People in Focus recruitment specialist in Freight and Logistics

Innovative Recruitment Solutions


Logistics Jobs Sydney

We are one of the top logistics recruitment agencies in Australia, delivering an integrated suite of recruitment solutions to a diverse and ever growing range of companies.

Specialising in Supply Chain Management, servicing the domestic and international freight forwarding and logistics community, eg. freight forwarders, customs brokers, sea/air/road carriers, stevedores/depots, 3PL/4PL, importers, exporters, manufacturers and commodity traders.

We regularly recruit for roles in operations, customs, cartage, logistics, procurement, customer service, sales, administration, finance and management.

Freight and Logistics Recruitment

Meet the

Unlike many other recruitment agencies, we combine decades of experience in our focus areas, to deliver efficient, integrated recruitment and human resource solutions across a broad range of business applications. 


  • How To Improve Your Employee Onboarding

    The honeymoon period: How to improve your employee onboarding

    Have you heard of “the honeymoon period” but in a work context?Much like starting a new relationship, starting a new role is exciting, right? We expect new employees to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, eager to hit the ground running. Previous research has established the existence of this “honeymoon phase” at work and has shown that employee intentions to leave are typically lower during this period of heightened satisfaction and enthusiasm. This is why it’s worrying that more recent research shows new hires are reporting lower levels of engagement, well-being, inclusion, and intent to stay, compared to years gone by. Is the honeymoon period on the way out? Or with a few simple changes to your employee onboarding experience, could your organisation start reaping the benefits of more engaged, high-performing new starters? Keep reading to find out.​How to improve your employee onboarding and maximise “the honeymoon period”Nobody expects their new job’s honeymoon period to last forever, but there are still ways to make the best of it and preserve the excitement. Here are our top tips: Set clear goals and expectationsOne of the worst mistakes you can make is to not establish clear expectations with your new employee from the get-go. By setting both short- and long-term goals, you’re turning your new starter’s to-do list into actionable and achievable points. As your new starter gets more familiar with their position and the business environment, you can (and should) revisit their goals to make them more reflective of their abilities. For more goal-setting tips, check out another one of our blogs: How to set goals for employees (and why you should).Get serious learning and developmentBefore the novelty and excitement of the new job wears off, you should focus your new stater’s energy on demonstrating and improving their skills and abilities. Once you’re confident your new starter is clear on their responsibilities, creating a supportive environment that prioritises learning and development will ensure they feel confident and motivated to get the job done. This could be as simple as offering ample opportunities for advice and feedback or creating a more formal development program. Prioritise collaboration and team bondingThe importance of creating a comfortable environment for your team to work in can’t be understated if you want to retain your employees. This doesn’t mean your team has to be the best of friends but it is important for them to build constructive, collaborative relationships that enable them to work well together over the long-term. You can encourage this by encouraging attendance at company events, improving team communication and creating relaxed opportunities for your team to get to know one another such as team lunches. Reward successIf someone doesn’t feel like they’re valued at a company, they are much more likely to resign. To help them feel more appreciated, you should find ways to effectively reward your employees’ success. This step can have many mental health benefits for your employees, as well as increase productivity as time goes on. No one likes to feel underappreciated, but this is especially true for people who are new at what they’re doing. This is why you should pay particular attention to celebrating the successes of new starters, and encourage them to do the same for themselves. Keep in touchRegularly checking in with your employees individually is a very important step –not just for new starters, but for every employee in your team. Besides improving productivity, this shows your employees that you care about their well-being. One-on-one meetings are also great for helping you to spot if there is anything wrong with your employee on an individual level, so you can provide support if necessary. ​Interested in more HR insights? Click here to keep reading. ​

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  • Should you use recruitment tasks in your hiring process?

    Should you use recruitment tasks in your hiring process?

    Hiring the right people can be a big challenge. As a hiring manager, it’s one of the most crucial decisions to your team’s success. To create a cohesive, high-performing team, you need to be able to assess candidates not only by more than just their resume and a first impression… which is exactly where recruitment tasks should come into your hiring process. Why you should use recruitment tasks in your hiring processYou might be surprised to hear it’s actually quite common practice for hiring managers to require candidates to complete a task before making any final hiring decisions. Recruitment tasks - also known as candidate assignments - are an effective and affordable way to check a candidate’s ability to complete the tasks required in the position they’re applying for. This is the first and most obvious advantage of using recruitment tasks in your hiring process – it will allow you to gauge the level of skills and competency that candidates can bring into the role available. But these aren’t the only benefits. Setting recruitment tasks can also: Give you an insight into how each candidate works and what their thought processes are;Gives the candidate a window into your business, helping them to better understand how things work, what drives the team, and what challenges you may be up against;Only committed candidates will complete an assignment - saving you time and energy in the long run;If multiple decision-makers are involved in the hiring decision, it will make it easier for the group to evaluate each candidate. How to create a good recruitment taskMake it relevantRemember, interviews work both ways. While they give the hiring manager an insight into the candidates, they also give candidates an insight into the business. Make the task relevant to the role and the business to give candidates a snapshot of what their day-to-day life could look like. This is a great way to sell the business to your candidates. Remember tasks are for screening skills, not knowledgeRecruitment tasks should be less about theoretical knowledge and more about practical skills and abilities. This advice goes hand-in-hand with the point above, but preparing a task which contains everyday problems that employees in your company deal with (or could deal with) is the easiest way to achieve this. Explain whyExplain to your candidates why you’re asking them to complete the task. Be specific about telling them what you’re looking to see, as this will allow them to put their best foot forward. Previous bad experiences may have left some candidates feeling that companies only ask candidates to complete tasks to steal ideas or receive free labour. An explanation will help to relieve any anxieties that your candidates may have around this issue. Interview firstWe wouldn’t recommend starting your recruitment process with a task. Instead, get to know your candidates first via an interview. As we’ve talked about before, while skills are important they are only one factor of many to consider in your hiring decisions. ​Interested in more recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • How to set better work boundaries

    How to set better work boundaries

    ​Does setting boundaries at work feel like a continually out-of-reach pipe dream? After all, how could you possibly: Not be available 24/7? Not smile and accept every new task and project? Not push back when your boss or a colleague keeps stealing all of your time? Boy, oh boy, do we get it. Setting work boundaries is no easy task. If only it could be as easy as the often-given advice: ”’No’ is a complete sentence.” But, we’re in the business of being honest with our candidates and employees so we’re just going to say it: Unfortunately, it’s not. Thankfully, setting boundaries at work isn’t an impossible task either. In fact, it’s widely recognised that establishing expectations for what you will and will not tolerate at work is key to increasing your productivity and well-being - something all managers and employers should care about for their employees. Setting boundaries requires self-awareness and a willingness to have some (potentially) uncomfortable conversations but with practice, it’ll become second nature. Before we dive into some tips for getting started, we’ve got some good news! Trending now: The “Right to Disconnect” and what it means for you​Employees' rights (and work-life boundaries) are set to improve as a new set of “Right to Disconnect” provisions have been added to the Fair Work Act. The “Right to Disconnect”, set to take effect in six months, is an amendment to the Fair Work Act, focused on granting employees the right to refuse to respond, monitor or engage with any work-related communications from their employers or third parties outside their working hours. The employer may not instigate any negative consequences following such a refusal. The purpose of the amendment is to further the work-life balance of employees by effectively limiting the excessive intrusion of work into personal time. It outlines: Employees can refuse to monitor, read, or respond to any contact or attempted contact from their employer or related third parties if it occurs beyond their assigned work hours.Exceptions include where the refusal is considered unreasonable. Considerations here include the contact’s intended purpose, the method of contact and the level of disruption it causes for the employee, the extent of compensation provided for remaining accessible outside regular work hours or working additional hours, the nature of the employee’s role and level of responsibility, and any personal circumstances, such as family or caring responsibilities. An employee’s refusal to respond to contact outside work hours will be unreasonable if the contact is legally required.Where an employer or their representative breaches these provisions, the affected employee may lodge an enquiry with the Fair Work Ombudsman, or initiate a dispute. The Fair Work Commission may then issue a fine and/or a legally enforceable “stop order”. If a dismissal accompanies the breach, employees can bring the case before the Fair Work Commission as an unfair dismissal claim. Above all, the right to disconnect will serve as a legal buffer for employees, allowing them the right to unplug and separate from their work responsibilities after hours. A huge win for safeguarding mental health and promoting healthy work-life balance!How to start setting work boundariesAcknowledge your worthWe’re all brimming with value, even if we can’t always see it. Your experiences, skill sets, expertise, energy, insights and perspectives have a unique value that only you can offer. When you don’t feel like you’re enough as an employee, it’s common to throw yourself into your work to try and ascertain “enough-ness” from things like your output and how useful you can make yourself. But doing this is often a one-way ticket toward burnout. The more we do, the further away being enough feels. If approval temporarily feeds our feeling of “enough”, then that’s what we’ll continually seek. And, those around us will grow used to a potentially unsustainable level of output from us. We’re more likely to say yes to what’s asked of us even when we know we should be saying no. Acknowledging your worth and value means having an awareness and appreciation of your achievements and what you can offer. When you value yourself and your time, energy, skills, and expertise, you’ll become a bit more particular about what you take on and communicating your boundaries will become a whole lot easier.Identify your non-negotiablesEvery decision you make - at work or otherwise - is a compromise. If you’re asked to work overtime, there’s a trade-off that occurs somewhere else - you can’t be in two places at once, right? If you’re not conscious of what the trade-off is, you might not have considered the things you’re giving up. That’s why it’s helpful to know your non-negotiables. If you’re saying yes to overtime, what are you saying “no” to and what are you saying “yes” to? Perhaps overtime takes you away from your loved ones, but it’s helping you to save for a house deposit or a big holiday you’ve been dreaming about. Non-negotiables might be that you don’t want to miss a parents’ evening, a school play or activity, or taking care of your kids when they’re sick. It could be that you have a book club, a tennis match or a support group that you really don’t want to miss. Regardless of what your non-negotiables may be, creating a list of them helps uncover what’s important to you, and makes it that much easier to create, communicate and negotiate boundaries that support and shield your priorities. Keep it clear and concise When starting a conversation about work boundaries, it can be easy to let apologies creep in. We’ll say things like “I hate to be a pain, but…” or, “I’m so sorry to bother you, but…” Unfortunately, being apologetic makes it sound like you’re expecting a big, fat “no,” which in turn, makes it easier for your manager to say “no.” Instead, when you communicate clearly and concisely - without apologies - you’re leaving no uncertainty behind your intention or meaning. It’s OK to assert your boundaries. It’s OK to change your mind. It’s OK to share your perspective on a situation. It’s OK to be assertive and to the point. It’s OK to follow up on missed deadlines, to check in and to ask for adjustments, tweaks and changes.Start with oneAs they say, “practice makes perfect.” Those uncomfortable conversations will get easier the more you have them. You will more confidently be able to protect your boundaries once you start doing it. So, now that you’re armed with your list of non-negotiables, pick one and start enforcing it. And when you’ve done so, ask yourself: What positive outcomes have come out of a boundary I have set?Did I feel more or less productive at work? Do I feel better in my role as a partner, a friend, or a parent?What negative outcomes occurred from a boundary?What do I need to change or adjust to stay on track and address the negative? When you step back, reflect, and evaluate your desires, you may discover that boundaries don’t limit you. They give you the space to create the life you want to live. Interested in more HR insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • Management 101: Recognising disengaged employees (and what to do about it)

    Management 101: Recognising disengaged employees (and what to do about it)

    ​Did you know that disengaged employees cost the global economy US$8.8 trillion a year (accounting for a whopping 9% of global GDP)? Yep, disengaged employees have the power to hit your business where it hurts, sinking your chances of success by reducing productivity, opportunities for growth, and customer satisfaction. If you suspect members of your team or your broader business have an engagement problem, you should be concerned, but it might reassure you to know you’re not alone. New research from 2023 reveals majority of organisations have shockingly low employee engagement. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report, employee engagement is only 23% in Australia - meaning the vast majority of employees are disengaged at work. The same Gallup report (unsurprisingly) shows that businesses with more engaged employees significantly outperform their competitors across the board. The good news is you CAN re-energize disengaged employees and reap these benefits in your business. So, strap yourself in and allow us to show you how:Step 1: Identifying disengaged employeesSigns of employee disengagement can be subtle - like reduced productivity and decreased customer satisfaction - or they can be crystal clear - like a toxic culture and negative attitudes. An employee’s response to job dissatisfaction will range based on the person, but here are a few common red flags worth looking out for:7 telltale signs of a disengaged employeeThey’re apathetic - Disengaged employees are apathetic about their work and don’t approach it with energy or enthusiasm. They don’t do more than the minimum required of them and don’t show initiative. They’re unreliable - Disengaged employees can be unreliable. They may turn up to work late, deliver to a low standard, reject meeting invitations, or call in sick more often than others. They isolate themselves - Disengaged employees may isolate themselves from others and choose to focus exclusively on their tasks rather than team goals. They’re change-resistant - Disengaged employees may be resistant to taking on new tasks, learning new software, or working with new people. They’re less likely to engage in training and development. They’re reactive - Disengaged employees may wait to be instructed about what to do rather than proactive and self-directed.They’re critical - Disengaged employees are more likely to make their negative feelings known by being critical of the business, their manager, and even colleagues. They’re unhappy - Sadly for both the employer and employees, disengaged employees may be very unhappy at work. This can translate to emotional and physical health problems, which is why engagement should be recognised as an employee wellbeing issue too. Once you’ve recognised some of the warning signs amongst your team or business, what should you do? There are numerous employee engagement strategies you can implement as quick fixes and long-term tactics to boost employee engagement. Here are our top three employee engagement strategies that you can try today:3 ways you can improve employee engagement Prioritise feedbackEmployees rate giving feedback as one of the most important skills a manager needs, right behind communication. Start by scheduling check-ins with each of your employees, before establishing regular review sessions. Managers should talk to their direct reports about their preferred methods for receiving feedback to engage employees in a way that’s meaningful to them. Offer professional development opportunities and career pathsOver 60% of employees who left their jobs in 2021 listed a lack of opportunities for career advancement as a reason for their decision. Outlining a path for growth will create engaged employees and help you retain top talent. Not only that, but contributing — financially or otherwise — to your employees’ individual growth shows that you value them, in addition to their work. Knowing that their talents are appreciated by the company is a motivating factor for employees. Moreover, regardless of which industry you serve, the market will constantly evolve and professional development is key to staying relevant. That’s what we’d call a win-win! Train your managers in employee engagement Can you guess what two of the biggest factors in driving employee engagement are? A) Training your people managers, and B) Holding them to high standards Yep! It’s critical that companies give senior and middle managers the skills and tools they need to connect with and empower their direct reports. This can be done by offering training programs or leadership development opportunities to better equip managers for their roles. After all, in addition to their individual responsibilities, a manager should act as a coach for their direct reports, offering encouragement, constructive criticism and paths for growth. In the day-to-day, it is undoubtedly the manager who has the most influence on positive or negative employee engagement in your organisation, so this is quite simply an area that companies can’t afford to ignore or skimp out on. ​Interested in more HR insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • AI in recruitment: The good, the bad and the ugly

    AI in recruitment: The good, the bad and the ugly

    ​Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used by employers (and recruiters) to help decide who to hire… but what are the implications for candidates and their future bosses? How will AI in recruitment change the hiring process? And how will the automation of some tasks transform the skills that hiring managers need? These are big questions, and not of the answers are clear, but here is our expert perspective on how AI will change hiring in the years to come — and what hiring managers can do to prepare.How common is it to use AI in recruitment?Although the use of AI in recruitment in Australia is fairly new, it is not uncommon, and it’s only expected to increase as the years go by. Several aspects of the hiring process that were once carried out by people – aspects like resume screening and preliminary interviews – are increasingly being outsourced to AI, with researchers estimating that there are now more than 250 commercial AI recruitment tools being used in Australia. As of last year, 30% of Australian organisations reported that they had utilised AI tools to assist in filling job vacancies.Advantages of AI in recruitmentThe appeal of using AI in recruitment isn’t difficult to see. These tools make it easier to quickly and effectively managing huge bodies of information on candidates and can assist in achieving stronger alignments between candidate and the organisation, or the candidate and job, which can help to avoid to unfortunate cost of a mis-hire. It’s no secret that many hiring managers find the, traditional recruiting process – application, interview, work test, referee contact – to be difficult and time-consuming. So it’s understandable that increasingly time-poor managers are looking for ways to shorten the recruitment process - and AI can help to achieve this, whether it’s by streamlining the administrative processes or vetting potential candidates. But what’s the trade off?Where AI in recruitment goes wrongWhile AI promises to make recruiting more efficient, there are also some big concerns around its use that both recruiters and hiring managers need to take seriously. And perhaps in no aspect of the recruitment process is this more evident than outbound recruiting. It’s something that is at the core of People In Focus and how we operate as recruiters: While AI can assist in outreach to potential candidates, it cannot replace the power of human connection. There is a significant and obvious difference between having an automated, robotic outreach rather than a human being reaching out to you, showing genuine interest, and listening to you. Particularly, when you’re dealing with top talent who don’t need to make a change or aren’t actively in the job market, there’s a level of influence and relationship-building a good recruiter uses that cannot be undervalued. That’s how a skilled recruiter can move the conversation from “Why are you reaching out to me? I’m not looking” to “Actually, I’d like to be considered for that job.” Another limitation of AI in recruitment is that AI can only function when you feed it data, so if you have bad or insufficient data, your AI may not be accurate enough for your recruiting process. For example, a candidate might use a different phrase or keyword to describe a skill. If the AI doesn’t have enough data to realise the skill is transferable, it may skip over a qualified candidate. Recent research has revealed that AI-assessed job applications reinforce biases against women and cultural minorities. A well known piece of research in this area was conducted at Amazon, where programmers loaded up an AI resume screening tool with resumes from men. The AI then preferenced future resumes from men, disadvantaging women. Studies have also shown that candidates with non-western names, including Arabic and Asian names, also receive far fewer invitations for interview than candidates with western names.How to best use AI in recruitmentIf using AI in your recruitment process is something you’re interested here are the next steps we’d recommend: Always look over the results from AI - it’s role is to assist you not do all of the work for you.Ensure that you give your AI tools quality data to read.Don’t allow AI to replace essential human parts of your recruitment process. Building relationships, trust and influence among candidates is not the job of a robot.Interested in more recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.​

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    Hiring? These 2024 recruitment trends are worth knowing

    ​With 2024 now well and truly underway, if hiring could be on the cards for you this year, there’s no better time to ensure your finger is on the pulse when it comes to the recruitment trends the world will witness in 2024. To help you do exactly that, our team of recruitment specialists has pooled their expert knowledge of the sector - from proactively engaging talent at all job levels to Gen Z entering the workforce. Here are the recruitment industry trends you need to know for 2024…Gen Z entering the workforceIn 2024, the workforce is facing something new - the entrance of Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) into a predominantly Boomer, Gen X, and Millenial space. That’s right, Gen Z is all set to enter the workforce in junior-level roles this year. This means that managers and business owners alike will be tasked with hiring Gen Z and assimilating the younger generation into their business practices. A major change this is expected to bring into the workplace is speed - as Gen Z, also called “Zoomers,” has a reputation for having some different priorities than the past generations in terms of personal boundaries, including in the workplace. In short, they will expect everything to be virtual and fast-paced. What’s important for recruiters, hiring managers and business leaders to realise is Gen Z is the future, so we all need to carefully consider and ensure we are open to what they’re bringing to the table. To learn more about what Gen Z values in a workplace and how to attract top Gen Z talent, get in touch with our expert team today. Proactive candidate engagement Proactively engaging candidates has long been a common practice when filling senior leadership and C-suite level job vacancies but in many workplaces, it has rarely been considered when hiring for lower-level positions. At People In Focus, this is something we’ve always fiercely believed in and 2024 will be the year that more companies and recruiters follow suit. In a LinkedIn survey, 84 % of recruiters said that engaging passive candidates is becoming important in lower and middle-level roles and for attracting top talent. While the job market is certainly swinging in favour of employers, those who proactively engage talented candidates are much more likely to take the cake, with three-quarters (76%) of Australian professionals considering (but not necessarily actively searching for) a new job in 2024, up 15% year-on-year, according to analysis of LinkedIn data.It’s not about where you’ve been, it’s what you knowHere’s something for both candidates are employers to take note of: in 2024, it will be a candidate’s skills (not the pedigree of past employers on their resume) that truly count. While we’re certainly looking at a competitive job market, many skills gaps exist that need to be closed. This is why, for employers, we expect businesses to focus on the skills they need to bring on and develop now. This could include decisions such as bringing in interim hires who can upskill teams and allow businesses to try new roles on for size before hiring into them permanently as well as more sideways moves as businesses reassign roles to unlock unrealised potential already within their ranks.​And this isn’t only about technical skills. Recruiters will still be looking out for leadership skills, too — so a seemingly short-term focus now doesn’t leave them with a bigger skill gap at the top later on. ​Interested in more recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • Politics At Work: Managing Teams With Conflicting Views

    Politics At Work: Managing Teams With Conflicting Views

    ​Politics right around the world seem to be getting more and more divisive, and it’s impossible to avoid the topic in our day-to-day conversations — including at work. Conversations can often get tense when people on your team have conflicting opinions, whether it’s about politics or something else. With the referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament just around the corner, your workplace might already be abuzz with political opinions. So, as a manager, what should you do?Should you put a blanket ban on political comments and conversations? If not, what ground rules should your company put in for these conversations to ensure colleagues are treated fairly, regardless of their beliefs? Politics at work: What the stats tell usIt doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that employee morale and productivity often take a nosedive when colleagues aren't getting along. Despite this, 45% of workers report that they have experienced political disagreements in the workplace, and more than 1 in 4 workers say they have personally been treated differently at work because of their political views or affiliation. Research also shows us that employees expect their business leaders to do something about it, with, 75% of people wanting their CEOs to take a stand to address discrimination.Understand the right of your employees to express their viewsFirst things first, your employees have the right to express views that are contrary to those held by their colleagues or their employers. However, you can and should ensure your employees understand that, if views are being expressed publicly, it needs to be clear the view being expressed is a pri­vate or per­son­al view, and not con­nect­ed with their employ­ment. Having a social media policy is a good place to start. You might want to stipulate that when using social media platforms, an employee should not refer to their employ­ment or employ­er on their account and include a dis­claimer that the views expressed are per­son­al. Employers should also be careful about their response to posts made by employees who adopt a different stance to that of the employer. For example, if their post included offensive or racist language, it could be grounds for a warning or dismissal, depending on the contents. However, simply stating a different opinion to the employer is usually within an employee’s rights.Don’t outright ban political talk in the workplaceIt may be tempting to make your workplace a politics-free zone in the interest of team cohesion and unity, but banning certain topics can actually do more to hurt team culture than it does protect it. Making certain topics off-limits is also incredibly difficult to enforce and may end up making team members feel more uncomfortable than if they were able to engage in a healthy debate over different opinions. So, how can you ensure potentially heated conversions remain respectful and don’t damage your workforce?Set an exampleNo different from managing a team of employees from different cultures, races, genders, and backgrounds, it’s important to understand and appreciate different political perspectives amongst your team too. Just as with other forms of diversity, it’s important to remember that as a manager and leader, you set the tone for how your team members relate to one another. A certain degree of conflict may be unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be disrespectful. Use team members to set an example by encouraging differing views, demonstrating respect, and showing a willingness to challenge your own assumptions — not just on political topics but about anything on which the team disagrees. Don’t force the issueWhile there’s nothing wrong with healthy debate, not everyone wants to talk politics at work - and that’s okay too. Make it clear to your team that these kinds of conversations should only happen between team members who want to participate, and no one should be dragged into the discussion, even if they were willing to talk about it previously. ​Establish (and reinforce) ground rules ​Even with you setting an example, your team may not know how to have these types of conversations in a respectful way. It isn’t your job to teach your team members about politics, but it is your job to teach them how to disagree in a constructive way and the best way to do this is to set some simple ground rules.As the manager, you need to:Make it clear that team members must be thoughtful and respectful toward one another.Encourage your team members to seek to understand others’ experiences and what led them to their political beliefs. Remind your team that even if someone on the team is voting differently from them, they can still care for and deeply respect that person.Don’t tolerate name-calling, eye-rolling, interruptions, or judgemental comments (e.g. “How could you possibly think that?!”), and keep an eye on flaring tempers. If disrespectful comments are made ensure you take a stand. The wider team needs to understand that the comment was inappropriate but you should also follow up individually with the person who made the comment to ensure they understand the issue and don’t repeat the behaviour.Tread carefully with direct reports whose politics differ from yours. You don’t want them to feel that they’re going to be negatively evaluated due to your differing stances. Ready for more HR tips? Click here to keep reading.

