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The inside story: how to get a job at Unisson Disability

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 Imogen, HR Advisor, Human Resources at Unisson Disability. 

Unisson Disability is one of NSW’s leading NDIS service providers, having been at the forefront of providing support to people with disability and their families since 1924. Their services cover Sydney and the Central Coast, Hunter, and Newcastle Regions.

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

Hi Imogen, thanks for chatting with us! To kick us off, can you tell us a bit about what Unisson Disability does?

As an organisation, we’ve been around forever! Well not forever but close to it, 97 years.  Unisson understands that there is no one size fits all solution to support, and so we are committed to individualised services for all clients and are always on the look at for staff that share this vision. We offer a range of disability services including Shared Independent Living, Short Term Accommodation, Drop-in Support, Community-based and Centre-based Community Services, Supported Employment, Support Coordination and our Blue Apple Art Studios. 

What are some of the things that might attract candidates to apply to Unisson Disability?

Some of the perks we offer, include;

  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Not-for-profit tax benefits (salary packaging)
  • Wellbeing Leave
  • Discounted Health Care
  • Expansive training and development in a vibrant, collaborative team
  • Award Winning Art of Human Connection training events
  • Annual leave loading of 17.5% and options to cash out annual leave 
  • Access to professional counselling service for employees and their immediate family
  • Collaborative, Flexible and Positive culture
  • Access to an employee referral bonus program (rewards of between $300-$750)
  • Gym memberships
  • Baby hampers 
  • Flu Vaccinations
  • Leadership and internal succession programs
  • National Disability Practitioner (NPD) Membership

But if you’re talking about the more values focused outcomes of working here, then I would have to say that being a part of the Unisson team gives you the opportunity to make a real difference in one of Australia’s fastest-growing and most innovative sectors. It doesn’t matter if you work in Client Services or Corporate, we are all able to make an impact from our varied roles. At Unisson, the opportunities for human connection are extraordinary. Expect to build strong friendships with the people you work alongside and support.

Can you walk us through the recruitment process at Unisson?

Once we have received your application, we shortlist candidates for a pre-screen phone call. If you are shortlisted, we will reach out for a chat regarding your application. Successful pre-screens are invited to an initial interview with the role’s People & Development Representative and the Hiring Manager so we can get to know you and you us. Typically, leadership roles will progress to a psychometric assessment followed by a final interview with the role’s relevant General Manager and Senior People & Development Representative. Successful candidates will be progressed to our background check stage to obtain references and other probity checks before receiving a formal job offer.

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

  • People who are fun, great at building connections with others 
  • People who are compassionate and genuinely interested in improving lives
  • People who share our values of generosity, inclusion, courage and creativity
  • People of all ages and lived experience!

We believe our people are different.We only employ good people, people who embody our values.Our people are the ones who want to make a difference in the world and know that small actions can create a big impact. We are the people that believe a more inclusive world for people with disability is possible and we know our everyday actions will help create it. 

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

We are looking for applicants that have taken the time to submit applications without any missing details and that indicate they have clearly read and understood the job advertisement. 

In particular, we have seen some applications with details for a different role/company they have applied for, incomplete applications, or even the absence of a CV entirely.

We do also ask 3 questions around motivation and values for all applicants, and we do believe that answering these is vital to a successful application. A resume will never be able to tell us everything.

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

At Unisson, we believe in a holistic recruitment process. This means that our Leadership staff are hands on and will always sit on the interview panel. 

Our interview panels are usually comprised of the hiring manager (the direct supervisor for the role) and another leadership representative. The panel is always specific to the advertised role, service/department, and location. Leadership and specialist roles may also have the opportunity to meet the Senior or General Manager for their service.

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

Have fun with us! We enjoy interviews where we can relax and get to know candidate skillsets and personalities. We want to get to know the authentic you and your goals. Tell us how you can meet the requirements of the role and talk to us about how you can add value to our team. Examples of times you’ve demonstrated your skills are always going to help us understand your abilities better.

Oh – and if we asked for a ‘One Page Profile’ summary of you, we love to see those arrive in our careers@unisson.org.au inbox prior to your interview so that we can read a bit more about you beforehand.

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

Reach out to our People & Development Team or the representative listed on the job advertisement. We are always generous with our time and will talk you through the qualifications required, or pathways to achieve the right level of role suitability.

Many of our leadership staff commenced at Unisson as Disability Support Professionals in support worker roles. Unisson prides itself on creating leaders from within and so internal promotion opportunities will always be something available to our team members.

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