Employing Temporary Workers – What You Need to Know

The world of work is changing rapidly – nearly a quarter of Australian employers report using temporary or contract staff regularly, with a further 44% utilising them for special projects or workloads. 

The idea of the standard working week is shifting from what it was in the past few decades, as the digital revolution has made remote jobs more accessible, and the need for a different type of workforce has emerged with our 24/7 culture.  

Freelancing has increased across all sectors, and the number of casual workers in Australia has risen from 20.8% around four years ago to 22.6%. 

In the past, temporary work was viewed as something of a ‘stop-gap’ for those between jobs, but this is not the case anymore. Highly skilled professionals such as accountants, graphic designers and marketers are increasingly choosing ‘gig’ work over a regular career option for the benefits of freedom, the ability to travel and to fit around their busy family lives. 

As a recruiter, I have seen first-hand the immense benefits that temporary workers can bring to an organisation – don’t overlook these crucial points when considering temporary employees. 

 

Fast and Flexible 

The two primary situations when I would suggest considering contract workers is to take care of a temporary staffing issue such as maternity or a sudden staff shortage or to help with the extra workload of a big project.  

One of the main benefits of hiring temporary workers is the speed at which a recruiter will be able to fill your vacancy. Temporary workers are familiar with being placed quickly in roles, as opposed to often weeks and sometimes months that it takes to find a permanent candidate for your position. 

 

It Isn’t More Hassle 

Sometimes, an employer will be reluctant to go down the temporary route believing that plugging their gap with a temporary employee is more work for their business when in reality, a temporary worker is a perfect solution to their current staffing issue. 

A big part of employers’ reluctance to hire temporary workers is the perceived confusion around temporary contracts. Many employers believe that hiring a temp worker carries the risk of being slower, more complicated and more expensive than waiting it out for the perfect long-term employee; in reality, the opposite is true. 

Aexceptional  recruiter can find temporary skilled employees for your organisation in a way that is faster, less expensive and easier than struggling along waiting for the ‘right’ candidate or worse – permanently hiring an employee who is wrong for your company. This in itself can be a huge problem – the cost of a wrong hire is estimated to be between $7,000-$10,000 and even higher for executive positions.  

 

A Unique Set of Skills 

The nature of temporary work means that these employees have a unique set of skills that those who have been in the same company (or role) for years do not possess.  

Freelance or contract workers are generally more adaptable, quicker at picking up new skills and can integrate with ease at a much higher level than ‘traditional’ employees.  

Staff shortages can put extra pressure on an already stretched workforce, and this can lead to severe problems such as low staff morale, decreased productivity and even physical and mental health problems. Temporary workers can bring a new outlook to stressed personnel and will boost morale as the workload is shared. Your employees will be grateful that you are pro-active throughout your temporary staffing issues. 

 

Interim Directors  

There has been an increase in demand for temporary/interim executives as companies struggle in the current skill-short candidate market to find the right people to fill executive positions.  

Interim directors are often referred to as ‘consultants’ as they are called upon to help a business through a tricky situation or a time of significant change, but there is a difference between consultants and true temporary directors. A true temporary director will not only identify the issues in the organisation that need solving, but they will also roll their sleeves up and get to work themselves. 

Temporary directors are invaluable to businesses who need a specialist in their sector with substantial experience who is able to steer the business through a time when strong leadership is needed.  

 

How a Recruiter Can Help 

Recruitment companies have done historically well in the temporary work sector, as we are skilled at putting the right people in the right jobs, quickly. 

Working with a recruitment company like JobFitts will ensure that not only is your business provided with the right temporary candidates, that we can cover the vast majority of administration and HR responsibilities – freeing up your valuable time. 

To find out how JobFitts can help your organisation to grow with temporary workers, get in contact with us today. 

Thanks,  

Amrutha Murali 

How to Prepare for a Skype Interview

A job interview for an exciting new role can be one of the most nerve-wracking and memorable experiences in your life – as a recruiter, I see candidates receive life-changing job offers on a regular basis – it never fails to excite me! 

Working with companies and candidates across the board, I have seen a spike in the number of initial interviews being conducted via Skype or other video programs.  

I am asked time and again by candidates on how to prepare for and conduct a Skype interview, so here are my top tips. 

 

Check Your Speed 

Increasingly, Skype interviews are happening in public places such as local libraries, in your car or even quiet coffee spots – basically anywhere you can get a quiet place and, more importantly, away from your current workplace. This is understandable as our working lives are increasingly busy, and you might only have a specific timeframe to be able to conduct your interview. 

If you have no alternative than to conduct your interview where you are relying on someone else’s internet speed, it is important to check the speed of the internet before you decide on this as a suitable interview place. Internet speeds in public places can be highly unreliable, so where possible, we suggest using your own home, that of a friend or relative, or an office space where you can guarantee that you will have enough bandwidth. 

Remember to make sure you have Skype (or the interview software that you will be using) downloaded on your device and that your username and password are correct, and sign in a few minutes early. 

 

A Quiet Place 

Alongside internet speeds, if you must conduct your interview somewhere other than your home or office, make sure that your place of choice is as quiet as possible, with no distractions.  

If you must use a coffee shop, avoid the lunchtime rush hour. If you are interviewing from your car park away from busy roads and in a quiet spot, turn noisy engines and air-con off. 

