Turbocharge your LinkedIn profile

With over 830 million members, LinkedIn is by far the largest professional network in the world. Some people know everything there is to know about LinkedIn and use it to their advantage daily, while others may have created a profile several years ago and don’t remember their password. These are two extremes, but if you’re closer to the latter, your out of date profile could be harming your online reputation and result in missing out on new career opportunities, freelance work or sales leads.

If your LinkedIn could use a little work to get it to ‘All Star’ status, take a look at the tips below to turbocharge your profile.

Profile picture
We’ve all received a connection request from someone with a greyed out circle as a profile picture. It instantly suggests that person doesn’t really use their account. If that’s what your current profile picture is currently, it could be giving the same impression to others. Your profile picture should reflect you and also where you work as well as the type of work you do. If you work for an ad agency, wearing a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers every day, then having a suit in your profile picture doesn’t make sense. The same goes in reverse, however, don’t be too casual if your workplace isn’t, this isn’t Instagram. If not sure which way to go, go with a slightly more professional formal clothing option, it’s better to be overdressed than under and it plays into the old saying ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’.

Make sure your headline is up to date. For this many people will have their title and their workplace, however, you can make it say anything. If you hold several positions, are on a board, freelance among other things, then having a headline that summarises what you do will often be a better option than just the job title and company where you primarily work.

Add experience
Be sure to have at least three positions listed including your current or most recent role. If you changed industries at some point, older roles, or jobs you held during study probably aren’t necessary. Add detail to the roles on your profile. Try to include KPIs met and impressive responsibilities where possible. If you were promoted within a company, make sure to show that progression, not just one title for the whole time you worked there.

Education and qualifications
Education is good to include, but don’t go any further back than university unless you’re a graduate. Other good information to include are volunteer experience, accomplishments, interests, publications and any new qualifications such as post-graduate study or certificates or training relevant to your role and field.

Don’t recycle
Don’t simply rehash your resume on your LinkedIn profile. Your profile is a chance to stand out and remember that people have short attention spans on the internet. So, use dot points and short sentences where you can and try to say a lot with a little when it comes to text.

Add in keywords throughout your profile that will ensure your profile shows up in searches conducted by recruiters. Your profile summary and subject line (which can be your current role) are the best place to put these keywords.

Be open
Set your profile to ‘open to work’ if you’re actively looking for work. Recruiters will see this and know you’re open to opportunities. However, keep in mind that the recruiters at your own workplace might see this too. Also, add your contact details to your profile to ensure you’re easy to get in touch with if you want people to contact you about jobs or leads.

Give and receive recommendations
Recommendations are like mini references. Just before leaving a job, it’s a good idea to ask your superiors or relevant colleagues to provide you with a recommendation. If struggling to get people to provide them, it helps to do the same for them beforehand.

Proof it
Proofread your profile, perhaps even ask a friend to. Any spelling mistakes will undermine any achievements listed within your profile and will likely turn recruiters and potential customers off.

Vanity URL
Create a custom profile URL for your account. This way you can provide it to people easily as well as print it on business cards, your resume or put it in your email signature. It looks a lot cleaner to have LinkedIn.com/in/GregSmith than a jumble of letters and numbers at the end of the URL.

Stay up to date
Update your profile regularly. Your profile should always have an up to date picture, your current position and recent achievements. You should also periodically delete things from your profile. For example, if you made your profile a decade ago, having customer service jobs while studying on your profile probably isn’t relevant anymore.

How strong is your profile?
Check your LinkedIn profile strength. Ideally, you want this to be ‘All-Star’, if it’s not, keep adding relevant content until it is. You can see this on the top right-hand side of your Dashboard when viewing your profile.

Use the platform regularly
Using LinkedIn correctly and frequently can help build connections leading to sales, job offers and more. Try the following:

  • Join and participate in groups. This can increase your visibility on LinkedIn and lead to meeting fellow professionals in your industry
  • Follow companies and influencers
  • Connect with colleagues past and present and those you meet through the course of business dealings
  • Publish posts and articles. When doing so, keep it timely, short and sweet and include a call to action where possible. Also don’t go overboard with the hashtags.
  • Engage with content posted by your connections, companies, groups and influencers you follow
  • Don’t reveal any proprietary information that is against company policy on your profile.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

The TASK-based approach and tools for effective remote team management

Managing a remote or hybrid team can be challenging. Team members not being physically present presents its own set of challenges. It’s hard to measure how much time your team members have spent on their work without direct supervision. It can also be hard to get a sense of what they’re working on, and you may not be able to offer them the same guidance when they’re not in the same room. Although, with the right set of tools and processes, managing teams remotely doesn’t have to be difficult. There are steps and tools to help you track and follow proper processes while you keep your remote team engaged.

