The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation for all Australians “to walk with our First Nations people in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.”
Accepting the invitation extended in the Uluru Statement from the Heart is consistent with Locum People's mission to strengthen organisations and thus society through the search and selection of excellent people who suit their roles and organisational culture regardless of their race, gender, disability, upbringing or faith. Copious research has demonstrated that better decisions are made by diverse and inclusive organisations.
Implementing the call for Voice, Treaty and Truth-telling will strengthen Australian systems of government and governance and mark a practical step towards meaningful reconciliation. With better government and governance comes greater prosperity, and with that improved options for all Australians regardless of background. Every Australian will do better as a result.
Respectful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders is an expectation of contemporary organisational governance practice, relevant to all Australian boards. Locum People's current and prospective clients include First Nations directors and governance leaders. We also have First Nations people in our candidate pools.
Australia’s national systems of governance are deficient in recognition and respect for First Nations peoples, and in the quality and outcomes of decisions that impact their lives, families and communities. A constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament will provide an enduring mechanism for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to guide and inform laws and policies on matters relevant to them.
As one of Australia’s leading Human Resources and Recruitment consultants, we can make a constructive contribution to advancing the Statement from the Heart as a National and Organisational human resources and governance issue.
Yesterday, Aaron Dodd our Managing Partner attended an event in Melbourne put on by the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce. It was titled Leading in a New Era, and focused how leaders must facilitate inclusion and diversity initiatives if their teams are to operate at peak performance. The Keynote Speech was made by the Honourable Carla Qualtrough - Former Paralympian and Canada's Minister for Sport, followed by an excellent discussion panel composed of Charmaine Crooks - President of Soccer Canada, Kate Roffey - the CEO of the Melbourne Football Club, and Kieren Perkins - former Australian Olympian and now CEO of the Australian Sports Commission.
All three panelists offered valuable insights into the way they each operate - a key that they all agreed on was the need for recruiters, both internal and external, to confidently present diverse candidates for roles, and that hiring managers must demand and/or accept diverse candidate pools. They must also consider how roles can be adapted to be more inclusive. Selection is key to inclusion.
For Aaron, Kieren Perkins' comments resonated the loudest. Following his swimming career, Perkins found his way into Senior Leadership roles within National Australia Bank and Australian Unity before becoming CEO of the Australian Sports Commission (and the Australian Institute of Sport). Perkins commented that he shouldn't have been in the roles he had had at NAB, as he didn't have the requisite qualifications - he had no MBA, he hadn't studied finance or economics etc. But what he did have was the ability and empathy to understand the needs of others, and the ability to use that understanding to motivate, facilitate and support his team members to be successful. That was his role as a leader - to facilitate and support others to deliver their goals.
Perkins' success has been and continues to be a result of his intelligence and personality - excellent people skills, empathy and EQ. He does not claim to be the smartest person in the room, but rather he recruits and selects smarter people and then supports them to be successful. This is true leadership.
The other point Perkins made was when he is interviewing candidates, he does not focus on their technical skills. He takes them as a given. Rather, he focuses on their personality and what makes them tick, how they interact with others, their EQ, what motivates them, ability and willingness to learn, their drive for success and their individuality vs team-orientation. In other words, their personality is the key selection criteria, not so much their technical skills. Perkins also said he used personality assessments (particularly around EQ) to gain added insight into candidates.
The focus on personality for key selection decisions has always been Locum People's key strength, which is why Perkins' comments resonated with Aaron. It is why Prevue Assessments are such an important part of our service offerings and are integral to our search and selection programs.
Contact us if you would like more information on how Prevue can augment your selection decisions and facilitate inclusive recruitment practices.
Locum People is proud to announce that our New Zealand clients can now be invoiced in, and pay in New Zealand Dollars.
All of our current Kiwi clients will be given the option next time they are invoiced.
New NZ clients will be invoiced in NZD automatically.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need more information!
Budgeting for salespeople is a fraught process. We all know this, but when you have poor managers using it to batter salespeople major problems can arise. We were involved in mediating a dispute at one of our clients between a salesperson and the company's CEO - a brief summary follows;
The company is a newly created small subsidiary or a much larger European multinational. The company has an established customer base in Australia as their new direct sales operation took over from a distributor. In 2022 the company recruited industry recognised, well-connected technically strong salespeople in each state to lead their direct sales efforts.
At the beginning of 2023 sales budgets were handed down to each salesperson without consultation with them. As it transpired the numbers had been set in head-office in Europe and were grossly excessive for the Australian market. The new Australian CEO did not push back on Europe on the numbers. He just meekly passed the numbers on to the team.
The salespeople all pushed back on him and the CEO's response (in writing) was that he knew they were "a stretch", but they would be provided with every resource needed to achieve the goals. The salespeople were not convinced.
