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Everything You Need to Know about Security Clearances
Have you ever applied for a job, but were told you need a police clearance or DCSI to be considered? Many organisations that hire property people require these checks for their permanent, contract and temporary employees, such as community housing organisations, state and local Government Departments, police departments and more. We provide the who, what, where, when and why of getting your security clearances in South Australia.
The two most common security checks needed for people working the in the property industry are National Police Checks and DCSI clearances. These clearances are requested for people working in sensitive areas such as:
- Aged Care Sector Employment;
- Disability Services Employment;
- General Employment Probity;
- Vulnerable Person Related Employment; and
- Working with Children.
National Police Check
The purpose of a National Police Check (Police Check) is to identify any possible risks an individual might pose to an organisation if employed there. Obtaining a police check involves providing personal information and identification in order to obtain a full criminal history background check and report. Police checks can be applied for through the SAPOL website and the process is straight forward. To request a check, you will need to prove your identity with at least 100 points of ID. The check is then processed, and a certificate is provided stating the outcome. Standard police checks cost about $45 and can take anywhere from 24 hours to 2 weeks to process.
A DCSI (Department for Communities and Social Inclusion) check is a more substantial background check and assesses additional information that would not be detected through a standard police check. DCSI clearances must be auspiced through the organisation you intend to work for, so when applying for a clearance you will be asked what organisation and role the clearance relates to. The only way to obtain a DCSI clearance independently is through a Centrelink provider or recruitment agency. Here at Edge, we have initiated the clearance process for many of our temps working for organisations in sensitive areas.
The good news is there are different types of DCSI clearances specific to each sector, so you won't need to apply and pay for a blanket clearance to cover them all. Simply apply and pay for the specific clearance/s relevant to your role, costing approximately $100 each. These include:
- working with children;
- working with the aged; and
- working with the disabled.
Once the organisation has initiated the process for you, the screening department sends an email with some online forms to fill out. This then gets sent off for screening and takes approximately 4-6 weeks to process.A DCSI clearance costs approximately $100 and is usually paid for by the individual.
Some final points to note
- Each organisation sets their own policies relating to clearances. For example, even if you have a recent police clearance for the purpose of volunteering at a school or club, you may need to get another police clearance stipulated by the organisation you are looking to join.
- If you think you may get a role in an area that requires a DCSI, it’s best to start the process early as some organisations require your clearance to be finalised before you start!
We hope this article answers any questions you may have about obtaining security checks in South Australia and provides a useful point of reference for future use. For further information about screening and background checks, visit the sa.gov.au website.
Why Temps Are Trending Right Now
In the past few months, we have observed an increase in the percentage of temps hired compared with permanent placements in our recruitment mix. We’ve also noticed an increase in temp to perm opportunities available in a range of private sector areas. So why are temps proving to be hot property right now? We explore the reasons for the trend and explain how job seekers can take advantage.
Which sectors are hiring temps?
- State and Local Government
Currently, we're busy recruiting temps into Government departments due to many projects that have been given government funding and are prioritized to go ahead. There has been an urgent need for experienced property administrators and project managers in key local and state government departments where there’s fully funded capital works projects working to tight timeframes.
- Community Housing
We continue to get a strong number of enquiries from the community housing sector looking for temps with property administration and tenancy management experience. Temps with their DCSI and police clearances ready to go are more likely to be placed in these roles than temps without these clearances.
- Property and Real Estate
Temp receptionists in all areas of property and real estate are also very popular at the moment. We receive several requests a week for last minute reception temps, usually for 2-3 days to cover sick leave or employees taking annual leave.
Top Reasons Temps Are Trending
Employers are waking up to the fact that hiring a temp is a much quicker way to fill a resources gap where there is an urgent need. It can take several weeks for many businesses to get through multiple interview rounds and hire a permanent employee, whereas a temp placement can be filled within days, sometimes hours.
- Testing the waters first
Some businesses with an urgent need for skilled people that require longer term or permanent resources are using the ‘try before you buy’ approach, meaning they prefer to test someone in the role before committing to a longer term employment contract. This is a smart solution for businesses that can’t afford to have gaps in their work flow.
- Future trend?
