Our favourite coffee shops near the office

By Ben Brown,

Rustica, Rialto Towers, http://rusticasourdough.com.au/

Located in the heart of the Melbourne, right on the ground floor of the Rialto Towers, Rustica is perfect for a quick, convenient coffee run on your way to work. Its beautiful outdoor area is also a great place for a lunchtime meeting or interview.

Merchant, 495 Collins Street, http://www.merchantov.com/

Trust me – not just coffee. With a menu stacked full of tasty, delectable, savoury and sweet Italian dishes and flavours – if you can afford to stop here for more than just a coffee – you won’t be disappointed. Harvest 737 Collins Street Andrew from our office is a health nut so we had to add this one in for him. If you’re looking for a healthy, juicy and fully fresh alternative to coffee, Harvest Juice Bar is the way to go. Chocked full of fresh fruit and veg and yummy flavours, their tasty drinks will keep you buzzing for ages.

Code Black Coffee, 360 Collins Street, http://codeblackcoffee.com.au/

These guys don’t just serve delicious coffee – they’re also a pretty serious roasting house too! So, while you’re there on a coffee run for the team, you can also purchase some quality, roasted-in-house coffee beans. Talk about convenience!

The Method Recruitment Coffee Machine

Come visit us and find out for yourself. Bookings essential.

Key Qualities of a developer – What Clients are really looking for

By Ben Brown,


Alongside having the right skill set, qualifications and experience for the job, there are some key qualities that clients are looking for when it comes to the IT space and it’s more than just knowing the latest javascript.

Qualities such as being personable, relatable and genuine are key attributes that will help land you a job in any field – and the IT industry is no exception. Developers aren’t just sitting in the corner coding anymore, so being able to effectively communicate and build quality connections with those around you will help you stand out from the crowd and get you the dream job you’re after.

Clients “don’t want robots, they just want genuine, nice people, who they can have a chat with or they can go to the pub for a beer with” says Lauren Tattersall, experienced IT Consultant.

Consultant Kate Issley says “Clients want someone with a personality – apart from setting aside the technical requirements – it’s more about can you work in an agile team environment?” More and more, we’re hearing that clients that want developers that can fit in with the culture and energy of the company – working together and collaboratively with other people in the team. “Communications and being involved in community” is important says Issley because that’s what builds the company culture and the employees are paramount in fostering a good company culture.

But more so than just being involved in the team – communication is a vital quality for software developers and IT candidates to possess from a professional development perspective. It’s important to be able to communicate with the rest of the team and even with directors and supervisors outside of your team that might not be as fluent in technical language as what you are. Illsley says clients are wanting to know “Can you speak in a way that maybe someone who’s non-technical can understand, dealing with the wider business?”.

TIPS FOR NETWORKING – with Senior Consultant, Andrew Collier

By Ben Brown,

1. Mirror your audience

Learning to adapt to your surroundings and becoming a product of your environment are some really easy ways to build a good rapport with the person you’re talking to. This means tailoring your approach based on where you are and who you’re speaking with. If you’re chatting with a CEO in a job interview, you want to maintain a professional, calm and enthusiastic approach – mirror your audience of the CEO. If you find yourself randomly networking at your neighbours BBQ, you’re chatting to them as a friend and adapting that amicable approach.

“Mirroring your audience is absolutely paramount, because in a way they see themselves in you and that makes people really comfortable.”

2. Active listening

Active listening and body language go hand in hand. Professor Albert Mehrabian says that 55% of human communication is in our body language so if you’re looking to make a lasting impression – you want to get that right!

When you’re speaking with someone, look them in the eye, shoulders turned inwards and nod when they’re speaking. You can always repeat what they’ve said in a follow up question to show you’re engaged in what their saying.

People like to feel heard so active listening will be a sure fire way to make them feel connected and attribute to building a good rapport.

3. Be personable

Find common ground in a shared interest, hobby, a current affair or just the “Classic Melbourne Weather”.

