retail assistant

24 August 2020 posted by Recovery Partners

Ali from Recovery Partners helped this retail worker with jobseeking at one of her favourite shopping destinations using the SIRA JobCover program.

Redundancy while on suitable duties

Given the huge hit the sector has taken in recent months, *Louisa, a NSW retail sales assistant, was not feeling particularly optimistic about her chance of finding a new job after being made redundant earlier this year. Louisa had injured her shoulder at her previous place of employment and was back performing suitable duties when COVID-19 hit our shores. The company she worked for laid off several employees and Louisa was one of them.

Louisa was concerned about disclosing her injury

‘When Louisa was made redundant, she was referred to Recovery Partners for help with jobseeking,’ says Ali Hamdan, Recovery Partners Rehabilitation Consultant. ‘I conducted a vocational assessment and then helped Louisa to apply for jobs. She was very diligent, but she felt the situation with COVID-19 was quite hopeless. She was also concerned about disclosing her injury to new employers. Although she’d made a good recovery, she was still attending physio and could only lift up to ten kilos. That was unlikely to be a problem for most retail jobs, but Louisa didn’t want to be disadvantaged in such a competitive climate.’ To help Louisa address these concerns, Ali helped her develop a way of framing her injury to potential employers in a brief, truthful and concise manner. ‘We agreed it was best to be honest of course, but Louisa just needed the words to convey the fact that she had this restriction but was still very capable. It helped her to be prepared for when it came up.’

Jobseeking in a highly competitive climate

Louisa applied for quite a few jobs and got to the interview stage with several but didn’t quite make it through, Ali says. ‘Louisa was feeling a bit discouraged after having those unsuccessful interviews, but I stayed positive and talked to her about how every interview was a good learning experience,’ Ali says. ‘It can be a numbers game, and you just have to keep applying even when it feels like you’re not getting anywhere. Louisa had over five years of experience, she was well presented and good at her job, so I was confident she would find a role in time.’

Jobseeking and JobCover

With the added impediment of COVID, Ali decided to add jobseeking to their strategy. ‘SIRA has a program called JobCover that provides financial incentives to employers to hire staff who have experienced an injury and are unable to work with their pre-injury employer,’ Ali says. ‘I began calling retailers near where Louisa lived to see if any of them would be interested in hiring her through this program. Louisa also decided to go and see some stores herself.’ Ali struck gold when he rang a boutique in Louisa’s local area, and they agreed to meet with her and possibly get her to come in for a trial. By pure coincidence, Louisa visited the same store that day and got chatting to the manager about a possible role.

JobCover success for Ali and Louisa

‘I think the store owner put two and two together and they were really happy to give Louisa a trial,’ says Ali. ‘It was a store she visited often and loved, so she knew the products and obviously fit the demographic of their typical customers, too. It was easy for her to build rapport with them. What’s more, the shop is about a one-minute walk from her home.’ Louisa began a four-week trial with the store, and Ali spoke to the manager after the first week. ‘They were really pleased with Louisa and they expressed that they’d like to hire her as an employee when the trial was complete,’ says Ali. ‘Louisa was really happy too and relieved that she’d found somewhere that was such a good fit for her and her skillset. She was pretty happy about the staff discount, too!’ Congratulations to Ali and Louisa for this excellent result. If you’d like to know more about how Recovery Partners can help your client with the JobCover program or any other employment and return to work services, get in touch.

Our services are available nationwide. For more information about our services contact us.

Our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) or email 

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved in this case.

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