Investing in Indigenous businesses leads to greater economic empowerment, job creation and social return for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities, a recent report compiled by Australian leader in supplier diversity Supply Nation has found.

According to the report for every $1 spent with Indigenous business, an average $4.41 of social return is generated. The social and economic value created ranges from $1.13 to $10.93.

That means your dollar is working around four times harder when it is spent with Indigenous businesses.

But what do we mean when we say, ‘social return’?

Social return is the added value that relates to environmental, social, and cultural benefits that come from working with Indigenous businesses.

Examples of this include Indigenous-owned businesses strengthening their Indigenous employees’ connection to culture, owners of Indigenous businesses reinvesting revenue into their communities, and Indigenous business owners that were part of the stolen generation using their business to create a place of belonging and healing.

‘Indigenous businesses are more than a means of economic independence: they enable their owners to build resilience and pride in their communities,’ the report states.

‘For their employees, they sustain connection to culture, as well as provide a work environment in which to learn and thrive. For the families of Certified Supplier business owners, these businesses are a proving ground where young Indigenous people develop their capacity to pursue their desired careers and grow into leaders themselves. Certified Suppliers leverage every aspect of their businesses to strengthen their communities and culture.’

It is a statement that resonates well with Asquith Workforce Managing Director, Jillian Asquith.

“As a proud Awabakal woman, it meant a lot to me to not only start a business of my own but to create opportunities for other Indigenous people to pursue the fulfilment that comes with meaningful work,” she says.

“Our recruitment company Asquith Workforce is 100 per cent Aboriginal owned and operated and while we work with and assist people from all cultures and demographics, supporting Aboriginal clients, candidates and those looking to build their own start-up has a special place in my heart because I understand at every level, what those opportunities mean for both the individual and the Indigenous community as a whole.”

“Our recruitment company Asquith Workforce is 100 per cent Aboriginal owned and operated and while we work with and assist people from all cultures and demographics, supporting Aboriginal clients, candidates and those looking to build their own start-up has a special place in my heart because I understand at every level, what those opportunities mean for both the individual and the Indigenous community as a whole…” Asquith Managing Director, Jillian Asquith

So far, Asquith Workforce has secured roles for Aboriginal jobseekers across more than 50 industries including blue-collar and white-collar roles and has also worked hand-in-hand with business start-ups.

‘Supporting Aboriginal business and job seekers is key to ensuring local communities thrive and prosper both financially and culturally,” Jillian says.

“This report is proof that by investing in Aboriginal business, companies can contribute to ensuring both current and future generations of the Indigenous business sector are able to provide financial, cultural, and emotional growth to its communities.”

The emotional impacts of COVID-19 are different for everyone, but for those who rely upon the workplace for social stimulation, working remotely can take its toll.

A recent study on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 in the workplace carried out by mental health support organisation Relationships Australia found that ‘7% of respondents reported a significant change to their work place since the crisis began, while 63% agreed these changes have had an impact on their mental health.’

While working from home may suit some of us, the absence of daily social interaction and the wearing of masks for those classified as essential workers can have a greater impact on others.

Asquith Workforce Managing Director Jillian Asquith said as we move into extended periods of lockdown and remote working, it is more important than ever to nurture the social side of work.

“Pre-COVID most of us took for granted the social interaction that came with work,” she said.

“Regardless of whether you work on a construction site, in an office environment, or anything in-between, social interaction plays an important role at work. There’s a certain energy that comes with collaborating on projects, working as a team, and sharing experiences. For full-time employees, the people we work with are often the people we spend the most time with over a working week, so to have those connections severed can have significant impacts.

“Additionally, while the wearing of masks is one of the best tools we have for staying safe from COVID-19, for essential workers they can also create an emotional barrier when it comes to communicating and interacting with colleagues.”

Jillian said the inability to hold social and team building events with staff also was contributing to the loss of emotional and social connection at work

“Trust and connection are key factors in ensuring a cohesive, productive, and fulfilled staff members and without those social moments that allow staff to personally connect, it becomes harder to keep that sense of being a team all working toward a common goal,” she said.