With the deadline for property managers to gain their property management registration approaching in late September, residential and commercial agencies may start to use temps with their property management registration to plug any gaps within their current team struggling to finish their registration on time. It will be interesting to see if this trend starts to occur at the end of the month.
Job seekers can benefit enormously from temporary roles, especially those who are unemployed, in between jobs or just looking for a change. We are well connected to the top employers in the property industry and in some cases, certain businesses use us exclusively to hire temporary and permanent staff.
We recommend that job seekers who wish to work in community housing and certain government departments should obtain a police check and look into undertaking a DCSI clearance. There are several versions of this clearance and the most requested by our clients is a ‘Working with Children’ clearance. In many organisations you can’t begin any form of work without having this in place. For further advice on this you can contact Mary-Jane or Stephanie at our office.
Who Are The Most In Demand People In Property?
With demand outweighing supply for certain roles in the property industry, quality candidates currently have the upper hand when it comes to recruitment. We explain the key reasons for this trend and explore how hiring managers can find top talent in a tight market.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MANAGERS
With the new registration requirements for residential (and commercial) property managers coming into effect in late September, the availability of property management candidates available in the South Australian market is at an all time low. It's no secret that the registration requirements have exacerbated an existing shortage of quality, experienced candidates in this area, leaving many agencies struggling to grow and maintain their rent roles.
Despite these challenges, we believe that the introduction of licensing is a good move to continue to raise the level of professionalism in this sector.
Those property management candidates who have their licence and are job hunting are hot property right now. Our suggestion for employers looking for property management talent is to present a competitive and appealing package that is not just limited to salary. Are there good processes and procedures in place? Do you have a tidy rent role of quality tenants? Do you provide ongoing professional development and training? Can you provide flexible working arrangements? What other benefits can you offer? Highlight what is appealing and exceptional about working for your organisation and about the role.
Lease administrators who can manage the administrative process of putting together commercial and retail leases are hard to find in the Adelaide market. Whilst availability of candidates in this area has eased slightly as the year has progressed, pure lease administrators represent a gap in the market.
A major contributor to this low supply is the lack of companies who have head office property departments in Adelaide, as most commonly they are based in the eastern states. For example, a large retailer such as Gloria Jeans may have multiple sites in SA, but the property management and lease administration are run from capital cities in the eastern states.
In Adelaide, lease administration is most likely to be handled by commercial or retail property managers and often they are aided by administrative staff or a property assistant with some experience in lease administration. These factors make pure lease administrators hard to find in South Australia, and in turn cause people with these skills to be in high demand.
One suggestion for employers to get around this issue is to recruit commercial property management assistants with some leasing experience in their skill set.
Whether you’re in the residential, commercial or building and construction sectors, contract administrators need specialised skills, such as a thorough knowledge of contractual obligations required of project contractors. Local experience is also highly regarded, making it particularly hard for overseas candidates with transferrable skills to break in to this market.
More senior people with more than 5 years’ experience as a contract administrator or with experience in the commercial sector are doubly hard to find. With a lack of candidates in this area, if you’re a quality contract administrator with local experience, you are in an excellent position to win a great role at the moment.
Employers should consider that candidates are looking for market competitive salaries and a good pipeline of work. While salaries can be directly tied to the budget of an organisation, consideration should also be given to the potential opportunity cost of not having someone in the seat when it comes to winning work and completing projects.
Jane Carey, CEO at Edge Recruitment explains, "In active industries such as property, real estate and building and construction there are always going to be areas experiencing a shortage of quality candidates. Quite often there can be a reasonable volume of candidates applying for positions, but finding the quality of person with the right mix of skills and experience is the challenge.
When this is the case organisations may need to be creative and work harder to fill vacancies. Considering which skills or experience are actually critical as opposed to preferable, reducing the amount of prior experience required and providing more in-depth on the job training may be some solutions to contemplate".
These are the hardest-to-fill roles in the property industry currently and we expect this trend to continue for the remainder of 2019. We're hoping that property management candidates will become more available once the registration deadline of late September has passed. If you need advice on employment matters in the property industry in South Australia, don't hesitate to give us a call.
5 Things Every Job Seeker Should Know (Before Applying To A Recruiter)
From social media to asking about salary and poor excuses for interview no-shows - these are the things every candidate should know before applying for a job through a recruiter.