 

Make Notes – But Don’t Rely on Them 

You might be nervous, and this is understandable if the role is one you’ve wanted for a while, or for a company you admire. I always suggest to candidates to make notes to help them remember certain topics they might want to cover or specific stories they want to talk about – but not to rely too heavily on these notes. 

What I don’t suggest is trying to memorise your notes word for word or consulting them every time you go to answer a question. Always looking down at your notes will make you appear nervous (even if you aren’t) and the breaking of eye contact will not put the interviewer at ease. 

The key is to familiarise yourself with your notes – this can be done in the days leading up to your Skype interview (don’t leave it until the last minute) and use them as a frame of reference for the interview, not a hard and fast guide. You want your conversation to flow freely, and this is hard to achieve when you refuse to stray from a determined set of answers.  

Sometimes candidates tell me that they made a long list of notes, only for them to completely forget about them once the interview has started! Each interview is different, remember to gauge the tone and pace of the interview – your notes are there to help you if you get stuck, it’s not a script. 

 

Work the Camera 

It is tempting in Skype interviews to look at yourself on the screen, rather than into the camera of your device, but remember to resist the urge to do this – it is off-putting and can make you come across as vain, self-centred or simply confused by the whole process. 

Dress in smart attire that you would wear if you were attending a face-to-face interview, and yes, I suggest from the waist down also. If you must get up suddenly in the middle of the interview, you don’t want the interviewer seeing that you’re wearing gym shorts. 

Smile and don’t be afraid to use hand gestures, even if you aren’t sure if the interviewer can see them. I feel that in Skype interviews, it can be harder to let your personality come across than in a face-to-face interview, so you might need to try a little harder to let your true self come across. 

It can be strange conducting a Skype or video interview, especially if you aren’t used to them, so it is useful to remember that they are not as formal as a face-to-face interview and that once you have cleared this stage, you can wow the interviewer in real-life. 

If you are still looking for your next role to progress your career, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help. 

Thanks,  

Amrutha Murali 

Why Quality Candidates Are Rejecting Your Job Offers This Year

The number of job vacancies in Australia is at an all-time high, with 242,900 at the last count. While this represents strong economy, which is ultimately good for business, it leads to issues when it comes to recruiting. 

A tight job market means that candidates have their choice of available jobs – so companies must work harder to attract the attention of the best candidates. 

As a recruiter, I understand how frustrating it can be when a potentially excellent candidate match falls through – for whatever the reason, but it can be particularly difficult when the candidate chooses to work for a competitor instead of you. 

So, I have put together this guide on the main reasons candidates are likely to reject your job offer, so you will know what to avoid to get the quality candidates to say ‘yes’. 

 

Your Compensation Package Isn’t Good Enough 

First and foremost, you must be offering your candidates salary and benefits package which is at least as good the other companies your candidates will likely have considered. 

While a competitive salary is a must, employers are having to be increasingly market-aware when it comes to giving candidates an offer they can’t refuse. 

Just recently I was working with a candidate who was considering two similar job offers; the salary offered in both positions was comparable, but the deciding factor was that one company was offering a much better health insurance package and the availability to work from home sometimes  – the candidate had a young family and these benefits really spoke to her. 

If you can offer candidates benefits such as  

  • Healthcare insurance 
  • Additional Superannuation  
  • A company car 
  • Work laptop/mobile 
  • Homeworking opportunities 
  • Flexible working hours 
  • Gym membership 
  • Subsidised food and drink 
  • Commission (if applicable) 

Then you are more likely to be seen as a more attractive employer to all potential employees. These perks are more than affordable for larger companies, and they will pay dividends in attracting the best talent and creating a happier working environment. 

 

Little Chance of Promotion 

The workforce of the last 30 years has been dominated by boomers; however, this is set to change. It is estimated that by 2020, millennials and X-ers will make up 35% and 35% of the workforce respectively, with boomers accounting for a mere 6%.   

Younger workers have felt a sense of frustration that they don’t stand a chance of being promoted to above, or even equal to, their more experienced superiors. 

 So, offering promotion prospects to Gen X, millennial and Gen Z employees is a reliable way to attract them to your organisation. 

A recent Business Insider survey found that more than 75% of Gen Z workers believed that they should be promoted within their first year of work. When a promotion is simply not an option, employers are offering substitutes such as a raise, being offered a new title and ‘workversary’ celebrations so that they feel valued. 

If you can offer some of these promotion-related benefits perks, this will help in getting your candidate to say yes to your offer. 

 

Your Recruitment Process is Too Slow 

One of the main benefits companies report in working with recruiters is that the speeding up of the process drastically reduces the number of great candidates who drop out of the process along the way. 

One of the main reasons we hear from candidates as to why they remove themselves from the recruitment process is that the process takes too long and in that time, another company has made them an offer that they decide to take instead. Even candidates who are particularly interested in your company over another can be tempted away by a swift recruitment process.   

It is widely accepted that your time to fill should be as short as possible. The Society of Human Resource Management reports the average time to fill is 42 days – how does your company measure up? 

 

Your Culture Doesn’t Speak to Them 

Many smaller companies fall into the trap of believing that creating a great ‘company culture’ is reserved for bigger organisations. 

There is the idea that you need to spend lots of time (and money) on staff away-days, employee events and programs, office relaxation spaces and monthly guest speakers – but it does not have to be this involved. 

Creating a positive company culture can be attainable for every single business, all you need is two things. Firstly, a company ethos and mission statement which you have thought about carefully, and secondlyto hire people who fit into the ethos and agree with the mission statement. 