“Trust and connection are key factors in ensuring a cohesive, productive, and fulfilled staff members and without those social moments that allow staff to personally connect, it becomes harder to keep that sense of being a team all working toward a common goal…”

As we work toward the 80% vaccination rate that will see life return to what we expect will be a new normal, Jillian says regular connection and forward planning are imperative.

“Until we can safely return to working in a somewhat traditional environment regular connection and catch ups both online and on the phone are imperative,” she said.

“It is important to discuss work-related topics in these communications but it’s also important to just chat and stay connected, to understand what’s going on in people’s lives.

“Forward planning of social events and activities is also extremely important. While it can be frustrating trying to plan when the goal posts move along with the virus, ensuring staff have something to look forward to and are reminded there is an end in sight, can have a significant impact on mental health and social connection.”


Right now, many of us are working from home and that means more emails are being sent than ever before. But are you doing it correctly?

Emails are one of the primary sources of workplace communication, so it is important our messages hit the mark. According to SEEK, employees often send rude emails without ever realising their messages may be on the nose.

To make sure you are delivering your message effectively, be sure to avoid the following mistakes:

  1. Not opening with some friendly remarks

Be sure to open with some pleasantries instead of getting straight to the point. A simple ‘hope your week is going well’ and ending with something nice like you appreciate their time/help, is easy and always well received.


  1. Not blind copying in unrelated recipients

When it comes to emails there’s not a lot of people dislike more than when someone outs their email address to 100+ unknown recipients to see.

We get that sometimes it’s a lot easier to send out a group email than to do it in small batches or even one by one, but never forget to blind copy (BCC) unrelated recipients so their contact isn’t made available to everyone on the list.


  1. Including poor grammar and/or typos

Regardless of what industry you are in, it’s always important to communicate effectively and professionally. Poor grammar and typos are the quickest way to tell your recipient that you either haven’t paid attention to your correspondence or you are not up to speed with your grammar and spelling. If you’re unsure, the quickest and easiest way is to write your email copy in Word, check for errors, then copy and paste it into your email.


  1. Not keeping it simple

It’s an email, not a novel. People are busy and unless it’s something super important most people scan their email for the point. If you can keep your emails short, sharp, and straight forward your message will be better received.


  1. Sending your email to the wrong recipient

This one goes without saying – especially if it is less than complimentary. We’ve all heard stories of people sending an email about someone to that very someone, then shrieking in horror after pressing send. Even if your email is not uncomplimentary, it’s still not a great look having to apologise and explain you sent it to the wrong person. So before hitting send, double-check you have the correct recipient selected.

If the idea of talking yourself up in a job interview makes you feel like a bit of a toss bag, you are not alone. According to SEEK, less than 20% of job seekers feel confident when it comes to selling themselves to a potential employer but trust us when we tell that if you don’t, another candidate will.

When you sit down in front of a potential employer you have to put your best foot forward, and that doesn’t mean shouting from the rooftops how great you are.  In simple terms, it just means being able to show your interviewer that you have the skills and experience they are looking for.

According to Asquith Workforce Managing Director Jillian Asquith, one mistake many job seekers make is thinking their abilities will become apparent when they start in the role, but if you fail to communicate your strengths in the interview you may miss out on getting a start altogether.

“There’s a big difference between arrogance and confidence,” Jillian said.

“In a job interview, confidence comes from knowing your strengths, understanding how they will benefit the company, and being able to communicate that to a potential employer.”

So here are our tips for how to showcase your career strengths in an interview, without showing off!

  1. Don’t make it about you – at first

Yeah okay, so this sounds weird but what we mean is do your research on the company before the interview. The more you know about their culture, what they are looking for, and what you can bring to the table, the easier it will be to communicate how you can add value through your skills and experience.

