Making the call

By Justine Eden, Director – Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Justine Eden, Director

Justine Eden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 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.

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.

How to Build Your Professional Brand

How to Build Your Professional Brand

By Kate Broadley

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

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post and Pray vs. Passive Candidates

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

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

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

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

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

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

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

“50 Shades of Grey” in HR

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By Kate Broadley

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

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

High Performers – How do you pick them? By Justine Eden

JustineIn a perfect world we would all have a high performing team, made up of experts in their field who constantly exceed expectations, all get on, never have sickies and constantly innovate.  This ideal and synergistic team delivers outstanding bottom line returns to shareholders, drives change while maintaining the status quo and are essentially self managing, allowing you, the leader to work strategically to drive the business forward.

But this is not a perfect world – as roller coaster stock markets and company collapses remind us daily.  And sometimes our “best people” resign.  And recruiting, as we have all experienced is not an exact science, it is challenging and fraught with danger.  How do you know whether you have recruited a corporate terrorist or a talented performer?

The fall out of a bad hire is well researched, the costs and the flow on effects run down to the bottom line, and across the corporate community more attention is being paid to it.  Read many of the business publications and the flavour is there, the link between strategic plans and the HR plan, the growing importance of the role of the HR Manager and the value of intellectual capital.

Being able to select for performance is often seen as a luxury by busy managers faced with replacing technical experts in candidate short markets.  As a business owner for 17 years and as a recruiter for many years, I have seen first hand the impact of this type of short term vision on candidate attraction, retention and overall company performance.  As a recruiter I commenced in accounting recruitment, a traditional, often risk adverse demographic, historically focused on matching a candidate’s technical ability to the job requirements.

So – What is performance?  And how do you pick it?

How do you characterise a high performer?

High performance varies from occupation to occupation.  But common qualities include drive, energy, integrity and creativity.

Generally high performers…

  • have a can do attitude,
  • failure is unthinkable,
  • they don’t accept excuses,
  • like to outperform the competition,
  • want to be the best in the business,
  • are quality focused,
  • consistently get the job done,
  • proactively suggest improvements,
  • normally a self starter who energises others,
  • acts as a role model/mentor for others,
  • a problem solver
  • and need minimal supervision.

They are not always high profile or always the high earners, but they usually have a big impact on revenues or profits.   It is a given that a high performer is technically competent, but it is their ongoing focus on building their base of technical expertise and a thirst learning that sets them apart.

They have a passion for renewal, taking an active approach to acquiring new skills, often completely replacing old ones over a 5-7 year time frame.  Often because they have mastered their “art” they have more time for creativity, innovation and quality – this is what gives high performers a competitive advantage.

They embrace change and technology and are not thrown by ambiguity; high performers are adept at multi-tasking.  High performers often have an established and nurtured network and they value what peers think of their work.

Selecting for performance is an initiative that needs to be driven from the top.  Organisations are continually pushed to find new growth opportunities, improve the quality of products/services, enhance employee/customer satisfaction, reduce costs, increase productivity.  Combine this with a greater reliance on intellectual capital, customers increasing expectations and the rapid pace of change.

I would encourage all leaders to factor in performance when recruiting and believe that those that do so will reap the benefits of increased productivity, engagement and retention.

Time Wasters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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 

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.

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.

Making the Move from Government to Commercial

Linda ParkerHave you recently taken a redundancy from the State Government and considering the move into a commercial organisation?

You are not alone.

In the current market more and more candidates are attempting the transition from the public sector to the private sector.

Unfortunately there is a ‘public servant’ myth, which can hinder your ability to even get an interview. So how do you convince the hiring manager of a successful blue chip organisation that you have what it takes to work in a fast paced environment?

Tips to bear in mind when presenting your application to a commercial organisation, or through a recruitment agency, is to highlight the ‘commercial’ aspects of your previous roles and have a clear plan in mind.

Do your research!! Going into an interview without any prior knowledge of the company and its operations or strategic vision is a sure fire way to not get the job!

In recent years, Government organisations have been recruiting candidates with commercial experience in order to change the culture and drive greater efficiencies and performance. This argument can be used to flip the public servant perception on its head.

Private sector employers who fail to recruit the most talented employees, and prejudice themselves against people with different career backgrounds are unintentionally exposing their own management weaknesses. Their inability to recognise that public sector workers have an enormous amount to offer suggests a lack of foresight on their part and can potentially make them appear narrow minded.

There are so many strengths that you can bring to a role in the private sector including your ability to manage change and varying levels of bureaucracy, not to mention multi-million dollar budgets!

Take the time to think about what you can offer, and sell it!

If you’re currently preparing your CV, or would just like to enhance your current one, this article from Business Insider offers some great advice on what to avoid putting in your resume.

It’s a Tough Market – How Are You Selling Yourself?

When you apply for a job, whether it be with a recruitment agency or directly to a company, you are being shortlisted or put in the unsuccessful pile based on what you’re resume is telling us.

Recently I’ve been working on a permanent financial accounting role, for which I received 86 applicants. You need to make sure your resume stands out!