4. Remember names and use them!

When you meet someone, say their name 10 times in the back of your head and you won’t forget it!

“When you can call someone by their name, it makes the world of a difference – it shows that you genuinely care about them and it shows that you’re actively listening”

Using somebody names – especially at a meet up – will put them at ease and show that you’re focused on them and paying attention to what they have to say and who they are as an individual.

Meeting lots of people at once? – Apologise in advance: “I’ve just been introduced to 15 people in the space of 10 seconds – my apologies if I get your name slightly wrong. Do you mind repeating it for me?”

From there, just be yourself! Networking is all about getting the simple things right to put people at ease and will help foster good working relationships going forward.

Social Bleedia – 5 ways to reduce haemorrhaging cash in the early days

By Ben Brown,

The cheeky Snapchat from your work counterpart, an Instagram photo of the office new guy on his first work night bender, the WhatsApp group comment that was so heavily stacked with winking emoji’s that it left you scratching your head …? It all sounds like fun but you have to carefully consider the content you post online and what it says about your brand. So how can you use these tools to your advantage to build a better business profile. Read on to find out our tips, tricks and lessons we’ve learnt along the way.

How to get the best results for your start-up:

1. Be selective and choose the right platforms to work with that’s right for your audience!

2. Community is a commodity – build your personal brand by growing your connections and followings.

3. Listen to your customers – feedback is important to build continuity around improved brand presence.

4. Don’t just put anything and everything on your social platform. Remember, this is an extension of you and your colleagues so, choose your content wisely

5. You may not like the way you look and sound but video blogging/advertising will help carry a message. Use every resource that is appealing to your target audience.

Limitless power – unlock your potential for free

As a co-founder of a recruitment start up, it can be challenging to work with limited resources and capabilities. Thankfully, tools like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook (when properly used) can successfully promote your brand at very little cost. Advertising is key but can be very time consuming and costly. Learn to use social media right and discover the key to driving word of mouth referrals and brand awareness. Search for free tools which can help streamline your social platforms to consolidate your efforts so you don’t detract from what you should be doing day to day and keep cost low.

Check out some of our favourite, easy-to-use and free tools https://hootsuite.com/ https://www.socialoomph.com/

Do the simple things well and build your personal brand so people remember and talk about your brand positively. Easier said than done hence why these 5 simple rules will fundamentally help you reach out to the right audience and make a lasting impression that will create a BUZZ early on…

How job interviews have changed since the 90’s

By Ben Brown,
From interrogation of skills to getting the right culture fit.

The way company’s conduct interviews have changed rapidly over the last 20 odd years. We’ve noticed a general shift away from formal interrogative style interviews to casual, conversational based meetings that are more about demonstrating personality and getting the right culture fit for both parties.

These days, your resume and LinkedIn serve the purpose of articulating your experience while the interview is a chance for personality to shine.

The casual, relaxed nature of these interviews creates a better opportunity to build genuine connections and “break down those barriers earlier on” says Anya Loukina, Consultant at Method Recruitment.

Where interviews used to be a prescribed back and forth, question and answer style setting, businesses are now using interviews to gauge how that individual will fit in within the company’s culture and how their attitude will translate into their work ethic. Fundamentally, it gives both employer and employee a better idea of what working in that company will look like.

The old ways of having a rigid, you-have-to-fit-this-mould, behave this way and there is only one-right-answer type of interview means you could be missing out on good candidates! If someone is so stressed about not talking with their hands or worrying about the superficial things, you could lose out on the perfect candidate for the role.

Of course, there is no one size fits all, specific interview process that all companies will use. How formal the interview is and the expected behaviour will be determined by the type of business and role you’re going for. But there’s no question that a more casual setting will give you a better indication of personality. Let the resume do the talking for skill requirements and use the interview to get the right culture fit.

For tips on navigating a job interview – Click here.  