I have worked with companies of all sizes, and great company culture is not something which is only achievable for a select few, nor is size important – I have witnessed fantastic company culture from a range of differently-sized businesses. 

In order to highlight to candidates why your organisation should be their first choice, tell them about your culture in the interview. If possible, take them into the office to see how employees interact with each other, and direct them to your company social media where they can see what values your organisation stands for. 

Remember, this is also a two-way street; both you and the candidate need to discern if this is a partnership that will work out.  

If you need help, not only attracting the best candidates to interview with your company but to say yes to the final job offer – get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.  

 

Thanks,  

Amrutha Murali 

What to Do When You Are Rejected for Being Overqualified

During my time as a recruiter, I have matched countless candidates to a wide variety of skills and positions, and I can say confidently – you never know what’s around the corner.  

I have seen all manner of hiring partnerships and recruiting trends come and go over the years. 

But increasingly, there has been a rise in the number of candidates being turned away from even executive roles for being ‘overqualified’. 

This is as frustrating for me as I know it is for the candidate – but it is also understandable. 

In recruiting, being told that you are overqualified usually means that the hiring manager thinks you are either going to get boredbecome unsatisfied too quickly or that you are using this role as a steppingstone until something better comes along. 

But as the world of work has changed around us, there is not one ‘set’ trajectory for many careers or professions anymore. It is now quite common for candidates of all abilities to seek out new challenges – a change of career direction, training in an area you have always been interested in or a move to a new city; there are plenty of reasons for candidates of all abilities apply for a range of roles. 

This has led to a mismatch between the available roles and the types of people applying – and it has led to some confusion for hiring managers. 

If you have been turned away from a role and the reason was that you were ‘overqualified’, it can be disheartening, but, remember – you aren’t the only one.  

This article discusses the current issue of ‘overqualified’ applicants and what to do if you find yourself in this situation.  

 

Go Direct (to the Recruiter or Hiring Manager) 

 

 

This is probably the most crucial piece of advice I have, and so I’ll cover it first. 

If you are applying to a role direct or using a recruiter, make sure you speak directly to the hiring manager (or get the recruiter to talk to them on your behalf) to position yourself before you start your formal application. 

This is a critical step as it allows you to explain your situation. Yes, you might be applying for a role which they consider is below your level of expertise, but there’s a reason for it – and this is your opportunity to explain your situation, showing how serious you are about the position. 

This will put the hiring manager at ease and set you apart from the other applicants. It is such an easy way to give yourself an advantage over the other applicants, but you would be surprised as to how many candidates overlook it.  

 

Explain Your Position 

 

 

Often, when an HR manager is looking at a CV or Resume of someone who they think is overqualified, they presume that you will get bored in your position or move on quickly.  

Yes, you may be overqualified for the role, but in explaining exactly why you are applying for this job at this time, it will put their mind at ease. 

Another reason I see candidates being rejected is the belief that the company will not be able to afford them due to their extensive experience. 

This is one of the times when I would suggest mentioning salary at an earlier opportunity. You don’t have to be explicit, but if you really want the job, it’s worth mentioning at the start of your conversation that you are aware this might be an issue, and that you are prepared to negotiate.  

 

Sell Your Transferable Skills 

 

 

Being rejected for being ‘overqualified’ for a job can be a confusing time for any job seeker. If it were a relationship, we’d be hearing the words ‘it’s not you, it’s me’… 

There are plenty of reasons for the hiring manager to hire you, but they often get put off initially by the perceived imbalance of skills and/or salary expectations. 

In your initial talk with the hiring manager, be sure to highlight your transferable skills. Demonstrate your communication skills, teamwork/team leader experience (if applicable), organisational skills, adaptability and work ethic. 

Likewise, it can be a sensible idea to downplay particular previous experience if it is irrelevant to the position you are applying for.  

For example, if you have previously held a few different management roles and are now applying for a lower-level position, you might only include the most recent post. Similarly, you might want to omit a higher-level position you held in a field unrelated to the job you are currently applying. 

Finally, as recruiters, we strongly advise tailoring your CV specifically to each role you apply for. 

 

How Your Recruiter Can Help 

A recruiter can help guide you through the process of applying for jobs that your CV might not align with, whatever the reason. 

A good recruiter will be able to help you tailor your CV to the positions that you want, will be able to guide you through the interview with their expertise, and crucially, they can be the key to getting you the interviews you really want in the first place.  

If you have been turned down for a position you truthfully wanted for being ‘overqualified’ and aren’t sure what your next steps should be, speak to a recruiter, like the experts at Jobfitts. 

 

Thanks, 

Amrutha Murali 

The Role of a Recruiter in Your Candidate Experience Strategy

Many employers are now in the habit of ensuring their company delivers an excellent employee experience, but when was the last time you assessed your candidate experience? 

The candidate experience is the journey each candidate who applies to your organisation goes through, from the first email or application through to the interview day and job offer. 

The journey that your candidates go on is essential for both the candidate and your businessGood candidate experience will ensure you are futureproofing your business to attract the best calibre of candidate, and it gives your organisation an opportunity to grow its talent pool and strengthens your overall employer brand. 

In the busy process of recruiting, it can be easy for an email to get missed, a candidate to be left un-replied to, or worse – ignored completely. As recruiters, we see these occurrences all too often.  

