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  1. Tips on how to effectively lead teams

    May 5, 2015 by Jenna

    Leading teams requires great commitment and looking outside of yourself to meet their needs. We have provided some tips below to help set you on the right path to a great leadership experience: If you are new to a leadership role they might help guide your way and if you have been at it for a while they may serve as a useful reminder.

    1. Brush up on Your Communication Skills. Having clear and precise communication is important, and being honest and open with your team helps build a level of trust. Making sure all staff understand what the goals and expectations are and giving them the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas for feedback is important.

    2. Be Committed to Your Goal. Not only should you be explaining the importance of the company goals to your team, but you need to show by example that you support the goals as a leader. This involves setting out the tasks, having follow-up meetings and making sure that your team is on track with what needs to be achieved.

    3. Give Verbal Recognition. Verbal recognition for efforts and praise show your support towards the staff member’s accomplishments. It also boosts morale and positivity that encourages a mutual support among team members.

    4. A Team Leader Should Lead by Example. A great leader is someone who shouldn’t be afraid to get their hands dirty or dig in to help when the team requires additional support. Someone who can encourage team members to take risks and support them when they do.

    5. Invest in Staff Careers. To ensure your staff are up to date with the skills they need for their role, you may need to invest in training, invest time mentoring or finding the right mentor, invest time to discover what they really need and want in order to do a great job.

    6. Resolve Conflicts. Any conflict within the workplace needs to be handled promptly and assessed by leaders as soon as it arises. Appropriate measures need to be taken to find resolution or negotiate a mutual agreement. Whether it is conflict in a task or between co-workers, leaders must step up to the plate to take action and problem solve the best way that they can.

    7. Teach Adaptability. The effective team manager should teach adaptability and flexibility to all their team members. This results in better communication, a greater sense of empowerment among staff and a faster exchange of information.

    8. Build Pride in Your Team. Positive reinforcement on success is a proven way to keep staff motivation high and build pride in your team. It will increase productivity amongst the team and encourage drive towards goals. You are also creating a positive working environment that employees are happy to be a part of.

    9. Give Your Staff New Responsibilities. Just as you have developed into your role of leadership, your team are looking for development opportunities. It is important that you help them by giving them the opportunity to take on new responsibilities as the opportunities arise.

    Have you lead teams during your career? What were your first experiences when it came to leading teams? What did you find was most successful? What did you learn from the experience?


  2. New Year Finance Market Update: How to Compete For the Best Talent – By Lauren Eardley

    February 14, 2014 by Jenna

    Coming out of one of the busiest Januaries I have experienced in the recruitment industry, I feel compelled to share some of my findings on the early part of 2014. As a dedicated Finance & Credit Recruitment Consultant; my findings will be biased towards this sector.

    I was one of those lucky people to work straight through the Christmas period so I rode out the quiet days and clung on during the January surge. Whether it be a trend in just my own clients or a reflection of the market as a whole, there has been a definite increase in demand for experienced Analysts, Collectors, Business Development Managers, Credit Controllers and Support Staff across the Finance industry. I believe this trend is linked to the ‘non-bank’ smaller lenders making an aggressive push to take market share in lending; particularly on home loans. Borrowers who may have been disenchanted with ‘non-bank’ lenders since the GFC have increased their confidence and in some cases have turned away from banks due to their higher interest rates and increased lending criteria. This has meant a requirement for more staff for these businesses and an increase in jobs. This demand has subsequently been reflected by an increase in quality candidates looking to snap up the best jobs out there this side of Christmas (up 8% on January 2013). This is great for employers, however; more opportunity means more choice and competition for candidates.

    The choice that strong candidates have in this market has created the ability for them to demand more money; and trust me they are! Depending on your budget requirements and flexibility you may or may not be able to meet these demands but I have certainly witnessed my clients in this market becoming more generous in their salary provisions so it is certainly something to consider if you wish to compete strongly for the best talent.

    I have also noticed a certain ferocity in the competition for these strong candidates in credit and finance this year.  A great candidate is always interviewing for several positions at once and they have varying levels of honesty in describing yours as their ‘Number One Priority.’ This creates an obligation on the employer to differentiate themselves from their competitors on what matters most to a superior performer; the benefits. Now this varies from person to person, salary is of course the most obvious point of differentiation but I have also witnessed an increasing emphasis on finding ‘The Right Role;’ this comes down to something less tangible; Culture.

