Great News for Graduates

Sally Balwin

Recruitment | HR | Business Development

According to the 2012 Australian Graduate Survey, three-quarters of Bachelor degree graduates find full time work within four months of completing their studies.

A further 15% find part-time or casual work according to new figures shown in the survey.

174,000 graduates for surveyed.

For medicine, pharmacy, mining engineering, surveying and nursing, 92% of graduates were in full-time employment four months after graduation.

More than 94% of bachelor degree graduates were satisfied with their university experiences overall.

This is great news for our education institutions and for the health of our graduate job market.

(Data reported: Sunday Mail 30 December 2012)

For all your recruitment needs – Balanix Solutions (Recruitment)

Recruitment Consultants -v- Recruitment Agencies

"Sally Balwin"

Recruitment | HR | Business Development

Recruitment consultancy is a viable alternative to recruitment agencies.  The key things about recruitment consultants are:

  • Consultants don’t manage candidates.
  • Consultants work closely with the business owner/manager to understand the job and organisational cultural requirements in great depth.
  • Recruitment and selection is targeted to attract to a specific role and requirements.
  • Fee structure follows a consultancy model and generally is lower than the agency model.

Recruitment agencies:

  • Manage candidates.
  • Fees are generally a percentage of the salary offered for the position.
  • Attract a broad range of candidates within a work discipline.
  • May have a number of masters who they are serving (eg, Government in relation to Job Network, Labor hire clients, as well as specific recruitment assignments).

If you are experiencing high turnover/low retention of staff, recruitment consultants can provide a more strategic and targeted alternative to recruitment.

Where to find Staff

"Sally Balwin"

Recruitment | HR | Business Development

In my travels as a recruitment consultant I came across a wonderful description of the Perfect Employee –

  • Would not shy away from hard work and could find things that need to be done without the direction of others.
  • Would get to work on time every time and not put at risk the lives of others in an attempt to be the first to leave each day.
  • Would listen carefully when spoken to and ask only enough questions to ensure the accurate undertaking of the work.
  • Would be honest and ethical, telling the truth every time.
  • Would not sulk or complain when emergencies arise requiring extra effort and time.
  • Would be cheerful, courteous and helpful to everyone and determined to make good.
  • Would be enthusiastic and motivated to achieve.
  • Would have the requisite education, skills and experience.
It is interesting that only 1 of the 8 attributes addresses skills experience and qualifications.
Finding the right person for the right job at the right time requires a number of steps in the process.  However, in a competitive market, business owners need to look broadly to try and attract candidates.  Here are some suggestions as to where to look which you may not have thought about  …..
  • Friends / Relatives
  • Existing staff / Previous Staff
  • Network Colleagues / Suppliers
  • Newspaper advertising
  • Internet Advertising ( /
  • Twitter / Facebook / Linkedin
  • Recruitment Agencies – Job Network/Specialists/Not for Profit
  • Recruitment Consultants – Balanix Solutions
  • University / TAFE / Schools – intranet postings
  • Door signage
  • Industry Organisations – Publications/website
If you have other suggestions, please share through commenting to this blog below.

Adina – This is Not an Ab Fab Job Description

“Bubbles’ Job Description”

"Sally Balwin"

Recruitment | HR | Business Development

Unfortunately, Adina is not alone in the way she considers job descriptions (refer YouTube video above).

When I ask Business Owners/Managers (and not just Small Business Owners/Managers) if they have documented Job Descriptions for all roles in their businesses, too larger number reply “Oh I don’t have time to do that – besides I know in my head what I need them to do”.

Interesting, I think, and then raise the logical question “so in relation to your XYZ position, what do you need them to do?”

“Well” is the reply, “I need them to do this, this and this” which is more often than not the technical aspect of the job (eg, bookkeeping for a Bookkeeper position or computer configuration for an IT position).

“Terrific” I say, “and how do you want them to treat your customers? What sort of relationship with the other staff and you do you wish them to build? What sort of employee do you want them to be? What sorts of things do you want your people to be saying about you and your business to others who maybe looking for work?”

Statistics indicate that recruitment of employees costs approximately 2 ½ times the salary of the position (actual costs of advertising etc, time to consider applicants and interview, training of new employee, potential overtime for others to do the work whilst recruiting, loss of productivity whilst new employee reaches full performance etc).  Further, benchmarks also support that it can take close to 12 months for an employee to be working at full productivity and that, employers can expect to hold onto an employee, on average, for 2-3 years.  In other words, we invest for 12 months to bring a new employee to peek performance to hold onto them for another 1-2 years.

Job Descriptions (particularly when documented) are sound tools for businesses to:

  • group work that needs to be done in the best possible way;
  • identify both the technical skills and knowledge required as well as the customer focus and personal attributes sought;
  • strengthen the chance of employing the right person for the right job and thereby reducing the chance of turnover;
  • market a business as an Employer of Choice as a way to attract better candidates than the competition; and
  • be the foundation for performance processes.

Can I suggest that investment in well thought out documented Job Descriptions is not a significant cost to a business.


Recruiting to the Job or the Process

“Get a Job Erika”

"Sally Balwin"

Recruitment | HR | Business Development

I am all for documented procedures and processes being used by business owners.  Knowledge, consistency and compliance equals efficiency, productivity, less errors and reduced rework.  However, like Erika’s job interview, procedures and lack of training can have the opposite effect.

In relation to Job interviews, why have a process?  Well, the answer lies in why do an interview in the first place?

Most interviewing processes include a job interview.  Selectors have read the written application and matched it to the Job Description requirements – this is where a good Job Description comes in handy.  But job applications cannot always reflect the candidate accurately.

Candidates are encouraged to present a Resume or CV to get noticed.  Many invest in Professional Resume and CV Writers or seek other help to ensure the best advantage (can’t blame them).  However, as the recruiter, you need to test and validate what is being claimed in the written application to ensure they are the right person for the job and your business.

And this is where the interview comes in.  The interview process needs to be structured sufficiently to ensure you find out everything you want to know and that you comply with laws and regulations, but not so structured that the only ticks are that you followed the process but don’t really know anything further about the candidate.

Face to face, the recruiter can hear the language the candidate uses, see how they respond to questions and begin to build rapport (or otherwise) with the prospect.  Make sure when you are interviewing you use open questions (not closed questions) to ensure the candidate can talk (remember – you want to know what they know not what you already know).

Examples of Open Questions are:

  • Tell me a time when  …
  • Have you ever experienced  ….  And if so, how did you handle it?
  • You mention in your application you worked on   …  project.  Could you expand on this for me?
  • When you worked in ….  Team, what role specifically did you have and what contributions did you make?

These questions allow the candidate to talk thereby opening up opportunities for the recruiter to explore information further with follow-up questions.

Closed questions are ones that can be answered Yes or No and don’t give the opportunity to really obtain much information.  Examples of these types of questions are:

  • You indicted in your application you have experience in …  is that right?
  • You mention in your application you worked on   …  project.  Did you do things like …… in this project?
  • When you worked in ….  Team was the team successful in its work?

The right questions and the right process can get from the candidates exactly what they know, what their experience is, how they fit with the culture of your business and what type of employee they will be.