How to use open questions effectively with your staff

This blog is a direct transcription of our Youtube video: Quick Q&A With The Managing Director of Inject

How many candidates have you assessed?


Technically thousands really, But I think the most important thing is not how many we’ve assessed, it’s actually how many we’ve seen and heard about in the workplace. And then we circle back and say, well how accurate was our evaluation of those people? Which tends to be actually highly accurate. So we know that that’s probably the most important thing is, yes thousands, but it’s all of the feedback that we’ve got and all the data we’ve got to actually then confirm that how we assess is highly accurate.


What makes you excited about hiring graduates?


I was a graduate myself, and I started on a program at ANZ which was fantastic. I really value that in terms of my development, and so then I went to a job looking after graduates in my division at a sander. I built a program at fleet partners, I managed graduates at accenture helping them get onto projects, I’ve built so many programs for clients, and in our team here I’ve hired and developed graduates. I just know that it works, and so I get excited and energized by working with developing people as they’re starting their career.


What would you recommend to a graduate who hasn’t had prior work experience?


So this is a good one. First of all, you should be working so if you’re studying and you don’t have a part-time job, get that part-time job. Okay now after that, in terms of getting that relevant experience, you’ve got to look at the resources and contacts around you. So you, first of all your parents and their friends, who do they know? What businesses do they have? It’s amazing that they might not have thought about it but you just ask the question, can I get some work experience at this accounting firm? Can I work at this other firm that your dad or mom’s best friend works at? So there’s all sorts of opportunities around you.


Next thing, if you get a job within a larger company say like a call center. A lot of businesses want people to work in those sorts of jobs. Then just say you wanted to get into finance, or marketing, or hr, or whatever the case may be, you have a much better chance of transferring internally to that department because they know you. So perform well in your job, you build those relationships, you make it be known well ahead of time that you want to get involved with that team, ask them “how can I prepare myself”?, and then over a period of time you position yourselves as the best candidate next time they’re looking.


What’s the biggest mistake you see graduates make when searching for their first role?


There’s one thing that graduates can do that’s completely within their control but some take action on most don’t, and that’s really research the company and the people that you’re meeting with, and display that in the questions that you ask and in terms of how you apply to the application. That will stand out from the crowd and shows that when you have an opportunity to learn, you take that.


What’s the biggest change you’ve witnessed in the recruitment industry since you’ve founded Inject?


I think the biggest change I’ve seen is a move away from emphasizing what I’d call “Static Knowledge”. That’s kind of like, do you know how to use this system? Do you have this particular technical knowledge? Because things are changing rapidly that that becomes obsolete. What’s becoming more important are dynamic capabilities, like the ability to solve problems, or to influence, or to just engage with others. That’s been the biggest change I’ve seen.


If you could go back in time and give 22 y/o Tommy a piece of advice, what would it be?


Okay, so one thing that I didn’t do so well and think a lot of graduates don’t do is remembering the names of people you meet and things about them. So the best way to do that, I find is besides using the name in conversation, is to write down the person’s name and a little bit about them. You can do that on your phone. You find actually the act of doing so helps you to remember their name and you have a reference point later on.

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