April 22nd, 2014

 

If you google ‘how to write a resume’, you will get roughly 112,000,000 responses. It seems everyone from the Victorian Government to wikihow has an opinion on what should go into the perfect resume.

One website states that you are to include contact details, list the courses you have studied and dates of completion, employment history and your career objective. These are of course all vital and it is unlikely that anyone would omit their work history in their resume! However, in such a competitive job market it is not always WHAT you say but the WAY that you say it. That’s right – I am talking about spelling and grammar. I do not know about you, but spending an hour of your precious time learning about pronouns, verbs, apostrophes and the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’ as a child is hardly thrilling, but unlike algebra (seriously has anyone ever used Pythagoras’ theorem since high school maths class?) it is something you will use in later life.

For fans of the Melbourne comedy circuit you may be familiar with the TV show The Agony of Modern Manners starring Sam Pang, Lawrence Mooney, Hannah Gadsby and the suchlike. A recent episode discussed pet hates in the world of grammar. What I discovered is that there are common issues that drive people up the proverbial wall – confusing ‘their’ and ‘there’ and shortening words to text speak for instance.

Brad Hoover, the CEO of ‘Grammarly’ (an online grammar checker) states that nearly 60% of mistakes on resumes are grammatical ones. 60%! The average job seeker makes more than 1.5 punctuation errors on their resume (this may not seem a lot however when you are one out of fifty job applicants this can be make or break territory) the top five of which are:

  • Hyphen use (e.g. entry-level)
  • Verb tense (Led vs. leads, etc.)
  • Formatting issues: Make sure your fonts and bullets are the same throughout the resume.
  • Education information: Bachelor’s Degree vs. Bachelor
  • Careless spelling mistakes: The most commonly misspelled words were simple words such as “and” “planned” and “materials.”

Despite the red and blue wiggly lines of Microsoft Word it is easy to miss a few mistakes here and there. For one thing when reading over your resume you will likely re read what you thought you wrote rather than what is actually on the screen. When it comes to something as vital as a resume it is definitely worth taking the time to proof read it. Also ask someone else to read over it for you as they are likely to pick up things that you will miss.

If in doubt there is a lot of helpful information online. With so many resources at your fingertips employers are even less forgiving of such errors – check, check and check again!

- Beth

April 17th, 2014

So we all sit around and eat chocolate eggs delivered by a giant bunny. Yes, it is the slightly bizarre yet much loved holiday that is Easter.

So how do we celebrate at Aspect I hear you ask?

Well anyone who has popped into the office recently will have seen the lovely bowl of Easter eggs we have at reception (well, we did have them at reception. They are conveniently located on the way out of the office and so may or may have been eaten by Aspect staff).

On top of this, the lovely Cassandra and Leanne organised an Easter egg hunt. For fun. Not for competition. Telling a group of recruitment consultants that something is not a competition is like telling Melbournians that coffee is not essential.

So off we went – there was pushing, there was shoving, and there was a LOT of fun. Those eggs were everywhere – from board room chairs to desk drawers, and in the pursuit of being crowned King or Queen of the egg hunt we worked off a lot of the calories that we have since consumed.

A huge congratulations to Maxine Bazeley for collecting 36 eggs and winning the hunt! We can all spend the long weekend enjoying the rewards of our scavenging efforts. After all, everyone knows that Easter calories do not count. Fact.

Happy Easter!!

To see more photos click here>

-  Beth

April 15th, 2014

For the second year, Aspect Personnel is supporting YGAP’s innovative fundraising campaign – The 5cent campaign.   YGAP is a not for profit organisation that supports Social Entrepreneurs who have ideas how to end world poverty, and the 5cent campaign is one of those creative ideas!

In May 2012 and 2013, the 5cent Campaign collected 3,660,000 five cent coins totalling $183,468!

Proceeds from the 5cent campaign go towards funding projects such as:

  • Australia: SecondBite’s Food Mate program giving vulnerable people access to fresh food and educating them about its benefits.
  • Cambodia: supporting young women to become future leaders through innovative development programs;
  • Rwanda: collaborative partnership with Sanejo to support the Ntenyo Primary School.

