How to tell if this role is going to be the right fit for you

Recruitment can be like dating. You probably need to meet with a few prospective employers first, before you find the right one for you.

Much like dating, finding the “the one” can sometimes be a long and exhausting process, and it can take you a while to figure out what’s going on… or what you really want. But if you stick with it and keep giving it your all, you’re going to come out the other end with a fantastic new job that ticks all of your boxes!

So, here are some top tips to help you avoid the frogs and find your perfect match:

Give some thought as to how much flexibility you need in order to be your most productive, while successfully maintaining a work-life balance.

Do you have to work around school drop offs or pick-ups? Do you want to spend more time with your kids? Are you involved in activities or hobbies that might creep into work hours? Do you have a sick family member that you need to look after?

While many employers are moving towards flexible working arrangements for their staff, this isn’t always an option with every employer or for every role. So you should ask about flexible working options up front, to make sure that their daily structure is going to work for you.

Let’s face it, it’s becoming very rare for people to stay in the same job for their entire career. However, many roles can lead to bigger and better things within an organisation.

This is another ‘ask up front’ question. If you don’t know what the progression opportunities are, you may not even consider the organisation in the first place, or leave within a short time because you only see the role as a stepping stone. Both you and the organisation could really miss out – and we don’t want that!

Before applying for roles, it’s good to know what your salary expectations are and what is right for you.

For the right role, with a clear progression path, you might consider a lower initial salary – keeping the long-term in mind. But what is the minimum you need to keep your life going, in order to consider such a role?

Then for each role it’s good to find out (as early as possible) what the salary range is, when salary reviews are conducted, what the progression path for the role is, and what added benefits the role brings – e.g. new skills, free parking, flexible hours…

As always, be upfront with your salary expectations during interview process – that way everyone knows where they stand and there are no surprises for either side.

You spend a lot of time at work, so you need to make sure it’s somewhere that you’re going to enjoy being.

Some good things to find out, or look for during the recruitment process include: What are the team dynamics like? What are the reporting structures? How relaxed does the office feel? What types of internal initiatives or activities do they offer? Do people stay a long time or is there a high staff turnover?

If you know of anyone that has worked there previously, now is also good time to have an “off the record” chat to get the scoop on what it’s really like working there.

Location, Location, Location – not just the title of a popular real estate show.

When you are excited about a new job it can be easy to ignore the more mundane realities, like commute times and good food options nearby.

Before you take the job, ask yourself: Is the commute going to be affordable and feasible? Once the shine wears off, are you going to be miserable sitting on public transport and in traffic for an hour each way? Are you going to spend your lunch breaks in no-mans-land, with nothing to do but eat your packed lunch?

This is one of those ‘bigger picture’ things to consider. Some companies and industries come with baggage, whether justified or not.

The trick here is to think about your long-term goals. For example: Is working for a tobacco company going to hurt your chances of being considered for roles in the health sector?

You might not have a crystal ball at your disposal, but it’s worthwhile taking some time to think where you ultimately want to end up, and how this role is going to look on your CV in future.

As you continue to think about the long-term, you should consider how well each new role fits in to that.

Reality is we don’t all have the luxury of being able to pick and choose every job – sometimes we just need to pay our bills. However, if you’re going into a role with the mindset that it’s just a temporary thing, you can quickly end up in the cycle of moving from one role to another. And this sort of thing is often a red flag for prospective employers – you don’t want to come across as flighty, especially when your dream job is on the line!

If you ever have any questions or doubts, don’t know what questions you should ask, or are simply unsure of where you want your career to go, it’s always good to talk things through with your recruiter. We’re always here to help … and might see things from a perspective you hadn’t considered. So please don’t ever hesitate to get in touch!

Best wishes,
Kirsty & Nikki

How to tell if a candidate will be a good fit
How to answer the salary question


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  1. Hi there. How are u? I actually want to apply to another nursing role closer to where i leave but what stops me is my age. I will be turning 66 years old this month. Do u think my age would be a hindrance to my application?
    Thanks so much

    • Hi Lucila, thanks for your question! To be honest no, I don’t think your age should be a hindrance at all, particularly for a field like that where experience is priceless! The most important thing is that you feel capable! There is a chance that potential employers may look at your CV and wonder about your future plans. So I would certainly encourage you to tailor your cover letter to the role and include a small section that addresses this. It doesn’t have to be lengthy as you can go into more detail during the screening and interview process (fingers crossed!). It’s more just to provide some reassurance right from the get-go that you won’t be retiring one month into the role!
      I hope that helps, all the best with your application!
      – The McLaren Associates team

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