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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does a looming Election weigh on your mind…?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What can we do about this?

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

The answer is NO.

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Year New Start? How to source your next role!

By Nigel Baker, Group Manager, Business Development

Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Nigel Baker 0117 2

At this time of year many people are reassessing their current roles and organisations, many of you will make the decision to look for other opportunities.  The job market in Brisbane is buoyant so why not? Whilst a lot of commentary in January is around how to assess what you have and what you are looking for, I thought I would try to explain what I see as the two main approaches to securing your next role and some pros and cons.

Traditional Job Ads

You will find these in abundance on LinkedIn, Seek, Facebook and company websites etc. and they are undoubtedly a great source of information and very specific which is great. However, the issue is that everyone else who is looking for a new role also has easy access to the information and this is where the major issues start. It is not unusual for a job ad to attract 100+ applications. In general people are optimistic and positive and if they see a role they like the sound of they will convince themselves that it is the perfect fit. My experience is that people will apply for a role if they meet 60% of the criteria, it is also my experience that you will only be successful in gaining an interview if you meet at least 85% of the criteria. Don’t forget you could be up against 100 other applicants.

Traditional job ads are also a great way to see which organisations are growing or investing in projects. If this is the case and you do not see a role suited to you, reach out to people you may be connected to in the organisation and see if their growth plans include your area of expertise.  Which brings me to…..

Networking

I know this is a confronting term to a lot of people and to the majority of us, not something that comes naturally. However, some of the less daunting things I would put under this category are; renew connections with ex colleagues, utilise LinkedIn, meet with a few recruiters, speak to friends and family and approach companies directly.

The major advantages to this approach are that you will be in the minority of people prepared to put themselves out there, you will uncover roles that are not yet advertised, you will be speaking to people in person and not relying on your resume, you will be speaking about deliverables and not a wish list from a position description, and most importantly you will not be in a tick box exercise with 100+ other applicants.  The main difficulty with this approach is that it is time consuming and more difficult than simply looking through a job board but the rewards far outweigh the effort.

Realistically your search will probably comprise of a mixture of both approaches however, be mindful of what you are spending most of your time on and what is most likely to reap rewards.  Maybe analyse your career and write down how you gained each role (I have done this below) and see what has been successful in the past.  Good Luck

  • 1st Recruitment role out of University – Networking – Friend of a Friend
  • CarlsbergTetley Brewing – Networking – Recruitment Consultant
  • United Biscuits – Networking – Friend I played Cricket with recommended me
  • Sniper Solutions – Networking – Friend I knew from the UK
  • Mercuri Urval – Networking – A friend worked there
  • Arete – Networking – A professional contact recommended me
  • Eden Ritchie – Traditional Job Ad – Seek

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

 

Can I find you??

By Jane Harvey, Executive Search Specialist

Eden Ritchie Recruitment Jane Harvey 0181 2

Having worked in the white-collar/professional and Executive recruitment space for over 22 years I have seen a great deal of change within the industry in this time. I have seen many attempts for the ‘recruiter’ to be replaced by technology and I must say, I think that the job will continue to evolve, but I don’t think the recruiter (the person) will ever be completely superseded. While technology has the ability to store and sift through resumes based on desired skills, they alone cannot make final judgment calls about candidates.

One big change I have noticed, even championed, has been the shift from the old ‘post and pray’ methodology (where a role comes in, it is advertised and then we wait with fingers crossed for the perfect person to apply) to a more refined and much more precise method of going out and looking for the perfect candidate for a particular role …. matching actual skills and experience to a client’s needs … tapping into a completely passive audience as well as the more active job seekers. And I have seen this work … well!

BUT how easily can you be found?? Are you the perfect candidate?? Are you highly visible or invisible??

It is therefore important for a passive or active job seeker to understand some of the other ways recruiters search and how you can be ‘found’ for your perfect job without the slightest need to apply for an advertised position or trawl through countless job sites!

Along came professional networking sites such as LinkedIn which become your evolving electronic employment profile and assists Recruiters to find candidates who would otherwise be near impossible to find because they aren’t actively looking to change jobs.

