My client applied for the role of Group Manager in a Council (Local Government) and progressed to the job interview stage. She gained glowing feedback from the entire selection panel and came in second with the job offered to the candidate who had been acting in the role – as is very common – but with much deliberation as my client impressed the panel across the board with the quality of her written documents (selection criteria and resume) and the manner in which she presented and delivered in the job interview. The application involved addressing a large selection criteria component – 14 essential and desirable criteria. Following are excerpts from 2 of the selection criteria.

Extensive leadership, team facilitation and coordination skills including the ability to mentor staff and build a cohesive, responsive team that delivers excellent community focused services.

At XYZ Council, I led operations for one of the largest Council’s customer service teams in NSW. This involved leading, managing, motivating and mentoring a team of 50+ staff across several key operational service areas. One of the key challenges involved devising and executing viable strategies to counter significant low levels of morale – at individual, team and unit levels – due to a number of complex factors which severely impacted on performance and satisfaction ratings. Key strategies included a major restructure to the rostering system; a new casual staffing policy; a tailored coaching and mentoring program; and embedding a hierarchy within the unit that recognised talent and enabled more variation in service roles by rotating duties. Combined, these strategies resulted in improving staff conditions and morale across all levels; staff turnover reduced significantly to less than 5%; and implementation of a streamlined staff rotation system provided staff with access to higher duties, which in turn improved the knowledge, experience and skills of individual staff members.

Extensive experience in policy development.

My policy skills extend to all levels of Government at Local, State and Federal levels. I previously planned, formulated, wrote and introduced the City of ABC’s DDD policy under which the City advertised for, assessed applications and provided financial grants to existing and startup businesses. Work involved conducting research and analysis into governance, legislative and operating requirements for Council, in relation to the allocation of public funds to private sector entities. Analysis included reviewing existing business and enterprise funding schemes through other government agencies. Providing funds to individuals and businesses was a huge departure from the Council’s existing grant policies that only served to grant funds to incorporated associations, governing bodies and the like. Research conducted provided me with a solid understanding of issues to be addressed within the policy (for example, the stage of business development and level of funding requirements), as well as policy inclusions that would be required to achieve measurable outcomes. The introduction of the DDD policy served as a catalyst to deliver Council’s vision. Within the first year, 10+ new businesses were launched and fully operational; Council provided three grants ($30k each in value) to new businesses. This policy still remains in place to date, with significantly more grants issued year-on-year to help new business startups.

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Annie Cerone