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The inside story: how to get a job at OzHarvest

Ever wondered what hiring managers are looking for when they recruit for Australia’s most sought-after NFPs?

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 Erin McAuley, People and Culture Advisor at OzHarvest ­– Australia’s leading food rescue organisation founded in 2004 by Ronni Kahn AO, after noticing the huge volume of good food going to waste from the hospitality industry.

Hi Erin, thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a bit about what OzHarvest does?

OzHarvest collects quality surplus food from more than 3,500 food businesses across the country including supermarkets, farmers & restaurants. Each week we rescue over 180 tonnes of food from going to landfill and deliver to more than 1300 charities, supporting vulnerable men women and children across the country.

Education is also a crucial part of the organisation, helping promote positive change in different communities. Our education programs are designed to increase community connectedness, improve self-worth and confidence, encourage healthy and affordable eating habits and promote a sustainable lifestyle.

What are some of the things that might attract candidates to apply to OzHarvest?

People are most attracted to the core cause of OzHarvest: to Nourish our Country. We are a magnet for magnificent people here and all those that join us want to give back to the community. The attraction to work for us also comes with the ability to not only give back, but interact with the community. Many people who come to OzHarvest are looking for a job where their daily interactions fill them with joy and pride, sending them home with a smile on their face.

Can you walk us through the recruitment process at OzHarvest?

Once the role is advertised all applicants are asked to send through their CV & Cover Letter.

All applicants are then reviewed and shortlisted by People & Culture and/or the Hiring Manager. Candidates with the experience and skills required will move to the next stage of the process which is a phone screen interview with P&C and/or the Hiring Manager.

Out of those phone screens, potential successful applicants are then moved to face to face interviews (mostly over zoom at the moment) which are conducted with P&C and the Hiring Manager. The successful candidate will then provide 2 reference checks. Once we have successful reference checks a verbal offer is completed.

The final interview is with our incredible CEO and Founder Ronni Khan. Ronni strives to meet everyone that comes through the organisation. For me this is an incredibly important step and speaks volumes to the culture we have here at OzHarvest. Once Ronni gives her approval the final offer is completed!

What are the top things you look for when assessing a candidate application?

A well-written cover letter connecting specifically to the organisation and job they are applying for. It is easy to pick out an applicant who wants to work for OzHarvest from their cover letter.

What’s the most common mistake you see candidates make in their applications?

Not standing out. When you don’t individualise your application, you risk becoming just one of the crowd.

What advice would you give candidates to improve their interview skills?

Know the organisation you are applying for and ensure you have read the job description fully. Practising common interview questions before your interview will also help ensure you are confident and comfortable with the questions they throw at you. When practicing, try to link your experience and qualifications to the interview questions. This will make you a standout applicant.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone who wants to work at OzHarvest but perhaps doesn’t have the right qualifications or experience?

Keep checking EthicalJobs.com.au and our careers page, which is always updated with our current advertised roles. All advertisements include the job description which details the qualifications and experience we are looking for. We also always welcome volunteers to come onboard and join our incredibly yellow army.

Thanks Erin!

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