6 interview mistakes that could cost you great candidates

By Ben Brown,

It’s no secret that good people are hard to come by. High caliber candidates will always be in demand. This results in every Hiring Managers nightmare – multiple offers! Henceforth it’s essential that companies portray a positive image that will entice candidates and get them excited about working within your organisation!

First, let’s establish the key ideas employers should be contemplating before they embark on the hiring process. Why should a candidate choose to accept your offer over another? Does your employer value proposition align to your values? Why would someone choose to accept and stay with your company past the crucial 6-month mark?

After establishing these fundamentals, here are 6 things to keep in mind when seeking to create a strong and lasting candidate experience.

  •    Making candidates wait

A common misconception is that keeping candidates waiting before they’re seen into an interview will create a supercilious impression- bad move. No one wants to be kept waiting for any appointment – It creates a bad first impression. If the candidate has been punctual and turned up early, they may be kept waiting for over 15 minutes. Not a great impression when you’re looking to attract the best talent (not push them away).

  •    Being unprepared

Everyone has heard the saying “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

Review the candidate’s resume, including their education, achievements, hobbies and dates matched between roles – identifying where their potential skill gaps or suitability lie.

TIP: While preparing the job description, you will have created a ‘wishlist’ of skills, qualifications, experience and personality traits for the ideal candidate. Candidates are unlikely to fulfill every requirement. To determine the best candidate for the role, assign a weight % to each requirement and rank them accordingly.

  •    Focusing only on skills & experience

What some candidates lack in skill, they make up for in commitment and thanks. If you identify that someone can grow into a role over a course of time but will only deliver 60%  – 70% in the short term, then it’s worth revisiting that role scope to get the utopian business culture fit.

  • Throwing curve-balls

50% valuable, 50% useless! I know a senior director of a large Melbourne hedge fund who is adamant that by throwing curve ball questions, you separate the wheat from the chaff.
“How many hair salons are there in Australia?”
“How many parts in a car engine? Walk me through your thinking”.

Of course, no one cares about the answer. These questions are about demonstrating problem solving skills, but they confuse candidates and steer them off track.

My advice; know your audience and tailor your interview approach to each candidate.

  •  Not allowing for candidate questions

Always allow time for at least one or two questions so the candidate can gauge a better idea of the culture and expectations. If the candidate doesn’t understand what is required, you may find yourself refilling the role again in 3 month’s time.

  • Drawn out / Unclear process

Transparency is the key to a successful recruitment process. It’s pivotal you are clear on how many stages there are before a potential offer is made – whether testing is required, how many references will be taken, security probity checks etc. A candidate can then envisage how long the process will take and weigh this alongside their other interviews. Remember good candidates will have multiple offers – take your time and you’ll lose out.

  • Treat the candidate with respect

This is often overlooked. Taking an active interest in your candidate goes a long way in earning and building trust. Forming that personal connection with your candidate means they’re more likely to treat you how you’d like to be treated – with honesty and transparency.

  • Keep in contact after they decline your offer

There will a come a time when you meet the perfect candidate, but they have competing offers and accept the alternative. How often have you followed up after they’ve declined???  Candidates make the wrong decisions, companies paint unrealistic pictures of their culture and roles change frequently. Keep in contact and cement that person in your network so that when they decide to reignite their search – you’re the first cab off the rank! Communicating post-process goes a long way. If the candidate was impressed first time around, they are likely to be joining you when they make the leap!

  • Failing to sell your organisation

An interview is a two-way street – it is equally important for you to position your organisation and team, as it is for a candidate to sell themselves.

Hiring managers often concentrate too much on evaluation, missing the opportunity to inspire candidates. This is particularly important for hard-to-fill roles, where talented employees are in high demand. Consider and articulate the key attractions of the role and organisation, so the candidate is equally attracted to both the organisation and the role itself.

Remember it’s important to tailor your approach to each person. You want to strengthen your relationship with them and for them to see the value in being a part of your business. Recruitment is a craft, not a pre-defined “one size fits all” process. Follow these simple points and you’ll be creating a lasting candidate experience!

