News about employer services, updates about what we can provide to employers.

Why you shouldn’t make New Year’s Resolutions

It is that time of the year again. As one year winds down and we contemplate what we achieved and didn’t achieve this self-reflection can prepare us for the year ahead.

So now is the time to consider what you want to achieve in the next 12 months. I am not talking about making some New Year’s Resolutions on the 31st December, which you have usually broken by the end of January. We know New Year’s Resolutions do not work! The stats prove this.

Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their New Year’s Resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.

So, before you make an unrealistic resolution and become yet another statistic, think of putting smart goals in place instead.

What do I mean by SMART goals? Smart goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Let’s dive a bit deeper.

Specific – get clear on the goal and be as detailed as possible. Saying you want to lose weight means nothing. Be specific! You want to lose 10kg and fit into your wedding dress by June 2020 is a specific goal.

Measurable – Make sure you can measure the result. In this example you can measure success by how many kilos you lose each month, allowing you to track your progress.

Attainable – part of being attainable is understanding your limits and knowing if the goal will work in your lifestyle. If you travel a lot and you know you eat poorly when travelling, you will need to adjust your habits accordingly.  Attainability comes with changing your habits.

Realistic – not being realistic is just setting yourself up for failure. If you say you wanted to lose 50kg in 6 months, then it’s unlikely. However breaking it into smaller more realistic goals helps to keep you motivated and achieve desired results over time.

Timely – is that timeframe suitable? I like to set weekly, monthly and quarterly goals and milestones to help me track my progress. Sometimes the big end goal can be a little overwhelming and make it hard to start. By following SMART goals instead of a spur of the moment New Year’s Resolutions you are setting yourself up for SUCCESS.

We think this is a better way to help you stay on track with your goals and actually see some positive results. Try these actions instead and see the difference it makes in your results.

Let us know how you go.

Flexi work and the gig economy – how can you prepare?

The working world has changed and 9 to 5 is no longer the norm. Candidates want and expect a new level of flexibility as they look past the traditional working hours. You just have to look at the amount of new co-working spaces that are popping up all over the city to see how popular flexi work is becoming. Also with flexible working hours, comes technology that allows employers and employees to be efficient and productive when they are not in the same building.

Many of the world’s top companies offer flexi work arrangements and look to the gig economy to fill gaps and build a brand culture that will attract top talent. Companies like Amazon, Dell, Xerox, Adobe, JP Morgan (the list goes on) wouldn’t have flexi work options if they didn’t work.

The benefits of more workplace flexibility acrrue to both sides. Employees are happier because they forgo less opportunities with their family or things that interest them. Companies also enjoy workers that are more energised and motivated, and less prone to absenteeism.

About 40% of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of independent contractors by 2020. It is estimated that the number people in the gig economy will double in the next 4 years. These numbers are likely to trickle down to Australia  as is the usual trend.

How can employees prepare?

In order to keep up with a changing marketplace, gig workers need to learn how to understand what skills they need to be equipped for this type of work.

  • You need to become comfortable with uncertainty.
  • You need to understand what a company needs from you as a remote employee.
  • You need to understand finance and taxes to allow for cash flow and budgeting for your business and personal life.
  • You need to be able to understand the needs of the customers and communicate with them in a compelling way.
  • You need to remember you are in charge of sales, branding, marketing, and new product development. You move from having one role to having many.

Embracing the gig economy means having a combination of full- and part-time workers to keep the business’s functions up and running.

  • Firstly, identify which areas in your business might be able to reap the benefits of the gig economy:
    • Do you have seasonal spikes in traffic or overall business?
    • Do you have one-off projects that could easily be outsourced?
    • Are you trying to expand in new markets?

You might not require a full-time employee and often roles like copywriting, graphic design, web design and social media management are ideal for gig workers as they can be done anywhere.

  • Figure out how to manage projects remotely

As they likely won’t be coming to the office on a regular basis, you still need to figure out exactly how you’re going to manage those projects. How will you exchange documents, files and feedback? What will be the main form of communication? How can you handle training and onboarding for new freelancers?