  1. Be a storyteller

Book authors have a term they use frequently when it comes to becoming a successful writer and it’s ‘show, don’t tell’. It means to paint the picture, to explain things in a way that makes people see it in their minds eye. By using specific examples of your past success and telling them as a story eg… this, happened, so I did that, and the outcome was this (something awesome of course), you can better engage your potential employer and really showcase what you have to offer

  1. Listen. Listen

We know you’re all excited (and by excited we mean buzzing with anxiety) when you walk into your job interview. You’ve probably got a mental list of all the things you need to tell them, but don’t let all that nervous energy stop you from listening to what your potential employer is saying. By calmly and carefully listening to the questions you can get a good gauge on what they are looking for and tailor your answers to best showcase your skills as they apply to the role. Responding to the exact question will put you in a much better light than rattling off your pre-prepared answers that may or may not be relevant.

  1. Telling them what you’ll bring to the role

This old chestnut comes up a lot and if you want to get the job you have better done your research before they ask the question. By providing an answer that showcases how you will use your skills to enhance certain aspects their company culture or add value to a specific project you are sure to stand out.

As we, ideally, head toward a post-COVID world, there is no denying traditional office dynamics and structures are not what they used to be. More and more companies are not only allowing but encouraging, team members to work remotely either from another location or from home.

While this can provide an improved work-life balance for employees and can lead to improved employee retention and lower business expenses, having a hybrid workforce can also lead to a lack of communication and engagement between the traditional office and staff who are working remotely.

“As a recruitment agency we deal with numerous employers and are definitely seeing an increase in opportunities for candidates to work remotely, particularly in the white-collar space,” Asquith Workforce Managing Director Jillian Asquith said.

“While this can be a great incentive for recruiting the right candidate, it is vitally important for employers to make sure there are strategies in place to keep remote employees engaged and feeling like they are a part of, not just the team, but something greater – the industry they represent.”


Here are our Top Tips for keeping remote employees engaged with your company


  1. Transparency and Frequency = Inclusion

Clearly, not all company information can be shared with staff, but regular updates of company goals and how employees can contribute and be a part of the journey can be a great way to keep everyone engaged and feeling they are part of something bigger than their individual roles.

By sharing what the company is working on overall and discussing any troubleshooting (where applicable ) with staff, can also offer a sense of ownership and emotional investment in the company and its overall success.


  1. Make time to touch base or recognise work well done

Being a company leader can be a busy and time-consuming role, but without the full commitment of your employees your business will inevitably suffer. By making the time to touch base, via a phone call or face-to-face online platform, and taking the time to recognize work well done, can make a huge difference in the productivity and commitment of your staff.


  1. Consider revising your internal communications strategy

If your internal comms strategy was created pre-COVID it’s definitely worth reviewing it in the brave new world of remote working. Be sure to consider the new challenges a hybrid workforce brings and how to address them. By including the feedback of those employees working remotely you can provide a sense of ownership and engagement from staff who do not work in the main office.


  1. Utilise online platforms as your new townhall

Your existing internal engagement strategy may include regular, or sporadic, town hall meetings and by that we don’t mean actually meeting at the town hall of course – it’s just a communications term for large-scale staff meetings and workshops. But, if your team includes staff who work remotely and are not able to attend such meetings, having them Skype or Zoom in when everyone else is face-to-face it can feel a little disharmonious, whereas levelling the field by having everyone on the online platform can create a sense of unity and inclusion across the company.


  1. Make use of technology

There are a number of apps out there today, some free, that can work wonders when integrated into an internal comms plan and calendar.

One free online brainstorming app is Miro, which allows staff to participate in a variety of think tank and mind mapping boards, while another almost free at $8 month for unlimited team members, app is Notion which can curate multiple items including roadmaps, documents, CRMs, design, and marketing into a multi-user system.



There are now more available jobs advertised in Australia than we have seen since November 2008, but while opportunities for employment are on the rise, it’s also worth considering that employer needs have changed post-COVID.