How we’re shaking up the recruitment game

By Ben Brown,

At Method Recruitment we pride ourselves from standing out from the crowd, having a unique and genuine method. This is how we’re shaking up the recruitment game and just, straight up, doing things differently.

1. Finding long-term career solutions, not just band aids.

We offer development road maps to help you find your ‘dream job’ not just a job that is right for right now. We focus on your long term career goal and listening to you – helping you get where you want to be and opening up doors you never even knew existed.

“Tell me what your dream job is, what you love, what you don’t like, tell me where you see yourself. If you had the perfect job, what would it be?” – Anya Loukina, Method Recruitment Consultant

And I would get them to tell me what their dream is, what they love, what they don’t like, you know all those aspects and you tell me where you see yourself. If you had the perfect job, what would it be? What does it look like?

Unlike other recruitment companies, we work with you and check in with you after you’ve been placed – to see how you’re finding the role and continue to help you maximise your potential and smash your #careergoals. “..doing everything from start to finish in the interest of both parties” – Anya Loukina, Method Recruitment Consultant

2. Building genuine and honest relationships

Too many recruitment companies these days, treat candidates and clients like commodities in a transaction. We couldn’t be more opposed to that notion! We know how we would like to be treated and that is what we encourage here at Method. We are all about helping you and treating you with kindness, respect and honesty straight from the start – building genuine and fun relationships with our candidates and clients.

3. Network and referral based – not advertising based.

We are a network and referral driven recruitment agency rather than advertising based.

“most companies have exhausted that [advertising] piece – they’ve gone down that road and…for whatever reason, they haven’t found that individual. So we don’t want to go over old ground, we want to do something a little bit differently” – Greg Kouwiloyan, Director and Co-Founder of Method Recruitment.

Being referral focused means we can find higher quality candidates and have access to clients that might not even be actively seeking new positions. Have you heard about our $1000 referral scheme?

“One key thing that we’re trying to do is not to just talent pool but to better understand and better service those respective industries.” – Greg Kouwiloyan, Director and Co-Founder of Method Recruitment.

4. Being service based, not KPI driven.

Our recruitment philosophy revolves around building genuine connections, rather than driving unrealistic KPI’s into our employees. We’re very different here and again the outcome piece is very important to us. Let’s not focus on dollars, let’s focus on doing a good job. Let’s focus on understanding the process. Let’s focus on understanding that client, mapping out that client and understanding their requirements. – Greg Kouwiloyan, Director and Co-Founder of Method Recruitment.

5. You’re in control of the process!

Our approach is “listen first, consult second” – you are in control of your recruitment journey. We’re just the link between you and the right opportunity – facilitating, guiding and helping you every step of the way

What’s so Good About an Open Plan Workplace?

By Ben Brown,

Open place workplaces and quirky-café-style-bring-your-own-laptop-dog friendly-shared office spaces are popping up all over Melbourne.

So, what’s all the fuss about?

Lots of larger firms have been using open floor plan offices for years, and many smaller companies are incorporating it into their design from the start – all to maximise resources and promote a better work culture.

Here are 5 advantages to working in an open plan workplace (that you might not have thought about before)

1.     Infectious Energy

There is nothing quite like the thriving energy of an open place workplace! Say goodbye to working in silence, feeling bored and Claustrophobic in your small office.

 “there’s a lot of energy that can be quite infectious and people feed off that which is great.” Greg Kouwiloyan, Director and Co-Founder of Method Recruitment.

Open plan workplaces are full of energy, laughter and all around good vibes! Working in a room and next to other productive, hard-working employees are going to maximise your efficiency individually and the teams’ productivity overall!

