“Thank for a great experience from the time I walked in the door”

Ellen-Maree Gadd
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For more information:
Stephen Crowe

Managing Director

Ph: 02 8042 8907

[email protected]

Quoc Phan

“I want to discuss my salary package”

“Can I have a raise?”

These two phrases can cause a lot of frustration and uncertainty in the workplace if not handled sensitively.



First of all, it isn’t easy to ask your boss for a pay rise.  A lot of anguish, thought and hopefully research has probably occurred before the employee has come to you.  So, if you know an employee is due for a pay review take the initiative and raise the discussion before they feel they must.  But if they beat you to it, give each request a lot of respect.  Listen to the case presented and take time to consider.  This will usually mean not giving an immediate answer so agree on a time and date to meet to discuss your decision.

From an employee’s perspective getting a pay rise is pretty simple, have I performed well enough in my job to deserve it?  From the employer’s side things appear bit more complex.  Apart from performance, employers need to consider how the salary compares to the market generally, how the salary compares to others in the team, whether the company is in a position to give a pay rise and does the requested pay rise fit within the companies’ policies?

If you’ve decided not to give an employee a salary increase how you communicate it is pretty important.  Of course, every scenario will be different but usually the outcome you are looking for is similar; although you are not going to reward the employee with more money you want them to stay focused on their job and maintain or improve their performance.

This isn’t a comfortable situation for the employer or the employee.  The answer though is to be tactful and honest.  If the employee’s performance wasn’t where you wanted it to be, carefully explain where they were below expectations and, if possible, use data to illustrate.  Then try and plan a clear performance path to the point where you would be able to give a pay rise. This should be as transparent as possible so the employee can easily understand if they are on track or not.  If the employee’s performance has been adequate but the businesses situation does not allow you to give a pay rise or the employee is already well paid in market terms again, be open about why you can’t pass on a pay rise at the moment, but also look for alternatives that will be seen as a reward.  These alternatives may include training, flexible working arrangements and additional holiday days.

Salary negotiations are sometimes tough to handle, but it is pivotal that employers plan for this process, as it is inevitable. The more proactive you are now, the less reactive you will need to be later.


Quoc Phan


Artificial intelligence is transforming the world of work. Advances such as deep learning, new sensor technologies, and subsequent data availability, mean that computers can perform a much wider range of tasks than previously thought possible.

While we may be getting used to the idea that automation will render many current occupations obsolete, many of us still struggle with the idea that artificial intelligence can perform more human tasks.  But that’s exactly what’s happening in the world of aged care. With the help of “more human” technology, older people will be able to stay in their homes longer, and lead more independent lives. This will also have repercussions on how aged care facilities are staffed in the future. As the industry incorporates new technology, new jobs will be created and old jobs transformed.

According to the Smithsonian Institute, new technological tools will play a huge role in helping the elderly to take care of themselves. From wearable devices that measure heart rate to remote-controlled robots that pick things up from the floor, older people will be interacting with technology in their homes in a variety of new ways. This trend is expected to start with the baby boomers who are now hitting their seventies, and grow with successive generations.

Of course, there are design factors to take into consideration. Elderly people may have misgivings about incorporating so much technology into their home, and usability and invasiveness are going to be top of mind. Sensors, voice recognition, and wearable devices are relatively non-invasive, and require little interaction with keyboards or other equipment.

In fact, a whole new startup industry has emerged in recent years specialising in developing new technologies to be used in the aged care space. Smartphone apps like Lifewatch V that keep elderly patients in touch with their doctors between visits simply by holding a finger over a sensor, robots that take them through light stretching exercises, and intelligent virtual assistants like getAbby that remind people to take their medications are poised to play a huge role in elderly patient care. This will give them much more autonomy, and increase the length of time people remain at home.

So what’s this going to mean from an aged care facility staffing perspective? Will machines take the place of human aged care workers?

Well…..Yes and No.

Over the next decade more and more manual tasks will be performed by robots, for example, robots that assist people to get out in and out of beds and chairs without third person assistance will improve the independence of many mobility impaired people.  There are currently prototype robots that autonomously take blood. The quality of remote monitoring of people will dramatically improve through implanted sensors etc., reducing the need for visits for these tasks.

However, the increased use of AI in aged care, along with the massive amounts of data that will become available means a new kind of health professional will emerge, one that is able to understand data generated by this new technology, create a tailor-made health plan, and carry out any necessary action. Analysis skills may replace the ability to complete manual tasks like lifting. Also with less emphasis on carrying out manual tasks, care workers of the future may have time to become more engaged with patients on a personal level, improving the mental wellbeing of people under their care.

We are at the dawn of the practical use of artificial intelligence as we become more familiar we will find a myriad of ways to incorporate it into the aged care space. We can only surmise the skills that will be needed. But with so much potential for change, the sector is sure to offer some real opportunities in the future.


Quoc Phan

How can you get your resume to stand out from the competition? Online resume submission has made it much easier for candidates to apply for jobs than it was in the past. Unfortunately for job seekers, it has also increased the number of applicants for most positions.

Emphasise accomplishments with power verbs. When describing your previous employment experiences, emphasize how you solved problems and added value to the company.