“Traditional work skills will always be valued and in high demand, however, post-COVID employers are also looking for employees who can bring soft skills, meaning traits like resilience, agility, and emotional intelligence to the workplace,” Asquith Workforce managing director Jillian Asquith said.

With that in mind, here are the top-five in-demand skills recruiters are looking for right now and how to demonstrate your abilities.


  1. Resilience

If COVID demanded anything of us it was the ability to be resilient. So, what does it mean to be resilient in the workplace? Put simply, it means having the ability to embrace change without experiencing any detrimental impacts to your mental health and wellbeing.

You can showcase your resilience in an interview by discussing ways you have managed change in your life, either work-related, personal or whatever you are comfortable with sharing.


  1. Proactivity

COVID called for both innovative and proactive thinking from business owners and leaders. Post-COVID, companies are continuing to look for new ways to future-protect their businesses and ensure they can survive and even thrive through drastically changed circumstances. It makes sense they would value the same forward-thinking ability in their employees.

You can showcase your ability to be proactive by providing examples of any times you have gone above and beyond in your role, times you have thought outside the square to problem-solve or even mentioning any constructive activities you did throughout COVID if you were not able to attend or carry out your job.


  1. Emotional Intelligence

While your demonstrated resilience and proactive nature will rate high with potential employers, they also know that not all their staff can harness these traits. If you can also show your potential employer that emotional intelligence is something that you are equipped with, it will go a long way in demonstrating your ability to communicate and interact with other employees. In times of change or challenge your ability to step up and assist others with empathy, understanding and patience will be a well-value trait.

You can demonstrate your emotional intelligence throughout your interview by talking through ways you have overcome workplace challenges in the past, what skills you used to overcome them, and what you took away from the experience.


  1. Enthusiasm for upskilling

COVID also taught us, among other things, that change can come about in what feels like an instant. Having multiple skills under your belt is a valuable asset not just to a potential employer but also for yourself. Most people have a certain career skillset, but we learned during COVID that sometimes specific skills can be rendered unusable when circumstances change. By voluntarily learning new skills that either complement or may even be completely different from the role you do now, can show that you are a forward-thinking, enthusiastic to learn, and open to new things.

You can show your enthusiasm for personal and career growth to a potential employer by talking about any course or experience you have proactively sought to increase your skills and abilities.


  1. Embracing digital technology

Despite changes brought about by COVID which saw many workers carry out their duties from home, not all jobs can be done digitally. That said, the recruitment process has also changed with many interviews now being carried out online. So even if your work is carried out on a job site, outdoors, or on the road, showing you understand basic digital technology like Zoom, email, text, and other digital communication platforms will go a long way in helping you put your best foot forward.

You can showcase your digital skills by taking the time to embrace and understand basic digital communications so when your potential online interview is set up you can nail it like a pro.



Places of work are usually made up of numerous personalities, all suited to different roles within the business, so it’s no surprise that different personality types don’t always see eye to eye. But there are several ways to create a conflict-free workplace and to provide a healthy, positive, and productive place for your employees.

“Given the amount of time we spend at work, our workplaces can often feel like being part of a big family and you only have to think about what often happens at family get-togethers to know conflict can arise,” says Asquith Workforce Managing Director Jillian Asquith.

“The main thing to remember when creating a conflict-free workplace is that families can resolve their issues because emotions like care and compassion are never far from the surface, even in the heat of the moment. Nurturing those same qualities in your employee interactions is also the key to creating a conflict-free workplace.”


Strategies to help create a conflict-free workplace

  1. Assess the situation calmly

When two people are not seeing eye to eye the best thing you can do is to remain neutral, even when the situation tries your own patience. By assessing the situation with calm and compassionate communication you can diffuse the situation and keep a clear head which will allow you to better assess the situation and understand the problem.


  1. Maintain established protocols

Hard and fast rules and protocols that all employees understand can help create a sense of fairness when conflict resolution is required. When everyone understands the frameworks that are in place for behaviour and workplace expectations it can not only limit conflict but also lead to a speedy resolution.


