How to Promote a More Collaborative Working Environment

Designing a welcoming work area encourages innovative thinking, boosts morale, and increases retention rates. It also can have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line. Human resources departments tasked with the job should pay attention to the following four elements:

  • There should be enough space for teams of up to eight people to meet regularly for collaborative work. The area needs to be cozy enough to be inviting and located close enough to each employee’s workspace to be convenient.

  • The design of the space should inspire those who occupy it. A view facing outdoors and soft, natural lighting are two good places to start. It’s important to work out any connectivity issues in advance to keep frustrations to a minimum.


  • Flexible space is a must in today’s mobile workforce. That may include a roving whiteboard, walls, and furniture that are easy to move, and the ability for people using the space to configure it instantly to meet their own needs.

  • While individuality is necessary, space should also reflect the vision and brand of the company. Displaying past projects or letters of commendation from customers help people feel connected to the process and the result.

    Promoting a Team Approach

    Whether they are naturally introverted or just don’t enjoy the collaborative process, not every employee will embrace these changes. However, almost every industry stands to benefit by changing the focus from me to us. The easiest way to accomplish this is by providing co-workers the ability to communicate no matter where they are. Even those who work from home should feel like part of the team using via the use of technology.

    People may need encouragement to work as part of a collaborative team, but in time they should come to appreciate the richness it brings to their own professional experience. Companies that struggle to implement these changes may wish to work with a third-party consultant.

How To Use Your Annual Review to Get a Pay Raise

The words “Yearly Evaluation” often strike fear into the hearts of even the most responsible, skilled employees.  Traditionally employers used these meetings to offer an assessment of an employee’s performance over the past twelve months, and to offer them a fair addition to their salary in the form of higher pay or additional benefits.  Times have changed however, and many employers will not automatically use this opportunity to offer a pay raise.  

Despite this, the yearly evaluation still offers a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your accomplishments and negotiate a pay raise.  A few simple tips can make sure you maximize your chances at a successful negotiation.


This step is intensely important in preparing for your evaluation.  Revisit your work history over the past twelve months and write down as much of the information as you feel is relevant.  Make sure to highlight all positive reviews and projects you helped complete. This data helps remind you of what you have accomplished, and it gives you a way to put your contributions at work, quite literally, right under your employer’s nose!

Determine A Fair Number

Surely most employees feel deserving of a fair yearly pay raise.  The tricky part is coming up with a number that your employer truly feels is fair.  If the company’s overall performance was good this year, mention this as a reason you deserve a larger raise.  Outside data can be very helpful too: search the internet for average salaries in your industry for your experience level, and use that to adjust the specific figure you have in mind.

Just Ask

Now you’ve got your accomplishments and a number in mind.  The only thing left is to simply ask for the raise.  Demonstrate your strong points and accomplishments.  Then simply state that based on these factors, you deserve more money.  Be calm and confident, without being overly confrontational.  Your boss may try to brush you off quickly, but do not get discouraged.  Remember that you are not demanding more money, you are simply trying to convince your employer that you truly deserve the money you are asking for.

No amount of preparation can guarantee you will come out of the negotiations with the money you ask for.  However, making sure you are well prepared beforehand will give you the edge you need and the best possible chances at getting the pay raise you deserve.

Five counterintuitive steps for a more productive workplace culture

Talk of workplace culture is everywhere. Every manager has an idea of the kind of attitude in the office that they would like to develop, but the path toward achieving that goal can be hard to find. An effective feedback loop can help by revealing what employees value and feel, but there’s more to it than just open communication.

In some cases, the steps toward building a healthy workplace culture will seem counterintuitive. Many of the things that seem like a good idea can be counterproductive – it isn’t really something that you can force. Culture develops by the nature of the people in the environment, and it grows out of the values and traits that are reinforced and celebrated by the company.

You can’t change your workplace culture overnight. It is a process that takes time, and you need to be committed to the change.
Whether you are trying to develop an organisational culture from scratch, or just looking to create a more positive attitude, here are five steps that can help to build a more productive workplace culture:


Promote self-care
Healthier employees are going to be happier and more productive. You might not be able to force good health on your staff, but you can do things to promote it. To start, you should live the ideals of a healthier life yourself. You could support gym memberships for employees that want them, and you should try to make healthier snacks and meals more available.

Lose the focus on work/life balance
For many people, the idea of maintaining a work/life balance is overrated. Some people are happy to dedicate much of their time to work, and this brings them the most satisfaction. If you love what you do and feel that your life is fulfilling, there is no need to force an artificial balance.

Let your drive take you to new places in your career, and develop a personal life that is more suited to your goals.

