Ever wondered what hiring managers are looking for when they recruit for Australia’s most sought-after NFPs?
In this series on the Ethical Jobs Blog, 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 Alan Martin, Manager at WA AIDS Council. Dating back to 1985, WA AIDS Council is a health promotion organisation that leads the Western Australian community in the provision of a wide range of services in the prevention of HIV, sexually transmitted infections and blood borne viruses, and the treatment and care of people living with HIV and AIDS.
WA AIDS Council employs 45 staff and over 170 volunteers and provides counselling, wellness, referral, general and financial assistance to people living with HIV.
Hi Alan, thanks for chatting to us! To start off with, can you tell us a bit about what WA AIDS Council does?
The WA AIDS Council is the peak body in Western Australia supporting people living with HIV and promoting and assisting in the prevention and reduction of HIV transmissions.
Our mission is to deliver on our promise of creating healthy, safe and inclusive communities and we are here to service, engage and interact with the entire WA community.
Can you walk us through the recruitment process at WA AIDS Council?
When a position becomes vacant, we review the Job Description to ensure it still aligns with the outcomes required by our Strategic Plan.
Once a review has been conducted, we advertise through most of the usual forums. Recently we have experienced great exposure through Ethicaljobs.com.au. We find this a strong fit with our values and ensures we can secure the best applicants for our roles.
What are the top things you look for when assessing a candidate at the application stage?
Organisation value fit, authenticity, communication, relevant and transferable skills, expertise and experience and a curious mind-set.
We also really appreciate and value a jobseeker going out of their way to contact us, introduce themselves and directly and talk about the prospective role.
And what would you say are some of the most common mistakes candidates make in their applications?
Spelling and grammatical mistakes are generally the most obvious. It has also been interesting to see the diversity in use of salutations.
Often candidates leave gaps in their CVs when they have been traveling overseas or been involved in caring and support roles at home. It is important for gaps to be explained.
Another mistake is not mentioning the skills they would like to learn or demonstrating adaptability and areas of growth if the opportunity arose.
And if they make it to interview, who is a candidate most likely to meet on an interview panel at WA AIDS Council?
Most likely a representative from our management team, a direct report and a potential key stakeholder / or a representative from a partnership or collaborative set up if appropriate.
What are some of the main mistake’s candidates make in interviews?
Often candidates do not follow a clear format to all answers. Following the STAR philosophy can work well and provide a structured well thought out response.
Not being prepared or not having a good understanding of the position nor the organisation and not demonstrating how you are the fit and inspiration can often be a challenge during the interview process.
Not thinking through your examples or using the same example too many times in an interview.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work at WA AIDS Council but perhaps doesn’t have the right qualifications or experience?
Don’t be afraid to identify this, be upfront and be prepared to have a conversation with us on how you may accomplish this or how you may grow into this area and what you potentially bring that is a complimenting feature.
Thanks for the insights Alan!