So, make sure your networking profiles accurately represent what you’re looking for, what you have done, your achievements and even what people have to say about you. Make sure you have key words in your CV or profile that will draw the right people to ‘find’ YOU.  Update your profile – even if you are not looking for a job right now, as it is a great tool for keeping in touch and growing your professional networks — and there is always a chance that you will ‘be found’ for your perfect role… your perfect next step – and you may not even realise you were looking for it!

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

 

Stuck in the Middle

By Nigel Baker, Group Manager, Business Development

Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Nigel Baker 0117 2

My role is essentially that of the ‘middle man’. It is a role that I genuinely enjoy and a skill which is becoming more desirable across many industries, in many organisations.  When a new recruitment process starts we are looking for the skills that are not in the position description that will make the successful candidate stand out from the crowd, more often than not we hear phrases such as “strong stakeholder management/engagement”, “ability to translate technical requirements for the business”, “ability to manage change”, “build a roadmap and take people on the journey”…. You get the idea.

Managing the disparity and frustrations between the client and the candidate is the most difficult and often most enjoyable aspect of my role. Here are five of the most common themes we deal with on a day-to-day basis:

  1. Rates of pay
    1. Employers will often come with a budget that is not realistic for the level of skills and experience they are looking for.
    2. Candidates will have an expectation/salary level that is absolutely right for their level of experience, however they are probably over qualified for the role on offer. Yes, you may be better than the person they employ but the employer has to be commercial.
  2. Permanent vs Contract
    1. The general belief in candidates is that there is less and less differentiation between the two and, less value is placed on the traditional ‘benefits’ of sick pay, holiday pay, long service leave etc.
    2. Employers often do not think that they are competing for talent with the contracting market. For the above reasons they are….the two markets are merging.
  3. Competing timeframes
    1. Interview processes taking too long.
    2. Candidates are taking alternative offers.
    3. Notice periods are too long.
    4. Probity checks adding 2-6 weeks onto the recruitment process.
  4. Wish list position descriptions
    1. Employers often have position descriptions that cover multiple roles, therefore they list everything that needs to be covered in all the roles.
    2. Position descriptions often focus on skills/qualifications rather than deliverables.
  5. The interview was for a different role than advertised
    1. Candidates often complain that the interview was not relevant for the role that was originally advertised, and clients will often decide that a candidate is no longer suitable because their expectations changed mid-way through the process.
    2. Clients do allow the interview process to define the final role and responsibilities based on the people they meet and expect candidates to be flexible.

Often it is not black or white, there is no right or wrong, we are dealing with people and emotions. Decisions are sometimes made on pure speculation about something that is very subjective. This is why recruitment and the recruitment process is one of the most frustrating and satisfying challenges, often at the same time, no matter if you are the employer, candidate or recruiter.

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

 

The Importance of Managing Up

By Justine EdenJustine Eden, Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

I’m Engaged!

Jade Mortlock

Hold the bubbles!

While I am sure my mum and dad can’t wait for this call I am not talking about a sparkly ring and white dress, I am talking about being an ‘engaged’ employee.

An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organisation’s reputation and interests.[1]

How would your staff respond to the following 3 questions?

  1. Would you recommend this organisations service to your friends and family?
  2. Would you recommend this organisation as somewhere to work?
  3. Do you see yourself working here in a year’s time?

I attended the most recent Brisbane ACHSM Breakfast forum where guest speaker Ms Michelle Russell, Solution Manager, GE Healthcare Performance Solutions explored employee engagement as a key driver of organisational performance. She believes, and I agree, the above 3 questions will quickly tell you if you have engaged staff.

Regardless of your industry, research shows that organisations with engaged staff deliver better patient/consumer experience, fewer errors, stronger financial management, higher staff morale and motivation, less absenteeism and stress and specific to healthcare; lower infection and mortality rates.

10’s of thousands of articles and papers talk about ‘how to engage employees’. Although written specifically for the NHS ‘Staff engagement’ identifies six building blocks for harnessing the creativity and enthusiasm of staff, which can be applied to any organisation.

