Rowben Parent Named Employer of Choice in the 2020 ABA100 Awards

ABA100 Employer of Choice

Rowben Consulting’s parent, Finite Group, has been recognised as an Employer of Choice in the ABA100 Australian Business Awards 2020.

Tracy Thomson, Finite’s Managing Director commented “this award affirms our commitment to our amazing team of staff to provide them with a fantastic work culture and workplace environment that attracts and retains superior employees. This is also great recognition for the talented and hard- working team that put so much effort into ensuring our work environments across ANZ look after the well-being, safety, and happiness of our employees, candidates and customers across our different brands”.

Thomson goes on to add, “this is Finite’s fifth successive ABA award win and we couldn’t be prouder.  It not only reinforces the innovative business processes and continuous improvement initiatives that we have in place, but also recognizes the strong team culture and enthusiasm that prevails within, demonstrated in practice by individuals always willing to go the extra mile, and considered policies and practices which demonstrate our first-class business services, engagement and retention. We’re thrilled to win this award.”

Now in their fifteenth year, The Australian Business Awards program provides notable opportunities for high-performing organisations which implement world-class business initiatives and develop innovative products and services, to be acknowledged and honoured for their achievements both nationally and internationally. The national winners are benchmarked in the international chapter of the program at The World Business Awards whereby participants are provided with the unique opportunity to benchmark themselves against the top performers globally.

“Each year the ABA100 Winners are recognised for the successful development of new and improved products and services and for implementing business processes that improve efficiency and performance,” said Ms Tara Johnston, ABA’s Program Director.

“A culture of continuous improvement consists of incremental initiatives and innovations to achieve best practices. An innovative working approach also appeals to employees with higher levels of creativity and lateral thinking, helping organisations to hold on to their best talent,” Ms Johnston added.

Organisational participation in the Awards include private companies, public companies, multi-national subsidiaries, non-government organisations, educational institutions, government departments, government agencies, local government and statutory bodies operating in Australia.

For more information on The Australian Business Awards and the 2020 ABA100® Winners, visit australianbusinessawards.com.au.

Rowben Consulting Expands to Sydney!

Rowben Consulting expands to Sydney!

Leading Insurance and Superannuation specialist recruiter, Rowben Consulting, have expanded their services to Sydney, their first satellite office outside of their traditional Melbourne stronghold. Coinciding with the new office opening comes a completely redesigned web presence through a fresh, minimalist, contemporary look on their ‘all new’ website (www.rowben.com.au). This, along with enhanced content and intuitive site navigation functionality, reflects their continuing success and growth in this busy niche market.

Two years on from the business being acquired by the Finite Group, Tracee Rowe, Rowben’s original co-founder remains firmly at the helm. During this time the Rowben brand has been considerably enhanced, whilst retaining its strong focus on providing an exceptional customer experience for their clients and candidates. Tracee is still very hands-on in the business, leading the charge and supporting a highly successful team of expert recruitment professionals.

“With COVID-19 heavily impacting the Australian economy, including virtually all classes of insurance in this ‘hardening insurance market’, premiums are increasing and demand for quality Insurance specialists remains buoyant,” says Tracee.  “We are lucky to have some great Consultants in the business that really know the local Australian Insurance and Superannuation markets well, have great talent networks in place, and can really add value at every step of the hiring process.”

Finite Group’s Managing Director, Tracy Thomson, commented “Rowben Consulting has an excellent reputation for outstanding customer service and delivery, and this exciting expansion into Sydney, along with the brand refresh will further enhance Rowben’s reach into these specialist markets.”

“Rowben’s continuing success is in no small way attributable to the passion and enthusiasm that Tracee Rowe brings as an exceptional manager and leader. With the new Sydney team members bedding down well, the new website also provides a much clearer, more contemporary, statement of who Rowben are, their mission and values and what they stand for when delivering great quality Insurance and Superannuation recruitment services. Looking ahead, we will continue to look at market growth opportunities where our compelling service offerings can add something fresh and different,” says Thomson.

Rowben Consulting’s Parent in AFR Top 500 Private Companies List 2020

Rowben Consulting’s Parent in AFR Top 500 Private Companies List 2020

Rowben Consulting’s parent, leading technology services and people solutions provider Finite Group, featured at number 149 in this year’s AFR Top 500 Private Companies List published on September 7th.