2.    Open communication

Shared office spaces break down barriers and reinforce open communication among team members. Need to ask a quick question or clarify a task? Just do it! No need to wait around for a formal typed email response. It also helps employees, from a junior level right up to senior management, to feel a part of one big team working together to achieve a common goal. #teamwork

3.    Creating a community

Open office floor plans build community and foster good working relationships. This automatically boosts the social aspect of your workplace, creating a community of hardworking, fun loving professionals. And if people like the work they’re doing and the team they’re working with, you’re not only going to improve company culture but also increase employee retention.

I feel that if you’re having a tough day, people will come over “Mate, you wanna go for a walk? Wanna have a coffee? How you doing?” and I think that’s very, very important” – Kouwiloyan.

Employees help and support each other – “The fact that there’s nowhere to hide to that degree” – Kouwiloyan.

4.    Reduced Construction Costs

Naturally, an open plan office space reduces construction cost and allows more flexibility for future – growing with you as your business grows.

5.    Collaboration

Collaboration is inherent to open plan office spaces! People bounce ideas off each other, talk more and learn from each other. Want your team to work better together? – Get an open place office, and you’ll see the benefits straight away!

As a Melbourne based Recruitment company, we LOVE working in an open plan office space, working together and collaborating! A day in the office is always fun, vibrant and productive.

The Best Locations For Job Interviews or External Meetings

By Ben Brown,

There are a number of benefits for coffee shop and café style interviews. They are convenient, casual and set an informal tone for the interview – putting both parties at ease and making it much easier to gauge the personality of the candidate and seeing whether they’re the right culture fit for the company.

So, once you’ve decided to have a café interview – the next question is Where to go?

We’ve put together some of our top tips for deciding Where to have your café interview.

1.    Location

Pick a location that is convenient and easily accessible for both of you. Somewhere that is close to your office is ideal – This way you’re not travelling too far for the interview and the candidate has an opportunity to get a feel for where they will be working on a day-to-day basis

2.    Service & Layout

Pick somewhere you know has quality service and plenty of seats. There’s nothing worse than being caught out because there aren’t enough tables to seat you. Similarly, you don’t want to be waiting for your coffee for 15mins, if the interview will only go for 20 minutes. You can always call ahead or book a table if necessary but as a general rule – pick somewhere that has adequate seating and quick service. That way you can focus on the important stuff – learning more about your candidate, their career prospects and filling that role

3.    Timing

The most important of all! There is no point having an interview at 8.30am right outside Southern Cross Station when everyone is rushing in and out to get their coffee on their way to work. It will be noisy, disruptive and slow – neither you or your candidate will have a chance to think about your responses. Pick a time in the late morning or early afternoon, so you don’t get caught up in the peak hour lunch rush or entangled with all the morning commuters. A quiet and relaxed environment will make for a great interview setting, and you’ll be both be able to think more clearly.

If you get these things simple things right, you’re bound to have a successful café interview and have a great opportunity to find out if the candidate will match your role requirements and company culture.

If you’re looking to fill a role or having quite yet found the right person for the job – we’d love to help. Send us an email or get in contact today.

Understanding the Melbourne IT scene - my first 42 meet-ups

By Ben Brown,

By Kate Illsley –
Senior Consultant – Development Specialist

Last year in 2017, I had the opportunity to attend 42 events in the Melbourne tech and startup community. Below are 42 pearls of wisdom I’ve taken from listening to industry leaders.

1.The best Agile teams share the responsibility of leadership ~ Brett Wakeman, Iteration Manager 

2. It’s alright to clarify tech jargon if you don’t understand something new, but you need to be researching to get up to speed too ~ Hayden Peters

3. Consumers will drive blockchain trends, younger companies are listening, and those who don’t take risks, won’t survive ~ Susan Brown, MD & Director 

4. Innovate or get fired trying ~ Nick Teulon, CEO

5. Body insertable RFID chips need to physically touch the sensor to scan, so we are a long way off from the sci-fi movies ~ Kayla Heffernan, UX

6. Women represent only 19% of people working in IT ~ Megan Smith, Board Director 

7. Deep learning is just pattern recognition ~ Andy Kitchen, Deep Learning Researcher

8. When using chatbots, your online voice should reflect your brand, you can even insert emojis ~ Helen Zeng, Partner Engineer

