The Graduate Job Epidemic

I have to say I am quite disappointed at how we as a society are helping our grads get job ready.  Not enough is being done and students are bombing out for simple things.  Missing out on a great job is disappointing but when you are so young and vulnerable it is worse.

A great example we can learn from (now hear me out) is the of ‘job networks’.  These services support those who are disadvantaged in some way.  I have worked with many job networks to place people and I must say they don’t get the credit they deserve.  They really do help get them ready and I’ve placed many a good candidate using this service.  Shout out to those who I use!  Some of the talent I gained have been excellent.  But this service was set up due to our perception of those who have been unemployed or suffered in some way and this still needs to change (I’ll write on that later).

Just like grads though we are facing an epidemic.  Young adults who have spent a lot of money to study and get a good career.  We push them onto the street and expect them to find their way into the job market.  The job market has changed significantly over the past 12 months and is is very complex.

The way organisations recruit has changed – some opting for experience over study.  This is where we all can make a change.

Organisations – I challenge you to look inside your organisation to find candidates doing casual or a simple part time job.  Are you looking inside first for talent?  I do and have had much success not just from a graduate point of view but succession planning.

Graduates – I challenge you to look at the company you are in – speak to HR about when you will graduate and what you will be looking for.  You’ll (hopefully) be surprised.  It might be staring you in the face!

Universitys – I challenge you to get your careers team up with the times.  Get them engaged in industry and looking forward not just in the ‘now’.  I’m not saying by any means that you don’t do a good job but being institutionalised doesn’t help.

Some universitys I’ve worked with through past roles do it much better than others and it creates a point of different when engaging new students.

My fear, however is if we don’t do something NOW, we will have a well educated population with no work.  What affect will this have on the economy – we’ll lose them overseas, they’ll get into jobs that don’t use their full capacity or worse – fall on the employment heap.

I will be preparing a ‘job ready’ presentation with a great university next week.  I’m looking forward to using my knowledge to help students on the right path!

When Does Equality Become Inequity?

The Bare Consultant

With such great movements towards equality in workplaces; I’ve always been curious about the hidden dynamics.  By this I mean – what do companies really do (under the surface) to achieve equality and this authentic?

Larger organisations now have set targets to meet on diversity and most of it sits around gender.  This is only one small part of diversity.  Only the statistics and results are seen in the public eye.  These are often seen in reporting or through and Talent Attraction Campaigns.

Little is known about how organisations achieve this.  Behind the scenes are people in recruitment, talent management, leadership and HR who work tirelessly to ensure the organisation complies.  How do they achieve this difficult task?

Recruitment

I’ve asked a number of colleagues who work in recruitment (particularly in the banking sector) and was horrified.  One colleague said that for every three resume’s they presented to stakeholders, there…

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Change Management – are we setting ourselves up for failure?

‘Change Management’ is a perplexing term.  It conjures up the notion that change can in fact be managed.  The very words ‘change’ and ‘management’ used together are quite an ironic juxtaposition (for those of you who enjoy English!).  Change may be influenced, monitored and well planned, however it can never be ‘managed’.  Those charged with the role of change management have one of the toughest jobs in the world (and probably deserve danger pay!).  These people are accountable for managing change – they must in fact do the impossible.  

Even worse, we give people these titles.  You probably have one yourself or something similar.   Therefore, it is often one of the toughest jobs to perform effectively.  If not managed delicately, it can lead to serious failure.  This leads to my mantra that we are really still primal beings.  Our primal fears become heightened during change.  This can lead people reacting to change in a highly charged emotional manner.  Obviously there are many complexities but getting it wrong leads to defensive behavior, scapegoating, bullying, blaming and even termination of employment.  Though this aritcle, we’ll address some of the underlying dynamics that will help you as a change agent to make lasting, transparent change in your organisation. 

I’ll go into this later in the paper but for now I’ll keep it lighthearted with an analogy…

Remember the age-old story when someone says to you, “I need to tell you something… but you have to promise me you won’t laugh, cry, get angry etc”.  They agree.  You have gained their trust.  You tell them your story and instantly they react in the exact opposite direction you were trying to manage.  Whilst this is light-hearted, it shows that you tried to ‘manage’ an impossible outcome.  You cannot predict how someone will react. Regardless of the story, we really are hurting if you think you can control people’s reactions.  This is important when managing change.  The factors you need to take in prior to any change is highly complex.  I’ll give you a few opinions on navigating and influencing for the best outcomes.

Get an outside mentor – This needs to be someone you can confidently confide in and has no connection to the organisation or even your work.  A psychologist can be a good start.  I would suggest Evelyn Field OAM.  She specialises in looking into dynamics and can help keep you grounded and resilient during the process.  She also is great at identifying defensive behaviour (even bullying) which will help you navigate the organisation.

Understanding the tipping point – what has occurred to create the need for change?.  This requires deep analysis from all ends of the organisational spectrum.  You need to look behind every door (so to speak) and cut through (or use it as your analysis) the politics.,  You must understand the social fabric of the organisation.  This needs the most attention.  Keep asking why, why, why until you get to the bottom.  It is very easy to trip up at this point if you don’t know how to do this delicately and you must use every fibre of your perceptive parts.   The tipping point may be the tip that is actually way beneath the surface of the organisation so look in every direction!

What is the hurt in the organisation – Like finding the tipping point this is about delving further into finding the causal effect.  It could be economic factors, high staff turnover, lack of motivation or the need for a total realignment.  Again getting to the why but also gaining insight into the how.

Gaining Trust – Coming into an organisation simply to change it means you are coming in as an untrustworthy suspect from the ‘get-go’.  People will either align themselves with you or go to the furthest end of the room.  Neither of these are alarming but simply give you insight into how they perceive the change.  Gaining trust at to top is critical and so is it for the entire organisation.

Be Transparent and Inclusive – share your findings in a delicate way to the organisation.  Particularly the CEO and middle management but be sure to include everyone.  Get them involved – after all you are actually trying to improve the organisation, its capabilities and is people.  Set up regular staff meetings to share the journey.

Roadblocks – these will occur in almost every organisation during change.  They are more prevalent in larger organisations where sign off, boards and executives need to be informed but smaller organisations where owners want to be involved in every part can be a sign they need to control the situation.  It also be a ‘smoke and mirrors’ attempt to thwart the change altogether.  I’m definitively not saying this is in every organisation but I’ve seen it in middle management where a change need was identified by the executive team but middle management wanted to control it (possibly through fear) which lead to the change not occurring at all (and losses of great amounts of money).

What, When, Who and Where – when you have completed your analysis and ready to make your recommend change ensure you have a clear timeline including what will occur, when it will occur, who it will affect and where in the organisation the changes will take place.  If you have kept your communication open and transparent, this should be the easy part.

You are masters of change and know how to identify change then implement it but this will help you navigate the underlying dynamics of change.

Remember, we are all primal and act in ways that even the most upstanding citizen would embarrass themselves by!