The TASK-based approach is a set of processes for each project:

  • Take the time to do research & plan before setting project directions
  • Allocate & communicate the scope of work & deadlines
  • Solve anticipated problems in advance
  • Keep all stakeholders informed on the project status, feedback & post-mortem reviews

According to Harvard Business School Researchers Robert Pozen and Kevin Downey, working longer hours does not necessarily mean higher productivity, but that working smarter is the key to being more effective. Therefore, it is more relevant to measure the effectiveness of your remote workers based on how well they complete each task than monitor the hours worked.

Applying the “TASK-based” approach could help you create a systematic process for your remote team to identify the specific challenges, get the work done, and measure the effectiveness or output of each member. When you manage a remote or hybrid team, it’s not realistic to measure staff performance based on the number of hours they put in. Rather, it should be measured on the output or quality of their delivery.

  • Take the time to do research & plan before setting project directions

This is the most important process of managing a remote or a hybrid team when beginning a project. First and foremost, all resources should be compiled under ONE virtual platform or “drawing board” for everyone’s reference which includes useful resources to support the project. This may include researched information, customer feedback, competitor activities, job scopes of team members, strategies and objectives, budgets, and others). An example of a collaborative virtual platform is Trello – a web-based Kanban-style project management software with a built-in collaborative function. Kanban is a Japanese word for “signboard”. Trello has digital signboards, lists and cards for users to create tasks, share files, collaborate and communicate with all remote team members to stay organised. It can also be integrated within Microsoft Teams.

  • Allocate & communicate the scope of work & deadlines

Make known the deadlines and your expectations for each part of the project to all team members. Don’t assume team members know their scope of work, deadlines and what you want if it hasn’t been explicitly communicated. Leaders lacking in communication skills can cause huge costs or delays to projects. For example, each team member may think that the work is still pending from someone else, but in reality, no one is working on it because the scope of work may be a shared responsibility. Give each team member realistic deadlines for deliverables. You may want to use an online gantt chart to track the timeline and get an overview of the team’s calendar, project status, and any pending approvals. Aside from Trello, Asana is another online project management tool that has this inbuilt timeline view.

  • Solve anticipated problems in advance

Once you have laid out the scope of work and deadlines for your team, it’s time to solve anticipated problems in advance. This is the stage is where you need to identify any and all roadblocks even when your team members are working remotely. Usually, the best way to discern this is by monitoring the timeline. When there’s a delay in whichever part of the scope of work, it’s a signal for you as manager to dive in to diagnose and treat the problem quickly.

  • Keep all stakeholders informed on project status, feedback & post-mortem reviews

Although everyone may be working remotely, with technology, you can communicate with anyone at anytime from anywhere. You can keep all your stakeholders informed on the status of the project and get their feedback using online communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype and Slack. Interval updates and feedback from all stakeholders can also help during post-mortem reviews. It can be useful to analyse the causes of failure and determine corrective steps while helping to navigate more effectively for future projects.

There are plenty of online project management tools available today, which help in managing an entire project remotely. However, having a great tool without the right processes will not help in increasing the effectiveness of the entire remote team. The TASK-based approach is a framework for a systematicprocess that helps you to manage your entire project team remotely to ensure effective management and quality delivery of projects.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

Look out for yourself and others this Heart Week

This week from May 2nd to May 8th is Heart Week. A week all about raising awareness of the importance of taking care of one of the body’s most vital organs and the role everyone, as well as healthcare professionals, play in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

One of the main goals of Heart Week each year, in addition to increased awareness relating to heart health, is to deliver as many Heart Health Checks to as many at-risk Australians as possible. Every one of us has power to change the statistics by focussing on simple, routine practices that have a measurable life-saving impact. Start by downloading your Heart Week digital promotional pack from The Heart Foundation today. Their Heart Week microsite also features many other resources, such as a webinar on cholesterol management, a toolkit on managing heart checks and a competition to spread the word about Heart Week.

If you’re worried about your heart health, we’ve put some tips together below to help identify if you might be in trouble. If you think you or someone else may be having heart attack, please contact emergency services immediately.

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease. Heart attacks happen when one or more of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to your heart, become blocked. This means blood and oxygen can’t reach the heart and causes damage to the heart muscle.

Most common signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest discomfort or pain (angina). This can feel like uncomfortable pressure, aching, numbness, squeezing, fullness or pain in your chest. This can spread to your arms, neck, jaws or back
  • Chest discomfort or pain can last for several minutes or come and go

Other less common signs of a heart attack

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or feeling faint
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Jaw, shoulder and back pain
  • Fatigue / Tiredness
  • Sweating or a cold sweat
  • No warning signs at all
  • Women under 50 years of age present more often with non-chest pain symptoms

What to do if you think you are having a heart attack:

  • A heart attack can only be diagnosed by medical tests
  • Do not ignore the warning signs of a heart attack

If you’re experiencing the warning signs of a heart attack, tell someone and seek urgent medical attention as soon as possible.