I don’t mean you need to pay hundreds of dollars for a Graphic Designer to create you something – all we look for is a neatly formatted resume, that is easy to read and clearly defines your experience, relating to the role you’re applying for.

So, you’re on Seek or looking through the paper and you see your ideal role, you love the sound of the company, the responsibilities, location and money are perfect… don’t miss out on being called up about this role because of a bad resume! Double check that the responsibilities this dream role is requiring are clearly defined throughout your resume. You need to prove you have the expertise we are looking for.

In the next few weeks, take some time out to review your resume and read it from an employers perspective… would you employ you, based only on what is in your resume? Does it clearly define your skills, not leaving room for assumptions? Give your resume to a colleague or relative and ask them what they think – is it easy to read, is it neatly formatted?

We read resumes everyday, if you need assistance with making your resume the best it can be, please contact us.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s going to be an advantage to you in the long run.

The Art of Communication.

Attention future, past and present job seekers!

Please help us, help you.

Communication and timeliness are incredibly important when it comes to recruitment.  When we have new vacancies, we need to let candidates know, as soon as possible.  So my question is – what form of communication suits you best?  I understand it may differ if you are already working, which can make it hard to answer the phone, so does email or SMS work better?

When a role comes on board the majority of those will go on Seek, but we like to contact our existing database as effectively and quickly as possible. What types of communication mediums do you check most often? What is the easiest medium for you? To do our job as effectively as possible, we need to know how to best contact you.

Are there communication methods that we aren’t utilising and should be? Please let us know your preference and how we can improve getting job information through to you.

Feedback and constructive criticism are vital in all that we do!

Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only A Recruiter

You know what’s fun to do? Walk into a room full of people, say the word ‘Recruitment’ and watch as 30 people simultaneously imitate the facial expression of someone getting a tooth pulled without anaesthesia.  This is, in fact, one of my favourite pastimes. Or, try calling a company and see how quickly the phone answerers tone changes from “Hi! I’d love to help you!” to “For Christ’s sake, GET OUT OF MY FACE” once you say you’re calling from a Recruitment agency. The perception seems to be that Agencies are colonies and Recruiters are lepers.

“Half a shekel for an old ex-leper?”

What makes me cranky is that this perception is not entirely unwarranted – Recruiters who do shoddy jobs are pulling the carpet out from under their own feet. But at the same time, people are willing to write off an entire industry based on the wrongdoings of a few individuals. If a Recruiter lets you down, it is the individual’s transgression, not the industries. And, believe it or not, dodgy recruiters are disliked just as much, if not even more so, by recruiters themselves.

The main issues people cite as the reasons for their aversion to recruiters are:

No contact, no follow-up: If you’re looking for a job, you want to know as soon as possible what’s happening and whether or not you’ve been successful. You don’t want to spend your time waiting around on the middleman to find time to get back to you. Bear in mind however, that recruiters don’t know if you’ve been successful until they’ve heard back from the client – someone can’t tell you something that they don’t know. And if they don’t know, it’s not for lack of trying. Don’t forget that there is another party behind the scenes and that efficiency is, in this case, interdependent. And also that recruiters are not responsible for a singular role, often they’re working a couple at a time – it’s a business after all. This doesn’t mean they aren’t giving your role their full attention (it’s in their interest to keep everyone happy).

Industry ignorance: People often say that recruiters don’t understand. It might be that they don’t understand the resume they’re looking at, the job they’re trying to fill or the industry they recruit for. It can often be that this perception stems from candidates who have been rejected from a role they feel they were eminently qualified for. This can potentially breed ill feelings for the recruiter that gave them the information that they’ve been unsuccessful – even if the person who applied for the job had only previously worked at McDonald’s but had applied for a Business Analyst role. If you feel the recruitment agency you’re working through doesn’t understand your industry, then look around for a niche agency that specialises in particular industries – agencies that focus on specific industries/sectors will always have a better understanding of the needs of their particular markets than agencies that stretch themselves too thin over broad spectrums.

Are you a recruiter? Afraid to tell people you work in recruitment? Or do you represent the opposite side of the argument?

Social Media and Job Seeking

Job seeking prior to the Internet. I can only imagine what a bleak time it was for humanity – akin to the dark ages perhaps. I have images of street urchins with black coal stained faces going door to door in search of employment, desperately trying to earn enough shillings to support their stricken families. But then again, I’m a Gen Y’er and since my first job, I’ve had sites such as Seek and Career One to simplify the process.

These sites mean a job seeker can browse hundreds of available jobs, find the perfect job for them and apply for it, all in a matter of minutes (depending on how fussy you are). Technology is a blessing for job seekers, however it is definitely a double-edged sword.

