Insights into the Health Sector employer panel 2018

Careers in the Health Sector:

Insights from St John of God Geelong Hospital , Epworth Healthcare & Barwon Health

As many of you would be aware, the health care and social assistance industry is Australia’s biggest employer. We were honoured to hold the Health Sector Insight Employer Panel in July 2018. The panel members presented an overview of their organisation and an insight into their sector as well as an outline of their recruitment process and types of opportunities available.

The panel consisted of:
Mick Fuller (Senior HR Manger) Epworth Healthcare
Jacinta Kenny (Talent Acquisition Adviser) Barwon Health
Dinie MacRae (Learning & Development Manager) and Michael Trainor St John of God Geelong Hospital

Epworth Healthcare
Mick Fuller – Senior HR Manager

Epworth has been around for 100 years and is the largest private not for profit hospital. Epworth moved to Geelong in 2016. They had 400 employees in July when they opened and now has 950 employees. The Epworth Group employs over 7000 people with the majority of staff employed in Richmond.

Potential employees need to be passionate about the organisation and motivated by shared values. He says although technical skills are important it is the shared cultural values that are important. He was attracted to the Epworth name and the professional and diverse environment they offer.

The Epworth Workforce
As a hospital, hospitality is the key so any background in hospitality is good. Epworth is a service industry and prioritises patient focussed skills then looks at other skills: technical and transferable

Clinical and general staff opportunities can include:
Theatre Technicians: Involves bringing in the equipment and setting up the theatre. Certified role so you need a Certificate to be employed. Shortage of theatre technicians in Geelong.

Administrative Positions: Includes Reception, Personal Assistants and Ward Clerks. Lots of competition for a small number of roles.

Food Services
Primarily employs people with hospitality skills and emphasises customer service.

Food Service Model involves personalised service following a hotel model. The menu is catered to your personal needs, including medical and dietary requirements.

What Epworth looks for in an employee

Technical Skills
Skills/Qualifications that are required for each role
NB: If qualifications are required, candidates will have the same qualifications.

Non-Technical Skills – This is where people can differentiate themselves

Employability skills that transfer from past experiences: teamwork, communication/customer service, organisational skills etc

Values – Epworth takes their values very seriously

Respect, Excellence, Community, Compassion, Integrity, Accountability

Look on the website and find out about the values. In an interview, think about how your values align with theirs.

NB: As a hospital, hospitality is key.

Epworth’s Recruitment Process

Application process
Requires Cover Letter (1 Page) and Resume (2- 3 pages).
The layout must be easy to read and formatting consistent.
Tailor to organisation and reflect the values and mission, particularly in the Profile or Career Objective in the Resume
Ensure your past employment reflects the skills required. Tailor these to the position

Interview process
Preparation is key as it shows respect for the organisation.
There will be a values question so give a tangible and authentic example of where you demonstrated the value.
Use the STAR process: Focus on a clear example and allow your self time to respond
Practice well.
It is a Face-to-face Interview – 45min – 1hr with hiring manager and a representative from HR.
Come prepared and know about the environment. Make sure to check the website. This shows motivation, respect and initiative.

Advertising of roles
95% of roles are advertised, as they are looking for the best person for the role.
Advertised on:
Epworth website –
Specialty Job Boards

Can complete an Expression of Interest on the website, indicating the roles you are interested in, and you will receive an email to notify when those types of roles are advertised.

How to apply for a job at Epworth
Submit a Resume, Cover Letter and response to Key Selection Criteria.

4-5 page maximum
Don’t be distracting
Don’t use colour or different font throughout the document
Keep professional
Use a single font in 11 or 12pt
No photos

Cover letter
Tailor your cover letter – very important!
Make sure to change the name of the company – this shows care and attention to detail
Brief and to the point
1 page
Demonstrate what you can bring to Epworth

Key Selection Criteria
Flexible with regards to addressing Key Selection Criteria and won’t always ask for this to be completed separately
Look at the Position Description and address how your skills match and how your motivation fits
Show that you are committed to professional development
Show your connection to the community. This can be through involvement with sporting clubs or coaching your kid’s soccer team. This tells about you as a person.
Lots of people have the technical skills, but less meet the criteria of fit, culture and personality.

Barwon Health
Jacinta Kenny – Talent Acquisition Adviser 

Barwon Health is the largest employer in Geelong, employing over 7000 people. They look after people from birth through to death and have 21 sites, including the hospital, Grace McKellar Centre, a number of Aged Care facilities and look after patients all the way to the South Australian border. Values driven organisation.

Health is the fastest growing industry in Geelong and Barwon Health advertises 40 jobs per week on average. It is an exciting industry with new innovations and a secure future. You may not get the role you want but getting a foot in the door is crucial as this allows you to move around later. Talent Community means that you can upload a profile and it will come to Jacinta’s team.

The Barwon Health Workforce
Volunteers are important and this may be a pathway into Barwon Health
Employees are diverse: technical and then areas such as administrative and food services
In administrative roles positions are often casual to start but allows you to get an overview of the organisation, gain experience and monitor internal positions, so it could be a stepping stone. Jacinta recommended autotyping as requiring many people and top of the list in the casual pool needs.