If symptoms are severe, or getting worse, or last for more than 10 minutes, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Healthy heart tips to reduce the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease:

  • Be smoke-free
  • Do regular exercise
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Reduce your alcohol intake
  • Look after your mental health
  • Manage high blood pressure and cholesterol
  • For people with diabetes, manage blood sugar levels

If you’re wanting to learn more about Heart Week or the work that The Heart Foundation does, check out their website here.

Workforce Insights Report: Building agility with a contingent workforce

We’re pleased to launch our latest Workforce Insights Report, which shows that the Contingent Workforce will play an even more critical role for businesses moving forward on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over 1,000 employers from 12 markets across the APAC region were surveyed for our report, and provided their opinion about Contingent Workforce. These included Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

You can download the full report here, which highlights the trends and adoption of a contingent workforce during and after the effects of the pandemic.

Key Takeaways

  • The effects of the pandemic and technological forces are reshaping business models and the nature of work across APAC. The speed of these changes, alongside economic uncertainty as supply and demand fluctuates, has encouraged companies of all sizes to rethink their traditional workforce strategies and embrace fresh hiring approaches to stay competitive.
  • A Contingent Workforce is already an important part of workforce strategies in APAC, with over 50% of all companies across the region surveyed saying they turn to it when experiencing a headcount shortage.
  • This trend is accelerating, with around 25% of companies across APAC who are already using a contingent workforce, saying they plan to expand on this over the next two years. Almost half of all companies surveyed are currently turning to a contingent workforce for up to 10% of their workforce, and are also planning to continue to expand their contingent workforce to 15% and above in the next two years.

Recruitment agencies bring speed and efficiency to the talent acquisition process and free up companies’ Human Resources and other internal teams to focus on their core competencies, leaving the specialist recruiters to do what they do best.

The Contingent Workforce forms a core part of the fast-growing Gig Economy that continues to reshape the world of work. Many contingent workers are now highly skilled in specialised areas, where they are increasingly seen by businesses as part of the mainstream workforce, and not secondary to full-timers. Our survey reports that Asia Pacific companies are most likely to offer the same or better rewards to attract the right talent for long-term assignments.

The survey findings clearly show that the contingent workforce will play an even more critical role for businesses moving forward, and that to succeed in this fast-evolving landscape, companies need to be ready to adapt quickly and have a robust Contingent Workforce strategy in place.

Download the full report here.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

Invest in our planet this Earth Day

Earth Day 2022 is Friday, April 22nd and this year the annual event is all about investing in our planet to build a safe and prosperous future for everyone. Unless businesses around the globe act now, the effects of climate change will impact economies, increase scarcity, drain profits and dampen job prospects. That’s in addition to rising sea levels which will have severe impacts on coastal communities as well as far-reaching effects on every single person on Earth.

This year the team behind Earth Day is promoting the Earth Day Climate Action Summit, which is centred all-around reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century to keep global temperature rises below 1.5 ° Celsius. This is the required greenhouse gas reduction needed by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement.

While undoubtedly much of the progress needed to effectively tackle climate change must come from corporations and governments, that doesn’t mean that we as individuals don’t have important roles to play.

There are a multitude of ways that you can get involved, from attending Earth day events, joining in the movement on social media, downloading the Earth Day 2022 toolkit, helping plant trees or perhaps organising a clean-up. While Earth Day is one day a year, there are many ways you can invest in our planet to combat climate change any day of the year. Why not talk to management at your company about implementing more recycling, getting rid of single-use plastics and other sustainable initiatives?

When choosing which politicians you want to represent you from a council level all the way to the federal level, choose ones that align with your views on climate change, sustainability and the environment. As well as voting in elections, you can also vote with your feet too. Many companies aren’t doing enough to tackle environmental issues, so you can choose to avoid supporting them with your custom and buy from companies that are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to climate change and sustainability.

The Earth Day website has a list of 52 ways you can invest in our planet. One day for every week of the year; things you can implement on a weekly and even daily basis to ensure the impact of Earth Day is felt year-round. You can read the full list here, but below are a few favourites to inspire you:

  • Email, don’t print
  • Reduce food wastage
  • Calculate your carbon footprint
  • Calculate your plastic consumption
  • Ask for green power
  • Switch to reusable bags
  • Organise a community clean up
  • Compost
  • Switch to online bills and statements

Explaining a career break

Career breaks are common and often necessary for a variety of reasons. However, you’re not alone if the thought of addressing a break in your resume or an interview gives you anxiety. Hiring managers know that caregiving, having children, travelling and redundancy are legitimate reasons to have a gap in your resume, it’s all about how you choose to disclose this information that can help or hinder your job search.

It’s common

Remember having a break from work isn’t rare and there are many other job seekers out there in the same boat, so don’t be tempted to try and hide it. It is much better to be upfront about your career gap, why it occurred and make it clear that you’re excited to get back to work.