  • Understand how the hiring process is different

With a freelancer, the traditional job interview will likely be different. Ask candidates to provide work examples, references and complete skills tests. Looking for someone who can do the job well with minimal supervision and probably minimal training will be a higher priority than someone that is a cultural fit.

  • Be mindful of security

Always run background checks, including verifying references and education history when appropriate. You want to ensure you are handing these responsibilities only to people you trust, which means a background check is always worthwhile.

According to a recent HRD report referencing a poll by Hays, 89% of employers believe that flexible work arrangements are very important when it comes to staff attraction and retention. Certainly, millennials are craving flexibility which is strongly linked to improved performance, employee retention and loyalty. The Deloitte 2017 Millennial Survey revealed that flexible working continues to be a feature of most millennials’ working lives with 84% of millennials reporting some degree of flexible working.

It seems this is the way of the future. So, spend some time considering how you can include this in your hiring strategy moving forward.

The top 5 non-monetary remunerations

Money, money, money ….. we need it to live, we need it to provide shelter and food and the nice luxuries we enjoy, and it allows us to build a lifestyle and some balance to long hours we work. However, it is not always the driver or motivation for someone to take on a new role (or stay in an existing role). Employees often put non-monetary remuneration up near the top of their list to keep them motivated and happy in the workplace. As non-financial rewards can be designed to be more personalised to suit each staff member, they can have a substantial impact on overall employee satisfaction.

Of course, you need to provide a competitive salary however if you need to get a new staff member over the line, being creative and finding out what personally drives or motivates them, can make a huge difference. After all, do you want the key motivator to be on immediate incentive rather than long-term satisfaction?

A recent survey by Seek noted these as the top 5 non-monetary incentives for staff in Australia:

  1. Flexible working hours – the days of 9 to 5 working are over. If you want to attract top talent you need to provide more flexibility. This benefits you just as much as the employee. If the staff member is a morning person who is much more productive early morning, letting them work 7am-4pm means they get more done and they are also happier. This is a win-win outcome for the company.
  2. Additional annual leave – Aussies love their holidays and having an extra day or two of annual leave is a nice way to reward hard working staff. It says to them “you have earned a well-deserved break”.
  3. Monthly rostered day off – regular additional time off helps keep the balance in our lives and allows your staff to use the time to run errands, recharge their batteries, do volunteer work, spend additional time with family…. whatever works for each individual.
  4. Paid training and personal development – providing opportunities for your staff to update skills make a lot of business sense. Giving them the tools and skills they need, not only benefits them personally but you as a business that gets the immediate benefit from it. Investing in your staff is really an investment in your own business.
  5. Flexibility to work from home – working from home can be more productive than working in an office environment. Fewer interruptions, no office banter or wasted time around the water cooler and a stress-free commute equals a happier employee.

When deciding on non-monetary rewards, also take into consideration the age of the employee. Gen Y’s and millennials are likely to want different rewards to a baby boomer. One size does not fit all when it comes to rewarding your staff. Being able to tailor rewards to suit specific personal interests also shows you care and have taken the time to listen and get to know that staff member.

All staff want to feel appreciated for the work they do, so adding non-monetary bonuses and upgrades is a great well to tell your team members that you do value their work and want them on your team. And don’t forget the non-tangible rewards like a simple thank you note or a pat on the back as a little bit of thought goes a long way.

How to sell your brand culture to top talent

What is brand culture?
According to Wikipedia, the official definition is “a company culture in which employees “live” to brand values, to solve problems and make decisions internally, and deliver a branded customer experience externally. It is the desired outcome of an internal branding, internal brand alignment or employee engagement effort that elevates beyond communications and training. Everything the company does – every product or service it offers, every public statement, advertisement, website, internal policy, memo and business decision it makes must be congruent with that ethos and worldview”

In short, brand culture allows people to connect with the people in your company. Brand culture is all about people and people connecting with the faces, vision and purpose of a company. It is what you have to offer that can set you apart is your unique identity, communicated to people in the ways you present information, engage with others and do business.