    The culture of an organisation comes down to a few fundamental points: management, team involvement, rewards, recognition and performance monitoring. While it is easy to stick an extra few Ks onto the salary, these cultural points are less easy to address (at least in the short term).

    The length and smoothness of the recruitment process is also an initial indication to the candidate of the culture of the business. If the process is long and arduous and the hiring manager is taking 2 months to make a decision, this reflects poorly on the company and its brand; it is not a good look. And in this market where superior performers are available for no longer than 72 hours, I highly recommend moving quickly.

    I am more than familiar with the hoops that candidates have to jump through to get their foot in the door with financial institutions and alike: multiple interviews, psychometric tests, skills tests, background checks, yet another interview and I certainly understand the value of each and every step. The onus is therefore on the hiring manager to move the candidates quickly through each stage and for the recruiter (i.e. yours truly) to keep the candidate motivated and excited about the opportunity throughout the whole process. This is where specialist recruiters can really complement internal teams and make your life a whole lot easier throughout the selection process.

    If you need help harnessing and managing star candidates for your organisation, call Lauren Eardley our Specialist Finance Recruiter on 02 9221 6422.


  3. Should I stay or should I go?

    February 26, 2013 by Jenna

    To follow on with a blog that I wrote earlier this month on ‘choosing between making money and following the career that you love’, have you reached that point of career where you are debating whether to leave your job?

    It is first important to consider the reasons why you would want to move jobs and assess if this is enough reason to take the plunge and hand in your resignation. Common factors could be, but are not limited to the following:

    • You aren’t performing to the best of your ability – sometimes lack of motivation or challenges within the role can cause you to take a less attentive approach to your daily tasks.
    • You can’t picture your future with your current employer
    • The cons of the job outweigh the pros
    • Your skills are lagging and your position offers no opportunities to update them – this can apply to individuals who have been in the same role for many years without the prospect of progression
    • Your company or work situation has changed radically since you were hired
    • Your salary isn’t enough
    • You want to live somewhere else
    • Difficulty connecting with management or members of your team

    Are all of these ringing true for you?  Well you are not alone. As individuals we crave knowledge and challenges as part of career growth. Even as a manager you have to face many different challenges and changes the more the industry or economy changes around you. So naturally if you are feeling like you are stuck in the same routine role with no recognition or chance for progression, will you still continue to be performing at your best? Or will your eyes glaze over and you find your passion for the role begins to diminish more and more?

    The next thing to consider is what opportunities are available for you in the current employment market. According to Greg Savage, blogger for The Savage Truth, this is what he had to say about the current employment market in Sydney:

    The Australian economy is in much worse shape than the politicians would have us believe, relying so heavily as it does on the resources sector (which clouds recession in other sectors) and facing the very real impact of the carbon tax. Hiring was subdued throughout 2011 and indeed, the latest surveys of hiring intent show sentiment to be at its lowest point since 2008. However it is also true that some companies are hiring specific skills sets. Indeed, we see many employers laying people off, while hiring at the same time, as they re-calibrate their skills balance sheet.

    Even so, we describe the Sydney market as cautiously optimistic, and we are seeing more orders, albeit in very niche areas such as PR Account Managers with health care experience, UX designers and Social Media Community Managers.

    While there may be a high level of competition out there at the moment for positions, I think it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of your current situation and ask yourself, does this make me happy? Does this job just get me through the day or do I go home feeling pleased with my accomplishments? Am I learning new things? Does it give me the balance I need on a day-to-day basis?

    No one should compromise happiness for a job, nor should they let any aspect of their current role prevent them from performing at their best.

    In order to make this change happen the decision has to be yours. And if you want to move on or are seeking something badly enough, then you will do your planning and preparations and work hard for it. Even in your current role, if you are finding lack of inspiration, have you stepped up to management and asked them for more responsibility? It’s always important to look at all avenues, and remember attitude can affect the outcomes of situations as well, so try to take every step and situation as optimistically as you can.

    But often we see this as either or situation, but at any point in your career, you have up to 10 options – not just 2.

    1) Remain in Current Role – No content change

    Recognition that your current role provides you with your desired level of challenge and development at the moment.

    2) Enrichment – Develop current job

    Considering what job tasks you wish to do more of and negotiating with others to take over those which no longer motivate you.

    3) Vertical – Seek promotion

    Considering what would be the real gain for you in seeking increased responsibilities.