By April it was clear that the targets were never going to be met and pressure was being applied to the salespeople who were already stretched. It was inferred that the salespeople were not working hard enough. By end of April the pressure from the CEO had effectively morphed into bullying. Two of the salespeople lodged general protections claims with Fair Work Australia. This was the point Locum People was asked to mediate a resolution.
It was clear from the communications from the CEO to the sales team that he was blaming them for not meeting the budgets set for them, even though they had had no say in the numbers and given their knowledge of the market, had known from the outset that the market size simply did not support the sales expectations. He was blaming the salespeople to cover for his own incompetence in not listening to them and setting them targets he knew they would not meet. He set them up to fail. Had he terminated them, the company would have likely lost an unfair dismissal claim. Had the employees resigned in disgust at their treatment, it would have likely been a successful constructive dismissal claim.
The company sells highly specialised products and there are few salespeople in the market with the level of industry and technical knowledge required to be successful. That the company has these salespeople was a coup in itself - nor could it afford to lose them as they were essentially irreplaceable. There would also have been reputational damage to the company had they lost them.
Our goal was to keep the salespeople in the business while trying to rescue the relationship they had with the CEO. The salespeople were actually reasonably easy to mollify. They just needed an acknowledgement from the CEO that he had got the budgets wrong. Unfortunately he was unprepared to do this, and was unable to demonstrate to us how he came up with the numbers - other than saying "this is what head-office wanted".
As this was his response we then contacted the European head-office and spoke with global CEO. We explained the situation, He was completely unaware of the dissatisfaction in Australia. He then said the local CEO should have come back to him at the start and told him the numbers were wrong way back at the beginning of the year. He also knew he could not afford to lose the salespeople. It turned out he was quite reasonable. He even said he expects his local CEOs to push back on this type of stuff as they have the local knowledge not him. That's what he is paying them for.
The final result was a re-writing of the budget with the input, and buy-in, of the salespeople and an apology from the local CEO to the salespeople. Further the local CEO engaged a Locum People consultant to be his executive coach to assist him in changing his behaviours so that such instances did not recur. All parties put a line in the sand and are now working together professionally and will be successful. The Fair Work claims have been dropped.
The lessons here are as follows;
Over the last month Locum People has been asked to independently investigate 3 different bullying complaints by three different clients across two Australian states. A quick summary of cases follows;
The first was a middle manager who was making homophobic comments and taking other actions against an openly gay member of his customer service team. This was a cut and dry case complete with recordings of the manager doing it, as well as other evidence including witnesses. The manager was terminated.
The second was a complaint made against a manager by an under-performing female employee who objected to being more closely managed and observed than her colleagues (who weren’t under-performing). We reviewed the company data on her performance, compared it to her colleagues in parallel roles, and interviewed the employee and her manager. We concluded that she was not being bullied. The company has a legal right to manage and provide feedback to and coach under-performing employees. The employee resigned in this case as her complaint made her position untenable.
The last case was that of a highly experienced 60 year old female salesperson who was being “performance managed” out of the business even though she was the second highest performing salesperson (of 10) in the country. Her Manager had simply decided she was too old and wanted her to leave the business so she could be replaced with a younger person. She was clearly being unfairly treated – despite her performance she was being given substantial additional reporting and targets to meet that weren’t required of her younger colleagues. In fact the additional tasks and reporting were having an adverse effect on her sales as she was spending less time with customers in order to complete them. Our conclusion was the manager was bullying the employee because of her age, but tried to disguise it as legitimate performance management. The manager resigned when presented with our findings.
Company Directors has significant legal responsibilities to provide safe workplaces. Bullying is psycho-socially an unsafe behaviour and must not be tolerated in the workplace. Significant penalties including imprisonment apply to Directors who fail to stop bullying when they become aware of it. As an added protection, Directors will often use an external consultant like Locum People to ensure there is no personal bias applied to the investigations. In the third case mentioned above the company’s HR manager was implicated as she had been involved in the sham “performance management” meetings (in her defence, she had not been provided with the facts by the now departed manager).
If you need support with neutral third party investigations into similar complaints, please don’t hesitate to contact Locum People.
One of our clients asked us about the AI capabilities with in our Prevue Applicant Tracking Software, and that got us thinking. The Prevue ATS does not have AI capabilities yet, but we are certain AI will become a big part of recruitment in the future.
AI will become common in recruitment in various ways, including:
The most important thing in recruitment though that AI will never be able to replace is the human touch. The ability of a quality recruiter to develop and maintain relationships with candidates and employers, and bring the two together for a win-win employment relationship. AI may be able to identify a potential match but it will require a human to make it happen. AI will however replace the churn and burn paper shufflers at the shallow end of the recruitment gene pool.
Contact us if you would like to see how Prevue can streamline your recruitment in a very cost effective manner.
Locum People has been using, promoting and selling Prevue Assessments in Australia and New Zealand for well over a decade. Our clients are HR people, hiring managers, recruiters, industrial psychologists, other consultants and even a few academics. But we still get asked by new clients - why should we use Prevue?
