How COVID-19 is Shaping the Future of Business Operations

COVID-19 has changed what it means to work from home, and with so many businesses now doing it, is this the future? Strive for Talent discuss.

Australian business operations may look very different when the COVID-19 lockdown is over. Employers and employees will begin to trickle back into their workplaces, learning how to commute again, and get dressed for interactions that reach far beyond video calls. But will things ever go back to normal? In short, the answer is no. We will all be changed by this experience, but that isn’t always a negative. It’s predicted that the current working from home situation will shift the way companies do business and have a deep impact on workplace flexibility.

Most people, especially parents, strive for flexible working arrangements and now companies have a better insight into how that works, and how they can properly manage these desired arrangements.

Office versus home

This pandemic is the first time in our history businesses have experienced such a large scale of employees working from home. While some may desperately await returning to the office, others are feeling productive and happy in their current circumstances, and that is where change may spark.

With companies able to recoup some loses and save money by downsizing their workspace, those who enjoy working remotely may not be required in the office as much as before. After all, with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack and other communication technology and audio-visual conferencing platforms available, we can all still be connected, no matter where we are.

A time to learn

Thrown into lockdown and relying heavily on technology to complete their work, communicate with colleagues and clients, those with less experience with technology have most likely benefited from a quick and deep learning curve. The more people who understand how remote communication works, the better companies get at expanding their reach, and this lockdown has served that purpose well.

While this may be a winning situation on most fronts, there are some factors to consider. Being in an office environment helps to establish coordination across the board, build insights and relationships, and gives people a chance to connect personally as well as professionally. All of which are crucial to a pleasant and constructive workplace, and in turn a better product or service.

Looking at life after lockdown

There will be no quick fix after the COVID-19 lockdown, and we assume there will be many conversations with employers and employees about what works best for themselves and the company. All we know is that the new normal will become something new once again.

To learn more about our industry insights, speak to our team at Strive For Talent

How to Work from Home with Kids

Working from home with kids can be difficult, and during this time, it is our new way of life. Learn how to cope and achieve your work goals from home.

Have you recently found yourself working from home with children around? This is a trying task for everyone involved, and with thousands of parents experiencing this situation for the first time, Strive For Talent has accumulated initiatives to help manage your new working world.

We understand that each household, working environment, and job is different but with these tips you can make balancing your professional needs and that of being a parent a little easier.

Flexibility

While you may have developed a set routine as a working parent over the years, the current situation is likely to challenge these schedules as your children are now suddenly home. While your child is around, you may unexpectedly need to switch from work to personal tasks. To achieve equilibrium, re-evaluate your routine and be flexible with the time frames you set for working and family time.

  • Create a dedicated workspace

Creating an area that is for the sole purpose of work will help you set some boundaries between your professional and personal life. With kids around you may want a physical boundary, such as a closed door, but if you have a more open plan set up, consider a bookshelf, or room divider. You don’t have to close yourself off completely from your children, but it’s important they know that you are at work when you are in your dedicated space.

  • Plan your day

Make a daily plan for your own work and for your children’s activities. Everyone, at least to an extent, should agree on the plan and try to follow it to the best of their ability. Scheduling work, home duties, chores, school, fun activities and family bonding, is ideal for ensuring all basis are covered for the day. However, it is still important to remain flexible where needed as each day can be different from the previous.

  • Don’t neglect yourself

With children around, it can be easy to focus purely on them, and moving straight from work mode to parent mode leaves very little room for you to unwind, but doing so is crucial. You can only give your best self to all your duties, after you have had time to recuperate.

Take it one day at a time  

There is no such thing as a perfect working from home life when children are involved. Some days will be more productive than others, so it is important to be patient and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Do not feel guilty for making mistakes, do not compare your situation to that of other families and understand that this new normal is still unfamiliar to most.

For more career advice get in touch with our team.

How to Be Organised While Working from Home

Finding it hard working from home? Here are some helpful tips from the team at Strive for Talent to be more organised.

Finding the right balance between home and work environments is always a heavy task, but what can make it even more challenging is when the two become blurred. Working from home, while somewhat convenient, can unearth its own set of trials, as people find difficulty in separating the tasks and obligations present in both from impacting each other. In this modern world, however, it is becoming more and more common for people to work remotely. It is actually expected that companies investing in the ability to work remotely will outperform those that don’t in the not too distant future. In this blog, the team at Strive for Talent offer some helpful tips on how to stay organised while working from home.

