Industry Insights into Careers at Wyndham City Council

Wyndham City Council is a place like no other. They are the engine room behind one of Australia’s fastest growing municipalities. They design towns, build roads, run libraries, inspect buildings, manage events, look after kindergartens and so much more. The people who work at Wyndham City Council are leaders, skilled and passionate about community.

It was great to hear that Wyndham City Council is taking such affirmative action to address concerns from the community about employment in the municipality. Council is really prioritising employment for residents and they outlined a number of programs including student placement, early talent programs and traineeship pathways aimed to provide opportunities for people from all walks of life to work at Council.

Those that braved the weather on Tuesday, were able to enjoy a panel discussion featuring key staff from five departments at Council who generously shared information about the roles available in their team as well as some handy tips and tricks to help navigate the recruitment process.

Here are my highlights from the five panel members; 

Mick Keogh (Talent Acquisition) has been working at Wyndham City Council for 12 months. Mick manages the recruitment function at council and with 30 departments and 100 business units there are usually 10-15 roles being advertised. Mick makes it his job to make sure that the recruitment process is a positive experience for every applicant, regardless of the outcome.

Insider Tip (**Total Cliché Alert**) – Be yourself! Use the time at interview to sell yourself, not your resume. This is the time for you and the employer to find out about each other and if you can work together, so don’t waste time pretending to be someone you’re not.

Dave Hamra (Community Planning & Development) has been working with Wyndham City Council for nearly six years and his work as Co-ordinator Neighbourhood Hubs involves leading a team of 25 community development staff located in nine community centres across Wyndham to engage and enable local residents to build a sense of community. While a qualification in Community Services is desirable, relevant experience, being a people person and having a clear passion for working with the community is mandatory for a role in Dave’s team! With over 120 applications being received for a casual role in this team it is a competitive environment, but as Dave personally reads every application, make sure you clearly articulate your passion and excitement and provide examples of your engagement with the local community.

Insider Tip – Have a chat with someone working in that field/role or business unit at Council (if you’re lucky) to find out more about the position, the team and their goals so that you can talk confidently at interview about how you fit into the picture.

Laxmi Boodhun (Finance) has held four roles in three different departments during her three years at Wyndham City Council. She started as a Financial Accountant and most recently is employed as the Team Leader for Transactional Services – which includes Payroll, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Banking and Investment. Many of the 60 roles in the Finance department do require you to have a relevant qualification and on top of that your ability to get in and get the job done well is critical. Make sure you include an example of how you have done just that in your cover letter if you are applying for a job in Laxmi’s team!

Insider Tip – Triple check your spelling and grammar. The smallest mistake can count you out early on…particularly when you are applying for a job in a department that relies on attention to detail to get the job done!

Elaine Bugeja (City Amenity & Safety) has over 28 years’ experience in Local Government with qualifications in leadership and effective animal management.  She started her animal career through volunteer work at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in North Melbourne. Although animal welfare is Elaine’s passion, she manages a very broad portfolio of staff ranging from Parking Officers to Local Law Enforcement to Animal Welfare. One role that Elaine is often recruiting for is School Crossing Supervisor. This permanent part-time role (10 hours per week) is well suited to young people or parents returning to work.

Insider Tip – Follow your passion. Skills can be taught and professional development is readily available to assist with that growth, but passion definitely can’t be taught!

Anthony Bonnici (Facilities & Open Space) has been with Wyndham Council for seven years. He commenced his career as an Engineer and is currently the Area Leader of Open Space within the Facilities and Open Space department. Anthony’s team is responsible for overseeing the mowing and horticulture maintenance of over 2100 hectares which includes over 300 parks. If you’re thinking that a role in this department might be for you, a qualification in Horticulture, Arboriculture or Turf Management is desirable. Anthony is also looking for candidates who are eager to learn and progress and who show initiative.

Insider Tip – List achievements from previous roles at the start of your resume to help you stand out.

I also picked up these hot tips about what’s new in recruitment at Wyndham City Council.

Move over key selection criteria! What great news, you’ve got your weekend back! Wyndham City Council has joined the list of organisations that has removed the need to respond to key selection criteria. Instead focus your efforts on your cover letter. Provide a strong, convincing story about who you are, what you are about and how you can provide to the role and to the team you’ll be working with.

Catch you later STAR interview techniques! While the STAR technique of interview questions definitely has a place in recruitment, Wyndham City Council want to know about you. Why do you want to work at Council? How do you want to help the community? How can you benefit the organisation? How well do you align with the strategic plan of the organisation?

Collaboration is the #1 skill for 2020. With so many demands being placed on Council, many business units within the organisation are working together on projects, so being a people person, being adaptable and open to change and working well with different departments is a highly regarded skill.

A word about agency and casual staff. With approximately 300 of the 1800 strong workforce being agency and casual staff, a short-term opportunity certainly isn’t to be sniffed at. Wyndham City Council use a third party agency liaison organisation for short-term work. Now you can’t register directly with them, so I won’t give you a link to their organisation, but they deal with most of the Public Sector recruitment agencies like Hays and RandStad, so make sure you have registered with these agencies.

Here is a link to Wyndham City Council’s career page https://recruitment.wyndham.vic.gov.au/careers

Here is a link to the Skills and Jobs Centre workshops and events for Werribee

https://www.thegordon.edu.au/sitedocs/sjc/what-s-on-february-july-2020-w.aspx

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