7-great-benefits-of-engaging-your-staff-3-638

  1. Develop a compelling, shared strategic direction – inspire your staff with a persuasive narrative about what your organisation is seeking to achieve and how staff can contribute.
  2. Build collective and distributed leadership – move away from top-down leadership and share authority, responsibility and accountability with staff.
  3. Adopt supportive and inclusive leadership styles – encourage leaders throughout your organisation to develop a broader range of styles, with less reliance on directive leadership and a greater focus on consensus-building, coaching and supporting staff.
  4. Give staff the tools to lead service transformation – give staff the training and support to improve their services for themselves, creating learning organisations, rather than parachuting in external experts.
  5. Establish a culture based on integrity and trust – develop a clear sense of your organisation’s values and live by them, including maintaining the highest standards of integrity and fairness, even when things go wrong.
  6. Place staff engagement firmly on the board agenda – start making time for regular board discussions of how to improve levels of engagement.What is your organisation doing to ensure the staff are engaged?

[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_engagement

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.

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.

 

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!

Your most valuable asset

By Justine EdenJustine Eden

It’s your time.

It’s non renewable, it has a limited supply and becomes more valuable to us as we get older. It’s your most important resource, so waste it at your peril. Once it’s gone you can never get it back and others just won’t value your time as much as you do. And they certainly won’t value it if you don’t value it yourself.

For me it’s the notion of being present, but it’s also all about being engaged. If you are loving what you are doing, you will be at your most productive. Others will recognise it and gravitate towards you. The things coming your way, whether work or play will be more challenging, more interesting and therefore more rewarding.   And so it goes.

So why play the game, wasting your time in a job you don’t enjoy, taking “sickies” to get out of having to come to the office? Who loses in that scenario? It’s a big waste of time that could have otherwise been spent in meaningful pursuits.

It’s that slippery slope that starts when you wake up one day and decide you deserve a day off. It snowballs and soon people around you start to leave you out of the loop and stop involving you in the interesting stuff. Because they are starting to feel like maybe they can’t rely on you …

In order to maximise the value of your time it takes courage to have the tough conversations. About the work coming your way, about the amount you are paid, the hours you are expected to work, about the level of involvement you may have; rather than just accepting this is as good as it gets. Because no one values your time as much as you should!

Look at it from the perspective of the number of hours you spend across your life at work, or the approximate number of hours you have left to live. It’s a wake up call. Take responsibility for maximising and valuing your time, live a life of purpose and meaning, be present and have fun.

5 types of people you’ll meet in every workplace

By Ben Wright

Ben Wright

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

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

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

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

Which type are you?

To tailor or not to tailor!

To tailor or not to tailor?? This is the big question … my answer is ALWAYS!! 1D6A0634

Whether it’s a good suit, an expensive pair of pants, a fitted jacket… if it doesn’t fit perfectly… tailor it and then it will!  A CV is no exception … ALWAYS tailor it to each and EVERY role! It could be the absolute difference between getting the interview or not, from standing out in a pile of applications or being cast aside.

I have been meeting with a number of candidates recently who are not in the job market by choice, but because of a downturn in their sector of expertise. Some are going through outplacement services and some are paying for expert advice and guidance.

With 18 years in the recruitment industry, what can I advise these people to do to make them stand out from the crowd? How can I lessen the burden they are feeling? How can I give them advice on the ‘professional’ advice they have already been given?

It can be so frustrating to read a ‘vanilla’ CV. I recently assisted a candidate who I know has acted in a CFO capacity for almost a year, their CV was two pages long and said their most recent position was ‘Management Accountant’… great role but not Acting CFO or Financial Controller or Finance Manager as I knew this candidate to be.

I told this person not to undersell themselves, to which they replied “I was told that my CV should not be longer than two pages and I should not be looking for a CFO role if I hope to get a job in this terrible market” WRONG!! This is not a terrible market, it is a competitive market and you need to do what you can to stand out.