Mindfulness at meetings
The purpose of meetings is to make sure everyone is on the same page, and to ensure that team members understand their obligations. However, a lot of people show up to meetings physically, but they are somewhere else mentally.

Instead of jumping right into the agenda, start your meetings by going around the room and asking people about how they are feeling. This gives people a few seconds to become present and it will ensure that everyone is engaged and involved from the beginning.

Encourage the intuitive
You don’t want to downplay the importance of analytical thinking, but there is also something to be said for the intuitive side of thinking. Careful analysis is a great way to solve problems, but there are situations where it can take us only so far. Encourage your employees to embrace the intuitive parts of their minds.

Many of the best and most innovative solutions will come from intuition.

Manage autonomy
It’s great when we can trust our employees to do more on their own. The more autonomy your employees have, the less you have to worry about on a day-to-day basis. However, you don’t want to introduce too much autonomy to your employees too quickly.

Let people grow into new responsibilities, and give people the support and guidance that they will need to succeed as you allow for greater freedom.

You can’t change your workplace culture overnight. It is a process that takes time, and you need to be committed to the change. You need to have a vision of the organisational culture you want, and you need to promote the values and traits that will make that vision a reality.

6 Tips for Writing a Powerful Career Change Resume

Are you changing careers? There’s no question that you’ll need a fresh, revamped resume to accompany your job search in a new field. And while creating a resume isn’t the easiest task, take heart in knowing that much of your experience — even if it’s in a completely different industry — will still be relevant.

That’s because so many skills — especially soft ones — are transferrable. If you’re shifting from a production manager role at a publishing company to event planning in the wedding industry, for instance, your organizational skills, leadership abilities, and strong Excel and budgeting background are all going to be applicable.

In your career change resume, you have to tell the story of your transferrable skills to hiring managers, explaining how qualifications from your previous career are still applicable and relevant. (Here are tips for how to have a successful career transition overall.) Whether it’s because of a shift in the industry or a shift in your interests, there are lots of reasons to make a mid-career transition. Here’s how to get started developing your new resume.

6 Tips for Writing a Powerful Career Change Resume

1. Identify Your Transferrable Skills

Get to know your new industry! Read job descriptions and industry news to gain a sense of the skills that employers require. (Review this list of employment skills sorted by job.) Print out your current resume with your job history to date, and write a list of all the skills you’ve gained and used throughout your career. Some of these may be listed on your resume directly, but others may not.

Then, list out the skills commonly required in your new industry and look for matches.

Think creatively: Say you’re moving from sales to teaching. What are things these roles have in common? Well, both jobs require the ability to hold the attention of the room, give a strong presentation, and convey potentially complex knowledge in easy to understand and remember language.

And don’t forget that you can include non-professional experience on your resume, too.

2. Write a Resume Objective

Use your resume objective, which appears on the top of your resume, to highlight what type of job you’re seeking. The objective — just like the rest of your resume — is all about you. But the true purpose of the objective is to sell hiring managers on your candidacy. (That’s also true for the whole document!)

In your objective, connect the dots for hiring managers — you can use this space to make it clear how your former career has provided you with the skills you need in your new field, and for this job in particular.

3. Determine Which Resume Format Works Best for You


A chronological resume — which lists experience from most recent to oldest — may be the most commonly used resume format, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option out there.

A functional resume is often the best choice for someone switching careers, since it puts the focus squarely on your skills and experience (rather than where you worked, and when). This type of resume helps highlights the most relevant parts of your work.

If you are transitioning from sales to teaching, to continue our example from above, a functional resume allows you to showcase your relevant presentation abilities, instead of listing out sales jobs, which wouldn’t feel meaningful to a school district.

A combination resume — which mixes the functional format with the chronological one — is also a good option if you’re shifting careers.

4. Add a Skills Section

When hiring managers scan through your resume, they might not see familiar job titles or responsibilities from their industry. So whichever resume format you choose, use the skills section to highlight that you have the soft and hard skills required for this job — here’s more information to help you know what to include in your resume skills section.

5. Leave Off Unnecessary Information

Your resume does not have to exhaustively list every position held, task completed, and programs used. Think of your resume as a greatest hits album: Include only the highlights that will help your resume seem relevant to hiring managers in your new field. This can be particularly important if you’re switching job levels, as well as shifting careers.

6. Watch for Jargon

New career industry, new jargon! When you work in a field for a while, jargon becomes second nature. Jargon can help you seem like an insider in your original field, it can confuse and alienate hiring manager in your new field.