Finite Group’s $440M of annual revenues for FY20 was down by 2.4% on the previous Financial Year, reflecting the more challenging business conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the second half performance.

Finite Group Managing Director, Tracy Thomson, commented that “lessons from past downturns, along with a deliberate focus over the past few years on diversifying the Group’s client base and services across ANZ, have held us in good stead to weather the strong and ongoing headwinds from this unprecedented pandemic. In terms of business performance; the second half of the FY20 Financial Year was tracking to be our best yet, before COVID-19 put the brakes on. Nonetheless, I am very proud of my team’s exemplary performance and resilience given the tough market conditions, particularly from March through until June.  Overall, Group Revenues for FY20 were down by $10M Year on Year, whilst underlying profitability grew slightly through tighter cost management control. I believe that these results will prove to be remarkably healthy when compared with many.

Implementing a quality technology solution to enable hassle-free ‘Working From Home’ late in 2019 also undoubtedly helped to place the Group in a good position, with tools such as Microsoft Teams and DocuSign, really coming into their own. We also used this slower period to progress the implementation of our all new Group CRM, Mercury xRM, as this leading UK product’s ANZ launch partner.  This is now live and fully functional, giving each part of the business some great new support aids, driving automation and productivity for improved delivery outcomes!

To summarise, the Group is well positioned to return to growth later this Financial Year, providing market forces don’t continue to work against us. Many of our offices have had an encouraging new business start to the year and we are fortunate that our core Technology, Digital and Business Transformation service offerings, along with our specialist SAP advisory and Insurance and Superannuation divisions remain in demand from clients across the major sectors we service.  Potential synergistic acquisition enquiries will also continue to be welcomed.”

How to separate work from your personal life now that you’re working from home?

How to separate work from your personal life now that you’re working from home

Working from home has some amazing perks, but if you’ve been doing it for some time, you might be starting to notice some of the downsides too.

One of the biggest pain points is the ability to draw the line between your work day and home life. If you find that line beginning to blur, here are some tips to help you redraw it.

1 Create a specific space for work … and remember to leave it

Having a dedicated work area is an essential. It allows you to physically step away at the end of the work day and switch off. A home office with a door is ideal, but if this isn’t possible, aim for a corner of a room you can section off as your work zone.

While stepping away after work is imperative, so is taking regular breaks. It’s all too easy to fall down a rabbit hole coding or meeting-jumping, and find you haven’t moved all day. Make the effort to go outside for some fresh air or chat with a family member or housemate, connecting just like you would in the office.

Extra tip: if you haven’t already, invest in an ergonomic desk chair. This one piece of office equipment can help you physically shift from a home mindset to a work one (plus your back will thank you).

2 Set your work hours and stick to them

When working from home, it’s tempting to sign on earlier than you normally would, thinking you can finish early and get in some ‘me-time’.

But how many times have you logged on at 7am for a quick email check, and then find yourself still at it come 6pm – some 11 hours later?

Sticking to set work hours is imperative to help you strike a healthy balance between home and work life. Spend the extra time you have in the morning not having to commute with yourself. It may be a brisk morning walk with your favourite podcast playing, or simply enjoying a morning routine of a warm mug of tea or coffee and a full breakfast.

Extra tip: when it’s time to start work, don’t automatically log into your chat client. Give yourself 15 minutes to get into the right head space for your day, before you let that messaging system overrun you.

3 Advise others when your ‘do not disturb’ sign is on

If you have housemates or family who aren’t used to having you home during the day, it’s worth having the ‘do not disturb’ conversation.

Share your work hours with them and let them know they shouldn’t interrupt during those times. If you’re comfortable, you could even hang an ‘at work’ sign on your door, or on the back of your chair and laptop/computer, as a tangible reminder.

4 Change out of your sleepwear

One of the biggest advantages of remote work is you can easily do it in your pyjamas. But that doesn’t mean you should.

Rolling out of bed and straight into work puts you on the fast track to blurring your home – work line. Make an effort to change into an outfit you wouldn’t normally sleep in but is still comfortable, or something more appropriate if video calls demand it.

Those are four tips to help you create a clear divide between work and play when remote working. If you’d like more work from home tips for your team or yourself, please let us know.

