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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Insurance industry critically 'talent short' according to recruiting expert

The insurance industry is “one of the most candidate or talent short” in Australia, according to a regional director at a major recruiting firm.

Jane McNeill, regional director of Hays, spoke to Insurance Business on the release of the Hays Quarterly Report which details the key trends for the coming quarter in insurance jobs and spoke candidly about the challenges facing those in the industry.

“The insurance industry, I would say, is one of the most candidate short or talent short industries that I've experienced in 27 years in recruitment, 15 years of those in Australia.

“Insurance has been, in all that time, incredibly skill short and the demand has picked up in the last two or three years – there isn't a huge difference from this year to last year but there has been an ongoing, steady demand both on short-term, temporary, casual positions and on the permanent side.”

Citing the continued climate of natural disasters in Australia, McNeill sees the demand to continue having been “the biggest growth area in the insurance sector,” whether that be claims staff, loss adjustors or on-the-ground assistance.

With such a lack of fresh talent in the industry, McNeill is calling for a change in tactics within the industry to try and bolster the ranks.

“There needs to be a bit of an industry switch. One of the challenges in the insurance industry is that it is incredibly candidate short but all insurers and employers tend to want strong experience and, at the end of the day, there just is not enough experience to round.


“I think the more forward thinking ones if they’re willing to take people on at a fairly junior level and start to train them up, even if it’s in the claims area if they took people with good phone skills, the intelligence to deal with the claims handling, and actually trained them they are going to increase the pool of candidates available.

“My advice would be to look at bringing more junior people and even more graduate training programs because there is such a lack of new talent coming into the industry.”

Article Extracted from IBO 28/01/15

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Steadfast on target to meet expectations

Steadfast Group Limited

 Steadfast on target to meet expectations




Media release 29th January 2015
(Please note the media release incorrectly referred to wrong period (February 2014 for the release of final figures. It should have referred to February 2015.)


About Steadfast
About Steadfast Group Steadfast, established in 1996, is the largest general insurance broking network and the largest underwriting agency group in Australasia. Our network provides services to over 300 insurance broker businesses across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Steadfast brokers and underwriting agencies generated annual billings of more than $5 billion for the 12 Steadfast logomonths ended 30 June 2014. Steadfast also operates as a co-owner and consolidator through its equity interests in a number of insurance broker businesses, underwriting agencies and other complementary businesses. For further information, please visit investor.steadfast.com.au



The Biggest Mistakes I See on Resumes, Part 2: Your top 8 questions

I was blown away that my first article got over 2 million views. I've always been passionate about helping people find good jobs. But my advice in "The Biggest Mistakes I See on Resumes" was just a starting point: the basic stuff we all need to nail to get to that interview. (And remember, the ONLY purpose of a resume is to get you that interview!)
Among the 3,500+ comments, eight questions came up again and again. Since these posts are my 20% time project I can’t respond to each person. But so many people are facing the same issues that I want to address the biggest ones.
One caveat: these are my opinions, not official company policy. My qualifications are that I've personally reviewed more than 20,000 resumes, coached hundreds of high school and college students, veterans, and people of every age on how to get a job, and lead a recruiting machine that has seen over 20 million applications. But there's still a bunch of stuff I don't know, so take what I write with a grain of salt.
Now, on to your questions:
1. Should I have keywords and jargon on my resume?
Yes, alas, but put them in their own section. A major part of why we have unemployment - and why finding a job is so hard - is because resumes are awful at conveying who you really are and companies stink at screening resumes . Too many companies rely on clumsy software products that sort and filter resumes based on keywords. And too many recruiters do the same thing, looking for fancy schools or company names instead of at what you actually did. (Google applications are screened by real, live people.) Crummy as that is, it's reality. So for now, if you're in a technical field, have a section where you list all your programming languages. If you're in other professions, you may want to extract the buzzwords from the job posting and have a "skills" section (doesn't matter what you call it) where you can park your laundry list of jargon. Don't waste space on verbs. Just have a list. Save your compelling writing for the bullet points under each job. Lifehacker has some other good suggestions for getting past the machines. And I'm optimistic that somewhere out there someone is building a MUCH better system for inferring who you really are and understanding what employers really need.
2. Should I pay someone to write my resume?
Nope. See my post here on how to write a resume that will get you noticed. Even better, find someone like you who already has the job you want. If you're a veteran, find someone from your service who works in the job and company you want. If you're a student, find an alumna/-us who has your dream job (your career center will have resume books you can mine). Emulate their resume. (Notice I didn't say "copy" ... big difference!) Look at how they described their experiences and accomplishments. They wrote things in a way that got noticed. They got it right. Do what they did. Don't waste your money on something you can get for free.
3. Should I include organizations where I worked more than 20 years ago?
You don't need to. For a competent hiring manager, your early experience isn't relevant. No one cares that I worked at an Olive Garden 20+ years ago. So on my resume I can pick some arbitrary cut-off point, have a "Prior experience" section, and summarize that I worked at a range of jobs in restaurants, non-profits, and manufacturing.
4. Do resumes predict performance?
I haven't seen anything to suggest they do. Resumes are a very poor information source. Work sample tests are actually the best predictor of performance, followed by tests of cognitive ability, which are best assessed using structured interviews. I've got three chapters explaining how you can become a world class interviewer in my book WORK RULES!, coming out in April, if you’re interested in learning more.
5. The best people don't always have the best resumes. Excluding someone because of a typo is stupid and you're a horrible person for doing that.
OK, (a) that's not a question. And (b), I confess that I do occasionally overlook an error, for example if the person writing the resume isn't a native English speaker. But (c), from the recruiter's perspective, if they have a choice between two equally impressive resumes, I think we can agree that the one that says "professional booger" instead of "blogger" is probably not going to get a call.
6. Shouldn't HR departments and recruiters work harder to find the best people? Why put the blame on the job seeker?
I want everyone to have the best possible chance of landing their dream job. That means controlling the parts of the application process you can. You can control every single word on your resume. You can't control the quality of the person reading it. But I will tell you that at recruiting firms they only get paid for filling jobs, so they do look hard at applications. What they see is in your control.
7. I'm a mom (or dad) coming back into the workforce after time off with my child. How do I explain the time off?
Don't apologize and don't hide. Put down that you took time off for your family. If you volunteered or did part-time work, list that too, but own your decision. Parents who have left the workforce and are coming back in are one of the biggest untapped sources of talent for recruiters. We get that at Google, and more and more other companies are starting to see it too.
8. Hey! You had a typo in your post!
Yes, but I promise you my resume is pristine! ;)


