|Name: Andrew Simkin
|Company Position: National Manager
|Email Address: email@example.com
|Phone Number: 021 743 166
Technology, Transformation & Digital
Where I’m from: I am originally from the Hawkes Bay.
My professional background: I have held a variety of leadership roles in large corporates, and started and grew an ICT business for 8 years before joining the team at Beyond Recruitment.
Why I’m passionate about my role at Beyond Recruitment: I love making a difference, helping people, and the variety of recruitment.
What not many people know about me: I don’t do hot food, I love skiing, have 3 daughters, a great wife and a female cat and dog, and am seriously out numbered.
What I love about New Zealand: New Zealand is the best, we are a great country, with beautiful surrounds, amazing people and some great opportunities.
What I love about Beyond Recruitment: It’s welcoming and a real family feel, the energy and the beat rate. The people!
Published Date: 25th September 2023.The recruitment industry is undergoing a transformative shift with the introduction of ChatGPT and AI, with some people welcoming the software with open arms and others viewing it in horror. It’s easy to see that these technologies have the potential to revolutionise the way recruiters, employers and candidates interact and how hiring decisions are ultimately made. However, concerns and opportunities must be considered as with any technological advancement. In this blog post, we will explore the current landscape of ChatGPT and AI in recruitment, addressing the pros and cons and highlighting critical areas for further consideration. Unleashing the Power of ChatGPTPicture this: a client administers a technical test to a candidate during their pre-interview screening. They ace it with a perfect 100% score. Sounds like a success story, right? Well, not so fast. It turns out the candidate used ChatGPT to complete the test, so now you need a clearer understanding of their skills and have an applicant with questionable ethics. This scenario left us scratching our heads and sparked a deep dive into the capabilities of AI in the recruitment process. How prevalent is it, how are people using it, and how can employers and recruiters know when they’re being hoodwinked?ChatGPT can create something out of nothing. It can generate profiles, craft CVs and even write up references. In many ways, it's a game-changer but we must all tread carefully, ensuring accuracy and reliability of the materials it produces. Examining the Impact on ClientsOne significant benefit of ChatGPT and AI for employers is their increased efficiency in recruitment processes. Automating candidate profile creation, CV screening, and reference writing saves employers valuable time and resources. With AI-powered tools, employers can sift through a large pool of candidates, identifying the most promising talent in a more streamlined manner. However, employers must know the potential risks of relying solely on AI-generated outputs when assessing candidates. While AI can provide impressive job descriptions and ads, candidates may exploit these tools to manipulate (and enhance) their applications. I can’t emphasise enough the need for employers to conduct comprehensive evaluation processes that place humans front and centre. Thorough interviews, assessments and reference checks conducted by experienced recruiters or hiring managers enable organisations to understand better a candidate's true abilities, cultural fit and potential for growth.Balancing the Role of RecruitersAs recruiters, we have a delicate role in this AI-driven era. We pride ourselves on building solid relationships with our clients, taking the time to get to know their business, their culture and their people before matching them with the best talent. We need to identify candidates’ skills, experience, personality, and motivations.With ChatGPT, we can reap the benefits of automation and process efficiency, but we must always maintain our primary focus, ultimately finding the right person for the job. This human-centric process applies nuance and the broader context that AI cannot understand yet!As recruiters, we're passionate about finding the perfect fit, not just a superficial fit based on keywords. The human touch is what enables us to understand our clients' needs and candidates' aspirations truly.Candidates and Ethical ConsiderationsLet's remember the candidates in this equation. With the rise of AI in recruitment, ethical questions have come to the forefront. AI can help candidates generate clear, concise, well-structured CVs that best showcase their experiences and qualifications. However, candidates should be mindful not to use AI-generated content for technical assessments or other tasks that require the genuine application of their abilities. Using AI to boost performance in specialised tests artificially crosses ethical boundaries and can compromise the integrity of the recruitment process. This doesn’t benefit anyone in the long run, as the candidate is likely to be placed in a role where they don’t have the technical capabilities to thrive. Candidates appreciate and value a human touch throughout any recruitment process. Building a solid rapport, offering guidance and addressing candidates' concerns are crucial aspects that AI cannot fully replace. By fostering trust using empathy and understanding, recruiters can create a positive candidate experience.Striking a Balance: Embracing the Positive AspectsWith ChatGPT and AI’s growing ambiguity, recruitment agencies and employers must harness the positive aspects while addressing potential downsides. The key could lie in finding a hybrid model that marries the efficiency of AI with human interaction that delivers genuine relationships.Rather than drowning in a sea of 50 potential candidates, using AI to generate a shortlist of five based on skills requirements, availability, and salary match can save