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    Maintaining professional boundaries as an interviewee: The do’s and don’ts

    If your application has been impressive enough to get you an interview, the job you’re hoping for could be yours — provided you perform well during the interview. Even the most experienced professionals can let their nerves get the better of them and cross a professional boundary that jeopardises their chances of being offered the role. What are professional boundaries?​Professional boundaries are what help us to maintain the right balance between personal and professional needs and obligations. They are a code of conduct that outlines what is appropriate behaviour (and what isn’t) within a workplace. Here are the professional boundaries you should not cross during any interview and what you should do instead:How to maintain professional boundaries in a job interview DON’TDon’t hug your interviewer! They’re not your BFF or a family member so don’t make things awkward by crossing this professional boundary. It will likely deliver the wrong message and make you seem unprofessional.DO ​Offer your hand for a handshake when first meeting and at the end of the interview. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, young or old. It’s the professional thing to do.​DON’T ​Don’t arrive late. Unless you have an extremely good excuse and have called ahead to advise your interviewer, turning up late to an interview will disqualify you from almost any job. DO ​Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. This gives you time to review your CV or to simply relax and organise your thoughts. This kind of punctuality reflects your organisational skills, professionalism and respect - and it can also help you remain calm and start your interview in a positive manner. DON’T Don’t speak negatively about your current or former employer. No matter how bad of an experience you’ve had in a current or former role, badmouthing will never reflect well on you. Why? Because the interviewer may wonder if you have trouble getting along with people, assume you will do this to them if you leave, and above all question your professionalism and judgement. Trust me, this is a big red flag to anyone interviewing a candidate so do not speak badly of a previous boss, colleague or employer - even if the interviewer seems sympathetic. ​DO ​Talk about your former work experiences with optimism. You should always be positive, or at least present a difficult situation through rose-coloured glasses, anytime previous positions and former bosses come up during an interview. Rather than focusing on conflicts or issues, talk about your accomplishments and what you learned in the role. ​DON’T ​Don’t overshare personal information. The goal of any interviewer is to learn more about you in a professional context. When you overshare, you begin to talk too much about topics that aren’t relevant to your ability to do the job, making you seem disorganised or unfiltered, and you risk losing the interest of the interviewer. It can also communicate a lack of respect, as interviewees who monopolise the conversation can be viewed as showing a disregard for the interviewer’s agenda and disrespect for their time. DO ​Sell yourself. The common interview question “So, tell me about yourself” is used by recruiters and interviewers as an ice breaker and to get candidates to open up about themselves. You should provide a concise snapshot of your career history, focusing on the most relevant or recent roles, the key skills that you have developed that are relevant to this role, as well as some standout achievements that are a testament to the great work that you’ve done. If you’d like to, you can share a small amount of detail about your interests and hobbies outside of work to build rapport but think carefully about what you want to share to ensure it presents you in a positive light. ​Interested in more job-hunting tips? Click here to keep reading.

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  • How to resign the right way

    How to resign the right way

    ​The average person changes jobs every two years and nine months. You may change jobs more or you may change jobs less but the fact remains, it’s important for everyone to learn the right (and wrong) way to resign from a role so you can maintain your professionalism and avoid hindering your future job prospects. Whether you’re leaving your job because you’ve accepted another opportunity, you’re moving to another city, you’re starting your own business, or for a number of other reasons, deciding how to tell your boss you’re resigning can be challenging. You never know where or how you may need to work with them (or someone else from your soon-to-be former organisation) in the future, so it’s crucial you don’t burn your bridges when exiting a role. Here are People in Focus’s top tips for resigning the right way:How to tell your boss you’re resigningEnsure you’re prepared before you resignBefore you resign, make sure you are fully ready to leave that day (or that moment) in case your employer decides they do not wish you to remain on the premises. This is not uncommon for certain roles and industries so is something you should be prepared for. You should:Take the time to carefully weigh the pros and cons of leaving your role. If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your role or overwhelmed by your workload, consider discussing it with your manager to determine if they can help resolve the problem.If you are ready to resign, collect any information, records, or documents that are your property and that you need to take with you, including information you’ll need to refer to in the future.If you’re resigning because you’ve accepted another position, make sure you have a written confirmation of employment from your new employer, with all the crucial terms detailed. If you’re resigning before you’ve accepted another position, make sure you have a plan in place for how you manage your living costs while you search for your next role.Prepare for questions. Take a minute to put yourself in your manager’s shoes and think about the questions you would have if you were in their position. These could be questions about notice periods, why you’re deciding to leave, what they can do to keep you at the company or what your next move will be.Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss (either in-person or virtually)If you’d like to maintain a positive relationship with your boss, colleagues and the wider workplace you’re resigning from, resigning face-to-face rather than via email or phone call, is highly recommended. Doing this demonstrates your respect, which is important, even if you’re unhappy in the workplace you’re resigning from. It also rips the bandaid off of what can otherwise be an awkward transitional period, giving both parties the opportunity to clearly express themselves and ask questions. Your manager might suspect something is up when you set up the meeting with them, so I highly recommend getting straight to the point. Doing this will give your manager more time to process the decision before the meeting ends. Clearly communicate your reasons for leaving​Once you’ve said, “I quit,” you should explain why. Here are some common reasons people leave that you may want to reference: You’ve received a better offer in terms of career growth, pay, or compensation You want increased flexibility and ability to work remotely (which your current employer won’t offer)A job that’s better aligned with your purpose and career goals A pivot in career or industry (i.e. following your dreams) Misaligned company cultureUnmanageable workload A career pause (i.e. time for rest, a sabbatical leave, or caregiving responsibilities) If you’re leaving because of a toxic work environment, poor workplace culture, or a bad manager relationship, it’s still important to share feedback professionally so you’re not burning any bridges. Consider the points above and work with a friend, family member or recruiter if you need help finding the right words.Express your appreciation (even if you’ve had a bad experience)Whether you’ve had a good relationship with your soon-to-be former employer or not, they’ve invested in you. And regardless of the experience, you’ve learned something from it so it’s important to express your gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity. For example, you could reference key projects you’re proud of or areas of growth you’ve experienced within the organisation.​How to write a formal letter of resignationFollowing your one-on-one conversation with your manager, it’s essential that you email a formal resignation letter to your manager for official records. In this letter, you should include:Today’s dateYour full nameThe name of the individual you’re addressing the letter to (typically your manager)An introductory sentence that expresses your gratitude Your statement of your official resignation (e.g. “Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from the role of [Position Title] with [Company Name]”)Your notice period and final day of employmentYour signature Your formal resignation letter is above all, a factual statement of your departure, so please avoid strong use of emotion, anger, threats, overjustifying your reasons for leaving, or outlining your future plans. If you’re feeling nervous, remember that almost everyone decides to leave a job at some point in their professional career. By preparing ahead of time, crafting your letter of resignation and navigating the conversation with your boss respectfully, you can ensure a friendly and professional departure for everyone involved.Interested in more HR tips? Click here to keep reading.

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  • Employers typically view job hopping as a risk, however, in recent years, job hopping has become more common. Is it a recruitment red flag? Read more now.

    Recruitment Tip: Why job hopping isn’t always a red flag

    ​From many hiring managers, job hopping is viewed negatively as traditional thinking has dictated that employees should stay at a company for the long term – or at least a few years. But job hopping is becoming more and more common, with many employees that swiftly switch roles, and gaining career skills and experience at a far faster rate than their counterparts as a result. So, is job hopping a red flag? Here’s this recruiter’s professional opinion…What is job hopping? ​Job hopping refers to the practice of holding multiple jobs in a relatively short time. Frequent job changes have traditionally been seen as a cause for concern by employers but this is changing. Younger generations in particular have a reputation for job-hopping. A recent Gallup report on the millennial generation reveals that 21% of millennials say they've changed jobs within the past year, which is more than three times the number of non-millennials who report the same. Following the Great Resignation, job hopping seems to have gained even more momentum. In a February 2022 LinkedIn study, 25% of Gen-Zers and 23% of millennials said they hoped or planned to leave their current employers within the next six months. Why job hopping isn’t necessarily a red flag ​In the past, employers typically saw job hopping as a risk, as they viewed it as a sign a candidate may be noncommittal. However, in recent years, job hopping has become more common, as competitive candidates seek higher pay and better titles. There are many reasons an employee might change jobs, including job dissatisfaction or a desire for a career change. Opportunities may also arise as the job market adjusts to changes, such as an increase in remote work. Sometimes, a job ends for a reason that's out of the employee’s control, like a layoff, necessitating a fast change. If the candidate is able to explain the experience and knowledge they’ve gained from past positions, their job hopping could be the exact opposite of a red flag - it could be an asset to your team. After all, an employee that’s job hopped will likely have a greater wealth of experience to draw from - collecting skills, abilities and knowledge they can use in future roles. You may also find that candidates that have job hopped possess important attributes like the ability to adapt quickly, which other candidates that have remained in the same role for several years may not hold.How to determine when job hopping is a red flag ​Although job hopping is more acceptable than it once was, it's vital that any candidate you’re considering is able to demonstrate desirable characteristics like dependability and explain the reason for multiple job changes on their resume. A good hiring manager can and should ask why a candidate has changed jobs so frequently if job hopping is present on their resume. If you are concerned job hopping may be an indicator of a lack of focus or a person who is difficult to work with, be sure to sound these areas out in an interview with the candidate. If an undesirable trait, like one of those I’ve mentioned above, is evident - it’s likely that the candidate has been job hopping without intention and has jumped at the chance for a larger salary or better title before realising that the switch wasn’t ultimately the right move for them. And this lack of self-awareness is a red flag. The moral of the story? While it might be tempting to consider a job hopper as nothing more than a flight risk and pass on that candidate in favour of others who showcase longer tenures on their résumés, it’s essential to look at the overall context. If a candidate’s job hopping makes sense, don’t rule them out. You could be missing out on one hell of an asset to your team! ​Interested in more recruitment tips? Click here to keep reading.

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  • The crucial first step in any recruiting process

    The crucial first step in any recruiting process

    ​About to start recruiting? Whether it’s a new role or an existing vacancy, whether you intend to use a recruiter or manage the end-to-end hiring process yourself, there is one crucial step we see hiring managers forget about time and time again when it comes to their recruitment process… And overlooking this step has big ramifications:It can slow down your entire hiring processIt can make it more difficult for you to attract top talentIt can add challenge to candidate interviewsIt can lead to losing ideal candidates at the final hurdle (the job offer) Hopefully, you can see why it’s a simple mistake I’d very much like to help you avoid!So, what is this mistake? It all boils down to this: Hiring before you’re ready. Before you start advertising a job you likely have a clear picture of the basics like who the role will report to, where the role will be based and who the team member will need to collaborate closely with. But you should also have the following - often forgotten - information clearly outlined (and if you don’t, here are some questions you can ask yourself to get your hiring process started on the right foot): Essential job skills vs. ideal job skills ​When it comes to job advertisements, you need to clearly understand which requirements are "must-haves" and which are "nice to have." While we all want to find that unicorn that possesses every skill and trait we could want in an employee, the reality is that person is difficult to come by and even more difficult to win over, especially in today’s candidate-skewed job market. We’ve seen time and time again that “hiring for attitude and training for skills” incredibly fruitful way for employers to approach hiring decisions. So make sure you’re crystal clear on which areas of a role you’re happy to train on the job versus which are essential requirements from day one. This will help to minimise the chances of underqualified candidates applying for the role whilst also ensuring you aren’t missing out on great potential candidates in pursuit of that mythical unicorn hire. ​What’s your company culture ​“Company culture” might sound like a HR buzzword but we can assure you, it’s not. It’s no secret that a toxic work environment can quickly escalate and negatively impact your company’s reputation. According to research from Robert Walters, 73% of professionals have left a job because they disliked the company culture. On the other hand, having a healthy company culture will do wonders for your reputation, especially when it comes time to attract top talent. Instead of headhunting, your company's reputation and credibility can do much of the hard work for you. As a starting point, it’s essential that you’re able to articulate your company culture throughout your hiring process - from the job ad to interviews and final job offer negotiations. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself: What values underpin your company? These values will be reflected in the people you hire, the policies you enforce and the practices you uphold. Need more of a helping hand? Read me: Why the culture of your company is more important than you think​Incentives ​You likely already know the salary you’re able to offer for a role you’re trying to fill but what about other kinds of incentives and bonuses? It’s useful to remember that throughout your hiring process, you’re “selling” the job that’s on offer just as much as a candidate is “selling” themselves in arguing why they’re the right fit for the role. Candidates - especially top-tier ones - are likely to want to negotiate the total package on offer, which could include aspects like bonuses, remote work, flexible hours, amount of annual leave, professional development opportunities, and other benefits, so make sure you’ve considered this upfront. If you’re not sure what incentives you can offer, here are some thought-starters you could consider. By thinking about these options upfront, you can communicate what incentives are and aren’t able to be offered throughout your hiring process, encouraging top-quality candidates to apply because not only is it clear about the scope of the role but it is also why a candidate should want to work at your business. ​Interested in more HR and recruitment tips? Click here to keep reading.

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    6 ways to improve teamwork in your workplace

    ​There is no denying that effective teamwork is key to an organisation’s success. Good teamwork keeps employees motivated, happy, and productive - all of which are known to positively impact company profits. When teamwork is effective, problem-solving becomes easier, as people with different skills and knowledge will work together to produce creative solutions.In contrast, 86% of employees state that workplace failures are a direct result of a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication. So, how can you improve teamwork in your workplace? Here are six tips to get you started:How to improve teamwork Promote transparency Transparency is key to any effective team, as it ensures both employees and their managers have a clear understanding of their respective responsibilities. A great way to encourage transparency is to start off with having frequent team meetings to delegate responsibilities and shared goals so that everyone can be on the same page and work together towards their objectives. Use shared goals Setting goals is one of the most important tasks within a business, whether it’s a small company or a multinational corporation. Setting shared goals brings teams together to achieve a business’ targets, and encourages employees to work closer together as a result.To ensure employees maintain a clear understanding of shared goals and remain accountable for their progress, employers can perform periodical checks or performance reviews for both teams and individuals. Encourage collective recognition Creating moments of collective recognition and appreciation of employees’ achievements and milestones, big or small, plays a pivotal role in building a sense of togetherness at the workplace. Not only does this bring the team closer together, but it also allows your team members to feel validated and enabled in their roles, empowering them to push beyond their goals.Employers should feel obligated to applaud their employees’ hard work and commitment, and by doing so, they build the foundations for a positive company culture. Maintain central communication Good communication is key to effective teamwork, and an often overlooked aspect of communication is the use of a unified and consistent channel for internal communication. Too many organisations fall into the trap of using multiple channels for their day-to-day communications, however, abundant and disorganised information can lead to the employees questioning their responsibilities as well as those of others. For an efficient flow of information, employers can make use of chat apps, email platforms, and other meeting tools, but they need to ensure they assign each channel a dedicated purpose that is clearly understood by the wider team. Delegate responsibility Delegating responsibility to your employees can help improve teamwork, morale and productivity. This is because empowering your employees to make decisions can boost their confidence and reinforce their roles and responsibilities as an individual and as part of a collective. Effective delegation of decision-making is important for facilitating teamwork as rather than fixating on the thoughts and attitudes of a singular team member, the collective group is encouraged to weigh in and be heard. Show respect Managers need to understand that individual employees often have their own distinct ways of communicating, and with too many strong personalities in one place, it can be challenging to navigate conversations and disagreements. Respectful communication is more than simply being kind to your teammates - it is about making sure that every team member feels valued, respected, and empowered to work together as a group. Both managers and employees should take an active role in ensuring effective and respectful communication. Framing communication positively, encouraging all individuals to share ideas, promoting active listening, and using inclusive language that avoids assumptions are all great ways to demonstrate respectful communication at work. Interested in more HR and recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.​

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    Should I apply if I don't meet all the job requirements?

    ​When you find a job description that captures your interest, disappointment can sometimes follow if your skills and experience don’t perfectly align with the job requirements. You might question whether you’re qualified enough to apply for the job and be tempted to let the opportunity pass you by. But before you do, it’s worth understanding how job ads are typically written and how to best determine if you’re qualified to apply for a role or not. Here’s what you need to know: Understand how job ads are written Job ads are usually broken into three distinct sections, all of which can be used to determine if you fit the job requirements or not. Skills (may appear as qualifications or “must-haves”) Education (sometimes referred to as “educational background” or “what you need”) Experience (often listed under “what you’ll do,” “duties,” or “responsibilities”) Employers use these three aspects of a job ad to communicate what they’re looking for in an ideal candidate - but ideal candidates often aren’t the norm. The idea that you can't get hired unless you meet all job requirements is a complete misinterpretation of how most hiring processes work. You can (and should) use the job ad as a guide rather than a fixed set of requirements. If you meet 60% of the job requirements, this is enough to be considered for the role. Some requirements are more negotiable than others Once you start thinking about job requirements as an employer’s wish list, the next step is to determine which requirements are "must-haves" and which are "nice to have." The use of the phrase "preferred" is a significant tip-off. "Or equivalent" is another term that implies that a listed job requirement is negotiable. The word “minimum” on the other hand, indicates the job requirement listed may have less wiggle room. Applicants who don’t meet minimum requirements will often be removed from the recruitment process before the hiring manager is involved at all. In saying that, if you are close to a “minimum” requirement (e.g. you have three years of experience where an employer is asking for four), some flexibility may be possible. At the end of the day, it all boils down to one question: Can you make a compelling case for why you would succeed in this position? If you can, you’ve got nothing to lose! Still not sure if you’re qualified enough? If you’re still unsure if you’re qualified enough to apply for a position, I’d encourage you to understand your “transferrable skills”. Transferable skills are skills and abilities that can be used in multiple jobs. This is important if you’re considering a significant career or industry change, as the transferable skills you’ve gained in one industry can enable you to make meaningful contributions to other industries. In addition to transferable skills, personal qualities can play a crucial role in the hiring process, too. Let’s say you apply for a job with a company that has recently restructured. Business restructures generally lead to a significant period of change for an organisation. If you have an adaptable personality and are able to quickly change directions in your work without losing momentum, you can leverage this to qualify for a job, even if you don’t meet all the job requirements. Again, if you can demonstrate how your skills and experiences can help the hiring manager solve a problem, complete a project, or positively impact their team, you can prove that you are qualified for the job. Interested in job hunting tips? Click here to keep reading.

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    How to conduct an effective interview

    Candidate interviews are a crucial step in any business’s recruitment process. It’s an opportunity to really get to know a potential employee - to get a more detailed understanding of their skills and experience, as well as their attitude, goals, cultural fit, and communication skills.If you’re responsible for conducting interviews within your business, it’s important to equip yourself with interviewing skills that help you to gather the information you need in order to make a fair and educated assessment of a candidate’s suitability for the role on offer.In my experience, interviewing skills are too often overlooked and underappreciated, and this can have lasting consequences when it comes to putting the right talent in place in your business. That’s why, today, I want to share some of my top interviewer tips, learnt over 13+ years in the recruitment industry, to help you to conduct more effective interviews moving forward.​ Get off to a good startGreet the candidate warmly. Smile, shake their hand, and make conversation as you walk to the interview room. Make sure you are in a private area, and if there is no space in your office, meet at a quiet café near your work.It’s worth establishing rapport by finding a shared topic to talk about before you get down to the hard questions. Review their resumé beforehand so you have some personal info to draw on.Before you dive into the Q&A, provide a brief introduction to yourself, the business, and the role you’re hiring for. This may sound straightforward, but it is surprisingly easy to slip up here.Avoid simply rattling off information from the job description and company website. Instead, bring the opportunity to life for the candidate, and give them insight that they wouldn’t have been able to find during their preparation. Explain how the role has come to be, why it is important to the business, and what a typical working day might look like. Ultimately, you want to make the candidate feel excited about the opportunity and able to picture themselves in the role.​ Steering the conversation Remember, the interview is primarily about the candidate, so listen closely. Pay attention to non-verbal cues such as posture, alertness, dress, and personal grooming.Note if they have done their homework about your business and ensure you leave time for the candidate to ask you questions, too. Too many people forget that an interview is a two-way process and that you too are being assessed by the candidate. Allowing your candidate to ask questions provides you with the opportunity to share more detailed information about the business, the team, and the management style they could expect, which can help you to “sell” the position when done well.The candidate should be doing most of the talking during the question and answer session of the interview, so avoid asking closed questions which only produce a simple yes or no answer. For instance, ask the candidate “Why do you want this job?” as opposed to “Do you want this job?” as this should prompt a more detailed and relevant response. Once the candidate has finished answering, don’t jump straight to the next question. Instead, engage with their answer and if necessary, ask them to elaborate. It’s not unusual for candidates to be shy and need some further prompting to provide more detailed responses.It helps to prepare questions in advance and ask some of the same questions of all interviewees so you can compare answers later. Most importantly, ensure you know what NOT to ask. Keep your questions focused on the job and work environment. Steer clear of questions centred on age, race, gender, nationality, religion, disability, and marital or family status.Confirm the next stepsIt might surprise you to hear that the final 10% of the interview is the most important so don’t brush over this opportunity in your haste to get to your next interview. At the conclusion of the interview, make sure you’re clear with the candidate on what the next steps of the hiring process are and when they will take place. For example, if it’s possible that you’ll want to meet with the candidate for a second interview, you can inform them about potential dates and times. At the very least, be sure to inform the candidate when they can expect to hear from you with more information. Also always ensure you thank them for their time, and provide feedback to your recruiter as soon as you have had the chance to reflect on this candidate’s suitability. Interested in learning more about HR and recruitment best practices? Click here to keep reading.

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  • 4 Ways To Improve Your Recruitment Process To Attract Top Talent

    4 ways to improve your recruitment process to attract top talent

    ​In recent years, Australia’s unemployment rate has sat at historic lows. If you’re a candidate in the job market, this is great news. But if you’re an employer, looking for a competent, capable and skilled employee, the recruitment process isn’t as easy as it once was. ​With a shrinking talent pool, and the reality being that many of the best candidates are already working for someone else, attracting top talent does not happen by chance. Your business will only attract top talent if your recruitment process stands out from the rest. ​So, where should you start? Here are four simple (but often overlooked) ways to improve your recruitment process and start attracting top talent: ​Job ads serve more than one purposeFirstly, it’s important to understand that a job ad and a job description are not the same thing. A job ad is what is used to announce that a business is looking for a new employee. A job description is usually included in a job ad. It contains the specific details of the job itself so that you can find an employee that meets the requirements of the role.But that shouldn’t be all your job ad should contain. The purpose of a job description is to explain the job. The purpose of a job ad is to sell the job. A good job ad will stand out from the rest and encourage top-quality candidates to apply because not only is it clear about the scope of the role but it also articulates why a candidate should want to work at your business. Next time you’re writing or posting a job ad, read it over and ask yourself, how is your job ad convincing your dream hire that your business is the right place for them? ​Expect candidates to have questions ​In the interview process, the same rule applies. Although this is an obvious opportunity for an employer to determine the competency and culture fit of a potential candidate it’s important to remember this is also an important opportunity for the candidate to decide if your business is a place they would truly like to work. Ensure you allow time for and encourage candidates to ask questions during the interview process. Just as you, the employer, might want examples of the candidate’s skills and experience, don’t be surprised if a candidate asks for similar examples in relation to your company culture, teamwork, professional development and opportunities for career progression. These are all great indicators of a candidate that knows what they’re looking for and wants to further themselves and their career.Transparency benefits everyone The best recruitment procedures will clearly walk candidates through the stages of their hiring process from the very start (i.e. in the job ad) and reiterate the process after every interaction along the way. This minimises the chances of confusion but also opens up an avenue for honest communication.This is especially important if your recruitment process is lengthier than others. Top talent will likely always be fielding multiple job opportunities so it’s crucial you encourage candidates to be open about disclosing how far into the hiring process of other businesses they may be. For example, if a candidate is transparent with you about being made a job offer from another business but has only completed the first round of your two-part interview process, this allows you the opportunity to fast-track your second interview so that you could also be in a position to table an offer within a timely manner.While this is somewhat of a contentious topic… it generally pays to be transparent about the available salary range of the job on offer, too. Including this information is more likely to make your job ad stand out and attract higher-quality candidates (assuming the salary on offer is competitive, of course). Don’t brush over your contractsDon’t make the mistake of thinking your job is done once you’ve put an offer on the table. It’s perfectly normal for a candidate to consider all aspects of your job offer - as outlined in your employment contract - so it’s important you’re prepared for potential negotiation. Particularly amongst sought-after talent, candidates are likely to want to negotiate salary but also the total package on offer, which could include aspects like bonuses, remote work, flexible hours, amount of annual leave, professional development opportunities, and other benefits. To ensure a smooth negotiation process, here are three rules to follow: Play nice - being pleasant and diplomatic (rather than abrupt and intimidating) truly does make a difference Avoid ultimatums - nobody likes being told what to doUnderstand who you’re negotiating with - before you can influence the person sitting opposite you, you have to understand them. Your job is to figure out where they’re flexible and where they’re not. Interested in learning more about HR and recruitment best practices? Click here to keep reading.