People are sometimes happy to mention positive reasons for a gap such as having a family, travelling or further study while might be less inclined to talk about being unable to find employment, being fired or made redundant. The effect the pandemic has had on workers globally has impacted the way we’ve all treated job loss. Even if it hasn’t happened to you, you likely know someone who has lost their job since the start of 2020 and people, including hiring managers, are more understanding of people who have been through this recently.

A Fast Company study discovered that job applicants who disclosed the reason for their career break on their resume and cover letter received nearly 60% more interviews than those who did not provide a reason.

Show what you did while between work

If you studied or completed a course, even volunteering, during a gap in roles, these are all good to declare because it again shows that you’re not wallowing in your circumstances and instead bettering yourself to make yourself a more well-rounded person and professional candidate. LinkedIn recently introduced a career gap feature so you can add what type of break it was and what you did to the experience section of your profile.

Explain why it occurred

Almost all career breaks or gaps are explainable, whether you were ill, or caring for someone, staying at home with children or travelled. These are all legitimate reasons to not be working for a time. The most likely concern any employer will have if you haven’t worked for a while will be the fact you may not be up to date on the latest information in your industry. This is where you can comfort a hiring manager by telling them you regularly read articles, journals and periodicals to stay up to date with news and advances in whatever industry you worked in. This also shows that you’re passionate about your field of work if you actively engaged in it while not working.

Think of the positives

Another thing to think about if feeling like your lack of recent work is a detriment to your job hopes is that recruiters might look favourably upon your application as they may you to be less likely to take leave soon after starting due to burn out or needing a holiday compared to a candidate coming straight across from an existing role without a break. The way you adapted to your potentially unique circumstances during your break could also play to your advantage.

Consider when it occurred

If you are currently in the middle of a break from work, being more forthright in a cover letter and interview is more important, however if you had a few months between work a few years ago, but have been employed since, it’s not as crucial to address.

You may be tempted to extend your time at each company on your resume by a few months to cover up a break, however being honest ensures reference checks don’t bring you undone. You are however within your rights to just put years on resume for each position, such as ‘Company x 2017-2019’. Therefore, if you had several months between jobs in 2019, any gap will not jump out as much if at all.

Be confident

If coming off a break, state in your cover letter or regularly reiterate in an interview that your break has finished, whatever the reason, and you’re motivated and excited to renter the workforce. However, be careful to still talk about why the role you’re going for is an exciting opportunity and don’t display a desperateness to take any job to get back to work.

Knowing what you’re going to say when asked about any gaps in an interview can avoid you being caught off guard. Even offering up this information freely before being asked outright can show initiative and honesty and displays that you’re not trying to hide a break or shy away from it.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

2022 Australian Federal Budget

Training and employment are a major focus of 2022 Budget

With the federal government facing a do-or-die election, the Budget left nothing to chance.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg squeezed every ounce of government largesse to soothe the pain from the rising living costs, tepid wages growth and looming interest rate increases.

The headline assistance measures include:

  • A one-off cost of living tax offset of $420 from 1 July 2022
  • A one-off cost of living payment of $250 to pensioners and welfare recipients
  • A temporary cut in fuel excise from 44.2 cents per litre to 22.1 cents

The Budget is framed around a remarkably positive economic outlook:

  • Real GDP expected to grow by 4¼ per cent in 2021-22 and by 3½ per cent in 2022-23
  • Unemployment forecast to fall to 3¾ per cent by September and remain at that level until 2024‑25
  • Wage growth forecast to increase from 2¾ per cent in 2021-22 to 3¼ per cent in 2022-23
  • Inflation to rise to 4¼ per cent by the June quarter of 2022
  • A budget deficit of $79.8 billion, about $20 billion lower than previously forecast

Apprentice incentives overhauled

One of the surprises was a major overhaul of apprenticeship incentive payments.

Last weekend, the government released a Budget snippet with the news that the highly successful Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) and Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidies would be extended for three months to 30 June 2022.

However, the Budget went much further. From 1 July 2022, BAC and other apprentice support programs will be replaced by a streamlined (and much less costly) Australian Apprentices Incentives System (AAIS).

Much of the focus of the new AAIS will be on improving completions, addressing skills shortages, and boosting the number of women in the trades. The AAIS will effectively replace the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program and will be introduced in two phases.

The first phase from 1 July 2022 will provide wage subsidies for employers in “priority occupations” and hiring incentives for employers in non-priority occupations.

Employers of apprentices in priority occupations will receive a wage subsidy of 10 per cent for first and second year apprentices, and 5 per cent for third year apprentices. Employers of apprentices in non-priority occupations will receive a $3,500 hiring incentive.

Apprentices and trainees in priority occupations will receive a direct payment – the new Australian Apprentices Training Support Payment – of up to $5,000, comprising $1,250 paid every six months over two years.

