Common hurdles in the recruiting stage

So why do employers often find themselves stuck in the recruitment process or with the wrong person in their organisation?

From my experience, there are a number of common stumbling blocks.

These include:

*Choosing the next smiling face to walk in the door rather than objectively weighing them against their competition

*Lacking a clear role definition upon starting a recruitment exercise

*Once a position is identified, only vaguely mapping out the role

*Missing critical details like soft skills and what the cultural and values fit might look like for the ideal applicant

*Creating a position description that is too broad – or that tries to fit too many opposing skills into one role  

*Not being clear on start date, remuneration and/or package

*Failing to allocate adequate time, people or resources to the process

*Lack of buy-in and/or agreement from all the decision-makers including stakeholders that the role interfaces with

*Using the wrong channels to source candidates


And what about the issues managers face once they gain a group of applicants? When they have a group from which to select from:

*Many businesses are haphazard and unstructured in the screening and interviewing process

*They don’t ask the major questions at the start of the process

*They don’t communicate enough with the preferred applicant

*They don’t communicate the process, timeline, results and feedback to all the applicants – thereby nourishing relationships/interest should another role become available

*They lack the HR documents/templates …

please understand me

I just recently placed a new role for Affirmations Publishing House. A General Manager – their very first.

An exciting time and as with every recruitment process I have carried out for them (four in the last four years) I offer the MBTI – Myers Briggs Type Indicator on the final three applicants.

The Myers Briggs has been around about 30 years; based on Jungian psychology it is a psychometric assessment.

No-one makes a recruiting decision based on the Myers Briggs (and so they shouldn’t) but as with any psychometric tool, it can enable insight to take place in understanding the differences we all have; our strengths and our perceived weaknesses.

The Directors of Affirmations, Suzanne and Daniel Maher are no strangers to self analysis and have embraced the MBTI as a standard part of their on-boarding process; indeed it has helped them to understand and manage their growing team; working to their strengths and unpacking weaknesses as they arise therefore seizing opportunities to find the learning and strengthen the morale of their team.

The biggest mistake we can make is assuming we know it all.

Gee, but I love what I do.

Why Career development matters

This quote came out of my daughter’s school newsletter via the careers adviser…

I think it’s right on the money –



‘I read the following recently in a CDAA newsletter, and thought it sums up the role of career development for our students really well.

‘Career development is the lifelong process of managing learning and work. The quality of this process significantly determines the nature and quality of individuals’ lives: the kind of people they become, the sense of purpose they have, the income at their disposal. It also determines the social and economic contribution they make to their employer and communities of which they are part. Career decisions are becoming more complex and central in people’s lives as workplaces become increasingly fluid and constantly exposed to change. Traditional career concepts of ordered progression are no longer valid with both employees and employers less willing to make long-term commitments.

Individuals who want to maintain their employability have to be willing to regularly learn new skills and make a series of choices throughout their lives about learning and work. Hence careers are now increasingly seen not as being ‘chosen’ but as being constructed. People with career management skills are able to move confidently in and out of good jobs, training and education to suit their family commitments and their talents and needs.

Selling your business – Steps to a successful sale…

Target marketing ‘hits the spot’

In the current business climate the old methods of selling businesses no longer work. The scattergun approach to advertising businesses for sale no longer draws the desired response.

The solution to adopted is target marketing, which is a combination of direct marketing to identifiable potential buyers, backed up by directed advertising in specialist publications.

Target marketing is based on the premise that the most likely buyer for a specialised business is someone from within the industry, or in a synergistic business. Telemarketing can be used to ensure that our expression of interest letters are properly and individually addressed to reach their target, the potential buyer, and to maintain maximum confidentiality.

Target marketing is backed up by directed advertising in the most appropriate publication or trade journal, to pick up any potential buyers that may have been overlooked, and to reinforce the tender to the targeted buyers.

Steps to a successful sale

The steps to achieving a successful result include:

1. Learn as much as possible about your business, so that we can:

Produce a credible selling document
Value the assets and intellectual property involved in the business as a going concern
Develop a profile of the most likely type of buyer
Identify the individual key selling points and synergies for each likely buyer, and
Most importantly, identify any potential “turn-offs” for each potential buyer, and devise a strategy that could convert each from a negative to an opportunity.

2. We attack the most obvious buyers first. We research our buyer database, and the web, to come up with …

planning to sell your business?

Preparing for sale

1. Make yourself redundant

The buyer’s greatest fear is that you are the heart and soul of your business and that when you walk out the door, so will the business.

In many cases this is true, because you have built the business around yourself; you have all the knowledge and skills to run the business, and you may have had great difficulty in delegating the various functions.

What you have is not a business, but a very demanding job from which you can’t resign. No wonder you want to sell it! And if it appears like this to the buyer, why would he want to pay perfectly good money to rescue you from your plight? The answer is to…

2. Systemise your business

When you have all the various functions within your business systemised and thoroughly documented, delegation is no longer such a problem. Each person should have a clearly defined role, a chain of command, and a designated set of tasks and procedures which, when carried out competently, leads to measurable and desired outcomes.

A buyer can then see himself fitting comfortably into this business.

3. Document your business

You need to have a business plan, so that you, and everybody in your team, knows exactly where you are headed and how you propose to get there.

As well as documenting your procedures, it also helps to document your relationships with other parties in your marketplace:

* With suppliers. Your verbal, or “handshake agreements” look very flimsy to a potential buyer of your business. Converting these …

What is ethical – and who is to decide?

