Dec 04, 2018

3 ways to leverage your 'Employer Brand' in the battle for NDIS talent

As a disability service provider, you probably don’t need reminding that 460,000 Australians are set to become eligible for funding thanks to the federal government’s NDIS roll out. The changes place participants firmly in the driver’s seat, leaving providers – that’s you – with the challenge of positioning themselves as the ones to choose.

Imagine you’re at the helm of HR in a modest, non-profit organisation in Canberra. Your service record is great, your small, close-knit team of Support Workers and Allied Health professionals is happy – and with those regular government contributions helping you provide those essential services, so are you. Or, you were.

Now that the NDIS rollout is here, you’re concerned. You're spending more time and more of your recruitment budget on ads for part-time staff, just so that you can cover enough ground to attract the participants’ dollars. 

Naturally, to continue doing what you do best in the not for profit and community support area, you want to be able to equip yourself to be an NDIS provider of choice. And to do that, you need staff.

With the scheme taking such a holistic approach to participants’ total well being, it will be difficult to settle on a full-time model that will guarantee success. Instead, it’s very possible that your best bet for survival is to beef up your offering with part-time staff. But when you can’t offer full-time hours, how do you attract the best talent?

With a strong Employer Branding strategy.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Employer Branding” before. But if you’re not used to the idea yet of your company having a separate brand just for employment, now’s the time to adjust and catch up. What you want is for candidates to come to you – not the other way around, and the best way to get this happening is to ‘sell’ the experience of working for you.

Here are 3 ways a strong 'Employer Brand' can help you generate a continuous pool of top talent.

1. Candidates have plenty of choices: give them reasons to choose you  

Simply put, if candidates are looking for work in the disability support area, they might have the purest of vocational intentions but at the end of the day, each individual decision will boil down to the question, “What’s in it for me?”   

Consider what you can offer. Subsidised education? Generous leave provisions? Salary packaging? Perhaps you have a really good coffee machine in your office. Or maybe one of your team’s sons works at a local bakery, meaning your Monday morning meetings are always plentifully (and deliciously) catered.

These things might sound small, but they’re not inconsequential.  It’s time to flaunt them. Put them front and centre in every ad you write and really promote why someone would choose to work for you, as  Lives Lived Well and Marie Stopes Australia have done. It's not just about 1 or 2 effective job adverts.  In today's market, image is everything.  

2. Good talent is not on the market for long, so being in the right place at the right time to be found is important.

An ‘always on’ approach recognises that candidates with community and disability support skills are not in the market for long. As NDIS funding shifts, so will they.  To be in the forefront of their mind at all times, you need to be present at all times and this means a consistent approach to promoting your organisation and your opportunities. Think of your advertising efforts like feeding a baby: ‘little and often’ should be your mantra.

To ensure you don't have a revolving door and are able to nurture a database of good candidates, you'll need a system.  Managing them manually can be a nightmare task for even the most well resourced of organisations so consider a low cost, effective Candidate Management System to help you build an ongoing talent pool and make it easier to fill those vacancies as they arise. 

3. Social media is a powerful tool for building your Employer brand and promoting your opportunities                                                                                 

Using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to tell stories about your successes, your staff, your values and your mission is a great place to start. If you don’t have a dedicated account set up that thinks about stories that will interest prospective candidates, then you’re missing out!  

Nobody likes uncertainty, especially candidates.Knowing what it’s like to work for you, a cutting-edge, service-driven NDIS provider - especially if it’s a positive message – will give you the edge over your competitors.  

You may feel like the NDIS’ arrival pits you against an insurmountable obstacle - but this doesn’t have to be the case. With some forward-planning, you too can staff for the NDIS rollout and stay afloat. 

If you want advice on effective job adverts that actually work, or are keen to chat about how other community organisations in the NDIS are leveraging employer brand strategies, let's chat.

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