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March 28, 2013

These Days, Recruiters Are Worth the Money

Filed under: Job Seeker — Tags: — Tom Murphy @ 2:39 am

When it comes to sourcing the right interview candidates, I’ve never been keen to use recruiters. But I recently changed my mind.

My company, Metal Mafia, has an excellent candidate screening process, a super training program, and a very successful team of employees to show for it.

But hiring has always been a difficult task for me because each time I get ready to hire, it takes me forever to find the right type of candidates to even get the screening process started.

Despite the fact that I carefully consider where to advertise for candidates–I try to maximize the search dollars and get a good mix of potential applicants–it always takes me a long time to find people suited well to the company, and therefore, even worth interviewing.

I’ve tried everything from placing ads on large job boards like Monster.com, to smaller specialized job boards that cater to sales hires or fashion jobs, to local university boards where I can post for free (or close to it). Each time, I experience the same slow crawl toward finally finding the right person. It has taken me up to five months to find the right kind of hire in the past. So in November when I decided I needed to think about hiring for the new year, I was not optimistic.

For me, recruiters have traditionally been out of the question because I figured they would be a waste of time and never be as good at sending me the right people for the job as I would be in reviewing resumes myself. They’re also too expensive for my small budget. But as I got ready to place my job ads again, one of my senior staff members came to me and offered me the name of a fashion recruiter she knew and thought could help. I was skeptical, but I called her anyway, figuring listening would cost me nothing.

The recruiter convinced me she would do a thorough job, but I still hesitated because of the price. I do not have large sums of money to devote to the hiring process, and by my calculations, when all was said and done, using the recruiter was going to cost me three times as much as my usual techniques. On the other hand, the recruiter would only charge me if she found someone I decided to hire, which meant I was risking nothing, and could always come back to my original methods. I bit the bullet and signed up, reminding myself “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

The recruiter sent me the resumes of 10 entry-level candidates. I screened six by phone, met three in person, and found the right hire–all in a month. The cost suddenly became much less, because I saved so much time in the process, and because I got a pool of applicants who were decidedly better to choose from than in the past. Even more interesting, perhaps, was an insight the right candidate shared with me during the interview process. When I asked why she had chosen to work with a recruiter rather than post on job boards, she said “because recruiters make sure your resume gets seen, while submitting via the Internet is like sending your resume into oblivion.”

If most people these days are thinking like my new hire, the recruiters will clearly have the best selection of candidates every time. Looks like I’ve got an essential new hiring strategy.


Vanessa Merit Nornberg: In 2004, Vanessa opened Metal Mafia, a wholesale body and costume jewelry company that sells to more than 5,000 specialty shops and retail chains in 23 countries. Metal Mafia was an Inc. 500 company in 2009. @vanessanornberg

March 15, 2012

Pixel Receives World Highest Green Rating

worlds greenest pixel building

The Pixel building – the one-of-a-kind green building that has set new standards in this country – has gone global, receiving the world’s highest environmental rating.

Pixel received the highest-ever LEED rating by the US Green Building Council, outscoring the previous highest scorer by 10 points. Located on the corner of Bouverie and Queensbury streets in Carlton, the building was created by Australian industry greats Grocon.

Grocon Chief Executive Officer Daniel Grollo explains the immensity of the impressive honour.

“There are over 44,000 buildings in 120 countries around the world that have used the LEED rating system and in scoring 105 points out of a possible 110, Pixel has now surpassed all of them,” he says.

Sharing this achievement with Grocon are designing architectural firm studio505 and sustainability consultants Umow Lai.

That team worked together closely in order to create the award-winning building, which is both carbon neutral and water balanced and includes wind and solar energy-producing technologies. The group plans to continue using these green technologies when working on future projects.

“The capacity to collaborate with like-minded individuals thinking ‘outside the square’ has been key in the successful delivery of Pixel and in ensuring its achievement of 105 LEED points,” say studio505 directors Dylan Brady and Dirk Zimmermann.

