Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

Archive for March 2009

Aero-care’s GM did care…

with 4 comments

Or so he said!

An update from our post the the other day:  Even It Up! received this response (via Mr W who made us aware of the issue in the first place) from Aero-Care’s General Manager:

Dear Mr W,

I have been forwarded correspondence from both yourself and Diane Lee.

I apologise for the unacceptable experience you have had with my company.  Their is no excuse for the manner in which your application was handled nor for the tone of the response you received from one of my senior representatives.

Aero-Care does receive an extremely high number of applications for each position that becomes available.  Aero-Care has been fortunate to buck the trend of the economic down turn and is expanding quite rapidly in many parts of Australia.  This expansion has drained our normal recruiting resources and personnel, combined with the recent departure of our Airport Manager (transferred to Alice Springs due to partner posting), J was thrown in the deep end without our normal training for such a task.  J is a good person with a bright future, I take responsibility for putting her into this situation.   Our recruitment process usually positive and has the effect of uplifting people, clearly the execution on this occasion has failed.

Clearly, these values were not demonstrated to you (and others) during your application process in Adelaide.  This matter has been addressed with both J and L – both have expressed regret and disappointment for their behavior and performance.  I will personally review the recruitment processes to prevent others from enduring a similar experience.

Thank you for your candid feedback, it is much appreciated.

Kind regards,

General Manager/Director
Aero-Care Pty Limited

While this is nice, we notice that Mr W was not offered the opportunity of a repeat interview, or reimbursement for the amount of time he invested in this exercise.  Now, that would have been a happy ending!

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Written by evenitup

March 25, 2009 at 8:03 am

A jobseeker fantasy – Part 1

with 5 comments

At Even It Up! we are often asked what our idea of an ideal hiring situation is.   Well, we’ve put our thinking caps on and come up with the perfect scenario (we acknowledge that the perfect scenario is that someone who knows you are looking for a job has a vacancy right up your alley, taps you on the shoulder and voila! you’re hired!  But we know that isn’t always possible, so we’ve chosen the more likely route).  We’d love to hear your comments!

Jane (or Joe – names are interchangeable) saw an advertisement (doesn’t really matter whether it’s internet or paper) and was very attracted to the vacancy.  The ad had heaps of information about the role and a link to the company’s website, which had more information including staff testimonials, virtual tours of the workplace, benefits of working there (very generous).  Jane was very impressed.  The organisation certainly seemed to value their staff (and Jane was aware that they all say that, but very few actually mean it!).  The fact that it was a direct employer rather than a recruitment company made applying all that more attractive.  Jane knew she could cut out the middle man and had more chance of being selected into an interview rather than out.

There was a contact person listed, and even though there was lots of information about the role in the ad, Jane decided to call him (let’s call him Mike).  She wanted to find out a bit more about the role and what she needed to do to apply.  Mike couldn’t have been more nice.   He told her about the role, why the person was vacating (internal promotion), why it was being advertised externally (the workplace wanted to bring in fresh people), and more about the culture of the organisation, the reporting structure and the leadership.  He then asked her about her experience and qualifications, and was very excited to hear that she had a higher research degree.  “We love people with that sort of commitment to their personal and professional development,” he said “It shows tenacity, the ability to think analytically, and we know we are getting someone who can write great reports, as well as present to different audiences in different environments.”  Just before the conversation ended, Mike took down Jane’s name, phone number and email.  “Just send in your c.v. with a brief cover letter.  No need for War and Peace. ” Jane told him that she would have her application in by the end of the week, even though there was a two-week period.

Jane was even more keen to apply after she spoke to the contact person.  But the week got away from her and she didn’t get her application in.  On Monday Mike called to ask if she had decided not to apply for the role. “Not at all,” said Jane ” I just haven’t been able to get my application in.”  No problem, he said, we were worried that you had second thoughts and if you need more time, that’s fine.

Now Jane was even more interested, so she sent her application off the very day.  The next day Mike called her to let he know that he received her application, and would love to interview her if she was free next week.  He then went on to explain the next step in the process.  “There are two interviews, ” he said. “The first is with me, and the next is with the CEO.  There a re no shortlists.  All applicants who are screened in are taken through the same process.  We don’t have panel interviews here. They are for businesses who are scared to make a wrong decision, and recruiters who want to cover their butts.”  Jane was surprised, but relieved. Mike went onto say that in the the second interview, Jane would be required to make a presentation, but she would be remunerated for her time.  She was also advised that the business would pay for her carpark. “We know that that job hunting is a time consuming, and sometimes expensive exercise, so we like to make it as easy as possible for candidates.  It’s very much about us making a great first impression on you.”

