Articles and Latest News

The Real Benefits of Reference Checking

There is a lot of debate and divided views in the sector on the real benefits and validity placed on referencing checking. In particular, the emphasis or weighting that should be given to the information provided by referees when making a selection decision.

Having worked in Aged Care for over 15 years and for the past 7 years being directly involved in a broad range of recruitment work, reference checking has always been a natural and essential part of correct processes. It is a protocol that we have always undertaken to ensure scrupulous candidate screening for our clients.

We were reminded recently of the importance of risk management in recruiting and the absolute importance of the reference checking process.

I was working with a candidate who was actively seeking a position we were working on for a client – the candidate presented with an impressive resume, a “proven” track record with long tenures and a social media profile that highlighted a well-credentialed and highly experienced Heath/Aged Care Manager.

Because of my understanding of the sector, I pay particular attention at interview to “breaking down” the true nature of candidate’s experience, in order to fully understand the scope and size of responsibilities and the challenges faced.

After 3 in-depth interviews with me and our longstanding client (as well as extensive social media review), the candidate was offered a position, pending favourable reference checks. I embarked upon what I thought was going to be the final stage of the process and I asked the candidate to provide the referee details of present and past employers.

The first referee was a colleague from the candidate’s current employer – they worked with the candidate during their tenure at the organisation – they outlined that the candidate held quite a different level of role from the one that had been described to us and our client. To be sure (and fair) I questioned the referee 3 times (in different ways) about the candidate’s current role and their responsibilities. The referee answers were consistently the same – the responsibility and the scope of the role that the candidate outlined at interview was not in fact reality. The referee had confirmed that the candidate had elevated the level and scope of responsibilities in their current role and that they had been in fact been untruthful.

A subsequent phone call with the candidate resulted in them being unprepared to provide any further referees to clarify the situation, followed by them quickly withdrew their application.

 The irony of the situation was that the role being recruited for was at a level reasonably consistent with the true position held by the candidate. The elevation of responsibilities was a “sales pitch” the candidate did not need to present – they were assessed as capable for the role in question – the inconsistency was discovered because of the focus of the reference checking, which results from our sector knowledge.

It was disappointing that the candidate had been dishonest but we provided absolute transparency to our client about the reference checking process and, as we expected, they chose not to proceed with the candidate as they had proved to be untruthful.

In this situation, our client dodged a “bad hire” – and I reinforced my commitment to providing integrity and absolute honesty.

If you would like to discuss the reference checking process or speak  further with me about the stringent processes we have in place for recruitment, please call on 0438 748 846 or email me at


Wellbeing Physiotherapist/Occupational Therapist

Advert image Avanti Care

This is the opportunity that you have been truly waiting for!  This is your opportunity to be a part of something bigger, something with amazing purpose. Innovative, supportive, wellbeing focus.

  • Non-medical model mindset approach – mindfulness focus – support and nurture all aspects of a person’s wellbeing
  • Culture Based organisation – genuine, nurturing, caring and supportive staff environment
  • Negotiable Salary, relocation assistance and sponsorship considered

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How would you like to have an occupational and/or Physiotherapy job, that just does not feel like a job?
  • How you would like to work for a passionate organisation that develops tailored programs that nurtures teams and individuals?
  • Do you require sponsorship? Let’s talk…..
  • Are you an upcoming graduate who is looking to be part of a leading organisation that focuses on Health and Wellness?
  • How would you like to relocate to Adelaide, a city that is Adelaide is overflowing with culture, events and entertainment where the cost of living is affordable and house prices are achievable? Would you move if relocation assistance was on offer?

The Organisation:

The organisation is a leading allied health service provider that focuses on ‘positive ageing’ and nurturing an ageing-well lifestyle while utilising restorative care techniques. They are progressive and truly innovative.

The organisation has a strong focus on providing exceptional support to staff with buddy systems, personal development programs and staff wellbeing programs.

The Role:

The organisation is continuing to grow and develop and in response, they are strengthening their dedicated team to promote an innovative model of health and well-being. Part time (flexible with days) or full time – you choose! This is not your typical 4B driven role!

You will be responsible for:

  • Providing physiotherapy services to clients (community based and residential care)
  • Undertaking comprehensive client assessments and providing health promotion advice
  • Developing client wellness plans in consultation with the client, carer and / or family members
  • Working as part of a multidisciplinary team to achieve client goals
  • Building fabulous relationships with organisations and clients

The Candidate:

Our client is seeking an exceptional Physiotherapist/Occupational therapist that is not stuck in traditional medical mindsets, is passionate about wellness and aging well and that has a very flexible approach.

