As the country finds itself amidst a worsening worker shortage, particularly in the burnt-out health sector, a Townsville based start-up is tackling the issue head on.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and highlighted the crisis the Australian health sector faces, where the trend shows more workers leaving the industry than those joining it.
Recent reports indicate workforce shortages are predicted for GPs and nurses, psychologists unable to take on new clients, and over 100,000 workers required to aid the struggling aged care and disability care industries.
“It’s well known that all sectors are fighting to find and retain staff, employers need to be constantly looking at new ways of engaging future talent and leveraging new and emerging avenues,” Scott Green, co-founder of HEALTH JOBS, says.
Scott, along with Jo Kaczmarek, Ryan Wiggins and Claire Sainsbury, formed Ideation Lab, the corporate identity for the team behind HEALTH JOBS, an online jobs board catering exclusively to the health sector.
“Our health sector is facing a very complex set of challenges and we certainly don’t pretend to have all the answers but we do want to be a part of the solution,” Jo explains.
“A health sector jobs board is not going to solve all the current and emerging workforce issues, bit it’s a contribution we are able to make right now, and we believe that it can make a difference.”
Jo, who studied commerce majoring in accounting, worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before deciding to change paths to study medicine. Her sister Claire has an education background and worked her way up through the public service sector. Scott studied business, working in HR, procurement and project management throughout his career and Ryan has led community services in homelessness, mental health, disability, aged care and asylum seeker and refugee services.
With such a large cross-section of experiences, it was Jo who experienced first-hand the difficulties prospective health care workers face when the time comes to consider employment options.
“Every different government department, recruitment agency and private provider had their own portals. As someone new to the industry, it became clear to me that unless you were ‘in-the-know’ it was hard to find those resources,” Jo explains.
“The idea of a central marketplace for health sector jobs just makes sense and we couldn’t believe that no one had created one already.”
HEALTH JOBS officially launched in August this year, the actualisation of the goal that the four friends had set out to achieve when their business partnership was in its infancy in the early 2000’s.
Majority indigenous and majority female owned, HEALTH JOBS brings Ideation Lab’s collective experience and an Indigenous perspective to a market-based solution for a problem that affects the entire Australian community.
Jo, who along with her sister Claire are Torres Strait Islanders from Badu Island, says that while HEALTH JOBS doesn’t “look” like an indigenous business aesthetically, it is evident in the way the business operates, the connection they build with their customers and community, and the goals they’ve set out to achieve.
“We’re proud to be a self-funded Indigenous-led start-up, providing an essential mainstream service,” she explains.
“We are Supply Nation listed, so every dollar spent on our platform contributes to increasing supplier diversity. Not only can we help fill job vacancies, we can also help business toward their targets for procurement from indigenous businesses.
“If we can make more Indigenous people feel like they are visible and welcomed, we can increase participation and engagement and in turn, continue to deliver solutions to enduring problems like workforce retention and recruitment in health.”
Jo adds, “we know that a thriving healthcare workforce is essential to achieving a healthy and happy Australia. Having health sector jobs centralised in one place just makes sense. It shouldn’t be hard work for our healthcare workers to find work.”
To advertise or search for healthcare jobs, visit the website www.health-jobs.com.au