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  • Are Hybrid Workplaces Here To Stay? What Research Can Tell Us

    Are hybrid workplaces here to stay? Here’s what the research says

    ​In recent years, the way we work has shifted. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies who once swore remote working wasn’t viable, suddenly had to make this new mode of work happen overnight. And they did, but this shift towards remote work isn’t the only workplace trend the pandemic prompted. It also led to the Great Resignation, with many employees quitting their jobs to seek greener pastures in regard to both salary and company culture. Employees also became more aware of burnout, with the “Quiet Quitting” movement loudly championing better work-life balance amongst employees across numerous industries. As a result of wanting a better work-life balance, it isn’t surprising that not every employee was enthusiastic about returning to the office full-time. While, yes, some workers thrive working from home and wanted to remain there, others missed the comradery and structure of an office environment. The result? A push for hybrid working options to continue. Hybrid workplaces are more prevalent in Australia than in the UK, the US, or Canada. From our own research, we’ve seen 60.3% of candidates' current or most recent employers allow them to work from home. And of candidates who aren’t allowed to work remotely, 77.5% wished they could. What they may not be on the same page about is how often they’re expected to be in the office. There is no one-size-fits-all hybrid work strategy Hybrid workplaces aren't a “nice” to have anymore — they’re an expectation from a significant portion of the global workforce. Employees want a mix of remote and in-person work, making hybrid workplaces the future. According to research from AT&T, in the US the hybrid model is expected to grow from 42% (2021) to 81% (2024). However, there is no blanket hybrid team management strategy that will work for everyone. Based on personality, what environment they’re most productive in and how much flexibility they require, each employee will benefit from a different way of working. Some teams will need to spend more time together, in person. Others will thrive working autonomously. It’s up to leadership and management to experiment and fine-tune processes so employees can collaborate and communicate effectively. Trusting hybrid teams is the key to a successful workplace It's the companies with lower trust in their employees that have the most difficulty implementing a hybrid approach. A recent survey from HRD found 62% of UK business leaders feel employees don’t work as hard when ‘out of sight’. To combat this, 78% are digitally surveilling their employees, leading to micromanagement and the erasure of trust in the workplace. Interestingly, the data doesn’t support leadership's “productivity paranoia” with 87% of employees indicating that they feel more productive hybrid working. Believing otherwise, because letting go and breaking with tradition feels uncomfortable, will only result in a fractured team who feel micromanaged and like they’re doing something wrong. The future of hybrid workplaces If your company already has a hybrid model in place, you may still need to think about the strategies you need to put in place to cater for a distributed workforce. This could include aspects such as how employees can best interact with remote workers and what work-from-home policies are needed so that employee expectations are clearly set. Building these strategies is essential to the success of hybrid workplaces, and will help across the board, including in your onboarding of new employees. We’ve seen first-hand how vague work-from-home guidelines can have a significant impact on an employee’s ability to do their job and their opinion of their employer. There is also a cultural aspect to consider; how will you maintain your company culture with less in-person interaction? Making these calls is essential to the future of work, especially considering a hybrid model can help attract better talent to your company. Interested in more HR and recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • 5 Employee Benefits To Consider In An Economic Downturn

    Recession incoming? 5 clever employee benefits you can negotiate instead of salary

    If a recession is on the horizon, negotiating the salary you want may become more challenging. In Australia, job mobility (i.e. the number of people changing jobs) is currently much higher than it was pre-pandemic. And while the RBA believes the job market is going to stay much the same for the next few years, other experts believe we’ve hit a turning point and the unemployment rate is going to continue to rise throughout the year — which may mean employees won’t have as much sway with salary negotiations as they previously did because so many candidates are looking for their next role. Recessions also cause companies to spend more conservatively — either in response to lower sales and declining profits or as a precautionary measure. Meanwhile, you may be ready for a pay rise or your long-awaited promotion. It’s a challenging situation for both employers and employees, but there is a way through. Both parties need to rethink what they can offer and what they’re willing to accept. We often think money is the most important factor in a negotiation but there are other options we’d encourage you to consider. Here are five clever employee benefits you shouldn't overlook, whether you're in the middle of negotiating a job offer, hoping to renegotiate with your current employer, or wondering how to recruit and retain talent. ​5 employee benefits to negotiate (besides salary) Flexibility & working from home We asked our network of candidates if their current employer allowed them to work from home. 61.50% of respondents said yes, and the ones that weren’t allowed overwhelmingly wished their employer would let them (78.41%). In the same survey, we asked a similar question about flexible working hours. Of the candidates whose employers didn’t allow them flexibility, 77.27% wished they did. When asked what this would look like, the main response was flexible start and finish times. There’s obviously an appetite for flexibility and autonomy which has only continued to grow after the COVID-19 pandemic. The five-day working week itself is being called into question, with Labour and the Greens recently backing a four-day work week at full pay trial in Australia and with good reason. Reduced hours with the same productivity and output expectation have been shown to improve work-life balance, happiness, and reduce stress, and sick leave. Are you interested in working from home and having the option to choose your own hours? If so, it’s time to start negotiating this employee benefit. In light of how many companies are turning to this new way of working, there's little reason for employers to resist the data. To learn more about the benefits of working from home, visit our blog: Why some employees love working from home (and others don’t) Professional development If you’re interested in furthering your career or learning new skills, professional development may be one of the employee benefits you’d like to negotiate. Dedicating time to learning has been shown to improve mental health and your sense of purpose. In fact, one study showed learning improved self-esteem by 92%. Companies usually have an annual budget for employees to spend on courses, certificates and conferences in areas they’re passionate about. If self-improvement is an area you’d like to dedicate time to, you can negotiate how much your employer is willing to spend on your learning and development. To sweeten the deal, let them know that companies who give their employees dedicated learning time 1 day per week see a 61% increase in productivity. It’s a win-win all around. Have big career goals you’d like to accomplish this year? Visit our blog: How to achieve career success in 2023 Health & wellness benefits Health and wellness are an important aspect of everyone’s working lives. According to a study from HeadsUp, 1 in 5 Australians have taken time off work in the last 12 months due to stress, anxiety, depression or feeling mentally unhealthy. If managing your health and wellness is important to you, talk to your employer about receiving a wellness allowance (beyond just a gym membership) as one of your employee benefits. There are many ways to use this taxable benefit, including massage treatments and yoga classes — any form of wellness activity that enables you to rest and recharge should qualify. Reducing employee stress ultimately pays dividends to employers — with the current price of untreated mental health conditions costing Australian companies billions every year because of absenteeism and compensation claims. Subsiding certain expensesThink about what’s important to you and what would have the biggest impact on your life. If you’re a commuter and you pay for parking, ask if your employer could shoulder some (if not all) of the costs. If you’re a parent, discuss childcare options. If you’re moving for work, discuss moving costs. Ask if your employer has any discounts with popular retailers, or if they can cover your professional membership fees. The options here are endless — simply ask and start negotiating possible perks. Even if movement around salary is limited, these savings can have a big impact on your wallet. More leave Full and part-time employees in Australia are given a minimum of 4 weeks of annual leave every year, but some companies are offering their employees more time to rest and recuperate. For example, ANZ provides five days of extra paid leave to employees who have been with the company for three years or more. It’s also becoming more common for employers to give employees days off on their birthdays or time off for their mental health. Some companies have even introduced a scheme where employees can “buy” extra leave. Leave reduces stress, which in turn reduces anxiety and depression, making your life happier and healthier. Annual leave is a powerful commodity — especially for parents who’d like to spend more time with their children or burnout professionals who simply need to hit the pause button. It’s worth negotiating with your employer to find an ideal outcome — even if it’s just a few days extra. The effects of time away from work will have a significant impact on your overall mental state and well-being. Looking for your next big career move? Visit our Jobs Board to find a role that suits you or contact us here.

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  • Your Company Culture Could Help You Deal With A  Recession In 2023

    Your company culture could help you deal with a recession in 2023

    ​Will Australia face a recession in 2023? In the midst of slow economic growth, experts are yet to agree on an outcome. According to the Commonwealth Bank, we should narrowly avoid a recession in 2023, while other sources remain uncertain, saying the likelihood of a recession has increased. Either way, everyone agrees growth is slowing sharply. And with our country’s economic future hard to pinpoint, employees are likely to react in one of two ways. They may become stressed and anxious due to looming job insecurity — deciding to batten down the hatches and ride out the economic downturn with their current job. With the continually rising cost of living pressures, they may either ask for a raise (which you may or may not be in a position to grant) or look for a higher salary elsewhere. Has an employee asked you for a pay rise? Here’s how to handle their request: An employee has requested a pay rise — now what?This puts employers in a tricky situation — with so much financial stress and uncertainty, how can you keep talent engaged and committed to your company? The answer lies in a culture-first approach. ​Among so many unknowns, what you can control is cultivating a positive working environment. However, when times get tough, maintaining your company’s culture may fall to the wayside in place of prioritising day-to-day tasks that are considered more urgent. ​Here’s why you shouldn’t overlook the importance of your company culture, and the significant role it can play for your company during an economic downturn. Why your company culture is even more critical during a recessionA healthy company culture is imperative to a company’s success and growth under normal circumstances. It’s directly tied to employee engagement and well-being, which can severely impact turnover rates and productivity (and in turn, profitability). This is even more true during times of stress and anxiety. Building a strong foundation you and your employees can rely on is important for everyone’s security and ultimately, business survival. Here’s why. You want your employees to be productive Your company culture influences employee productivity and whether they are focused on achieving their work-related goals, or if they’re easily distracted and unmotivated during work hours. With a recession comes tighter resourcing, so it’s important your employees are completing work and not spending precious time on trivial tasks (or scrolling Facebook). It’s difficult to implement this expectation if your company hasn’t put an emphasis on efficiency before, which is why it’s better to start building this into your culture now before workers have inflated workloads and are taken aback by the sudden change in pace. In saying that, it’s important to have realistic expectations — one person can’t, nor should they be expected to, take on the responsibilities of a whole team. It’s not up to your employees to carry that pressure, but an efficient, focused workplace will certainly better prepare employees for work-related challenges during a possible recession in 2023. If you do find your employees to be generally unmotivated towards completing their work in a timely manner, we would recommend assessing your company culture as a whole. Rarely is this a case of workers being “lazy”. In our experience, employee productivity is greatly influenced by how valued and included they feel in an organisation. To learn more about workplace culture and what aspects of the workplace affect it, read: What does workplace culture mean?You want your employees to be committed A strong culture cultivates loyal employees who are willing to stand by their company when times are tough and work hard. An unprecedented event has the potential to bring your team together, or demonstrate its weak points. If employees don’t feel valued or happy at work, why would they feel compelled to put in extra effort to help the company and their colleagues when they need it most? You want your employees to trust you With apprehension around job insecurity at an all-time high during a recession in 2023, you want your employees to feel like they can trust you. This means fostering an environment of honesty and transparency. Want to learn more about trust in the workplace? Read: How to build trust in the workplace (and why it’s essential) There’s nothing worse than feeling out of the loop or like decisions are being made without your input, behind closed doors. Trust is integral if a company needs to be able to pivot and adapt to changes quickly. Openness demonstrates respect, and when people feel respected and included, they're more willing to follow you — even if they’re not sure about the outcome. As long as you have their best interests at heart, they'll take the leap. Interested in more HR and recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • How To Build Trust In The Workplace (And Why It’s Essential)

    How to build trust in the workplace (and why it’s essential)

    At work, trust is fundamental to employee success, manager performance and a leader's effectiveness. Developing a culture of trust begins at the top, but everyone has a role to play in building trusting relationships with their colleagues. While trust is an important ingredient in building successful careers (no matter what stage you’re at) and companies, according to a report from Achievers, only 1 in 5 HR leaders believe employees deeply trust their company leaders. This is alarming because, at high-trust companies, workers experience 74% less stress, 50% more productivity and 40% less burnout. If building trust isn’t high up on your to-do list, it might be time for a priority reshuffle so you can start reaping the rewards - whether you’re part of the team, overseeing a team or part of senior leadership. Happily, there are proven and effective ways to start building trust in your workplace today. Keep reading to find out how. But first, let’s dive further into why trust is so important and what it means exactly.What is trust in the workplace? In the workplace, trust plays an integral role in how you communicate and coordinate. Even your productivity and how positively you feel towards your job are affected by it. There are two different types of trust in the workplace. The practical kind is what we tend to think about in relation to work; it's about being reliable and competent. The second type is emotional trust. This is all about building a bond through listening, networking, providing support and being respectful. Emotional trust takes emotional intelligence (a skill many successful leaders have) and is a lot more complex than cultivating practical trust — which is based on physical factors. In the context of the workplace, we can define trust as: Feeling confident in the abilities of your coworkersFeeling safe, included and comfortable at work Being able to predict a coworker or manager’s behaviour Knowing you can rely on your team to meet a deadlineKnowing your company and manager care about youFeeling secure in your jobGiving your employees independence and flexibility​Why is trust in the workplace important?​Trust is something we inherently feel (or don’t feel) towards others. There are some of us who are prone to trusting more freely, while others feel that trustworthiness must first be demonstrated. Either way, when trust breaks down and your credibility slips, it can be difficult to rebuild. Employees working at a company with low trust don’t: Feel comfortable sharing their thoughts Aren’t as willing to help one another out Push the envelope with new ideas Communicate effectively with their coworkers All of these elements combined make for a stressful workplace filled with employees who aren’t operating at their full potential. Cultivating a culture of honesty, respect and psychological safety results in employees who are proud of their work, feel emotionally connected to their company and are more secure in their jobs. Building trust in the workplacePractice honesty & transparency Sometimes, sugar-coating or withholding information can save you from the feeling of discomfort. We’ve all been in a situation where being honest felt confrontational. However, honesty delivered with sensitivity and genuine care is far better than a lie delivered with a smile. Your news may not always be happy, but you’ve shown respect by telling the truth — something the recipient will appreciate and remember. You never want someone to find out important news through someone else — it can create distance, suspicion and hurt feelings. Always be direct and transparent so no one feels blindsided or let down. Follow through with commitments Whether it’s arriving at work on time, responding to emails in a timely manner or delivering a project when you said you would, following through on your commitments demonstrates reliability. You do what you say you will, and your employees and coworkers will grow to trust you at your word. Show vulnerability In our personal relationships, we feel closer to our significant other when we share our feelings. The same is true for our professional relationships. Being vulnerable builds trust because you’re taking the first step and saying “I trust you with this knowledge and I feel safe telling you”. Without showing some vulnerability, our relationships at work can feel surface-level and expendable. Being vulnerable also helps to humanise yourself. Talking about your values or discussing your fears helps your co-workers, or employees, see you as a three-dimensional person to whom they can relate. Admit when you make a mistakeWe all make mistakes, but not all of us will admit to them. We’re worried our reputation will be tarnished or people won’t think we’re capable, when, actually, the best thing you can do to bolster confidence in your abilities is to admit your faults. Recognising and owning our mistakes shows we’re self-aware, not above reproach and dedicated to growth. Failure isn’t character-ending but refusing to admit fault, or, worse, pushing the blame onto others, is. Saying “I made a mistake but I’m going to do this differently next time” is courageous, admirable and much more likely to win you fans. Implement feedback Actions speak louder than words, and building trust is all about putting words into action. If you have asked for or received feedback, whether it be: From your coworkers on a project;From your manager on a yearly performance review;Or from a survey you’ve sent to your employeesMake a plan to demonstrate observable changes and show your coworkers/employees/manager that you value their input and take their thoughts and opinions seriously. Help your team We all have work to be doing, which makes your willingness to go out of your way to help someone all the more meaningful. Helping, without the expectation of reciprocation, or with an agenda in mind, makes you a valuable and trustworthy addition to your workplace. If you notice a coworker is struggling with something, offer to help them out. And if you’re a manager, make sure you don’t provide help only reactively, but proactively — what could you be doing to help your team out more? Communicate effectively To build trust, you need to actively and effectively communicate with those around you. By keeping people updated, being proactive with your problem-solving, and showing interest in their lives, you establish trust. Asking how everyone's weekend was on a Monday, or checking in midweek with your coworkers to find out how they're doing with their workload can do wonders for building relationships over time. It’s these small, but consistent moments of outreach that support more productive relationships. In-person, be mindful of your body language, tone and inflection. What’s your posture like? Are you encouraging an open and honest environment where people are free to share? 55% of communication occurs nonverbally, while 38% takes place verbally, so being aware of how you may be coming across is important. Actively listen and demonstrate interestAnother aspect of good communication is listening. During a conversation, we can often get caught up in waiting for a pause so we can interject or respond. Make sure you’re giving others a chance to speak and express themselves. Genuinely take in the information they’re telling you. Listening also demonstrates you’re interested in learning more about the speaker. Have you ever been annoyed because someone was constantly talking over the top of you? How about when you present an idea during a meeting, only to have someone else present the same idea differently five minutes later? It makes you feel irritated and unheard. The best way to show people you care about them is by doing something simple, but oddly difficult: genuinely listening to understand — not to respond. Interested in more HR and recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • Assessing Workplace Culture: 5 Steps Leadership Need To Take

    Assessing your workplace culture: 5 steps leadership need to take

    ​Are you keeping your finger on the pulse of your workplace culture? Can you easily define and explain your workplace culture to a client or a prospective employee? Everything from productivity to retention depends on your workplace culture. In order for your company to thrive and grow, you must know what your employees want and if your company’s values are being translated into the workplace.Workplace culture is constantly evolving and requires regular upkeep. To enforce a strong and positive work environment that enables happy, high-performing teams, you first need to take stock of where you are now. Once you understand your workplace culture, you can succinctly define what it looks like, and if needed, work on improving it. To understand what workplace culture means and what aspects of the workplace influence it, visit this blog: What does workplace culture mean? Can you define yours?Here are the 5 steps you need to take to begin assessing workplace culture. How to observe your own company culture Observe behaviours Your workplace culture can be distilled down to how employees and management behave and what their interactions are like. Observe whether: People share their opinions and ideas in meetings; If coworkers are helpful and friendly towards one another; Management is regarded as a positive or negative force; There is ongoing conflict or tension; Staff appear motivated or disengaged; Staff work well in a team.Behaviours set the tone of a workplace in a palpable way. For example, a low-trust work culture transpires when people are closed off, unwilling to contribute and don’t operate well in a team. Behaviours like the above don’t happen on their own; it’s a trickle-down effect from leadership reinforced through poor management. Do a culture walkAssess the physical manifestation of your workplace culture with a culture walk through your building. Where does everyone sit? And how is space allocated? Is it a traditional office environment or more bright, bold and open? What’s on your walls and posted on the bulletin boards? Do staff claim their desks with personal objects? Are common areas used? Do people sit together for lunch? These are just a few of the questions you should consider when assessing workplace culture. Watch for the physical manifestations of culture and consider whether they align with how you, or want others to view, your company. Conduct culture interviews You may be able to gain an objective understanding of your workplace culture by making your own observations, but you can also gain an even deeper understanding by looking at how managers and employees internalise and describe the culture. They’re the ones who live it every day, after all. Depending on your current workplace culture, staff may or may not feel comfortable telling you what they really think. It may be helpful to outsource the task to a third party. Staff may also feel more comfortable discussing their true feelings if they’re in a small group where they can build on each other's points. You can ask the following questions to further your understanding of the culture in your workplace: What’s the best part about working here? Is there any aspect of your role you’d like to see improved? Are you satisfied with our processes? Do you feel supported in your role? Do you feel like you work in a collaborative environment? Do you feel like work-life balance is important to the company? Can you explain what the main values of the company are? How does the value of “X” show up at work? What kinds of people are successful here? Asking specific questions can help you understand what aspects of your culture are falling down. Of course, asking a question like “do you feel like you work in a positive environment” can be helpful to gauge general consensus, but it needs to be followed up with specificity so you can determine where the leak is. Send out anonymous culture surveys Another way to gain insight from staff is through an anonymous survey. If you like hard data, this may be a good approach, as you can clearly identify trends and plot a course of action. A survey is also a good way to regularly check in on and assess your workplace culture. Arranging cultural interviews every six months may be challenging, and just another thing to organise, but a survey is quick and painless. Plus, you may receive more honest feedback. Review your company values/vision Once you’ve gathered all your findings, it’s time to review your company’s values and vision. Does what you’ve seen and heard align? How and how not? A core value of your company may be “inclusion and diversity” but if this isn’t reflected in your culture, it feels disingenuous and misleading. Brainstorm ways you can bring your company’s values into reality. This can include: updating practices and processes, providing training so management can lead more effectively, or rethinking seating arrangements and the physical expression of your culture through decor and signage. At the end of the day, you want to create a culture your staff can thrive in and feel proud of. The ultimate sign of a company that understands and strives to uphold its workplace culture is when a new recruit joins and thinks “this is exactly how I pictured it” — with nothing more than a job ad and word-of-mouth to go by. Interested in more HR and recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • How To Choose Your Next Job

    5 things you need to consider when choosing your next job

    It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed not only the way we work but our expectations around work as well. For many, the global crisis was a wake-up call and gave them the push they needed to start their own business or seek out better job opportunities. While making these big life decisions can be exciting and empowering, there can be a downside to making impulsive career decisions without weighing all the factors. According to a recent survey conducted by The Muse, 72% of respondents said they’ve experienced something called “shift shock” after starting a new position. What is shift shock?It’s when a company or position is different from what employees were led to believe it would be. And it often leads them to regret making the decision to leave their former position or company. The grass, unfortunately, isn’t always greener. So, how can you choose your next job and ensure it does live up to your expectations? These are the five factors you need to consider before making the leap. How to choose your next job Job description If you’re in job search mode, you’re likely reading multiple job listings every day. You’ve probably become pretty good at skimming through the job listing boards, which is fine — you don’t need to know a job ad off by heart — but when it comes to choosing your next job, you do need to pay close attention to a few key points. As recruitment experts, we see and write job descriptions every day. Here are the most important points to pay attention to: What themes, skills and qualities are repeated throughout the job ad? Repetition means they’re important and vital to succeeding in the role.The order of information — what skills and responsibilities are listed first? The most important attributes tend to appear at the beginning of a role, with attributes with less significance towards the end.What qualifications are they looking for? This should immediately tell you whether you’re a viable match for the role. In saying that, in some cases, you should still apply even if your qualifications aren’t exact. For example, if they’re looking for someone with 2+ years experience in a field, with certain qualifications, but you’ve been in the industry for longer and have the experience, you should still apply. What the roles entail and what the daily tasks are. Can you see yourself performing these tasks every day? Are you interested in learning more about this area, or would you quickly become bored and/or frustrated by the job? Prepping for your next job interview? Read our blog: 4 questions you should ask at the end of a job interview.Salary and benefits How to choose your next job often comes down to salary. Before your interview, research the average salary for the position you’re going for. You can use platforms such as PayScale or GlassDoor to do this. While these tools can give you a good idea of the job landscape, you also need to decide what your experience is worth and what you need from a company in order to move forward with a job offer. In saying that, don’t forget to factor in additional benefits like flexible working arrangements, child care, personal development programs, or extra time off. Identify your priorities and decide whether you'd be comfortable taking a lower salary in exchange for great benefits. Management StyleIt can be difficult to gauge this factor without seeing how an organisation operates on a daily basis, but before your interview, consider what you liked (and didn't like) about previous managers. You should use this to guide your search for a future employer. During your interview, ask about the team, how they work, and your potential boss's management style. Just like when analysing a job description, read between the lines. What are their nonverbal queues like? Are they quick to praise, or does their response seem impersonal — like they’re reading a predetermined reply? Work cultureWhen it comes to choosing your next job, work culture is an important, but often overlooked factor. Just like management style, getting a good feel for a company’s culture is tricky but crucial to making the right employment decision. In job ads, companies sometimes focus on what they're looking for and don't provide enough information about what they can offer. Research the company and see what its values are on its website. Keep in mind this is an external representation and may not be authentic to the internal environment. Social media can be more telling, so visit their various pages and see what they post. Do they celebrate their employees? Do their employees interact with posts? What does their work environment look like? What do they stand for? What issues are they silent on? Once you’ve done your own research, you can ask about the company culture during your interview. However, it's important to know what you're looking for before you can claim a company's culture is the right one for you. Figure out what your nonnegotiables are:Do you need a flexible working arrangement? Or a workplace that’s socially vibrant and involved? Do you want to be friends with your coworkers or acquaintances? What were your favourite things about past jobs? Is a company that lives its values important to you? Ask yourself these questions to get a clear picture of what you want. To learn more about company culture, visit our blog: Why the culture of your company is more important than you think Career advancement A sign of a great company is one that invests in the future of its employees. This can be shown in a few ways: through professional development opportunities and career growth opportunities. Firstly, is your continued learning a priority? Do they want to see you succeed and improve? Or, do you get the feeling they just need a role filled and aren’t interested in your progress? You also need to consider what your career goals are. Can this company facilitate the kind of career progression you’re looking for? Or does this role feel like a dead end? Although the role might suit you now, you need to think about yourself in a few years' time. Otherwise, you’ll be entering job search mode again sooner rather than later. Preparing for a job change? Visit our blog: 4 tips for moving your career forward in 2023.Are you on the hunt for a new position? Visit our Jobs Board to find a role that suits you or contact us here.