While job boards and networks like LinkedIn offer effective tools to find jobs and distribute resumes, people must remain conscious of the fact that their personal lives are also available to potential employers, should the employers choose to search for them. And that’s how simple it is – type in a name, click search and anything from personal images to videos and conversations are presented to anyone who cares to look for them. Thank God for privacy options. However some people just plain forget the basic things like ‘don’t make those pictures of you passed out in a bear suit available to the public’ or ‘don’t add your boss on Facebook’, resulting in situations such as this:
But how far do employers have a right to go? Is it acceptable for them to seek out your personal profiles? Is it acceptable for them to ask you for your login and password so they can enter your accounts themselves? A company needs to know what sort of person they’re going to employ, but not at the expense of individuals right to privacy. But with social media, privacy is becoming more and more ambiguous. It’s a wonderful tool, useful in so many different ways, but people need to bear in mind during their use of it that their personal information is about to be projected into the Internet ether and that it will be available for access to millions of people and that, for the most part, your privacy is controlled by you.

Are you a recruiter or responsible for hiring decisions? What do you think? This is an open debate – do any job seekers out there have experiences they want to share?

So what does it take to be a great Project Manager?

Managing projects can be a complex and difficult task. So what is it that allows great Project Managers to build reputations people that will deliver results on time and within budget?

After discussions with a number of successful and senior Project Managers recently, there is a general agreement on the key attributes that successful project managers possess.

1) They understand the business! They have the patience and communication skills to listen to the key stakeholders and understand what the business is trying to achieve from the project. There is no point in delivering a product or service that will not fit the requirements of the organisation.

2) They are Problem solvers! Projects can vary in size and complexity and it is important that project managers are able to think outside the box to come up with solutions to overcome obstacles.

3) Flexibility! Some projects can change on almost a daily basis and thus, project managers need to be flexible when approaching a project. Project management methodologies are a great way to set the direction for the project but they are not strict procedures. Project Managers must have the flexibility to alter their approach to overcome any obstacles that arise.

4) They are delivery focussed! The reputations of project managers are made or broken on their ability to successfully deliver outcomes to the business. It is imperative that project managers liaise with key stakeholders to set the desired outcomes and do everything they can to achieve them!

5) Outstanding communication and leadership skills! Project managers must be able to engage with key stakeholders to get support from senior management. They also must be able to bring out the best in their teams. This means supporting and delegating to team members to make the most of project resources.

6) Ownership!! Project managers have to take complete ownership of their projects and have the drive and passion to do everything they can to ensure that the outcomes are achieved within time, budget and resource constraints. This is where project managers build their reputations as someone who will get the job done!

Do you have what it takes to be a great Project Manager? With so many large projects kicking off, the industry is booming in South East Queensland. It is certainly an exciting time to be involved in project management!!

Exciting times for Project Managers!!

It is an exciting time to be involved in the ICT industry in Queensland at the moment!

Despite all the talk over the past twelve months of companies letting people go and budgets being cut, there appears to be plenty of opportunities starting to take shape as many organisations kick-off major projects.

There is an abundance of projects in road infrastructure, gas and mining, healthcare and local government as both the government and private sectors seek to provide infrastructure to the ever-increasing population, particularly in South East Queensland.

An interesting topic that came up recently was how these projects are managed to ensure they are completed on time and within budget constraints.

Particularly as so many organisations are currently recruiting for Project Managers and Project Directors to lead major projects and considering that there have been so many people looking for project management roles.

So what separates the best from the rest?

The goal of a project is obviously to ensure that the deliverables are achieved within time and budget constraints. Considering so many project managers are brought on to manage a specific project, it must be a hard task to come in and understand the business and it’s requirements and then manage issues around people, budgets and timeframes.

Not an easy job at all!

What does it take to complete a project successfully? What are the most challenging aspects of successfully delivering projects? And what separates the really successful Project Managers from the rest? An interesting topic that I plan to explore over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned as I discuss some of the issues that project managers face and the attributes of a good project manager – straight from those who have successfully managed large-scale projects!!

How’s Your Morale?

It’s easy to stand out in the current climate as a smart employer.  Ok the GFC has ripped the market around from candidate short to being job short, and businesses are cost cutting and shedding staff, but there is an opportunity to critically look at how happy (or not!) your team are.

Know who your best performers are, mentor, train and develop them, communicate and keep them informed of broader business strategies, get their feedback and input.  None of this costs a lot, but the pay back is guaranteed.

Employees are nervous about job security, they need to know how the business is tracking, they value hearing about the future plans and how that impacts on them.  If you want to keep your best people when the market turns, you need to invest in them NOW.

How you approach the market when you recruit new people is also a key aspect to building favourable impressions with employees.  With social networks booming, the world is getting better connected and information flows abundantly.  People readily share their impressions and gripes, with poor recruitment processes at the top of their list of complaints.

When you take a job to market – be READY.  This sounds silly, but we are seeing so many poor approaches to the current market.  Yes it’s an employers market, but your reputation is still important in any market!  Have the go ahead to actually recruit, update the PD, be able to put time aside to interview, be prepared to make a selection – don’t stall.  And induct!

All simple stuff, we know, but you’d be surprised at how many employers aren’t doing this!

Blogging from the front lines of Australian recruitment

Welcome to the Eden Ritchie blog.

You can read more about our company via the About Us link or by clicking through to our website.

Our blog won’t all be about recruitment – we’re going to delve into issues including talent retention, current hiring practices, redefing our role in the value chain and sharing interesting stories from our business, our customers, and our home town of Brisbane.