Now Jane was really keen!

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Written by evenitup

March 23, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Aero-care doesn’t care at all!

with 23 comments

We had a supporter email Even It Up! with his recruitment experience at Aero-Care.  He submitted his less-than-glowing-experience to The Lowdown on the Even It Up! website and then emailed the Business Manager of the company.  Unimpressed with the response, he sent the BM’s response to us:

Dear Mr W,

It is unfortunate to hear of your experience with your application process and I have passed on your email to G R. Your experience exemplifies that no person can suit every business.

After reading your letter you have certainly described our application and interview process perfectly – a progressive interview process, with one-on-ones following the group session that I liken to speed dating. First impressions are what counts in aviation and this is where we start – a standard check-in transaction takes less than a minute and is the time it takes to impress a passenger. Thus, the process and briefness used is not one that should offend and is what all applicants go through following a group session. Dealing with passengers from all walks of life, and working in an environment where no day is the same, we require someone who can thrive through adversity, and come out of negative experiences with a positive mindset. Reading your letter and email I can’t help but wonder how you would deal with difficult passengers, or how you would cope when the day is turned upside down with delays and cancellations.

Much as you have expressed below your desire to work for Aero-Care, such is the interest and belief in Aero-Care that we receive hundreds of applications each month, and a large amount of them without advertising. Adelaidians have such a passion for the airport environment and seem to know where to seek their opportunities. Given this high volume of applicants we would only degrade our value of efficiency if we were to spend unnecessary time with applicants. As such we have a robust application and interview process, and whilst it is very different to ‘normal’ experiences or what the text books and web sites may state regarding the ideal interview or application, it is a tried and tested process Aero-Care have used nationally and for some years that results in great employees.

Aero-Care is one big family and the employment relationship must be one that is collaborative, not vindictive, and where values align. If not, once the honeymoon period is over it will fester and result in negativity and the team will suffer until the point of conflict is removed from the business – not everyone is made to fit every business. Whilst you have a passion for aviation, your letter demonstrates that your values are not aligned with that of Aero-Care and supports that the right decision was made regarding your application.

I thank you for the feedback and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Kind Regards,

Business Manager
Aero-Care Pty Ltd

Our supporter felt that he was being bamboozled with corporate speak, and wanted to check if Even It Up! agreed with him.  We did, so we sent our own email to the BM, with Disappointed Jobseeker in the subject line:
Dear Business Manager,

I received a notification from Mr W regarding your recruitment processes, an assessment of which is loaded on the Even It Up! website.  Mr W also sent me a copy of your email response to his feedback of your process.

I take my hat off to Mr W for having the courage to confront you about your practices because, unfortunately, most people feel quite powerless in this situation. They feel that if they speak up, it may harm their future job prospects. He was diplomatic and respectful, which is to be admired in the circumstances.

Your response is typical, I’m afraid, of a business who just doesn’t get the importance of putting an positive employer brand out there, and managing it well.  I would go further and say that your recruitment practices have not been interrogated from the point of view of the jobseeker, which could be severely damaging your brand.

Businesses always talk about “values” and use this term as a defence as to why people are either hired or fired.  Most of the time, and research has shown this, hiring decisions are quite arbitrary despite the assurances otherwise.  I believe that if your company had acted with integrity, and in line with your “values”, you would have copped the criticism on the chin, and instead of being defensive, promised to undertake a review of your recruitment procedures.

You may be interested in reading a blog entry where I explain why employers cannot afford to treat jobseekers badly at https://evenitup.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/what-employers-forget/

If you would like some help improving your jobseeker experience, and enhancing your employer brand, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Diane Lee
Director
Even It Up!

The Business Manager did not bother to get back to either me or Mr W.  Clearly he just doesn’t get the power of positive employer brand, reputation… or the internet!  Even It Up! will now post this entry on Digg, and send it to the BW, and copy in the CEO.  We’ll keep you posted…

Read the General Manager’s response (a day or so later) here.