Explain job titles, programs, and job-related tasks and achievements in clear language that anyone can understand. Better yet, translate those skills and responsibilities into your new field’s insider-language and shorthand.

10 Ways Technology Is Revolutionizing Sales

The rapid evolution of technology has significantly impacted nearly every facet of business today, from generating marketing content to managing client issues. One of the areas that technology has affected the most significantly, however, is in the realm of sales and lead generation.

Here are some ways that technology is revolutionizing lead generation for organizations across the globe.

1. Casting A Wider Net

In general, it takes a significant amount of time and other resources to find, contact and engage leads. This means that it can be easy to miss strong opportunities in the mix.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology can help with this, as AI tools can engage potential customers online in natural-sounding conversations, as well as reach out to thousands of possible leads tirelessly. This is one of the reasons that 61% of survey respondents cite improved lead generation as the main reasons they’re investing in AI.

2. Helping Leads “See”

60 to 70% of consumers see clear benefits in using augmented reality (AR) devices in their daily lives and at work, making it a great tool to generate leads. For instance, some organizations like IKEA are using AR technology in digital marketing campaigns to help potential customers visualize the company’s products in their homes.

3. Cost Cutting

AI technology can also help marketers cut costs, allowing them to delegate more resources to other lead generation pursuits. For example, these tools take care of the repetitive administrative tasks intrinsic to marketing, allowing people to focus more on generating new clients and strengthening relationships with old ones.

In fact, companies that have successfully introduced AI technology have seen marketing cost reductions of up to 60%.

4. Customizing Audiences

Coming up with target audiences is extremely important in lead generation, as it makes messaging more specific and effective. You can use technology like Facebook Custom Audiences to target users similar to your established customers, allowing you to generate higher quality leads and boost your ROI. Since Facebook has over 1.9 billion monthly users, the possibilities are practically endless.

5. Understanding Big Data

The emergence of big data – the industry is predicted to be as big as $102 billion by 2019 – holds great potential for lead generation, as it can provide insights to improve practically anything from native marketing to personalized targeting. There are several effective data analyzation and data management tools to help marketers understand and implement strategies surrounding their data, helping them use the information to generate leads.

6. Retargeting

Retargeting helps marketers stay connected with people who have previously shown interest in their brand by performing actions like visiting the website. You can use retargeting technology to show these potential leads custom ads tailored to their behavior, without annoying them. 30% of consumers have a positive or very positive reaction to retargeted ads, versus 11% who feel negatively about them. The greatest percentage, though (59%) had a neutral reaction.

7. Data Visualization

In a 2016 survey, LinkedIn found that the #2 most desirable hiring skill is statistical analysis and data mining. This is largely because data is becoming huge in lead generation – especially data visualization, which conveys immediate, appropriate, and factual information to your target audience via a chart, graph, or animation. There are a bunch of new tools out there making this easier for marketers of all skill levels.

8. Lead Filtering

61% of B2B marketers find generating high-quality leads as their biggest challenge, but AI can make the process a lot easier. This technology can be built into sales platforms and filter through leads based on data patterns. It then comes up with a list of leads that are more likely to purchase from your company, greatly increasing your ROI.

9. Website Improvement

Tracking platforms like Google Analytics are becoming mandatory for any marketer looking to figure out which web pages and strategies work best for generating leads. Data from how each page performs will help you improve your marketing efforts, which is why as many as 30 – 50 million websites use Google Analytics.

10. Predictive Analytics

Marketers who use predictive analytics are 1.8 times more likely to consistently exceed shared organizational goals, largely due to the fact that AI uses predictive analytics to predict customer behaviors. This helps you choose target audiences and effective strategies quickly and accurately.

Although there’s no replacement for human marketers in lead generation, technology has come a long way in helping improve marketing strategies in all industries.

What are some other ways you’re using technology to generate leads?

Will Robots take over from Recruiters?

A.I.  These two letters have been causing quite a stir in the recruiting space over the last 2 years or so.

Every day we see at least one or two articles discussing artificial intelligence in recruiting—how it’s going be the next big “thing” in recruiting, how it’s going to change recruiting, how it’s not going to change recruiting, why it is or isn’t going to take all of our jobs.

It’s creating so much noise that A.I. in recruiting has started to feel more like a black cloud (silver lining percentage dependent on your opinion of the matter) than something recruiters will actually put into everyday practice. By discussing the theory of it with such fervor, A.I. is slowly turning into a concept rather than a gameplan before our eyes—another pattern that seems hopelessly similar to the social media boom.

Moving past the vague discussions of how A.I. may or may not change the recruiting industry, let’s take a realistic look at the way it’s already affected recruiting and the new developments that are out there.