Brand culture is seen to be authentic as we can look from the outside in and truly see what your staff experience. There is little marketing hype which makes it believable and relatable.

Consider these tips to sell your company culture and employer brand to future employees

  • Show don’t tell > Storytelling allows people to discover the why & the people behind the business which leads to your brand being relatable, personable and trustworthy. We have grown up listening to stories and they are what engage us as humans. Storytelling is less marketing, more engagement.
  • Set up a Talent Community > talent communities allow you to build a community of like minded people that want to be part of your company culture and allow you get to the know each other in a non threatening way.
  • Talk to current team members > your team is your biggest asset so getting them to talk about what it is like to work at your company, speaks volumes. They are much more trustworthy than the CEO or marketing team
  • Create a Brand Employee Ambassador Program > the logical extension of talking to your team is to create a formal Brand Employee Ambassador Program. If you have great content and marketing in place already, a BEAP will amplify your efforts and allow you to reach new people and markets without spending any additional marketing dollars.
  • Be relatable and show your personality > People do business with people they like – that is a fact. If they see you as being real people that they can relate to, then you go to the top of their list and they are buying into your company culture.
  • Create Job Descriptions ThatSell your culture > Job descriptions shouldn’t just list off the tasks required in the job. Include information about the culture, their purpose and do it at the start of the job ad. Tasks don’t sell people on your company, but your culture can.

It is not always about ‘Showing me the money’

Money makes the world go around. Fact! But as human beings we need more than money to sustain us, particularly when it comes to our job and our working environment. So, if you don’t have large budgets to buy the best staff you need to look for other incentives to get them on board. Examples of non-monetary compensation include flex-time, time off, free or discounted parking, gym membership discounts, professional development, tuition for further education and childcare.

How can you win top talent without ‘showing them the money?’

Find out what drives them

What non-monetary incentives would appeal to them? We all need money to put a shelter over our heads and food in our plate, however there are often other benefits that can make up for a lower salary. If you can find out what drives a potential new team member you’d be surprised how creative you can get when it comes to ways to get them across the line. The better you know them the easier this process will be.

Be flexible

Don’t just stick with “this is the way we have always done it”. As the war on talent heats up you need to be flexible. This will be different for everyone but could include ability to work from home some days, time in lieu, roster days off, professional development, working a 4 day week etc. Don’t lose a great new asset because you cannot be flexible.

Offer personal development

Provide in house training, the ability to do additional study to get more accreditation and allocate personal development budgets each year that they can allocate to further learning outside the company are incentives that not only have a positive impact for you while the person is employed with you, but also for their career as they acquire new skills.

Personalised incentives

Everyone is different and what appeals to one person will not appeal to another. Personalise non-monetary rewards accordingly. The gym junkie would likely love a gym membership but the coach potato would hate it and prefer a membership to a theatre company. Do what works for each individual.

Passion project time

Offer time out of normal work commitments to work on projects which your staff may be passionate about but are not necessarily related to your core business. This is was pioneered by Google and also something that Facebook do and has launched some successful & very profitable new products. Allocating a few hours a week for them to work on a passion project helps keep them more fulfilled and likely to stay with you longer.

Volunteer program

How are you giving back to society? Offering staff 1 day every 3-6 months to volunteer at the charity of their choice, puts your brand directly into the community in a positive way, engages the individual with something they are passionate about, increases morale and builds a positive company culture.

Opportunities to work interstate or overseas office

If you have interstate or overseas offices the opportunity to work in another location, can be very appealing and a positive program you can put in place that is a big point of difference over competitors.

Having small hiring budgets forces you to get creative but is also means you win top talent for exactly that reason. Plus, non-monetary or intangible benefits can often be the most powerful.



How to attract and win top talent

We live in a competitive world and when there is a shortage of talent, finding top talent becomes harder to do.

You have heard the phrase “the war for talent” which was derived from a late-90’s McKinsey and Co. study that surveyed 77 companies and almost 6,000 executives. From compiling the data, analysts gathered that the most important corporate resource over the next 20 years would be talent.

