Recruitment in the Regions – Sourcing Allied Health staff

Rebecca Woodland1, Fiona Rawson1, Deanne McKendry1
Gippsland Lakes Complete Health1

ABSTRACT

Background or Problem/ Issue:

The recruitment of Allied Health staff to regional areas is difficult. Sourcing appropriately qualified and experienced staff in order to meet local community needs is problematic, particularly when there is high demand and low supply of Allied Health graduates. Encouraging professionals to move to a regional area away from professional and personal support networks is a continual challenge. The further away from Melbourne the regional location is, the more barriers there are to overcome in terms of distance, both actual and perceived, when recruiting staff.

Method or What you did?

GLCH focused on two key areas – recruitment and induction.

Recruitment:

We advertised our vacancies through our normal channels, i.e. the local papers and our website. We added to this a customised promotional video which we promoted through our networks and social media channels. We also partnered with RWAV to utilise their networks and source applications through them, which has been very successful.

Induction:

Once we had successful candidates, we supported them extensively through the onboarding process. Support, information and advice was offered to ease every aspect of the transition to regional living and to GLCH. The STEP (Support, Therapies, Education and Prevention) unit that the Allied Health staff work in is a close, supportive and engaged one. They hold regular social events outside work to engage staff, they have strong pastoral support and welfare in the workplace, and they provide a workplace environment conducive to easing the transition to a new workplace.

Results or Outcomes:

Over the past 6 months or so we have successfully recruited;

  • Speech Pathologist (Rachel Masin)
  • Occupational Therapist (Jess Moller, Kelsey Leggatt, Mikhaila Carroll, Paulien Long)
  • Health Promotion Officer (Melanie Fuller)
  • Exercise Physiologist (Nara Venkatesan)
  • Podiatrist (Nuala Rooney, Ashley Donoghue)
  • Physiotherapist (Jessica James)
  • Allied Health Assistants (Nic Chila, Kristina Stafford, Steph Matthews)

Conclusions or Practice Implications:

Successful recruitment of Allied Health staff requires varied recruitment methods, and also extensive support during the onboarding and induction phases.


BIOGRAPHY

Rebecca Woodland is currently the Human Resources Manager at Gippsland Lakes Complete Health, with a background in Medical and Allied Health Staff Management, Quality and Governance, and Tertiary Education. She has a keen interest in workforce planning and workforce development.

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