us all time and effort. This allows us to focus on essential human experience and truly understand the needs of employers and job seekers.To mitigate risk, employers can also clearly communicate with candidates about the use of AI in the recruitment process setting realistic expectations and establishing a sense of fairness. By doing so, employers can allow candidates to showcase their skills, experiences and personalities beyond the limitations of AI-generated content. Final Thoughts: The Ever-Evolving World of RecruitmentAs a Regional Manager at Beyond Recruitment, I’m witnessing firsthand the impact of ChatGPT and AI on the recruitment industry. It's a powerful tool that has the potential to revolutionise how we operate. However, it's crucial to tread carefully ensuring accuracy, ethical considerations, and a balance between AI and the human touch.While speed and efficiency are essential, we must always maintain sight of the relationships we build and the nuances we understand as recruiters. Clients and candidates still value the personal connection and the work behind the scenes. Remember, AI is a tool, but the people behind it make a difference. If you are seeking a New Zealand-wide recruitment partner dedicated to delivering talent solutions tailored to your organisation’s needs, let's collaborate to find the perfect fit for your team's success. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn.Read more
Published Date: 21st June 2023.Specially created for our own ABCs - (Amazing Beyond Recruitment Contractors)Being a contractor, you may miss out on corporate wellness initiatives and support in your organisation. Also, if you tend to work from home a lot, which can be great for the most part, missing out on workplace wellness opportunities can be a downside. For these reasons, many of the contractors I have spoken with so far have been interested in discussing options for improving their physical and mental wellbeing.With a potentially overflowing to-do list, incorporating new wellness habits into your schedule can feel overwhelming. To help you with this, I created the ABCs of work wellness that are easy and quick to implement. The secret to implementing positive change that sticks is to start super small and keep it consistent. Let’s take a look!A for Awareness, Not AutopilotFirstly, the ‘A’ you don't want here is autopilot. While doing some things on autopilot is essential, it can hold you back professionally and personally if being on autopilot is your default position. Don’t worry if this is you; we all do it to varying degrees! Your brain aims for habit creation and being able to do things without too much thought in order to protect its precious, limited energy reserve. There is absolutely a time and place for this, like getting to work, brushing your teeth and likely some elements of your job. However, this becomes a problem in your life when too many things are habitual, preventing you from making progress and creating the new habits you desire. These habits can be hard to change because our environment contains triggers that cause us to react quickly without thinking.Being aware of your habits and behaviour is crucial for making positive changes. Prioritising awareness allows you to start making new choices and do things differently. Another name for a similar process, that you might have heard is mindfulness, but that doesn’t start with A! In addition, mindfulness is more focused on being in the present moment and what's going on around you, while awareness is more guided towards your behaviour and how you personally engage with your environment. Practicing awareness then allows you to recognise when your responses are not in alignment with who you want to be and allows your brain’s CEO – the prefrontal cortex – to be more intentional about decision-making moving forward.Throughout your working day, start to become aware of how you do things. Take a pause before reacting and consider ways that you could respond differently. Over time, this will shift your neurology, increasing your awareness. Recording your observations of how you do things can be beneficial too.B for BreatheNext is breathe! I know you breathe already, but most of us don’t breathe properly and may actually be doing more damage to our wellbeing than we realise. This is honestly the first suggestion I make to anyone wanting to feel better.When you breathe under 'stress', in a shallow manner without awareness, physiologically your body responds in a way that it feels threatened or unsafe. This affects many things in relation to your health, such as sluggish digestion, heart problems, storing fat (because your body thinks it is trying to 'survive'), low energy, moodiness and more. Your brain also doesn’t get enough oxygen, so cannot function optimally – which is a big problem if you need to use your brain during the day. Learning to breathe in a healthy way will have so many incredible benefits to your mood, energy, health and, in turn, how you perform and feel in your work. You don’t need to take up meditation to get the benefits. Deep breathing, while it sounds super simple, actually creates a significant change in your physiology – altering your state from a sympathetic stressed state (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (rest and digest) and informing (tricks) your brain that you are ‘safe’ and well. Here are just a couple of tips to get you started:Use the 5-5-7 breathe technique. Breathe in deep (right down into your stomach) for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, then let out slower for 7 seconds. A slower exhale is another great way for you to release stress and remind your brain you are safe. Repeat a few times.Use this technique anytime you feel stressed or overwhelmed and at regular intervals throughout the day. You can even set a timer until you become more aware of when to use this. On the way to work or before an important