This week, Randstad will be celebrating NAIDOC Week to recognise and show respect for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues, clients and candidates. Each year, NAIDOC Week encourages Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to come together and acknowledge the rich history, culture and achievements of First Nations people.
“always was, always will be”
In 2020, the theme for NAIDOC Week is “Always Was, Always Will Be” reminding Australians that First Nations people have been spiritually and culturally connected to Australian lands for over 65,000 years. The 2020 theme also acknowledges the diverse range of Indigenous Nations and cultures that have covered Australia for centuries.
At its core “Always Was, Always Will Be” reflects connectedness and at Randstad we want to explore how we can foster connectedness in the workplace for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Indigenous Australians are underrepresented in the workforce and as a recruitment agency, Randstad has a part to play in encouraging organisations to employ First Nations people. For me, a big part of celebrating NAIDOC Week at Randstad is actively working with businesses and government agencies to remove barriers and increase employment opportunities for First Nations people.
Randstad has recently submitted a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to Reconciliation Australia. Randstad’s RAP represents a formal commitment to reconciliation and includes practical business actions that will help Randstad support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates and encourage more organisations to employ Indigenous talent.
As a team, we are also undertaking initiatives to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connections to Australia throughout NAIDOC Week and into the future. As Randstad employees celebrate moving into an exciting new office space this month, they will be reminded of First Nations peoples’ connection to the land that they are working on. In every meeting and interview room, there is a Welcome to Country plaque recognising the traditional custodians of the land.
tips for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander recruitment
As the General Manager for Diversity and Inclusion at Randstad, I have three tips for successful and respectful recruitment of Indigenous talent in Australia.
1. cultural awareness training and education
It is crucial that hiring managers and their teams undertake formal cultural awareness training if they wish to commit to the meaningful and long term placement of First Nations people in jobs. Training ensures that when recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, employees are culturally appropriate, informed and respectful. Specifically, Randstad has partnered with Leading with Strength, a First Nations owned organisation, that fosters cultural competency in Australia through professional learning programs.
2. meaningful partnerships
Recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees is often not as simple as placing an ad on a job board. Randstad has established connections with organisations that specialise in providing employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples, allowing us to tap into talent pipelines all over Australia. Developing a tech savvy approach and reaching out to specialised organisations, will allow companies to attract and source key Indigenous Australian talent.
3. support systems
Companies need to have initiatives in place that support and include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. These may include flexible work arrangements that enable Indigenous employees to meet their work, family and community obligations. A mentor or buddy system is also a great way to support people to feel welcome and included. Conducting an anonymous survey or asking existing Indigenous Australian employees what changes they would like to see is a great place to start. Randstad is also able to connect you to organisations and government initiatives that can assist.
Australian businesses that want to formally support reconciliation through a RAP, can visit www.reconciliation.org.au/reconciliation-action-plans to find out more.
More information about NAIDOC Week 2020, including ways that businesses can support the initiative through hosting events, educational resources and more detailed information about the theme “Always Was, Always Will Be,” are available at www.naidoc.org.au/
At Randstad, we believe that it is the combination of diverse views and an environment of inclusion that will benefit our business, our customers and our community. Visit our diversity and inclusion page to see how we are breaking down barriers for an equitable workplace.