The second phase of the AAIS will commence 1 July 2024 with a different payment structure, based on a hiring incentive of up to $4,000 for employers in priority occupations, and a payment of up to $3,000 for apprentices in priority occupations.

The revamped system will be underpinned by a new Australian Apprenticeships Priority List which will be developed and overseen by the National Skills Commission (NSC). The list will detail the occupations with an apprenticeship or traineeship pathway and those with strong future demand, and will be updated annually.

The Government will also provide $22 million to expand eligibility for the Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans (formerly the Trade Support Loans Scheme) to align with the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List, and enable backdating of payments to provide immediate support to recipients.

All new apprentices will receive a follow-up call within three months of commencing to ensure any issues are identified. The government will fund 2,500 more in-training support places for young apprentices.

Skills policy opens up a political gap

Skills policy is now emerging as one key difference between the Coalition and Labor. While the Coalition will use the NSC for its priority occupations list, Labor has promised a new independent agency, Jobs and Skills Australia. Labor can also be expected to place a different emphasis on the priority skills that will attract government funding, while it will emphasise TAFE ahead of private RTOs.

Labor supports the government’s plan for a series of Industry Clusters to transform the development of training products, but it says unions must be part of the tripartite structure, along with industry and government.

More women in the trades

The government will provide $39 million to encourage more women into non-traditional trade apprenticeships through guaranteed Gateway Service places provided by the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN).

This will entail the AASN providers delivering pastoral care, career and industry mentoring, counselling and mediation, and personalised advice and information on career options and apprenticeships pathways.

An additional $4 million will be provided to assist more women to take up roles in the digital technology sector. The program will provide free tailored online digital training including coaching and mentoring to pursue a mid-career transition into the tech workforce.

National workforce strategy

A central piece of the post-COVID-19 environment is a new National Workforce Strategy that aims for a “more coordinated and joined-up approach” to workforce issues. The strategy will operate across Commonwealth agencies and has a goal of facilitating mobility in regional areas to meet workforce demand.

The strategy is aligned to the government’s broader commitment to the regions, including a $38 billion infrastructure spend and the $2.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.

The idea of revitalising manufacturing has become an article of faith after COVID-19 exposed serious gaps. With almost a third of manufacturing activity in the regions, there will be big opportunities to rebuild and grow.

The government is starting the process with $200 million in a regional accelerator program which will invest in skills, education infrastructure, export market development and supply chain resilience in the regions.

Tax deductibility for training and technology

Small businesses will have access to a new 20 per cent bonus deduction for eligible external training courses for upskilling employees, commencing from Budget night.

A similar arrangement will apply for small business investment in digital technology. Small businesses will be able to deduct an additional 20 per cent of the cost of expenses up to $100,000 on items such as portable payment devices, cyber security systems, subscriptions to cloud-based services and website development.

Kickstarting a national skills agreement

The stalled National Skills Agreement between the Commonwealth, states and territories receives a $3.7 billion injection aimed at delivering an extra 800,000 training places over five years. The agreement was due to be finalised last year but so far, no state or territory has signed up. 

The government has added almost $50 million over two years to support additional 15,000 free and low-fee JobTrainer positions in aged care.

The focus on the human services sector sees a new National Care and Support Workforce Strategy with funding of $249 million to address workforce pressures. The scale of the challenge is revealed in the Budget papers which show spending on the National Disability Insurance Scheme expected to overtake spending on defence by 2024-25, with expenditure having blown out by $40 billion over the forward estimates.

Boosting jobs and industry

ReBoot, a new pre-employment program for young people aged 15-24, will aim to build the capacity of disadvantaged youth.

A total of $53 million over five years will be provided to Workforce Australia to work with community organisations with the aim of assisting 5,000 young Australians on a pathway to work.

The challenge of finding workers for agricultural and harvest work sees funding for the AgMove program extended until the end of this year.

Harvest workers need to complete 40 hours of agricultural work over at least a two-week period to be able to claim up to $2,000 for Australians and $650 for eligible visa holders.

The reimbursement rises to $6,000 for eligible Australian workers and $2,000 for eligible visa holders if they complete at least 120 hours of work in a minimum four-week period.

Defence will see a five-year commitment of $20 million for the Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry Grant Program which will provide training and skilling opportunities for the defence industry.

A race to the polls

As would be expected of a Budget just weeks out from an election, the document paints a generally upbeat picture.  Australia has certainly performed better than most countries in sustaining economic and employment growth.

It is quite remarkable to consider that employment has recovered to pre-pandemic levels at such a rapid rate. Yet, there’s no escaping the significant risks flowing from global events, most notably the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As the Budget papers note: “There will be significant spillover effects globally, with risks to commodity trade generating sharply higher energy and agricultural prices and further strain on global supply chains.”

