“Challenge Consulting have added considerable value to Energetics for our long term needs”

Matt Wilkin – Energetics
Read More
For more information:
Stephen Crowe

Managing Director

Ph: 02 8042 8907

[email protected]


Most employers understand that the most important asset a company has is its people. In fact, a recent study by Indiana University found that 10% of productivity comes from the top 1% of employees and 26% of output derives from the top 5%.

This means attracting and keeping top talent is imperative if you want to achieve top results.

But if you’re an SME, you’re probably wondering what you can do to secure top talent before the Fortune 500’s stake their claim.

The short answer is to work on your employer brand.

An employer’s brand is what communicates to potential employees what it’s like to work for your company. It shows your value proposition as an employer and what makes your company a great place to work. Companies that have clearly defined employer brands can attract up to 3.5 times more applicants per job listing than similar companies in the same sector.

When creating an employer brand, you need to start by identifying who your target employees are. Are you looking for candidates with years of experience? Or, are you trying to attract ambitious graduates? In each case, how you brand yourself is going to be different.

For example, a recent Accenture study revealed that millennials prefer to work in companies that have a creative and fun culture and that provide ample opportunities for career advancement, both of which were considered more important than salary.


More experienced candidates, who have been in the workforce for a number of years, are more likely to have family responsibilities, and according to a recent survey by Seek, are looking for job security, work-life balance, and salary, rather than a fun culture.

Many SME’s are already good at providing what top talent is looking for; it’s just a matter of getting the message out there. So, once you decide what type of employee is the best fit for your organisation, you need a branding strategy that appeals to this target group.

A great place to start is your company’s website. Besides being a great place to position yourself as a thought leader in your field, you can also use it to broadcast your employer brand message clearly, particularly in your ‘About Us’ and ‘Work for Us’ pages. Social media also provides great opportunities. Make sure your current employees are regularly posting on your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles, as they are the best brand ambassadors you have.

As long as you are consistent with your brand messaging, and make sure the wording in your job listings matches your overall brand message, you should find that you are attracting high quality candidates. And this is great news for your bottom line.


I was curious about this one, I have been hearing about it more and more through the grapevine with mixed reviews and I wanted to see if many of you out there were familiar with it?

I can understand the appeal, it puts a face to the name and makes the individual stand out more than just a piece of paper. But I guess my concern is whether or not an individual is portraying themselves in the right light? You can edit a video to portray yourself in the right light, but when it comes to face to face are you all that you say you are?

Let’s face it, we are a generation that loves a good reality television series, or a good YouTube video clip. Regardless of how the individual is portrayed we just can’t get enough. But does this overall portray a good image? We will soon have a reality television series being launched in my area called ‘The Shire’ and I think it has bad news written all over it.

But please don’t take my pessimism to heart. How else can you stand out from the rest without a bit of creativity, flair and enthusiasm?

Here are some of the responses you had stated:

1) It is such a great opportunity to see the candidate as themselves, not just a black and white piece of the work history. We have received some fantastic video resumes and almost 100% of the time it will get the candidate to the first round of interviews. (Just make sure the video isn’t tacky or inappropriate!)

2) I believe that a well laid out resume speaks best upon first contact with applicants. Once we have established that they meet the basic criteria of what we are looking for, then we can further cull with an interview process which allows for the applicants verbal and presentation skills to shine. A video resume can be misleading as it is edited, we personality traits etc. and can distract from the purpose of focusing on the selection criteria. As an addition and/or business card it can work.

A website that I reviewed called http://interviewstudioblog.com pointed out some of the disadvantages of video resumes that I thought you may want to consider:

  • You will not capture your potential employer if you are simply regurgitating what is written on paper
  • Only certain personality types will shine on video
  • If sending by email, the file will often be too large to view
  • Firewall settings may block the video
  • Compatibility problems depending on Mac or PC review
  • It is difficult to review an applicants work history on video

Another website www.recruitmentblogs.com lists the pro’s associated with video resumes:

  • Interview – this will save the employer time in determining how you are in person as opposed to on paper.
  • Identity – Hundreds of resumes can start to blend together after a while, however, a video resume can appear more personal.
  • Re-Evaluation – Something that the employer can come back to review to remember each candidate.

So again with our generation all turning towards online branding, let’s face it we are a social network of Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, it looks like employers are not turning down this new idea just yet. As long as you are portraying the right message for your employer, and portraying the best image/branding of yourself as you can, you may just be taking that extra step to get yourself into that round one interview.

Haven’t had your say yet? Please don’t hesitate to do so, or you can participate in our new online poll: What are the ways in which you effectively manage your time? Hoyts Cinema Double Passes are up for grabs!



