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.

The world we live in has changed …

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           Jane Harvey

Job seekers need to be more savvy and careful than ever when it comes to social media. Gone are the days of turning up for an interview in your Sunday best, providing details of a couple of referees who would be sure to sing your praises and then turning up to your new job the following Monday!

Social media can both advance and hinder your career depending on how you use it. As the Internet and social media grow increasingly important, particularly in business, most future employers and recruiters explore candidate’s social media profiles including Facebook before making hiring decisions.

 And this is the very reason you need to be extra careful with how you use social media, how you portray yourself in this medium and how you set up your privacy. After all, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to provide an unflattering social media image to future employers.

So, before you apply for your next job, take a good look at your online presence in some of the following ways:

Google yourself

Yes, this is the first thing anyone will do to see if you are who you say you are! Search your name and see what comes up? If there is something there that you would not be comfortable with a future employer seeing … take it down or get in touch with whoever published it and request that they remove it. This is not always possible and some things will remain for a very long time … so think before you post!

Check your privacy settings

Most people think that their privacy settings are sufficient and only their chosen ‘friends’ can see what they post… but in actual fact most people allow friends of friends to view certain content and it just goes on from there. If you go into Facebook and in your profile click “view as public” you will get a better understanding of what anyone in the world can see – including a future employer. If you can see too much … change your settings and get rid of anything that may cause damage to your professional image.

Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date

LinkedIn is one of the most important tools you can utilise as a job seeker or even as an employer. Often referred to as a professional Facebook, LinkedIn is your opportunity to get noticed and to stand out from the crowd, so make it work! Make sure your content is accurate and informative and that you include a snippet from your past few roles on the cover page. Make sure you keep it up to date and most importantly, include a professional and current photo, not one of you and your children or partner or best friend on a park bench or in a pub. Keep it up to date! If you don’t have it, then get it! If you are going for an interview, look at the profiles of the people interviewing you, it will show you are interested and doing research into them and their business.

 In all honesty, prevention is better than trying to fix social media disasters. Everybody has a life outside of work but photos of partying hard, can and will tarnish your professional image. If you must post, make sure your pictures are private. Future employers and recruiters do not need to see them.

Lastly, limit your work related comments on social media such as Facebook, particularly anything that may be seen as derogatory, and limit your social related comments on mediums such as LinkedIn – they are very different and you need to draw a very distinctive line between them. Open your LinkedIn profile so that almost anyone can access it, and your Facebook, Twitter etc. so that almost no-one can, and you should be on your way to that great new role without the worry of skeletons in the closet!

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

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.

8 Tips To Making A Good Impression At Interview

 By Ben Wright

So you’ve put in all the hard work of getting your CV up to scratch, you’ve applied for roles and have managed to secure an interview.

How well do you think you’ll perform at interview?

It’s a difficult process for anyone at any level, and I’ll try my best to guide you through some of the likely questions and situations you might find yourself having to deal with.

  1. First impressions

The obvious one – first impressions do count! You have no idea how true this is. You need to smile and make the right amount of eye contact, so keep your gaze just a few seconds longer than usual, without looking like a bit of a weirdo.

  1. Questions and answers

Let the interview panel lead the interview but remember that you don’t have to wait until the end of the interview to ask questions. While they’re telling you all about the job and the company, questions from you at this point will emphasise your interest in the position. They may start with the question “Tell us about yourself and your experience, and why you think you would be the best candidate for the job”. This is where it helps to have your pitch handy as a brief introduction to who you are and what you can do.

  1. Preparation

Before the interview you should consider how you handle situations like interviews. How will you answer a question like “What are your salary expectations”? A difficult one if you don’t know whether you are over or under selling yourself. Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are – you need to be able to say what you’re good at with confidence.

  1. Your reasons for wanting the job

Ask yourself why you want this job because you’ll likely be asked this on the day. Only you know the answer and you need to make it a good one. Just because you need a job isn’t a good enough reason for someone to hire you. Ask yourself what you actually know about the company. Are you interested in a long-term career or is this simply a stopgap for you? They might ask you where you see yourself in 6 months or 5 years’ time – how will you answer this. Easy if you see yourself long-term with the company, but not so easy to answer if you don’t.