Organisations who have a ‘code of conduct’ have very clear ideas about their organisational values, morals, beliefs and stances on select issues. But surely many situations can actually be ethical dilemmas for some of the individuals involved?

eg: a needy/favorite client wants your personal contact number but your organisation has strict professional limitations forbidding that practice.

How often is it that we get to ‘climb inside’ these decisions and ‘unpack’ their ramifications?

Losing employees is a stressful business

Need to let staff go?

Outplacement is the term used to describe the efforts made by a downsizing company to help its redundant employees through the redundancy transition and help them re-orientate to the job market.

Showing that your organisation has the emotional intelligence to handle outplacement with sensitivity and dignity says a lot about your business values. Losing one’s job is one of the most stressful experiences a person can face, ranked third behind death and divorce and how you treat your leaving staff impacts directly on surviving staff and business loyalty. People these days have 3 or 4 careers in their working life, but not every employee feels ‘ok’ with that reality.

A third party usually provides the outplacement services. This is achieved through practical and psychological support. Outplacement is either delivered through individual one-on-one sessions or in a group format.

Topics include career guidance, career evaluation, resume writing and interview preparation, developing networks, job search skills and targeting the job market. Individuals may be offered other services such as the use of an office and online tools if required.

The term outplacement was coined, more than thirty years ago by the founder of a New York based career consultancy. With the increased rates of downsizing, rightsizing, redundancies and lay offs, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s, businesses increasingly found a need for some form of assistance in reducing the trauma of redundancy for both departing employees and those who remain.

The business benefits include assisting their staff to transition with dignity; minimising ‘survivor …

Know Thyself

Have you ever checked out the Enneagram?

look for the link on the LHS that says ‘Free Rheti Sampler’ – click on that and scroll down to fill in the short 10 minute questionaire.

Fascinating stuff!

How hard is it selling yourself!

It’s been five years since I’ve applied for any position. A small business facilitator role came up recently so I got out my dusty old resume and looked at it for the first time in along time…I was mortified! Hey I write these things professionally every day, yet getting myself to have a neutral, informed, critical eye was incredibly hard. I could see all sorts of things that I thought I should put in; because they showed this or that strength and exposure to this experience, or that methodology… it was turning into a epic novel. I ended up having to send it to my elder sister for a second opinion and input.

This amazed me, and reminded me of how difficult this can be for us as individuals: Here I am – a professional resume writer and recruiter and by sitting so close to the picture I experienced first hand the ‘blindness’ that can come with too much proximity and not enough objectivity.

I’ve had so many people say to me “Oh, I can’t sell myself. I’m lousy at it.”

Yes, I agree, it can be tricky – too much information is just as bad as not enough.

Selling yourself on paper vs selling yourself in person – again a very different strategy required.

How insightful it would be, if we could see ourselves as others see us. And what a powerful reminder for me to walk a mile in my clients’ shoes.

The law of attraction

The fundamental law of physics.

I’m a believer in ‘whatever you focus on, expands…’

If my nose grew every time someone contacted me to look at their resume or discuss a strategy to grow their business; finally taking the time to give it some energy, really focus on it, really picture how they want it to be and start to describe the ‘crystal ball’ picture to me – then as we start to drill into the dream, put a plan in action, suddenly, magically, they get an offer, the phone rings, their reality shifts and they’re really busy again.

I hear myself often saying to the disheartened on the end of the line…”Listen you, enjoy this break, stop worrying, go play with your kids; in a minute it will all turn around and you’ll be flat out, laughing at my long nose and wondering why you wasted all this play-time stressing…”

Commiting to change

It’s been said that as we age our horizons narrow. That we have pathways etched in our brains that can be difficult to change.

I recently discovered one, after addressing some negative beliefs I apparently held. A manky, nasty looking insidious belief that’d been hanging around since high school… And No, I’m not telling you what it was. Anyway –

I was given this questionaire which I found insightful, keeping me clear on the process and the desired outcome. See what you think…

Pick an aspect of your life that you would like to change.

What would it look like if it was going really well?
What higher order life principles or values would that change be in support of?
Why is this change important to you?  (You might consider here both what you want your life to be about and also what it has cost you to live inconsistently with these values in terms of relationships, health, resources, distress etc).
What, specifically, might you DO in the short term to move in the direction of living more closely in alignment with your values?
In order to do what you value, what opposing (ie. potential barriers) thoughts, images, feelings, urges, memories and sensations are you willing to make room for/accept/be curious about?

Mmm. Interesting eh?

Are people really losing their jobs?

Or are we once again just buying into the fear and negativity about the doom of the global economic crisis? (I refuse to acknowledge the acronym on principle)

Have you met or heard of anyone losing their job? I’d like to hear the story first hand. Not via the media hype – a real live fair dinkum story.


5 things to do with your government bonus

1.   Spend $200 on getting your resume refined so it SCREAMS

‘RING ME FOR AN INTERVIEW NOW, before someone else snaps me up.”

2.   Spend another $150 to get clear on your interview technique, including your 3 strengths with concise examples of proof. For practice, of course. Remember, this is a speaking exercise.

3.   Smooth Hair/suit and shoes… say $300 – they speak volumes before you even open your mouth.

4.   The last $350? How about a celebratory splurge now that you’ve got your new position…

Dinner and overnight at a ***** star hotel?
A beachhouse on the NSW north coast for the weekend?
The labradoodle puppy she’s always wanted?
Leaping out of an aeroplane at 16,000 feet?
Popped in the tin under your bed for a rainy day?

5.   Or none of the above?

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