  1. Listen

One thing that infuriates many people both at work and out of work is when they don’t feel heard. Sometimes simply listening and responding in a way that lets someone know they are being heard can diffuse much of the tension in a conflict-based situation. By listening to the problem and when the employee has finished, simply repeating your interpretation of the issue the person knows without a doubt that you have heard what they have to say. Even if the issue cannot be immediately resolved, the sense of being heard and valued will go a long way toward placating your upset employee/s.


  1. Provide mediation

When individuals or teams cannot see eye to eye providing a safe and inclusive space with a third-party mediator can be a good way to resolve conflict. If you can provide a neutral mediator to facilitate a calm and constructive conversation, as a company leader you can simply sit in and get a broad understanding of what needs to be resolved without becoming emotionally or directly involved in the dispute.

  1. Lead by Example

It will be hard for you to resolve conflict using the company’s existing protocols if you do not adhere to them yourself. Employees who respect their company leaders are more likely to compromise or be open to resolving conflict if they are in the presence of someone who they do not believe would behave or react with anger or high emotion.


When we think about the risk of injury occurring on worksites it’s natural to imagine physical accidents, but that is not the only kind of workplace injury that can affect your workers.

According to Safe Work Australia, psychological hazards in the workplace can include anything in the design or management of work that causes stress to an employee.

On a worksite, these risks can include things like exposure to bullying, aggression, discrimination, lack of support, proximity to high emotional distress from other workers, and/or sudden and drastic change within the workplace.

According to Asquith Workforce Managing Director Jillian Asquith, industries like construction often have the highest rates of depression and anxiety within their workforce and so it is imperative that employers take steps to ensure the mental wellbeing of their teams.

“We work closely with community organisations like Lifeline, as well as our clients, to ensure workshops like Mind Your Mates and other mental health initiatives are accessible to workers, but mental health and wellbeing is an important topic that should be regularly addressed in the workplace,” she said.

“Ensuring your workforce is happy in their job and experiencing emotional wellbeing is the number one priority when it comes to workplace mental health, but the mental stability of your workforce is also directly related to things like employee retention and return on investment.

“Taking steps to support the mental wellbeing of your workforce is important, and when done successfully, provides a win-win situation for everyone.”

Safe Work Australia has a Four-Step Preventative Process to help company leaders manage psychological wellbeing, intervene early, and take action to prevent workers from becoming ill or sustaining a psychological injury.


­Step One: Identify

Identify psychological hazards and risks by:

  • Talking and listening to your workers
  • Inspecting your workplace
  • Taking note of how your workers interact
  • Reviewing reports and workers
  • Using a survey to gather information from staff


Step Two: Assess

Consider what could happen if workers are exposed to the identified hazards and risks. Many hazards and risks. Many hazards and their associated risks are well-known but some may need to be identified through a formal assessment process.


Step Three: Control

Where possible, eliminate the risk. This is always the safest option, but if it isn’t possible, minimize the risk as much as possible through planning and prevention.


Step 4: Review

Maintain, monitor, and review control measures when necessary. It is important to regularly review control measures to ensure they remain effective.


Asquith Workforce is a no-judgment, culturally diverse recruitment agency with a commitment to placing the right person in the right role, regardless of ethnicity or gender.

For all your recruitment and labour-hire needs contact us at or call 1300 737 751.



Everyone who has ever taken a deep breath and sat down at a job interview has considered stretching the truth if it means potentially landing the job, but….

 We don’t want to hear things that make you ‘sound’ like the perfect candidate.

Inevitably, providing false or embellished experience doesn’t do you or the employer any good once you’re expected to carry out the role based on the information you provided during the interview.

