Advertising includes not only a job advertisement but also an information pack for potential applicants who want to know more. If you are recruiting for several roles or you would like to have a list of suitable applicants you can draw on over time, you can also consider running a group information session before the closing date. The information you provide in the advertisement, the information pack and the group session should describe both the rewards and the challenges of the job to avoid encouraging unsuitable applicants to apply (a costly waste of their time and of yours), improve the likelihood of suitable persons applying, and to reduce the likelihood of early turnover after appointment.
A job advertisement is often the first touch point with a candidate. Effective advertising means presenting the right information in a place where suitable, quality candidates will see it. An effective job ad, backed up by an information package, will give potential applicants a true sense of the role while also providing information about the benefits of taking on the role.
A job ad should be short and simple. The ad should provide summarised information and the information pack should expand on the points. The areas of information to cover include:
- Title of role: It’s a good idea to use common language, for example disability support worker.
- Key duties: Describe what you want them to do in a few words that give a good, practical picture of the job. For example, 'support participants with personal care and social activities'.
- Hours and type of role: State how many hours of work you are offering, whether these are regular or variable/ negotiable, and whether the role is casual or permanent, part-time or full-time, etc. For example: 'Casual role, 15 hours per week, negotiable timing.'
- Salary or hourly rate: Ads that state the salary or rate for the role upfront receive more applications than ones that don’t.
- Location: Indicate where the work will be located so prospective workers know what to expect in terms of travel.
- Essential requirements: Your ad needs to tell applicants if there are any essential requirements to avoid getting applications from people who don’t have them. For example, do they need their own vehicle or to have training or experience in delivering a particular kind of support? Do they need a National Criminal History Check or an NDIS Worker Check? Make sure you only include requirements that really are essential. If there are other things that would be ‘desirable’, list these separately so you don’t screen out otherwise good applicants.
- Capabilities required: Capabilities are the attitudes, skills and knowledge required to do the job well. Attributes like punctuality, patience, listening or discretion are just as important to include as going shopping or helping with cleaning. If you used the Position Description Builder, you will find a list of relevant capabilities for the role you described. If not, go to the NDIS Workforce Capability Framework (the Framework) to see which capabilities you might want to include. Only include key capabilities, for example, 'You need to be a clear communicator and work collaboratively with others in the participant’s support team.'
- Workforce diversity: You could encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply. It’s also a good idea to ask applicants to let you know if they require adjustment to the interview setting, the assessment process or the role itself.
- Benefits and opportunities: Candidates want to know if there are particular benefits or opportunities in the role in areas such as:
- Positive organisational values
- Training and professional development
- Salary packaging
- Negotiable hours
- Opportunities for advancement
- A chance to join a great team of passionate professionals, like you
For example: You will be working for an organisation committed to supporting people with disabilities to live their best life. We are looking for workers who share our passion and, because we are only as good as our workers, you will have access to a range of benefits, including (describe benefits your organisation provides).
- How to apply: Tell candidates what you expect, for example, email a 2-page CV and a short covering letter saying why they are interested in the job. Let them know if you also want them to attach any other information such as evidence of a Working with children check or current drivers licence. Provide a realistic closing date.
- Contact for enquiries and further information: Let potential applicants know where they can get further information about the job.
- Information session: Conducting a group information session is an opportunity to provide more information about the job and invite question from potential candidates. You can encourage candidates to check capabilities in the Framework and also complete the Self-assessment tool for potential workers. Inviting people with lived experience to participate as experts in these sessions and offer their perspective on what makes a good worker is a good way to give potential candidates a better understanding of the people they might work with.
You can download the Job Advertisement template in the provider resources online to create your advertisement.
- Emphasise the NDIS capabilities: The Framework capabilities are focused on supporting and enabling. Use language and terms from the capabilities that are relevant to the role you are advertising. Using words such as support, facilitate and enable will attract candidates with those values.
- Write in plain English: Many great workers come from non-English speaking backgrounds. Make sure your job advertisement can reach them.
- Emphasise transferable attitudes, values, and skills: Many highly suitable workers come from other sectors such as hospitality, cooking, or construction.
- Be honest and upfront: Although you may get more responses by omitting the more challenging aspects of the role, for example personal care, you may receive a large number of applications from unsuitable persons and/or select a person who does not have a complete understanding of the role and resigns within the first few months. Not only does this mean starting again, it is also costly, as new starts require induction and more intensive support in the first few months of work. Negative feedback from disillusioned workers could also have a negative effect on your reputation as an employer if they share their dissatisfaction, for example on social media.
There are many different places to advertise, and the best for you depends on your situation. Having a considered, diverse strategy for advertising roles will allow you to reach a broader audience and find your perfect candidate. Traditional methods such as job boards are still some of the best methods for advertising roles. A lot of organisations also find success through social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook as well as their own organisation website and networks.
- Social Media: Placing your job ads on your own social media pages is cheap and easy. It is also highly likely that people who follow your pages already have an interest in the type of work that you do. Consider asking your current workers to share the job on their social media networks.
- Online job boards: Traditional job boards such as Seek, Ethical jobs, JobActive, Care Careers, LinkedIn or Gumtree offer a large audience of potential workers. However, the large number of adverts on these platforms makes them very competitive. Make sure your advertisement contains terms suitable applicants are likely to search for. These may include task descriptors such as disability support but also value-based terms such as ‘respect for clients’, ‘collaboration’, ‘person-centred’, ‘participation’, etc.
- Relationships with local training colleges: Students who are finishing Certificate 3 or 4 in Disability or Individual Support (or similar) need to complete a job placement prior to graduating. A paid placement can be very attractive to students and can lead to ongoing employment. To build relationships with local providers, you could look for organisations delivering certificates in disability through MySkills.
- Recruitment fairs and university career days: Many students are studying with the aim of working in the health or disability or aged sectors and are looking for opportunities to gain practical experience in relevant industries. Others studying in unrelated areas can simply be looking for jobs that pay well and offer flexibility in hours while they study. Recruitment fairs or university career days can be a great place to get exposure to these potential candidates. Each university will have a community or student careers liaison officer you can contact to find out more.
- Internal Referrals: Your current staff may be a great source of new, suitable, staff. Encouraging your existing workers to use their networks to refer workers can be a good way to find new staff who are a good ‘fit’ for the role. Existing employees are more likely to provide a realistic impression of the work they do and are more likely to refer people who have similar values and attitudes.