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  • Untitled Design (5)

    What does workplace culture mean? Can you define yours?

    ​Fostering happy, high-performing employees involves so much more than offering a competitive salary. While salary might be the initial drawcard for some job seekers (from our own research we've found that salary is a top priority when comparing job offers), it isn’t always enough to persuade talented employees to accept a role or to stay at the company long-term. According to research from Robert Walters, 73% of professionals have left a job because they disliked the company culture and 67% felt they had been misled about the company culture during the induction process. Dissatisfaction with company culture can lead to higher turnover rates and fractured companies that are constantly in a hiring loop and losing money as a result. So, how can you, as a leader or manager, solve the issue? The first step is understanding what the term “company culture” means and unpacking what aspects of the workplace influence it. Only then can you start identifying yours.What is company culture? Company culture is essentially the character of a workplace, or as Betterup puts it, “the shared values, attitudes, behaviours, and standards that make up a work environment”. These elements have a direct impact on a company's communication style, management structure, and business operations, influencing employees internally and clients externally. Why is company culture important? Culture is essential to the day-to-day running of an organisation and its continued growth. When you have a positive workplace culture you experience: Higher employee retention A positive workplace culture improves employee job satisfaction, leading to higher employee retention. When an employee feels involved in the company mission, enjoys coming to work and feels valued, they’re more likely to see a long-term future at their current job. Greater employee engagement Employees are more engaged when they feel satisfied with their jobs — and this all stems from workplace culture. Because the people are the company, their engagement, or lack of engagement can be felt everywhere. In fact, when employees are enthusiastic and involved with their work, productivity levels increase. And according to a Gallup study, companies with engaged employees are 23% more profitable.​ Stronger corporate identity Having a strong sense of identity impacts how your company is perceived not only internally among your employees, but also by clients and prospective employees. Building a strong company brand helps you stand out from the crowd and attract top-tier talent to your job listings. To prove this, take a look at Apple — they’ve managed to top Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list for the 15th year in a row. And though they’re a beloved tech giant, their claim to the throne is mainly due to their “ability to attract, develop and retain talented people”. What affects company culture? Leadership and managementCulture starts from the top, and that begins with leadership and management. How those in charge communicate, behave and make decisions has a trickle-down effect that every employee feels. While it’s up to leadership to assess and define company culture, the people who have to enact and display these qualities every day are managers. After all, they’re responsible for their team’s engagement; their job is to support, advocate and communicate expectations. If a team’s experience with their manager is negative and they feel micromanaged, uncared for and undervalued, they’re going to have low job satisfaction. It’s up to the company's leaders to coach and provide the tools managers need to succeed in this way. Company policies and value statement A company’s values guide its decisions; big and small. A value statement is a message that conveys what a company’s core principles are. These values represent what the company at large believes in, stands for and acts on. A company’s policies, however, are the physical proof of this value statement. For example, if one of the company’s focuses is on mental and physical health, but their policies don’t allow their employees flexibility to prioritise their personal life or well-being, then it feels disingenuous and misaligned. If your company doesn’t have a value statement, it should. However, you shouldn’t have one just to say you do — this message should act as your company’s guidebook around decisions and how to act. Your value statement should be specific, showcase the company’s priorities and provide your employees and candidates with a clear picture of what you stand for (and therefore what’s expected of them). Workplace practices When you really get down to it, your workplace culture is determined in your workplace. This encapsulates: How employees are treated (i.e. how do managers interact with them? What benefits are they given? Do they feel valued?) How employees are expected to work (i.e. this includes everything from what tools they’re given, to where they sit, to what their expected output is) Whether employees are expected to answer emails and phone calls after work hours (i.e. does your company have a culture of “taking work home”?) What your hiring and onboarding practices are like (i.e. do you have measures in place to avoid hiring bias? Is diversity and inclusion a priority? Is your onboarding seamless and informative?) People Without your people, you don’t have a company — they’re the most integral part of your organisation. How people interact and work is indicative of your company culture. Some companies foster a casual social environment where everyone is free to chat and discuss their weekend. Others don’t encourage this and everyone says very little about their personal lives. Improving your company culture starts during the hiring process. Bringing on candidates who embody the values you want to see reflected in the workplace can help shape the culture of your company. Environment The environment your employees work in influences their motivation as well as job satisfaction. This is because a person’s physical surroundings directly impact their well-being. Therefore, how your workplace is set up and designed is critical to your employee’s happiness and job performance. If an environment is open and bright, it will naturally foster a collaborative and social culture. On the other hand, if your workplace is sectioned off and divided into cubicles, interaction and teamwork aren’t going to be as prevalent. Noise and airflow, right down to your colour palette and which posters you choose to blue-tack on the walls, all have an effect on your team. Knowing this, choose an environment that’s suitable for the culture you’re hoping to build. Interested in more HR and recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • Career Success

    How to achieve career success in 2023

    ​Did you know that only 8% of people who set New Year’s goals actually achieve them? That’s right — the number of people who achieve their well-intentioned goals by the time the end of the year rolls around is less than 1 in 13. Why is this number so low? Well, we often start with the best of intentions but without a clear roadmap to guide us, our goals tend to fall by the wayside. We get distracted, discouraged or don’t have the right support systems in place to overcome unexpected roadblocks. The problem with not reaching our career goals isn’t only that we haven’t grown and challenged ourselves over the course of the year; it can also be detrimental to our self-esteem and motivation — making it even harder to dust ourselves off and try again. So, if you’re serious about achieving your career goals this year, how can you make sure your vision becomes a reality? How to achieve career success Map out your week Once you’ve determined your goals; the hard part is building a roadmap to reach them. And the even harder part is staying on track. Plenty of people stop after the initial ideation phase of goal-setting and then wonder why they failed. You wouldn’t expect yourself to drive to Cairns without a map, so how can you expect yourself to achieve your goals without an action plan? Here’s how to make one: Work your way backwards from your goal. What steps do you need to take to reach the end? Set specific milestones to reach on your journey. This breaks up your bigger goal into more achievable actions. For example, you'd feel overwhelmed if you were writing a novel and your goal was to reach 80,000 words in 6 months. Instead, you would give yourself smaller word count goals along the way — like 13,000 a month, or 3,250 per week. Once your goal is broken into smaller, more manageable milestones, you can start thinking about what your week and day-to-day will look like. If you’re pursuing professional development you could ask your manager if your Thursday afternoons (for instance) could be dedicated study time. And if you’re learning a new skill or pursuing a qualification outside of work, you’ll need to plan for when you’ll find the time to achieve it. Do you need to wake up an hour earlier? Can you watch lectures while you’re eating lunch or during your commute? A new behaviour takes 66 days to become automatic, so for the first few months, you're fighting yourself when it comes to taking action to achieve your goal. Technology is your friend, and plenty of apps help with productivity. Even setting daily reminders can be incredibly helpful. ​ Hack your brain to keep yourself accountable The next phase is all about doing, and that means engaging in acts of self-discipline. You might think being disciplined is a character trait (i.e. you’ve got it or you don’t), but it’s a skill that can be developed. The first step is removing temptation from reach. If you automatically scroll Instagram when you’re bored or find it difficult to ignore a text from the group chat, put your phone away or disable non-urgent notifications.It’s normal to avoid things that cause discomfort or pain, even if we know we’ll benefit from them. For example, if you don’t enjoy exercise, making yourself do it requires more self-discipline than someone who gets a kick out of it. Self-discipline involves sitting with your discomfort and doing something you don't enjoy in the moment but will help you achieve your goals.Hold yourself to account, but make sure you’re not too hard on yourself when things don’t go to plan. There’s a difference between making excuses or not prioritising a goal and life getting in the way. And sometimes, we simply don’t have the mental or physical energy to complete a task. This isn’t a failure. And it doesn’t mean you’ve gone back to the start line. Your progress hasn’t been lost. Holding yourself accountable also means recognising your hard work and rewarding yourself along the way. Rewards can be as big or small as you like, as long as you put importance on them, they can help incentivise and motivate you.​ Ensure you’re prioritising work/life balance With quiet quitting being a major workplace trend in the latter part of 2022, we want to see 2023 be the year of employees setting work boundaries and taking more time out for themselves. You may have grand career plans, but if you’re not taking the time to refuel and spend time with your loved ones, your momentum, and mental health, could take a serious hit. We all get stressed every now and again — it’s a natural response we feel when we’re faced with a challenge. But if we’re constantly under pressure to perform, and for longer periods of time than our brain, and body, can cope with, then our stress can get out of hand and turn into burnout. This affects our career success and our relationships. It might seem counterintuitive, but the key to career success isn’t always found in “hustling” or working through “the grind” — which may afford you some results in the short term (only to completely backfire down the line). Prioritising work/life balance means investing in your long-term career success and mental well-being, which is a far more sustainable way to approach work. ​ Frequently meet with your manager Achieving career success isn’t a one-person job — you’ll need your manager to be on board with your work goals, too. They can provide you with support, guidance and the resources you need to progress. However, managers are busy people who are usually inundated with meetings. To get ahead of their calendar, book 1:1 meetings in advance. The frequency is up to you, but ideally, you should meet about your professional development at least once a month. When it goes past a month, people begin to forget, and let things slide even further until suddenly it’s time for your yearly performance review. Your manager might not intend to go MIA, but it still happens. This means it’s up to you to schedule, and if you have to, continuously remind them. Though the onus of maintaining these check-ins falls on you, a good manager will still show interest and support in your professional development. It’s a big red flag, and a sign the company doesn’t value professional development if they don’t.​ What to do if your company isn’t being supportiveCarving out 1:1 time to reflect, brainstorm and discuss opportunities with leadership is essential to your career success. Knowing someone is on our team is motivating and a real confidence boost. If you’ve tried to get buy-in from your manager and they’re not biting, it can feel frustrating, and like they’re not invested in your growth at the company. You may feel like you’re falling behind your peers. Or, similarly, you may have a manager who was involved during the ideation phase of your goal-setting process but isn’t supporting you with putting it into action. If you’re feeling undervalued, and like your professional development and growth aren’t a priority, then this is an indication of a deeper cultural problem at the company. Unfortunately, you can’t change your company culture alone, and your manager's behaviour is on them to improve. If you feel like you’ve come up against a roadblock and your current job isn’t going anywhere, it’s time to find a new role that fulfils you and takes your ambitions seriously.​ Do your work goals involve landing an exciting new role? Visit our Jobs Board to find a role that suits you or contact us here.

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    4 employee trends your company can't afford to ignore in 2023

    ​While life finally feels like it’s returning to normal (fingers crossed), the aftermath of the pandemic unfortunately isn’t going to disappear with the new year. In saying that, 2023 is already shaping up to have a new range of opportunities and challenges in store for workplaces and managers with direct reports, in particular. From figuring out your work-from-home policies to preparing for an onslaught of annual leave requests, these are the four big employee trends you’ll need to concentrate on in 2023. Your WFH policy From what we’ve seen and heard from candidates we’ve worked with, many companies still don’t have a clear work-from-home policy. And it’s leaving their employees - new and old - scratching their heads, wondering if they’re eligible and what the company’s parameters are. A work-from-home policy is an agreement between an employer and an employee detailing expectations and responsibilities when undertaking remote work. A company's WFH policy should also include:Who is eligible to work from homeHow employees can request to work from homeWhat the approval process is and how long it takesRemote work is the new normal — it’s grown over 91% in the last 10 years. And it’s not a passing fad. When surveying our database of candidates, we found that almost 40% of current, or recent employers did not allow their employees to work from home. Of that group, 80.7% wished their employers did allow them to work remotely. If you don’t allow your employees to work from home either full-time or part-time (though, from the candidates we’ve surveyed, the majority would prefer to work from home 3 days per week), now is the time to implement it. If you are unsure where to start with writing a WFH policy, we’d like to recommend this free guide. Encourage your employees to take care of their mental healthThis year, a big part of managing employees will be avoiding employee burnout and putting quiet quitting behind us. In other words, employers must prioritise employee mental health and wellness. Not only does a workplace that cares about employee mental health improve staff morale and engagement, but it also helps attract and retain great talent. When you’re known for creating a positive work environment that puts employee well-being first, you’ll certainly have your pick of candidates to choose from when hiring. But it’s not enough to simply talk about mental health as a priority (although this is a great start), you need to follow through with action. Here are some ways to start: Offer flexible working arrangements to your employees. Research from the WGEA shows that flexible work improves employee well-being and reduces exhaustion, burnout and fatigue. Ask your employees how they’re managing their current workload. They might not want to complain, but assess if they’re taking on too much and adjust where you can. Vocalise to your employees that they’re not expected to work overtime and during lunch. Try not to correspond with your employees outside working hours, and encourage employees to respond to clients, stakeholders or coworkers only during contracted hours as well. Consider what benefits you can offer your employees. For example, you could give your employees 1 day every quarter, planned or unplanned, to take off (this shouldn’t affect their annual leave or sick leave days). They can do whatever they want with this day; spend it with family, and friends or just take a well-needed break. Lead by example — how are you taking care of your health and well-being? Focus on engaging your teamAfter a turbulent few years, we’re hoping 2023 will be the year workplaces find some stability. Due to ongoing changes during the pandemic, proactively engaging your employees was probably not a high priority. According to recent research by Qualtrics, from the start of the pandemic, employees have been operating at surge levels. Meaning, they’ve been “working longer and harder to ensure their communities and businesses continue to thrive”. In 2023, (as we began to see in 2022) employees are going to continue to reclaim their boundaries. That's great news — we shouldn't ask, nor should our employees feel obligated, to take on more responsibilities than their contract stipulates. However, now that companies and employees are exiting crisis mode, employers need to focus their attention back on re-engaging their staff. When managing employees, consider what they need from you in order to feel satisfied at work. Is there a way you can demonstrate your company culture and remind your employees what your company's values and mission are? Engaged employees are happy and excited to work for their company. It improves their loyalty, productivity and company profits. In fact, companies with higher engagement see an average of 20% higher sales than companies with disengaged employees. You can build employee engagement by: Increasing communication with your employees, both formally and informally. Make yourself available to answer or assist with work-related queries, but also ask your employees questions about their life outside of work. This shows you value them as whole people, not just by what they contribute to the company. Keeping them up to date with company news and events. No one likes being left out. Everyonesocial says, “Invest in keeping your people informed and they’ll feel more invested in your company” and we couldn’t agree more. Rewarding your employees regularly. Providing incentives has been shown to help people engage in behaviours — but they need to be obtainable in order to work. Also, when it comes to managing employees, remember how effective praise can be. Prepare for employees to take more annual leaveThe uncertainty around domestic and international travel, coupled with increased workloads, has led to an accumulation of leave balances. This means companies need to prepare for more staff taking longer holidays in 2023. Here’s what you can do: Have open communication with your employees about their annual leave. It’s important that annual leave doesn’t stack up to the point where it harms company efficiency and productivity. Taking annual leave is also important for work-life balance, so make sure this is communicated. Regularly ask your employees if they’re considering taking leave. Even if they’re only in the ideation stage of a potential holiday, it’s helpful to be in the know. If you already know 2023 is going to be a big year for staff holidays, plan in advance by hiring temporary workers. Do you need the assistance of a recruitment agency? People in Focus can help. Head to our contact page now. You may also close over holidays for longer than usual, since most of your staff will be away (such as Christmas and Easter). Some of your staff may be planning a stint of international travel, which means they’ll be away for longer. We would recommend being open to the idea of employees travelling while working remotely. Interested in more HR and recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.

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  • Career progression: 4 tips for moving your career forward

    Career progression: 4 tips for moving your career forward in 2023

    ​You might have a list of personal goals you’re striving for in 2023, but what about your career? Are you aiming for a promotion in the new year or a job change? Just like having resolutions for our personal lives keeps us moving forward, having professional goals aids career progression and development. In fact, research shows that “there is indeed a link that is inseparable between goal setting and workplace performance.” Here’s how you can set the right goals for your career progression in 2023. Goal setting for career progression Reflect on where you are in your career In order to progress in your career, you need to know where you are and where you want to be. This time of year naturally lends itself to reflection, so we’d encourage you to lean into it. Ask yourself the following questions:Am I satisfied with my current role?Do I want to be with this company long term? In a year’s time, what kind of role would I like to have?We’d also recommend researching the current state of the job market in your industry (and for logistics jobs, you can check out our jobs board). Consider whether the salary you’re receiving is on par with what else is being offered, and what kind of benefits are available elsewhere. Seeing what else is out there can help you decide what your next career move will be and whether you’re ready for career advancement. It can also give you the incentive to ask your boss for a pay rise or additional benefits. Choose a skill you’d like to learn or developIn order to grow in your career, you need to be able to take on new responsibilities and challenges. This means you need to be prepared and willing to learn new skills. Demonstrating your eagerness to learn is an important quality employers look out for. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Harris Poll, 81% of businesses list willingness to learn as their most sought-after skill in employees. Prove to yourself, and your boss, that you're ready for the next step in your career by taking initiative with your learning. What skills do you need to develop so your manager would feel comfortable allocating you new responsibilities and tasks? And outside your current role, what skills do you need to develop long-term to reach your overarching career goals? Find a work mentor Much like learning a new skill can be career-changing, so can finding the right work mentor. A work mentor is usually someone in a position of seniority, whose experience and knowledge can help you develop in your career. Because a mentor has already put in the time and energy to progress to where they are today, they can share their learnings and mistakes with you, so you don’t have to suffer the same hardships. Your workplace may already offer a mentorship program for professional development, but if it doesn’t, raise the idea with your manager. Otherwise, look to your own social circles or even LinkedIn. It is possible that you already know someone who inspires you in their career. Improve your professional relationships During any stage of your career, building positive, professional relationships can have a big impact on your career progression. Whether it’s the support from your co-workers that makes you go for that big promotion or the job opening an industry peer tells you about on LinkedIn, relationship building is an essential part of career growth. With that in mind, and knowing the last few years may have created more distance between you and your colleagues, make 2023 all about strengthening those relationships (and building new ones). In the short term, creating stronger professional relationships will help you perform better in your team at work, and in the long term, you’ll have made valuable connections with people in your industry. You never know when you might need to call in a favour! But make sure your re-engagement doesn’t come from a transactional place i.e. what you can “get” out of it. It should genuinely be about building community and connecting with like-minded people you respect and enjoy being around. Looking for your next big career move? Visit our Jobs Board to find a role that suits you or contact us here.

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    How to set goals for employees (and why you should)

    ​Just as the beginning of a new year is a common time for people to reset and reflect on their personal lives, it also often marks the beginning of a new chapter at work. Because of this, employees might be considering asking for a promotion or resigning from their roles so they can advance their careers elsewhere. That’s why it’s the ideal time to bring your team together and create a plan for the year ahead. Goal setting is known to re-engage employees and build loyalty. In fact, employees with goals are 3.6 times more committed to their company and 14.2 times more likely to be inspired at work. Here are our expert tips for goal-setting with your employees.Planning and goal setting: Why your employees need goalsBefore 2022 slips away, ask your employees to consider what they’d like their next year or work to look like. Ask questions like: What are their overall career goals? What skills do they want to learn?What work habits would they like to adopt/change?What do they need from you to get there? This shows your interest in their development, gives your team something to look forward to when they return to work in the new year and has been proven to improve performance by 10-25%. Goal setting for employees: Team-based and individualThe end of the year is a great time to step back and ask your team for feedback, both individually and collectively. Setting team-based goals give your employees a central, unifying mission. Suddenly, it’s not your employees versing each other. Their team isn’t their competition. A team-based goal is usually a broader business goal you can all strive for together. For instance, your team might have the goal of improving client retention by 10%. Individual goals might pertain to improving customer service skills through additional training, which will in turn help the team reach their broader goal of better client retention. How to set goals for employees Make them SMARTI’m sure you’ve heard of this well-known acronym before, and there’s a reason it’s so widely used. Every goal you and your employees set together should work within this framework. In case you need a refresh, SMART goals are: Specific. Broad goals like “get better at X” can be overwhelming and hard to plan for. Specific goals will help narrow your employee's focus. Measurable. Goals are only effective if you can track employee progression. How are you going to measure if your employee has successfully reached their goal? Attainable. Goals should be challenging, yet attainable. If a goal is too big or too difficult, it’s easy for employees to become discouraged and unmotivated. Relevant. Make your employee’s goals relevant to the company, team and their own career path/interests. Time-based. Attach a date to your employee’s goals to keep them motivated. If too much time elapses, they may lose interest in their goal. If there’s not an adequate amount of time allocated to reach their goal, it could cause unnecessary stress. Align them with the company’s goals What are the company’s goals for the next year? How can your team rise to the occasion? Is there a skill gap you believe a particular team member could help fill? If your employees can see how they’re contributing to the “bigger picture”, research shows they’re more likely to be motivated, perform more effectively at work and have more accountability. Understand your employees’ strengths and weaknesses It seems simple, and should perhaps go without saying, but in order to set SMART goals, you need to have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each of your team members. Have an open dialogue with your employees and ask them to reflect on this. Their answers might surprise you, and your observations may surprise them. Managing your employee performance: What’s next? Make sure your team has access to the resources and opportunities they need Once you’ve set goals with each of your employees, make sure you’re offering the support, resources and opportunities each employee needs to achieve them. For example: if one of your employees has said they’d like a mentor, you’ll need to arrange one. If you and an employee have agreed that they need to upskill in a particular area, you need to make sure you’ve got the budget and time to make this happen. Make sure these goals CAN and WILL be put into action in the new year, so your employees aren’t left with empty promises or delayed starts upon their return. The dedication you demonstrate to your employee's development directly impacts their perception of your company’s culture. If learning is an integral company value or one you’d like to foster, then now is the time to walk the walk. To learn more about company culture, we encourage you to read the blog “Why the culture of your company is more important than you think”. Check in and monitor progress Create milestones with your employees to help them tackle their goals in smaller, more achievable steps. To monitor progress, and make sure they’re hitting these milestones, schedule meetings where you can discuss learnings and troubleshoot any problems. Your performance reviews should also be an opportunity to look more broadly at your employee's goals. If you’d like more guidance on how you should conduct a performance review, head to our blog “How to conduct a performance review: The do’s and don’ts”. As your team starts back and their development gets underway, their goals may grow or evolve. That’s okay - goals don’t have to be set in stone. The key to helping your employees reach their goals is by involving them in every conversation along the way. Interested in more HR and recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.