This can be damaging to your organisation as it weakens your brand and puts off potential candidates from ever applying again, not to mention everyone else they speak to about their experience. 

Your organisation will find it much easier to provide an excellent candidate experience with the help of a good-quality recruitment expert – and in this article, we will explain why.  

 

What Is the Candidate Experience? 

 

 

The candidate experience describes everything candidates who apply to an organisation experience from first clicking on a job advert or description, right through to receiving a job offer and negotiating their salary. 

In the past, companies often came under fire for their poor recruiting habits, and especially in the post-recession era of the last decade – there were so many candidates applying to so few roles that businesses with small HR departments found it impossible to reply to each application individually. This meant that some candidates slipped through the net – sometimes, really valuable candidates.  

But times have changed recently – and rapidly. It has only been in the last five or so years that ‘review culture’ has taken off – with companies encouraging customers to review their product, service or experience online for all to see. 

The candidate experience is all about effective communication. This includes whether your candidate gets a confirmation email after sending their application (this Monster survey found that, shockingly, 86% of applicants do not receive a confirmation email after applying for a job). 

A great candidate experience not only educates potential employees about your companybut it also projects a positive company culture. If the applicant is not lucky first time round but they have a good overall experience, they are statistically more likely to apply again in future. 

 

Why is Candidate Experience SImportant? 

Last week I needed to buy something for my house. Upon browsing my regular go-to sites, I found myself overlooking the price, delivery cost and times, and went straight to the reviews – I’m sure you have done something similar yourself. 

Customer reviews have become indispensable in the modern world. We don’t only like to read them – we have come to expect them – in all aspects of our lives, from buying a kettle to booking a month-long cruise, and recruitment is no different. 

 

 

Positive candidate experience is essential in today’s job market for several reasons. One Hay Group study found that 70% of graduates are put off by someone else’s bad experience with a company – a negative candidate experience might be turning away potential talent before it has even applied to your organisation. 

In giving an excellent candidate experience, you are not only fulfilling a courteous agreement which benefits the candidate, but you are also enhancing your talent pipeline.  

 

Your Candidate Experience as a Talent Pipeline  

You might be thinking that there is little incentive for the employer to give a great candidate experience, but this is not true. 

In the current skills-short job market, it has never been more critical to build a talent pipeline for your company – a culture of individuals who are aware and engaged with your company, who are likely to apply in future when then right position comes up. 

This can be hard to cultivate naturally, but it is something which a recruiter can help with. Candidates don’t often have candid conversations with their potential employer about their job prospects and aspirations – but they do with their recruiter. 

A recruiter will liaise with active and passive candidates on your behalfallowing you to give them the best experience and at the same time creating a talent pipeline of engaged candidates for any of your future vacancies.  

 

How Can a Recruiter Help to Improve Your Candidate Experience  

 

 

How can you ensure that every candidate who applies to work for you has a positive experience? 

As mentioned previously, a good channel of communication is the main thing that candidates are looking for from their potential employers. If you don’t have a dedicated recruiter whose job it is to take care of every applicant, communication can sometimes slip. This is why it is so crucial to work with a recruiter – they take care of every email and enquiry with their sector-specialist knowledge. 

Poor candidate experience can come from their expectations being too high, or they realise that their values do not align with the company half-way through the process. These are things that little can be done to remedy. 

However, the reasons for a poor experience have been outlined in the extensive Talent Board Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report 2018. The main negative reason candidates gave for withdrawing from the application process due to bad experience was that the process simply took too long. 

One of the main benefits of utilising a recruiter is that they drastically reduce the amount of time that the recruitment process takes.  

Having the luxury of time to spend with each candidate is something a recruiter can afford, that most companies do not have. This is the way to create the best candidate experience, to boost your employer branding and to create that all-important talent pipeline for the future.  

If you have got to the stage where you feel you need a recruiter to help enhance your candidate experience strategy – contact us today.  

 

Thanks,  

Amrutha Murali 

The Five Things Your Company Needs To Know About Employee Experience This Year

It is natural for every business to go to great lengths to get maximum customer satisfaction. But in the quest for this, it is critical to give the same level of attention to arguably the most vital cog in the wheels of your business – your employees. 

Employee experience is particularly important in the financial sector, as this is one of the fastest-moving markets, making job-hopping a common occurrence.  

The ‘employee experience’ is an increasingly examined area in the structure of a company, as noted in this Deloitte University Press report, almost 80% of executives state that they feel their employee experience is ‘very important’. 

Australia is now in its second year of hosting the ‘Employee Experience Summit’, held at Park Hyatt, Melbourne. This annual event showcases speakers from Australia’s top-rated employee experience organisations, sharing their industry knowledge on subjects such as personalising your employee’s experience, journey planning, and using technology to enhance the employee experience.  

Good employee experience is the best way to keep your company competitive and your staff happy and more importantly – in their jobs; this should be the primary goal of any business. 

In this article, I will guide you through five of the main topics on employee experience that your company needs to know. 

 

1. Expectation Vs Reality 

 

 

Why does an employee look for a new job? The biggest factor is job dissatisfaction. If you have promised an employee something at the start of their contract and then fail to deliver on it, not only have you broken your promise, but also your bond of trust with them. Not getting quite what they were expecting out of the position is a huge factor in an employee wanting to look for another position in a company who will deliver on their promises. Look back at the job description you offered your employee when they were a candidate – are these responsibilities still in place six months after a new candidate is placed? A yearOr have they been given different duties such as a greatly reduced, or increased workload? If you have advertised for a mortgage broker position ‘with a difference’, make sure this is what you deliver on.  

