Industry News

Selecting a consultant: Part 1

Choosing the best consultant for your business needs can be a daunting, if not harrowing task. It’s tempting to jump straight in, do a quick Google search, make a call and be done with it. But how do you know if you’ve selected the right person for the job? Many of your fears can be allayed if you’re clear about what you want and need before you pick up the phone.

Have You Considered Consulting?

While this phrase may, for some, sound like the death-nell of their chosen career, consulting may be a way of fulfilling those professional dreams before the year ages much more and those New Year’s Resolutions become just a memory.  So what do you want to achieve in 2011?  For some, it may be that larger, in some cases, life-threatening impacts have shifted your focus, and for others, it may mean that you’re seeking a fresh start.  Don’t know where to being?

New Year, New Job?

The beginning of a new year often has people considering where their life is and where they would like it to be. In relation to your career, as you’re considering the year ahead, you may be asking yourself…

New Year, New People

So, it’s twenty-eleven and the previous year either ended with weather upheaval, or the new year started with climate disaster. But the show must go on, so if you’ve been reviewing your business plan in light of resources and man-power and have decided that life would be easier in your business unit/department/office with an extra person, or persons, read on…

The Catch-22 about hiring new people is that the process can take precious time away from doing the things that make you money, which is the reason you decided to hire in the first place. So what do you do?

  1. Consider the type of tasks that you need done to free you up (What are the critical processes?)
  2. What processes need special skills?
  3. What processes can be learned quickly?
  4. What type of person is usually attracted to your employment advertisements? Do these people work out? If not, why not?
  5. Is there a logic to the grouping of responsibilities in your organisation, or are they allocated according to the talents of the person in the role?

Reference versus Reputation

Have you ever felt the buzz of being approached to work for another organisation?  Often this is preceded by out-of-the-blue phone calls, clandestine meetings, and a lot of praise for your abilities coupled with an exaggerated description of contradictions, “… with your experience and skill-set (ugh), you’ll have no trouble meeting the demands of this high-powered role, but you’ll still be challenged to achieve, I’m sure.”

Before you dive in head-first, work through your checklist for new jobs:

  1. Is this an organisation that faithfully represents what your industry is about?
  2. Is this an industry that you want to remain a part of in your next move?
  3. Does the job seem too good to be true?
  4. Why is there a vacancy that you’d not heard about?
  5. To whom will you be reporting, and what is their reputation like?

Remuneration Benchmarking

A focus for manufacturing organisations reviewing their expenditure in this climate has become remuneration, not to downplay these salary bands, but to establish their selection criteria against market expectations for high performing human assets.

As this activity isn’t isolated to periods of downturn, and that it is important for organisations to conduct periodic market reviews, it is heartening that manufacturers are taking the opporutnity to recognise that their technical staff should be valued, based on performance, experience, competence and, let’s face it, rarity.

X & Y: Same difference?

News and Views

Word on the street is that some sectors of the workforce and society-at-large are confused about the differences between Gen-X and Gen-Y.  The similarities are that they are younger than Baby-Boomers, have different perspectives about work and have a broader appreciation of technology in comparison with their older counterparts.  However, the groups are very different in their motivations, values, and experiences which needs to be made clear.  Here is a rough guide:

X-ers are those in their mid-30’s to late 40’s (sometimes a bit older), generally well-educated, well-travelled, conscientious and diligent at work, with a no-nonsense perspective in life.  They are adaptable to changing technology and are often change-agents in a business.  Your boss is likely to be from Generation X, so named for its enigmatic or indefinable attributes.

News & Views

Science & Technology Executive Roles

Notice how in Seek and other web-based job advertisement facilities, there are Jobs, and then there are Executive Roles and the sub-categories for Jobs include Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics, Accounting, HR, Administration, Science and Technology, etc., yet in Executive Roles, there is no category for Science & Technology, yet there are categories for Administration and HR, for example.  Is it that organisations aren’t offering Executive Roles in Science & Technology, or is it that once in that salary bracket, the role is no longer considered to be in the field of Science & Technology?  What is this saying about science in Australia, or even globally?  Do we still wonder why people aren’t attracted to Science & Technology fields, or do we take it for granted that to avoid being monetarily disadvantaged, one must leave the field of Science and Technology?