Begin phrases with keywords like “increased,” “initiated,” “resolved” and “improved”; these power verbs go beyond simply stating your duties to emphasize how you produced results.

Quantify your successes and the magnitude of your responsibilities. Numbers jump off the resume page. Identify the bottom line for your department. Is it sales volume, profit margin, donations generated, savings on expenses, expanding memberships, grants secured, or something else? Figure out the rough baseline level of activity before you arrived at the company and calculate the difference that you or your team has made. For example, you can include phrases such as “Developed PR initiative to increase number of donors by X%” or “Implemented Fiscal Plan that Reduced Expenses by 10%.” Also consider incorporating numbers to show how many staff, how large a budget, or how many customers you are responsible for. These numbers will help demonstrate the weight of your responsibilities.

Highlight awards and recognition. Demonstrating that others value your contributions often has greater influence than you tooting your own horn. Include a category heading for honors/awards if you can fill it with formal recognitions.

In your descriptions of the awards, use keywords that imply recognition, like “selected,” “elected” and “recognized.” Quality recommendations are another form of recognition. Beef up your recommendations on LinkedIn and be sure to include a link to your profile on your resume. If an employer asks for written recommendations, select recommenders who know your skills and accomplishments well.

Show how you have been a strong leader and team player. Most organizations value leadership and teamwork very highly. When writing descriptions of your previous jobs, try to include examples of how each job required you to demonstrate these skills. Incorporate words that show formal and informal leadership and teamwork, such as “led,” “mentored,” “drew consensus,” “collaborated” and “sought input.”

Target your document to the job at hand. Emphasize skills, accomplishments and responsibilities which are most related to the requirements of your target job. To do this, find keywords in the job posting and incorporate them into your resume. You can also consider including a summary at the top of your resume that makes reference to the most relevant skills, accomplishments and other qualifications. You can also include a resume title as another way to get your resume noticed.

Show evidence of your eagerness to continually upgrade your knowledge and skills. Include a category for training, certifications, publications/presentations and/or professional development. Emphasize any leadership roles with professional groups and any publications or presentations.

Think of your resume as ad copy. Use bold for words that draw the eye to key accomplishments or recognition. Make sure important information is situated towards the top of your resume or in the beginning of your descriptions so it isn’t overlooked.

We found this on The Balance by Alison Doyle. 

Quoc Phan

Every business owner or senior executive knows the greatest asset a company has is its staff. So when hiring mistakes happen, the repercussions are felt at all levels of the organisation and beyond. Whether this person is in a customer-facing role, or in charge of a department, if they’re the wrong fit, they’ll cost your company dearly.

These costs can be in the form of lost productivity, employee morale, reputation, or they can be financial costs. A recent survey published by Careerbuilder.com set out to measure the costs of a bad hire, and found that:

  • 41 percent of companies surveyed has said that a bad hire in the last year has cost them at least $25,000
  • 25 percent of companies surveyed said that a bad hire in the last year has cost them at least
  • $50,000
  • 38 percent reported making a bad hire due to having to fill a position quickly
  • 21 percent said they didn’t do enough research on the candidate’s skills


It’s not always easy to understand when somebody is a great fit or not. Studies have shown that standard recruitment processes aren’t always reliable when it comes to measuring when somebody is the right fit in terms of organisational culture, or if their attitudes and personality align with characteristics you consider highly desirable.

Given the potential costs associated with hiring the wrong person, most companies want to eliminate as much guesswork as they can.  This is where psychometric testing comes in. There are two types of psychometric test used in recruitment, and they are designed to measure aptitude and personality.

The aptitude test assesses a candidate’s logical reasoning and thinking skills like verbal ability, numeric ability, abstract reasoning, spatial reasoning, and mechanical reasoning. These tests are generally multiple choice.

Personality tests are basically questionnaires designed to identify characteristics, attitudes, and motivations that may not be discovered during the standard interview process. According to the Institute of Psychometric Coaching, personality tests are designed to ‘measure candidates’ suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude (or cognitive abilities). They identify the extent to which candidates’ personality and cognitive abilities match those required to perform the role’.  A great example of this is how well a person makes decisions. This can difficult to ascertain during a standard recruitment process, so if it‘s a crucial part of the role being filled, you need a reliable way to detect how good a candidate is at decision-making.

Well-designed tests are set up to pick up on inconsistencies, so it is difficult for a candidate to lie about what their strengths and weaknesses are.

When using psychometric tests, it’s important to remember that they are only as good as the person  administering them. A good starting point is to have strong job descriptions, as well as a detailed profile of the type of person you are looking for, including competencies and personality traits. Training in how to administer and evaluate a test is crucial to making the most out of this tool. These tests are an investment, and in order to get the maximum ROI, they need to be carried out by staff who understand how to interpret results, and match them with the competencies and characteristics set out in the job description.

One great way to make sure you get the maximum ROI out of testing is to outsource it to a professional team. At Challenge Consulting we provide a professional testing service that offer customized solutions for testing of management, sales, technical, industrial, and graduate staff. With experienced psychologists on hand to manage the testing process from end to end, we help you achieve maximum ROI in the shortest time possible with written reports completed within one business day. Our expert solution is designed to save you time as well as money, while finding you the best candidates.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with psychometric testing, please call Steve Crowe on (02) 9221 6422.