger and going with the flow……