Set Expectations

Time management is key for any successful person juggling a stream of responsibilities. And the secret to time management is through setting expectations – both of yourself, and your tasks. Lay down fair and realistic expectations for how many hours you can work in a day, followed by the amount of resources to achieve a task at a satisfactory degree. Then stick to it. This will help you refrain from getting bogged down in certain areas that may detract from others which are necessary.

Streamline Your Efforts

Another facet of time management is to streamline your efforts. Think: ‘Work Smarter, Not Harder’. Now that you will save time and money on commuting to a place of work, take the thinking further to streamline how you operate across the board. If a project is going to encompass multiple tasks, ensure that you plan them out so you can complete them in a cascading fashion, so you will not be held up by any delays. If you need information from a certain source, perhaps forecast to see if you will need more information in the future, and notify them earlier. Thinking along these lines will save you time and effort, freeing you to have more opportunities to be with your family and fulfil more ‘home-life’ desires.

Minimise Distractions & Organise Your Space

This is likely to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. From nearby televisions, to fully-stocked fridges, or attention-crying children, your home is likely to be filled with a myriad of distractions that can keep you from doing your best work. A good solution is to treat whatever time you are working like you are still in the office – even if it’s only for an hour. Set up a designated space where you will dedicate all your work. Keep it clean and professional, away from the distracting elements found throughout your ‘home-life’. If you can design a space behind closed doors that serves as an office, all the better, but if you are limited for space, it is still prudent to designate a corner with a desk that is a zone purely dedicated to the completion of work.

Workplace Health and Safety Procedures to Combat Coronavirus

Strive for Talent offers information and helpful tips on how to help your workplace better handle the COVID-19 crisis.

Since 11 March 2020, the Coronavirus (technically known as COVID-19) has been classed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The outbreak of the highly infectious disease has spawned a growing number of positive cases in over 100 countries and regions. Those most at risk are:

  • People who have recently visited or travelled through an area declared as high-risk
  • People who have come into close contact with a positive case of COVID-19

With the above in mind, it can be a difficult time for Australian workplaces. In this blog, the team at Strive for Talent offer some advice on workplace health and safety procedures to combat COVID-19.

What is the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The term ‘Coronavirus’ is actually more of a blanket term relating to a large family of viruses, scaling from the common cold, to those that have caused rampant damage across the world, like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronaviruses are zoonotic – transmitted between animals and people – with COVID-19 expected to have been transmitted from bats. Common symptoms are respiratory distress, high fevers, and pneumonia, placing those with respiratory and autoimmune issues at high risk.

Keeping Informed

In order to comply with Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws, all workplaces should identify hazards to determine and introduce measures that will eradicate associated risks – or, at the very least, mitigate them. Keeping up to date on the current COVID-19 informational releases will guide offices and businesses on how to act appropriately, which can be found from reputable sources such as the Australian Government Department of Health and Smart Traveller websites.

Smart Tips to Combat the Spread and Impacts of COVID-19

Here are some helpful actions to help protect your business from COVID-19:

  • Enable clear communication channels between all areas of the workplace, to ensure the sharing of information is efficient and effective
  • Organise stringent policies to combat COVID-19 and use communication channels for them to be rolled out successfully, including educating workers on identifying symptoms and practicing proper self-isolation
  • Setting up the ability where possible for staff members to work remotely
  • For those at risk in their line of work, ensure the provision of appropriate personal protective equipment and facilities (as well as training to understand their proper use and function)
  • Encourage staff to practice good hygiene with frequent hand washing, social-distancing, and mouth covering after coughing and sneezing
  • Reconsider all work-related travel unless it is absolutely necessary (opt for video conferencing instead of physical relocation)
  • Establish a dedicated and discrete point of contact should any member of your staff have any concerns

Should any of your staff feel unwell or be concerned, direct them to consult with their nearest medical facility.

What Attracts Millennials to a Workplace?

Do you know if your company is attractive to millennials? Don’t miss out on a large pool of quality candidates with these tips from Strive For Talent.

Millennials now make up majority of the workforce while both Baby Boomers and Generation X are moving towards retirement. This means that your organisation needs to know how to appeal to millennials in order to attract and retain top talent. Unlike the older generations, millennials are not just looking for stable employment that pays top dollar. To ensure that your company is not missing out on a large pool of quality candidates, you will need to tap into the minds of millennials to learn just how you can sweeten the deal for them.