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    Why some employees love working from home (and others don’t)

    Whenever you hear about the advantages of working from home, they usually involve: Less time spent commuting More flexibility to juggle personal and work commitments (i.e. school drop-offs, appointments, housework, etc).But what employers might not realise is that working from home isn’t just a nice-to-have. For some people, working in an office environment isn’t ideal - for reasons you may not have thought about. Not everyone thrives in an office environment. In fact, you might have some employees who downright hate it. For example, it might be too loud or too distracting for them to work productively or they may have a health condition that is easier to manage from home. It’s not always about spending less time getting from A to B (although that is an added bonus). For some of your employees, working from home drastically improves their quality of life, mental health and their productivity. How work environments impact productivity It’s no surprise that job satisfaction and productivity are closely linked to a favourable working environment. If you’re happy with your environment, you’re going to feel more job satisfaction than someone who has to push through an environment that isn’t meeting their needs. There are 3 elements that make up a work environment:Physical environment (the size, layout and location of your workplace)Company culture (the way a company operates) Working conditions (the terms under which your employees are hired) And here’s where things can get complicated. Not every work environment is going to be a happy and healthy one for every employee. Even if, objectively, you think there’s not much to complain about. We’re all different people with different needs in the workplace - whether they be physical or social. The extroverts in your team might thrive in a more collaborative and loud environment. On the flip side, the more introverted members of your team (who also happen to be 25 - 40% of the population) may be suffering in silence. I know this might seem difficult to cater for. After all, up until not too long ago, going into the office and accepting it as your only work environment was the norm. But in the words of Richard Etienne, “the workplace was created by extroverts, for extroverts”. Traditional workplaces were designed with a particular mode of working in mind. A mode that suits more extroverted personalities. It’s also a mode that suits able-bodied people, people without mental health conditions (did you know almost half of all Australians deal with one or more chronic conditions?) and people without children. As a consequence (for both the company and them) they’re not able to concentrate on their work and are less productive and happy in their roles as a result. For proof, look no further than recent trends like The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting. Everyone needs something a little different to perform at their best. So, it makes sense that introverts in particular shone during the pandemic. Suddenly, they had time to get work done without the constant interruption of someone wandering over to their desk. And we’d hazard a guess that the other minority groups we mentioned excelled working from home during this period, too. It would likely have something to do with fewer external stressors, more flexibility and independence. Working onsite can certainly be a positive environment - I don’t want our point to be misconstrued. Working in a traditional environment is beneficial - for those who crave structure, collaboration, communicate better face-to-face and love a chat by the water cooler. For people who valued their home office, being pulled back to the office has been a challenge. According to a 2021 McKinsey survey, 1 in 3 people felt returning to work on-site had a negative impact on their mental health. And 1 in 3 recorded returning to the office having a positive impact on their mental health. Could there be a more perfect demonstration of different people having different needs and thriving in different environments? If your workplace has made the transition to working back in the office, I would recommend checking in with your workers. Half might love the return to regular programming. The other half may be experiencing a decline in their mental health and job satisfaction. But before you assume, ask them. Ask them what they’re struggling with, whether the office chatter makes them feel motivated or distracted. Whether working from home suited their lifestyle and made the days easier to tackle. The pandemic flipped our working standards on its head, but it also revealed where workers have always been struggling. Do you need the assistance of a recruitment agency? Visit our contact page to get in touch.

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    4 questions you should ask at the end of a job interview

    ​Have you ever started a new job and then quickly realised the culture was nothing like what the company touted itself as in the job description? Suddenly, you’re put in a tight spot. Should you stay and stick it out? Or start your job search all over again? You’re not alone. According to a Glassdoor survey, 61% of respondents said the reality of their new job didn’t align with what they’d expected based on their interview. Without doing your own background research on a company before you sign the dotted line, you’re risking your everyday job satisfaction, well-being and potentially, your mental health too. Here are our top tips for finding out if a new job opportunity is the right one for you.How to work out if a job opportunity is right for you​ Make sure you know what you’re looking forBefore you start looking, you need to know what you’re hoping to find. As recruiters, we want to be able to help you find exactly the role you’re looking for but you’d be surprised by how many candidates we speak to who can’t articulate what their ideal workplace looks like. You may be thinking “you’ll just know” if a workplace will be the right fit. But you can’t really know until you’ve actually started your new role - and by then, if it’s the wrong fit, you’ll be feeling the sting of regret. We suggest thinking about what your favourite roles have been and why. It likely has a lot to do with the workplace culture. From there, write down what you liked about your favourite roles. When you’re researching companies during your interview process, refer back to your list of “likes”. This will help guide you towards finding the right company for you. ​ Check job review sites Your first stop for information should be job review sites where former and current employees leave anonymous reviews of companies they’ve worked for. There are plenty of options, so take your pick, but a few websites we’d like to suggest are Glassdoor, Indeed and Seek. These sites can give you insight into company culture, the atmosphere, pay and if they champion their team. ​ Talk to a recruiterAs a recruiter it’s our job to know the needs and cultures of companies we’re advertising for, just like it’s our job to know what you’re looking for in a job opportunity and help you find it. By engaging a reliable recruiter, they’ll be able to guide you towards opportunities that are more aligned with your values and help you steer clear of those that wouldn’t be the best fit.​ Look at their social media and websiteWhat a company shares, or doesn’t share online, can be a big indicator of what their values are as a business and whether they align with your own. Take a scroll through the company website and read through the company values, employee profiles (if they have them) and their about page. You should be able to get a good sense of the company. Or, at least, what their branding presents. Whether this translates to their working environment is another story. If you want to uncover where the company stands on certain issues or controversies, try looking back through its social media and see what was posted. ​ Find employees on LinkedIn and see what they’re sharing If the company has a LinkedIn presence, you should be able to see who works there. To get a sense of what your (potential) coworkers are like, we recommend seeing what they’re sharing. Do you agree with their stances? Do you have anything in common? Could you see yourself getting to know these people? This is also another way to uncover what the company stands for, as by extension, their employees are representing them online. ​Questions to ask at the end of an interview Let’s set the scene. You’re in a job interview and it’s drawing to a close. Your interviewer smiles and says: “Do you have any questions for me?” What do you do? If you find yourself drawing a blank, you wouldn’t be the only one. As recruiters, we’ve just about seen it all when it comes to job interviews and we want to help you nail it. That’s why we highly recommend asking one (or more) of the following questions. Remember, an interview isn’t just for the company. It’s also for you.​ How would you describe the workplace culture?Depending on what they say, you’ll be able to compare it with the anonymous reviews you’ve read online. ​ Can you tell me more about the team I would be working with?Possibly more important than the overall company culture is the culture of the team you’ll be working with. Dynamics change team to team, manager to manager. So while the overall company culture may sound like a good fit, you also want to learn as much as you can about how your team operates to determine if it’s a good fit for you.​ What does success look like for the company?This may sound like a trick question, but it’s fairly straightforward. Depending on what “success” looks like for the company, you can quickly ascertain the company culture and what they value most. If it’s their bottom line, they’ll likely say something related to sales. If they’re people-focused, it should be about the well-being, happiness and growth of their employees. ​ Do you have an example of someone who was promoted internally and what opportunities they’ve had?What you’re really asking is “do you support your employees to grow?” or “will I have an opportunity to grow here?”. Career progression, or investing in employee growth, is essential for job satisfaction. You need to know whether you’ll be valued, or stuck in the same dead-end role for the next five years. Do you need guidance finding a role that suits you? Visit our jobs board or get in touch here. ​

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  • Unconscious Bias In Recruitment: 6 Ways To Manage It

    6 ways to manage unconscious bias in recruitment

    ​We’d all like to believe we’re capable of making objective decisions but in reality, we’re usually driven by a force we’re totally unaware of. And that’s unconscious bias. Unconscious biases happen when we form prejudices outside of our awareness. In fact, our unconscious bias might be totally at odds with our conscious values. These biases cause us to automatically associate certain behaviours or characteristics with groups of people. These assumptions are usually reinforced by our families or communities, which is why they can be difficult to shake. Our biases can extend to any social group. This includes (but is certainly not limited to) RaceEthnicity Age Gender Weight Religion Sexual orientationAn example of unconscious bias might be when a teacher only asks for male students to stack chairs in the classroom. The unconscious bias here is automatically stereotyping all the boys to be more physically capable than the girls.These biases are universal and deeply ingrained within us. That’s why we don’t often realise we have them. Can you see why this might be detrimental to the recruitment process? From writing a job ad to interviews with candidates, our biases can creep in. Based on nothing more than a name or a photo, we unconsciously and immediately start to form opinions that impact our decisions. We might think that because someone is loud, they won’t be as intelligent as the quiet candidate wearing studious-looking glasses. We might look for information that supports this initial judgement, ignoring or downplaying evidence that supports the contrary. Our brains are very good at taking shortcuts and sorting people into categories, especially when we’re distracted, under pressure or feel tired. Studies have shown that a more diverse workplace is more effective and performs better. So, it makes sense that a diverse and inclusive workforce actually improves a company's revenue, too. ​​​There are so many different kinds of biases that can affect the recruitment process, so the best thing to do is to be aware of them, and put measures in place to manage them. With the right training, tools and initiative, your company is more than capable of creating an inclusive working environment that celebrates diversity and gives everyone a fair go. How to manage unconscious bias in recruitment Be aware that it exists The first step to dealing with unconscious bias is acknowledging and accepting that it exists, and you’re not above it. We recommend implementing unconscious bias training with your managerial staff. Undergoing this training will help them identify hiring prejudices and their own biases. Through this process, you can all share ideas about how you’re going to manage unconscious bias moving forward. This way, it raises awareness and gets a conversation happening company-wide. Remove gendered wording from job ads This is likely something you’re doing innocuously, but using gendered language in your job ads is limiting the number of applications you receive. Now, you’re probably thinking: “But I’ve never specified whether the candidate has to be a man or a woman!” The thing is, gendered language goes beyond using he/she pronouns. Gender preferences are conveyed subtly by listing traits or stereotypes typically associated with men or women. For instance, words like “supportive, collaborative and cooperative” are characteristics that have traditionally been attributed to women. In contrast, we might unconsciously associate the words “dominating, leader, determined or competitive” with a man. Because of this, a woman reading an ad littered with masculine coded language might unconsciously internalise the belief that she wouldn’t belong in the work environment. And consequently, they don’t apply. Resulting in fewer women in your team. It may seem trivial, but the truth of the matter is we’ve all grown up internalising gender roles and our unconscious recognises this - even if we’re consciously very well aware that women can also be determined and competitive. Because of this, you should try to steer clear of masculine or feminine coded words and instead aim for a neutral description that attracts a larger talent pool. If you need guidance, tools like Textio can help you write unbiased job listings by highlighting wording that could be improved. Review resumes “blind” Just because you’re aware unconscious bias in recruitment exists, doesn’t make you automatically immune to it. Reviewing resumes “blind” takes away the chance of forming an unsubstantiated opinion about a candidate from the get-go. Taking away any identifiable information, like age, name, gender, ethnicity or even an address, allows you to judge a resume based on a candidate's actual experience and suitability. There are multiple tools available online that can help you with this, or you can do it manually in a spreadsheet. If you’d like assistance creating a “blind” resume review process, this is something we can help you with. Create a structured interview process To keep things fair, avoid holding unstructured interviews. These types of interviews progress in a more organic way, where questions are asked at the interviewer's discretion and they don’t necessarily have boxes to tick. They might make your candidate and even you, feel more comfortable with how they flow more naturally, but research shows they’re “unreliable for predicting job success” because candidates aren’t being given an even playing field. An interview process that’s standardised ensures you’re focused on the factors that really matter. Asking your candidates the same set of questions also gives them an equal opportunity to impress you with their skillset and knowledge. Use an interview panel One way to manage unconscious bias in recruitment is to skip one-on-one interviews and use a panel instead. With multiple people weighing in on a candidate's suitability, it’s a lot harder for individual bias to sway the results. For instance, you might unconsciously gravitate towards choosing a candidate because they’re similar to you. You might inflate their experience and ignore potential red flags. With others on your panel, your opinion isn’t the only one that counts. A panel helps everyone stay on track and form an objective view; focusing on what really matters. Ask candidates to complete a work sample An interview is important, but if you really want to remove the potential for unconscious bias, have your candidates complete a work sample of a task they’d be faced with on the job. This clearly indicates how your candidates measure up against each other and will help you make your judgement. Do you need guidance from an expert in recruitment? Visit our contact page to get in touch.

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    Quiet Quitting: What Workplaces Should Learn From The Trend

    ​If you haven’t heard of “quiet quitting” before (and you’d be forgiven, seeing as it only started making waves in August this year), then allow me to explain. “Quiet quitting” refers to employees deciding to do the bare minimum at work. And by the “bare minimum”, I mean the responsibilities they’re contractually obligated to fulfil. As in, the job they were hired to do. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s right, quiet quitting isn’t really quitting at all. It’s arriving at 9 AM and leaving at 5 PM. It’s responding to work emails during work hours and only undertaking responsibilities you’re being paid to do. Quiet quitting: Where did it come from?First came the great resignation - a tide of employees moving on from their current employers that swept the world during the height of COVID-19. The pandemic forced people to reassess their lives and confront some hard truths: they weren’t happy and needed to make a change. Starting with their career. While many were leaving their jobs or creating new ones, others were learning to work from home for the first time. And it gave them a real glimpse into what work-life balance could truly look like. Fast forward to 2022, and while some workplaces are back in the office, there’s been a line drawn in the sand. Hybrid workplaces are the new norm, and having the option to work from home isn’t a perk but a must-have in a lot of industries. In fact, when we conducted our own research earlier in the year, we found that 64.30% of employers allowed their employees to work from home and 70% of employees who weren’t offered the option to work from home, wished their employer allowed them to. Amelia Negoski, the co-author of the book, Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, believes there is a link between quiet quitting and burnout (another term that’s risen to prevalence in the last few years). Burnout happens when employers place unrealistic demands on their employees, expecting an unsustainable amount of their time and energy when they’re at work (and even when they’re not). Negoski believes the quiet quitting trend is a response to burnout or a strategy to prevent burnout from happening to begin with. Negoski says quiet quitting allows people to change how they approach their work. The author also notes that she’s glad “to see younger generations opting out of exploitative work cultures.” I’ve certainly heard of my fair share of work environments that shame employees for leaving “early” (despite “early” being the time their contract states) or opting not to work through their lunch break. There seems to be a universally acknowledged, but unspoken expectation from employers, that if you really care about your job, then you should be willing to do much more than what your employee contract asks of you. Quiet quitting has gained popularity because people are burnt out after the pandemic and these last few years have given them a new perspective on life. They feel unappreciated, unrewarded and in some cases, exploited. Quiet quitters are detaching their sense of self from their jobs and viewing their work as just that: work. One aspect of their life. And not necessarily the most important aspect either. Quiet quitting: What employers need to realise Expecting your employees to continually give you more time than they’re contracted to sends the message that in order to be taken seriously and valued, they need to sacrifice their work-life balance for the sake of the company. Employers need to see the quiet quitting trend as the wake-up call that it is; not as employees merely “being lazy” because no one wants to work anymore (that’s a myth). Employees are often very happy to work and work hard when they feel supported, challenged (read: not overwhelmed) and recognised for their contribution. But, there shouldn’t be an expectation that “doing your job” means coming in early, leaving late, missing lunch, working weekends, answering correspondence when you’re away, contributing more than your fair share of work and showing an active interest in extracurricular work activities. However, there is a difference between quiet quitting and an employee who is actually underperforming. Quiet quitting is still doing your work in a timely and adequate manner; an employee underperforming is likely not completing satisfactory work and meeting deadlines. If you recognise the signs of quiet quitting in your own workplace, we recommend that you: Invite an open discussion and listen to your employees' concerns. They’re likely trying to recover from burnout or avoid it altogether. Build an environment that encourages open communication and feedback. Facilitate ways for your employees to achieve work-life balance. This is key to a healthy workplace that is burnout-free. Communicate to your employees the importance of family time, and then follow through by giving them the flexibility necessary so they can be present for their loved ones. Educate your managers on mental health so they can support employees and facilitate these conversations. Do you need a hand navigating the recruitment process? Visit our contact page to get in touch.

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  • Rising Cost Of Living Pressures: How To Support Employees

    How to support your employees with rising cost of living pressures

    ​Australia’s rising inflation rate can be best described by the words of Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, as a “once-in-a-generation” challenge. And it’s a challenge that has made everyday necessities like fuel, groceries and other consumer goods, skyrocket in price. As a result, our workforce is feeling the financial pinch, and stress, that comes with the rising cost of living. So, what can employers do to support their staff during these trying times? What the 2022 inflation rate means for employees With sluggish wage growth not keeping up with rising inflation, salary increases have become a strained topic between employers and employees. According to Hay’s 2022 salary guide, almost 90% of employers are set on increasing salaries by 3%. But with 84% of workers saying their performance, and the demand for their skills, warrant a pay rise of more than 3%, you might be finding yourself at odds with some unsatisfied employees. Even more so if financial pressures are also building for your company, and the ability to raise wages isn’t on the table (or at least, not this year). And so enters the problem: companies are feeling the pressure, and so are their employees. The cost of losing employees to competitors who are offering higher salaries (especially in areas of labour shortages) or better incentives, is a price companies will need to weigh up. Whether or not you are planning on (or have) increased your employees’ salaries to contend with the rising cost of living, there are other measures employers can take to ensure the happiness of their staff. You might think financial stress stays at home, but your employees bring it with them to work every day. In fact, a study from Reward Gateway found that 72% of HR Leaders say stress from the rising cost of living pressures is negatively impacting employee work. So, what can employers do to offer more assistance and eliminate some of that financial pressure? Alternate ways you can support your employees Be flexible with working arrangements With the national average cost of fuel rising to more than $100 per week, a simple way for employers to support their employees is by offering work-from-home arrangements. If your employees have a considerable commute, this will cut down their transport, parking and car maintenance costs significantly. Get creative with transport schemes If working from home isn’t an option and your staff need to be onsite, we would recommend brainstorming a transport scheme. Whether this is a fuel card that covers their petrol or adding a stipend to take care of parking costs. If your employees take public transport, you could pay for their travel costs as an incentive as well. Give your employees more leave Annual leave is always an appealing incentive, particularly for working parents. As an alternative way to keep employees happy, companies like ANZ have introduced extra paid holidays for long-term staff. It’s been dubbed “loyalty leave” and is awarded to employees who have been at the company for more than three years. This takes their annual leave from four weeks to five. The aim is to increase retention, attract new talent and up employee engagement. Similarly, energy company, Origin, has increased their paid parental leave to 20 weeks and for secondary parents, four weeks. This takes financial pressure off families and lessens stress about returning to work sooner. Having flexible policies in place is imperative to stay competitive in the current job market. And with flexibility being one of the key drivers of staff retention and engagement, it’s worth considering a similar incentive to offer your employees. Make a retention bonus scheme A retention bonus is a one-off payment awarded to an employee who has been with a company for a certain period of time. This type of bonus is usually allocated to key employees to incentivise them to remain with the company. However, including a retention bonus in all of your contracts with employees also work to Boost employee loyalty Ensure a reliable staff Make your employees feel valued A one-off bonus is more cost-effective than increasing everyone’s salaries, which you will continue to pay each year, but still provides enough financial incentive to keep employees happy (and staying around longer). Provide financial well-being assistance Money worries are one of the main causes of stress in Australians. This stress can have knock-on effects, impacting sleep, mood and every other aspect of a person’s health. In the workplace, this can present as being more distracted and less productive, as well as having a shorter temper and not being as willing to take on responsibilities. The bottom line? Stress is bad for your employees and it’s bad for business. In fact, financial stress costs the Australian economy $47 billion dollars in lost productivity every year. Couple this with low financial literacy and only 4% of employees feeling highly financially confident, and it makes sense for employers to offer financial education as an employee benefit. Supporting your employee’s financial health will improve their well-being and performance. Promote employee health and well-being The impact rising costs and added stress are having on your employees means they need your support, now more than ever. The best way you can be there for your team, whether you’re able to offer salary increases across the board or not, should be to get serious about championing their health and well-being. Companies like Microsoft and Google are leaders in this field. Both actively promote health, wellness and balance with onsite healthcare services, free or discounted gym memberships and classes where you can pick up personal and professional new skills (like cooking). Offerings like this (or at least to the degree offered) aren’t viable for every company, but I hope they can provide you with inspiration. There’s obviously a reason why two of the biggest tech companies in the world are investing so heavily in giving back to their employees and enriching their lives. Do you need an expert hand in finding your next superstar employee? Visit our contact page to get in touch.

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    Recruiter tips: How to answer tough job interview questions

    ​We all get nervous in job interviews from time to time, especially if it feels like a high-stake situation. If you really want the job, you’re going to want the interviewer to like you - or at least see your value - so some nerves are natural. But when we’re nervous, we often do ourselves a disservice. We might speak before we’ve had the chance to slow down and think. Or, we might struggle to answer a question at all. When you’re in that situation, the best thing to do is take a pause, breathe and remind yourself that this is just a conversation. In fact, try telling yourself that you don’t want the job - even if it’s not true. This takes the pressure off and allows you to perform at your best. But the secret to formulating great answers to interview questions happens before you even set foot into an interview. It’s all in the preparation stages. Because when you know what questions you’ll likely be faced with, you can practice your answers and craft a memorable reply, knocking those interview nerves on the head. The questions you’ll want to spend the most time preparing for usually require a high level of self-awareness and reflection. Other tough ones might require you to advocate for yourself or think ahead. To learn how to respond to the most commonly asked tough job interview questions, keep reading. Why do interviewers ask tough interview questions? Behavioural questions are some of the trickiest questions to answer in a job interview. Typically, they’re used to determine how you act in certain situations. They’re not a straightforward “yes” or “no” and they require more thought than a simple recall of your work history and skills. They demonstrate your logic, knowledge and, you guessed it, your behaviour in the workplace. Interviewers use these questions to determine your future performance and whether you’ll be a good cultural fit in the company. What makes them so difficult is the fact that they call for a real-life example. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember what I did on the weekend come Monday - which is why preparing for job interview questions and brainstorming is key to your interview’s success. Tough interview questions to prepare for What’s your biggest weakness? This first one can be a real head-scratcher. We’d recommend choosing a real weakness, but not a weakness that will interfere with your ability to do the role well. For instance, if your role requires a lot of maths, saying you don’t feel comfortable with numbers is going to be a red flag for your interviewer. Instead, you could say you struggle with your confidence at work sometimes. It’s important to acknowledge your weakness but follow up with how you’re overcoming it; for instance, you could say you’ve realised that reflecting on your wins helps you feel more self-assured. This shows your interviewer that you’re self-aware, proactive and willing to be open with them. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? If you don’t have a five (or ten) year plan, it’s okay! It’s perfectly normal not to have your entire life mapped out. The reason interviewers ask this question is that they want to know what your career goals are and if they can facilitate them. And, more importantly, if they align with a future at their company. This question is also used to determine how long you see yourself working at the company (if you get the role, of course). Before your interview, brainstorm what your career goals are - they don’t have to be detailed or presented in a linear fashion. You might want to move into management eventually. Or, maybe, you don’t have a concrete role you’d like to work towards, but there are skills you’d like to develop or types of projects you’d like to work on. These are all valid responses. Tell me about a big mistake you’ve made on the job and how you handled it. You might be asked a version of this job interview question because an interviewer wants to see whether you’re not only capable of admitting to your failures, but growing from them. We’re human - it’s an inescapable fact. And that means we’re going to make mistakes at work. The important part is how we recover from them. When you’re brainstorming an example, make sure you settle on one that’s not too big and not so inconsequential that it doesn’t take some vulnerability. Your answer should explain the situation, but focus predominantly on what actions you took to rectify your misstep. From there, discuss the positive results you saw and the lessons you learned. Maybe the mistake forced you to get better at time management or suggest changes for streamlining internal procedures. Describe a time when you disagreed with a team member. How did you resolve the problem? This question may feel like a trap, but it’s not. It’s a way for interviewers to understand how you conduct yourself in a professional environment, what your conflict resolution skills are like and how emotionally mature you are. Disagreeances are always going to happen - and they’re not necessarily a bad thing, either. Usually, people disagree at work when they want to deliver the best outcome possible. People approach situations with different personalities, experiences and opinions. What matters is how you handle the disagreement. When you recount the disagreement, make sure you keep to the facts and leave the judgemental footnotes out. For instance, undermining or criticising a previous boss or coworker doesn’t leave a good impression. Your example should demonstrate the respect you have for your coworkers, as well as your ability to find a solution. Sometimes, managers do need to get involved, but in most cases, you should be able to resolve a disagreement peacefully yourself. Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle. Interviewers obviously have a certain kind of candidate in mind for a role, and this question helps them identify if you possess the resourcefulness, creative thinking and problem-solving abilities they’re looking to hire for. Choose an obstacle that is relevant to the position you’re applying for. Read through the job listing and decide which skills you can call attention to with your example. We’d recommend going with a scenario that could occur in this job. This gives your interviewer a good idea of how you’d actually perform in the role. If nothing springs to mind it could be a scenario as simple as an unexpectedly urgent deadline. Once you’ve set the scene, describe the actions you took to overcome the obstacle and what you learned from the experience. This shows the interviewer you’re self-aware and can get things back on track. ​Why should we hire you? Your initial response to this question is probably, “because I need a job!”. But putting that (completely valid) thought aside, this question is asking you to differentiate yourself from other candidates and advocate for yourself. Which, for most people, can be uncomfortable territory. But, that’s another reason why interviewers ask it - it’s a tricky question to answer! To make the question feel more manageable, let’s reframe it like this: what skills, experience and knowledge can you bring to this company? What makes you stand out? Why would you be a good fit? Make sure to tie your answer back to the role and what the company is looking for. If they’re looking for a customer service representative with excellent communication skills, it would be worth highlighting your experience and how you shine in customer-facing roles. You might be great at data entry, but if the role doesn’t require that skill, it’s not relevant to point out. Look for commonalities between what the company is looking for and what you can provide - as well as additional qualities that would help you succeed. This lets interviewers imagine you in the role and see you as a potential good fit. Are you searching for a new job? Visit our jobs board and find your perfect match today.