    4) Exploration – Test out options

    Seeking project work, or deputising in another job function to test out how you like it.

    5) Lateral – Sideways move

    Moving to a similar level of job task difficulty but with different job content.

    6) Realignment – Moving down

    Downshifting to less responsibility for a short- or long-term period.

    7) Relocation – Change business unit

    Deciding that work of a different nature from your current business unit is more appropriate for your career future.

    8) Redirection – Change career field

    Changing the career stream or field of work with your current employer.

    9) Proposal – Create new job

    Submitting a proposal for creating a new job which would meet the needs of your employer and you.

    10) External – Change employer

    Deciding that work of a nature different from your current employer is more appropriate for your needs and career future. (Source: Paul Stevens, Worklife).

    Which choice are you going to make with your career?


  4. Do We Often Define Success In A Dollar Figure?

    June 27, 2012 by Jenna

    ‘Show me the money!’ How can we forget this scene out of Jerry Maguire. This is something that my father always quotes to his employees in his financial franchise business. He also goes to point out, ‘Try to get credit at any bank if your company does not make a decent profit. All the big CEO’s are measured by the success of their companies’ bottom line. That’s the truth.’

    With big names like Donald Trump, Bill Gates and even Mark Zuckerberg – the Facebook giant, of course we are lead to believe by the media that the biggest success figures will have all of the power, authority and life’s luxuries as well.

    We also look at dollar figures as incentives, almost like a reward for hard work and effort that we put into our current roles, especially the longer we work within an organisation. Most employers I tend to find will be happy to reward an employee accordingly for their efforts, it is only when however, an employees expects more money for less – and that can have multiple definitions/reasons, but you know what I mean.

    Remember, all CEO’s or management within any organisation have worked their way up from lower level positions and have had to prove themselves, so the same applies for any employees within the industry as well. So more often or not, management will be able to empathise with you as an employee and understand your goals and needs if this is communicated effectively.

    Money also benefits those material possessions that we often crave – the house, the car, clothing, valuables and incentives such as travel and holidays. But then of course there is also financial security for those ongoing repayments such as a mortgage to pay off, educational expenses, child expenses and so forth.

    On another note, success and money can tie in with fame and recognition. Bruno Mars released a song, ‘I want to be a billionaire‘ making reference to meeting many of the world’s richest people, seeing his name in ‘shining lights’, and also making reference to providing opportunities and help to those who are less fortunate. And of course reality television, as we all love it, with shows such as Masterchef and The Voice, we love seeing the ‘average joe’ so to speak, work their way up to achieve their life long dream and also become a famous television celebrity.

    So why would this be any different in the corporate world? As 80% of our working week is in the office or travelling for work, of course we would try very hard to make a name for ourselves, and with more money it will often result in more responsibility.

    But is money the only thing that defines success?

    A website that I reviewed called www.mywaytosuccess.com outlined that money is only a part of what makes you successful, and listed some very valid points that I have summarised below:

    • Success should be determined by how you feel in your life – look at how you think your life is going overall – Are you happy?
    • Measure your success by the amount of goals that you wish to achieve throughout your life
    • Success can be measured by the quality of your friendships and how close you are with your family – do you have a good support system?
    • Do you look in the mirror at the end of the day knowing that you have done something good for someone else, treated someone with respect, or overall feel good about how your day has gone?
    • Is what you are doing on a daily basis making you feel good and do you feel good about whom you have become over the years?

    Overall, this website outlines that the decisions you are making in life should be for your best interest. Of course it is great not to have financial issues, but if this is all that you care about, unfortunately the result will be  that money may be the only thing that will keep you company.

    Now success can have different meanings to us all, but the point of my initial poll was to see whether or not you associated this with money or how much money you make. This was your vote:

    • Yes: 89%
    • No: 11%

    Now there is no right or wrong answer in terms of what you consider to be success, however what I am more trying to get you to think about is how important do you consider money in terms of your drive for success?

    While money will bring many incentives in our material world, if you are not happy with your job or you have sacrificed many of the important things in life for money/title, then maybe reconsider if this is personal success. If not, who or what are you doing this for?

    While we have time on this earth, wouldn’t you rather want to look back on your life satisfied instead of worrying about what you haven’t done or achieved?

    Haven’t had your say? I would love to hear your feedback below, or please check out my latest poll: Is Quarterlife Crisis a myth or reality for today’s generation? And again, thank you again for taking the time out to read our weekly articles.

     




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