Improve transparency

Millennials wants to know that their workplace cares about them, but the reverse is also true. Get them involved in future plans for the business and be honest about what goes on in all aspects of the business. Whether it be just keeping them in the loop of the goals of your business, or asking them for feedback and ideas, engaging millennials is a great way to keep them invested in the organisation.

Offer flexibility

Long gone are the traditional 9-5 workdays. Millennials value flexibility at work, as rigid working hours are seen as an outdated practice and unproductive for work-life balance. For millennials, the choice of a flexible working schedule means they are valued more for their ability to get work done than being a ‘yes-man’.

Support growth and development

Whether it is for personal growth or professional development, millennials want to know they will have the support of their company. They enjoy knowing that they are given the chance to improve themselves through a passion project or through professional learning, which can translate into favourable career progressions. This can be in the form of regular training courses or time off for a personal development opportunity that may contribute to their value to the company.

Be socially responsible

Millennials are highly aware about social and environmental issues. They have an opinion about them and identify personally with each cause. A company that is vocal about their stance on an issue that makes most sense with their company culture and ethic will earn the respect of millennials. Companies should consider looking for meaningful ways to show they are socially responsible to build a good reputation with millennials. Looking for new hires? Make sure you are not missing out on quality millennial candidates in your industry by ensuring your organisation is an attractive workplace. Let Strive For Talent help you select outstanding candidates for your next hire, regardless of which sector you operate in. Learn how our solutions can assist your company by contacting us at +61 2 8026 0596.

A Better Workplace Culture Starts with Recruitment

Strive For Talent shares how your company can foster a better workplace culture and reap multiple benefits from starting at the recruitment process.

HR departments and hiring managers have a crucial part to play when it comes to improving workplace culture. New hires need to fit into wider workplace values in order to help the company continue fostering a more positive environment, breeding the ideal elements for innovation, inclusivity and production. This holds true especially at the executive level where leaders can potentially have huge influence over departments and team. A new hire who does not share the same ethics and values as a company looking to improve their workplace culture may negatively affect existing employees. In this blog, Strive For Talent explore how you build a better workplace culture, starting with recruitment.

Benefits of better workplace culture

A positive workplace culture holds a wealth of benefits for an organisation. On an individual level, employees in a positive workplace culture feel valued when their wellbeing, including mental health, is considered, and they are given the opportunity to be heard. This raises employee morale and productivity, which in turn helps the organisation operate at maximum efficiency. Teams with similar work ethics work more collaboratively, and the company has an overall lower staff turnover, ensuring longevity of vision and applied skillsets. Positive workplace culture also attracts new talent to the company as people want to feel valued for their contributions, easing the process to introduce fresh talent and perspectives into areas that demand it.

Unfortunately, the reverse has the same proliferating effect. A new hire with values and ethics that do not align with a positive workplace culture can affect the whole team negatively. This may create employees with low morale and productivity, which may lead to a loss of valuable talent and profitability.

How to hire for a better workplace

For a new employee to fit in your organisation, it is important to first identify what kind of organisational values and ethics your company aligns with. As much as relevant skills are important for any role, it is much easier to train someone new skills than to force people to change their values. Understanding a potential candidate’s working style and work ethic will help you decide if the candidate is suitable for your company. This can be done through the interview, a test, or even an informal conversation held outside of the office.

Ideally, you will want to hire the perfect candidate who is both good at what they do and contribute to a more positive workplace culture. However, that does not always mean hiring the same types of people who already exist in your organisation. Looking for a culture fit in a potential candidate should not be confused with discrimination against qualified candidates or encouraging a lack of diversity in your company.

Similarly, candidates will also be looking out for culture indicators when applying. Consider outlining your company culture as part of your recruitment ad so that you attract candidates who will contribute to a positive workplace culture. Strive For Talent can help your organisation find quality candidates with both skills and values. Contact us today to learn more about our recruitment services.

How To Land A Promotion in 2020

My guess is you feel ready to move up that corporate ladder, but somehow, you haven’t completely figured out how to do land a promotion.

Maybe you’ve worked for that company for a specific period of time, earned that top performer ‘badge’, met all the expectations and the numbers seem to be inclined to your favour. Now you are wondering ‘how long should I wait for a promotion?’

But do all these achievements always equal a promotion? No! In fact, just about every boss has their own way of awarding promotions, and this can be seen in their confessions, as shared by the Muse.

Where the path to one is well spelled out, you’ll probably have a less difficult time landing one. But as you might have realised, this is so rare, meaning you are going to have to take some practical action before you initiate a discussion with your boss about a promotion.

