From being taught best practice, to executing best practice...

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From being taught best practice, to executing best practice…. The job selection process …. it’s not just about the job.

Katy Boyle, 
Decipher Group Consultant

Upon my graduation from the University of Canterbury with a Master’s in Industrial and Organisational Psychology, I felt that the world was my oyster – we were always told to believe that it was. However, while I knew what I wanted, and where I wanted to be, I didn’t know how to get there. I knew I wanted to work in a company that looked out for its employees and had a focus on the communities around them. I knew I wanted a job that would not only utilise the skill set I had developed throughout my studies, but a role that would involve working with, engaging with, and helping people.  

I started my job-hunting process the way I would imagine any graduate would - by applying for jobs that reflected my dream job titles through the main job advertising platforms. I would look for job descriptions that mirrored exactly what I thought I would be capable to achieve based on my qualification and industry experience, albeit limited. I was successful in getting through to various steps in the recruitment processes of some of these roles, but during the process I started uncovering some trends; the more unsuccessful in my searches and applications I was, the more non-selective I became in my application choices. I began applying for jobs from all walks of life; jobs that were only remotely aligned with what I was looking for. I was even becoming negligent of consciously registering the companies from whom I was applying for these jobs. Little did I know that if I kept going along this track, I would have likely ended up in a role that was far from alignment with what I had set out to get right from the beginning.

I decided that there must have been more to this job application process than just applying for job after job – using the same CV, making very slight amendments to my cover letter, and going to the odd interview. I looked at the successful people in my immediate circle, and identified that what they all had in common, as well as being successful in their given field, was that they all had a really solid network of contacts with people not only in their line of work, but with people from all walks of life. I then decided to approach my job searching process from a different angle. I was lucky enough to have participated in some networking opportunities in my final year of my Masters, and so, taking a slight surge of confidence from the successful outcomes of these activities, I took it upon myself to reach back out to people in my already established, albeit limited, network, and started getting in touch with people in the field. I put the ‘’I need a job’’ focus at the back of my mind, and instead just wanted to get a sense of the working life in my field, from people currently in it. After a few lovely coffee catch ups with various people, as a result of a combination of my own searches, reaching out to my immediate contacts, and referrals from the contacts of contacts, I had started to get a feel again for what I wanted out of both a job and a company. I was so fortunate to get an insight into these peoples work lives and hear all about their stories, their career trajectories and how they got to where they are today. Constructing a network of contacts enabled me to get a sense of the types of companies in the market in my line of work and how they operate, where their strengths lie, and what type of people they develop.

Alongside these networking opportunities, I continued to go through a few recruitment processes, but having developed a greater insight into the intricacies of agencies and organisations and how they operated (both good and bad), what became more clear to me throughout these recruitment processes, were the attributes of these organisations that I did not want to have or be part of. I started being able to more clearly identify the places where I would likely not fit in terms of culture, style and operation. But at the same time, I appreciated that I was a graduate, with a degree, but limited experience, and that I couldn’t afford to be too selective. It was a fine line between taking what I was qualified enough to get, and self-selecting myself into the role I was meant to be in.

When the opportunity to meet with Leanne Crozier of Decipher Group presented itself, I already knew that I was going to feel comfortable with her from what I had read about her online, and through those whom I knew in her very well established network in Christchurch. I had heard great things about Leanne, joint founder of this wonderful recruitment and HR company, who were very new but very up and coming with a reputable standing in the market. After a very easy conversation over a cup of coffee, Leanne presented an opportunity that had arisen at Decipher for a new Consultant to join their team, and she asked if I would have any interest in this. My eyes couldn’t help but light up. 

Even upon meeting the team at Decipher for the first time, they demonstrated a degree of responsibility in the way that they upheld themselves. I soon discovered, upon becoming a Decipher employee myself, that the way they conduct their business operations is just the same. I found myself totally at ease with not only the lovely employees that welcomed me in, but with the way in which they conduct both their day-to-day and overarching processes, services and means of business. The on-boarding process that I experienced in my induction made it clear that Decipher conduct their services with integrity. There is no “behind the scenes”, “under the table”, or “just between me and you.” What you see is what you get. Communication with both clients and candidates is open, honest and timely. Mistakes are not made and then covered up, they are addressed and then amended.  

What I love the most about Decipher is they work in partnership with their clients – not for them, nor above them. They become a joint entity with every client that they attract business from. Decipher’s strength is the relationships that they form with their clients; because of this, they have established a reputable standing in the market. Decipher don’t work in competition with other agencies – they are confident in what they do and what they offer, so they do not waste time or energy in trying to out-do their “competition.” Instead, what time they do have outside of their day-to-day recruitment and HR services, is spent on ‘giving back’ initiatives and doing what they can, as a small agency, to play their part in the social corporate responsibility and sustainability space. With monthly ‘giving back’ initiatives, Decipher are always looking for new ways to contribute to the community that extends beyond what they bring to the market. 

The point of all this is, how you convey yourself as a company, externally and internally, both at a surface level and at a core fundamental level, is so important for how you are perceived by not just anyone, but everyone in the market. Attracting good talent comes from creating a realistic preview of who you are as a company, what you strive for, and doing this consistently across the board. A company’s reputation lies in the eyes of those who not only directly interact with the company, but even those that observe them from a distance. My job search journey ended up being one where I felt I was able to self-select into not only the role, but the company of my choice. The ease in which the team at Decipher made me feel like I slotted in enlightened me to the fact that I had not only chosen, but had been selected to work for a business that aligned with not only my job expectations, but my expectations of business best practice.

Now you may be thinking, it’s all very well a current Decipher employee raving about the company who just employed her, and that would be a fair viewpoint to have, however, had I had the opportunity to broadcast my simultaneous recruitment process experiences before gaining employment here, I would whole heartedly say, that my experience leading up to my employment at Decipher, till now (a month and a half in), was one that I don’t believe every graduate could say they were lucky enough to go through. Having that time where I went through what felt like countless phone screens, interviews  and coffee catch ups (funny now looking back on that time as someone on the other side), has made me appreciate not only the journey that led me here, but the outcome that was the result of that journey.



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