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‘What I look for when hiring natural health graduates’ – insights from those in the know

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Tuesday, 4 April 2017


With Endeavour’s graduation ceremonies kicking off next month and the next wave of natural health practitioners poised to take their place in the industry, we asked a selection of established business owners which traits they’ve been most impressed by in fresh graduates.

With Endeavour’s graduation ceremonies kicking off this month and the next wave of natural health practitioners poised to take their place in the industry, we asked a selection of established business owners which traits they’ve been most impressed by in fresh graduates.

“The graduates that jump out at me are those that seek out my clinic as a place they would like to learn, and are willing to come in and work in administration roles ‘soaking up’ everything. They stand out a mile.

I’ve found graduates from Endeavour in particular have a thorough understanding of treating the body holistically. Carissa from our team is an Endeavour graduate who started off one day a week and has grown her client base exponentially over the past two years. She is such an asset to the clinic. Jess who works with us is still studying at Endeavour in her final semester. She started out doing work experience and has moved to a two day per week administration role – she’s been a life saver for us!

I’d urge graduates not to be afraid of approaching businesses you’re interested in working for. Send them a personalised email with your credentials. Do your homework and seek out a business that inspires you, and make this fact shine in your email when you contact them. As a business owner I can say the stand out graduates are the ones that really have a passion for our work and understand what it is that we do here. A generic email that I know has been sent to ten other businesses really doesn't cut the mustard.”

"I look for someone who is proactive, doesn't make excuses, is accountable, responsible and reliable. Someone who can be trusted with clients, has researched what we do and will uphold the reputation of my business will get my attention immediately. Think value - what value can you provide to the business?

When applying to work anywhere, addressing the owner or head of recruitment with their name is a good touch. Using capital I not i - yes, you would be surprised. If there are any i's, I rule them out straight away. Also watch your email address - is not a great idea. And some addresses aren’t even suitable for publishing.

When you get to interview stage, ask what you need to bring, arrive ten minutes early so you can be calm and relaxed and in time for the interview. Turn your phone off, be present as soon as you walk in as the receptionist will be watching you too. Dress like you are going for an interview not a yoga class – embrace a smart business style that is in with your personality. Make eye contact, ask questions, get to know the interviewer and them you. Show who you are and if you’re shy that's ok, just have the courage to say so. Don't apologise for your personality, use it. We want to see the real you.”

“When running a business it’s always important to find practitioners who have strengths in other areas as well as in their own field. This may include marketing, writing, research or admin. Ultimately I want you in my team if you’re someone who is willing to work collaboratively, take pride in the clinic and support its growth. Passion and innovation are also essential.

The last graduate naturopath to join our team started with us straight out of Endeavour.  She has now been with the clinic for two years and her role has evolved to not just seeing patients, but also being responsible for blog writing, recipe creation and social media marketing. She has gone on do to amazing things creating a service called the “simplelunchbox”, where she speaks to parents, kindergartens and schools about how to create, simple, quick, nutritious lunchboxes for kids. We are super proud of her!

My best advice is to build your network within the industry. Introduce yourself and build rapport with as many people as possible, including reps from product companies and people who inspire you. Stay in touch with old peers and teachers, find a mentor and apply for work experience at clinics that align with your principles. This can put you in the box seat as when I look at expanding the team I tend to draw on my networks - other practitioners, peers and old lecturers to spread the word and recommend anyone they think might be a good fit.”

“Ideally I want a graduate who has a real thirst for knowledge and wants to learn, rather than just trying to pass. In this profession the study never stops, it just becomes the needs of the client that directs it rather than the curriculum.

I firmly believe it is essential to read some books on business. Whilst helping others may be our passion we have to entice clients through the door first. Believe it or not you are in the business of sales and marketing and healing is the product you provide. Read up about the clinic you're applying to, read the customer reviews, read the research papers authored by the practitioners and show you are interested enough to do your due diligence.

“At the initial application stage persistence will get you noticed. After sending an email follow it up with old-fashioned phone call. Having said that, be patient as sometimes your dream clinic will need time to make room for you and get enough clients to keep everyone busy. Remember often the people who run busy clinics will have a lot on their plate so figure out what your areas of interest are and be comfortable discussing them. Having a niche makes you different and added expertise in an area will help clients choose you.”

Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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