The design duo went on to pinpoint the highly-functional, yet aesthetically pleasing unique facade as a key factor in the building’s mass appeal.

“The colourful panelised façade is complex and based on not only aesthetics but also science, to allow maximum daylight, shade, views and glare control, whilst creating the building’s identity,” they say.

By Emily D’Alterio

http://designbuildsource.com.au/pixel-receives-world-highest-green-rating

March 12, 2012

Mining growth locked in: BIS Shrapnel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tom Murphy @ 10:57 pm

BIS Shrapnel’s Long Term Forecast Update says the rapid expansion of minerals-related investment is providing a significant boost to the Australian economy.

“These projects are locked in, and will occur irrespective of events in Europe,” the report says.

It says ongoing strong growth in China and the rest of emerging Asia will continue to support minerals prices and the Australian economy more generally.

“The engineering construction industry is benefiting most from this activity, but sections of other industries are as well, including some areas of manufacturing, transport, wholesale trade, accommodation, and professional and business services” says Tim Hampton, BIS Shrapnel senior economist.

According to the report, the flip side of the minerals boom is that record high commodity prices, coupled with the poor state of many economies offshore, has seen the Australian dollar rise to post-float highs in nominal terms and near record levels in real terms.

Hampton says the tourism and international education industries and many parts of the manufacturing industry have suffered as the high Australian dollar has eroded competitiveness at the same time weak western economies are holding back foreign demand for goods and services.

“Other industries are also suffering due to the high Australian dollar, including retail trade as Australian households spend more of their money offshore. Many firms in professional and business services are also under pressure because the high Australian dollar is encouraging firms to take these activities offshore,” Hampton says.

The report says business investment outside the mining industry has been weak as a result of businesses deleveraging and maintaining a cost-containment/cash-preservation focus since the global financial crisis.

It says negative news coming out of Europe and the United States has weighed heavily on consumer and business confidence.

The report says private dwelling and non-dwelling building activity has been low and that this under-investment creates pent up demand. It says this will drive activity from late 2012, provided funding is available and consumer and business confidence does not take another hit.

http://www.propertyoz.com.au/Article/NewsDetail.aspx?p=16&id=5451

December 18, 2011

Docklands Skyscraper Stuns

Filed under: Buildings — Tags: , , — Tom Murphy @ 10:56 pm

The newest addition to Melbourne’s stunning Docklands precinct has proven that magnificence can go hand in hand with timeliness. The $83 million project HarbourOne has been completed one month early, bringing with a keen Melbourne style and a number of awards.

The brainchild of Brookfield Multiplex and architectural firm Plus Architecture for the MAB Corporation, the multi-residential space is host to 329 apartments over its 22 levels and an additional 5 storey building which plays host to 28 5-star serviced apartments in both one and two bedroom form. The apartments will range from studio to two bedroom layouts, with the main tower also including a ground floor lobby, gymnasium, commercial and retail space, four levels of car parks and an audio visual lounge.

The design team describes the building’s façade as “simulat(ing) water and movement, featuring a unique ‘ribbon’ detail that climbs and curls around the slender apartment tower to form a distinguishing wave effect”, which is made up of aluminium glass and seems only fitting for HarbourOne’s waterside location.

Design quality has obviously not been forgotten in light of the project’s speedy delivery. The early finish may, however, be a result of the structural materials used. The bulk of the structural form has been created using reinforced and post tensioned concrete slabs and steel, with precast vertical elements that may have been the developer’s secret weapon to running a month early.

“Much to the delight of the client the early completion of the HarbourOne project facilitated an earlier than anticipated opening of the new serviced apartments, resulting in fully booked accommodation during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and subsequent Melbourne events” says Graham Cottam, Regional Managing Director of Brookfield Multiplex for Victoria.

In addition to being a structurally sound and efficient project, the design incorporates sustainability aspects, which have amounted in the building being awarded with the VicUrban Award of Merit in addition to meeting the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors environmental standards. These include the implementation of solar hot water generation and what the company has labeled ‘sensitive urban design initiatives”.

