Theo Venables brings valuable professional experience working in the social care space in both Australia and the UK, across mental health, disability, and child, youth and family services.
“I enjoy supporting people to work in the industry,” he says, “and finding the right people, knowing what type of person it takes to do each specific job.”
Sourcing candidates who do more than just ‘tick the boxes’
Far from just matching up technical requirements like licenses and qualifications, Theo’s holistic approach enables him to make successful placements time and time again.
“A lot of social care is about what you feel for a person,” Theo explains.
“If I can speak to someone and feel directly engaged, and they have a calming presence, that’s really important. It’s not something you can easily teach at a uni or a college.”
Looking beyond qualifications
Theo explains that sometimes finding the right fit isn’t just about looking for candidates with existing experience and qualifications in that area, but looking for those who demonstrate the capacity to excel if they’re given the opportunity to learn.
“It’s important to suss out whether candidates genuinely understand the work, or if they have the capacity to learn.”
“Otherwise you get some people who go in with blinkers on and want to save the world, and they get a rude awakening, which happens all the time if recruiters don’t check this and just go for the quickest placement.”
Theo shared an example of recruiting for a family mental health service:
“We get applicants with good intentions but a very unrealistic view on what working with families with mental health needs is about – in reality, it is very challenging and confronting work.”
Being honest – because we care
Doing a deep dive into candidates’ professional experience and whether their perceptions of a role are accurate is vital to ensuring their success – so that the people they’ll be working with can receive safe and meaningful support.
The other part is being able to have open and honest conversations with our clients about how to attract the talent they’re after. Theo explains:
“At Be. Recruitment, we’re ‘consultants’ for a reason – not just recruiters. We can consult on all aspects of placements. It might be in the hiring strategy, onboarding, the client’s process, how they’re structured, or how they communicate. It might even be mapping out where they sit salary-wise across the market.”
For the family mental health service, Theo’s consultation included:
- Rewriting job descriptions to make them clearer for candidates to understand the day-to-day work involved
- Writing specific interviewing questions to help the organisation screen candidates
- Creating a ‘skills matrix’ for the organisation to identify skills shortages across their program.
“I have those challenging honest conversations with clients because I want a good outcome for the client and the candidate,” Theo says.
“If we’ve worked with an organisation for a really long time, we understand them and can be quite candid about where they can improve – but even with new clients, I like to think that it’s really valuable for them to work with Be. Recruitment because we actually do more than just find them a candidate.
“The accumulation of all those things means the client can hire people better in the future who are hopefully happy to stay within the team long-term to support that organisation’s mission.”
If you’re looking for help filling your organisation’s vacancies with quality talent who really ‘get’ the work you’re doing, get in touch with Be. Recruitment today. Theo or another member of our team would love to discuss how we can help your organisation attract the best people to fulfil your mission.
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