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Rise of the Returnship: an untapped talent pool

posted by Christinap 19/03/2019 0 comments

Returning to work after an extended break, for instance, maternity leave, can be a real challenge for employees. Understandably, employee confidence can wane amidst the job market and pace of technology changing so rapidly. Women returning to work after a career break face multiple challenges such as balancing work and caring commitments, a loss of confidence and the need to update skills and knowledge.

Recognising that women returning to work after a career break are an untapped resource, many forward thinking Australian companies have started to target this pool of talented employees with “returnships”. This trend has seen great success and uptake in the UK and USA and no doubt savvy Australian companies will continue to follow suit in creating similar programs.

A returnship is a program to support professionals who are looking to restart their careers after a lengthy absence from the workforce. These programs aim to support women transitioning back into the workforce after a career break of two years or more and usually last for a few weeks to a few months. They usually target professionals in mid to higher levels than say an internship.

Throughout the program, staff are given additional training and mentoring to help bring their skills up to scratch and to slowly familiarise themselves to the pace of their new work environment. Some additional benefits of a returnship program include:

  • Growing the employees network
  • Learning new skills
  • Building their resume with relevant experience
  • Getting a foothold into a leading corporate organisation

We believe programs like returnships are the way of the future and will go a long way in ensuring your company remains competitive and attracts the best candidates in the market. Some of Australia’s biggest players in the finance and professional service sectors have gotten on board with offering formal returnship programs (including, Macquarie Group’s Returner Program and Deloitte’s Return to Work) and we have noticed a growing interest coming from some of our clients to look to offer something similar to tap into this highly skilled talent pool.

For more information or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9500 2797 for a confidential chat.


7 Ways To Start Off 2019 Right

posted by Christinap 06/01/2019 0 comments

A new year means an opportunity for a fresh start at work. What can you do to start the new year off right? Here’s our top tips you can implement now!

1. Set goals

Make a point to identify where you are now and where you want to be at this time next year. Start planning on how you can achieve you goals, whether they be small or large. Keep in mind: if you don’t know where you’re going, it will be tough to get there.

2. Reflect on your successes

Take the time to document and list out your accomplishments over the past year. And don’t forget to  update your resume and LinkedIn to reflect where you are at today.

3. List new skills you’ll need

You might need to think of potential new skills you’ll need to acquire to move ahead with your career plans. Now is a good time to form a strategy on how you can get them. Talk to your boss to determine if there are ways you can augment your current skills by participating in new projects.

4. Keep an eye on the future

The start of a new year is a good time to think about the outlook for your company and industry sector. Are there any opportunities on the horizon or potential issues to be aware of? Be realistic and honest and consider what action you should take if prospects aren’t promising.

5. Be flexible

It’s difficult to go very far at work if you aren’t flexible. Try your best to be open to new ideas and new ways to do things and make a goal to try to say “yes” more than “no” at work when it comes to suggestions from your colleagues and supervisors.

6. Network, network, network

You’ve heard that networking is the best way to get a job; take that advice and make a point to expand your circle of contacts. The more people who know, like and trust you and think you are good at what you do, the better the chance of you finding and landing new opportunities in the new year.

7. Break out of your rut

If you’ve been feeling that you are stuck in a career rut, now may be the perfect time to plan for a change. There’s no time like the present to start thinking about new opportunities and looking for your dream job.

If you’re looking for a new start to 2019, get in touch with with us today on 9500 2797 or email And don’t forget to sign up for job alerts and get your dream job now!


5 Ways To Wrap Up The End Of The Year At Work!

posted by Christinap 23/11/2018 0 comments

It’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks we will be entering into 2019! When we think of closing the year out, we want to do our best in completing all those last-minute or lagging projects before December 31. We have always found it beneficial to wrap up all loose ends in 2018 and enter into 2019 with a fresh start.  

There is nothing like putting a little more pressure on yourself, but just think how great you will feel knowing you completed everything by your deadline.

Here are our top tips to help you wrap up tasks by the end of the year:

  1. Make a list: Make a list of all the things you need to complete by the end of the year.  Include projects you are currently working on, ones that need to be completed and ones that may carry over into the new year.  This will give you a clear picture of what needs to be done and will keep you motivated.
  2. Review and purge old documents and files:  Now is a great time to organise and file all your hard and soft documents. Organising, filing, and purging documents to close out 2018 will leave you in a great position to start fresh after the holidays and mentally will make you feel a lot less cluttered.  
  3. Review and reflect:  Take time out to review and reflect on your accomplishments. Were you responsible for making positive changes? Did you achieve any major goals and KPIs? Maybe you did something that had a positive impact on the employees and organisation. Whatever your successes were in 2018, be proud of your accomplishments and give yourself credit.
  4. Clean out and organise your emails:  This is a great time to go through all your old emails and delete the ones that are no longer relevant or needed.  Create folders for all of the important emails that you need to keep. This is a great way to ensure your inbox is clutter-free and will help you to stay organised. 
  5. Set obtainable work goals for 2019:  Now that 2018 is coming to a close, it is time to start thinking about setting yourself new, obtainable goals for 2019.  Choose goals that will help your grow, improve your skills, enhance your career and make you happy.