You must have a strong desire for individualised care that is centred on independence and ageing well.

The organisation is not focused on candidates with extensive experience. We are looking for a highly energetic, enthusiastic individuals that thrive on improving and enhancing the lives of their clients.

You will be creative and always be looking for new and innovative ways to provide client-centred options while promoting health and well-being. You will be instrumental in enabling clients to participate in the activities of everyday life to ensure endless happiness and joy.

Ideal candidates will exhibit the following:

  • Genuine compassion
  • A flexible and contemporary approach – strong assessment and wellness planning skills
  • Graduates will be considered
  • Current APHRA registration (or ability to obtain) is essential
  • The ability to focus on client goals
  • A strong customer service focus
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills – the ability to nurture relationships
  • The ability to really think outside the square with a non-medical model focus


  • Upcoming Graduates are encouraged to apply!
  • A degree or equivalent qualification in Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy
  • Current APHRA registration (or ability to obtain) is essential
  • Current police check or ability to obtain the same (Compulsory)

Give this one a go…This really could be the exciting change and the lifestyle role that you have been waiting for. You have nothing to lose. There will be a great deal of interest in this role so please don’t hesitate. Click here to apply now

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is ‪15th June 2019‬

Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend.

The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.

Better Place Australia has a Respecting Elders Program that supports older people with:

• Unusual or inappropriate financial activities like money being inexplicably withdrawn from their bank account

• The use of a power of attorney for purposes other than which it was intended

• Frequent and/or expensive gifts from an older person to their carer

• Belongings going missing

• A recent will or power of attorney has been made when the older person doesn’t seem capable of understanding or making such documents

• Irregular signatures on cheques

• Someone using undue influence over an older person

• The older person’s wishes not respected or ignored

• Being prevented from seeing friends and family

• Social isolation

• Increasing depression and anxiety

• Mistreatment or neglect

WEAAD 140619


2 New Aged Care Management Opportunities in BRISBANE

2 new aged careCare Manager Aged Care

 The Client:

Our Client is a leading provider of Community and Residential Aged Care, Retirement Living in Victoria and Queensland. The organisation is culturally and linguistically diverse and a large part of what they do is assisting people from a non-Australian background. Their methodology is not a medically based model, giving them a point of difference from other aged care facilities.

The Facility:

This large facility really feels like home. There are peaceful courtyards to sit in or walk around and it boasts a swimming pool, gymnasium, Café and shop! Pets are all welcome!

The Role:

The Care Manager is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of care and clinical service

standards and legislative requirements. Reporting to the Facility Manager, this position provides leadership care. The role works with a team of registered staff, care workers, GP’s and allied health professionals to provide high quality clinical and care services.

The Care Manager is responsible for providing clinical governance for the service including advanced clinical support as part of holistic care for residents. To ensure holistic care is provided, this position will apply contemporary nursing practices which are evidence-based, will liaise with care staff and provide supervision to registered staff.

Key Requirements:

  • Current AHPRA Nursing registration
  • Recent Senior Aged Care experience
  • Demonstrate strong leadership skills and the ability to delegate and prioritize work load
  • Ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Experience providing exceptional clinical, resident centred-care
  • ACFI knowledge and documentation skills
  • Current Police Check
  • Quality and continuous improvement knowledge and experience.
  • Understanding of, and ability to manage human resource issues in consultation with the Facility Manager.


  • Monday – Friday hours – No more shifts!
  • Attractive salary plus benefits
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Market leading Aged Care provider

This is a unique opportunity to work in this glorious facility. Candidates from a diverse cultural background are encouraged to apply. If you would like to discuss this amazing opportunity further, please call Rhonda on 0438 748 846 or via email


Clinical Care Coordinator (RN Supervisor) Part Time Contract

The Client:

Our Client is a leading provider of Community and Residential Aged Care, Retirement Living in Victoria and Queensland. The organisation is culturally and linguistically diverse and a large part of what they do is assisting people from a non-Australian background. Their methodology is not a medically based model, giving them a point of difference from other aged care facilities.

The Facility:

This large facility really feels like home. There are peaceful courtyards to sit in or walk around and it boasts a swimming pool, gymnasium, Café and shop! Pets are all welcome!