As well as collecting 5 cent pieces in the office, Aspect will be donating 5 cents for every hour that we work during the month of May.  Further, we are going to donate an additional 5 cents for every hour that our contractors work during the month of May!

We’re also inviting our contractors and clients to join us on the 5cent campaign, to donate 5 cents for every hour they work in the month of May. To put this into perspective, that’s approximately $1.90 per week.  While it may not make much difference to you and I, together we can help change the lives of those less fortunate.

If you would like to know how you can get involved, or get your own workplace involved, please send me an e-mail s.fife@aspectpersonnel.com.au

To find out more about The 5Cent Campaign, check out their feature on Channel Ten’s “The Project” below.

To learn more about YGAP and what they do, check out their website at http://www.5cent.com.au/.

- Sara

 

April 4th, 2014

Yesterday afternoon I almost put my “out of office” email reply on, and I’m sure that could have been arranged…But I don’t think “See you tomorrow – I’m off to the circus” would have sufficed for our clients and candidates. As that’s exactly what we did for our quarterly social event!

Circus Oz in Collingwood, aside from doing the obvious, offer exciting team building activities to corporate clients.

We did a variety of activities including: a warm-up a game of run from Mr Bear (think tag – you’re it), the flying trapeze, we learnt to juggle, and leant our hands to diabolo sticks. The last task was to attempt a human pyramid. Though not just any pyramid. A round one. I know, impressive right? Which we aced if I do say so!

It was a time to have fun, encourage team members (I did hear ‘circus genius’ used once), and to laugh at yourself – especially if you’re as unco as me at juggling.

Thanks to Jo and Callan for keeping us safe!

I highly recommend Circus Oz for a fun team building activity.

For more info on Circus OZ click here>

To see more pictures click here>

- Bonnie

April 1st, 2014

Aspect are pleased to announce the arrival of the 2014 PACE Survey.

Now in its second year, the PACE Survey is a comprehensive report on salary levels, business conditions and HR practices across the Victorian Town Planning, Architecture, Engineering and Construction industries.

The finished report is a 115 page, hard copy book that collates analyses and reports on raw data gathered from firms within the above industries. Information reported on includes business activity, human resources processes, recruitment activity, staff retention and turnover, as well as employee salary levels.

Matthew Sampson, author of The PACE Survey, comments on this year’s report: “We are thrilled with the quality of data received from contributors this year! It is particularly interesting to compare predictions from 2013 survey to trends identified in this year’s edition”.

The PACE Survey remains proudly not-for-profit, with 100% of revenue generated from its distribution being donated to a charitable organisation. Sampson says “we are proud to be partnering with YGAP (www.ygap.com.au) this year and assisting them in their mission to help communities that have been disadvantaged by poverty to become self-sustainable”.

For more information on, or to order a copy of The 2014 PACE Survey, visit www.pacesurvey.com.au. For all additional enquiries, please e-mail contact@pacesurvey.com.au

March 31st, 2014

Aspect are thrilled to be announced as a national finalist in the 2014 RCSA Corporate Social Responsibility Award.

The award recognises businesses’ individual commitment to CSR and celebrates the importance of CSR to the Recruitment sector.

Aspect are proud to support both the community and environment in which we operate. Our approach to CSR is not one of grandeur, but rather an effort to incorporate consideration of social responsibility into our day to day decision making and business operations. We strive to develop a CSR culture that is not only embraced by our staff, but driven by them.

The Aspect team are looking forward to joining friends and colleagues at the 2014 RCSA Gala Ball, where the award winner will be announced.

Win, lose or draw, we are looking forward to a brilliant evening!

For more information on Aspect’s CSR program, including how you can get involved, please contact Sara Fife at s.fife@aspectpersonnel.com.au

- Matt

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March 26th, 2014

I will preface this article with two points:

  1. I am not a psychologist – I run a recruitment consultancy.
  2. I am an absolute cynic when it comes to presentations and books regarding “how to change your mind set to improve your life”.

