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The best question we’ve ever heard
In our years of experience as a recruitment agency, we’ve heard a wide variety of questions from candidates during interviews - usually asked towards the end of the meeting. Some were excellent choices, highlighting the candidate’s positive qualities and some have been downright inappropriate.
Candidates that actively participate in the interview by asking insightful questions demonstrate their initiative and enthusiasm for the role on offer. It is also a chance to show off their knowledge of the company, the industry and share any achievements.
Job interviews are a two-way street and should be as much about the candidate ensuring they are a good fit for the role as they are about the interviewer assessing their suitability.
So what’s the best question we’ve ever been asked during an interview? Drum roll please….!!!
- What are the reasons you think I wouldn’t succeed in this role?
Whilst we can’t disclose who asked this question, it was during an interview for a high profile role in the residential real estate industry. We were very impressed! By asking why they wouldn’t succeed, the candidate forced (propelled/pushed) the interviewer to consider their positive qualities and also provides themselves with a chance to address any negative feedback that may be brought up as a result.
When interviewing a candidate we ask questions that tell us something of their values, work style, level of initiative, personal motivators, strategic thinking, cultural fit, professional development expectations and confidence in their abilities. When a candidate asks us questions in return, it is their chance to sell themselves, outshine other candidates and show us a glimpse of their personality.
Here are some other suggested questions to impress at your next interview:
- Describe your ideal candidate for this job?
- What goals does the company wish to achieve in the coming 12 months?
- What are the key challenges for this role?
- How would you describe the team culture?
- What processes are in place to evaluate my performance?
- Are there any opportunities for professional development?
Candidates that perform well during an interview but don’t actively participate do themselves a disservice and as a consequence may come second place to candidates with similar experience and qualifications that do.
Hire now to avoid the rush
Are you considering adding to your workforce in the next few months? Many employers wishing to add extra resources at this time of year wait until the New Year to do so. This is usually to avoid providing new hires with annual leave at early stages of their tenure, but also to ensure a smooth transition and provide continuity.
However, recruitment industry experts suggest that waiting until the New Year is not always the smartest approach to hiring. Employers are also cautioned against hiring now but waiting until the New Year to start their employees. It gives candidates too much time to reflect on their decision, review other options and possibly change their mind over the holiday break.
Here’s why employers should think twice before leaving recruitment until January:
- Everyone else has the same idea
The new year brings a flood of candidates into the market as it is the most popular time to make a change of job. Whilst this means there are more candidates to choose from, it also means job seekers have a much greater choice of jobs and employers. Lock in experienced candidates now before the job market gets busy in the New Year.
- It may cost you more
Employers that hire in the New Year may need to be more competitive to attract top talent, as it’s more likely that high quality candidates will have competing offers to choose from. This may mean revisiting base salary packages or providing added incentives such as flexible work arrangements or more attractive allowances.
- Serious end of year jobseekers
The end of year holidays can sometimes be a distracting and demotivating influence on employees. You know that candidates who are actively job hunting at the end of the year are engaged, serious and motivated about their job search.
- Make use of quiet time
For businesses that are quiet during the holiday season, it can be an ideal time to acquaint new staff with the business, procedures and undertake any training required.
Jane Carey, Director of Edge Recruitment says ‘if you compare it to the Real Estate Industry - it’s like waiting until spring to sell your property. Sure it’s great because more people are looking at that time, but there is also a flood of other houses on the market to compete with, which can make your proposition less likely to stand out.’
Hiring before the end of the year is a smart option for employers wishing to lock in experienced candidates that may not be available come January. Consider the benefits of making your move now to avoid missing out!
Stand out from the crowd: Top job hunting tips
As a recruiter in the property industry, we see people from all walks of life at different stages in their career. What qualities do we revere most highly when screening candidates for our clients? You may be surprised by what is top of the list…and it’s not impeccable dress sense, years of experience or fancy resumes!
Here are our top suggestions:
- Show stability
As the saying goes - past behaviour predicts future performance. Having a stable work history shows that you are a secure choice, is an indicator of loyalty and it may be the reason you are chosen over another candidate with similar experience and skills.
- Demonstrate your motivation to grow
Exhibit drive and determination by showing your motivation to grow within an organisation. Impressive candidates show a history of moving upwards in a business instead of those that stay at the same level from job to job.