Here are three solid time-tested steps you will want to begin with that will bring you closer to that coveted position.

1. Take Risks

Anna Wood, a well-known career coach/expert, sums up this step clearly. She says that the riskiest career move one can ever take is not taking any risk at all. Yet a lot of people are afraid of risks and as a result, they miss out on great opportunities that could bring them that much-needed promotion.

Here’s what to do: Ask for new responsibilities that have the potential to move your career forward; speak up at your workplace, even if your opinion seems unpopular; go back to school and study to get those skills and qualifications that will propel you to the next level; some situations will require boldness and if you take the chance to handle them, that will definitely set you aside from the pack.

Think of Elon Musk, Richard Branson or Warren Buffet. Of course, there are lots of other names that would be listed alongside these, but what’s common amongst them is that they risked something – fortunes, lives, pride, etc. a decision that eventually paid off in the long run.

Even though they did that as business people, the same principle can be applied to your career and could be the foundation for that great promotion you have been longing for.

2. Put Team Objectives Above Your Own

One mistake that’s so common among those in management roles and even employees is placing your own ambitions above that of the company. Ben Horowitz, the author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things, describes well in his book just how important it is for those in senior positions to possess the right type of ambition i.e. maximizing the company’s success over your own

No matter the position you hold, see to it that you understand the objectives of the company. Thereafter, figure out how you can contribute your skills, knowledge and talent(s) to meeting them. If you have no idea what they are, ask.

Once your contribution to the success of the team or company is noticed, it becomes easier for you to land that promotion. When you ask your boss for more responsibility so that you can bring in more desirable results, chances are high your request will be honoured. That’s precisely how to get a promotion at work fast.

3. How To Get Promoted Fast: Network Your Way To A Promotion

You may do everything right so as to earn a promotion only to lose it to a person who seemingly did less work than you. Now, one reason why your colleague might have beat you to that higher position is because of their networking skills.

If your name isn’t being discussed around when opportunities arise, that’s a sign that your networking efforts need a boost. The four most important people you should do this with include your boss, your next hiring boss, your future colleagues, and that person who has more influence over your boss.

It’s important that they know you, your strength and capabilities, how valuable you are to the organization, your ambitions and achievements.  Also, learn how to how to convince your boss you deserve a promotion then apply the lessons during your interactions.

The relationships that you establish and nurture with all these people will most likely advance into partnerships and this will bring you closer to that coveted new role because of the bond you share and the knowledge they have about you.

Of course, there are a few other additional things you can do to as you figure out how to land a promotion this year but first, master these three and the rest will fall into place easily.

 Strive for Talent offer an extensive range of job opportunities in a wide array of sectors across the world. To learn more, contact us today by calling +61 2 80260596.

Contractors vs Employees – Pros and Cons

Deciding on working as a contractor or an employee? In this blog, Strive for Talent explore the pros and cons.

There are certain differences between contractors and employees. Contractors, for example, are self-employed, decide their own fee, and are hired by outside organisations to complete a specific project or function. With this being the case, they are responsible for a greater amount of duties, such as tax management and administration. Employees, however, work exclusively for a business on a permanent contract. In exchange for completing the tasks of their role, an employer will handle areas such as superannuation and management of leave.

So, with all this in mind, which is better? In this blog, the team at Strive for Talent list the pros and cons of employees and contractors.

Employment – Pros

Whilst employed, you will have:

  • Instalments made to your superannuation fund from your pay check
  • Tax withdrawn incrementally to account for future liability
  • A consistent stream of income
  • Paid sick, annual and bereavement leave
  • A regular and consistent routine to structure your life around

Employment – Cons

With these good points, employees must also contend with:

  • Fixed hours
  • Limited leave allotments per year (especially when it first has to be accrued)
  • Travel to work sites or offices

Contractor – Pros

Contractors can:

  • Set their own work hours
  • Negotiate the amount they charge for their services
  • Work either remotely or from their own homes
  • Vary their projects or hours
  • Claim expenses as tax deductions

Contractor – Cons

Just like employees, contractors do have their fair share of negative working elements. These include:

  • Unguaranteed income and associated benefits
  • Being responsible for their taxes and finances
  • Administration duties
  • Chasing payments
  • Marketing themselves

Who Wins?

Well, it all depends on the kind of work you want to perform, and the lifestyle you wish to build around it. Businesses will usually choose employees for open-ended tasks, required day-in, day-out, all year round, in order to maintain general running and growth. These set hours and salaries can be exactly what people need to structure their futures. Conversely, contractors are only taken for shorter periods of time, usually seasonally or when a specific task needs completing, such as when an organisation is scaling. This may lead to greater risk, but long-time contractors can assess busy periods and budget accordingly, as well as enjoy the higher independence in managing their affairs.