The Role:

We are looking for an experienced Clinical Care Coordinator (RN1) or RN In Charge to work mornings, evenings, on-call and weekends.

You will be responsible for overseeing all clinical issues as per Standard 2 in the Aged Care Accreditation Standards. This role would suit someone who is driven and focused on providing excellence in care with the ability to mentor EN’s and AIN’S. This role will report directly to the manager.

Key duties:

  • A Senior RN is required with proven In Charge experience
  • Leadership
  • Clinical management
  • Assessment and care planning
  • Family and resident engagement

This is a unique opportunity to work in this glorious facility. Candidates from a diverse cultural background are encouraged to apply. If you would like to discuss this amazing opportunity further, please call Rhonda on 0438 748 846 or via email








Ignorance is not Bliss

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.

Therefore, it stands to reason that to truly understand, you must first know what questions to ask!

Do you know if your residents feel they are being treated with dignity and respect?

Do your residents feel like they are being supported to exercise their choice and independence?

Under the New Quality Standards, Aged Care Providers will be required to demonstrate how they ensure every resident is treated with dignity and respect, and their identity, culture and diversity is valued. Providers will need to have evidence to demonstrate how each resident is able to exercise choice and independence, and how they as a quality care provider, support residents in these decisions.

Your key ‘clinical indicators’ may look good, they may even be great, but the only way to truly know if your residents are happy with their care, is to ask them.  A smile or lack of aggression may not be the true indicator that a resident is happy with their 2nd daily showers. Providers are now required to show evidence that care is tailored to each resident’s needs.

Some facilities look like resorts or 5 star hotels, and command a RAD of over $1 million, however does this necessarily translate to quality care and lifestyle? Do residents feel safe and comfortable and are their lives fulfilled? Does a busy 7-day calendar of activities and a regular schedule of visiting allied health professionals, mean your residents are happy and content and feel their needs are being met?

Many providers believe they nurture an environment where residents and their families feel supported and are comfortable to give feedback or make complaints. Recent reports into the Aged Care sector have highlighted that this has often not been the case. Many residents and their families reported feeling their concerns were not adequately investigated by facility staff, leaving families to resort to installing surveillance cameras. This scenario has become all too common, with families often left feeling ‘too little, too late’ following another empty apology and promises of change. Organisations reputations are left in tatters with the loss of local support and trust in their communities.

DON’T be tomorrow’s news. Resident’s often report feeling uncomfortable giving negative feedback for fear of reprisal, and rely on family intervention once situations have escalated. This is where we can help. Our industry experts will put your residents and families at ease and unveil their experiences, the good and the bad.  We will give you an independent assessment of how your services fare through the eyes of those in your care.

You will find great value in using highly specialized HDR Group consultants because our assessments are industry focused and not influenced by internal politics. Such an evaluation will help a forward-thinking company identify potential problem areas and improve its ability to manage the risk factors. We will provide an unbiased evaluation of your care and services.

Ignorance is not bliss. To find out more, please call our Managing Director Rhonda Withers on 0438 748 846 or via email

ignorance is not bliss.JPG


Newly Created State Manager Aged Care

Our client is a leading aged care provider that specialises in providing aged care services to help consumers live fulfilling lives. They are recognised for their high-quality care and for their personalised approach, experience and results.

They are undergoing an exciting period of development and growth and we have an opportunity for an energetic and passionate person to join their team in the newly created position State Manager NSW. There are currently 6 Residential Aged Care (RAC) homes in the NSW portfolio.

Reporting directly to CEO, this position is responsible for providing overall leadership and direction across the residential aged care services.

There will be a strong focus on Quality and Operational Management, and you will draw on your experience as a senior manager to lead the RAC team effectively and efficiently; setting and maintaining goals and priorities in line with the organisational strategy.

To succeed in this role, you will have:

  • extensive experience managing in residential aged care, demonstrating successful leadership and a working knowledge of the aged care industry, including extensive knowledge of Aged Care Quality Systems the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI)
  • Extensive Experience writing responses, applications and significant experience dealing with the standards agency)
  • a very strong understanding and knowledge of the Aged Care Reforms and accreditation standards
  • demonstrated operational expertise and a strong hand on approach
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills that deliver effective leadership, builds and develops teamwork, and establishes successful working relationships with stakeholders.

You will possess a relevant qualification in a health-related discipline, (Preferably RN) with strong clinical and quality systems knowledge and significant experience at senior management level within an organisation of similar size and complexity.