Meeting an employee’s expectation of a role is key to them having a positive experience, and this is something that needs to be monitored for the duration of their time with your company, not just the honeymoon period. 

 

2. Viewing Your Employees Through a Customer Lens  

Keeping your customers happy is the key to a successful company; this is business 101. Customers put the money in your bank account and pay your salaries, so it is natural to want to bend over backwards to impress them. But what if you started to apply this idea internally, and treated every member of staff with the care and attention you want your customers to feel? This is not a new concept; a select number of companies have been using this philosophy for years and to great effect. This Forbes article highlights how employee satisfaction directly results in customer satisfaction. 

While this holistic approach gets returns, it can be easy to overlook it, due to the reason that it doesn’t fit in with the Western obsession of getting results fast. It can take a little longer for a company to see the results of an overhaul in the way they treat their staff, but it does work – the results speak for themselves. The Temkin Group Employee Engagement Study found that 63% of highly engaged employees try their hardest at work. 

 

3. Diversity IKey 

 

 

As humans, we can be real creatures of habit, and this is evident in the choices we make every day – from our choice of dinner to our favourite car parking spot. Because of this, you might be mistaken into thinking that a productive workforce is one in which all the members have a certain set of similar characteristics, which enable them to work well together. In fact, the opposite is true. The best kind of workforce is a diverse one, in which there are enough differences for everyone to bring something new, making them feel unique and valuable.  

The financial sector up until now has been dominated by a narrow margin of people – predominantly white male – but reports show that the tide is turning. The latest Financial Times gender diversity review reports that women in senior financial roles have increased by around 80% on previous years, creating an even balance in financial workspaces 

 

4. A Culture Shift 

Millennials are often blamed for a shift in the world’s norms, particularly in the world of work. While this has created a surge in the amount of ping pong tables now found in offices across the world, you will be pleased to know it has also had an impact on the importance of salary. Younger employees are now citing factors such as flexibility, ability to train and workplace culture as just as important as salary. This 2018 Pentegra report found that salary was no more important to the younger workforce than other benefits that an employer can offer. Providing your employees with conditions that lean towards their needs is one of the best ways to avoid burnout, which is being reported more frequently among those in highpressure roles.  

 

5. Artificial Intelligence (A.I) – Looking tThe Future

 

 

The financial sector has been one of the areas most affected by the rise of artificial intelligence. Automation has been the cause for job cuts in some areas, but it has also lent itself to new opportunities. At present A.I can only mimic automated tasks; it is unable to do what the industry defines as core ‘value-creating’ tasks. Creating value is the key to growing your company, but it also goes hand-in-hand with creating a positive employee experience. A clever use of A.I. will free up time spent on menial tasks allowing your employees to focus on creating value for your business by creative thinking and problemsolving. 

What next? Your company could be on either side of this scale, from providing the best employee experience to never having given it a second thought. If you are starting to think about employee experience or are wanting to take it up a level, this is a great place to start. We have written several blogs on honing your staffing skills, which can be found on our blog page here.  

 

Thanks  

Amrutha 

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

How to Be a Competitive Candidate in Today’s Knowledge Economy

The old-fashioned idea that the finance industry is just about number-crunching in a cubicle doesn’t cut it any more. In today’s economy, it’s all about the efficient creation, communication and dissemination of knowledge 

To succeed in the financial world, you will need the ability to build successful relationships, using interpersonal skills, as well as ensuring you have recognised industry qualifications. 

 

What is the Knowledge Economy? 

 

 

The World Bank has set four pillars of the knowledge economy: education, innovation systems, information infrastructure, and economic and institutional regimes.  Where you have an educated population, you have the scope to use knowledge effectively, thus creating a workforce where individuals can increase and share knowledge, contributing to economic growth overall. 

Education in this context includes school education, further education, vocational training and lifelong learning. Innovation allows businesses to tap into global knowledge, research and development.  Information Infrastructure facilitates communication, and ICT provides the interface for all knowledge-driven economies across the globe. Finally, economic and institutional regimes offer incentives for the creation and distribution of existing knowledge. 

The Knowledge Economy (KE) relies on production, distribution and the sharing of ideas and information. Australia is doing well as a knowledge economy, rated above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average for most indicators of readiness to move towards a knowledge-based economy, with continued robust growth predicted shortly. You can find more on related data here. 

In the finance industry, ensuring employees can apply knowledge and keep up to speed with ever-changing technologies and skills is paramount, and the right mix of soft and IT skills will set you apart from the crowd when job-hunting. Top capabilities vary by specific job. However, soft skills are essential across the board and can enhance your competitiveness in the employment marketplace.  

 

Upskill Yourself 

 

 

To progress in today’s fast-paced business world, you need to develop and upgrade your skills continually.  Do you know what the crucial skills required for your industry are? Do you have them? Can you offer demonstrative evidence that you are up to date in your skills and thinking?   

Engaging in professional learning, or Continued Professional Development, will give you an advantage when employers are looking at prospective candidates. As well as showing your actual skill set and confirming your ability to do the job, it also demonstrates your willingness to learn and take on new ideas and challenges.  