Build an attractive company culture that makes people want to work with your business.

We’ve all heard about the amazing office environment at Google right? The cool space, the free food, bikes around campus and the many other free perks that employees get. You likely don’t have the budget of Google but you can create an inviting & fun culture without fancy slides or gadgets. Listen to what your staff want and often it is the little things that matter.

Share your why and your vision for the company

Many of the talented people you are looking for now want to work somewhere that is not just another company. They want to know what is your why, your purpose, your vision. How do you contribute to society? How do you give back? Are you values aligned with theirs? A big packet doesn’t always help if their values do not align with yours as they are bound to leave pretty quickly.

Build a talent community

Having your own talent community is a great way to build a relationship with potential hires before you need them, making the hiring process simple and faster.

Find out what drives them

What non-monetary incentives would appeal to them? We all need money to put a shelter over our heads and food in our plate, however there are often other benefits that can make up for a lower salary. If you can find out what drives a potential new team member you’d be surprised how creative you can get when it comes to ways to get them across the line. The better you know them the easier this process will be.

Be flexible

Don’t just stick with “this is the way we have always done it”. As the war on talent heats up you need to be flexible. This will be different for everyone but could include ability to work from home some days, time in lieu, roster days off, professional development, working a 4 day week etc. Don’t lose a great new asset because you cannot be flexible.

Prioritise wellbeing

Workplace wellness is becoming very popular for a reason. It improves productivity, helps with mental health and minimises time off work, to name a few benefits. Top talent wants to know their employer truly cares about their health and well being  and creating a holistically healthful environment ultimately pays off in the form of company success.

Considerations when working with a recruiter

Recruiters can unfortunately get a bad rap, mainly caused by cowboys/cowgirls  in the industry that were not professional and had no idea on how to deliver the solution they were hired for.

What does a recruiter do? In its most basic form their role is to bring together two parties – employer and employee. However, it goes deeper than this and in essence it’s is about finding the perfect match of employer and employee. This is hopefully going to be a long-term relationship so matching the right people is important, just like any relationship.

So, let’s consider what you need to look for in a great recruiter.

Great reputation

Reputation is everything. Do your research! Sure, you can read testimonials on a website but dive deeper. Ask people in your industry or network if they know of this recruiter or have used them in the past. What do they think of them? Search online for reviews or comments on their LinkedIn profile or Facebook page. A great reputation is hard to fake.

Years of experience
How long as the recruiter been in the industry or related industries? If they have been on your side as a client, then they have a good understanding of the issues you face. Experience matters as they have connections, networks, and they have refined the best ways to get results for you.

Size of company
Are you just a number at a large agency? With high targets, there can be a lot of churn and burn, and it can be all about numbers and just filling roles, regardless of if they are the right person for the job. Boutique firms live and die by their reputation and are only as good as their last hire. They have a vested role in making sure the match works. Consider your needs and if a smaller agency is better suited to your needs.

Recruiters have connections and often know about jobs before they are advertised
They have a solid network and good recruiters build long-term relationships and have talent pools to draw from. They have great industry contacts and can hand-pick professionals who may be looking for a change.

Recruiters have different specialties
No two recruiters are the same. Everyone has different industries specialties, networks, levels of relationships and ways of working. You might use different recruiters for different roles in your company because one person is an expert in legal and another an expert in retail. You cannot be everything to all people so work with a recruiter that specialises in what you need for a particular role.

Do you have chemistry?
This might not sound important, but people do business with people they like. That is human nature. Do you have some sort of chemistry with the recruiter? I am not talking about physical attraction. I am referring to that positive first impression. Do you like them? Do you get a good feeling from them?

Trust your gut
Gut instinct is important in all areas of business and this is the same when choosing a recruiter. Ask yourself, does this feel right? Do you I think this person is the right person for the job? Trust your instinct – it matters.

