Culturally Inclusive Recruitment Processes Key to Closing the Gap for Indigenous Workers

Workplaces willing to create cultural equality in Australia are urged to step forward.

As many organisations work to address issues such as gender diversity and ageism, workers are reminded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians also face their own hurdles and overcoming these not only leads to better workplaces, but a better nation.

For National Reconciliation Week, workers are asked to consider what role they can play.

An alliance between Yarn’n Aboriginal Employment Services and recruitment firm Randstad, for example, aims to this year place at least 100 indigenous candidates in roles ranging from entry-level to senior positions across industries from construction to business.

Randstad Australia and New Zealand chief executive Frank Ribout says they have already placed 40 workers in just three months so hope to exceed their target.

Rebekah Carr, employee at Maxima (Photo: article supplied)

“We are trying to find employers willing to adapt their recruitment process to allow people to present themselves in the best light,” he says.

“Once in the organisation (we) provide support on an ongoing basis through coaching to make sure if there are issues in their private life, they won’t affect their professional life. We make sure they can stay.”

Aboriginal Housing Office senior project officer Lani Watson was matched with her role by Yarn’n and Randstad and says the process made her feel at home.

“My interview was so culturally appropriate. They asked me questions but I was able to speak in a way that was from the heart,” she says.

“It was a different style of interview and I think that says a lot about the organisation and getting the right people for the job and doing it in a way that is culturally inclusive.”

Another organisation helping close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous unemployment is Maxima.

Its Vocational Training and Employment Centre program involves analysing skills, updating resumes, discussing interview techniques and goals, creating action plans, and providing ongoing mentoring for workers.

When indigenous Australian Rebekah Carr moved to Adelaide she came across Maxima and decided to make the switch from healthcare to community work.

She started in administration then moved to recruitment as the Jobs4Youth co-ordinator hiring disadvantaged young people for State Government roles.

“There is lots of stigma (around indigenous Australian workers) so it’s definitely a passion of mine to get as many indigenous people into employment as possible and close the gap,” she says.

“They do want to work. We have a massive case load of indigenous jobseekers trying to find employment.”

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