In the finance world, you’ll also need to ensure you can demonstrate various specialist skills, such as high competence for analytics and financial reporting, as well as being able to employ lateral thinking. With increased development and progression in ICT, you’ll also need to ensure you are proficient in current software and practice, backed up with concrete examples. 

Are you fully conversant with industry trends and market demand? There are many ways to ensure you are up to speed – follow critical influencers on social media, listen to relevant podcasts, subscribe to business blogs, use analytical tools – showing an interest in the industry trends ensures you come across as forward-thinking, willing to take on new practices and ideas to ensure your business remains competitive.  

It’s essential to have distinct examples of these abilities to enable you to demonstrate your skills on your CV and at interview. Take time to think about how you can do this to best show your aptitude for the role. 

 

Don’t Forget Soft Skills 

 

 

As well as the pieces of paper that confirm your qualifications, you will also need to consider your transferable, or ‘soft’ skills. These are attributes that are important whatever the job for which you’re applying. Soft skills include the ability to listen to others, show empathy, work ethic, how you manage conflict, attitude, teamwork, creative thinking and communication style. They characterise how you interact with others, and as they are developed over your lifetime, are harder to measure. However, employers value soft skills highly. Not only do they provide an indicator of a prospective employee’s ability to adapt, but they offer a great indication of how you will give a good ‘fit’ in the culture of the workplace, and increasingly employers are using a behavioural-based interview structure to gauge candidates’ skills such as teamwork, problemsolving and attention to detail.  

Making a list of the soft skills you possess, and comparing them to the requirements of the job you’re applying for, will show you what the employer is looking for in a candidate. If you have additional skills not mentioned in the job advert that you think is relevant, include them as keywords on your CV and covering letter. 

 

Why Employers Care About Soft Skills 

After all, unless you’re working in a vacuum, you will need to interact with others in some way. So being able to engage is vital in any job. If you’re likely to be in direct contact with customers, you will need the skills to be able to listen and provide a polite and helpful service.  At the very least, you’ll be interacting, discussing and collaborating with colleagues, which requires several soft skills. It also makes for a happier workplace! 

Also, as soft skills are acquired and developed over time, candidates with excellent soft skills are often seen as having broad experience which can help diversify, enabling the company to grow and progress over timeAnother reason employers like transferable skills are that, by their very nature, they can be deployed into any position, making you an adaptable employee. 

Make sure you draw attention to the soft skills you have that are relevant to the job you want. Include them in your CV and covering letter, and at interview use opportunities to show them by listening to what the employer is saying (even if you’ve heard it before), being polite and friendly to everyone you meet (even when the interviewer is not around – you never know who will report back!) and show a positive attitude.  

So, brush up on your skills, get that additional training if you need it, and ensure you gain the competitive advantage you need to become the sought-after professional employers need. You can find more information and key tips on our website here. 

 

Thanks  

Amrutha 

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

What Job Seekers Are Really Looking For In The Current Market

How well do you really understand the needs and motivations of the job seekers in your sector? Perhaps not as well as you might think. 

At a recent recruitment expo we attended one of the speakers shared data from a very compelling study which revealed that what recruiters think candidates want out of a job is often quite at odds with what most are looking for 

The research found that 70% of recruiters interviewed said that advancement was what candidates most sought in a role, followed closely by money and work-life balance. Interestingly, when the researchers asked candidates what they most looked for from employers, they cited the same three things, but in a completely different order: compensation, work-life balance, and advancement.  

Just as telling were the things that candidates cited as important that recruiters hadn’t even mentioned: over 20% of all candidates interviewed said that company ethics, working from home, and commute were important factors, but none of these even appeared on the recruiters’ radar.  

If we’re not truly understanding what is important to candidates, then we’re missing an opportunity in how we can message to them, thus enabling our marketing to work more effectively.  

To help you develop your talent pipeline for 2019, here are 7 things candidates are currently looking for in today’s market. 

 

1. Competitive Compensation and Perks 

 

 

Regardless of generation, gender, and geography, employees want to be compensated fairly for the work they do. However, compensation needn’t be thought of only in terms of monetary value.  

Candidates are becoming increasingly concerned not only with the basic salary they are offered but with all the other perks that they may or may not be offered as part of their contract. A robust pension package, private healthcare benefits, gym membership and other rewards are all valuable incentives which can help to recruit and retain talent in a candidate driven market.  

Together with a competitive salary, perks go a long way in showing employees that they are valued.  

 

2. Flexibility & Work-Life Balance 

It’s clear that the strict nine-to-five workday is outdated – and it won’t help employers attract or maintain today’s top talent. The 2018 Global Talent Trends study found that 51% of employees wished their company offered more flexible work options.  

No matter the industry, flexible working hours, remote working opportunities, and generous holiday packages are increasingly on the wish list of many job seekers. 

A study on the benefits most valued by job seekers published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that eighty-eight percent of respondents were more likely to seriously consider a job offering flexible hours, while 80% stated that having more vacation time was an appealing perk.  

 

3. Training and Advancement 

Training often goes in tandem with advancement and career growth; you can’t really have one without the other. Opportunities for professional development offer many benefits to both employees and employers, from increased retention and healthier company culture to improved efficiency.  

Employers who offer clear career paths and are prepared to invest in continued professional development for their staff are likely to attract and keep the best applicants because it shows that a company is invested in their future. Staff are more likely to leave because of lack of opportunities than for any other reason.  