It’s easy to hear A.I. and immediately picture a robot sitting in your desk chair and you sitting in an unemployment line. Not quite. To put all the fears at ease, like most new technological developments, A.I. is going to enhance many aspects of recruiting and make our lives easier, rather than replace us. Take a look at one of the biggest pieces of A.I. that’s already out there for recruiting: resume scanners. These systems run over resumes and make intelligent decisions based on the content of resumes as to whether or not they should be viewed by a recruiter. Now think about this technology has changed the recruiting industry—it’s made life just a little bit easier, right?

Despite this presence of A.I. already, it’s become such a hot topic because many companies are now looking at how they can go a step further and really increase the amount of decisions made by technology. Here are some on the frontier:


This is a programmatic advertising company that focuses solely on the recruitment marketing space. Essentially, you tell the program what candidates you’re looking for and using the information you give, they create highly targeted campaigns across everything from Google to Twitter to Indeed in one fell swoop.




This program works very similarly to a resume scanner, but takes the process a step further by simulating how a hiring team reads a resume and makes a Y/N decision. It can also read resumes you’ve picked based on certain job descriptions and learn how to match certain resumes to certain jobs, giving you better recommendations.




Arya, claiming to be the world’s first A.I. recruiting platform, goes from sourcing to selecting resumes for further review by a recruiter. The automated sourcing uses data collected from your past recruiting efforts and impresses those same patterns when finding new candidates for your funnel, followed by a similar learning resume scanner to what MosaicTrack has developed.




Mya separates itself from Arya by being the world’s first A.I. recruiting assistant. But this is the big one that most articles are hailing as the recruiting A.I. frontrunner. It works with a handful of the big name ATSs and essentially does all of the jobs that need to happen throughout the interview process—prescreening, answers FAQs candidates might have for you, provides application tips, and so on.


All of these are impressive technologies are also very dependent on one thing: flesh & blood recruiters.

Programs still need data and they still need someone to at one point actually talk to the candidates. Rather than fearing the robot takeover as A.I. develops and discussing the pros/cons, take a chance on diving into a program that works for your team and see how it can make your life easier. Use it to cut the mundane tasks out of your workday and spend more time what you do best: building and maintaining relationships with hiring managers and candidates.

Do you have a 5 year plan to achieve your goals? 4 steps to get you started!

Hindsight really is a wonderful thing. If I had my life over I would do a lot of things very differently BUT at the time I was just going with the flow and trying my best to do the right thing by everyone around me. Is that wrong – no – but with a bit of planning I could have made much more headway towards achieving my LIFE GOALS without cancelling my integrity or having fun along the way. So what about you?

Hmmm – life goals is a big, big, scary phrase – a bit formal – a bit too long term? Perhaps I can put it another way – how about I ask you what LIFESTYLE you hope to be living in 5 years’ time or in 10 years’ time? Now I think I have you more engaged. Generally I would think you have some vague ideas in mind such as owning a property, travel destinations, health and fitness. Are these just little clouds in your head or do you have a definite plan of action to make them happen?

In business when you talk about goals there is commonly used planning formula – write down the goals, work out your strategy and then formulate the specific actions that can make it happen. So why not apply this same formula to your life?

Step I: What are your most important goals: Don’t’ be too ambitious – making 3 definite statements will do for starters. Isolate what you are wanting to achieve – realistically what do you want that surpasses everything else. Eg I will travel to the top 5 destinations on my bucket list.

Step 2: Allocate a cost to achieving each of the goals. Eg – my trip to New York will cost me $5000.

Step 3: What is your strategy for making each of these things happen? Are you prepared to give up those 2 take away coffees every day to add $50 to the savings account every week – don’t forget that will be $2500 at the end of 12 months – an airfare to New York?

Step 4: Put together an action plan – what actions do you have to do every day/week/month to start seeing each of your goals moving forward. Eg Set up a Travel Savings Account and deposit $100 every week.

The example I have used is a simplistic one but you can see that by defining your goal into a financial reality, a strategy and actions you CAN make it happen.

You have probably heard it a thousand times that the years go faster as you get older but believe me – they really do – and before you know it the years ahead of you are much less than the years behind you. So be smart, be strategic and be focussed.

Wouldn’t it be nice if in 5 years’ time you could say to your friends – “I had 3 things I wanted to achieve by 35 and I’ve done it! “

Yours. Together

Deborah Ross

What does year 1 look like for a NatRec Recruitment Associate?

The NatRec Recruitment Associate programme is for the recruiter wanting more than just “another” agency experience. Our associates are employed recruiters wanting greater flexibility, freedom, autonomy and serious career progression.