Written by evenitup

March 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Hudson targeting jobseekers

with 14 comments

The global economic crisis has hit jobseekers hard. Anecdotal evidence suggests that generally, businesses are either not hiring, or only hiring short-term staff. Even It Up! thinks that recruitment companies are doing it tough – finally! The ones that give anything less than a great service – for both employer and employee – will fold. Guaranteed. Forget survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the best out there!

So we loved that Hudson was trying to convince jobseekers that they care with a well placed ad on page 4 of The Advertiser today. The ad said:

Hudson, a recognised leader in recruitment and talent management services delivers Career, Resume and Interview Skills programs that give jobseekers the edge.

  • Are you struggling to cope with retrenchment?
  • Do you need help building your jobsearch skills?
  • Do you want your resume to stand out from the crowd?
  • Do you want to improve your chance of getting that job?
  • Are you unsure of your long-terms career goals?

Over the past 24 years, we have helped millions of jobseekers to cope with career transition and to define, search for and secure their next dream job.

We’re offering you the opportunity to learn from experts via a series of hands-on programs that aim to build your job seeking skills and boost your confidence.

Hudson might seem to be all sweet, sincere and caring, but this is just a marketing ploy that is cashing in (so to speak) on the misfortune of others. If Hudson were truly committed to making things better for jobseekers, they would have contacted Even It Up! after their less than positive review was posted on The Lowdown.   But instead, they take out a costly ad that is full of meaningless platitudes.  And jobseekers will sign up and sign on, and convinced that Hudson (or similar) does actually care, and will actually help them.

Jobseekers, Even It Up! implores you: please don’t fall for this!  Or if you do, tread very, very carefully.  Oh, and have no expectations.

Written by evenitup

March 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Recruitment

Tagged with

Rethinking work

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At Even It Up! we are watching with concern the numbers of jobs that are being shed by major corporations over the last couple of months.  We blogged about it recently, predicting that corporations would be rubbing their hands with glee over the possibility of being able to rid themselves of those pesky profit drainers, also known as staff.  Interestingly, Pacific Brands (Bonds, Berlei etc.) have copped a staggering amount of criticism (and rightly so) because of their recent attempt to shed staff (and send work offshore) while paying CEOs in the millions, and forking out hundred of thousands of dollars on sponsoring the Melbourne Fashion Festival.  Check out what came up when we Googled  pacific brands outrage.

Unfortunately, there is little that can be done, and despite the Australian government’s rhetoric that “any job lost is one job too many”, workers really are powerless to stop it.  All they can do is really try and anticipate if their job in their industry will be affected, and jump before they are pushed.

However, there is one way for workers to beat the corporations at their own game: portfolio work.   Take on a number of part-time roles rather than focus on finding one full-time job.  Statistics are showing that part-time work is on the rise, so why not rethink your approach to work and cash in?  Even It Up! believes it’s easier to replace one part-time income of $150 than one full-time income of $650.

And watch out for the growing trend of hyperjobs.  Futurists are predicting that traditional, white collars jobs will disappear as automation takes over, and those who can harness the “soft skills” will benefit.  Richard W Samson, in an article he wrote for The Futurist explains:

Hyperjobs will be based on five key “aliveness skills” and three supporting or enabling ones. The five key skills are:

1. Discovery, finding the “why” of things in science, business, or daily life.

2. Creativity, fashioning something new in one’s head.

3. Implementation, making the fruits of creativity real in the world.

4. Influence, interacting with others to inspire, direct, or empower.

5. Physical action, interacting with things or the body in mindful ways.

The enabling skills, which power the five key aliveness skills, are:

1. Basic mental skills, such as perception, classification, and emotional release.

2. Symbolic thinking and interpretation, including language, mathematics, and scientific notation.

3. Responsibility, including global consciousness, ethics, and a religious sense.

Career success in the new millennium will depend on shifting one’s focus away from the list of things electronic intelligence does best and toward the things only self-aware humans can do.

Read the full article here.  What is interesting is that hyperworkers will embrace the portfolio concept, and work for more than one business, enterprise or organisation.

Now all we have to do is convince the ATO that two or more part-time jobs does not a tax grab make!  Tax reform anyone?

Written by evenitup

March 14, 2009 at 10:17 am