As an energy and food exporter with limited trade exposure to Russia, Australia is better placed than many other countries to absorb these impacts.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be hoping for no big surprises. He has now laid the last major plank in his re-election strategy and will be heading off to see the Governor-General as early as this weekend.

Unless stated otherwise, information was sourced from the Commonwealth Budget 2022 documents, ministerial statements, media releases and portfolio papers budget.gov.au/. This is general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice from Programmed. Programmed is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information relates to your unique circumstances. Programmed is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided.

Together, Programmed and PERSOLKELLY are the leading providers of staffing, operations and maintenances services across Australia and New Zealand and one of the largest workforce solutions providers in the APAC region.

From market-leading staffing programs, to advanced people management, innovation and technology; we support your business to navigate and stay ahead of the rapidly changing world of work. 

Together our experienced, capable team of problem-solvers will help you achieve more.

Wayne Weeks: Life in the military and beyond

Wayne Weeks reached the highest enlisted rank within the Army and was second in command of the Special Air Service Regiment. He served within the SAS for over 25 years, during which he saw some of the most challenging tasks in the Australian SAS history.

Wayne transitioned out of the military after 33 years of service, and now holds the title of Chief Operations Officer at Executive Risk Solutions, a world leader in security, emergency response, and crisis and emergency management.  

We spoke to Wayne about his time in the military and transitioning into a civilian role.

Wayne’s story

I joined the military on the 6th April 1988, after completing year 12. I was one of very few in the platoon at the time that had a year 12 education. I started out in the Corps of Signals for the first couple of years. During my time at Signal, I heard about the SAS and what you had to do to get there, as well as the roles and tasks they performed and, I thought it would be a good challenge.

I applied to move to Perth from Brisbane, where I was based at the time and passed the selection in 1992, after which I completed a series of specialist courses that were required to become a qualified operator.

I spent seven years at SASR initially, and that’s when operationally, things kicked off. My position took me to Kuwait, Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan over the next 15 years. I was also fortunate enough to spend a couple of years in the UK (Special Boat Service) before coming back into a training role at SASR. I moved to Adelaide, and then back to Perth for my final two years before taking long service leave for a year.

During that time, and after nearly 33 years, I decided to transition out of the military.

That’s when I ran into Scott Houston, ERS EC, at a function. He spoke to me about joining ERS, a company I would feel had the same values, and so I did, eventually moving into a full-time role.

I struggled with the transition at the start. I wasn’t sure of what courses I should do. I did business writing courses, project management and a few other bits and pieces. They seemed to help but there wasn’t a lot information out there.

What lead you to your decision to transition out of defence?

Being in the Special Forces world, I didn’t have to move a lot compared to some people in the military. I decided to transition due to personal reasons and I didn’t want to move again after being away so much. That was the biggest part in my decision-making process.

Did you know what you wanted to do?

I had a thought in my head – I loved training so much. My background degree and a lot of my coaching skills (I’ve done cognitive coaching course) were aligned with that space, so I wanted to go into the practical training application side of what I did. There wasn’t a lot out there, and what was out there was hit and miss in terms of full-time employment and renumeration.

I didn’t think I’d end up here, but it’s been a great opportunity. Scott’s allowed me to bring the training element to ERS.

What were your key challenges during that period?

The most challenging aspect was understanding the process and what’s available to you. While its all on paper, you’ve never done it before, so it can become time-consuming. For me, I had to go out and find all that stuff out myself.

Some of the actual business processes are not explained well. While in some cases you do have a coach, they aren’t always available, and you might need the information more expediently.

What was the experience like for your family during your transition?

They had access to counselling and generic information was available, that was more for me rather than family. Overall it was a smooth transition for me because it took place over my long service leave, which allowed us time to adjust.

What kind of a role will VETS play in assisting ex-defence personnel transition?

We know we need to look after families and put more of an emphasis there. We know that some people aren’t going to feel comfortable talking or finding out what they can do and what’s on offer.

With the groups we’ve combined as part of VETS, and the work that we’ve done, there’s a good opportunity to make that transition more positive and take away the doubt that surrounds it.

Why should organisations hire ex-defence personnel?

To me I think there’s still a misconception out there.

The Army has four core values, courage, initiative, teamwork, respect. If you stay there long enough, you develop those values and you live by these. When you get out of defence, people hold onto a lot of that.

Businesses can rely on that person to be timely, diligent about what they do, and believe in, and care for, what you do. Being neat and tidy. Being professional. A lot of defence people come with that. They might not necessarily have the technical skills, but they’ve been selected for the military because they have potential, so you should be able to trust you can train them. If they complete a course, you can trust they’ll do really well and be good at coming back to apply their knowledge.

How will VETS play a role in connecting ex-defence personnel with businesses?