We hope these tips help you to get organised and prepared for the new year, whilst also ensuring you have a relaxing break. From all of us at Brook Recruitment, we wish you great success in closing out 2018 and a happy and prosperous Holiday Season and wonderful 2019!



posted by Christinap 26/10/2018 0 comments

Katie was one of our first candidates to feature in our monthly candidate videos. We had a fantastic response to her video interview and she quickly obtained a great role at boutique accounting firm Daniel Allison & Associates. We sat down recently to catch up and pick her brain…

Tell me a little about your role at DAA?

My Role at DAA consists of Administration, Reception and some Project Management. I am responsible for everyone’s everyday office needs. Working closely with principals at the accounting firm is a big responsibility but a great one nonetheless.

What does a typical day for you involve?

Every day is different at DAA, I start my day off usually sorting through all the mail and then just assist the associates and principals around the office with administration work. I am also currently in charge of the refurb of the rooftop of our building, which is very exciting.

In your experience, what are some of the key attributes that make a successful Receptionist/Administrator/Office All Rounder?

Being extremely vigilant and precise. Attention to detail is everything. Also being enthusiastic and motivated makes the work place a more positive environment to be in.

If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your career?

Ask as many questions as you can. In the long run it will only benefit you.

How have you found working with Brook Recruitment?

Brook Recruitment has been extremely supportive to work with. Checking in to see how things are going. I really appreciate the effort they go to.


#PlacedByBrook: Receptionist superstar Manjula from Vaughan Construction

posted by Christinap 05/10/2018 0 comments

We placed Manjula in a fantastic job-share Receptionist position 6 months ago at construction firm Vaughan. We sat down recently to catch up and pick her brain…

Tell me a little about your role at Vaughan?

I have been employed by Vaughan for the last 6 months as a receptionist in a job share role.

What does a typical day for you involve?

A typical day at Vaughan Construction involves answering phone calls, meet and greet and sign in all visitors. Setting up meeting rooms with coffee/water. Monitoring and responding to emails including the info mail box. Maintain and order kitchen and stationery stock as well as organising couriers, catering and booking meeting rooms. Various admin tasks such as updating templates and typing construction minutes.

In your experience, what are some of the key attributes that make a successful Receptionist/Administrator??

Being friendly and professional whether it be over the phone or in person is very important as you’re the first contact for the business. Organisational skills as you are constantly multi-tasking and need to remain calm and efficient. Being in a job share role communication plays a big part so when handing over duties to Kate we ensure we have filled each other in on the day and also keep a diary to alert each other of jobs that need to be done.

If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your career?

Keep learning and growing your skills.

How have you found working with Brook Recruitment?

Lucy from Brook has been fantastic! From our first casual meeting to placing me in my role within 2 weeks she made it a smooth transition for me and has followed up numerous times to make sure I am ok and happy in my new role. Thanks for all your support Brook Recruitment.


What will the jobs market be like in 2020?

posted by Christinap 05/10/2018 0 comments

The labor market is changing faster than you might realise. Demographic changes and technological advancements may lead to the net loss of 5 million jobs by 2020, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum. In total, the report estimates that a total of 7.1 million jobs could be lost, the majority of which will be white-collar office and administrative jobs. Read on to find out which careers are most promising.

Software Development and IT

IT professionals have an extremely favourable outlook. As big data increasingly drives commerce, the skills needed to control networks of information are more valuable than ever. Some key areas of focus include software applications developers, database administrators and computer and information systems managers.

Data analysts

Data analysts will become increasingly more important in all industries by 2020. Companies will need help making sense of all of the data generated by technological disruptions.

Architects and engineering

Demand for these skills are expected to remain stable and potentially increase. There will be growth for engineers focused on biochemicals, nanotechnology, robotics, and materials.


There will be high demand for digitally literate, professional practice accountants. Demand for accounting and finance professionals is expected to grow by another 22% by 2020. Meanwhile, demand for actuaries, mathematicians and statisticians will increase by almost 10% by 2020.