My advice is simple, look at the role you are applying for, read the job spec or the advert, call the contact person to find out more about the skills and cultural fit required, and tailor your CV to it. Look at the prerequisites and if you satisfy most of them, highlight them in your CV. Put your best CV forward … each and every time.

Don’t even get me started on the ‘two page CV’ advice – how can a senior candidate who has the right experience, the right attributes and expertise ever get their CV down to two pages? Don’t get me wrong, recruiters or hiring managers don’t want to read a 20 page CV either … it is about keeping it clear, concise and to the point, but more importantly than anything, it’s about making it relevant to the position you are applying for.

The New Director General Queensland Health – Michael Walsh

By Monique O’Rielley                                                                      Monique O'Rielley

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can’t trust a cloud not to rain…

Linda Parker

By Linda Parker

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impacts of Organisational Transformation

By Monique O’Rielley 

Monique O'Rielley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you respond or react?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Lost in (mis)communication

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

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

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

Here are a few of my tips:

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

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

Give it a try.

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

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

Angela AndersonBy Angela Anderson

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

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

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

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

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

Get On The Right Side Of History

By Justine Eden Director Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine Eden

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

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

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

This morning I read a related article and saw this:

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

The Queensland Election is Looming …

1D6A0555 Written by Kate Broadley

… And with this brings the impact of the caretaker conventions.

The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman is yet to announce the date for the State election, but what we do know is that it will be sometime soon. By convention, the government will then enter caretaker mode until the result of the election is known and, if there is a change of government, until the new government is appointed. Of course the normal business of government will continue during the caretaker period, however major approvals and decision are normally deferred.

Eden Ritchie Executive Scribing and Report Writing Services offer independence from an external third party, transparency, reliability of the interview process and fast turnaround of recruitment and selection documentation to the highest standards. Given the election will be called soon… now is the time to act and finalise those outstanding selection processes!!!

Our services include:

  • Screening applicants
  • Shortlisting of applications
  • Scribing for interviews, shortlisting meetings and panel deliberations
  • Providing immediate professional advice where difficult issues arise
  • Development of selection tools including effective interview questions, benchmarks or work tests
  • Reference checks
  • Criminal history and medical checks

For more information, contact Kate Broadley on 3230 0018 or 0448 858 178 or email kate@edenritchie.com.au.

Remember to visit our website and follow Eden Ritchie on LinkedIn to stay up to date with more industry news, careers and Eden Ritchie events.

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!!!

Eden Ritchie’s 18th Birthday Celebration

Gallery

This gallery contains 15 photos.

On Wednesday night Eden Ritchie Recruitment celebrated a successful 18 years of business … we would like to take this opportunity to share some photos from the evening and say a very big thank you to everyone who took the time of their … Continue reading

I just don’t get it …

By Justine Eden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to shine at interview

By Kate Broadley

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

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

Know the Facts

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

What You Don’t Say

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

Verbal Communication

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

Listen

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

 Non-Verbal Communication

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

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

Health Industry Experts Discuss Outsourcing & Contestibility

By Justine Eden Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

On Tuesday night over 60 Health Executives gathered at an photoevent co hosted by Eden Ritchie Recruitment and Minter Ellison to discuss the outsourcing journey, “the good, the bad, the ugly”.

Centered on the Queensland Governments “Blue Print for Better Health Care”, released in February 2013, the 90 minute IMG_1024discussion explored opportunities to improve efficiency and improve front line service delivery and access to health services for the broader community.

In a “Q&A” styled format, the high profile panel was moderated by Glenn Poole Qld’s Auditor General 2004-2011, with panel members including Dr John O’Donnell, CEO Mater IMG_1042Health Services, Lesley Dwyer, CEO West Moreton HHS, Simon James, CEO Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local, Hugh Marshall, Business Development Director, Asia Pacific, Serco and Brett Frampton, FM Project Manager Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Spotless Group.

The audience had the opportunity to explore a raft of issues IMG_1040relating to the hot topic of outsourcing and contestability – where the various options of service provision, partnering arrangements and the broader imperatives of health service delivery and quality were discussed.

