Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a senior human resources professional with over 8 years’ experience within HR and recruitment. I am a HR generalist and work across all areas of HR. However, I do have a strong interest for career development and coaching, talent management, and organisational development. My industry background has included the oil and gas industry, renewable energy and now the innovative product development space. My passion lies in developing and coaching people to build their capability for success.
What type of organisation do you work for?
I work for Planet Innovation which has recently been voted Australia’s Most Innovative Company by BRW. Planet Innovation exists to develop and commercialize products that have a positive impact on the world. We provide technology innovation, product development and commercialization expertise to companies around the world and we focus on the biomedical, clean-tech and hi-tech industries. Planet Innovation comprises of an outstanding group of commercially oriented engineers and scientists with a talent for creating successful technology-based products. Our clients are leading-edge product focused companies in the Biomedical, Industrial and Cleantech sectors where smart solutions and rapid time-to-market are key ingredients for commercial success. With our clients we define the product opportunity, develop the solution and execute the strategy.
What do you see as the main purpose of the HR professional when looking for new employees?
The role of a HR professional when looking for new employees in my opinion has a number of purposes. First and foremost I see my role as being the talent champion to partner with the Recruiting Manager in choosing the best fit for our organisation and our business strategy. Planet Innovation attracts some of the most talented people in the product development sector. I believe identifying, attracting, and securing talent is one determining factor in project success as well as for the company’s success. My aim is also to work with the Recruiting Manager’s in building a winning recruitment process that treats all candidates with respect, to give them a winning interview experience where we can continue to attract and engage and best people for the business.
Have you seen an increase in the number of people applying for each of your jobs over the last 12 months? If yes how many?
Yes, definitely. The market has certainly been impacted and there are many active candidates, but not as many roles. I have also seen a slight increase in passive candidates. Not only do we receive a significant response for roles that we advertise, we also attract candidates wanting to work for Planet Innovation. This increases the volume of applicants we are managing on a weekly and monthly basis. On average, Planet Innovation would receive up to 20 expressions of interest on a weekly basis.
How do you manage that many applicants?
It certainly is a challenge. We are currently in the process of implementing a strategic recruitment tool. Candidate applications are currently kept in a centralized location accessible to HR and the Recruiting Managers.
How soon do you shortlist applications/applications?
HR endeavor to get back to all applicants within 2 weeks of them applying for a role. Depending on the position requirements, usually candidates are shortlisted within 2 weeks of their application being received by Planet Innovation.
Will you stop reviewing candidates when you have a shortlist?
Usually, yes. Before we commence the shortlisting process we close the job. We then commence the process of shortlisting candidates for an initial phone discussion to be held with HR, before commencing to the next steps of our process, which is a 1st round interview. On the occasion where an application is received after a role is closed, depending on how long it comes through after the job has been closed, we may look at including the candidate with the initial group of candidates.
What is your biggest challenge as a HR Professional?
As a HR professional, one of the biggest challenges I find is staying ahead and keeping in touch with the latest trends and issues facing the HR industry and your organisation. Also, technology is changing and impacting HR in many ways. Understanding the impact technology has and will have, will be crucial to success for the future. Also, the ever evolving talent challenge is an area that will impact certain industries where there is a skills shortage, including engineering. Developing employees to become the best they can be and ensuring their development within an organisation will be an ongoing challenge, but also an opportunity. Sourcing and securing future talent for the business will need to be looked at strategically, and how we can better position the business to attract the next generation of talent for the business.
What advice can you give a current job searcher?
Network, network, network! It is an important action item when you are searching for a role. There are many positions that are not advertised, and networking with various people within your industry can definitely assist your search as it can open doors to certain opportunities. This can mean networking through media including LinkedIn, but also attending events in your industry. Make it a priority. Before applying for a role, really think about what the job requires and to make sure you leverage yourself and your experience in the best way you can against the requirements of the role. Tailor your cover letter and resume for each position, and ensure you take care and put effort into your application to make you stand out from the other applicants.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with job seekers out there?
It is really important to develop your own professional brand strategy when looking for your next role, but also throughout your career. It is important to be authentic and to ask yourself the following questions- -What are your goals? -What’s your mission or vision for yourself? -What are your personal values? -What skills do you offer that make you valuable? -How do you describe yourself? -Do you specialise in any particular industry? What’s your niche? Taking the time to define yourself and how you want to be known both in and out of the workplace will be important to your career success.