Ever wondered what hiring managers are looking for when they recruit for Australia’s most sought-after ethical organisations?
In this series, we interview the people who hire at the organisations where you want to work — and we’ll give you the inside knowledge you need to make your next job application amazing.
This month we speak to Billy Blanch, Talent Acquisition Lead at Eastern Health, one of Melbourne’s largest public health services, who provide a range of emergency, surgical, medical and general healthcare services to people and communities that are diverse in culture, age, socio-economic status, population and healthcare needs.
Hi Billy, thanks for chatting with us! To kick us off, can you tell us a bit about what Eastern Health does?
Eastern Health is one of Melbourne’s largest metropolitan public health services. We support over 1.3 million episodes of patient care per year across over 60 locations in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
Our clinical services range from; Acute & Aged Medicine, Women, Children’s & Acute Specialists Clinics, Specialty Medicine & Ambulatory Care, Surgery, Mental Health, and Statewide Services including Turning Point & Spectrum.
We are always on the lookout for nurses, midwives, medical specialists, allied health professionals and also support staff including our corporate services. You can see our vacancies advertised on EthicalJobs.com.au.
What are some of the things that might attract candidates to apply to Eastern Health?
At Eastern Health, we have made a strong commitment to our new strategic plan called ‘Healthier Together’. This is our promise to not only our communities and patients but also to our staff. This has seen a large drive and emphasis on improving our workplace cultures and environments to ensure our staff feel safe, valued and enjoy coming to work.
Additionally, we pride ourselves on our learning and development programs, these include employee secondment opportunities to gain more experience in another area or a leadership role and we also have an extensive range of specialist and advanced practice programs that support our staff to upskill.
So walk us through the recruitment process at Eastern Health
You can apply through EthicalJobs.com.au which will capture all your information, including any required supporting documentation i.e. COVID/Flu vaccination status, resume and cover letter, and all declarations and responses to screening questions.
From there, our managers will assess your applications individually and assess your suitability for the role, if you meet the key selection criteria required, the hiring manager may conduct a telephone screening interview before shortlist to an interview.
If successful post interview, we will ask for you to complete a police check and provide some further personal details before sending you your contract/onboarding online.
Throughout the process you should feel able to reach out to the managers or the Talent Acquisition team for assistance and guidance, whether it be questions around salary, hours, questions on the forms or any questions related to the onboarding process.
What are the top things you look for when assessing a candidate application?
Experience and qualifications for our clinical professional roles are essential but we are also looking for what motivates candidates and what they value about why they want to work at Eastern Health and within the healthcare industry.
Knowing that someone has taken the time to research our organisation and address the application requirements in their cover letter demonstrates a strong desire to want to work with us.
What’s the most common mistake you see candidates make in their applications?
The most common mistake would be not addressing their application to the role/organisation they have applied for i.e. noting a different organisation/contact person in their cover letter, it’s amazing how often this happens.
And if they make it to interview, who is a candidate most likely to meet on an interview panel at Eastern Health?
This is quite dependent on the role they have applied for. The interview panel will have at least two people on (more for senior roles) including the hiring manager and another senior team member and/or someone from our people and culture team.
What advice would you give candidates to improve their interview skills?
Eastern Health uses a behavioural/values based interview template and in particular, the STAR Method. When we ask questions, we ask that you think of a specific time something happened by explaining:
Situation – What was happened? What was it you were trying to do?
Task – What was your responsibility in this situation?
Action – What did you do?
Result – What was the outcome?
When answering questions be mindful to always try and draw from real experiences and not be generic with your answers on ‘what you should do’ or give hypothetical ‘I would do this’ responses.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask to repeat questions if you do not understand them. All managers want you to succeed, it’s also a great opportunity for them to learn more about you and for you to learn about them.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone who wants to work at Eastern Health but perhaps doesn’t have the right qualifications or experience?
There are always pathways to reach your desired career goal. Reach out to our Talent Acquisition team as they can always point you in the right direction or provide advice on what is needed to reach your career goals.
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