What is significant about this build, more than its design or construction acumen, is that the project developers have placed the needs of the client as their number one priority. In going beyond contractual expectations, the client’s needs are met causing them to reap the rewards of one month’s extra business, in turn, solidifying the project developers reputation as ideal industry figures. In an industry where reputation is paramount and a business climate where the industry is facing a huge amount criticism over inefficient and badly managed construction work, the only way to instill confidence in clients is to go beyond the status quo.

By Jane Parkins- http://designbuildsource.com.au/docklands-skyscraper-stuns?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=docklands-skyscraper-stuns

November 23, 2011

Southbank skyscrapers ire

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tom Murphy @ 10:05 pm

SOUTHBANK could soon be the precinct that skyscrapers killed, residents fear, with planning applications lodged for three giant towers – one almost as tall as Eureka Tower, Melbourne’s tallest building.

Planning applications have been lodged in recent weeks for a 71-storey tower with 592 apartments and 566 car parking spaces at the site of the Queensbridge Hotel, Southbank.

The proposed Queensbridge Tower would be the second-tallest building in Melbourne at 275 metres.

A stone’s throw away at 25 Queens Bridge Street, an application has been lodged for a 66-storey mixed-use development and at nearby 54-56 Clarke Street an application has been lodged for a 56-storey mixed-use development.

The planning applications come as Melbourne City Council considers a new planning blueprint for the area, including mandatory height controls.

Southbank Residents Group acting president Joe Bagnara warned Southbank was becoming little more than termite mounds filled with people.

”You go to central Australia and see these huge pillars … thousands and thousands of residents inside these high-rise buildings,” he said. Mr Bagnara said the area needed proper planning. ”Where’s our football ground, where’s our playground, where’s our piazza, where are all the things that are needed to make living comfortable,” he questioned. ”It will be worse than Hong Kong,” he said.

The proposed Queensbridge Tower will be built adjacent to the Freshwater Place residential tower at Southbank.

Peter Renner, from the Freshwater Place body corporate, said: ”Our residents are absolutely outraged and appalled that something that size could be built within eight metres of Freshwater Place.”

”The complete western side, 248 apartments, would suddenly be completely blocked from the sunlight,” he said.

The applications will be decided by Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

September 15, 2011

Melbourne – Most Livable City

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Tom Murphy @ 5:25 am

Melbourne Most Livable City

For such a “new” country, Australia has been ranked amongst the worlds best. Strength as an economic power was proven during the Global Financial Crisis, with many on this isolated island wondering at the immensity of the economic ruin faced by major powers still to this day.

While the reasoning behind this country’s safe passage through such a catastrophic global event has been debated, with credit placed in both valid and invalid locations, there can be no questioning the importance of our strong industry involvement in keeping the economy afloat.

Adding to solid economic growth, strongly enabled by the West’s major mining boom, four Australian cities have been ranked top ten in this years Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) global liveability report. Topping the list, and breaking the eight-year reign of Vancouver, Canada is Melbourne, with Sydney following in sixth place, and Perth and Adelaide tied at eighth.

The report uses a number of criteria in order to differentiate between the 140 vying countries.

“The Liveability Ranking and Overview assesses living conditions in 140 cities around the world. A rating of relative comfort for 30 indicators is assigned across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. The survey gives an overall rating of 0-100, where 1 is intolerable and 100 is ideal,” the EIU report.

Melbourne Most Livable City

This is an incredible promotion of Australia, its lifestyle and economy, with EIU representatives citing low density and low crime rates as the catalyst for this year’s winners.

While critics have slammed the report as being biased and discredited, overwhelmingly support has been received by the winning city, especially when considering its place in the current global climate.

The reality of the situation is that Europe’s economic melting pot has impacted heavily on this years rating system, pushing Australia up in the liveability stakes.

This livability comes at a price.