Human resources and organisational development specialists

There will also be a need for roles to help re-skill workers. While technological and socio-economic changes will cause some jobs to disappear completely, there will also be a new jobs created and people needed to fill them. So development specialists and human resource professionals will be needed not only for hiring in a competitive market, but they will also be needed to help employees develop new skill sets.

Aged Care

As more people live longer, every aspect of the health care sector is poised for growth. And while automation is changing how some health care is delivered, demand for caregivers is going to increase as we commit to providing health care for more of the population—a population that is growing and living longer.

Social Intelligence and new media literacy

Soft skills, like social and emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competency will be of huge demand, especially in the era of virtual collaboration. New media literacy—understanding various media platforms and how to best communicate effectively in them—are valuable skills that robots won’t be likely to match any time soon.

If you’re looking for a new dream career, get in touch with with us today on 9500 2797 or email And don’t forget to sign up for job alerts and get your dream job now!


Catch up with Eliza from Hamilton Marino Builders

posted by Christinap 02/10/2018 0 comments

This month we bring you an interview with Eliza from Hamilton Marino Builders. Learn more about this innovative commercial construction company and their secret to success with our behind the scenes FAQ below…

Tell us a bit about Hamilton Marino Builders?

Established in 1975, Hamilton Marino Builders began operating around Melbourne as a residential construction company. Today, Hamilton Marino Builders is an experienced and dynamic multi-level apartment and commercial construction company. Their ‘value-added’ operational model and reputation built on providing expertise, quality and certainty, has made them an innovative industry leader. Presently, Hamilton Marino have over 15 projects in construction ranging from multi-level apartments to hotel construction and fit out.

Can you give us an insight into your company’s approach?

We are involved in each project right through its life cycle. This approach delivers integrated design and construction solutions for our clients – on time, and on budget. We are big on teamwork – our success is built on relationships. We listen to our clients and consult in an open and friendly manner and we create a team environment for all project members and act with honesty and integrity. Our directors are involved in every project from inception to handover, ensuring our teams can solve any problems that may arise. We also prioritise design management – by being involved from the first design consultants’ meetings, finding alternative design methodologies for financially challenged projects, assessing briefs, site logistics, time frame scheduling and industry conditions, our directors can ensure the best value design decisions are made. We also have an unwavering dedication and commitment to delivery which has earned Hamilton Marino a reputation for quality construction. And lastly, we never forget we are building people’s homes, and we treat everyone as if it were our own.

How are you embracing technology?

The strength of our reputation and performance is underpinned by the commercial and administrative procedures that we follow on all projects. We apply rigour to every aspect of our business by embracing leading technology, online programs and implementing best practice systems. Examples of which are our customised Safety Management Systems, our ASNZ accreditation and our Design Management Systems. Accurate up-to-date reporting is key to cost control so our Program and Cost Control and Financial Reporting Systems (Cheops) is a critical tool. Document management and control systems via Aconex online are an important part of this process. Our stringent and effective systems have been integral to Hamilton Marino enjoying 40+ years of continuous growth, regardless of economic conditions. The confidence and respect of repeat clients, organic growth of project sizes, strategic long-term planning and prudent financial planning have played an important part in our consistently strong balance sheet. Technology continues to evolve rapidly and the construction industry has long been renowned as lagging behind other industries regarding the uptake of technology. Hamilton Marino are keeping the competitive advantage by embracing emerging technology and have recently implemented a new Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) Management System which has given management more visibility and has streamlined a number of on site processes

You have a great team, how has the business achieved this?

Our passion, culture, reputation and integrity has attracted a highly skilled, driven team of over 250 like-minded people. Among them are talented engineers, visionary designers and expert trades people. Our extended ‘family’ includes loyal subcontractors and essential suppliers, all working towards delivering projects of distinction. We are committed to an open and collaborative approach at all levels of our business. And our hands-on directors are involved in every part of the process to ensure clients’ objectives are exceeded – from design, costing, construction logistics, construction management, cost control and administration to project handover and post-handover liaison. This is what sets us apart.


5 signs you may not be as good at your job as you think

posted by Christinap 11/09/2018 0 comments

If you’ve ever felt stuck in your job, or been passed up for a promotion that you think should have gotten, it might be a sign that you’re not as good at your job as you think you are. Learn how to tell if you’re unknowingly sabotaging your advancement at work.

1. You do the bare minimum

If you think doing what is asked of you is enough to get you recognition and promotions, think again. You’ll have to go above and beyond, constantly acquire new skills while on the job, come up with innovative ideas, lead high-visibility projects, and advocate for yourself to ensure that your manager, team, and others know you are making these moves.

