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Whaiora’s innovative recruitment

A Wairarapa healthcare organisation is taking the initiative on recruitment by adopting an innovative approach and going direct to the field.

Masterton wellness and holistic healthcare provider Whaiora is kicking off a range of strategies to attract the right candidates into its GP pool.

Whaiora Kaihautū [general manager] Triny Ruhe and Whaiora Pou Whakahaere [chief operations manager] Jake Carlson are spearheading the initiatives.

Over the coming months, Ruhe and Carlson will be promoting Whaiora and Wairarapa as excellent places to work and live. They plan to promote the opportunities their organisation offers, and the region, direct to potential candidate organisations both locally and offshore.

Whaiora employs about 60 staff, across a range of health disciplines.

“The majority of our staff work out in the community,” Carlson said.

The organisation provides a wraparound service that seeks to identify and prevent the causes of ill health, as well as providing conventional medical care.

Staff will go where people needing help or advice are able to get to.

“Sometimes that’s meeting people in their houses, sometimes that’s meeting them at community-based clinics, and then other times we will go to specific events,” Carlson said.

The organisation has three GPs, two in-clinic and one virtual, and plans to expand that number.

“We are hoping to grow our team significantly over the next five years,” Carlson said.

PHOTO/FILE

“We would like to have five GPs at any one time. Part of that is to meet current demand, but also future-proofing ourselves looking forward.

“The other part is also looking for GPs who are motivated and energised to work in a kaupapa Māori organisation. We are wanting to iterate the current model of care to one that is much more whānau centred. That requires us to grow and develop, and scale up our workforce.”

The organisation’s ideal candidate is an experienced GP looking to branch out.

“Perhaps they are looking for a new way of working. Perhaps they are aware of the inequitable outcomes that Māori experience in Aotearoa,” Carlson said.

A GP looking for an opportunity to work in an organisation that will support them to try and innovate to achieve better health outcomes in that space will be a good fit for the roles available.

“It’s coming back to a strengths-based, collaborative approach of Hauora [a Māori philosophy of health and wellbeing]. So we are looking for GPs who can help us achieve some of that,” Carlson said.

“There absolutely is still a need for a clinician to address the pathologies that emerge in our population. And, at the same time, to be able to balance that alongside more holistic services.”

Someone with good interpersonal skills would fit well, as would “somebody who really enjoys the kaupapa Māori approach. The focus on relationships, and the awareness of and the ability to partner with the needs of the Māori community,” Carlson said.

“It’s also around helping us as an organisation to set ourselves up for success in that space. Innovation is always demanding, it’s always tough and requires a number of people to come together and collaborate really cohesively.”

The candidates could be in New Zealand or offshore right now. Towards that end, Carlson and Ruhe are attending GP gatherings here and overseas in an effort to find the right candidates.

PHOTO/FILE

The first such event was GP23 in Auckland last weekend. It was the first time Whaiora exhibited at this conference, which is aimed at general practitioners. The second opportunity is later in the year in Glasgow, where the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK will be holding its annual conference. That organisation has more than 52,000 members.

At all such occasions, showcasing Whaiora and Wairarapa is the priority for Carlson and Ruhe.

Carlson said the region has plenty to offer the right candidate, including the beauty of the landscape, and how accessible the outdoors are, even though Wellington’s amenities and international airport are just a short drive away.

“It’s entirely normal for us to be going for a bushwalk for a couple of hours on a weekend morning, and it’s entirely normal for us to be popping out to the beach at the weekend. At the same time, we can go to some of the world’s best wineries on an amazing day like today,” he said.

“We’ve got the world’s best kept secret in terms of way of life. Here you live among the community that you’re working with, and I think that can be really rewarding as well.

“I’m excited and very hopeful,” Carlson said.

“I can see the world of opportunity that’s here for us in terms of improving outcomes, developing our workforce, and growing our workforce.” – NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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