Over the years, many people I’ve spoken to aren’t aware of organisations that can help with their transition. The one thing VETS can do is take away that fear and that doubt. We want to show that there’s another world out there, and there’s great opportunity instead of ‘how do I survive?’

VETS brings together the workforce scale of Programmed, the professional recruitment expertise of PERSOLKELLY and the deep Defence knowledge and experience of ERS to offer ex-Defence personnel and their families a long-term meaningful career beyond Service.

#BreakTheBias this International Women’s Day

Tuesday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. A day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.

Experience the impact when you #BreakTheBias
Imagine a gender-equal world; a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality and collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. Whether deliberate or unconscious; bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.

What is gender bias?
Bias is prevalent in every aspect of our lives. Our brains naturally categorise things we experience in order to understand the complicated world around us. However, biases can mean that we form prejudices that can perpetuate inequalities. Gender bias is the tendency to prefer one gender over another. It can be a form of unconscious or implicit bias which occurs when someone unconsciously applies attributes and stereotypes to a person or group of people. Gender bias can also be demonstrated through explicit bias where a person is aware of their bias and operates consciously. An example of explicit bias may be someone who believes that women who are mothers are not serious about their careers. Whilst an example of implicit bias or unconscious bias may be favouring male applicants over female applicants even though they have similar skills and experience.

How you can help #BreakTheBias:

Start with yourself!
Examining our unconscious bias can be complex and confronting. We need to be open to the realisation that we do have biases. Reflect on your own biases and prejudices and take action to address them.

Gender stereotypes
Gender stereotypes whether hostile (such as ‘women are irrational’) or seemingly benign (‘women are nurturing’) directly contribute to gender inequality. For example, the traditional view of women as caregivers means that childcare responsibilities often fall on women. Take the time to think about tasks that may be easily affected by gender stereotypes at work and home and actively look at ways to achieve equitable outcomes.

Language matters
Language that conveys bias towards one sex or uses stereotypes can be demeaning or result in a person feeling excluded. Using gender-inclusive language is a simple way to create a positive change and encourage respectful relationships.

The language we use can easily trivialise one gender or another, such as using terms like ‘just a stay-at-home mum’. Additionally, calling adult women girls, where adult men are referred to as men, can be demeaning. Some easy changes to make are: Instead of ‘girls in the office’ use ‘staff in the office’. Instead of addressing the team as ‘guys’ use team, folks, gang or people. Avoid using terms or phrases like: ‘pretty good for a girl’, ‘she thinks like a man’ or ‘he played like a girl’.

What can you do?

  • Host an event to celebrate the diversity of our people. Encourage conversation and awareness surrounding gender inequality and gender bias.
  • Use the IWD selfie cards to pledge your commitment, display around the office or post to your socials.
  • Start the conversation and keep it going at work and at home.
  • Educate yourself about implicit/unconscious bias and how to recognise and challenge these behaviours.

Future Scientist Award. Where are they now: Marilla Bickerstaff-Westbrook

The PERSOLKELLY Future Scientist Award is now open. The Award gives science graduates the opportunity to showcase themselves to employers from Australia’s leading scientific companies, get advice on how to present and prepare for interviews from our specialist Scientific recruiters and go in the running to win $1000.

We spoke to one of our 2021 winners, Marilla Bickerstaff-Westbrook for her insights on the program, and tips for those entering this year.

Can you describe your experience participating in the Future Scientist Award program?

Participating in the Future Scientist Award program enabled me to penetrate through the narrative instilled in me at university to pursue academia. The coaching and nurturing mentorship I received at PERSOLKELLY solidified my confidence, matured my networking skills and opened my eyes to the richness and breadth of opportunities available in the biotechnology and medical industry.

Can you list your three highlights from the program?

  • Networking with professionals in the field and actively listening to fellow graduate scientists’ experiences and goals has instilled my hunger to learn, be open-minded and step out of my comfort zone in reference to starting my career in the biomedical industry.
  • Developing my networking, interview and resume writing skills.
  • Realising the value of my transferrable skills to be able to bridge between fields, which is particularly relevant to my generation, expecting to have many, rather than one career.

How has the Future Scientist Award Program helped you in your career?

  • Offered a full-time production operator role at AusDiagnostics.
  • In terms of industry work experience, getting my foot in the door immediately after graduating with an undergraduate degree from university.

What advice would you give current Science graduates?

  • Identify and fill in the gaps in your experience and skills, be it leadership, communication skills, work experience, budgeting skills etc.
  • Having a hungry aptitude to learn is equally as important as technical skills for employers.
  • Step out of your comfort zone: this is where the most character building and impressionable experiences arise.
  • Actively network and keep your LinkedIn updated.

Apply for the 2022 Future Scientist Award today!

Hear from our other 2021 finalists below.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

Why you should consider applying for a temp role

As temp consultants, we often hear, “yes, I am immediately available for work, but I’m only interested in permanent roles…why on earth would I temp”? The idea seems completely alien to many – we can understand that.