This is a full-time position based in NSW and you will be required to travel between sites.

There is an exceptional salary package on offer and relocation assistance will be considered.

This really is your chance to mold the role into your own and build a team that will include a Quality Manager, ACFI Manager and the required support personnel.

If you would like to find out more about this extraordinary new opportunity, please register you interest below or email at



State manager photo.JPG

Know your Customer Experience

What are some of the top things that potential villagers are looking for in a Retirement community?

We recently conducted some Retirement Community Customer Experience audits – 2 communities within 2.5km of each other.

One had an extensive waiting list & the other had a significant amount of ‘houses’ for sale.


As a potential consumer, it was very easy to see & understand why one of the villages had an extensive waiting list.

It is also interesting to note that in this instance, price really had nothing to do with the waiting list. The entry price was very similar at both villages – the village with the extensive list offered only one pricing option. The village with vacancies offered some genuine options to reduce the overall fees & charges.

Knowing your Customer Experience will be your competitive differentiator.

If you would like to speak with me about why the village had an extensive waiting list & customising a package of customer expectation auditing (mystery shopping) for your retirement villages, please call Rhonda 0438 748 846 or email


Praise makes you feel good. Critique makes you better

How did we go?

If done well, the admission process for a new aged care services user will lay great foundations for a meaningful transition into aged care services.


If the new consumer & their family are disengaged from the beginning, it may be very difficult to re-engage with them.

Feedback from new consumers & their families is crucial; it is how you improve. 


Assessment & Monitoring against the new Aged Care Quality Standards will also require organisations to provide regular input & feedback from consumers.


So how do you gauge what worked & what didn’t?


Ask them!


• Were the financial aspects discussed in a respectful & non-threatening way? Were you given choices?

• Were they & their family provided with all the information they require to make an informed decision?

• Were the facility staff empathetic or was pressure applied?

• Was every effort made to meet their needs, wants & desires?


The HDR Group specialises in conducting engaging interviews with your chosen number of new consumers & their families to deliver frank, candid, independent & honest feedback based on their experience.


linkedin pic 041218.JPG

Do you know what potential consumers are being told when they make a new enquiry? 

Assessment & Monitoring against the new Aged Care Quality Standards will commence from 1 July 2019.

The standards have a very clear focus on Consumer Dignity and Choice & you will be required to include evidence about how you support consumers to exercise choice & independence.

Some examples:

  • Fridges not permitted in consumers rooms
  • No Alcohol allowed
  • Efforts will not be made to improve the consumers mobility
  • No meal choices & set meal times
  • Will not accept consumers with challenging dementia behaviours
  • Placement acceptance will be based on ACAT Support plan information
  • Ability to pay (with RAD preference) Admission enquiries provide the potential new consumer their first impression of your company.

If done well, the admission process will lay great foundations for a meaningful transition into care.

If the new consumer & their family are disengaged from the beginning, it may be very difficult to re-engage with them.

Do you know what potential consumers are being told when they make a new enquiry?

linkedin photo 281118.JPG

How can WE help you?

What is the one thing that potential new recipients and their families are looking for in a Residential Aged Care Facility?

They simply want to know that care and services that your organisation offers are going to meet their individual needs, requirements and wants.

So why is it then that when inquiries are made to providers, that there is just such a focus on how challenging their ‘behaviours’ may be and can you afford the fees that we charge?

This is certainly been an overwhelming theme to the customer experience calls we are making. No one is asking ‘How can WE help you?’ It sounds simple, but in most instances, it just does not happen.

If you would like to have a chat about how we can measure your potential customer experience, please call me on 0438 748 846 or email

How can we help you.JPG

Worth the wait? 

Worth the wait?

Some things can’t be unseen.

On a recent mystery shopping visit, we waited 20 minutes past our scheduled appointment time for the customer liaison officer to greet us.

During this time, we observed a lack of responsiveness to the residents by facility staff.

The tour was generic and transactional and it only provided information about the facility. It did not focus on what we were actually looking for.

When potential care recipients are looking for a RAC facility, they are not just looking for information about the facility and a friendly tour guide. They are wondering if this is the right facility for their loved one.

Our team of experienced industry professionals are skilled at capturing information and facility insights and providing detailed reports that highlight relevant information for the client rather than an opinion of a generalist mystery shopper based on their interaction with facility staff.

If you want to find out what your potential customers are experiencing when they arrive at your facility, please head to

#marketing #customerexperience #branding #mysteryshopping