How to find the right candidate for regional roles

Regional roles can be tough to fill, and this was the challenge Medibank’s recruitment team faced when struggling to find talent for the company’s Darwin store.

 

Australia’s largest private health insurance provider has traditionally found quality candidates by advertising roles through SEEK, says Andrew Retschko, Medibank’s Head of Talent Acquisition.

With a renewed focus on candidate experience, Medibank’s talent acquisition team was given the challenge of proactively sourcing candidates through SEEK Talent Search, rather than waiting for candidates to come to them.

Finding the right candidate

For Medibank’s Darwin store, recruiters were having difficulty sourcing well-qualified staff to fill vacant positions.

“We’re based in Melbourne, so it’s harder to find candidates and build a personal network for our retail store in Darwin,” Retschko says.

Kirsten Charles, who leads retail recruitment, proactively searched for candidates through SEEK Talent Search. One candidate lived in Queensland, but had added to her profile that she was open to opportunities in Darwin.

Charles contacted the candidate by phone, and conducted video screen and Skype interviews, giving her time to decide whether it was the right role for her before moving interstate.

“She was successful through the recruitment process for the role, packed up her stuff and drove to Darwin the following week for the position, and is loving it,” says Charles.

Retschko says this highlights the benefit of candidates articulating what they want in a role, and where they might be willing to move for work.

“It’s probably an indication of the value of candidates having a SEEK Profile and being clear in articulating what they’re prepared to do, and our candidate was genuine in saying she would move to Darwin, and was quick to do so.”

Better efficiency

When Medibank advertises a role, they could receive up to 200 applications, not all of them suitable, says Retschko.

If the organisation’s talent acquisition team target a smaller number of candidates, the process will be more efficient for recruiters and candidates alike.

“If we’re dealing with five or 10 candidates who are suitable for a role, it means we can move through the entire process faster, allowing for a better candidate experience.

“SEEK Talent Search allows us to be a lot more direct and tailored, and also gives candidates a much better experience.”

Quick turnaround

SEEK Talent Search is particularly useful for frontline roles in retail and call centres, and enables a faster turnaround when candidates are needed quickly, Retschko says.

“The good thing about SEEK Talent Search is you can directly access candidates. You can download their CV which gives you all their contact details.

“In retail roles you can get a fast turnaround because you can have direct access to a candidate’s mobile number and personal email address.”

A good candidate experience

Medibank’s renewed focus on candidate experience aims to leave every candidate, even those who are unsuccessful, with a positive experience, Retschko says.

Advertising a role could result in as many as 200 applications, and nearly 200 unsuccessful candidates would receive volume-­­automated rejections once the recruitment process is over. Unfortunately, those unsuccessful candidates could forever associate Medibank with a feeling of rejection.

“We just don’t have the capability to give everyone feedback if we are getting those large volumes of responses,” says Retschko.

“If we can be more proactive in the way we’re approaching a smaller number of candidates, it means fewer people are getting rejected and everything we do is more personal.

“We want every person we deal with, whether it’s directly or passively through a rejection, to have a really good experience.”

Candidate as customer

Every candidate is a potential future customer, and their interaction with an organisation will stay with them, says Retschko.

“We want people to have that great experience with Medibank, so if down the track they’re considering health insurance they do remember - even through talent acquisition or a job experience - that there was quality.”

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Helen Tobler

Helen Tobler is an experienced freelance writer, editor and proofreader. Helen was a journalist for The Australian for 10 years, starting as a cadet and then working as a medical reporter, then sub-editor and digital producer.

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