People who invest in their education show a dedication to professional development and continued growth and improvement. They see attending seminars, reading books and online study as an investment in themselves. It shows us they have made a commitment and considerable effort to improve their skills and experience.
- Be well organised
Demonstrate that you have done your research, you know who the competitors are, you can get to appointments on time and that you know who you are meeting with. This reflects your professionalism and shows you are serious. In addition, a candidate who follows up and returns phone calls further imprints their good impression.
- Pay attention to your references
Many candidates don’t realise how important good references are to their application. An impressive candidate will make access to their referees easy by providing multiple points of contact and by calling their referees in advance. If we can’t conduct a thorough reference check for a candidate, we can’t recommend them to our clients.
- Show enthusiasm
Bring a positive attitude to your job application. People who display enthusiasm for what they do are happier in their jobs and contribute positively to their workplace environment. There is nothing less inspiring for a recruiter than speaking to an applicant who doesn’t seem to care less about the opportunity.
Jane Carey, Director of Edge Recruitment says ‘Candidates that can demonstrate some or all of these competencies, matched with the right experience get snapped up very quickly by our clients.’
One last thing to remember: cultural fit is also a huge consideration for recruiters when recommending candidates for a role. Knowing that you will fit in with an organisation’s style of operation and get along with colleagues is vital to a recruiter when making a placement, especially for permanent and contract roles.
We spoke with George Inglis, the newly appointed SA Executive Officer of the Planning Institute of Australia SA (PIA). George’s obvious passion for his new role and the planning industry is evident as he shares his thoughts on Adelaide, the planning industry and what’s in store during his first year in the job.
What are the key things you will be focussing on in your first year of tenure?
First, there is a big national restructure in place which I will be implementing in South Australia. This is principally about professionalising the organisation and making it more competitive. Membership with the PIA is not compulsory, so we are competing with other organisations for those discretionary member dollars. We want to become a stronger player, more representative and better value for members.
Secondly, there are two key priorities I will be focussing on: improving how planners are perceived and improving how planners perceive themselves. I want planners to be recognised and valued for the important work they do. I also want planners themselves to recognise the importance of their role in the development of the community.
My aim is to show the importance of the planning profession and to help dispel unfair assumptions sometimes placed on members of the planning sector. A big part of this will involve building a better dialogue with the development sector and with planners.
We are also looking at changes to the way we govern communities through community led economic development. It’s a move away from community consultation towards community empowerment and is about empowering communities to gather their strengths and push their ideas forward.
How is the Planning Industry faring in the current economic climate?
Planning is often quite long term, so depending on which area of planning you are in, you could be insulated from economic ups and downs. State and local governments don’t stop planning because populations don’t stop changing and evolving. There is always some planning going on and always planning in the pipeline.
The private sector is more likely to feel the fluctuations of economic ups and downs. However, private sector planners are also highly adaptable. There is a deeper layer of thinking now around the development that we do. There is a lot more planning work going on that didn’t previously. This is due to a greater emphasis on places and place making, the value of good design, the integration of planning, infrastructure and community involvement. So essentially what could be (on paper) a simple development, can have a lot of spin off potential for other involvement with planners, designers and local development.
What are the most common career paths for planning graduates?
Careers in planning used to be quite structured. Graduates commonly went on a set process; from graduation to councils, moving up the ranks within councils and then ending up in the private sector once they had gained sufficient experience. We find this is loosening now, with the private sector being more open to graduate planners than they were previously.
The most common starting role is the Development Assessment Planner. It’s an excellent place to start, giving planners the skills to develop their decision making ability and convert plans to real world outcomes.
From a planning perspective, how do you think Adelaide is going at present?
I think Adelaide is proving to be a real leader in this area at the moment.
The creation of Independent Development Assessment Panels in the mid 2000’s was a major change and really moved us forward by assisting to depoliticise the development decisions that get made in Adelaide. SA has led reform in this area and other states have followed suit.
In addition, the Vibrant Adelaide Project which has a heavy planning component has been taken to heart by all spheres of Government and the community.
There has been a shift towards a more holistic approach to development - beyond just planning and beyond just building, to focus on what makes a place work. More recently, SA is at the epicentre of that charge.