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  • Benefits of using a recruiter: 8 things to consider

    ​Benefits of using a recruiter: 8 things to consider

    While you might be excited to start a new chapter in your career, if you’re like many of the candidates we work with, you’re probably far less excited by the prospect of searching for a new job online. And understandably so. Finding your ideal job - one that pays what you’d like, aligns with your values, and has an opportunity for progression (amongst other things) - can take time and energy that you just don’t have. Especially if you’re sending off application after application and getting little back as a response.What you need is someone who can not only search through job listings for you but has an in-depth knowledge of your industry. They know your strengths. And they know what work environment you’d thrive in (and where you’d sink). You need someone who represents you and is on your team. You need the help of a recruitment agency. Here are 8 big benefits of using a recruiter:1. You'll get exposure to jobs that aren't on the market yetSince recruiters are hired by companies to fill positions, they’re in the know about jobs that haven’t been promoted online yet. Think of it like working with a real estate agent - they know when someone has a property they’re thinking of selling or rental tenants that are about to move out. This insider knowledge gives property searchers, or in a recruiter’s case, job hunters, exposure to jobs that are “off market”. This means you can get in the door first and the employer can potentially find their ideal candidate sooner. A win for everyone.2. Recruiters are in your corner Think of a recruiter as your job opportunity matchmaker - our goal isn’t just to place you in a role - it’s to find you a job you love and can excel in. We want the best for you. Our job is all about finding suitable candidates that are going to thrive in certain work environments. This means we need to know what kind of roles you’re searching for, what benefits you’d like, and what your non-negotiables are, so we can champion your job search. And if you’re not 100% sure, don’t worry. We can help you figure out the answers to some of these questions, too. 3. Working with a recruiter will save you time One of the biggest benefits of using a recruiter is the time you’ll save. It’s often said that job searching is a full-time job, and in the case of recruiters, that’s 100% the case. So, why not lighten your load and share the responsibility with someone who is paid to do it? 4. You’ll get feedback from a recruitment specialist When you’re job hunting, you’re often going it alone. You don’t have an experienced professional to ask for advice or to give your CV an expert once-over. It can be confusing, overwhelming, and at times, annoying. Why didn’t you get an interview - you thought your application was good! This is when having the support and knowledge of a recruiter makes all the difference. They’ll proofread, edit and provide feedback about your application - making sure it’s a true reflection of your capabilities and aligns with what the employer is looking for. You’d be surprised by what people include, or fail to include, in their job applications. To give yourself the best chance possible, you need an expert’s perspective.. 5. Recruiters will coach you through the hiring process Recruiters are master interviewers, so we can tell you exactly how to make a good first impression when you interview with a company and give you advice on what to expect. Once you have been hired, we’ll also coach you through what comes next - from signing contracts, being the go-between during negotiations, and making sure you have every piece of information you need before starting your new role. We’re by your side first application to your first day on the job. 6. Recruiters know your skillset and can personally recommend you A recruiter knows your skillset - not only from reviewing your CV but also from the conversations you’ve shared during your job search. They know your job history, understand your circumstances, and have gotten to know you personally. When recruiters pass along your name to their clients, they can personally recommend you for a job and state the reasons why. A good word can go a long way in securing a position. 7. You’ll always stay on their database for future jobs Even after your dealings with a recruitment agency are done, your details will likely remain in a database. We don’t simply throw away your CV. This means, that if a job comes up that matches your skill set and personal preferences, we’ll contact you about it. Even if you’re not actively searching, you’re still top of mind. In fact, at People in Focus, 72% of jobs we've advertised in the past year have been filled by candidates not actively looking for a new role. 8. A skilled job agency serves niche industries You’ll find that recruitment agencies sometimes specialise in a specific industry. For example, we serve clients in the freight forwarding and logistics industry. This means we have an intimate understanding of what our clients require and what your experience in the industry would actually look like on the ground. This means we’re better equipped to match you with the right job. Are you currently on the hunt for a new job? You can visit our jobs board and view our available listings now.

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  • Pay Rise Australia: How To Handle A Request From An Employee

    An employee has requested a pay rise - now what?

    When an employee asks for a pay rise it can be a tricky scenario to handle. Maybe the request has come completely out of the blue or maybe you saw it coming.These situations are critical moments in your relationship with an employee and how you navigate it can play a huge role in whether you’re perceived as a “good manager” or a “bad ”one. Think about it from their perspective - if you’re asking your manager for a pay rise, you’re likely ready to be working at a higher pay level or believe you’re being underpaid. Or, you’ve been offered a job elsewhere and want to give your manager the opportunity to match the salary on offer (or beat it). So, how should you respond to an employee requesting a pay rise in Australia? What should you consider as you weigh up the decision? And, if the answer is no or “not yet”, what’s the best way to communicate this? What you should do when an employee asks for a pay riseFirst up, let’s clarify a quick point. A pay rise is when an employee is completing the same job for more money. This is not to be confused with a promotion, which typically includes a title change, along with a new set of responsibilities and a higher salary. Although a lot of this advice is still applicable to promotions, it is the pay rise conversation we are explicitly addressing in this blog. When an employee asks you for a pay rise, the first and the best thing you can do is keep your initial response in check. Whether this employee is a standout worker or not, your reply shouldn’t be a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ straight away. You may feel uncomfortable or ill-prepared to be having a discussion about a pay rise but just know that if an employee is bringing it up, it’s likely something they’ve been mustering the courage to do for a while now. From the employee’s perspective, hearing an immediate “no” or even that it’s unlikely is demoralising and deflating. A reactive “no” will make them feel as if you’re not even willing to entertain the idea. And delivering a “yes” without doing the due diligence required for such a request could also have an adverse effect down the line. When faced with a pay rise request, ask your employee for more information - why do they believe they deserve a pay rise? Their answer will give you insight into what their stance is and help inform your own thinking on the matter. If your employee has a lot to communicate and you believe a deeper discussion is needed, make a meeting to review their request and hear them out fully. Let your employee know that their request will be considered and you’ll give them an answer in 7 - 14 days. This gives you plenty of time to evaluate the request if you need it, and have it approved (or denied) by the appropriate people. How to evaluate a pay rise request How much of a pay rise is reasonable? Typically, companies offer a 3-5% increase on average. However, given the rise of inflation, the Reserve Bank of Australia has said that “steady state wage increases in Australia should be about 3.5%”. To meet the rising cost of living, which may be your employee’s motivation for their pay review request, this percentage should be kept in mind. If an employee is asking for a raise because their duties and responsibilities have changed drastically and it’s been a long time since their last raise, it’s not unreasonable for them to expect a larger increase (10-20%). First and foremost, researching the job market and seeing what your competitors are offering is a good indication of what your employee may be expecting. If you feel like you need support in this area, you can contact us for guidance on salaries. Often, asking for a pay raise indicates that your employee might be ready (or already looking) to jump ship and look for a higher-paying job elsewhere. What a “reasonable” amount comes down to might be how much you’re willing to offer to hold onto talent (especially considering the candidate shortage the freight forwarding and logistics industry is facing). Is it law to get a pay rise every year in Australia? An employer isn’t obligated to deliver pay raises to their employees every year. However, your employees may be legally entitled to a raise or bonus under these circumstances: It’s stated in their contract Guidelines for granting a pay rise or bonus may be mentioned in an employee’s contract. However, often employers include a clause, making the granting of a pay rise up to their discretion (meaning they’re not contractually obligated to give them out). It’s part of company policy If pay raises and bonuses aren’t mentioned in employee contracts, your workplace may have a policy that states its rules for granting them. It’s mentioned in an award or enterprise agreement While an employee may not be contractually obligated to a pay rise, awards and enterprise agreements for certain occupations might have terms that dictate how pay increases and annual reviews are conducted. How often should employees get a pay rise in Australia? Since pay rises are dealt with at the discretion of the employer (except in the scenarios mentioned above), you technically aren’t bound to a timeline. However, increasing your employees’ salaries is a great way to boost their morale and show that you value them. Pay is closely tied to job satisfaction, so making sure they’re being rewarded regularly is important. A common strategy for businesses is to tie their annual performance review in with a salary review. However, just because issuing a raise every 12 months is thought to be common, doesn’t mean you have to go down this road. While, yes, your employees’ salaries should be keeping up with CPI (consumer price index), if an employee hasn’t been performing well, they shouldn’t automatically be given a raise just because another year has passed. Ultimately, how often you decide to give out pay increases is up to you. You need to take into consideration your employees’ expectations and their job satisfaction, the state of the job market and your competition, as well as your company’s financial position. Delivering the outcome to your employee Whether you’re delivering good news or bad news, make a meeting with your employee to discuss their request in private. If you’re delivering positive news we’d recommend the following approach: Make sure your reasoning for the pay rise is known. What’s the context surrounding your decision? Is it a cost of living raise? It is because they’ve been excelling in their work and you’d like to recognise this? Communicate the amount using a dollar figure instead of an abstract percentage like 3%. This way they know immediately what to expect and don’t have to go away and calculate it. If you’re giving an employee a raise, but it’s not as high as they’d have liked, communicate why it isn’t. Be as transparent as you can with your reasoning or the external factors that impacted this decision. This helps to build trust and understanding. Thank your employee for their work and contributions to the company. Make sure they feel valued and appreciated for all that they do. If you’re delivering negative news, we’d recommend going about it like this: Don’t beat around the bush - deliver the news and let them know why they haven’t been successful in receiving a pay rise. These reasons may be entirely external and have nothing to do with their performance. If they’re not receiving a raise because you don’t believe their performance warrants one, communicate what you’d need to see from them in the future. Do they need to develop their skills in a certain area? Maybe they need more training, which is something you should arrange for them. If there is potential for a raise down the line, frame the news as a “not right now” and put an actionable plan in place for them. What steps do they need to take to get there? This shows you’re committed to their professional development. Let your employee process the news and answer any questions they have. Listen to anything they have to say. Going forward, we’d suggest having a plan or policy in place to handle pay rises. For instance, if you decide to assess salaries on an annual basis, make sure your employees know when these conversations usually take place. This way you’re less likely to be hit with an ad-hoc request and can properly assess each employee. Do you need a recruitment hero to take the stress of searching for candidates off your shoulders? Send us an enquiry to get the ball rolling. ​

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  • Untitled Design (23)

    6 proactive steps to take after a performance evaluation

    ​Have you recently had a performance evaluation at work? Depending on how it went, you could be feeling excited about what the rest of the year may bring or seriously questioning whether your current job is the right place for you to be. Regardless of how your evaluation unfolded, what steps you take next are far more important. That’s why I’m here to help you get the most out of your evaluation by putting the feedback you received into action and continuing to progress in your career - whether that’s in the same role or a new one.Here are my six simple steps I recommend every employee to consider after a performance evaluation:Reflect and find your blind spotsNow is the time to reflect on what you learned during your performance evaluation. You may have been confronted with some tough truths, heard what you’d hoped, or been completely baffled by the feedback you received. Use this time to conduct an internal audit. Often there is a gap between how we view ourselves, and how other people perceive us. Whether you received praise you didn’t think you’d earned or criticism you believe is unwarranted, make sure to check your blind spots. Blind spots happen to everyone, but making sure you’re aware of what yours are will help you in the future. To help with this, ask a trusted friend or coworker for their take on the situation. They may agree with your perspective or maybe they’ve noticed a thing or two that you were previously unaware of. Once you have an outsider’s perspective, you can begin to more accurately process your evaluation. Ask your manager clarifying questions Once you’ve had time to think your performance evaluation through, you’ll likely have follow-up questions. Write them all down and arrange a time to speak with your manager. Keep it professional and ensure any lingering hurt feelings don’t seep out in your tone or choice of phrasing. If there is anything you still disagree with that was discussed in your evaluation, you can bring it up, but make sure you back up what you’re saying with specific examples. This way, you have evidence and it’s not just your opinion against theirs. Adopt a growth mindset If you don’t believe you’re up to the challenge of growing in your role and believe you’re stuck with the skillset, smarts, and work ethic you’ve got now, you probably have a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset can be detrimental to your career growth. It means that when you’re confronted with feedback, a roadblock, or looming “failure” you take it personally and view it as a giant stop sign. This can be tackled by admitting you don’t know everything, taking feedback on board, and being open to feeling uncomfortable. Without a willingness to grow, your career development (and opportunities) may come grinding to a halt. Identify your goals & needsAdopting a growth mindset doesn’t happen overnight, but once you’re familiar with the idea, you can begin thinking about what your work goals are (and what you’d need to get there). During your performance evaluation, you and your manager likely threw around a couple of goals you would like to achieve by your next evaluation. Get clear about what these goals are. To do this, you need to be honest with yourself, taking those blindspots into account and acknowledging what your weaknesses may be. Once you have a clear understanding of what you’d like to achieve in the next 3, 6, or 12 months, you can create your goal list. Don’t overload yourself with too many. Pick a couple that feel timely and relevant to your current situation. Run them by your manager to ensure you’re on the same page. We’d also recommend checking in regularly to make sure you’re on track and to solve any roadblocks. Make a performance plan A goal without a plan of action is just a nice idea -  and that’s where creating a performance plan comes into play. Taking your goals, break them down into actionable steps. Unfortunately, you aren’t going to wake up in six months' time and magically achieve everything you’d dreamed. By creating a plan, you’re building a practical and realistic framework for your goals. Think of it like a self-led course you can tick off, one step at a time. Evaluate your career Performance evaluations are the perfect time to step back and view the bigger picture. They can force us to pause and consider whether we’re truly fulfilled in our work-life, or if we’ve lost sight of what our career goals used to be. Questions to consider might be: Is my current role aligned with my career goals?Is my performance waning because I don’t feel challenged? Am I unenthusiastic about my job because I know it isn’t right for me? Is my job playing to my strengths? Reflection, mindset shifts, and action plans are important, but if you’re not fulfilled by your current role, they won’t matter for long. ​Take stock of your career and where you’d like to be before you double down on a  job that isn’t serving your progression in the long run. ​Do you feel like now is the time for a career change? Visit our jobs board to find your next move. 

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  • Untitled Design (21)

    How to conduct a performance review: The do’s and don’ts

    ​When they’re conducted properly, employee performance reviews are a powerful tool for driving business growth, improving employee retention, and creating happy (and high-performing) working environments.​But they often get a bad wrap. Research shows that many of us find performance reviews less enjoyable than the customer experience we received from internet service providers or health insurance plans - long hold queues, being passed from customer service agent to customer service agent, and all. ​So, why is this? Well, recent surveys have shown that less than half of employees believe they’re assessed fairly and transparently. Add in the unconscious biases that can affect a manager’s ability to conduct an impartial assessment, and it’s no wonder they’re viewed with trepidation by employees. ​That being said, the solution isn’t to stop conducting performance reviews. According to research from Deloitte, ratings, and reviews aren’t dead. Companies and their managers simply need to conduct their performance reviews differently.​Why are performance reviews important? ​In a survey by the Harvard Business Review, it was found that only 42% of employees trust their boss. That’s a shockingly low number, especially considering 58% of people trust strangers.​When it comes to building a strong culture at work, a foundation of trust is imperative. Without a strong culture, there is employee disengagement, loss of productivity, and a higher turnover. ​By regularly engaging in transparent communication and encouraging feedback from your employees, you can create an environment that is constantly improving. ​But that’s not all effective performance reviews can do for your company. They’re a great way to boost employee engagement because when someone feels heard and valued, they’re far more likely to be productive at work. ​Performance reviews are also an opportunity to set goals with your employees and give them a sense of purpose and direction in their job. Career progression is important for employee retention. Without it, you run the risk of losing talent because they feel unchallenged and underappreciated. ​When should I conduct performance reviews? ​Performance reviews are essentially a scheduled circuit breaker for both management and employees. But how often you decide to incorporate them into your organisation or business's schedule, depends entirely on your culture and company size.​For instance, if direct feedback is incorporated into your day-to-day already, you might decide to skip quarterly reviews. Similarly, if management is stretched thin across a large number of employees, conducting multiple reviews across the year might not be achievable.​It may also depend on what you’re wishing to measure. Quarterly reviews are a good way of checking in on employees regularly and touching base on their short-term goals. Biannual reviews are a good way of marking a halfway point in the year and can be an opportunity to focus on development.​Annual reviews are a more traditional approach, with 70% of companies choosing to administer them this way. However, a survey conducted by Lawpath found that 67% of respondents preferred more regular feedback to only sitting for a review once a year. ​Whichever review schedule works best for you, make sure your employees know when they should be expecting it. Make your review process part of your company’s routine, so your employees don’t feel ambushed and underprepared.How to conduct a performance reviewMake sure the employee knows how you’re measuring performance No one likes to feel blindsided. Let your employees know what rating scale you’re using to measure their performance and what they’re being measured on. For example, some common performance measures are: ProductivityQuality of workWhether they are meeting objectives Time managementLeadership, communication & ability to work in teamInnovationProfessional developmentProgress towards personal career goalsAlways let your employees know what to expect when you can, so they feel like you’re on a team, not like it’s you against them. Draft a meeting agendaMake sure you structure your meetings strategically and don’t dwell on the negatives for too long. Better yet, frame your criticism constructively and as something you and your employee can work together to improve upon.  Your agenda might look something like this: Employee reflection - How do they rate their own performance?Has the employee met their goals?Where have they excelled?Where do they need to improve? Creating an agenda will help your meeting stay on track and make sure you tick off every key element you want to discuss. If you’re feeling anxious about providing constructive feedback, practice using the SBI approach (skip to number 6 to learn more about this).  Ask your employees to rate their own performanceAsking your employees to rate their own performance means you’re engaging them in the process of their development. A review isn’t just something that they’re being subjected to - they’re an active participant. It shows you value their input and will let you know whether your thought processes are in alignment or not. And who knows - maybe their insights will bring interesting observations you hadn’t considered before to light. Emphasise the positivesStart with the positives and emphasise them over the negatives. Starting by acknowledging an employee’s efforts makes them feel valued, and it also means they’ll be more open to receiving constructive criticism. Provide examples Regardless of what you’re saying, your points should always be backed up with examples - whether it’s data related or situational. This means you’re making your feedback clear and fair. Be mindful of your phrasingDelivering information tactfully is an art - but an important one to master when you’re dealing with the happiness of employees at work. When delivering feedback, make it actionable, specific, and respectful. A helpful framework to use during these reviews is the SBI approach. Situation: What was the specific situation and what occurred at that time? Behaviour: What was the behaviour the employee displayed? Impact: What were your thoughts and feelings in response? Using this method means your feedback isn’t vague or too general to grasp. It’s honest, to the point, and shows you’ve really thought about their performance. Recognise their performanceIt’s important to ensure your top-performing employees are getting the recognition and reward they deserve. There are three types of recognition: day-to-day, informal and formal recognition. While day-to-day and informal recognition will be given out regularly, formal recognition is usually reserved for those 5-10% of employees who are high-performers. This will usually include a special reward but it can also be an opportunity to increase their salary or offer a promotion. Clarify next steps So, where to next? End the meeting by collaborating and agreeing on the employee’s next objectives. If they require additional training to learn new skills, improve upon weaknesses, or grow within the company, now is the time to commit to a plan. Using their performance as a guideline, set out new goals they should hopefully reach by the time their next review comes around. It’s helpful for an employee to know what’s expected of them and to feel supported in their development. Keep a record of itPut your meeting in writing and share it with your employee, so there’s a written record of how the meeting progressed. Note what you discussed, any observations you had, and detail what goals (and actions) you both agreed to take. Make sure you get a signature from your employee, as this is an acknowledgment of the meeting taking place, as well as a confirmation that they have read and understood the contents in the document. ​Having a written account of the review means you can keep track of employee goals and development, refer back to past reviews when reflecting on employee performance in the future and make sure everyone is on the literal same page moving forward. -Need the assistance of recruitment specialists? Our team of experienced recruiters is just an inquiry form away. ​

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  • Recruitment process

    Our end-to-end recruitment process for finding lasting talent

    ​Whether you’re hiring a junior to support your team or a senior manager to help steer the ship, finding the right person for the job is no simple task. ​Research shows the average cost of making a hiring mistake can sit anywhere between 15-21% of that employee’s salary, so if the candidate you hire doesn’t have the right attitude, skills or isn’t in it for the long haul, the cost of this decision can quickly add up. ​That’s where People in Focus can help. With a recruitment team that has 30+ years of combined HR experience,  we understand what’s required when it comes to hiring well and finding the right talent for the unique needs of almost any company. So, how do we do it?Keep reading to find out what our end-to-end recruitment process involves and how we can help you find your next reliable hire. ​Step 1: Understanding the role ​Up front, we learn as much as we can about your company and the role you want to fill. Transparency is crucial here. We’re not here to judge your company; we’re here to help you add to it. The more we know, the better equipped we are to find candidates who are not only suited to the role but the working environment, too.​Step 2: Sourcing talent​To appeal to top talent your job ad needs to stand out but this is easier said than done, especially in a competitive job market.​Drawing on our experience, we can write job ads that generate interest and excitement about your available role and company. ​Writing the job ad is one thing but circulating the opening so the right candidates get to see it is one of the most important (and time-consuming) parts of the recruiting process. ​The days of sticking a job ad up on Seek and watching flocks of quality candidates roll in are sadly no more. In fact, late last year we shared that 72% of roles we've advertised in the past year have been filled by candidates not actively looking for a new role.​That’s why we use a range of methods to identify top talent during our end-to-end recruitment process. We search far and wide to identify quality candidates for your job opening, including:Posting to a variety of job boards (like Indeed, Seek, LinkedIn, Jora, and Adzuna - amongst others)Adding your job ad to the job page on our websiteSharing your job ad to our social media channels and mailing listStrategically contacting our extensive database of candidates - some of whom are actively looking for a new role but many who aren’tStep 3: Shortlisting Applicants ​Now we weed out the time-wasters from the serious contenders so you’re not interviewing candidates that are unlikely to be a match.​While we always cast a wide net to bring in new talent (as mentioned in step 3), we usually find the best person for the job is already in our database of candidates. ​Using keywords, skill sets, job titles, salary, and location, we comb through our database, finding anyone who aligns with your job opening and company. If we believe we’ve found a real contender, we’ll then move them to the next step.​Step 4: Interviewing ​We conduct initial interviews both virtually and in-person, depending on the candidate’s availability. During these interviews, our main goal is to figure out who has the most potential and who is a definite no-go. After this “screening” phase, we only send the most qualified candidates through to then be interviewed by you. ​Our virtual meeting options mean candidates have greater availability, and we don’t have to wait weeks to speak with them. Many choose to schedule a virtual interview during their lunch break, or before/after hours. ​Step 5: Hiring ​Once the right candidate has been selected, we don’t just disappear. We’ll reach out to the candidate with the good news and conduct negotiations on your behalf. ​Once the negotiations are concluded and we’ve sent your new team member a letter of offer, our role in the final stages of hiring can be very flexible - it all depends on what your needs are and what the gaps are that you would like for us to fill. ​For example, we can conduct police checks and reference checks before an offer is made to the candidate. ​Or, we can help you get set up with your payroll - even chasing up any information or paperwork you might need from a candidate before they start. Whatever you need to accommodate the transition and get things up and running, we’re here. ​We’ll keep in contact with your new team member until their very first day, sending them all the information they need to know about their new position and making sure all their questions are answered.  ​From there, we hand it over to you. Are you looking to outsource and streamline your hiring process? Get in touch with People in Focus to take care of your end-to-end recruitment needs. ​

