Monday, November 19, 2012

SMH: Women Struggling With a Need to Please

I'd love to share Cosima Marrimer's article in this weekend's Sydney Morning Herald 'Sunday Life' magazine.

If you'd like to download the link to the article click here. Otherwise, read on!

JUGGLING careers, family and social lives, women feel stretched in all directions but are unable to say no, a Sunday Life magazine survey reveals.

More than 1500 women responded to the What Women Want online survey, discussing their bodies, relationships, careers, their worries and hopes for the future. While most readers report being fairly content with their busy lives, the survey revealed that managing competing demands remains an ongoing challenge.

When asked what personal quality they would most like to nurture, one-fifth said they wanted to be more assertive and confident. A further fifth said they would like to slow down and take the time to appreciate what they have in their lives.
''I am always doing things for others and rushing around like a mad person,'' said Kylee, 42. ''I would like to be able to slow down and smell the roses but life is too busy and [there is] always something to do or someone to see or help.''

Advertisement Leanne, 47, said: ''I would like to nurture the ability to say 'no' without guilt.''

Sabah, 21, felt similarly: ''I always say yes to people. I need to think about myself for a change.''

A quarter of readers said achieving work-life balance was their biggest challenge, compared with 15 per cent who nominated ageing gracefully, 13 per cent who said maintaining relationships and 10 per cent who cited managing a household and/or finances.

Despite the stresses in their lives, readers are more concerned about the sisterhood as a whole. A total of 60 per cent identified violence against women as the female issue that most urgently needs to be addressed, ahead of more support for at-home carers and closing the gender pay gap.

And while Australian women are paid, on average, 20 per cent less than their male peers, two-thirds of readers feel their work doesn't discriminate against them because they are female. Nearly half of working mothers said their careers had progressed since returning to work. Although money ranks third as a motivation for going to work, 81 per cent said they would choose a pay rise over more flexibility in their jobs.

Most women said they were happiest spending time with their partner, children or friends. They report healthy sex lives, 40 per cent having sex at least once a week. But, given a choice between sex, chocolate, a good book or sleep, more women opted for sleep than anything else.

Body image remains a concern for most readers, 70 per cent classifying themselves as overweight. Seven in 10 have been on a diet but less than half felt it helped them lose weight.

The survey revealed frustration with the fashion industry; three-quarters of respondents said they had trouble finding clothes to fit their body shape and hundreds wrote detailed critiques of modern fashion. Yet not many readers have turned to intensive cosmetic surgery to improve their looks, just 11 per cent going under the knife.

Read more:

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Top 4 Reasons Employees Quit

This post, written by Kazim Ladimeji of the Career Cafe, struck a chord with me.

So much so, I wanted to share it word for word with you. It's written with a recruiter in mind but the learnings are just as important for a candidate seeking out a new job.

Here's what Kazim had to say:

"A few years back, PwC published some interesting findings of 19,000 exit interviews within their organization, where one of the key questions that was asked of employees was the simple question, “What was their reason for leaving?” The four most common reasons for leaving their organization were, in order of rank:

1.Limited career/promotion opportunities

2.Supervisor lacked respect/support


4.Job duties boring/no challenge.

These findings resonate well with a later and similarly expansive Gallup Poll, which took into account the views of employees from 44 organizations and 10,600 business units. Gallup found an almost identical top four reasons for employees voluntarily leaving. Between these two substantial surveys we have a fairly good grasp on why good employees leave voluntarily.

Of course, ordinarily staff retention is a key focus of the ‘at work’ HR Business partners and employee relations team. However, upon knowing these top reasons for employees leaving it becomes clear that there are real steps that recruiters can and should be taking to not only hire staff well, but to hire staff in a ‘sticky’ way so they stay for the long term. Thus, putting recruiters in a strong position to be able to say that they make a meaningful contribution not just to staff attraction, but staff retention. This also raises their profile within the organization they work in or serve.

Listed below are the top four reasons that employees leave and four corresponding actions that recruiters can take during the recruiting process to help counteract these issues.

1. Limited career/promotion opportunities. Recruiters should check that the candidate’s career development and advancement expectations are closely aligned with what the organization is able to offer. That is, can the business meet the career development needs of the candidate? If the answer is no, then this candidate may be a risky hiring prospect who may be likely to leave prematurely.

2. Supervisor lacked/respect support. Recruiters should develop job descriptions with detailed manager profiles so the employee can see their potential supervisor’s management style and team culture – and see if it will be a good fit. Ensure that the candidate’s preferred style of being managed matches up with the manager’s preferred style of management as a mismatch could lead to an early voluntary exit by the employee.

3. Compensation. Be concerned about candidates who are singularly focused on compensation. Why? Because, if, as a subsequent employee, they become dissatisfied with their pay, the fact that they don’t place much value in other areas of the brand offering like culture, training and career development opportunities, means these other perks will not serve as retention devices. This type of ‘money fixated applicant’ will be much more vulnerable to premature departure than a candidate who places value in many of areas of the brand offering.

4. Job duties boring/no challenge. Clearly, recruiters should be encouraging line managers to produce comprehensive job descriptions that accurately reflect the duties, responsibilities, scope of the role, flexibility, and key contacts in order to provide an all-round feel of the role. Also, make use of Realistic Job Previews (RJP) which is a process where you give the employee a view of both the positive and negative aspects of the job. Research shows that use of RJPs means the employee will be better able to cope with the stresses and strains of the job and be more satisfied.

I believe that the modern recruiter or talent acquisition professional can add greater value to the organizations that they serve or work for by placing an emphasis on hiring ‘sticky’ employees who are selected to not only be good, but to actually stay for the longer-term and enable the employer to fully realize the investment they made in the new recruit."

Thanks Kazim!