Nicola joins the Edge team
Nicola Smith is the latest addition to the Edge Recruitment team of consultants. With over 3 years of recruitment experience and an in-depth understanding of property, Nicola is known throughout the industry as a motivated and dedicated consultant. Nicola has helped build hundreds of careers and businesses in the property industry and will place the best people in permanent and contract roles.
Nicola will tell you there has been one consistent theme running throughout her career: getting to know each client’s business needs intimately first, before making recommendations.
Nicola brings with her the success and training received from working for an international recruitment organisation and will no doubt thrive under the boutique environment and supportive culture at Edge Recruitment.
Approachable and tenacious, Nicola will be the first person to introduce you to a colleague or make sure our clients and candidates feel comfortable when they walk in the door.
She will work with our clients and candidates in the areas of State and Local Government, design and architecture, property consultancy, engineering, surveying, planning and project management.
Nicola starts with us on 11th November.
Hiring intentions: Oct-Dec Quarter
Edge Recruitment’s Quarterly Hiring Intentions Survey, conducted over the past month provides a forecasting snapshot of employment prospects. Responses have come from a wide cross section of market segments within the property industry, including building and construction, residential real estate, facilities management and State and Federal Government Departments, to name a few.
We are pleased to report the industry is showing some positive signs for employment for the October to December 2013 quarter. Whilst just over half of employers surveyed indicated there would be no change in their workforce numbers, just over 30% said they will increase their workforce in this quarter, which is slightly up from the last quarter.
There is no obvious industry sector leading the charge, with the increases spread right across all sectors of property. Of those that intend to increase their workforce, 55% said it would be on a permanent basis, with just over 30% of this group opting for temporary staff and 13% choosing fixed term contracts.
Interestingly, little more than 10% of employers have plans to decrease their workforce in this period.
Looking to real estate, there are some positive indicators coming from this sector, showing good signs of improvement and confidence from employers.
Edge Director Jane Carey says ‘With the federal election out of the way, we are pleased to see the property industry continuing to show small but steady steps in the right direction.’
For further information about the Quarterly Hiring Intentions Survey, contact us on 8232 2220 or email email@example.com
Small business = big career potential
When it comes to taking that next step in your career, don’t discount small business for big career potential. Job hunters who are hungry for career growth and big salaries sometimes overlook small businesses due to some misconceptions about what they can offer. When it comes to choosing who to work for - bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.
We spoke with David Hossen, Asset Manager for MRS Property who made the change from working in large commercial agencies to a boutique agency in 2012. David’s move was all about getting back to basics, a healthier work life balance and enjoying property management in its raw form.
‘Working for small business has opened my eyes to how flexible they can be. It’s a refreshing change. I have an intimate enough relationship with the business owners that if my child gets sick, they are flexible with me.
The beauty about working for a small business is they not only intimately know my personal situation; they are also abreast of my work situation. My colleagues and I are cross pollenated about each other’s work. When dramas occur in our team such as family emergencies, we are always able to cover each other.
In terms of property management, it is far less bureaucratic and involves less paperwork in a smaller agency. This equals more time to do my job’.
Jane Carey, Director at Edge Recruitment says, ‘Whilst it is important to be clear about the opportunities for progression within small businesses before accepting a role, many small businesses can offer opportunities that you won’t find in a big company’.
Whilst working for a large company has its own set of pluses, here are some of the pros of working for small business that can sometimes get overlooked:
- More of a chance to shine
Your successes are more visible in a smaller company. If you snag a new client or come up with a great idea, it’s more likely to get noticed by senior management or the owners of the business. You get to be a big fish in a small pond!
As a recruiter, we speak with a lot of companies about salaries and work arrangements. In our experience small businesses tend to be a bit more open to flexible working arrangements such as time off in lieu, leave without pay and working from home.
- Access to upper management
Small business offers more access to upper management to pitch ideas, discuss concerns and initiate change. In a large organisation it can take longer for the cogs in the wheel to turn and for changes to filtrate through.
- Role diversity
Roles are often more diverse in smaller companies because there are less resources to spread the work around. This means more opportunity to try out a variety of responsibilities, which is especially useful for graduates working out their strengths and weaknesses.
- Closer relationships
Working for a small business is a far more personal experience than working for a large one. There are more opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from all levels of the business, not just your department and key members of staff.