  1. Dress Code

I can’t stress this enough – make sure that you dress professionally. Casual is not good and gives the wrong impression. Of course, this will entirely depend on what type of job you are applying for, but for a professional career position, get it right and rock that killer suit.

  1. Be enthusiastic!

You’ve been invited for interview because they believe you can do the job. It’s just down to you on the day to show that you can do it better than anyone else. Even if you don’t tick all the boxes for the job criteria, I’ll bet you have something just as good or even better to offer. The interview panel don’t know this yet, so you have to tell them. Don’t be negative about a past (or present) employer, working conditions etc., as this will give a really bad impression. Try to show that you are flexible and willing to take on responsibility.

  1. Timing is critical

Whatever happens don’t be late!  Arrive 10 minutes prior – and if you’re too early then take a walk around the block.  Just don’t leave it until 5 minutes before the interview is due to start, because the interview room might be some distance away from the reception area you have reported to.

  1. The evening before the interview

I’m not going to say try to relax the evening before because you won’t, but get some sleep! If you really want the job you’ll be pretty nervous… that’s natural – and that’s the best advice anyone can give, to just be natural and be yourself. That’s the person they’re looking for. Good Luck!

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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……

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!

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!

Mobile Recruitment

Kylene ReynoldsIf you as an employer have any doubts about the importance of social media for a job search, career development and networking, you could be potentially missing out great employees.  Recruitment using social media has become in the last few years, arguably the most effective way to research, screen and hire potential employees.

The question is – are your social media applications ready to be viewed by job seekers, your current employer or a prospective employer?  Statistics show that 37% of employers use social networks to screen potential candidates, 65% said they utilize to get more information about the candidates and 45% want to verify their qualifications.

Equally for job hunters, if you are not social network and mobile app savvy, in addition to meeting companies, regardless of your age or generation, you are potentially missing out on many more job and career opportunities.

In today’s society, managers aren’t just screening your social media profiles to dig up dirt; they’re also looking for information that could possibly give you an advantage, which is very interesting.  In a recent survey, 29% of surveyed hiring managers found something positive on a profile that drove them to offer the candidate a job.

For companies and job seekers alike, social networks are going to be a primary way to network, get noticed, find qualified candidates and potential job opportunities and should be embraced with open arms.

Social media is the way forward and has been embraced by myself since commencing at Eden Ritchie Recruitment and I am enjoying using these tools to find the “perfect candidate for our clients”.

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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.

Merry Career-Mas!

JustineI love this time of year, late December, just before Christmas, end of year exhaustion and running on adrenalin. The new year is just around the corner, and despite your fatigue from a busy year, the new year heralds promise and opportunity. You tell yourself all those things you didn’t quite achieve or get to this year – will be nailed next year. And – maybe they will – I am after all an eternal optimist.

For many people I talk with, it has been a particularly tough year – personally and more so professionally.  A change of government, a dip in the resources sector, international economic uncertainty, redundancies, restructures, rationalisations…

It seems to me that when we are under constant pressure to perform or deliver we can sometimes lose perspective. We switch to our emotional rather than rational behaviour, say things we regret, react quickly without consideration. It gets worse towards the end of the year, when we are tired, stressed and in need of a break. It doesn’t help either, when every time you walk into a public space, bad Christmas carols are playing.

I believe it is important to take time out, particularly when you feel you are getting to this point. And if you notice your change in behavior, pat yourself on the back for your high level of emotional intelligence and self-reflection.

I recently booked myself into a top end health spa. I systematically worked my way through the spa treatment menu, the staff there thought I had become a permanent fixture. I left feeling balanced, cleansed and happy and better placed to take on the world.

When I got back, I remember someone saying to me how lucky I was to have been able to go. At the time I thought, it was more due to better planning than luck, but I guess having the means and time at my disposal has a bit to do with luck.

If we are to cope and perform at a high level, we have to take time out, whether just to sit outside and listen to the birds, walk on the beach, swim in the ocean or hang out with loved ones eating great food…

Work, career, business… These are just aspects of our lives, not the entirety. Sometimes they tend to blow out of proportion and cloud our vision. We are multidimensional and need many facets in life to make us happy and fulfilled.

So – take some time out, spoil yourself in whatever way works for you.  Get perspective, take control and seek out the opportunities you deserve.  The new year is the perfect time to put in place the building blocks to your happiness…