Industry Insights into Careers at WorkSafe

WorkSafe

If you’re looking for an organisation that’s clear about its purpose and plays a vital role in the community, then WorkSafe might be the right place for you. WorkSafe is a unique employer as they have to balance two arms of the business – acting as a regulator and administering the Work Safe Act and running an insurance compensation business. Ultimately the goal of everyone working at WorkSafe is to ensure that every Victorian worker returns home safe.

Yesterday we were delighted to be joined by Gemma Simpson and Ilona Russell from the Talent Acquisition team at WorkSafe to learn about their recruitment process. It was interesting to hear about Gemma and Ilona’s careers and how they have pathwayed into roles at WorkSafe.

Gemma has been at WorkSafe for two years. Her career started at a local radio station, where she also completed a Certificate IV in Business Sales qualification, she then progressed on to completing a Diploma of Business traineeship with a local plumbing company. After relocating to Geelong from Colac, she was working in a retail role at Cotton On Body when she was head-hunted by one of the Recruitment Managers at Cotton On Head Office, which is where her career in recruitment commenced. She then went onto a recruitment role with one of the top agencies in Geelong before commencing at WorkSafe. Gemma’s career history is a great example of the importance of continuing to upskill your qualifications as well as how many employers hire for attitude and train for skills.

Ilona Russell has been at WorkSafe for five months. Ilona had a 14 year career at Woolworths progressing through a number of roles and also completing a degree in Human Resources at the same time. Unfortunately despite Ilona’s intention to continue her career at Woolworths, the HR function relocated to Brisbane which left her looking for work. Ilona also worked with a recruitment agency for two years, before accepting a short-term contract role at WorkSafe which quickly turned into a long-term opportunity and sees her as a permanent member of the Talent Acquisition team. Ilona’s career history shows that sometimes taking a leap of faith and perhaps taking a “sideways” move in your career, can in fact be the best move!

WorkSafe Victoria employs over 1200 people in a range of roles. There are three business units operating within WorkSafe

  • Corporate Operations – Finance, Human Resources, Board Secretary etc.
  • Inspectorate – Health and Safety Inspectors
  • Insurance – Claims, Return to Work etc.

As a side note, Information Technology is a shared service between WorkSafe and TAC and all vacancies for that department will be advertised by TAC.

Ilona handles recruitment for the Inspector roles which are divided into three fields.

  • Specialist – roles requiring high level qualifications like ergonomist, hygienist, psychologist,
  • Construction – based in Essendon Fields, Mulgrave and Melbourne CBD,
  • Multi-disciplinary – Nursing, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Transport, Retail, Hospitality etc.

It is important to note that these are not entry level roles and it is vital that you bring relevant skills and experience, which have preferably been gained by working across a variety of industry sectors. While a qualification in Work Health Safety would be highly regarded, it is also advantageous to have gained practical knowledge and experience of work health and safety through roles such as WHS representative, member of a WHS committee or Return to Work coordinator.

The perks of the Inspector roles include a $98,000 salary plus superannuation, uniform, access to a vehicle and an intensive 16 week on and off-site training program to prepare you for the role.

WorkSafe are trying to change the perception of the Inspector roles within the community to one of support, providing advice, education and guidance to workplaces. A heavy on-site presence is obviously a key component to this role and a key skill is the ability to negotiate and influence stakeholders. There is an admin component to the role also, as a report needs to be written following every workplace visit. This function will be moving to online reporting as technology innovations are implemented throughout the business.

Here is a link to more information about the recruitment process for Health and Safety Inspectors.

https://wemake.worksafe.vic.gov.au/how-to-apply

Many who attended yesterday were interested in roles in the Corporate Operations and Insurance side of the WorkSafe business, so here is some information about the recruitment process for these roles.

A hot tip from Gemma, who recruits many of these roles, was to set up a profile on the WorkSafe Careers website which will then email you an alert when a job matching your skills and interests is advertised.

Here is a link for you to set up your own profile

https://wemake.worksafe.vic.gov.au/register/

  • 10 days – that’s how long the vacancy will be advertised for on the website. Please note that not all jobs are advertised on Seek. When you find a job that you want to apply for, Gemma recommended printing off the Position Description and a copy of your resume so you can make sure the information you are presenting on your resume matches the required skills. This also means that you need to tailor your resume to every job application you are submitting.
  • 3 – 5 days – that’s generally how long it takes to review all of the application received. WorkSafe are one of the growing number of organisations who no longer require Key Selection Criteria to be completed, so make sure you have a strong, well-written and accurate cover letter and resume.
  • 1 hour – that’s how long an interview will go for. The interview will be a mix of technical and behavioural questions and it’s recommended to follow the STAR method when preparing an answer.

If you are applying for a role that is part of a recruitment campaign such as the Inspector roles or a Graduate position, the recruitment process is lengthier…it does take a bit more time to shortlist 30 people from a pool of 2000 applications! A video interview, psychometric testing and a medical assessment may all be part of the recruiting process.

A final word of encouragement from Gemma and Ilona was that if you have the relevant skills and experience, please keep applying for roles. WorkSafe are in a period of growth and are always recruiting positions whether that be as a result of natural attrition or innovation driving the need for new roles. Their first preference is to go to market to gain new talent.

The Skills and Jobs Centre can be valuable resource when it comes to reviewing your job application. The Resume Workshop runs once a month and can help you craft an effective resume and a strong cover letter, book your spot by calling 5225 0700.

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