2. You don’t achieve your goals

Goals at work can come from management or be self-imposed – if you’re not getting close to reaching those milestones, it’s a sign that you need to step up your game. If you’re not delivering on your projects and priorities, you may need to think about stepping up your game.

3. You need constant direction

If your boss is constantly telling you how to do things that are central to your role, it’s a subtle sign that you’re not doing as well as you think you are.

4. You feel defensive

There is always room to grow and develop, so if you get defensive when given constructive criticism, rather than implementing it, you’re already not doing your job well. Try not to ignore feedback, or you’ll find yourself stuck.

5. You’re uninterested

Ultimately, your job should play to your strengths. If you have no real interest in the field or industry you’re in it will reflect in the amount of effort you put into your job.

If you’re looking for a new dream career, get in touch with with us today on 9500 2797 or email And don’t forget to sign up for job alerts and get your dream job now!


#PlacedByBrook: Concierge star Scott from Collins Square

posted by Christinap 13/08/2018 0 comments

We featured Scott in a video for our Client newsletter in May. We had a great response from clients wanting to meet and learn more about him which led to him obtaining a fantastic role as Concierge at Collins Square. Read our Q&A with Scott below to learn more…

Tell me a little about your role at Collins Square?

As Concierge at Collins Square, I am the first point of contact for many of our major tenants. My role is to check-in guests to meetings, interviews and appointments. I also follow up with a variety of requests and perform reception duties including answering phone calls and making sure everyone has a great experience.    

What does a typical day for you involve?

Checking in guests and making sure their experience is a good one. Answering phones and emails, dealing with inquiries. Every day is different and we are dealing with some of the major companies in Australia such as CBA and KPMG.  

In your experience, what are some of the key attributes that make a successful Concierge?

You definitely need to be a people person and love talking to people (which I do)! Outstanding customer service skills and the ability to think outside the box – and someone who is always ready for any enquiry that might come their way.  

If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your career?

Never underestimate your abilities and be confident. In other words back yourself!

How have you found working with Brook Recruitment?

I loved working with the team at Brook! From Lucy to Adrianna to Vanessa they stopped at nothing until I got the job I wanted. It’s been two months and they’re still checking in regularly to see how I am. The team at Brook care about every person they work with and that’s what makes them different and special.



Our guide to illegal interview questions

posted by Christinap 13/08/2018 0 comments

We know that an interview can be a daunting task, no matter how well prepared a candidate is. But did you know that there are some questions that a prospective employer can’t ask in an interview? Generally, questions that seek information beyond what is relevant to the role are not acceptable and employers are also not allowed to ask candidates to provide information about their age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality.

It is also unlawful to discriminate against or refuse to employ a prospective employee on the basis of their physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.  But it is important to note that there are limited occasions when discrimination may be allowed if it relates to the requirements of the position.

In addition, different treatment is sometimes legal (and necessary) to enable a particular group of people to achieve equality with others, including gender quotas in the workplace and measures to reduce the discrimination or under-representation of specific ethnic or cultural groups.

However, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against candidates on the basis of the attributes outlined above, and if they do, candidates may be able to take legal action against the company. We’ve highlighted 4 questions below that are illegal or potentially discriminatory and suggestions for what you can be asked instead:

1. How old are you?

Unless your age directly relates to the job requirements (such as requiring proof of age to work in a licensed venue or proof of license to drive a delivery van). However because these documents contain information regarding the employee’s age and other protected attributes, such a request may be discriminatory. An employer should ask for this information/documents after an offer of employment has been made (or make any offer contingent on the documents being provided).

2. How do you juggle work and looking after your children?

This may suggest that a candidate’s family responsibilities are relevant to the decision to employ them. The family status of a prospective employee should never be used to discriminate against them. A better question would be to ask if the candidate is able to commit to working the following hours, etc.

3. Are you currently working?

Again, it is illegal to discriminate against a candidate because they are employed, unemployed, or on benefits. However, sometimes this question could be a legitimate way to determine when an employee would be able to start in the role. In this case, it would be better framed as “what date are you able to start”

4. Have you had any past injuries/illnesses?

This question relates to a protected attribute (disability) so is also unlawful. Depending on the circumstances, however, this question could be relevant if it is specifically aimed at asking about an illness or injury that would directly relate to the ability to perform the inherent requirements of the role. This question could be better framed as “is there any reason you might not be able to complete the duties required for this role?”

For more information or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9500 2797 for a confidential chat.

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