By Kathy Forrest, APNS Secretary & Director of Dutiful Daughters
APNS holds Members Days twice a year in addition to our two-day Annual Conference. Recently, I attended a Members Day at the Novotel on Collins Street, Melbourne, where approximately 50 percent of the membership of the Association was in attendance.
The focus of the day was a Human Resources Clinic, also referred to as our Boot Camp on HR, with speakers from a variety of organisations who are leaders in their field. Our industry has a shortage of care workers* and APNS is focused on assisting its members in finding innovative ways to employ and retain quality staff. Highlights of our Members Day included:
The science of recruiting
Our day kicked off with a talk from Andrew Marty, MD of SACS Consulting, who focused on using the ‘science of recruiting’ to ensure you get the right people for your organisation and avoid hiring difficult, negative or emotionally unstable people.
As we all know, there are very different attributes to look for when hiring home care workers compared to office staff. The care workers must be professional, have a broad set of skills and be a special personality model; they must be honest, open, agreeable and often extrovert. And yet there is the model of care worker who can be quite the opposite with a different set of skills; so what are the necessary attributes to look for?
Andrew discussed techniques for finding suitable staff and provided us with some very helpful tips; he also introduced the psychometric assessment tools available for testing suitable candidates.
Effective Employment Contracts
Luke Gattuso from Page Seager Lawyers spoke about effective employment contracts. Luke covered various issues, such as how do you protect your business? Are contracts enforceable? Offering flexibility in the workplace – what is the law? Luke was very informative about the key risks, how to review a contract, and making sure you have a good plan around what is enforceable in agreements with staff.
Effective recruitment promotion
Paul Hoffman, Director of Ardent Recruitment & Consulting, explained how effective promotion can help in recruiting the right people, and how to compete for great staff in a very competitive market.
Paul also encouraged organisations to have good engagement with their staff, and make sure that they all participate not only in training opportunities but in social events as well. And with such a shortage of suitable skilled care workers, it’s also important to ensure that every applicant is treated as a valuable staff member and encouraged to continue to develop their skills.
HR efficiencies through IT Innovation
APNS members Peter Kelly and Kay Mallinson from Alpha Nursing spoke about the great software they have developed for their business and some of the very effective capabilities available to support their database. They also explained how well their training software can integrate with their database for recording mandatory and optional staff training.
All APNS members are encouraged to attend our interactive and informative Members Days if they possibly can. At the end of a Members Day, there are many resources we can take away to use in our own businesses, including contacts at organisations who understand the challenges we face everyday as small operators, who are often time poor and need to keep up to date on the many facets of the industry and operations. And not only do we enjoy speakers of the highest calibre, but also have a great opportunity to network with other like-minded Directors, General Managers and business leaders.
We look forward to seeing you all at our next Members Day later in the year.
*The crisis in the caring workforce: According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there were some 216,300 workers in residential care services in May 2013, mainly in the aged care sector. There were also 356,500 workers in social assistance, most in childcare or disability services. Over 80 percent of these workers were women, and nearly half were employed part-time. These sectors have struggled to attract and retain workers, due to the relatively low pay rates and lack of secure employment opportunities. Ref. Parliament House