Be clear on the key qualities needed to be successful in the role

Identify the core capabilities of the role, specifying the technical and social skills. Consider everything from what educational qualifications are required (if any), to experience in leadership and the necessary social skills.

For the case of support workers, compassion, patience, and empathy are key attributes that should be embedded in the interview questions. Missing these attributes is a deal breaker for these roles.


Just like painting a house, more than half of the work in recruitment is in the preparation. Establishing your organisation as an employer of choice in a tight market is critical; this is where early attraction strategies come in. It may seem like a long-term play with little initial success but trust the process.

Establishing volunteering and work placement opportunities whilst potential candidates are undergoing education is a targeted approach to building connections with quality future candidates.

Create contacts with professors in relevant faculties within educational institutions including TAFE, universities and other vocational pathways. These students often require placement periods, so making connections early in the semester/term is the perfect opportunity to organise presentations, drop-ins or on-campus orientation days to build brand awareness for your organisation.

Understand who sits within my network

Identify who sits within the organisation’s wider network, and how this might be useful to recruitment strategies for frontline staff. For example, organisations can create relationships with the community and organisational leaders where it counts. To build a brand and expand marketing capabilities, saturating the market is a key next step to attract staff across a variety of educated and non-educated backgrounds.

Presence at the grassroots level makes a considerable difference in establishing relationships with potential candidates, building the employer brand and its impact within the community. Attendance at local community events and job fairs, by organisation representatives, are great opportunities to capitalise on this.

Own the recruitment and selection process

Unlike knowledge roles that often hire staff for a one-off role sourcing frontline staff often lends itself to high-volume recruitment. The recruitment of frontline staff often operates like a machine. They are often large-scale operations onboarding many new employees at any one time and in any one region.

As the recruiter, reflect on the end-to-end candidate journey, from the very first touchpoint of applying online today to the appointment to one of the new roles. Where possible, make the candidate experience easy and enjoyable. Too often we hear stories of long and painful processes.


Hosting group interviews can be incredibly daunting for candidates, particularly if not used to the assessment-centre experience. Creating space for upbeat facilitation that can incorporate icebreakers, ‘speed- dating’ interviews, and group scenarios presented in a calm manner help to achieve a friendly environment.

Post interview

Be asking yourself:

  • How do I best collect new starter documentation with ease?
  • When should candidates be notified of their interview outcome?
  • How will I deliver the outcome and what feedback will I give?

If the interview outcome hasn’t been identified, ensure there are regular touchpoints with the candidates, so they are kept warm. There’s nothing worse than putting in the effort at an interview and feeling forgotten about. Ensure hiring managers or recruiters are coached in how to deliver both good news, and not-so-good news, and provide some constructive feedback.

The result

How you treat unsuccessful candidates is just as important to your reputation as an employer of choice as how you onboard your successful recruits.

Good luck with your recruitment – and if all else fails, back to the drawing board with creativity it is. Think about why you joined, and what you love about working in the organisation. This passion will land with candidates and be very powerful through the process!