But if you’re still thinking about talking it up just a smidge, here’s the Top 5 Lies we definitely don’t want to hear during your interview – and we’ll know because that’s just how we are…


#1. I have my own reliable transport

Please do not say this if the truth is that you really plan to rely on public transport, share the car with your partner, borrow your parent’s old Mazda that’s in need of a new clutch, brake, or spark plugs, use your housemate’s car on the day he or she isn’t working, or ANY of these types of scenarios. If having your own reliable transport is part of the deal, then it is for a reason and while employers understand that sometimes a car can break down, having no transport on a regular basis is not okay.


#2. I haven’t applied for any other roles at the moment

We get that you might not want to put all your eggs in one basket, but just be honest. As a recruitment agency, we put a lot of work into finding the right candidate and if that turns out to be you, it’s not cool if you then turn down the job. And agencies remember things like that, so long-term you’re really only hurting yourself and any future possibility of us finding you a role.


#3. I resigned or decided to leave my last role

If that decision was actually made for you, please don’t be creative with the reason you left. A recruitment agency or direct employer will check and then you’ll be found out. If there was a reason you lost your last role, just be upfront. We know that not all workplaces have great cultures and by being honest you’re showing that you are also trustworthy, and that’s a big thing.


#4. My last role was working alongside the Prime Minister.

If it was, kudos to you, but if what you really mean is that you were a civil labourer working on a construction site somewhere in the vicinity of Parliament House and once caught a glimpse of ScoMo cruising by, then just go with that. Employers want to know what your last role was so they can either help you back into that industry or work with you to find a new career path that will bring you more job satisfaction.


#5. I’m an experienced labourer, excavator, tree surgeon, acrobat, sharpshooter, and astronaut.

We don’t ever want to hear about experience, licenses, or tickets that you don’t really have. It’s a time-waster for the employer, and for yourself, and in worst-case scenarios it can be dangerous. If a role requires specific tickets, licenses, or accreditations we’ll need to see them, and ‘winging’ it in regard to experience on a worksite can be very dangerous for you and your colleagues. So please just be honest about your current capabilities, and about what we can help you gain experience in going forward.


As a recruitment agency experienced in placing candidates in various roles from labour-hire to executive positions, trust us when we say we’ve heard it all. In addition to your experience, a positive attitude and honesty are also highly regarded attributes that employers are looking for, so at your next interview by all means put your best foot forward but also be yourself. Why? Because that’s who we’re hiring.

The perception many people have of working in recruitment is that it’s a glamourous career in a sometimes-cut-throat world of sales and bottom lines. But according to Asquith Workforce Managing Director Jillian Asquith this isn’t always the case.

When Jillian made the decision to go out on her own, she was determined to break all the stereotypes and create a new culture in recruitment, one that would better reflect her own vision for what the industry could, and should, be all about.

“After spending 20+ years in various recruitment agencies, believe me when I say I’ve seen it all. The good, the bad, and the worse,” she said.

“When I founded Asquith Workforce it was with the aim of redesigning the culture of recruitment and teaching the next generation of consultants to have a very different view of what this job is all about.”

While recruitment can be a sales-based career, according to Jillian it also about changing people’s lives – and sometimes your own in the process.

“For me, recruitment is about the people. It’s about understanding them, listening to them, and ultimately helping them to improve their circumstances which can often result in changing their lives.

“The funny thing is, by doing that you can sometimes change your own life as well. Through work, I have met some of the most important people in my life. My work has also meant starting a business which also changed my life dramatically.”

“For me, recruitment is about the people. It’s about understanding them, listening to them, and ultimately helping them to improve their circumstances which can often result in changing their lives ” – Jillian Asquith

A career in recruitment can be extremely rewarding, and lucrative for those who go the extra mile, but for Jillian, the reward has always been the ability to help people.

“If you approach this job with compassion there is so much reward in it,” she said.

“When you speak to a candidate you never know what they’ve been through before picking up the phone, how many rejections they’ve had, or what being successful in getting a job might mean for them.

“This kind of career really gives you the opportunity to make a difference and create a great future for yourself as well. That’s what I’m trying to instill in the current team we have at Asquith Workforce, and inevitably the next generation of recruitment specialists we welcome into the company.”