With audience members from the aged care, public and private health, mental health sectors, the discussion ranged across partnering models, ensuring accountability, whether to IMG_1022outsource partial or entire services as well as IR related impacts.

Photos from the night accompany this article, and a video of the presentation will be available shortly.  Should you be interested in this or attending future events please contact info@edenritchie.com.au.

JE and Glenn Poole  IMG_1025IMG_1027

ICT skill shortages?

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example:

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

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

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

 

Core Values

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

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

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

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

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

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

IT Market Update

Tom PeardWhile things may seem to be tenuous in Queensland’s ICT industry, at least it’s never boring.

As a review of circumstances leading to QLD Health’s payroll debacle continues, IBM has been vigorously scrutinised over its role in the scandal, as well as the procurement process and surrounding decisions that led to IBM becoming the prime contractor in the payroll project.

As the inquiry is ongoing, the only solid message that seems to have been taken from this is that the failed project will be taken into account as a cautionary tale when planning for new ICT initiatives in QLD Government.

The federal election is looming, and as it does, the bottleneck of new ICT projects that seems to happen around this particular time grows. Whispers of changes in Government and policies have had there effect on new ventures across many sectors, as people wait to see what the future holds and what impact it will have on the decisions they make. This may result in an influx of new projects and increased hiring following the election, scheduled for September 7th.

Change will be forthcoming very shortly, but as always, it will be tempered by the past.

Innovation in Healthcare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To fill or find?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The candidate profile questions:

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

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

The Healthy, Happy Workplace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OWN THE INTERVIEW!

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

Let me ask you a question:

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

A: Often tom

Or this – 

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

A: Just as often

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stand out from the pack

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

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

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

The job

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

Contact them first

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

Follow up

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

Get the person’s or company name right

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

Tailor your resume

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

Make your resume catchy

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

Prioritise information

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

Apply early

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

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

 

The long long weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CAN FACE TO FACE BE REPLACED?

Are we in the commercial world paying heed and learning any lessons from what is occurring in the retail space? The digital age has certainly had an impact on how we communicate, but we cannot afford to let this affect how we relate to our clients. The fundamentals of good customer service remain constant.MBFinal

I, like many of you, am an avid online shopper and it’s true, I confess I have aided and abetted the downfall of the retail industry. With the rise of the digital age, online shopping became a very attractive, “from the comfort of my own home”, service.  This is a strange thing because I used to LOVE the whole sensory experience of physical shopping, now the thought of it sends shivers down my spine.

So why did my love affair wane? Was it the appeal of all hours shopping? The convenience of shopping in pyjamas or on the bus? Or was it the possibility of new products from afar? It actually wasn’t any of these things, it was the distinct and utter lack of care and service I felt as the customer in the retail environment.

Now, I am certainly not the first to feel this way or comment on the decline of customer service. Poor attitudes of retail staff, lack of product knowledge, a decline in product quality and often a short supply of on hand staff have all been identified as key factors in the disgruntlement of shoppers.

Are we in the commercial world doing the same and losing our customer/client base?  What are some of the key principles that you feel are imperative to great customer service?  Do any of the below resonate with you?

Listen. Understand. Care.

Listen not just hear, really open your ears and your mind to what your customer is saying. Take time to understand them as a person, their organisation and their goals, this will help you to better understand what they truly need and how you can help them. Care about your client; take a sincere interest in their role, their project and their outcomes.

Provide the type of service you would want to receive

Think about the last time you experienced bad service in a restaurant/store. You probably came away and told many people about this experience. Now, what do your customers say about you and your service?  Are you personable, approachable and responsive and trying to anticipate their needs?  Good customer service never goes out of style!

Know your Product

Your customer wants to feel confident in you and your product. Demonstrating that you understand your product and how it will work for your client is one of the simplest ways to gain their trust. Ensure that you yourself know how your product will benefit your client before you try to convince them.

At the end of the day we all exist because our customers choose to do business with us.  With a simple aim to make every interaction a positive experience and to thank them for their business, you can begin to build that great customer service experience.