In August of last year, I saw a chap by the name of Dr. Adam Fraser present at a conference I was attending. Despite my initial scepticism, I was so inspired by what he said that I not only bought his book, but also a record player to set up in my office (I’ll come back to that later).

The presentation (and book) I refer to, what Fraser calls, the Third Space. He describes life as a series of different roles, or “spaces”. For example, I play the role of Recruitment Consultant, Manager and Husband on a daily basis. Each space carries with it different environments, different responsibilities and different tasks.

Fraser goes on to describe the window in which we transition between each space (the first and second space) as the “third space” and it is what we do in this space that defines how well we operate in the second space. The challenge is what you do in that third space so as to show up with the right mindset for your next space or role.

 Spaces? Sounds like psychological jibba jabba, I know. But let me give you an example of what I mean.

I arrive to work to find that a contract worker has not shown to up to their assignment and is not contactable. My client is understandably furious. After spending 2 hours to eventually find a suitable replacement, I too am furious. This is my first space.

I move straight from that task into an employee annual review (my second space). My employee has exceeded the majority of expectations that I set her. She deserves a detailed review, acknowledgement of her performance and praise for her continued hard work and commitment to the business. I am, however, still fuming from the two hours that I just wasted. So instead of reviewing her performance and celebrating her success, I skim over details and rush through the review so that I can get back to my desk and catch up on the two hours of work I lost this morning.

Fraser makes the point that you need to “show up” to each space with the right emotions, thoughts and behaviour (posture, presence, energy levels, facial expressions, choice of words, tone of voice) to effectively complete you’re the responsibilities of that space.

In the above example, I carried my emotions (frustration, anger) from my morning with me rather than displaying more appropriate emotions, such as appreciation and gratitude.

They say that a great leader is one who inspires. I can tell you that, in the above example, I was anything but inspirational. Did I have control over my contractor not turning up for work? No. But I did have control to shut down my reaction to this news before stepping into my staff member’s performance review.

Another example referenced by Fraser is the transition between your “work” space and “home” space. This is something that I can certainly relate to – as I write this newsletter article while on holiday with my wife…

During the day, the success of my role requires decisive behaviour and efficient (direct and fast) conversations. At night time, this behaviour doesn’t fly so well with my wife. I struggled to switch off from effective work mode and into good husband mode.

This is where the record player comes in. In September last year, I bought and set up a record player in my office. At 6pm every day, I stop work, listen to a side of a record (embarrassingly, it seems like “easy listening” is my genre of choice) and decompress from the day. By the time I get home, I’m in a more relaxed state of mind and happy to have a “less efficient” conversations with my wife.

I appreciate this article has turned into more of a book summary than an HR article, but I will leave with this to ponder…

We all work in a role that requires us to move from task to task, meeting to meeting, from “space” to “space”. But how effectively are we transitioning between them? Are you carrying over frustration from a tough meeting into one that should be a celebratory one? Are you talking to your wife like she is an employee? Make sure you use the gap between spaces (albeit a short one) to transition your state of mind to one that is appropriate to your next responsibility.

For me, a record player works – I find it relaxing. Whatever it is, do something within the transition windows between each space to ensure that you arrive at your next task with the right emotions, energy and behaviour to be most successful in performing that task.

For more information on The Third Space, go to www.thethirdspace.com.au. If I have sparked your interest, I highly recommend you read the book – it explains the concept much better than I do.

- Matt Sampson

March 25th, 2014

How long have you worked for Aspect?

Since Oct 2009

 What is the funniest moment you’ve experienced at Aspect?

I actually don’t know where to start. There have been so many over the years. These moments normally happen at Aspect Xmas parties, social nights, Industry events etc. which I won’t repeat for the sake of reputations in the office.

What is the strangest recruiting request you’ve ever had?

Not so much a recruiting request but I did have someone from the general public walk into our office, walk straight past reception into the back office and sit on my desk. Not only did she put all of her bags on my desk, she even asked me to search google to help her find a particular building she was meant to have a meeting at.

Before Aspect, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

During university I worked at Crown Casino in the Palladium room as a Service Manager. I ran events such as The Logies, Brownlow Medal, Alan Border Medal just to name a few. I was fortunate enough in meeting some of the best actors, musicians and sport starts in the country.