- Less hierarchy
Decision making is usually quicker as there are less management channels to sift through.
Whilst big businesses often have the muscle to offer top salaries, there are many small businesses out there that understand the need to offer competitive salaries in order to attract top talent.
The benefits of working for small businesses are far greater than they are given credit for. They can fast track your career goals, offer great flexibility and provide more of a chance to shine. When considering your next career move, don’t overlook the perks and opportunities that small business offers.
Real estate's night of nights
Glitz and glamour was the order of the evening at the 2013 REISA Awards for Excellence held at the Entertainment Centre on Friday 11th October. As proud sponsors of the event, we were delighted to see many of our clients and colleagues who were nominated for and won awards. Congratulations to REISA on a fantastic evening of entertainment, networking and fab food.
What Ignites Motivation?
Employers that solve this riddle hold the key to unlocking hidden potential, increased loyalty, improved productivity and lower turnover rates within their team. Business owners and managers agree that keeping staff motivated requires continuing attention and effort. Not only does each member of the workplace have unique motivating factors, they also have unique life circumstances, which change throughout the course of their careers.
So in order to create a highly motivated workforce, it is essential employers understand what ignites motivation in each unique personality within their team.
Here are some of the top factors that drive people to perform:
Responsibility and ownership
The freedom to make decisions without being micro-managed or having to get approval gives employees a sense of accomplishment, pride and confidence in their work.
Employees are very motivated if they can tangibly see career advancement ahead. Employers that create career development opportunities demonstrate their commitment to the careers of their team.
Feeling valued and appreciated
An employee that feels valued is more likely to show loyalty, work harder and stick with an employer during tough times.
Putting trust in employees to manage their deadlines or their workload, their own way, can be very empowering and inspire motivation, loyalty and innovation. Providing flexible work arrangements can also assist employers to attract and hold on to top talent. Flexibility may be the reason an employee chooses to stay, in spite of the lure of higher wages elsewhere.
Salary and benefits
Pay is of course, a highly motivating factor for employees. People need to feel their pay is fair compensation for their skills, experience, qualifications and performance as well as being appropriate for their industry sector. Many employees will put in more effort for the opportunity of greater pay and bonuses.
When asked her opinion on this topic, Jane Carey, Director of Edge Recruitment says ‘Giving staff credit for the work they do weighs far above all other factors. There are many different ways to show your appreciation such as giving praise in front of colleagues, in an email or gift of champagne or flowers. It seems so simple, but is often something employers forget to do.’
Most people are motivated by a mixture of the above factors, but understanding which ones are integral to each individual is essential to getting the best out of your team.
Women in Property Support Cyber Safety
The who’s who of Adelaide’s property industry descended upon the Intercontinental on 18th September for the 2013 Fabulous Women in Property Luncheon.
This year’s guest speaker was the inspiring Sonya Ryan, Director of The Carly Ryan Foundation, SA Australian of the Year 2013 and cyber safety campaigner. Ms Ryan spoke about coping with the brutal murder of her fifteen year old daughter and turning her unfathomable pain into a powerful campaign to educate children and parents about the dangers of the internet.
Ms Ryan said ‘Without the support of corporate industry and businesses like Edge Recruitment, The Carly Ryan Foundation would simply be unable to support the community. It’s events like this that enable us to reach many more children, teens and young adults which equals preventing more crime and suffering in Australia.’
Tickets for the stunning Nicholas Pike jewellery prize valued at $4800 sold like wild fire at pre-luncheon drinks. Nicholas himself proudly awarded the lucky winner to Libby Jensen from Telstra, with a little help on stage from our male model and some mocktails.
As well as special gift bags, delicious food and fine wines, guests had the chance to win a corporate box for 11 people to South Pacific, the musical, donated by Adelaide Festival Centre.
Edge Recruitment Director Jane Carey said ‘We are thrilled to not only give all proceeds from the day to The Carly Ryan Foundation, but also raise awareness about cyber predators, fake profiles, cyber bullying and protecting private information.’
A big thank you goes out to our wonderful sponsors; Telstra, Ken Hall Plumbers, the Australian Property Institute (SA) and the Real Estate Institute of SA. Without their fantastic support we would not be able to produce Adelaide’s premier luncheon and networking event for women in property.