 

4. Great Culture & Collaboration 

 

 

Fostering and encouraging a collaborative culture can have many positives, from building a cohesive and empowered team to nurturing creativity. Great employees want to work in a supportive and collaborative environment where they can thrive creatively.  

Just as with providing perks and opportunities for professional growth, creating and maintaining a safe, accepting and collaborative culture for your employees will go a long way in showing how much you value them. You can do this by encouraging collaboration and recognising your employees for their contributions and achievements. 

 

5. Company Ethics 

In addition to company culture, a company’s values convey a strong message, and it’s important for employees to feel like their values are aligned to those of the company. Regardless of your industryadhering to high ethical standards is more important than ever in retaining employees.  

Creating a culture that nurtures employee wellbeing, encourages hands-on learning and forgives mistakes can make candidates believe that your company is where they want to be, which will increase both retention and productivity. 

 

6. Sense of Purpose 

Perhaps the most underrated aspiration of today’s job seekers is the desire to work with a purpose. Many of today’s job seekers would be willing to give up certain perks in exchange for more fulfilling work.  

Unfortunately, it seems that offering employees a sense of purpose is overlooked by many companies in today’s profit-focused world. Without a sense of purpose, it’s difficult for employees to connect with their work and their company.  

In addition to increased retention, ensuring your employees feel a sense of purpose in their work will boost productivity, morale, and overall job satisfaction.  

 

7. Accessible leadership 

 

 

Today’s professionals want to connect and work closely with company leadership. Job seekers are looking for a company culture that values employees at every level, where managers and team members work together to achieve their goals. 

You should, therefore, encourage your employees to communicate openly and often. Invite team members to discuss any topic, and check in regularly with each employee to discuss and diffuse problems, concerns, and conflicts. 

By building relationships with employees based on mutual respect and transparency, you will set the tone for a positive company culture, where leadership integrates into the team and builds meaningful relationships with each team member. 

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

How To Be Viewed As A Fair Manager

Treating your employees fairly seems like such a simple thing. And yet, research suggests that the day-to-day demands and stress of management often make doing the right thing anything but easy.   

Studies also reveal, however, that employees who are treated fairly feel respected and valued, and as a result, are more productive and loyal and are more likely to stay and grow in your company.  

Not only will your employees respect you and believe in you more as a leader; by treating them fairly, you’ll also be fostering a culture where your employees will treat each other with fairness and respect.  

In fact, being a fair manager is the cornerstone to creating a positive company culture that will retain the best talent. With that in mind, here are seven proven strategies that will help you to become the fairest of them all. 

 

Don’t Play Favourites 

 

 

One of the quickest ways of being viewed as unfair is by having different standards for different team members, which becomes especially apparent when some team members are allowed certain benefits that others are not. This approach can particularly backfire if poor performers are allowed to slide.  

A fair manager does not play favourites. Regardless of how you might personally feel about certain employees, you should never let personal bias get in the way of your professional decision making.  

 

Don’t Confuse Equal With Fair

Just remember that equal and fair are two different things; while you should treat everyone fairly, this will look different depending on who you are dealing with. Treating everyone equally doesn’t equate to treating everyone fairly. 

The important thing to consider is that every employee is unique; they all have different work ethics, styles, skill sets, responsibilities and goals. For example, you might have two employees in the same role, but with very different attitudes and work ethics. If employee A works very hard, consistently going above and beyond, while employee B simply works to meet the quota, should they be treated exactly the same? 

If they are treated equally, employee A might start to resent the lack of recognition for all her hard work and lose motivation and interest in your company. Whereas if they were treated fairly, employee A would receive an increase in pay, a promotion or some other kind of recognition, which would serve as an incentive to employee BEqual is not fair. 

 

Be A Role Model 

If you want to be viewed as fair, you can’t just talk the talk; you also have to walk the walk. 

Employees want and need a leader who not only achieves great things but who embodies great ideals. If you set the bar high for your staff, you have to set the bar even higher for yourself.  

Applying rules equally to everyone means applying them to yourself, as well. You have to model the behaviour you want to see in your team. If they see that you don’t practice what you preach, they’ll not only lose respect for you; they’ll not respect the rules or values of the company. 

By focusing on the big picture and demonstrating the highest values, others will admire and respect you as a true leader. Remember, if you teach through your actions and model the behaviour of “fairness” in the workplace, others will follow your lead. 

 

Give Your Employees A Voice  

 

 

The positive impact of having open communication and feedback from your team cannot be understated.  

As with being a role model, if you want to encourage open communication among your team, you have to take the time tlisten tyour employees concerns and be accessible. This means more than just having an opendoor policy. Make sure your colleagues know that you’re always available.  

In addition to fostering open communication between you and your employees, you should implement and encourage employee feedback. Giving your employees a voice and acting on their feedback and concerns will establish you as fair and caring manager. 

 

Be Open & Honest 

Another aspect of fostering open communication is modelling what this looks like with your staff. If you say what you mean and mean what you say, your employees will always know what to expect from you and where they stand with you.  

Being open and honest with your staff means telling thewhy a specific procedure was put in place or explaining the rationale behind difficult decisions or changes. 

When you are honest with your employees, you are treating them fairly; it also shows that you respect and value them. 

 

Treat Everyone With Dignity and Respect 

When in doubt, stick with the golden rule: treat everyone ayou would like to be treated. Remember, employees do not leave jobs; they leave bad managers.  