Nicknames

Paz, MP and Parrental.

Are you married?

Recently engaged. Getting married in Jan 2015.

What are your hobbies?

Playing football (A grade Amateurs), basketball and starting to get into surfing.

What is the last book you read?

Marching Powder written by Rusty Young. If you haven’t read it yet do yourself a favour. It’s a true story about life in the notorious San Pedro prison in Bolivia. Definitely worth reading!

 Favourite quote?

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Celebrity look alike?

Big Bird – Apparently I have a big nose and my “friends” keep reminding me of this as a joke. Unfortunately not all of us are blessed with the good looks of Brad Pitt.

If you could be a superhero, what would your superpowers be?

Without a doubt, mindreading – This would definitely help me as a recruiter and more importantly with my fiancée.

March 5th, 2014

As the nights draw in and summer reaches its end, it is easy to feel rather sad as the sunshine diminishes. However this time of year does bring with it one great day – Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday as some may know it). A day dedicated to the consumption of Pancakes – what a brilliant idea!

For those of you who like your history, Pancake Day originates from the days when people purged their larder in preparation for Lent. Pancakes were a great way to use up rich foods such as eggs, flour and sugar.

Here at the Aspect office our resident Chef, Ben Mitchell, cooked up a feast with the assistance of Maxine Bazeley for those of us who are gluten free – thank you both!! We had an array of toppings – Nutella, strawberries, lemon, sugar – delicious! A glorious way to start Lent for those who are participating.

Seeing as my birthday is mid-March I have always struggled to keep to this season of fasting. Of course you do not have to go down the traditional road of giving up sweet treats. One can always minimise the use of mobile phones, reduce caffeine intake or even vow to spend a little less time watching E!

Are you planning to give up anything for Lent? Please let me know what it is and how you go! After all, willpower gets stronger the more it is exercised.

- Beth

March 4th, 2014

If I was to ask the general Melbourne population ‘what were you doing at 5:15am on Sunday?’, very few would have responded with ‘dressing in lycra and preparing for a triathlon.’

On Sunday 2nd March, members of the Aspect team were up bright and early, warming up on Elwood beach in readiness to swim, cycle and run in the 27th annual Corporate Triathlon, which was sponsored by Fitness First this year.

The triathlon consisted of a 400m swim, a 10km bike ride and finished with a 5km run and participants compete in teams of three. Team Aspect consisted of Adam Brown, brother Rodney Brown and myself.

I was first to go, and after moderate preparation – ie: weekly bike rides, swims in the bay and lunchtime jogs, I felt more prepared than last year.

The swim was tough! 400m doesn’t sound far, and is an easy distance to run for many – but swimming in the Bay was definitely the most difficult leg of the race for me.

Next was the 10km cycle, and after grabbing my bike from the transition area I started the route from Elwood beach, up through St.Kilda to Armstrong Street and back to Elwood beach again. My new bike proved to be a good investment, and I beat my ride time from last year, and managed to leave some of our industry competitors in my dust along the way.

By the time I started the 5km run I was feeling tired, but really wanted to beat my overall time from last year, and seeing as it was a relay, I needed to get back to tag the next team member – Rodney.

I finished with a time of 50minutes 32 seconds.

Rodney was a really strong swimmer. Actually he was strong at everything. He filled in at the last minute after a late withdrawal due to injury. He competed in true Team Aspect style, giving it everything and completing the three legs in 49minutes 49 seconds.

The heart of Team Aspect, Adam Brown, brought us home in 55 minutes 51 seconds, with our team total recorded at 2:36:13. A new Aspect record!

Overall, we placed 112th, but in our industry category…. drumroll… we came SECOND. Epic!
The dozens of global recruitment & HR consultancies we competed against just weren’t strong enough against Team Aspect.

Thanks to those who supported us, including Aspect’s Sanj Shouan. We’re not sure if he came to cheer us on or for the morning sausage sizzle and beers, but it was great to have a cheer squad.

In true competitive Aspect spirit – next year the aim is to be NUMBER 1!

- Mark