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  • CV writing tips

    11 CV writing tips to help you outperform your competition

    ​When you’re applying for a job, pulling together your CV might feel like a tedious task. But making sure your CV is professional, clean, and includes the right information is what makes the difference when you’re trying to stand out from the crowd.​In my 20+ years as a recruiter, I’ve seen many job applications - good and bad. I know what makes a CV stand out from the rest of the pile and what leads to a CV being immediately disregarded. And I want you to know, too. Here are the 11 CV writing tips I share with my candidates, to help them outperform their competition.​No more than two pages It can be difficult to know what to include in your CV, especially when you have more than a decade of experience. Should you include every job you’ve ever had? Or only include the most recent and relevant positions you’ve held? ​What’s most important is that your CV is easy to read. You don’t necessarily have to remove information but you need to make sure you’re highlighting the roles, responsibilities, and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Your CV should span no more than two pages of an A4 document, so if you’re having trouble keeping it shorter, consider where you’re going into too much detail and trim those sections down. ​Tailor your CV for the role you’re applying forApplying for jobs can feel like a full-time job but it’s important you don’t skip this step. Your CV should include keywords from the job ad itself, particularly when it comes to required skills.For instance, if the job description notes they’re looking for a ‘self-starter’, refer to yourself as a self-starter or something similar (i.e. proactive) in your CV. This ensures you’re positioning yourself as a candidate with the exact qualities they’re looking for. ​Use keywords so recruiters can find you Of all our CV writing tips, this is the most important. Did you know recruiters use keywordsto find ideal candidates? To make sure your CV shows up, include relevant keywords from the job ad (as I mentioned above). These keywords include job titles, skills, and attributes. That way, if I’m searching for a “customer service representative”, your application will be shown. ​Make sure it’s up to dateBefore sending your CV out, make sure it’s up to date. That includes updating your contact information, adding your latest career moves, and any other forms of work you’ve undertaken (volunteering, education, and training). ​Keep your presentation plain and digestible Your CV should be a clean and simple document.Keep your formatting consistent and easy to follow. There’s nothing worse than a CV that chops and changes - where am I meant to be looking next? Whichever layout you choose, make sure your dot points are all indented the same and your columns are in alignment. ​Slimline your skills section & make it relevantWe all possess a myriad of different skills, but only include skills that are relevant. Create a skills section on your CV that clearly defines your winning attributes. But make sure they correspond with the job description, too. Highlight key duties and achievementsWhat were your key duties and achievements in each role? Keep your overview succinct, but make sure you accurately highlight what you brought to the table in your current/past jobs.​Format your CV with your most recent job at the topWe’ve seen more than a few people get this one confused, but your most recent job should always be at the top of the page. Always use reverse chronological order to list your work history.​Include two points of contact Why two? Some employers and recruiters prefer connecting over email, and others via phone. Plus (and this is important), if you change your number or email address, or accidentally input your details incorrectly, you have a backup. We’ve certainly had experience with being given the wrong number and then being unable to contact a candidate. So, to be safe, always include both. ​Have your referees available on request We always recommend keeping your references off your CV. Why? Because if you include them, the recruiter may contact your references immediately, before you’ve had the chance to let them know to expect a call or an email. Our suggestion is to write “referees available on request” at the bottom of your CV. If a recruiter or employer is interested, they’ll contact you and ask for their contact details. Then, you’ll be able to notify your referees to expect a phone call or email. ​ Edit and proofread A potential catastrophe can always be avoided with proofreading before submission. In fact, because you’ve likely read your CV a hundred times, you might not even notice a mistake. To be on the safe side, ask a friend or relative to double-check it for you. Nothing screams unprofessional like a typo.​-​When applying for a role through People in Focus, we always take the time to make sure our candidate's CVs are up to scratch. We always want our candidates to have the best chance possible of landing their ideal job. If you’re on the hunt for a new position, take a scroll through our jobs board - you might find your next big career move. ​

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  • Freight and Logistics jobs

    Job doors are opening in the freight and logistics industry

    ​As we enter the second quarter of 2022 and businesses begin to - again - settle into the new normal, we’ve observed a few interesting changes in the job market. ​Changes that can open new and exciting opportunities for employees with experience in  the freight and logistics industry, in particular. ​Even pre-pandemic, the freight and logistics industry was facing challenges impacting aspects of the job market, particularly with global truck driver shortages and evolving supply chain demands.  ​This is partly because of an ageing and therefore, retiring workforce. It’s also to do with the drastic changes the industry has seen in recent years, moving to using more modern systems, like automation and robotics. ​According to a 2019 skills forecast from the Australian Industry Standards (AIS), these were the skills identified as being the most important for the freight and logistics industry in the next 3-5 years:Health and safetyOperational skillsComplianceDigital skillsAnd after surveying stakeholders, they also found that these 5 generic skills were flagged as being of high importance in the industry: Language, literacy and numeracy LeadershipTechnologySelf-management (i.e. the ability to work autonomously)Problem solvingSo, what does this mean for employees already in the freight and logistics industry? To put it simply, your experience is highly valued. And, you can leverage it to change careers within your sector. ​Are you known for your number-crunching analytical approach or your problem solving, managerial attitude? People like you are vital to the continued growth and success of the industry. ​Research from Deakin University predicts that by 2023, the demand for skilled professionals will outstrip supply, six to one. While this is a challenging period for the freight and logistics industry, it does present those wanting to stretch their legs and explore other career possibilities in the sector with a unique opportunity to do so. ​As recruiters, we’re seeing a shift in the talent some employers are open to considering. Instead of demanding an exact skill match and only accepting candidates who have worked in a very similar role as the one they’re applying for, more and more companies are opening the door a little wider, recognising transferable skills and hiring candidates from the broader industry. ​For instance, if you work in importing, but fancy switching sides and exploring the world of exports, now is an excellent time to try. ​And this is where the People in Focus team can help you best. Because, despite the fact that more and more companies are willing to explore talent outside their usual scope, not EVERY company feels that way. ​But thanks to the strong relationships we’ve built with many employers over the years, we’re in a unique position to pair talent with roles they’d never normally compete for. ​And because we have a history of supplying companies with their perfect match, they trust us when we come to them with your resume, even if it doesn’t quite align with their pre-2022 expectations. Do you have itchy feet or feel like a change of pace within the freight and logistics industry? Our jobs page is constantly being updated with new opportunities. Find your next career move here. ​

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  • Finding hidden talent in Freight and Logistics

    Finding hidden talent in logistics and transport recruitment

    ​There’s no denying the current challenges in the logistics and transport job market - with an ageing workforce, the great resignation, and the international strain of COVID-19 - demand for talent is higher than ever before. ​Contributing over a billion dollarsto the Australian economy each year, it's an industry that’s responsible for the employment of half a million Australians. Current projections by the Australian Industry Standard(AIS) predict that number to grow by 6.5% by 2024. ​These challenges can feel understandably daunting to read about on paper, but for those like us (people focused recruiters), our outlook on the current job market is actually optimistic and opportunistic. ​Why? Because we believe that amongst these challenges are hidden possibilities for both employers and employees in the logistics and transport sector. All you need is an expert’s eye for quality talent. ​As recruiters, we’ve witnessed the challenges the industry is facing first hand, but we’ve also noticed a willingness in candidates to move into new types of roles within the industry. ​In our experience, candidates with this enthusiasm and readiness are passionate about the industry, and they’re seeking a new career trajectory they can be inspired by. This gives them the eagerness and resilience to go that extra mile to impress their new employers and learn all they can along the way. ​As an employer, your first instinct may be to turn away an applicant who doesn’t appear to be the perfect fit on paper, but if we look a little deeper, you can see how much potential they truly have. ​Within the logistics and transport industry, there are highly transferable skills. While the processes and procedures vary, many roles still require strong communication skills, number smarts, adaptability and problem solving skills.​These are general, ‘soft’ skills, but when a candidate comes to us with these skills in spades, we know we’re onto a winner. We’re not saying a warehouse team member would automatically be considered for a customs role, but relevant skills and the right attitude can lead to unexpected candidates excelling in adjacent roles.  ​When we speak with candidates, we identify who not only has the right skills and transferable experience, but who would be a perfect fit for your company culture. ​And conversely, we’ll also help you steer clear of unsuitable candidates, who may have the credentials, but wouldn’t thrive in your particular workplace. We genuinely believe in the abilities and suitability of these unsung heroes when we send them your way. ​Finding your diamond in the rough, so to speak, is where we excel. Our recruitment strategy entails looking outside the box and identifying potential where someone else might not think to look.Do you have new job opportunities available at your company? You can contact us hereto get the recruitment ball rolling. ​

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  • Workplace diversity and inclusion

    Five reasons why workplace diversity and inclusion matters

    Does your company promote workplace diversity and inclusion? ​Because as it turns out, diverse and inclusive companies, who actively recruit and celebrate people for their social and cultural differences, see not only a growth in their revenue, but happier, more fulfilled employees. ​And isn’t that what every company should be striving for? ​What is workplace diversity and inclusion?​Workplace diversity and inclusion (D&I) is about truly embracing, celebrating, discussing and centring your employees' unique backgrounds, beliefs and lived experiences in their work life. ​And while diversity and inclusion may be thrown around interchangeably, it’s important to note that they do mean different things.  Diversityrefers to the employees who make up your company, and the array of characteristics they may have, such as: their gender, sex, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.  A diverse workplace also extends to including neurodivergent team members, team members with disabilities, and other differences. ​And while you may have a diverse workplace, it’s possible it’s not an inclusive one. Inclusivity is all about acting on your team's diversity — it’s what makes a workplace innovative, profitable and engaging. ​ It means no one is denied education, resources or support. It means everyone in the team can see themselves reflected in senior management. And it also means differences are viewed as attributes, not weaknesses. ​ Because if you have a diverse workplace, but your culture only takes into account the voices of a particular group of people, or someone’s perspective is automatically weighted as more ‘valuable’ simply because of their sex, race or gender, then it’s not an inclusive place to work. ​5 big reasons why workplace diversity and inclusion matters ​Higher revenue growthResearch has shown many benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace, including the undeniable fact that companies who prioritise D&I see higher revenue growth. ​In fact, companies with greater gender diversity, as well as greater cultural and ethnic diversity, are more likely to outperform companies who do not prioritise a diverse and inclusive workplace. ​Increased ability to recruit a diverse talent poolWhen your company welcomes, hires and promotes employees from different backgrounds your workplace will thrive. Why? Because D&I is all about being collaborative and uplifting — something that will exponentially improve your employees' wellbeing.   ​And when word gets out about how positive your workplace culture is? More talented candidates from a diverse pool will be stepping up to join your team. ​Companies with good D&I have 5.4 times higher employee retentionPoor retention rates are no fun for anyone. HR has to keep filling roles, the company burns through needless amounts of money and employees are endlessly on the hunt for a job that makes them feel good.  ​So, when a workplace champions an employee’s background and makes them feel important, they’re fostering trust and loyalty. Which means, employees are far more likely to hang around for the long haul.  ​Minorities who feel ‘othered’ in their workplace aren’t going to feel a sense of connection and belonging to a company — and rightly so. They’re far more likely to jump ship and join a team that actually embraces them. ​Employees are 9.8 times more likely to look forward to going to workThis is a big one! Have you ever dreaded going to work? Stats show that creating a welcoming and inclusive environment that celebrates differences instead of punishing them, means more people are looking forward to going to work. Go figure!​Employees are 6.3 times more likely to have pride in their workIf you’re proud of where you work and what your workplace stands for, then it makes sense you’ll have more pride in the work you create for your company. When employees feel accepted and supported, their standard of work will reflect it. ​How to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace​Demonstrating workplace diversity and inclusion is a continuous process that takes time, thought and careful consideration. The best thing you can do for your company is start a dialogue with your employees. ​What changes would they like to see the company make? What would make them feel included and celebrated? Have they noticed any shortcomings that you may have overlooked? From there, make sure your management team understands the importance of D&I and create an environment where employees feel comfortable talking about and celebrating their differences. No one ever wants to hide who they truly are — it causes stress, imposter syndrome and low self esteem. ​Here are a few actions you can take to start promoting workplace diversity and inclusion immediately: Acknowledge and honour multiple religious and cultural practices;Foster a company culture where every voice is welcome, heard, and respected;Make an effort to bring more diversity to leadership staff;Actively seek out vendors, suppliers, customers, and clients from underrepresented parts of society.  Do you need assistance hiring the right fit for your workplace? Our network fosters a diverse talent pool of keen job hunters. Learn more about our services here.

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  • Exit interview

    Not conducting exit interviews? This is why you should

    Not conducting exit interviews? Here’s why you should​Conducting an exit interview may feel like an awkward or frankly, non-vital, step in your employee offboarding process — but it isn’t. In fact, exit interviews are a key opportunity to gather honest feedback about your company and discover what an employee’s experience was truly like.  ​While an employee leaving may be due to resignation, redundancy or the end of a contract, conducting a professional and solid ‘goodbye’ from the company shows professionalism and an appreciation for the employee’s contributions during their time working with you.  ​So, if you’ve been neglecting your exit interviews, now is the time to start implementing them in your offboarding process. Even if the employee you’re offboarding doesn’t have fond memories of the company, an exit interview is one of the final touch points they’ll have, so why not make it a positive one?​What is an exit interview?​An exit interview is a chance to understand why an employee might be leaving your company and what you could improve for present employees and future new hires. ​ Exit interviews have many forms — it could be a classic in-person interview, with either a HR representative or a neutral member of management — even an external company. But remember, an exit interview can often be a vulnerable, or even uncomfortable experience for the employee leaving, depending on the circumstances, so creating an environment where they feel at ease will yield the best results.  ​If an in-person meeting isn’t possible, you can always conduct the interview via a Zoom meeting or on a phone call. You can also go the route of short questionnaires or longer form surveys.  How and when you choose to conduct your exit interviews is up to you, but generally speaking, they take place in an employee’s final week on the job. ​​Why you should conduct exit interviews ​As an employer, you’re never going to be completely aware of what transpires in the day-to-day lives of your employees — even if you do promote an open-door policy in your workplace.  ​There can be a number of complicated and nuanced reasons as to why someone may decide to leave their role. And the purpose of an exit interview is to unpack this reasoning and collect valuable data about perceptions of the company, from someone who has worked “inside” of it. ​Uncover HR issues​Good HR team is the backbone of any thriving company, so figuring out where an employee may have felt let down is key to making sure it doesn’t continue happening. One of HR’s primary goals, afterall, should always be to improve the wellbeing of a company's employees.  ​If you want to pinpoint whether there was a HR issue, you could ask questions like:​Were you satisfied with your salary? Did you feel incentivised in your role? Did HR tackle the issues and queries that you brought to them?Did you find the workplace culture to be inclusive?Understand employees’ perceptions of the work/role​During an exit interview, employee’s can come clean about their actual lived experience in their role. They may feel more comfortable and open voicing their honest opinions now that their time with the company is drawing to a close. ​You can discover things like: ​What they thought of their peers and if they worked well together;Whether they were satisfied with working conditions and their work/life balance;If the company culture was a good fit;If they thought their job was designed well.Their answers can help you rejig the open position and inform how you advertise the role when recruiting. ​​Insight into managers’ leadership styles and effectiveness​Uncovering more in depth information about supervisors and managers is a fantastic opportunity to learn about your managerial team — where they’re succeeding and where they may be falling short. ​For instance, as told in an article from the Harvard Business Review, an international finance service hired a new mid-level manager to lead a department of 17 employees. Only 8 remained a year later, and after conducting exit reviews, the company noticed they all flagged the same (lack) of leadership skills that eventually wore them down. ​The company had a problem – they were hiring people into leadership roles, not based on managerial skill, but technical ability. The result? Losing talented employees. Which is why, if you’re seeing an increase in employee turnover, you should be taking the time to figure out why. ​​Potential to learn about salary/benefits at other companies​If an employee is leaving because they’ve accepted a role at another company, it’s worth asking what persuaded them. Learning this information helps your company improve in two ways:  You can understand which benefits are most important to job seekers at the moment, so you can offer something similar and attract high quality candidates in the future. You can gauge whether your remuneration offering is competitive with other companies advertising similar roles, as this may be why you’re losing top talent. ​​Examples of exit interview questions you should ask​While conducting exit interviews doesn’t necessarily mean reducing your employee turnover rate, employees are still less likely to leave if they feel engaged and appreciated. ​So, gathering feedback in an in-person IE or generating data from surveys to make sure you’re spotting the gaps on the ground, is still a great way to ensure your organisation is addressing potential problems. ​When you’re deciding which questions to ask, think about the outcomes you’re wanting to achieve. Make sure the questions you pose are ones that you can draw conclusions from and act upon. And of course, only ask questions that are relevant to the employee and their situation. ​Here is an example of questions you could ask an employee during an exit interview: What were the circumstances leading up to your resignation?If you’ve already accepted a new position, what attracted you to accept their offer? How would you describe your relationship with your managers/coworkers? Did you find your manager's leadership style fulfilling or were there areas you believe could be improved? If so, what were they? What did you like and dislike about your role? Was there anything you would change? Do you feel you were given suitable training/equipment and opportunities for professional development? Do you feel that your professional and personal wellbeing was supported during your time with the company? Did you enjoy the company culture and your work environment? Were there any policies or procedures the company implements that you believe could be improved? Do you have any more feedback you would like to add? Seeking more industry knowledge and expertise? Check out our insights page for more. 

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  • Payrise in 2022

    Time for a pay rise? The Australian job market looks promising in 2022

    ​While many experts and recruitment agencies (us included) were bracing for the Great Resignationto hit Australia, something else is afoot in the Australian job market in 2022: labour and skill shortages are offering candidates more negotiating power should they choose to swap companies in search of a pay rise, promotion or new opportunity. For employers, this might be a cause for concern as they scramble to fulfil job vacanciesrequiring highly sought after skill sets. But for candidates, it presents an exciting opportunity.  If you, like the vast majority of Aussies who bunkered down during the pandemic, are starting to get the itch that it might be time to move on, now is an excellent time to consider making a job switch. After years of stagnant wage growth due to the pandemic, many are hungry for a salary increase. In fact, six in 10prospective job seekers said they were primarily motivated to leave because they hadn’t seen a pay rise since the start of the pandemic.  So, what does this mean for your next career move? While your current employer may be unlikely to hand out a pay rise in the current climate, it does mean you have more negotiating power when applying elsewhere.  According to LinkedIn’s figures, the current number of applications per job is down 63% compared to the same period last year. With a significantly smaller candidate pool, candidates can leverage negotiating power to ask for things they might not normally.  For instance, if working from home is important to you and your current employer is transitioning staff back to the office, you could negotiate working remotely (or at least on a part-time basis). If you believe you deserve a salary increase and your current employer isn’t willing, now is a great time to search for it elsewhere.  In the freight forwarding and logistics sector, we’re seeing more advertised roles than ever before. But this isn’t the only industry we’re seeing this take place in. Across the board, there are an exponential amount of job openings and the highest candidate shortage we’ve seen during our time as recruiters.  If you’re currently on the hunt, we have a record-number of roles advertised on our job listings page. Get in touch and we’ll help you find your new match. ​

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  • Remote onboarding

    How to successfully navigate remote onboarding

    An effective onboarding process for new employees, whether it’s in person or a remote onboarding (as is increasingly the norm), is an overlooked revenue driver for businesses.  Don’t believe us? This blog will explain: Why 1 in 10 people end up leaving a company because of their experience with poor onboardingHow companies with an effective onboarding process achieve 2.5 times more revenue growth and 1.9 times the profit margin compared to organisations with poor onboarding strategiesQuick and easy ways you can improve your business’ onboarding experienceWhat is remote onboarding?​Remote onboarding is the process of integrating and welcoming your new employees into your company, so they can be an effective and contributing memberof your team.  The goal of remote onboarding is the exact same as onboarding in person and that is: to get your new employee up to speed and feeling confident in their new role (plus a few extra tech and tool adjustments).  A good onboarding process means taking your new employee through these steps:​Explaining their role and responsibilities in depth;Detailing the hierarchy and who they will be reporting to;Introducing them to their team and facilitating their initial social interactions; Setting them up on the communication platforms your company uses;Teaching them how to use unfamiliar technologies;Running through policies and procedures; Getting them up to speed on company culture and values;Answering their questions and making sure they feel well adjusted.​Why is onboarding important?​Imagine it’s your first day at a new company — you’re pointed in the direction of your desk and told to get set up. You pester your cubicle buddies and manage to log in to your email. Now, it’s midday, and no one has taken the time to sit down and walk you through your new workspace and what they expect you to actually deliver. You’ve barely seen your manager.  Now, it’s been a month. You’ve managed to piece together what your responsibilities are, but you feel like a bit of an outcast and you’re really not sure what your company stands for. You feel lost, unsupported and disengaged.  It’s not hard to see why 1 in 10 people end up leaving a company because of their experience with poor onboarding. And the consequences for the company? A high employee turnover rate. Which means more time and money spent on job advertising.  If that wasn’t enough to convince you a good onboarding process is worth it, then how about this: companies that have effective onboarding processesin place achieve 2.5 times more revenue growth and 1.9 times the profit margin compared to organisations with poor onboarding strategies.  So, why does good onboarding equal more revenue? Employees who are onboarded properly stick around longer, plus they're more likely to be engaged in the culture and be more productive. ​Remote onboarding challenges​Technical issuesDiagnosing and resolving technical issues can be harder when you’re onboarding a new employee remotely. If you were able to meet in-person, you might be able to just pinpoint and fix the problem yourself. It can be frustrating, for both you and your employee.  Make sure your systems and processes are well documented and a list of common problems or FAQs are available for troubleshooting purposes. If all else fails? Make sure you also have a remote IT department (although, they might just tell you to turn it off and on again). ​Hesitancy to ask questionsYour new recruit is probably feeling nervous about their first day (especially because it’s happening virtually). This could mean they’re more reluctant to ask “newbie questions” i.e. questions that are obvious to you, but are a whole new world to them. Encourage your recruit to ask any questions they may have, emphasising that it’s okay if they don’t know everything yet (they don’t have to!) and that no question is silly or too obvious. ​Virtual team buildingBecause your team isn’t in an office, socialising online might feel a little less natural to your new employees (at least in the beginning). Of course, everyone texts and messages in their personal life, but striking up a conversation with a coworker without any prior rapport? It can feel a little uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing. That’s why it’s your job to facilitate team building exercises that create an enjoyable environment. Because having a strong team means everyone performs better. You could try:Holding a friendly challenge;  Asking your team to use an app like Donut on Slack (it pairs people up at random to initiate a chat) or put everyone's names in a hat and do it that way;Create different channels to communicate different topics. For instance you could have a “good news” channel or a “memes” channel where everyone can share their wins and laughs;Have Friday drinks, but do it virtually;Get everyone to take a personality test and share their results;Organise team virtual lunches and events.Lack of documentationA problem you might come up against when onboarding is a lack of documentation. That means your systems and processes aren’t in a shareable document — they’re all in your head. ​In order to communicate effectively with your new recruit, you’ll need to have everything written down. Even basic or seemingly self explanatory processes or expectations.​Once it’s all documented, make sure it’s available to be accessed at any time, so employees can get clarification on areas they’re uncertain of, without having to ask you for it.  ​Remote onboarding checklistGet all paperwork signed before your new employee starts (contracts, payment details, superannuation forms etc.)Create an agenda that details what you’d like your employees first week to look like and what they should have achieved by the end of it;Send them a welcome email. Let them know you’re excited for them to join the company, walk them through what they can expect on their first day and week, and reassure them they can ask questions at any time;Provide a welcome kit. This should include company information, a handbook for getting started and any company benefits they should know about;Match your recruit with another team member. This person will be their buddy (and friend!) while they’re getting their footing;Add your new recruit to the appropriate communication channels/platforms and remind your team to involve them;Hold their virtual orientation. Go over the company mission, values and culture. Make sure they know where to find contact information and organisational tools, as well as a clear breakdown of their roles and responsibilities. Depending on the complexity of the job and systems, having IT walk your new recruit through programs, software protocols and installation is usually a good idea. Introduce them to their team! Try to make their introduction as low-key and relaxed as possible, and avoid putting them on the spot. If your new recruit needs specific job-training, get them all setup, communicate how much time should be dedicated to it and let them know what you expect by the end of it. You might think your onboarding is done after week one, but an effective onboarding plan should last at least 90 days. This ensures your employee feels supported and like you’re invested in their success. Encourage feedback and continue to check in. ​

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  • Employee burnout

    2021 is over, so why are so many of us still feeling burnout?