We offer interested recruiters a pathway to working for themselves. We provide business training modules and milestone targets for the recruiter who REALLY wants more than just another job! Once you are ready to own the business you continue to get all the full NatRec services and support you receive as an employee, the only difference being YOU own it.


To ensure our Recruitment Associates are successful from the very start we’ve built an in-house training programme. We know you can recruit and so the training is about how to run a successful and growing recruitment agency.

Associate Programme Training Modules


Module 1: NatRec Recruitment Processes

Overview of how our consultants operate so they maximise their success. This covers systems, processes, templates and in-house protocols.

Module 2:          Self Management

We delve into the potential pitfalls of working for yourself and how to make sure you cope with a very different lifestyle to a standard employment arrangement.

Module 3: Statutory and Legal Issues

Company vs ABN, Director responsibilities, workers comp, business insurances, OH&S & privacy law.

Module 4: Business Planning

This is an depth process that will help you craft your 12 month plan – from setting the goals to all the activities you need to do to achieve them.  This will also dovetail into the budgeting process.

Module 5:  Understanding Business Financials

In this module you will learn all about revenue and expenses, setting budgets, cashflow, reading your P&L and balance sheet, company tax and invoice funding.

Module 6:  Managing for Profit

Gain an understanding of fixed and flexible expenses, peaks and troughs, tips and tricks to stay on track.

This is an exceptional opportunity to be part of a growing team of experienced recruiters without the traditional constraints – don’t miss out!

You can call or email anytime to discuss how you could join NatRec and take control of your future. Work from anywhere, earn more money and achieve work life balance.

Deborah Ross  |  Regional Manager ANZ

0411 878 732

Is time management really possible in today’s world?

I had an epiphany a couple of months ago – it was about time management. This is a subject that I thought had been pretty much exhausted however I had been reading all these articles on technology and all the incredible things we can now access. Inevitably though they were negative about the way we have become accessible 24 /7 and how much pressure that places on all of us.

What suddenly occurred to me is that there appears to be this GAP between our perception of how our time should be allocated between work/personal life and the technological advances that we now have at our fingertips. From my experience of interviewing hundreds of people over the years the majority feel that the accepted period of time that you should be at work is no longer than 8am to 6pm. Their personal time was after 6pm and of course weekends.

But what if we CHANGE OUR THINKING and now say – I have a set list of things I want to accomplish in a 7 day week and it doesn’t matter what time or day it is? I don’t just mean your work time – I mean your whole life – work, family, friends, fitness, study, etc.

Naturally there are certain things that we have to do during Monday to Friday business hours like visit clients face to face. HOWEVER there are things that you can do at home on a rainy Sunday afternoon to get a jump on the week because you CAN just log on when you feel inspired. Or what about interviewing that hot candidate by Skype on Saturday rather than 5pm on a Tuesday – they will probably thank you for it. The result of this is that you will be potentially utilising down time and taking stress off other times in the week. Subsequently you should be able to go to the gym or that school event during the week because you will be under less pressure to be in the office.

So if you accept my premise, here are my 3 easy steps to time management:

Step 1: Dump ALL your obligations/activities/expectations onto a big sheet of paper or whiteboard or a word doc – whatever works for you. This includes expectations at work, home, everything.

Step 2: Allocate the important things to specific days/times where they absolutely have to occur onto a 7 DAY diary page.

Step 3: The rest is flexible. Put it on your Weekly To Do list. I think we need to embrace the age we are living in and start merging our work and personal lives holistically if we want to make the most use of the technology available to us. To quote our Prime Minister – “we are living in the most exciting time” – but how many of you are stuck in the past and not embracing the new paradigm.

It may not work for you but for me it has been a game changer – I seem to be able to achieve more but somehow be much more relaxed and my life is a lot more organised. At the end of the day no matter which way you decide to organise your week don’t be too hard on yourself – if you are managing to achieve 80% of your tasks you are actually doing well.

Yours. Together

Deborah Ross

How to make your organisation family-friendly

Tony Abbott used Mother’s Day to announce a new budget imitative to make childcare more affordable in a push to encourage more parents back into the workforce after having a child. Women – especially post-childbirth – are a massive area of potential participation growth for the Australian workforce as outlined in the 2015 Intergenerational Report released earlier this year.

The Prime Minister said the measures will lead to 240,000 families increasing their hours in paid employment, including almost 38,000 jobless families. Replacing a number of other existing tax breaks and entitlements, this initiative will see families earning up to $65,000 receive 85 per cent of childcare costs per child and families earning up to $170,000 will receive 50 per cent of childcare costs.

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