Casual Administration Pool
Administration roles are highly contested but Jacinta recommended registering with the Casual Administration Pool when open.

Seen as internal candidates, so can apply for internal roles. Allows you to connect with different departments.

What Barwon Health looks for in an employee
All about the attitude in particular shared values and understanding the mission of Barwon Health in helping the community.

People who are excited about working in health care and are passionate about improving patients outcomes and understanding

Barwon Health’s Recruitment Process

Application Process:
Tailor both Cover Letter and Resume to the position and organisation
Don’t upload the wrong resume or cover letter and ensure there are no mistakes in names, dates or positions.
In the resume the Career Objective or Profile is a chance to link to the values and mission of Barwon Health.
Focus on the skills required and align your past employment to demonstrate those skills

Interview Process
Decentralised process – each manager runs their own interviews.
Phone Interview First

Panel of 2 or 3 including the manager in that area
Talk about your passions and how you align with Barwon Health’s values.
Make sure you are prepared and take notes in.
Research: Website, Position Description, Values
If you know someone who works at Barwon Health, ask them!
Call the Manager (if name on ad) and ask questions to start to build your relationship.
They understand that it’s scary and you’ll probably be nervous.
Will be asked behavioural questions so have examples ready. Will require the use of STAR and centre around awareness of self, communication and relationship building skills
Ensure positive examples are used.
Will be asked motivation/values question such as Why do you want to work with us.

Advertised on the website –
Huge pool of volunteers.

Advertising of roles
Lots of internal advertising, due to the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement and the fact that Barwon Health encourages people to progress.

Casual Positions – lots of casual positions come up. Don’t be scared to apply as there are opportunities to pick up more shifts once you are in the door.

Can register your interest online and will be sent job alerts.

Advertised on the website –

How to apply for a job at Barwon Health

Before you apply, think about:
Can you be available 24/7?
Are you passionate and excited about this industry?

Need to upload a Cover Letter, Resume and then answer the Key Selection Criteria.

Only include what’s relevant and focus on your key skills
Have a profile at the top to give a snapshot of you at a glance
Clear and concise, easy to read with a good layout
Include volunteering opportunities as this shows your connection to the community and can demonstrate required skills.

Cover Letter
Link yourself to the organisation and values.
Talk about 3 – 4 top skills
Show your passion clearly through what you have done before.

Key Selection Criteria
Part of the process.
Use clear examples and stick to the focus.
Use STAR technique

Dinie MacRae – Learning & Development Manager
Michael Trainor – Director of Mission and Integration

To meet the needs of the people of Greater Geelong and the Western District, our hospital has expanded to 276 beds, with more than 400 accredited medical practitioners offering services that include:

medical and surgical
cancer care
intensive and cardiac care

People and culture matter, along with caring relationships within our hospital. Our focus is driven by our mission and values. Potential will need to demonstrate that they align to the values and are the right fit for the culture and the organisation.

Our Values – The core Values reflect our heritage and guide our behaviours:

Hospitality – A welcoming openness to all; to the familiar and the mystery of self, people, ideals, experience, nature and to God.
Compassion – Feeling with another in their discomfort or suffering and striving to understand the other’s experience with a willingness to reach out.
Respect – An attitude treasuring the unique dignity of every person and recognising the sacredness of all creation.
Justice – A balanced and fair relationship with yourself, neighbour, all of creation and God.
Excellence – Giving the optimum standard of care and service within available resources.

St John of God Geelong – Workforce

Technical/Clinical and General Opportunities

Allied Health, Theatre Technician, Nursing (all students may complete placements which may provide opportunities for employment)

Other roles: Administration, Food Services, Patient Service

Volunteer experience is valued and provides opportunities to gain experience within a hospital.

Clinical coders are much sort after and paid well.

What SJOG looks for in an employee
Applicants need to demonstrate motivation to work with the organisation along with a genuine interest in the role they are applying for.

How to apply for a job at SJOG
Register on the website and receive an email alert.
Applications should include: cover letter, key selection criteria and resume (try to focus on what you bring to the role and the organisation – (ie experience, volunteering, and match to culture)

Interview Preparation (Behavioural Interview)
Ensure you prepare and practice. Know why you want to work with us, why you want the role, what’s important to you and how you align to SJOG’s mission and values. TIP: Some of the questions you may be asked include: teamwork, initiative, time management, strengths and weaknesses

Helpful Tips (General)
There are lots of casual opportunities, so make the most of these. We are very lucky in Geelong that we have a great hospital network.

Casual gets your foot in the door and there are lots of opportunities. People are working across multiple organisations and hospitals in Geelong.

You are able to put in your availability on a weekly or monthly basis and it will match to what manager’s need.

It’s ok if you aren’t available all the time or if you can’t do a shift, as there is a big pool of casuals.

However, be responsive. If you are knocking back lots of shifts, it will seem like you are not available.

People are moving around the organisation more, opening up more opportunities.

Interviews: Be early (remember hospitals can be difficult to navigate and/or find parking), presentation is important, be confident, smile, shake hands with the interviewers and ensuring you have at least one or two questions prepared at the end of the interview.

If you are interested in a career in the health sector, require assistance with your application or interviews, please book your FREE one-on-one appointment with any of the Skills and Jobs Centre by calling 5225 0700.