Although gauged as the world’s most liveable cities, further reportage shows a direct correlation between standard of living and the cost of living, with Sydney being ranked as the 7th most expensive city in the world.  Melbourne and Sydney both have some of the highest global median house prices, these numbers dominating critics’ reports.

There was further discussion about Melbourne’s notoriously criticised public transport infrastructure, but it appears in comparison to the rest of the world, the Victorian city is the place to be.

Dropping to the bottom of the list was Bangladesh’s Dhaka and Harare Zimbabwe due to high crime rates and low living standards.

Whether credible or otherwise, this global honour bestowed upon Melbourne, as well as Australia as a whole, is at the very least, a fantastic promotion of an industry that is the pillar of this country.

Melbourne Most Livable City

February 7, 2011

Aptus Personnel lead the way in the Indoor Soccer Comp

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tom Murphy @ 5:58 am

EDITION TWO –DCE’S 2011 CSR FUNDRAISING SOCCER TOURNAMENT

ROUND ONE RESULTS

Congratulations to those teams who took home a win in the first round of the tournament. It was great to see four courts competing together with the increased numbers this year. We seem to have many skilled players amongst us which should make for a fun and competitive tournament.

Well done to Aptus Personnel for a huge first win, unfortunately keeping one of our teams from scoring! The Cardno Galacticos gave last year’s premiers a run for their money only losing by one goal. Simspson Construction showed some skill against DCE Challengers, however not enough to take the win and UW Socceroos came out strong with a 7 point win over Millar & Merrigan.

Thank you for a great first round. I will be in contact with the team captains each Wednesday with results and Monday with game listings throughout the tournament. I have also updated the court numbers on our fixture to match the court numbers at Box Hill Sports. For any further queries about the tournament throughout the competition please contact Tom Murphy on 0450 009 906 or email me on tom@aptuspersonnel.com.au

ROUND ONE RESULTS

COURT 3:     Aptus Personnel  def  Dalton Wanderers 23-0

COURT 4:     FG United  def  Cardno Galacticos 6-5

COURT 5:     DCE Challengers  def  Simpson Construction 10-5

COURT 6:     UW Socceroos  def  Millar & Merrigan 12-5

BYE: Burns Hamilton

LADDER – As @ Rd 1

PLACE

TEAM

WIN

LOSS

DRAW

TOTAL

POINTS

DIFF

Pool 1

1

Aptus Personnel

1

0

0

3

23

2

FG United

1

0

0

3

1

3

Burnsham United

0

0

0

0

0

4

Cardno Galacticos

0

1

0

0

-1

5

Dalton Wanderers

0

1

0

0

-23

Pool 2

1

UW Socceroos

1

0

0

3

7

2

DCE Challengers

1

0

0

3

5

3

Simpson Construction

0

1

0

0

-5

4

Millar & Merrigan

0

1

0

0

-7

YOUR PARTICIPATION IS ASSISTING OPEN FAMILY AUSTRALIA

All funds raised from DCE’s 2011 Soccer Tournament participants will assist Open Family Australia.

The “Its Choice Program” is a goal setting and personal development program for 8 young males aged between 17-20 years who are either disengaged from mainstream social welfare services, marginalised or at risk. The “Its Choice program” aims to enhance community connectiveness by promoting positive behavioural change for young people engaging in anti-social behaviour and who are overrepresented in the legal system in the City of Wyndham.

ROUND ONE RESULTS

COURT 3:     Aptus Personnel  def  Dalton Wanderers 23-0

COURT 4:     FG United  def  Cardno Galacticos 6-5

COURT 5: DCE Challengers  def  Simpson Construction 10-5

COURT 6:     UW Socceroos  def  Millar & Merrigan 12-5

BYE: Burns Hamilton

December 13, 2010

Outlook for consulting engineering and construction 2011

As 2010 draws to a close we thought we’d take the time to reflect on the year that was and the outlook for our industry moving into the new year.

