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The inside story: how to get a job at Mind Australia

Ever wondered what hiring managers are looking for when they recruit for Australia’s most sought-after NFPs?

In this series, we interview the people who hire at the organisations where you want to work — and we’ll give you the inside knowledge you need to make your next job application amazing. 

This month we speak to Troy Davis, Senior Manager Human Resources at Mind Australia. Mind Australia is one of the country’s leading community-managed specialist mental health service providers with a range of residential, mobile outreach, centre based and online services. 

You can check out the roles Mind Australia is currently advertising here.

Hi Troy, thanks for chatting with us! To kick us off, can you tell us a bit about what Mind Australia does?

Mind Australia is one of the country’s leading community-managed specialist mental health service providers who have been supporting people living with the day-to-day impacts of mental ill-health, as well as their families, friends and carers for over 40 years. Currently we have over 60 service sites throughout Australia that, this year, will support 12,000 Australians on their personal recovery journeys. 

We believe that with the right kind of help and support, life can be better and people can and do achieve a life with meaning and purpose.  We provide practical and motivational support that helps people to develop the skills they need to move on, thrive and improve the quality of their lives. It’s an approach to mental health and wellbeing that looks at the whole person in the context of their daily lives.

We also know that every individual’s journey of recovery and wellbeing is a very personal one, which is why we are committed to providing the kind of flexibility in our support services that offers genuine choice and control.

What are some of the things that might attract candidates to apply to the Mind Australia?

Whilst we offer a range of different benefits to our employees, including salary packaging, monthly RDOs for eligible employees, flexible working arrangements, internal secondments and a supportive work environment, it is often not these types of benefits that attract candidates to work at Mind.

What our research has found is that candidates are attracted to Mind because of our purpose, strategy and values. Our people are passionate about making a difference to the lives of the people that we support, and this is what makes us unique as a mental health service provider.

We also value the knowledge of, and proactively recruit people who have lived experience with mental ill-health so they have the opportunity to: 

  • share their knowledge of living with mental health challenges including through connecting through storytelling and offering practical assistance
  • find meaningful work with purpose in supporting people with their recovery and fostering hope

Our Employee Value Proposition talks to Mind’s points of difference as an employer for prospective candidates.

Can you walk us through the recruitment process at Mind Australia? 

It is really easy to apply for opportunities at Mind as all of our current opportunities are advertised on our Jobs@Mind on the Work with Us web page, as well as EthicalJobs.com.au. We encourage candidates to have a look at our advertised positions and apply online for any that may be of interest. We encourage applications from Indigenous Australians, people with a lived experience of mental ill health, people with disability, those who identify as LGBTIQ+ and applicants from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

We are continuously advertising new positions, so candidates may wish to set up email notifications through the online system to ensure they are alerted to new opportunities or set up an EthicalJobs.com.au alert.

Once we receive an application, we assess the candidate’s skills and experience against the selection criteria and other candidates, then it is simply an interview process with our hiring managers, reference checks and background checks.

What are the top things you look for when assessing a candidate application?

Aside from skills, experience and qualifications, alignment to organisational values and purpose is much more important to us and of benefit to our clients. Having the right attitude also goes a really long way! 

What’s the most common mistake you see candidates make in their applications?

We often see experience, skills and qualifications in resumes, but we often do not get a good sense of why someone has applied for a job and their motivations. It is important for us to get to know our candidates, who they are, what’s important to them, why they want to work for Mind and how they can assist us to achieve our purpose. So not only having an easy to read, well-structured resume stating experience, skills and qualifications but writing a great cover letter is key!

And if they make it to interview, who is a candidate most likely to meet on an interview panel at Mind Australia?

Candidates will most likely meet with the line manager of the position and 1-2 other representatives of the organisation. As much as possible we try to have a diverse mix on our panels, including people with lived experience.

What advice would you give candidates to improve their interview skills?

First and foremost do your research. Understand who Mind is and what’s important to us, i.e. what we value, what our purpose is, what our goals are, etc. Secondly, be yourself!! We want to know who you are as a person; we want to see what you can do for us and how you can help us achieve a better life for our clients and their important others.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone who wants to work at Mind Australia but perhaps doesn’t have the right qualifications or experience?

Try becoming a volunteer with Mind in the first instance. We offer many opportunities for volunteers to engage with us.  Also never give up. Seek out someone in the industry to become your mentor, develop a thirst for learning and enrol in an industry related course, and continue to follow your dreams as your hard work will pay off!

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