9. Open source contributions don’t have to ONLY be in online communities, don’t be a silo! ~ Ben Dechrai, CTO, Co-Founder 

10. You can apply HCD (Human Centered Design) principles to any goal or problem outside the workplace ~ Amelia Schmidt, Designer 

11. You need to be continually learning, if not, you’ll wake up obsolete!

12. Maker culture is just learning how to make things better, in a safe maker space with all the cool tools ~ Gil Poznanski, Creative Technologist 

13. Listen like you mean it! It’s OK to be silent ~ Rohan Irving, UX Researcher, Co-founder 

14. As a Manager, it’s your job to make others look good ~ Nigel Dalton, Chief Inventor

15. You can 3D print anything that’s a solid at room temperature ~ Adam Purdie, Senior DevOps

16. We are holding a giant golden egg that is IT knowledge, so we need to engage the people who can enable us ALL to go together to the future, Women and Men included ~ Chris Skipper-Conway, CEO

17. It’s harder than you think for UXers to fit into the Agile train ~ Kat Herbert, Lead UX

18. PowerPoint presentations with gifs are a fun way to keep the audience engaged during a live code demo ~ Erin Zimmer, Senior Software Developer 

19. Grads often seek to understand things in a more sophisticated way

20. Quiet introverts CAN impact business and progress their careers too ~ Megumi Mikki, Founder 

21. When designing an online onboarding process, think about including freebies! ~ Krystal Higgins, Senior Interaction Designer

22. By 2027 it won’t be cheaper to own a car, majority of us will be using driverless services ~ Angus Hervey, Co-Founder, Director 

23. Redux reduces the need for complex components and helps them communicate more effectively ~ Matt Hayward, Lead Software Engineer & Callan Delbridge, Lead Front End Architect 

24. Don’t shy away from talking about moments that didn’t go so well too ~ Permenthri Pillay, VP & Partner

25. Agile teams function best when there is trust. Safe to fail, safe to innovate ~ Brett Wakeman, Iteration Manager 

26. Joining event slack channels are an easy way to keep in touch with people you’ve met

27. Cloud infrastructure is globalizing the sharing of data between lab & PhD Researchers ~ Sarah Ogston, Program Manager & Board Member 

28. Volunteering for a start-up can give a junior CV some depth and bring weight to your experience ~ Marina Paronetto, Senior Innovation Manager & Founder 

29. VR can revolutionize the healthcare industry, it can be applied to psychology, midwifery or aged care, and can be especially useful for training in these areas.

30. Find a group you can contribute to and get involved regularly 

31. API (Designing, Developing and Managing) is one of the fastest growing career in the world ~ Thor Essman, CEO & Founder 

32. If you want to challenge something, make sure you have a creative solution ready and prepared to pitch 

33. Sharing stickers from events is a great way to connect with people after an event

34. People can only remember 3 key messages at a time, don’t fill up your presentation slides! ~ Caroline North, Research Manager

35. You’re missing out on something precious if you don’t participate

36. Projects collapse because of change management, make sure people understand their environment first

37. Don’t overthink naming variables, they can be renamed later ~LJ, co-founder, Product Owner

38. Big data is a massive growth opportunity, but many companies are collecting data and doing nothing with it!

39. You can treat design like a science hypothesis, break down the assumptions and undertake tests ~ Taryn D’Souza, Senior UX

40. Firstly, you must give three times, make sure you are adding value before asking for anything in return from someone

41. Enable speed of change, or you’re doing it wrong ~ Thor Essman, CEO & Founder 

42. Knowledge sharing is valuable. That’s why I wrote this list. 

If you’d like to hear about which Melbourne Tech or Startup events might be relevant and worthwhile for you, feel free to start a conversation. Spending time hearing from and getting to know industry experts, and peers who are also on a learning journey is absolutely priceless.