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

13 Crazy Nature Photographs

Mother Nature is beautiful and amazing because we can see many amazing stuff like these 15 things that you won’t believe they actually exist. All these places are real. It is hard to believe in that, but that is true.

1. Volcanic lightning aka “dirty thunderstorms.”

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2. Frozen air bubbles in Abraham Lake.

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3. Underground natural springs in Mexico.

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4. Giant crystal cave in Nacia, Mexico.

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5. Shimmering shores of Vaadhoo, Maldives.

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6. Reflective salt flats in Bolivia.

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7. Light pillars over Moscow.

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8. Natural salt water fountain off the coast of Oregon.

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9. The Blood Falls in Antartica.

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10. Spiderweb cocooned trees in Pakistan.

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the 15 craziest things in nature you wont believe actually exist 13 2 The 15 Craziest Things In Nature You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

11. Giant clouds over Beijing.

the 15 craziest things in nature you wont believe actually exist 141 The 15 Craziest Things In Nature You Won’t Believe Actually Exist
the 15 craziest things in nature you wont believe actually exist 14 11 The 15 Craziest Things In Nature You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

12.  The underwater forest of Lake Kaindy.

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the 15 craziest things in nature you wont believe actually exist 15 2 The 15 Craziest Things In Nature You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

13. Lake Hillier, Australia

the 15 craziest things in nature you wont believe actually exist 16 The 15 Craziest Things In Nature You Won’t Believe Actually Exist



iphone tip: How to Snooze or Mark Reminders as Complete from Your Lock Screen

Widgets and interactive notifications in iOS 8 make everything a lot easier, including answering reminders.



Now, you don’t have to unlock your phone to mark a reminder as complete. First, set a reminder in the native app. When the reminder goes off, just swipe left.





















You should have three options: snooze, mark as complete, and “x.”




Snooze brings the reminder back later, while mark as complete does as it says. “X” removes the notification from your lockscreen, but does not complete it.













You can also mark reminders as complete from your notifications menu with the same swipe movement.


NIBA CEO looks to calm fears over UFIs

NIBA and the Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA) will deliver a breakfast seminar in Brisbane next month to address concerns surrounding the use of UFI’s in Far North Queensland.

NIBA CEO Dallas Booth will present the seminar, which is open to all in the insurance industry, and will try to calm the fears of brokers across the country following the Government decision to allow UFIs a greater scope in the Australian insurance market.

“After that announcement occurred, there was quite a deal of commentary, quite extensive commentary, and in many cases expressions of quite strong concern from many places,” Booth said of the Government proposal.

“My feeling was that some of the comments were not as well informed as they might have been and I got the impression also that quite a few people didn’t really appear to understand what the current laws and regulations for UFIs are and how it works.

“The fact that insurance brokers place over $1 billion a year with foreign insurers already and so there is a whole framework there so I thought let’s just provide some good, basic background information for how this foreign insurer process works and also provide some background to how might it work in context of the issues in North Queensland.”

Booth will look to calm the fears of many brokers across Australia that see the UFI plan as a mistake.

Robert Cooper, director of Cooper Professional Risk, organised the event alongside NIBA and AILA and is looking forward to hearing Booth’s point-of-view.

“I always try to look long term and I think the Senator’s call is a bad one, so I welcome Dallas trying to put his point of view over.


“Opening up our doors to more foreign competition is a very big change. If we are reassured by Dallas’s words, great we can move on. If there are a lot of unanswered questions, well we will have to see where we go from there,” Cooper continued.

Booth sees clarification as key and thinks brokers should wait for more guidelines from Government before making decisions on whether the initiative is a positive or negative for the industry, consumers and residents of disaster-hit areas.

