Top tips from employers on getting a job in Health & Community Services in Geelong

The Skills and Jobs Centre recently held an employer panel as part of our Festival of Change, featuring representatives from Barwon Health, Karingal and the City of Greater Geelong. In addition to providing an overview of their organisations, the panel offered some excellent tips and tricks for those wanting to work within the sector.

With Geelong becoming a Health and Education hub, working in the Health sector offers secure, long-term work. There are a variety of roles available in addition to specialist medical positions, however these roles don’t tend to be highly paid. People who work in the sector do so because they want to work with and support others, not because they want to earn the big bucks. If this sounds like you, then one of these organisations may be the employer for you:

Employer Snapshot: Barwon Health

  • Employs over 7,000 staff across 22 sites located from Geelong all the way down to Warrnambool;
  • Upcoming additions include a new hospital which is being built in the north of Geelong;
  • In the near future there will be a focus on the areas of Telehealth (a collection of means or methods for enhancing health care, public health, and health education delivery and support using telecommunications technologies) and Health Promotion;
  • Positions, including the administrative casual pool, are advertised on their website and Seek.

Christine from Talent Acquisition made the following suggestions for those wanting to work at Barwon Health:

  • Connect with Barwon Health on social media to remain up-to-date on what is happening within the organisation. Mentioning an upcoming project and highlighting how you could contribute during the recruitment process shows initiative and a real interest in the work they do;
  • View videos on their YouTube channel to find out more about the different teams and roles;
  • Volunteer – not only will it provide you with invaluable experience and connections within the organisation, it also allows you to apply for internal vacancies. Available volunteer positions can be found on their website;
  • When applying, make your resume as clear and easy to read as possible, with your skills easily identifiable;
  • Include a summary/profile section at the top of your resume which provides a snapshot of your experience;
  • Incorporate Barwon Health’s values into your cover letter;
  • If you are successful in gaining an interview, make sure you know both the values and their definitions.

Employer Snapshot: Karingal

  • Employs over 17,000 staff across Victoria, South Australia and Queensland;
  • Provides aged care, disability and mental health support services;
  • Additional arms are Karingal Training and Kommercial (catering services);
  • Will shortly be merging with St Laurence, with specific dates etc. still to be determined;

Ashlan had the following advice for those wanting to work at Karingal:

  • There is no minimum qualification requirements for their individual support workers. Instead they will be trained through Karingal Training once hired;
  • People wanting to get a taste of the sector before committing to training/a full role should consider volunteering. Karingal currently have 100’s of volunteers in the aged care and disability areas;
  • Their positions are advertised on their website and on Seek;
  • They have 4 rounds of recruitment each year, which last roughly 6-8 weeks;
  • Karingal look for staff that want to be part of the team and share in their vision, mission and guiding principles.

Employer Snapshot: City of Greater Geelong

  • Employs 300 care workers, mostly in home support, working as a mobile care force;
  • Their philosophy is doing things with people rather than for people. The goal is to help people remain independent;
  • Aged Care is one of the most secure areas to work in locally;
  • Similar reforms will occur in aged care over the next 5-10 years as has been seen with NDIS.

Geoff from Aged and Disability Services had the following advice for those wanting to work at the City of Greater Geelong:

  • All recruitment is done through Direct Recruitment, including administrative support staff;
  • They tend to employ 3-4 new workers each month;
  • The minimum qualification level is Certificate III in a relevant area such as Aged Care or Individual Support;
  • In addition to the qualification, practical experience is highly sought after – having relevant volunteer experience will benefit your application;
  • The most successful Care Workers are able to help people but keep some professional distance and do not allow themselves to become too affected.

A final few tips:

  • The sector is a small community within Geelong – network as much as possible!
  • Create a LinkedIn profile and actively engage with the organisation/s you are interested in working for;
  • Research the organisations you are interested in, particularly their values and missions;
  • Ensure you have reasonable IT skills;
  • Keep up-to-date regarding changes to the sector and reflect this knowledge during the recruitment process.

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