2010 has presented some challenges for some companies and huge successes for others. We’ve seen several organisations across engineering and construction make redundancies again this year however we’ve also witnessed several companies grow by up to 50% bringing them back to the staff numbers pre GFC. December is traditionally a busy period however this year a lot of companies are winding down late November / early December. We are encouraged by the number of projects being priced and also many projects already have been awarded prior to Christmas. As a result we believe the outlook for 2011 is very positive.

Significant Projects for 2011 within design and construction phase are as follows:

  • New Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) – $1.07 billion
  • Tip Top Apartment Development, comprising of 5 buildings – $120 million
  • Regional Rail Link – $4.3 billion
  • Stockland Lockerbie Development site with an end land value of approximately $4 billion,  planned to include over 11,000 residential lots, with an 85 hectare city centre with provision for a wide range of community facilities
  • Swinburne University Advanced Manufacturing Centre – $130 million
  • Melbourne Park Redevelopment – $363 million
  • Central Park Development Sydney – $2 billion
  • Adelaide Convention Centre – $394 million
  • Royal Adelaide Hospital – $1.7 billion

If you would like to know more about the above mentioned projects and the details of the organisations involved please feel free to contact Tom Murphy on 0450 009 906 or email your questions to info@aptuspersonnel.com.au

November 8, 2010

Welcome Bryce O’Donoghue

Aptus Personnel are proud to announce a critical addition to our Melbourne office. Bryce O’Donoghue joined us this week as a Recruitment Consultant assisting across consulting engineering and construction. Bryce is the first Aptus Employee to be inducted into our unique professional development program.

Bryce graduated from Deakin University in 2009 with a bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology). His studies in business law, consumer behaviour, social and cognitive psychology accompanied by his several years business experience provides a solid platform in launching his career with Aptus Personnel. Throughout his professional development program Bryce will be provided with industry specific training and recruitment / consulting skills training to compliment his degree qualifications.

We would like to wish Bryce all the best in forging his career path within our Melbourne business.

If you would like to know more about our professional development program please call Tom Murphy on 0450 009 906 or email your queries to tom@aptuspersonnel.com.au

October 18, 2010

Consulting Engineers “Breaking the MOLD”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tom Murphy @ 2:41 am

We had an interesting meeting today with a valued client. The meeting had no agenda however was extremely useful in gaining an appreciation of how consulting engineering in Melbourne or globally for that matter, has evolved over recent years. Gone are the days of mission brown offices filled with A0 sized drawing boards, large stick files, and 486 CAD machines with Pen Ink Plotters. I remember the year Kevin Winward started Winward Structures in the late 90′s. The philosophy was to provide a quality of work, serviced by high calibre staff. The office which they soon moved into, was fitted out more like an art gallery or graphic design studio and this seemed to set the path for most consulting engineers in the next decade.

Our meeting with a Global Multi Discipline Consultant was more about the leadership of a consulting engineering business and the areas of difference. Whilst listening and bouncing thoughts back and forth we were very impressed with the philosophy and direction they are taking their firm forward and how to lead staff for the greater of the company, industry and more importantly the individuals career development. Also of note was the shift from simply providing core business engineering solutions to presenting value driven outcomes on the basis of where the clients perceived value stands. Whilst in discussion we identified the similarities with this leadership philosophy and the business model here at Aptus Personnel. This may be a topic for another blog at a later stage however it was interesting and valuable for me to note this.

It would seem, as was the case when Winward Structures moved out of the mission brown era, gone are the days now of consulting engineering leaders wanting to sit in a private office. The open plan office environment is thriving and providing many benefits to management and team members.  This provides to the staff, a greater understanding of what the leader does, increasing a level of respect for their manager.

What changes have you seen your organisation make and have these been positive?

If you would like to hear more about Aptus Personnel’s business model and internal opportunities we provide feel free to call me on +61 450 009 906 or email me on tom@aptuspersonnel.com.au

Please keep an eye on our blog space for more updates on industry movements and related topics.

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