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The inside story: how to get a job at Relationships Australia Queensland

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 Ben Bolt, Talent and Diversity Manager at Relationships Australia Queensland (RAQ). RAQ employs over 400 highly qualified and experienced staff and provide services from more than 30 centres across Queensland.

You can check out the roles RAQ is currently advertising here.

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

RAQ is a part of a National Consortium, initially established to provide support and advice to veterans returning to their families after war. Post 1960, changes in family law meant a different emphasis for the counselling profession and today, relationships in all their uniqueness, diversity and complexity are considered. 

Some of our services are for people experiencing separation, parenting agreements, mediation services, community education.

There is an increased awareness of domestic violence and the development of appropriate practice models.

There is also an increased awareness of the importance of the voices of children being heard. Children’s wellbeing is considered paramount.

The range of services provided has expanded way beyond the ‘staples’ of counselling, including gambling help and addiction, community education and mediation, pre-marriage, couple relationships, post-separation, step-families, communication skills and FIFO relationships.

The part I love, is that we often provide services to the most vulnerable members of our communities. 

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

It’s an organisation with a genuinely great culture. Our team members often flex their hours up or down where possible, WFH and receive valuable professional development. For our practitioners, this includes weekly clinical supervision for the first six months of their employment and fortnightly afterwards. Reflective practice is encouraged and role modelled at all levels of the organisation. We also have a really accessible management team, all the way up to Executive. We’ve thrived through COVID through communication, which has come from the top. 

Can you walk us through the recruitment process at Relationships Australia Queensland?

Our recruitment processes vary depending on the role. For most roles at RAQ, you can expect to complete a combination of the following stages: 

  • Application
  • Phone or video interview
  • Information webinar
  • Panel interview
  • Practical or skills assessment
  • Background checking

We conduct a thorough background screen, including Working With Children Blue Card, National Police Check, qualification check and reference checking.

It sounds like a lot, but it makes me very comfortable if I ever have to recommend RAQ’s services to a friend or family member. 

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

Firstly, a well constructed resume is a must – make it easy for the reader to see why you’re the best candidate. In addition, I look for transferrable skills and the candidate’s motivation for applying for that role. 

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

Far too much information. We receive thousands of applications each year, make sure the information you’re including is relevant and succinct. Please don’t include your primary school details (your high school probably isn’t important either).  

My advice is to have a ‘master copy’ resume, where you list all of your roles and all of your skills. When you see a role advertised, simply delete unwanted skills and tailor to the job advertisement. 

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

Typically the hiring manager and their leader. You might also meet a member of HR or another key stakeholder in the role. Depending on the seniority of the position you might expect to meet some of our Executive Team!

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

Typically the job advert will give you the information you need to consider prior to interview. A good job ad would have been crafted based on the hiring mangers views, organisational priorities, deliverables of the role and competencies. You can prepare by writing these competencies down and fleshing specific experiences, i.e. Risk assessment, managing competing priorities etc. 

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

Start studying to get the qualifications you need for the role. Get the practical experience and you can enrol in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to get the skills and knowledge you’ve gained through work and life experiences recognised by your course. You can also follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up to date with what we’re up to. 

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