1. We will most likely look at your social media profile
social media to assist in recruitment is at an all-time high. It’s not only recruiters that are using your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to find out more about you, employers are doing this too.
- Have you considered how your past online activity could be viewed by potential employers?
- Do you know what images, posts and comments are publically available?
- Have you Googled yourself recently?
Whilst employers should be mindful that relying on social media for recruitment can expose them to discrimination and privacy laws, they are allowed to view publically accessible information to help decide if a candidate would make a good cultural fit for their organisation.
2. Interview no-shows can affect your chances of winning future jobs
Being a no-show or having a poor excuse for not showing up to your interview with your recruiter can crush your chances of winning future roles and is a source of frustration for recruiters. Whilst legitimate excuses are absolutely fine, we receive many excuses that are not. Not attending your interview demonstrates your unreliability and indicates that you may not be relied upon to show up for future interviews, let alone be at work on time. We recommend thinking twice before not attending an interview without letting your recruiter know in advance.
3. Not all jobs are advertised
As a recruiter, many of our jobs are filled via networking and database searches, even before a role has been advertised. Therefore it really pays to register with us as soon as you’re ready to start your job hunt. If you are registered with us and we have a job that suits your skills and experience, you may get a call without even applying for the role. We also recommend following our LinkedIn and Facebook profiles for up to date job posts and news.
4. A job interview may be just around the corner
Be prepared that you may need to attend an interview sooner than you think. Recruitment timeframes vary wildly from employer to employer, so smarten your wardrobe if it’s needed and get a haircut if it’s looking neglected. Whilst most job searches take a while, sometimes job offers can result from the very first interview, if you make a good impression.
5. Be prepared to answer questions about salary
Whilst it’s unlikely you’ll be asked about salary in a first interview with an employer, a first meet or phone call with a recruiter will likely include a discussion about your salary expectations. So it pays to be prepared to answer questions about salary early on. We highly recommend that job seekers do some salary research and consider what their salary expectations are before applying for jobs.
Many candidates aren’t aware that good preparation before starting their job hunt will help them achieve a better result. We hope these top 5 job tips will help you reach that next step in your career.
Deadline Looms for Property Management Licences
With the September due date fast approaching for residential and commercial property managers to attain their property management registration in South Australia, many are rushing to finish their training in time. We’re receiving a range of requests from employers, with some asking that any property management candidates we put forward for roles have their full licence, whilst others are happy to see candidates that are unlicensed and working towards achieving their registration. There is no fixed trend currently, and it seems to vary from business to business.
What EMPLOYERS can expect
The addition of property management registration in South Australia is ultimately a positive change for the property industry, however, in the short term it has caused a candidate shortage of property managers available in the employment market.
Many property managers whose property management training costs are being paid for by their employer are being asked to sign 12-month (stay put) agreements. This is to provide some security to employers, ensuring their newly registered property managers don’t resign shortly after gaining their licence and to stop those training dollars from being lost to other businesses. With the full cost of the property management training (if not applying for any Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)) being approximately $1500, this seems like a reasonable agreement to ask for.
Whilst this is causing some stagnation of property managers available in the employment market, there are still property managers available. The 12-month agreement is not a 100% assurance that employers will stay put, as property managers wishing to break their agreement and change jobs can simply reimburse their employer for training costs incurred, should they wish to leave.
What If Property Management Staff Haven’t Started Their Training Yet?
It’s not too late to make the deadline for those property managers that haven’t started their training or applied for RPL yet. Training in the full course of 9 subjects takes approximately 8 days full time, with some providers offering part-time and after-hours options to study. Once the training has been completed, students will then need to apply to CBS (Consumer and Business Services) to become registered. To ensure the application will be processed in time to meet the deadline, CBS has recommended that people apply for their registration no later than 30 August 2019.
From a recruitment perspective, those property management candidates that have their licence will have an advantage over candidates yet to finish their studies. Property managers who are job hunting this year can expect to be asked to provide proof of their property management licence, or if they are still studying, how many training modules have been completed. Employers are (of course) expecting assurance from any potential employees that their registration will be achieved by the due date.
The feedback we have received from employers about property management registration is generally positive, with most saying it’s good for the industry in the long term, even though it’s causing some disruption and headaches in the short term.