Looking for Something New in Your Career?

Regardless of whether you operate as a contractor or an employee (or even if you’re looking to switch it up), Strive for Talent offer an extensive range of job opportunities in a wide array of sectors across the world. To learn more, contact us today by calling +61 2 80260596.

Trends Emerging in Fintech Heading into 2020

The future is now. In this blog, Strive for Talent explores emerging trends in the Fintech industry and how they could shape 2020.

Financial services are constantly being transformed with automation, software and technology, also known as ‘Fintech’. Making waves across the world, the industry is creating change in a variety of platforms and applications, including crowdfunding, money transfer services, and mobile payment systems. In order to ensure business owners can keep their fingers on the pulse, the team at Strive for Talent have compiled some exciting trends emerging in Fintech that you should be mindful of going into 2020.

Streamlining the Regulatory Process

The financial services industry is always in danger of being compromised by adept fraudsters, resulting in comprehensive regulatory processes, which are still overseen or manually completed by staff. 2020 is likely to see technology enter the market built to streamline this process and reduce the overhead expenses this inflicts on business.

Crypto & Cash

Despite what many outside the industry might think, interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain management didn’t decline with the value of Bitcoin. Stringent regulations continue to exist in this realm, but there is certainly a buzz of potential surrounding technologies improving the conversion of crypto to cash, as well as crypto to e-wallets, not to mention investment potential.

Rising Demand for Staff

Growth and diversification in the Fintech industry will naturally relate to greater funding, large-scale ventures, and the rising demand for reliable staff to help implement them. As a result, the Fintech job market has completely skyrocketed, consistently building in the hundreds of thousands over the last few years, and the trends aren’t showing any signs of slowing down in 2020. Companies will therefore need to ensure their recruiting efforts are designed to complement the changes in the industry in order to remain competitive. Numbers in recruitment figures suggest 78% of in-demand roles revolving around software engineering, operations, data and analytics, and sales and marketing. Competition amongst these candidates will be fierce, but it’s important to consider new starters as an investment into a new future, with the skills paired to meet fresh challenges yet to be discovered.

Just as you need to be adequately informed on the advancements in the Fintech industry, you need to be sure you are appropriately staffed to correctly handle 2020. Strive for Talent deliver exceptional and tailored recruitment services for businesses in a range of industries. Contact us today by calling + 61 2 80260596, or leaving your information on our easy to complete enquiry form.

How to Look Out for Company Culture Indicators

You apply for the job when you meet the skill requirements, but you choose the job when you connect with the culture. Strive for Talent looks at company culture indicators.

How to Look Out for Company Culture Indicators

The dream job misses the mark without the dream team, which is why businesses today are starting to focus more on company culture. Culture influences whether people stay or leave a company, but it can also influence peoples’ decision to begin with a company. Work takes up a large sum of your week, so choosing a culture that aligns with your own can have a huge impact on your engagement, your mental health, and your motivation. Fortunately for jobseekers, there are a few ways you can determine whether you’ll fit in with a company.

Understand What You Need

One person’s ideal company culture might be a completely unsuitable working environment for someone else. If you thrive in defined, traditional corporate structures, look out for that. If you work better in an organic structure, flexible with its 9-5 working, don’t settle for less. The best way to start is always to have a clear definition of what business you want to work for, and look for that.

Search Social Platforms

A website may give you the bones of the business, but it’s their social pages where you’ll find signs of company culture. Usually websites will show a side that they want customers to see, while Instagram and Facebook will show you a more authentic version, one that speaks to the staff. If the business doesn’t have a social presence, you might want to consider interview questions that give you a glimpse into culture.

Find Third Party Resources

Internal content will always be skewed to favour the business, but third-party resources can give you an objective understanding of what to expect. Search for news results within the company and check out employee reviews across platforms like Seek and Glassdoor. You may find a few points that could make your decision for you.

Research the CEO

If you want to know a business’ vision, look to the CEO. Senior leadership should always have a professional presence on social media, and you can determine what values they bring to the business based on what resources they share and discuss. A go-to will always be their LinkedIn page, but even try Googling your potential new leader to see what news you can find.

Strive for Talent provides extensive recruitment services for businesses and job seekers alike. If you are in search of a step in your career, search our available opportunities today.