meeting or presentation is also a great time.Taking deep breaths before eating lunch – to remind your brain you are safe and that switching on your digestive system is ok. Once you’ve taken some breaths, eat slowly and mindfully. Your food will be processed more effectively, and you’ll feel less sluggish in the afternoon – despite your choice of food. Improving the quality of your food can come later when you’ve nailed your ABCs.C for CelebrateAnd finally - Celebrate! Being aware of the good things that happen in your day can really change your whole perspective and feeling around how things are going. As contractors, you especially need to give attention to this as you may not have anyone around you letting you know what’s going well.Our brain, annoyingly, is wired to look for the negative and threats, in case there is a tiger in the bush nearby. But in this modern world, having the negative things outweigh the positive is not so helpful, especially for our mental state.The good news is that our brains can be changed. It takes a little work and a lot of awareness, but you can change your overall perspective and soon you’ll start to notice more positivity. In your brain there is a filter system called the Reticular Activating system (RAS) that filters out approximately 90% of your environment, to protect your brain from overload. The RAS is why when you are looking for a new car, suddenly you see that car everywhere, even in the colour you were looking at – they were always there, but now you are more aware of them. Let’s train your RAS to look for what you want to see or experience more. I’m sure you can now see how beneficial this can be for your mental wellbeing and seeing your experience at work from a more positive perspective.Now You Know Your ABCsHopefully you can see how all three ABCs work really well in tandem.Notice that none of the ABCs discusses actual diet and exercise habits. Firstly, you’re probably already so busy and potentially overwhelmed that adding something like that may take a little too much brain and willpower right now.Secondly, simply focusing on improving your energy and outlook with the ABCs will allow more space to up the ante a bit later on. The secret to implementing positive change that sticks is to start super small and keep it consistent. Laying the right foundation when initiating change helps those new habits to stick. You may also find that just focusing on this will elevate your mood to a point where you feel more ready and inspired to add some new healthy habits to your life.A Quick Review:Awareness: Being mindful of your current behaviours and habits that are on autopilot. Once you start using your more advanced prefrontal cortex part of the brain, you will be better able to make more conscious decisions.Breathe: Deep breathing allows your body and brain to feel safe and so all the things you need to be working effectively will be activated. Find time throughout your day to add this in for significant health benefits. It only takes a minute!Celebrate: Being conscious of looking for the good in your day and sitting with it for a bit will rewire your brain to allow it to be open to finding more of it every day.Ask yourself, what steps can you take right now to start incorporating the ABCs of work wellness into your day and ensure that it is consistent so that it becomes a habit?The team at Beyond Recruitment want you to be feeling your best. If you would like help with implementing your ABCs or anything else relating to your wellbeing or contract please get in touch.Read more
Choosing to become a contractor can be a big decision. It does, however, come with some amazing rewards. For those who are considering this as their next step, it can be reassuring to know what the road to contracting looks like. There are plenty of contract roles, especially in the technology, transformation, and digital space, but there are some factors to consider before you start. Find Your WHY! To quote Simon Sinek, you need to "find your why". Why are you motivated to get into contracting? It’s a very good question to ask because there are so many reasons. Contractors get to pick their projects so there is always interesting work on the table. You can choose where and when you work and there are some amazing cultural and financial benefits, too. You can be the fresh eyes and respected voice in an organisation. Just get in, do the work, and go back to spending time with the family, outdoors, or whatever makes you happy! Another thing to consider is career progression. When you are good at what you do, employers can ask you to stay in your role for the long term. Unfortunately, that means that you don’t grow much. By contracting you can learn and grow, and make sure that you get exceptional experience to move you in the direction you want to go: Up! Whatever your why, it needs to be the motivation you turn to when times get challenging. And they will, but the payoffs can be phenomenal too. Contractor Set Up – Tax & LegalIf you intend to earn over $60k as a contractor, all you need to do is register as a sole trader with IRD. You can also set yourself up with a New Zealand Business Number, which is a unique identifier and using it will speed up your interactions with IRD. Find yourself an awesome accountant who charges monthly if you aren’t too great with tax and legal stuff. That way, you can stay on top of everything and not have a huge bill you weren’t prepared for. If you want to know more you can check out how to become a sole trader here. If you want something simpler, you can try Hnry. It is a brilliant, easy-to-use platform that pays and files tax returns for sole traders. Also, it's always best to have insurance to cover your work, any good broker would tell you. One of the great things about working with Beyond Recruitment is that we cover our contractors' insurance. It's an expense you don’t need to cover when you work with