If you want the respect of your employeesyou must show them respect in turn. This means valuing and respecting the dignity of each member on your team.  

Deception, manipulation, micromanagement, and undermining employee efforts will only lead to distrust and disgruntlement among your team; without honesty and trust, there can be no mutual respect.  

 

Recognise Employee Contributions 

 

 

Praise and recognition are two tenets of good management and gaining the respect of your staff. Showing genuine appreciation for a job well done is one of the best ways to build a strong following of admiration. 

When someone does great work, makes a good suggestion, or makes a positive contribution to the team’s success, a fair manager provides positive feedback and finds a reason to celebrate. 

Employees appreciate sincere and specific recognition of their contributions and achievements. Effectively recognising your team members will not only increase their sense of belonging in your company, but it will also increase their commitment to their role, resulting in a happier and more productive employee.  

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

How To Deal With Change In The Workplace

Change is the only true constant. This aphorism is as true today as it was centuries ago.  

While many of us often look forward to changes in our lives or at work – daydreaming or pontificating about how things could be different – when things do actually change, we often feel caught off guard and unprepared. 

It’s one thing to be the one who suggests or initiates a change, but when you’re not in the driver’s seat as it were, unable to control what’s happening around you, change can be an unsettling, disenfranchising and downright scary prospect. It’s all too easy to become overwhelmed by doubt and uncertainty.  

However, change does not have to culminate in fear and anxiety.  As individuals, we have a lot of personal control over how we deal with the changes we are faced with; it’s ultimately up to you how you choose to perceive or handle change.  

With that in mind, here are four tested strategies for making the most of change in the workplace. 

 

Stay Positive & Optimistic 

 

 

Although this can be easier said than done, maintaining a positive attitude in the face of change is crucial for being able to thrive in your career. The ability to adapt to change is one of the most crucial attributes for any employee. Regardless of the new circumstances, you should always strive to be optimistic and maintain a good attitude.  

Even though you may not be satisfied with certain aspects of a particular change, you can still be optimistic about what possibilities it might yield. For example, you may not like certain things about a new role you’ve been required to take on, but you never know what a year in this position might ultimately do for your career. You might grow to love the very things that you currently think you don’t like; it might even lead you onto a different (and more satisfying) career path that you might not have otherwise considered. 

While the new situation you find yourself in may not be perfect, the old one most likely wasn’t perfect either. Rather than fretting or stewing about what you don’t like about it, focus on how you can best leverage your skills, experiences and network to make the most of the changes. Thinking of ways you make the change work to your advantage will help you to take ownership of it, thus making you feel more in control. However, maintaining a negative attitude about the change will only result in alienating yourself from the rest of your team. 

 

Be Flexible & Open 

Rather than stifling your creativity and potential with a rigid mindset, try to be flexible and open to new ideas and possibilities. Instead of viewing the change solely as negative, try to view it as a career opportunity. By adopting an open attitude of anticipation and getting involved in new committees and work teams, you can make yourself part of the change.  

Instead of fighting or fearing change, try to keep yourself open and flexible to new challenges and tasks. If you approach change with an open attitude of learning – even if you don’t like something new in the system – people will want to work with you, and you’ll have a greater chance of making a positive impact on those around and the company as a whole 

By having the flexibility to become an influencer and driver of change, you will feel empowered and less fearful, enabling you (and those around you) to embrace the positive aspects going forward. 

 

Be Proactive, Not Reactive 

 

 

This brings us to an important point; when faced with change that’s not of our own making, it’s all too easy to become reactive. Once put on the defensive, we may worry endlessly about, resist or openly fight against new developments. From this perspective, people are often only able to see the negative aspects of a given change. However, these are all reactive responses, and when we react defensively, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to become part of the change. 

If we can learn to shift our mindset to enable ourselves to become proactive, a whole new world of possibilities will open up to us. Not only do we act more responsibly when we make proactive decisions, but we’re able to make positive contributions that allow the entire team/project to succeed. Being proactive is about being a team player and keeping the bigger picture in mind.  

One of the ways you could be proactive in coping with workplace change is by learning new skills. Make a list of the skills that are required for your new role or responsibilities and invest time each week in developing them. Taking on more responsibility or acquiring new skills not only makes you more valuable in your company; it also makes you more marketable down the road to prospective employers.  

Another proactive strategy is to look for ways you can help others cope with the change. One of the best ways to deal with your new position is to help others get situated while you are trying to figure it out yourself. Teaching is the best way of learning. By helping others in this way, they will be more inclined to want to help you in return. Lending guidance and helping hand in a difficult period of transition will also help to establish you as leadership material in the eyes of management.  

 

Focus On Communication 

 

 

A big part of being proactive and adapting successfully to workplace changes is to be an effective communicator. Clear, open communication is the key to success in any new role/team 

Communicate with others to learn your new role. Find those that have already been in your role and get them to teach you everything you need to know so you can get up to speed. Ask as many questions as possible about your new role or responsibilities. This will show people that you value their insight and take your new responsibilities seriously.  

Communication is always important, but it becomes even more crucial during times of change. Part of the fear of change is the unknown. If the leadership of your company is not communicating change effectively, make it your business to be proactive in finding out more about what the change involves.  

The bottom line is, change is inevitable for all organisations today, so you’ll need to overcome your fear of it. Change can be disruptive, even frightening, but it will always be there. With the right attitude, outlook and actions, you can find opportunities for making the most of it. 

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.