“The key word is clarify. The minister said the government would clarify the roles of UFIs and brokers taking business to UFIs - especially were better pricing might be available.

“As soon as the announcement started to be reported, I think all sorts of people assumed all sorts of things and possibly jumped to conclusions that might have been a bit premature. I don’t share the major issues or concerns that people have had.

“The government hasn't announced wholesale entry of foreign insurers or unauthorized insurers into the Australian market, that’s not what they've announced."

Booth believes that, even with foreign insurers in the Australian market that the “local market has a massive advantage in terms of being on the ground, being able to support, assess and respond to claims.”

“The Australian insurance industry does a phenomenal job when it comes to natural disasters. We’ve seen what’s happened with the Brisbane storm last year and the extent to which the industry has responded.

“The insurance industry in Australia does a phenomenal job and that gives them a massive advantage just in terms of the practical effects of getting claims assessed and paid when damage occurs.”

With the March implementation date set by Government rapidly approaching, Booth said that NIBA will update its members across Australia as soon as they had more information on the proposed plans.

Government said they want these things implemented by March, which isn't too far away, so I’m expecting developments to occur. Whether it is draft proposals, draft regulations, particular wording – I’m expecting to see more detail over the course of the next month or so, and as we see that, we will certainly report that to members and be giving our commentary to members Australia wide.”

To register for the breakfast, which takes place in Brisbane on February 10, click here

Article Extracted from IBO 27/01/15

Monday, 26 January 2015

Seven Secrets to become a Successful Leader


Everyone has a New Year’s resolution they aim to stick to, whether it’s working out or learning an instrument, but do you have a professional aim this year?
 
Improving your leadership skills could lead to great opportunities in 2015 and beyond and leadership expert Dan Rockwell could help you take the next step in your career.
 

With 35 years’ experience in public speaking and 15 years’ experience as a leadership consultant, Rockwell has a wealth of inside information and often blogs about the industry. Here, he offers his seven secrets to success.


Suggest a solution, but always begin with problems.

“Every time you say, ‘It’s not that bad,’ you minimise the value of any solutions you find,” says Rockwell. “Never minimise the pain and frustration of others, even when it seems small to you.”
Stop thinking about perfection

“Don’t talk yourself out of imperfect solutions unless you have better ones,” warns Rockwell.

Taking action and improving the situation is better than doing nothing and letting 
it be idle. According to Rockwell, it’s better to talk yourself into action, rather than out of action.

He urges leaders to consider these three questions before they talk themselves out of taking action.

Will it help?

Will it harm?

What happens 
nothing is done?

Learn while you take action

“Don’t talk about it unless you plan to do something about it,” says Rockwell.


“Welcome those who point out troubles. They aren't the enemy. The enemy is talk without anything being done.”

Focus on getting people in the 
correct roles
“Successful leaders understand and influence the talents, skills, and drives of team members,” says Rockwell. He suggests providing leadership and personality assessments to gain a better understanding of what motivates your employees and find out what they’re best at.

Energising environments

In other words, be positive! “The most important thing is about the way we treat each other while we do the work,” says Rockwell. “Spend more time affirming than correcting.”

Embrace forward facing contrarians

“Conformists don’t build the future,” says Rockwell – forward facing contrarians do. “Protect them from the frustrations of others, as much as possible.”

Results don’t define you

According to Rockwell, “The road to great results is more important than results themselves. Honour behaviours that get you there.

Friday, 23 January 2015

21 Cool Packaging Designed To Delight You.

A good packaging design can serve as the best advertisement for the product it was created to hold. No wonder many advertisers and designers spend a great deal of time and effort to create eye-catching, meaningful, funny, and clever packaging designs. Here’s a collection of some of the most creative and inspiring packaging ideas that immediately put a smile on your face. You won’t believe how clever some of them are.


1. Gnome Bread Packaging

Designed by Lo Siento Studio

2. Note Headphones


Designer Corinne Pant

3. Tea Hangers



Designed by Soon Mo Kang

4. “City Harvest” Grocery Bag






5. Honey Made by Bees

\

Designed by Maksi Marbuzov

6. NYC Spaghetti

Designer: Alex Creamer

7. Ford Ranger Extreme: Matchbox


Advertising Agency: JWT, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

8. Creative Japanese Pastry Packaging


Designer unknown

9. Origami Beer


Designed by Clara Lindsten

10. Kiss: Fruit and vegetable puree


Designed by Alexandra Istratova

11. Kokeshi Matchsticks


Designed by kokeshi-m.com

12. Moustache Paintbrushes


Designed by Simon Lalibert√©

13. Whitebites dog snacks


Designer: Cecilia Uhr

14. Zen Perfume

15. Juicy Juice Boxes

Designed by Preston Grubbs

16. Mini Oliva Olive Oil

17. Green Berry Tea

Designed by Natalia Ponomareva

18. Fruit Juice Packaging


Designed by Naoto Fukasawa

19. Pink Glasses Wine Bottles



Designed by Luksemburk

20. Butter! Better!


Designed by Yeongkeun

21. Smirnoff Caipiroska