    While the doors may have closed on the sh*tshow that was 2021, burnout is still a real problem for business’ and their employees going into 2022. ​77% of employees reported feeling burnt out last year and, unfortunately, most feel like their companies aren’t doing enough to address it. ​And — contrary to what your social media feed might look like — just because the calendar year ticked over, doesn’t mean people are returning to work feeling refreshed and ready to kick some big goals in the new year.​In fact, the end of 2021 saw many Australians dealing with COVID-19 up close for the first time since the pandemic started (thanks Omicron). ​Add the kids being on school holidays, the lovely (but never-ending) list of family events to attend, and that fact that many of know there’s going to be a huge pile of work to go back to when the holidays wrap up— and it’s safe to say many of us are still feeling, frankly, exhausted.​So, if you’re an employer or a manager, what can you do to help? Here’s how to tell who’s still feeling burnt out and what you can do about it. ​First things first, what is burnout? ​Burnout is what happens when you’re under severe and constant stress at work. It can make you feel disillusioned by your job, cynical and like your role doesn’t matter. And no, it doesn’t just happen overnight. ​It typically requires a series of triggers that eventually lead to a feeling of depletion and almost total apathy towards your job. ​Those dealing with burnout might feel they’re not contributing much to the workplace — and the thing is — they might be so burnt out emotionally, that they don’t really care, either. ​Burnout at work may start as mental fatigue and overwhelm, but as it worsens, it could become a physical problem, too. Research has proven that our mental state affects our physical health. ​So, while you, or others around you, might not take the mental symptoms of burnout seriously (the go-to response for so many of us is to just push through it) your body might have other plans. ​Meaning, you’re more susceptible to illnesses like a cold or the flu the longer your state of stress continues. And that’s not good news for anyone. ​What are the signs of burnout at work? ​If you or an employee is suffering from burnout, here are some common signs: ​Finding it difficult to get motivated about work Constantly finding work to be overwhelmingFeeling exhausted and depleted all the time (like you just have nothing left to give)Feeling unsatisfied by achievements or disillusioned about your jobBeing unable to concentrate or be productive for extended periods (if at all)Feeling irritable and impatient with your co-workers Feeling extra-sensitive towards feedback ​How can I help employees suffering from burnout? ​1. Make sure to check in When’s the last time you checked in with your staff and asked how they were really doing? ​You might talk to your employees everyday — coffee-break banter or casual weekend updates — but when did you last sit them down and ask if they needed anything from you? ​Employees suffering from burnout may do so quietly, feeling like they just have to get through it or like their situation can’t be improved.​Reaffirm to your employees that you really care about their mental state and that you’re there to talk when they need to.​2. Remove the stigma around mental health in the workplace ​Employees might not feel safe raising how they feel because mental health can feel like a vulnerable topic. And not only that — but they may feel like their problems aren’t legitimate and won’t be taken seriously. ​Did you know that depression is often tied to feelings of burnout? It’s likely that if an employee is showing signs of burnout at work, they might be struggling with depression as well. ​The first thing you can do is encourage people to speak up about the state of their mental health. It’s important that employees are told to come forward when they’re struggling, so they know the door is always open. ​Next, is the rhetoric in your workplace pro mental health? Or is it framed as an illegitimate or ‘soft’ issue? Is it given the same weight and attention as a physical illness might receive? ​Not sure how to promote the right attitudes around mental health in your workplace? Check out these quick tips from Headspace​3. Restore your team's energy reserves ​Encourage your team to take regular breaks. ​You know what that means? Not promoting working through lunch breaks or at all hours of the day. ​Switch the mentality in your office from always having to work, to not feeling guilty for taking (well deserved) breaks. ​Make sure your team isn't being overworked. ​In line with the last tip, stop burnout before it gets a chance to wreak havoc on your team. Or, if it already has, make sure it isn’t being worsened by unreasonable workloads. ​If your employees have an excessive workload, they’ll probably be staying back and working longer hours to fulfil it. Meaning, they’re more likely to get tired, stressed and fed up with their job. ​Promote a culture of flexibility. ​Flexibility is a huge drawcard when it comes to improving company culture and the output of businesses. ​People often develop burnout because they feel like they have no say in the way their day-to-day unfolds. By giving your employees flexibility  they’ll feel like they have control, and not like their job rules them. ​Communicate the importance of family-time. ​Going hand-in-hand with flexibility is family-time. Let your employees know they’re able to be there for their family without feeling guilty, or like they’re going to face repercussions for prioritising family over work. ​​If your employees feel like work is inhabiting time with their family, and their family feel like they never see them anymore or get their undivided attention, then it’ll only cause feelings of frustration and resentment. ​Are you looking to hire? Let us find the right culture-fit for your business. Our contact form is just a click away. 

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  • Returning to the office

    Heading back to the office? Here’s how to make it a smooth transition 

    ​Courtesy of COVID-19, remote work has become the new norm for many of us over the last two years. ​But as Australia (and the world) begins to open again, many of us are going to be transitioning back to the office soon enough (if you haven’t already). If you’re an employee, this news might come as a shock to you. You might feel like you have to ‘relearn’ everything — from socialising, to putting on pants in the morning, to packing lunch, and sitting in peak hour traffic. ​You’re probably anxious about the health implications and want to make sure you’re safe at work. ​If you’re a manager or employer, you’re dealing with all of the above, plus the extra pressure of being the person who needs to instigate and regulate a smooth transition for your employees. ​Here are our tips for making it a smooth transition.​1. Don’t give up the small joys ​If you worked remotely for any extended period in the last few years, chances are you developed a few habits that brought you joy throughout the day. ​You might have gotten really good at doing crossword puzzles while you waited for your coffee to cool, or maybe you made it a habit to sit outside while you enjoyed your lunch. ​Whatever positive habits you started, keep going with it. Returning to the office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still make the time to do what makes you feel good. ​2.  Prioritise your mental health ​Our biggest message is this: stay in touch with how you’re coping. ​As silly as it sounds, transitioning back to the office IS a big change, and it’s going to take time to become reacquainted with it. Don’t push yourself and please don’t be too hard on yourself. ​If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or like your mental health might be taking a dip, assess what small things you can do to lighten the load. ​And, if you feel comfortable, speak with your employer or manager. Let them know where you’re at and what you need from them. ​Whether that be more flexible working hours, extra support or more information on how they’re planning to manage your team's wellbeing. ​3. Support the health and wellbeing of your colleagues​Let your colleagues know you’re there to support them. This isn’t just saying it once, in passing. Consistently reminding your colleagues that you care honestly goes a long way.​If your workplace doesn’t have clear guidelines in place for things like mask-wearing and social distancing, create them! (Or if this isn’t in your remit, push for them!)If you're a manager, making yourself available to your team is one of the best ways to show you care; just like active listening demonstrates you’re present and in the moment. ​4. Make it a gradual transition​Going straight back to the office full-time is likely to be jarring, so we’d definitely recommend a gradual transition period. ​Easing into your new normal so you’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed or resentful about the change. ​If you’re planning on bringing your team back to in-person work, make sure they have a heads up well in advance so they can make plans and get mentally prepared. ​Looking for more HR tips? Check out our blog.

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  • Recruitment lessons

    Recruitment lessons we’ll be taking into 2022 — a word from our Director

    Like any other company this year, People in Focus faced its own unique set of challenges. ​Being a recruitment agency, we know finding a new job (or, from the other side of the fence, filling an open role with the right candidate) is already a pretty stressful endeavour. ​Add the weight of a global pandemic to the mix, and, well, let’s just say navigating the job market gets a little tricky. ​How did we adapt to these difficulties? I mean, I wish there was a fancy solution to a problem this big. But we dug deep — doubling the amount of work required and having many, many conversations with job candidates and employers alike to negotiate conditions. ​We got to know the challenges each and every one of our candidates and clients were facing. We witnessed the uncertainty of COVID first hand, its flow-on effect causing bouts of stress and anxiety among everyone who (metaphorically) walked through our doors. ​Moving forward, the number one priority (or trend) I’ve seen in recruitment this year has been this: work-life balance. ​People desperately need it. Mental health is finally at the forefront of working conversations, and the majority of people are reassessing the need to work long hours and undergo lengthy commutes everyday. ​And now that everyone has had a taste of remote work? Well, I think it’s unlikely we’ll ever fully revert back. But just because employees have opened their eyes to the way things could be, doesn’t necessarily mean all employers are. ​And to those who are digging their heels in and shaking their fists, declaring, “this is not how things should be done!” I say this — people are already tired, unmotivated and looking for change. Improving work-life balance, allowing new freedoms and having a bit of faith in your employees will only improve their productivity, their satisfaction and, as a result, your business. ​There’s no denying it — these times have been unprecedented. Employers have faced their fair share of battles, too. With limited job candidates available across the board, demands have increased. Employers were oftentimes faced with either compromising on the quality of employee or paying higher salaries than before.​The recruitment industry still hasn’t recovered, and, here’s the nail biter — it won’t. ​Not unless employers can begin to reassess their expectations. And that means being open to upskilling current employees and reskilling candidates who are a good attitude fit. So, what can employers do heading into 2022? ​Rethink their employee benefits. If you want to attract top talent, you need to bait your line with incentives. You know what I predict? Progressive companies who embrace all of the changes COVID-19 brought, will be the ones who flourish. ​Ultimately, both job candidates and employers need to have a realistic approach moving into the new year. ​On the one hand, candidates need to appreciate that some office time may be required from a business perspective. On the other hand, employers need to appreciate the need for work-life balance.​If both parties are 100% firm in their approach, then they are both going to lose out on great staff and great career opportunities. ​So, where is People in Focus headed in 2022? ​First and foremost, we’re hopeful that the uncertainty in the world will settle. ​We’re working hard to make sure our team settles into new ways of working; to continue to deliver positive outcomes for our clients; to grow our team.​2021, in a word? Extraordinary. ​What will your word for 2022 be?​See you next year. 

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  • Company culture

    Why the culture of your company is more important than you think

    Creating the right culture at your company is probably one of the last things on your mind when you’re writing your to-do list for the day — right?​Sure, “company culture” might sound like a HR buzzword that’ll go away if you don’t look at it. It’s a fad; a trend. People come to work to get the job done. Their environment doesn’t matter that much. Does it?​Research shows that creating and maintaining your company’s culture is a huge win all round.  Not only for your team, but for the productivity (and profitability) of your company, too. ​That’s right — as it turns out, there’s a reason us HR folk have been banging on about improving workplace culture all this time. Celebrating employee birthdays and throwing company Christmas parties actually have huge benefits in the long run. Let me show you why.​What is “company culture”?​One of the reasons you might be giving the idea of workplace culture the side-step is because it sounds vague. ​Does “culture” mean mood lighting and sticking positive affirmations up on the walls? Or is it something more grounded; like company values and what’s considered an acceptable attitude or behaviour to bring into the workplace? ​Culture is an amalgamation of everything your company is and everything your company does. That’s why it’s so difficult to pinpoint. But, there are ways of determining what yours might look like. First things first: do you know what values are underpinning your company? ​These values should be reflected in the people you hire, the policies you enforce and the practices you uphold.​Why your company culture matters Your reputation will attract top-tier candidates It’s no secret that a toxic work environment, whether a business be small or large, can quickly snow-ball and impact company reputation in the long run. ​Just look at corporate giants like Amazon and Uber— both have been called out for high employee churn rates. They’ve both garnered media attention in recent years, but for all the wrong reasons. ​On the flip side, having a strong company culture that promotes flexibility, employee independence and role fulfillment will do wonders for your reputation. ​And that includes attracting high quality talent. Instead of head hunting, your company's reputation and credibility can do a lot of the hard work for you. Happy employees equals better business resultsYou might think that companies focused on increasing their profits would exhibit greater growth than companies that are focusing their investments on their people, but, in reality, it’s the opposite. A strong, people-focused culture results in higher productivity due to increased levels of motivation. In fact, companies with a strong culture tend to produce superior results as compared to those with weaker cultures. ​When your employees are satisfied, it leads to continued engagement and involvement. And, you guessed it, a satisfied employee is more productive than an employee who feels underutilised or unrecognised. You’ll win your employee’s loyalty (and reduce your turnover rate) A strong culture not only results in greater productivity, but it can also win you employee-advocates who are in it for the long haul. ​This means you need to engage with the hiring process less often (and consequently the process of onboarding and inductions) because you’ll be retaining talent instead of burning through it. ​When an employee feels valued and accepted, they’re less likely to abandon ship and seek a new opportunity elsewhere. ​Simple ways to improve your company culture Encourage interpersonal interactions through regular social events While it may feel like a big investment up front, one way to quickly create a sense of community and belonging is through holding regular social events that promote a team environment. ​This gives employees a chance to ‘let their hair down’ and mingle with each other, without a feeling of being on the clock or like they need to focus on work. ​By initiating a casual group activity, it allows employees to bond and create stronger group dynamics that will actually assist them and you, while they are at work. ​Do you have a Christmas party every year? The holidays are the perfect time to bring the team together. ​Similarly, cultivating strong team relationships through team-building activities is a great way to improve employee engagement. You might roll your eyes — but they work. ​Your first steps could be as simple as mixing up your workplace lunch arrangements. Does everyone eat lunch in a communal area or go their separate ways back to their desks?​ The easiest way to quickly build a strong culture is by encouraging communication and interpersonal interaction.Give your employees a sense of autonomy and flexibility Each industry is different, and throwing the 40-hour work week out the window certainly isn’t going to work for everyone, but I can guarantee there are still things you can do to promote a sense of flexibility in your workplace. ​The majority of people list flexibility as the biggest incentive a workplace can offer, and 77% believe flexible office hours are actually more productive. ​With this shift in expectations being seen across the board, especially during pandemic times, it’s worth considering how you can create a flexible environment that suits your industry and benefits your employees. ​Another way of promoting autonomy is by pumping the brakes on micromanaging employees. Micromanagement can lead to feelings of frustration and underappreciation. ​What can you do so your employees feel like they have some responsibility and aren’t constantly under the microscope? ​Taking a step back indicates trust, and trust makes people feel like valuable members of an organisation. ​-​Let us help you find the perfect hire for your company culture. Our enquiry form is right over here. 

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  • The Great Resignation is coming to Australia

    The Great Resignation is coming to Australia — Here’s how to decide if it’s time to jump ship

    Like the rest of the world right now, you might be mulling over whether your job is actually the right fit for you. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a wave of resignations to sweep the globe, with many taking pause and reevaluating the direction of their careers and personal lives. It’s been dubbed, the “Great Resignation” and us Aussies aren’t going to be spared.So, if you’re having thoughts like: Is this role fulfilling me? Am I going to be able to progress in my career with my current company?Am I being treated as well as I should be? Rest assured, you’re not the only one.And it’s no wonder — the majority of industries have been forced to re-evaluate the way they operate over the past two years, giving many of their employees a taste of flexibility and autonomy in their roles and putting company culture in the hot seat.  If you’re starting to consider switching roles, here’s how you can evaluate whether the culture at your current job is the right fit for you and what you should be looking out for when you start searching for a new opportunity. ​Why culture is important The culture of a workplace sets the tone for your working life, which is  about one third of where/how most humans will spend their lifetime. That’s quite a bit of your life!Your workplace culture isn’t purely based on how leadership and management conduct themselves, but also in the policies, practices and attitudes of the company as a whole. In short, culture is the fundamental ideology underpinning an organisation. The tangible effects of culture can be seen in how a company implements their values in the daily lives of its employees. Is job satisfaction a priority? Is team-building on the agenda? Do you dodge your boss at the water cooler or stay for a chat? It all feeds into your motivation, satisfaction and productivity. A “good” company culture builds you up; a toxic one eats away at you. ​How to evaluate the company culture at your current jobAs the saying goes, one person's trash is another’s treasure, and the same thing applies to your ideal, or not so ideal culture-fit. But, generally speaking, these are the signs your workplace isn’t prioritising their culture.People don’t stick around for the long haulA quick way to determine whether the culture at your current job is “good” is by working out the company's “churn and burn” rate. Do new people start all the time, but by the end of a year, hardly any of them are left? Happy, engaged employees who are offered opportunities for growth are likely to stay put. There’ll always be a few lone cowboys who never leave, but outside those outliers, how long has everyone been at the company? Longevity is a great indicator of job satisfaction.You don’t feel like you have a sense of direction in your job How are achievements measured? Is there room for growth? Are you being offered opportunities to upskill? Do you feel appreciated and valued? These are all aspects that can amount to feeling a sense of direction and purpose in your role. Not only does this include your own sense of direction, but the direction of the company, too. Is their mission and vision clear? Has it been communicated? Do you feel like your company is something you want to be part of? Your aren’t satisfied with the way work gets done The most obvious aspect of culture is the people. You likely have to see your team everyday, so making sure you all work well together is paramount to your individual and collective success. What are the processes like? Are they overly complicated? Do you have guidance and support? Do you feel like your duties are clearly outlined and work is properly delegated? Are you lumped with more work then others — or maybe you’re not receiving enough and feel unchallenged?​How to find the right company culture for youWhat are they offering you? If companies are doing it right, they won’t just be posting a job ad — they’ll be trying to sell their company to you. What makes X such a great place to work? What are they offering you? Do these incentives align with your wants and needs? Do they speak to your lifestyle? What are their values?This one is two-fold. Firstly, do their values align with yours? Can you see yourself getting behind this company and joining their mission? Secondly, the very fact that a company lists their values means they’re aware of their culture and are trying to signal like-minded people to join them. Of course, whether their values are being actively implemented in their workplace is another question altogether, but having awareness is a great indicator of what could follow. Do they mention career development? This can signal whether this company is invested in the success and development of their employees. Is there room for you to grow in this position? If a company is thinking long-term, they’ll want to nurture their employees to stick around. How is their office culture described? What makes their workplace unique? If you’re going to be spending a large chunk of your time in this environment, it’s best to work out from the get-go if it’s one you’ll thrive in or not. Is it collaborative? Will you need to be a self-starter? Even things like if the office is chatty or quiet can tell you a lot about whether it’s the right culture for you.Are they speaking in your language? No, I don’t mean this literally (although, it would probably help). Choice in language use can be a great indicator of how well a company knows their employee and their candidates. Is their ad littered with buzz words and clichés? Can you decipher what they’re looking for, or are you simply left scratching your head?It’s also indicative of the work environment and level of formality. For instance, a more casual company might have a little more fun with their description. A company boasting a more corporate environment might err on the side of caution and keep things strictly professional. Whichever route an ad takes, what’s most important is whether it resonates with you and the company culture you’re searching for. Are you searching for a new position? Check out our job listings page to find your perfect culture-fit. ​

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  • How you could be accidentally sabotaging your hiring process

    How you could be accidentally sabotaging your hiring process

    Is the right hire for your business who you think it is?​While you could be forgiven for thinking that “hiring for attitude and training for skills” is a passing trend, we’ve seen time and time again that it’s actually an incredibly fruitful way for employers to approach hiring decisions — especially in a talent shortage. ​Allow our Branch Manager, Renee Hooper, to explain…​It’s natural for employers to want to hire skilled workers. After all, it doesn’t make sense to hire an employee that isn’t capable of doing the work.​However, with more and more companies looking to both offshore administrative duties and combine roles, it has become harder for candidates to get a start in the freight forwarding and logistics industries. ​Couple this with the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has left candidates feeling far less inclined to change jobs due to a heightened need for financial security, and you’ll likely find that the pool of candidates showing interest in your job ad isn’t meeting your expectations.​The  benefits of hiring for attitude, not just skill​As a recruiter that specialises in the freight forwarding and logistics industries, I’ve reviewed hundreds of resumes and interviewed just as many candidates. At People In Focus, we’re trained to identify the many transferable skills that can be used across logistics and forwarding.​And on many occasions, I’ve come across an excellent candidate from the opposite side of the fence. These candidates always present with a hunger to learn and I can almost immediately see that  if the employer has the ability to put in some initial training, they’d be a great fit for their company. ​Some of the benefits of hiring this type of candidate,  is that these individuals are determined to both learn and succeed. They’re willing to work hard, do more than what’s asked of them and they can be easily moulded to suit your company’s culture and needs.And, if a candidate can see you’re taking a chance and investing in them, they’re generally more likely to stay long term (ka-ching!). ​Hiring for attitude can often mean you’ll retain more staff and valuable on-the-job knowledge as employees are able to grow with your business.  ​I’ve seen this approach work particularly well when the salary on offer is on the lower end of candidate expectations. For example, I can recall recruiting for an import air operations position and coming across the resume of a candidate with a ground handling background.​After an initial chat with the candidate, I quickly realised he had a lot of transferable skills that will enable him to succeed in this role. He knew what an AWB was, he knew all the relevant details required for system purposes, he knew customs processes, and how to handle bonded cargo from receiving in perspective. The only catch was: he hadn’t worked in an air operations role. ​But he was friendly and personable, so I knew he would make a great team player; and during our chat he came across as switched on, intelligent and logical. He had started from the ground up and worked hard to earn his current role. ​So, I submitted his details to the employer and followed up with a call to explain why I’d done this when he was clearly outside of the brief. It took a little persuading but eventually the employer decided to interview him. ​The candidate was offered the position within an hour of his interview. When we followed up after his first 6 months with the company, both candidate and client couldn’t have been happier. ​How to hire for attitude​The best way to hire for attitude is to trust your recruiter. At People In Focus, our team comes from a freight and logistics background, so we have an excellent understanding of what is really required to succeed in either industry.​We interview hundreds of candidates and can identify, like in the example above, when a particular candidate would be a good fit for a particular team or company, despite sitting outside the initial brief.​When you’re hiring, you have to put faith in your candidate's track record and prior roles, too. But, if you feel like you require more substantial proof, there’s always a variety of aptitude and skills testing that can be done. ​Are you an employer who needs a hand finding their ideal candidate? Our expert recruitment team is just a contact form away.   

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  • The power of recruitment agencies in a pandemic

    The power of recruitment agencies in a pandemic

    For many, posting job ads that reel in the same number of bites as they did pre-pandemic is feeling like an impossible task. Fortunately, finding the right candidate isn’t. You just might need to do things a little differently...​There’s no denying the pandemic has well and truly shaken up the workforce - from home office setups to stringent new health regulations - and the recruitment process has been no exception. ​In many respects the candidate pool now feels more like a puddle. Traditional avenues of job advertising like LinkedIn and Seek just aren’t getting the same swell they did pre pandemic. ​In my experience, this is because of two reasons.​Candidates aren’t as willing to jump ship​Job mobility reached a new low during the first year of the pandemic and employers with roles to fill have been feeling the pinch as a result. ​As it turns out, employees are less likely to jump ship during a pandemic, because, well, we’re in a pandemic. Stability is a priority. According to a recent ABS survey, 88% of Aussies think job security is a problem. ​Senior economist Alison Pennington noted that people, “want to hold on to their job if they have one and if they're not in a decent one they're feeling more insecure about what's ahead”. ​And if we pull back the recruitment curtain for just a moment, I can absolutely tell you that this is a conversation we’re having with potential candidates on a daily basis.​Which leads me to the second reason traditional avenues just aren’t cutting it. ​Employers aren’t offering the right incentive​Offering opportunities for career progression and even a competitive salary are both great incentives but unfortunately these kinds of carrots often aren’t enough.According to resarch from Glassdoor, 57% of candidates report benefits and perks being among their top considerations before accepting a job, and nearly 80% say they would prefer perks over a pay rise.​Our experience shows this is bang on. In conversations with candidates, the number one perk potential employees are looking for is flexible working arrangements - particularly the ability to work from home. ​On more than one occasion we’re had excellent candidates turn down employment opportunities because the flexibility to work from home - even as little as one day per week - wasn’t on the table.​Employers hiring need to rise to meet these expectations, otherwise, they run the risk of having their active job ads simply gathering dust or missing out on top talent.​So, how is People In Focus tackling these new challenges? ​Well, I can tell you that 72% of roles we've advertised in the past year have been filled by candidates not actively looking for a new role. And no, we didn’t go grassroots style and hand out flyers on the shop corner. ​We have an extensive database filled with candidates - some of whom are actively looking for a new role but many who aren’t. ​It’s a pool of candidates that we’ve spent days, months and years actively nurturing. ​Sharing new job openings, hiring tips and even some career advice — because we know that sometimes the right person for the job isn’t the stranger logging into the Zoom interview but the candidate we’ve been fostering a strong relationship with behind the scenes; and with right nudge will be ready to find their next perfect fit.  ​But having an extensive database isn’t the only secret ingredient we’re using to fight this pandemic-sized recruitment hurdle — the real trick lies in the relationship-building skills of our team.​After all, a candidate is unlikely to maintain contact with us if we don’t have their best interests at heart. ​Lucky for them, we don’t have to pretend. We genuinely care. It’s hard not to after stepping in for a job hunt. Regardless of where they end up.​That’s the power of a recruitment agency. ​Ready to find your next recruitment solution? You’ll find innovative (and effective) options over here. 

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We outshine other recruitment agencies

Catering to both the employer and the employee, we can proudly claim a happy client base across the board. Whether you’re looking for temporary or permanent staff, a graduate role or looking to fill a management position, we’re on call to assist. We can proudly claim an extensive network within the supply chain and logistics sectors – this is how we consistently source the highest caliber of candidates for the job. 

Our simple and affordable fee structure, industry experience and contacts, flexible approach and service excellence provides the platform for our team of industry professionals to deliver high-quality results. We provide candidates for logistics jobs in Sydney to consistently exceed stakeholder expectations in terms of time, cost and quality.