This week’s blog post is by guest blogger, Tiffany Whitby, from the Challenge Consulting recruitment team … (this is not Tiffany pictured here …)

One of my passions is enhancing the role of women in business; specifically, examining and promoting strategies to ensure women have the opportunity to attain senior and management positions. As such I have actively joined a number of websites dedicated to this subject including; sphinxx, Ruby Connection and also Business Chicks.

Of the 3, I recently attended a Business Chicks seminar titled ‘Nice Girls Don’t get the Corner Office’ based on the book by bestselling author Dr Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D. The 2 hour workshop was full of tips and helpful ideas to assist women get what they want out of their careers, first of which was her statement ‘quit being a girl’.

Another one of her tips was don’t use preambles; so I will just get straight to the point with the top 10 tactics every woman needs in her skill set:

Top 10 Tactics Every Woman Needs in her Skill Set:

#1. Know your playing field

– Boundaries, strategies and rules

– What works in one organisation/industry won’t work in another

– There are different boundaries for men and women

Do not put statements into the form of questions, be direct and straight, and if needed add a tagline (which can soften the message)

– Emulate winning women such as Gail Kelly

#2. Be crystal clear about what you want

– Know what you want. Until you have clarity about what this is, you are not going to get it

 #3. Identify your boundaries

– Know where people can come over and in

– Define your boundaries

 #4. Be willing to walk away

We stay in situations to long. If everything has been done to turn around a bad situation and nothing has changed then leave!

 #5. Use headlines and taglines

The most important thing we want people to know should be the first thing out our mouths (headline). Then use 3 supporting facts/data. Tagline at the end eg. ‘did I answer your question?’

#6. Manage your emotions

– If you feel as though you are about to cry in the workplace excuse yourself; crying in the workplace makes people feel uncomfortable

– Put the tears into words and focus in the problem and solution

 #7. Plan in advance for how you will respond to resistance

– Let people know you are planning on changing your behaviours and enlist their feedback and support

 #8. Understand (and use) the “Quid Pro Quo”

– Something in exchange for something else

– Leverage the relationships you have

– If you give something, you receive a figurative ‘penny’ to use when you need something – make sure you use them!

#9. Build your brand

– Use the WALLET acronym:

Write it down: write down what you want people to say about you when you leave a room

Apply actionable behaviours: think about what a camera would be able to see

Look to the edge: of the playing field

Let others know about your brand

Elicit feedback (360o feedback)

Treat others with abundance (give things away eg. assistance on a project)

 #10. Employ contrast

– Talk about what you do want and what you don’t want

Dr Frankel then went on to explain the Top 10 Mistakes Women Make:

#1. Not ‘getting it’: eg. Don’t wait to be invited for a position, pay rise, something you want. Create tactics and strategies

#2. Working too hard: within everything organisation there is a baseline to which you should work towards, work up to this and set realistic boundaries with people

#3. Not setting boundaries: work out what your vision is for what you want and ask yourself: “what is important to me?”

#4. Striving for perfection: women will often put in 150%, when more often than not a job that is 80% there is good enough

#5. Ignoring the look and sound of success: Credibility is made up by: 50% of how we look, 40% of how we sound, 10% of what we say. An example is the JFK vs Nixon debate. People say Nixon won for what he said, however JFK won based on how he looked.

#6. Unclear branding/vision: we trust people who are consistent and likeable. Read the book “Brag! Tooting your own Horn without Blowing It” by Peggy Klaus

#7. Staying too long in a bad situation: sunken costs (keep putting ‘something’ in thinking a situation is going to get better, when in fact it’s not). We need to understand when it’s time to walk away. Ask yourself the question: “What am I getting out of this?”

#8. Waiting to be given what you want: Read the book “Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide” by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

#9. Using too many words: cut communication by 30%. The longer we talk the more the message gets diluted.  Queue answer question and then ask ‘have I answered your question?’ Be careful with body language.

#10. Trusting your financial security to someone else: know where your finances are and where they are being invested. Stay involved with your money!

Challenge Consulting’s online poll last week asked the question “What is the #1 mistake women make on their way to the top at work?” The results were:

#1. Waiting to be “invited” instead of asking for a payrise, promotion, etc – 50%

#2. An unwillingness to self-promote and “toot their own horn” – 29%

#3. Staying too long in a bad situation – 14%

#4. Striving for perfection: putting in 150% when often 80% will do – 7%

With all of this information I have now taken in it is time to put it into practice. As Dr Frankel said, let people know you are making changes, so, everyone: I am making changes … don’t say I didn’t warn you!