Prevue can have several benefits, including:
Want to find out more about Prevue? Perhaps a free trial? Contact us NOW
We've all read the news. You may have even tried to recruit yourself and struggled to find quality candidates. Australia and New Zealand are facing the tightest candidate markets for decades. Quite simply, there are more jobs going around than their are candidates to fill them. It means recruitment is expensive and supply and demand, as well as inflation, is pushing salaries ever higher. It also means good employees will be approached. Headhunting is rife. Other companies want your staff - if they can't find staff by advertising they will approach your people directly or via a recruiter and will sometimes be successful at luring them away from you. And you won't be able to easily replace them. How will that affect your business?
But it's not just more money that will be offered to your employees. A good headhunter will take the time to understand what really motivates an individual and will put a holistic package together to attract them. Salary will be part of it, but it could also include a promotion, development opportunities, more authority, travel (or less travel) and many other factors.
So how do you counter this? You need to really understand what makes each of your people get up and come to work for you. If they are satisfied with what they are getting from you, it will be much more difficult to for others to lure them away. As a manager, how certain are you about each of your people's motivators?
Locum People can help. Ask us about our Retention Plus program. Our consultants will assess each of your team using our Prevue assessment system. We will then meet with your employees and review with them what they like, what they don't, how they like to be managed, what their goals are - short, medium and long-term. We can then give each employee a score that is an indication of willingness to leave. We will also make recommendations for each employee that you can use as a guide to putting in place changes to make it harder for others to recruit them. We have found employees are often far more open to an independent consultant than to their manager, so the program has real validity.
If you would like more information, please don't hesitate to contact us.
There are hundred of psychometric test providers in the market. Most have full validation from recognised national bodies such as the (American) Association for Psychological Science (APS), British Psychological Society (BPS) or the Australian Psychological Society (also APS). Usually it's a condition of receiving validation that test vendors have to provide formalised training to users, or even that users can only be recognised psychologists.
This is often because the tests results in the abstract need to be related back to cognitive and/or personality traits that are relevant to performance in the job and organisational culture.
Many test providers now make significant money from training users in the interpretation of their products' results. Providing "accreditation" - that sometimes needs to be kept current annually. It's become a revenue stream for them in its own right. If the test can only be interpreted by a recognised psychologist, you will find yourself paying even more for a meeting and/or written report. It will also take much longer as you may need to wait for a psychologist to make time available for you or or your candidate.
But what if there was a fully-validated test, that could be delivered online that measures a candidate's cognitive abilities, motivators and personality against a benchmark tailored to your specific role and organisational culture? And required no expensive and time-hogging validation to use?
Prevue is that test. It is quick to administer, cost-effective and you will provided with full training and ongoing support at no additional cost.
How can Prevue and Locum People, its premium ANZ distributor do this? Prevue has been fully validated by the BPS mentioned above and that validation is recognised worldwide. Unlike many other psychometric tests that have clinical origins, Prevue was developed from its inception for HR and business professionals. Reports are written in clear concise language and the Prevue benchmarking system allows you to tailor the reports specifically for your position. It is this benchmarking that negates the need for the additional accreditation to link results to roles. Prevue can be used not just for candidate selection, but also coaching and succession planning.
And the best part? You can get started today. What's stopping you? Call us now!
From Australia: 1300 159 300
From New Zealand: 0800 345 680
Australia and New Zealand are facing their greatest talent shortages in their employment markets since the Second World War. There are a number of factors behind it – most notably the pandemic, which led to closed borders, plummeting international students and reduced international employment mobility, as well as shifting the lifestyle expectations of many employees.
It is most definitely an employees’ market rather than an employers’ market at present, and that is not likely to change for at least a year or so.
What does that mean for employers?
It means retention of your existing staff is critical – if they leave you may not be able to replace them. And if you have quality employees – those headhunters mentioned above will be contacting them. Be prepared to make counter offers to hold critical staff if they are being offered more money. Those offers may also include a promotion or development path to one.
Most employees leave employers due to poor management. Ensure your middle managers really are ethical, professional and competent – if they are not they will almost certainly be costing your bottom line already. When a headhunter calls your staff they will probably offer them more money – but unless the increase is significant the real reason they will leave will be for better working conditions (including a better manager) and/or career opportunities.
Employers will also need to be more creative in how they lure employees to them. Workplace flexibility is a key. We are also seeing sign-on bonuses becoming more commonplace, or extra weeks’ of annual leave. One of our clients is now offering all their staff 6 weeks annual leave as standard.
In summary – ensure your employees are working in good conditions, managed well, and paid appropriately for the current market to minimise departures. If you do need to recruit – partner with a professional search consultant and be creative and flexible in how you attract and bring employees on board. Your business will need to compete for talent just as hard as it needs to compete in its own market – maybe even harder.
If you need objective external support to understand how your employees really feel about working for your organisation, or need help sourcing key staff, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Locum People.