So all in all, there are many similar principles between what makes a good customer service experience and the management of a good client relationship.  So what works for you in building and maintaining a good client relationship?  Share your experiences with us; we are always interested in learning.

Are you Linked In?

Linda ParkerThe power of an on line job board has changed dramatically over the past few years.

Whilst we in the recruitment industry have used the major job boards since their inception, in recent times they have simply become a supporting tool for recruiters. For me, job boards are certainly not a proactive tool or the most effective tool to source key talent across a range of disciplines.

Now, without wanting to sound like I’m on their payroll (because I’m most definitely not!), LinkedIn has become an effective and powerful head hunting tool, and all you as the job seeker has to do, is keep your profile current and active, at no cost other than your time.  LinkedIn also has a job search area, and you may even discover that the most amazing and newsworthy opportunities can be found here – such as this unique role posted a couple of days ago (and has subsequently been filled)…

pope-linked-in

Seriously though… a client reminded me just this week how effective LinkedIn can be after she was approached by a CFO within her network to take on a senior finance position. No formal selection process was carried out, just a couple of casual phone conversations and assurance from key references that she was the right candidate for the role.

In a market where a large number of candidates are applying for roles through job boards, how are you making yourself visible and standing out from the crowd?

2013 in Queensland – a positive outlook or more of the same?

Dan2012 was a tough year for many Queenslander’s with the employment market suffering from a lack of Government spending on projects and infrastructure. The large number of redundancies across the Government sector as well as the reduced confidence of the large mining and resources companies all contributed to a significant reduction in the hiring of both contract and permanent staff across most industries in Queensland throughout 2012.

With 2013 now in full swing, what is the outlook for the remainder of the year? We have seen a steady increase in the number of contract and permanent opportunities throughout the first couple of months of year which is certainly a welcome change from the last quarter of 2012. After a strict spending freeze since the election in March last year, the State Government appears to slowly be ramping up its spending on new projects which has created the increased need for contractors with specialist skills to help deliver key initiatives.

The lowering of interest rates by the RBA over the past six months has increased confidence in the Australian economy and has seen many commercial sector organisations increase their recruitment to help meet deadlines and drive growth. We have seen a significant increase in the number of permanent roles in Queensland compared to the past 6 months.

Overall, the increase in Government spending combined with the increase in confidence in the Australian economy certainly bodes well for the year ahead. With the Government’s need to deliver critical services across the state, we should see a substantial increase in the amount spent on projects for the remainder of the year. For anyone looking for a new role, this should have a positive impact as the number of both permanent and contract opportunities rapidly increases to meet the demand of employers.

“The Power of Mentoring”

KateSo what is mentoring? Mentoring uses the resources your company already has to improve employee satisfaction, develop leadership, and teach new skills.

Does your company have a mentoring program? If yes, is it working? If not, why not?

Here are some ideas about how to start your own program. Starting a mentoring program might be the closest you’ll ever get to making a business decision that has a positive impact for everyone involved. Research has shown that mentoring can improve employee satisfaction and retention, enrich new-employee initiation, make your company more appealing to new recruits, and train your leaders. And the best part is, it’s “free”, unlike similar learning incentives, training programs or offering to pay for courses, mentoring uses the resources that your company already has.

A mentoring program can help develop both mid-level employees for possible promotion and entry-level employees for self-improvement to help them grow with the company. Mentors are employees already in management positions, employees highly skilled or trained in a specific area, or employees at any level who can provide encouragement and guidance to other employees just starting or ready to take their next career move.

Mentoring can do a lot of good, but only if people know what they are supposed to do. Training of the mentors is important, and I recommend that the mentees receive some training as well. There are plenty of websites available with tips on what to do and at Eden Ritchie we have skilled and experienced staff available to assist organisation’s in the development of their mentoring program.

When you have implemented a mentor program, remember it will require “nurturing and caring”.
 So now you are ready to unleash the “power of mentoring” to ensure you talented workforce grows with you.

If you have a mentor program already in your organisation, share your ideas and thoughts to assist others.