Our experience is that many amazing things can happen when you temp, so we decided to invest some time in explaining some of the great reasons why you might consider taking on a PERSOLKELLY temporary role, and challenge some of your hesitations.

We get it! Been there done that…

We have ourselves been temporary employees many times over the years.  For us, temping has been a great way to keep working when our circumstances have changed, for example:

  • Moving to a new country or location
  • Being made redundant and wanting to take the time to find the right role
  • Pending parental leave and needing a short-term job
  • Needing flexibility to manage family commitments, so only available work term time

It was great – we enjoyed the variety of roles and met some great people who are still friends now. We also loved the freedom, it improved our career profile and we picked up some new skills.

So what’s it all about?

We wanted to debunk some of the misconceptions below about temping to give you a more rounded view of what it really means to be a PERSOLKELLY temp:

The Concerns;

  • Annual leave or sick leave That is technically true however, you are paid a casual loading allowance that covers this. Plus, the only days you don’t get paid are the ones you choose to take off.
  • It could end at any time. Yes, but so could any role in the current climate. Most permanent roles have a probation period and during that period you usually only have a 1 week notice period. Why not flip it on its head and think, if you work hard and put your best foot forward then it could become an amazing opportunity- and if it’s not for you – simple- you don’t stay beyond the assignment length.  
  • I’m holding out for my dream job. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you could be waiting a while for your dream to come true. Why not keep your skills up to date and earn some money while you do so?
  • Take a break, without taking a break. If you have been working for the last 20 years, chances are it might actually be nice to take a step back for a brief period and take a lower level or less stressful role

The Pros;

  • Weekly pay for every hour you work. (Wahoo! no more waiting for that monthly hit)
  • Try it on! Want to experience a new industry but not sure how it will go? Why not try before you buy?
  • Networking. So often, we hear a candidate say their old boss or colleague connected them to their new role! Also, it’s a great way to make new social connections.
  • Long term opportunity. We have a large percentage of our roles turn into extensions or even permanent positions, sometimes our clients have even created a role for the right person.
  • We are here for you. We support you in the role, we can help you with career advice and those awkward negotiation conversations   
  • An option to opt out. We expect you will honour the term of the contract or assignment, BUT we are also human and understand that life changes. If an assignment is not what you expected, or your dream job comes knocking, you can arrange to end the assignment.
  • You’re returning to the workforce. After a period of unemployment it can be daunting to get back into work. Let’s say for example you are ready to head out of parental leave and dipping your toe back into the workforce. The team at PERSOLKELLY are here to help you to navigate your way through this transition.

What’s next?

The team at PERSOLKELLY would love to support you with your next Business Support temp assignment, so please reach out today by sending your resume to us Krysta.wright@persolkelly.com.au and Katherine.stevens@persolkelly.com.au

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

Future Scientist Award. Where are they now: Thi Hoang

The PERSOLKELLY Future Scientist Award is now open. The Award gives science graduates the opportunity to showcase themselves to employers from Australia’s leading scientific companies, get advice on how to present and prepare for interviews from our specialist Scientific recruiters and go in the running to win $1000.

We spoke to one of our 2021 winners, Thi Hoang, who is now working as a microbiology/immunology technician at the University of South Australia.

Can you describe your experience participating in the Future Scientist Award program?

I had a great time participating in the FSA program. I am thankful for the PERSOLKELLY staff, especially for Keelie! She was very friendly and helpful in assisting me in learning more about program and preparing for presentation day when we got through the interview stage.

One of my favourite parts was the chance to network with other graduates from all kinds of Science disciplines and industry experts after our presentations, as these opportunities do not come very often.

Can you list your three highlights from the program?

  • Getting to know staff from PERSOLKELLY
  • Presenting about my passion and skills
  • Networking with industry professional and other Science graduates

How has the Future Scientist Award helped you in your career?

Preparing for the presentation itself definitely gave me an opportunity to reflect on where my passions and strengths lie. During the Q and A session, one of the judges in the panel showed interest in offering me a job as a QC technician in a food company, to which I was quite surprised at the time. Even though I ended up not working with the company, as I am currently employed with the University of South Australia as a microbiology/immunology technician, we are still keeping in contact, and I am keen to learn more about new projects going on in the food laboratory.

What are your career plans?

At the moment, I am very happy with my role as a technician in the microbiology / immunology field. I hope to further expand my knowledge and skillset in not only these areas but also other aspects of the laboratory, such as Work Health and Safety, etc.

What advice would you give current Science graduates?

  • While looking for jobs online, it’s also a good idea to network and talk to as many people as you can, whether they’re your friends, family, former lecturers, etc. and let them know that you’re looking for a job.
  • Use your down-time to refine your technical knowledge and skills
  • Have confidence in yourself

Apply for the 2022 Future Scientist Award today!

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.