us! How Much to Charge as a Contractor The financial benefits of becoming a contractor can be amazing, with earnings of up to $1,400 a day if you are at the top of your game! There are still some pitfalls to consider. The first thing to keep in mind is that the charge-out process does take a little while when you first start, so it’s smart to be prepared with some savings to last you through two months. As you can imagine, it takes some time to bill each of the parties. Secondly, the age-old question is how much do you charge for your skillset? The difficulty is that even if two people had the same education with the same number of years of experience at the same job, you may have picked up different skill sets. We all learn in our own way. It's always a good question to reach out to a professional recruiter for advice, however, we do have a Beyond Recruitment rule of thumb that might help. Take your base salary and add 35%. Divide that by 12 months and then by 160 hours. So, for example, you currently earn $85,000. Rule of Thumb* •$85,000 X 1.35 = $114,750p/a. •$114,750 / 12 = $9,562.50 •$9,562.50 / 160 = $59.70 – round it up to $60/hour. (*make sure you check in with your contact at Beyond Recruitment as everyone is different) Getting the Gig This part is easy because right now, there are plenty of jobs – especially in technology, transformation and digital. All you need to do is give us a call and share your CV. Together, we can help you to plan what roles would suit you the best. There are plenty of roles for BA’s, Project Managers, Project Coordinators and Developers, and usually to the end of the year, Testers – and that’s just in the tech space in New Zealand. All you need to do is reach out and we can have a good chat with you about where to next. Give us a call or email today.Read more
Here at Beyond Recruitment, we know that contracting can be highly rewarding, offering plenty of flexibility and providing exciting opportunities to experience a range of projects and teams. In this series of interviews, we dig a bit deeper into this way of working by talking to some of our top contractors to find out what life is like for them in 2022. Today we talk to a Senior Business Analyst about their experience with contract work.Tell us why you choose to contract?The ability to focus on projects rather than BAU tasks is a big drawcard, as is the money and flexibility of course. The higher pay rates allow for the opportunity to take breaks between roles while still maintaining financial security.What do see as the advantages of contracting? WFH has become a norm both in contracting (and employment) with regular lockdowns forcing businesses to embrace this style of work. Questions about how many days in the office are commonplace when discussing new contracts, and when factored into the location of the role can play a big part in deciding to take a role or not. What changes have you seen in contracting over the last 18 months?Where I’m working, all contractors now work from home if there’s any COVID-19 in the community. This has allowed me to set up quite a nice home office environment that I wouldn’t have been able to afford as a permanent employee but I’m able to claim it all on my business. In the past three months, there was a definite increase in role availability, with daily calls from contracting recruiters over a period of time implying an imbalance between number of roles and number of candidates.How important is your relationship/partnership with your contracting recruiter? Out of the dozens of contracting specialists that contacted me once I made myself available for work, Emma was one of the few that took a genuine interest in how I was going personally and professionally and was the only one that had a video interview before putting me forward for work. This showed me that Beyond Recruitment really cared about placing the right person in the right role, and I definitely feel that in my current role.What would you say to anyone thinking about contracting?Contracting is an exciting way of working, once you are able to move into the “contractor mindset”, where you understand that there are many roles for you, it might take time to find the right one. Employment is not always as secure as it once was, and contracting allows you to move between roles with more control and purpose. You need to be confident in your abilities and trust in yourself, and be comfortable (mentally and financially) with gaps between roles. As you need to manage your taxes/finances more, it is worth discussing this with an accountant first to structure your finances appropriately and understand what expenses can be claimed against your business. Can you tell us why you decided to move from a permanent role to a contract?My wife had contracted for 10 years previously and my experience as a Senior BA enabled me to join her company, and subsequently offer my services to other companies. The increased hourly rate and increased control in our roles and finances were big drawcards, as the flexibility to dictate availability rather than request leave are another factor. I can’t see myself going back to being an employee after making the switch.What did you like about your onboarding process with Beyond Recruitment's Technology, Transformation & Digital contracting specialists?Emma was very friendly and had positive feedback after my video interview (the first one in lockdown for me) which helped me lead up to my interview with the client. The team were switched on and set everything up ahead of my contract starting, even during lockdown.SummaryIf you’d like to learn more about opportunities for contractors in Transformation, Technology and Digital, get in touch with the Beyond Recruitment team today. Our specialist team of Technology, Transformation & Digital contracting specialists can talk you through the roles currently available and help you plan out your next move.Read more