10 Ways to Maximise Employee Productivity

Posted by Maria Yun- AFL Recruitment Pty Ltd on 30 November 2015


10 Ways to Maximise Employee Productivity


Productivity is vital to a company’s bottom line. This is why businesses look for innovative ways to improve job performance, and make their employees more productive.


Most employees sit on their desks for an average of 6-7 hours a day.  Short of having someone look over their shoulder and ensure that they’re actually working, what can employers do to boost productivity in the workplace?


1) Develop strong leaders


It is critical that your supervisors and managers are competent leaders. They should keep their direct reports inspired, motivated and on track to meet their team goals. Good leaders cascade their “can-do” attitude to their teams. If you have weak leaders, you can expect that most of their direct reports will be low performing or demotivated.


2) Clarify the role of each employee


Have you ever felt like you don’t know exactly what you should be doing? Organizations should define clear goals and objectives to each department, team and individual. Everyone needs to know how their performance will be measured, and their specific contribution to success of the team as a whole. The tasks of each employee should be clear to them, to set the proper expectations.


3) Provide them with the tools they need


You might have the right people with the right skills, but if you don’t give them the right tools, you’ll be setting them up for failure. To get the most out of your staff, especially when there’s a shortage, they need to be setup for success. Arm them with what they need – a laptop, a mobile phone, additional training, access to data. Anything they need to their jobs better.


4) Define measurable goals and monitor progress


Give each team a specific goal that can be measured. Aside from defining goals, there should be consistent monitoring and feedback. Are they meeting their defined targets? Where are they on the scale? What is preventing them from reaching their goals? This practice makes employees more goal-oriented, and they’re more motivated to contribute when their inputs are valued.


5) Reward and recognize good performance


A company needs to have a structured reward program, such as performance-based incentives, and yearly salary increases. But, as most companies know, these does not always guarantee employee engagement. In fact, people expect them and don’t see them as rewards. Every employee is different, and the way they’re rewarded should be individualized. If you have an employee who’s studying for an exam, let them off early during their exam period. Or if you have a single parent with a sick child, give them a few days off. These don’t cost any money, but gets the most results in terms of loyalty. Employees feel grateful. Grateful employees would want to go the extra mile for the company they work for, if they feel that the company cares for them as a person.


6)  Encourage employee feedback


The open door policy is being adopted by many companies. Some are opening portals where employees can air grievances and send suggestions. There are many issues and concerns that may be inhibiting productivity that upper management are blind to. It is a good idea to open a line of communication to help management address these concerns, and increase employee morale. Disgruntled employees are unproductive employees. They’re the ones who feel that no one is listening to their concerns. Knowing that they have a way to reach management lowers the level of frustration in the workplace.


7) Setting the proper example


You can’t push an employee to be more productive, when they see their supervisors and managers doing otherwise. Sometimes, leaders need to start the ball rolling, and keep them rolling.


8) Humanize the company Mission, Vision and Values


The company’s Mission, Vision and Values should be more than just a poster on the wall. Management should strive to make their employees understand the bigger goals of the company, and the part they play. Not only will that make the employees feel important, they will see how their roles can contribute to the company’s success. It’s an opportunity to inspire and motivate. These can be discussed during staff meetings.


9) Flexible working options


With the available technology nowadays, people can work anywhere they choose. That’s why some companies are relaxing their work schedules, giving their employees more space and freedom to accomplish their tasks. Of course, this is dependent on the nature of the job. For those who have no option to work from home, or lessen office time, there should be a place in the office where they can unwind and recharge. Google has taken this concept to unconventional levels. They believe that happy and relaxed employees are more productive and creative.


10) Small things matter


Companies spend a lot of money improving employee performance and productivity through different incentive programs. But sometimes, all it takes is a kind word, a pat on the back, 5 minutes of a CEO’s time, a praise received in front of colleagues – sometimes, it’s the small things that matter to a person. These small gestures that make them feel valued are what employees hold on to when their salary is not enough to pay the bills, or their work schedule is keeping them away from their loved ones.


Employees who love their job, are motivated, engaged and productive workers.