The Element of Luck

tomIn job seeking, as in life, no matter how you plan or scheme, sometimes, great opportunities come as a result of dumb luck. But this luck is situational. Here’s an example:

Actress Charlize Theron was struggling financially, so she moved to Hollywood to try and make it as an actress. One day, she went to the bank to cash a check she had received from a modelling job. The cashier at the bank refused to cash her check, causing Charlize to erupt in anger at the bank teller. A talent agent just so happened to be standing behind her in line and was suitably impressed by her theatrics. He slipped her his card when she made her way out.

Now Ms Theron is one of the biggest names in Hollywood and is in no way strapped for cash. All this because of a series of events that proved to be ‘lucky’. But if she hadn’t been in that town, surrounded by talent agents and trying to make her mark, this story could have turned out a lot differently.

You can facilitate luck when looking for a job – don’t discount it.

Take risks: Calculated risks can be rewarding. If you’re used to being in a particular position, but only in one sort of industry, you’re going to land yourself in trouble if you’re not willing to look outside your current space. But if you know that your industry is going to take a downturn, don’t be afraid to try the same position in a new area. Skills can translate rather easily over different industries.

Recognise advantageous positions: The chances of landing your ideal role by simply walking out your front door and into the path of a prospective employer are extremely low. However, if you position yourself correctly through networking, applications and an active online presence, your chances of getting in the path of someone in a hiring position who likes what you have to offer dramatically increase.

Stay vigilant and prepared, because luck may just play a role in landing you your next job.

How Connected Are You?

JustineYou work hard, you study hard, but yet the person sitting next to you gets the promotion…  Had this happen to you?

It is a common occurrence – but often the act of establishing and maintaining professional connections and networks are overlooked by many.

Ask yourself – when was the last time you attended a professional networking forum, or made a new business contact outside of your organisation…

It is easy between the demands of work and home to ignore this aspect – but yet it has a significant impact on our career and how high we rise up the ladder. The hidden job market is alive and well, with many people appointed to key roles because of the professional connections they have.

As the old saying goes “It’s not what you know – but who you know”.

If you have ever employed someone – you will know there is a great degree of comfort employing someone you know or know of through a trusted source.

Social media now provides an avenue to establish new contacts and renew others you may have lost.  You can ask for endorsements, recommendations and referrals.

Professional associations hold training and networking sessions that you can attend.  Conferences often provide the opportunity to meet new people within your profession or industry.

On another scale – community based involvement with schools or associations opens up access to a range of individuals often outside of your normal working life.

Sitting back and waiting for a promotion or new opportunity is a thing of the past.  In this climate – only the proactive survive and thrive.

Think about it.  How much more effective would you be in securing that key promotion if instead of applying – you were recommended?

By Justine Eden

Does Money Really Matter?

Mel1When was the last time you asked yourself, what do I want to do with my life?

With the beginning of a new year, comes ideas, thoughts and a lot of goal setting. We spend time reflecting on the year gone, lost opportunities and how this year will be better – but do we really take stock on where we are and where we are going? Think back to when you were due to finish school. There were some people lucky enough to have a passion early on that they wanted to pursue. This meant choosing a uni degree, apprenticeship or specific training needed and could walk into their ideal profession. The rest of us started from the ground up and through hard work and occasionally a bit of luck, have landed the positions we are in today.

Many of us have aspirations to be a manager, team leader or specialist in our field. We may set goals and objectives regarding additional training or courses we would like to do, but what are some of the other things that are important to us? As life goes on our priorities change and what may have seemed like the perfect job 12 months to 3 years ago may not suit you now.

During the interview process I often ask my candidates what are the 5 things that are important to you when looking for a new job. But what might surprise most of you, is that money is never top of the list. Work life balance, career progression, organisation culture/values, interesting project or work, training and development are all things that can turn an average opportunity into the ideal role. Also when I speak with candidates who are considering leaving their current position it’s usually one of these things that are missing that makes them want to find a new position.

I’m not suggesting you pack your stuff this afternoon and jump into something completely different but it’s worth taking the time to think about what is important to you.