How to ensure your employer brand weathers the COVID-19 storm

How to ensure your employer brand weathers the COVID-19 storm

While you may have taken all the right steps to safeguard your employees’ health during this pandemic, what about your employer brand?

How your company deals with the challenges from COVID-19 makes a big difference to whether your employer brand weathers this storm.

Here’s a few ways to steady your brand ship and keep it on course.

Think about what more you can do for your people

Treating your employees with compassion during these challenging times is one of the most important ways to nurture your employer brand. Whether they’re working from home, or transitioning back to the office, they’re still coping with a major shift in their work habits. That’s stressful.

As an employer, think about what you can do to ease their concerns. Perhaps an employee is worried about coming into the office as they have a vulnerable family member. Can you help them out with a temporary remote working option, and revise over time?

Or maybe a team member is struggling financially as their partner has been made redundant. Can you bring forward a bonus payment, or tweak your pay schedule to ensure they get paid earlier?

The bottom line here is this: any type of support you can offer financially and/or emotionally will be appreciated by your employees. But most importantly, it will be remembered. This secures some fierce loyalty that will do wonders for your employer brand.

Be transparent by sharing your roadmap

Saying nothing, or saying very little, about how you’re dealing with COVID challenges isn’t the best tactic. It can lead to employees to speculating and drawing their own (usually negative) conclusions.

Developing and sharing your roadmap for how you intend to move forward with your employees and wider community (which includes potential talent) is a key step in looking after your employer brand.

This involves:

1 Defining your message

Formulate your main messages for both employees and potential candidates, focusing on what each audience wants to hear. Cover touchpoints such as safety measures, job security and future business projections.

Explain how the actions you’re taking now – which may be negative – are aimed at safeguarding employees and the business down the track. If employees can see short-term pain is for long-term gain, they may more readily accept it.

2 Checking your message for tone and culture match

Data from a recent LinkedIn report shows employer branding messages have changed since the pandemic hit. It reveals that posts with the most engagement used words such as ‘health, support and help’. They were also very people-centric, with a focus on employees, frontline workers and local communities.

With this in mind, consider your messages’ tone of voice. Aim for authenticity over promotion, and avoid using humour as it can easily be taken the wrong way.

Lastly, check your messages align with your company mission, values and vision. Any mismatch here can breed mistrust, and that seriously hurts your employer brand.

3 Delivering your message properly

Ensure your message is clear and delivered consistently across all your communication channels – emails, meetings, socials and website. This helps employees and prospective talent easily understand what you’re doing to address the current challenges, and hopefully be impressed with your proactivity.

While nurturing your employer brand during this time may not be high up on your priority list, leaving it untended may damage your reputation beyond repair.

We hope these tips help you care for your employer brand, but if the task feels a little onerous, please let us know. We’d love to offer our support to see you through this trying time.

Why you should think twice about ghosting your recruiter

You might have experienced someone ghosting you in your personal life. One minute they’re in contact and the next, they’re not. No explanation, just silence.

It happens in recruitment too, especially in the candidate-driven Insurance and Superannuation industry.

As recruiters, it’s tough dealing with ghosters as we build our career on forming and nurturing business relationships. But it can be just as harmful to the candidates who ghost, and here’s why.

Common ghosting scenarios

There’s a few reasons why you might ghost a recruiter.

You may have:

  • applied for a job and/or attended an interview but got cold feet
  • said yes to a job but have a change of heart
  • said yes to a job but get another offer
  • decide to remain at your current job
  • choose to go with another recruiter

In all these scenarios, you’ve started to build a relationship with a recruiter and then changed your mind. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, how you choose to communicate this is all important.

If you go the ghosting route, you do yourself a disservice. As a recruiter, this means we’ll never have the chance to uncover why the position didn’t suit, and offer other options that may be a better fit.

If it was something that occurred during the interview process, we also don’t have an opportunity to speak to the employer and ask if they’re open to discussing it further (hot tip – most companies are!). It could be your dream position with just a tweak or two, but ghosting your recruiter means you’ll never know.

The main reasons why you shouldn’t ghost your recruiter

It’s short-sighted

The Australian Insurance & Superannuation recruitment industry is small, so networking is paramount. You just never know how a connection – particularly with a recruiter – might benefit you down the track, especially as new roles are constantly advertised.

There’s a high likelihood the recruiter you just ghosted will oversee a future project that really excites you. If you’ve burnt your bridge with them, your chances of scoring an interview aren’t great.

It’s bad business etiquette

Failing to let your recruiter know you’ve changed your mind is unprofessional and honestly, rude.

Think back to how you felt when you were ghosted. It’s likely you felt some form of offense, or at the very least, can still clearly remember it, even if it happened years ago. How do you view the person that ghosted you now?

It reveals something of your character – and it’s not positive

Choosing to remain silent may show you’re uncomfortable with possible confrontation, and would rather avoid dealing with the situation.

Communicating and conflict resolution are central tenets of working (and personal) life. As a recruiter, we’d think twice about hiring or recommending someone who has shown they aren’t keen to do either.

It affects your recruiter’s business relationships

Clients rely on recruiters to find their best candidate fit. If we recommend someone who just disappears with no explanation, it seriously damages the trust our clients have in us. As relationships are the backbone of our industry, any harm done can take years to repair.

What to do instead of ghosting your recruiter

There are two key things you can do to ensure you maintain a professional relationship with a recruiter, even if you have to give them bad news.

Contact the recruiter as soon as you can

With so much messaging technology at your fingertips, it’s easy to send a short text or email, followed up by a longer conversation if you want to. The quicker you do this, the more time we have to find our client a replacement.

Be honest

Don’t worry about hurting our feelings or wasting our time. If you’ve been offered a dream role elsewhere, or decided to stay at your current job, we want to know. It’s much easier for us to tell our clients your truth, than have to scramble for a possible reason why you’re not returning our calls.

At the end of the day, we will understand your decision. We’re just happy to know it’s the right one for your career path. After all, that’s our main goal as recruiters.

If things don’t quite go to plan down the track, we’ll still be here and ready to discuss future opportunities in the Insurance and Superannuation industry.

How to prepare for a video interview

How to prepare for a video interview

Video interviews are an increasingly popular choice for tech interviews. This is especially the case for companies searching nationally and internationally for Insurance and Superannuation talent that is in high demand with only limited supply.

Many of the same principles apply as in a phone interview, but there’s a few key points you shouldn’t ignore when preparing for your video interview:

Get the tech setup right

The tech required for a phone interview is straightforward but with a video interview you have a few more options and things to double check to make sure everything goes smoothly. Choose the device you will be most comfortable with, ideally a PC or tablet with a good, stable WiFi connection. Make sure your microphone is working properly and you can be clearly heard as well as seen. You should setup your equipment and do a test run by video calling a friend to make sure everything is working well ahead of time.

Choose a suitable location

Not only does your interview location need to be quiet, it also needs to be well lit. In indoor areas, you need either good natural light or bright lights to allow the webcam to show you clearly. If possible, set up next to a window in a quiet room somewhere. You don’t want the window to be behind you as your face will appear dark against the background so having the window in front or beside you is much more preferable.

Practice replying to interview questions

You can’t always know exactly what you’ll be asked but you can usually predict the most likely questions that will come your way. Be prepared to answer questions about your experience, strengths, career goals, and interests.

Think about how you want to be received

Your actual skills and experience are important but at the end of the day, people are looking for candidates they can work well with so make an extra effort to be friendly and personable. It’s important to try and build rapport and make a connection with everyone you speak with. This is easier in person but also important in a phone or video interview. You want to leave the interviewer or panel with the impression you’re someone they’d like to be working with and will fit well into the company culture.

Look the part

Don’t forget to dress well as your appearance on a small screen is still important. Clear the background behind you and anything else within view so you are the focus of attention and the interviewer won’t be distracted by surrounding clutter.

Frame yourself on the video

Spend some time working out the right angle and frame. Ideally, try to angle yourself so you’re looking directly at the camera, and frame from the shoulders up.

Ensure you’re engaging in eye-contact

It can be very easy to get distracted on a video interview, either looking around the room or looking the video showing yourself. Make a point of making eye-contact with your interviewer by looking at their video on your screen or the camera.

Are you considering a new Insurance or Superannuation role? Rowben can help you find right one for you. For a confidential career chat, get in contact with us today.

Our specialist capabilities ensure you find the right fit candidate fast!

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