Henny Pearmain, COT Professional Affairs Officer—Enquiries Service, has a question for you all regarding a recently discovered and unexplained phenomenon…
The College publications and website are probably the best way to advertise a role to an audience of occupational therapists. Recently we have become aware that organisations are having difficulty filling some posts. We receive feedback from those who advertise through us and we get managers ringing the Enquiry Service, asking us why we think this may be happening.
It seems strange to be hearing this when we also hear of occupational therapists who cannot find a job, especially at entry level, or those coming back into practice after a career break. We have not had enough examples to see if there are any patterns to these occurrences. What might be an explanation in each case?
It is interesting looking at the adverts which the employing organisations are putting together. They have started to ‘fish’ very widely, not specifying a grade, but opening a post, perhaps in a specialist location, to new graduates as well as experienced occupational therapists. What is not obvious is a commitment to the support and development that a new graduate would need in such a position.
A number of adverts are also stating that membership of BAOT is preferred. As BAOT is the trade union for occupational therapist, membership cannot be made a condition for employment. It is encouraging to note that employers put a value on membership of the professional body, along with the support and access to resources that this can provide.
Have you experienced difficulty recruiting to a post? Have you applied for a post against numerous others? What makes a potential job stand out to you in an advert? What do you want the advert to inform you of? If you tell us, we will pass the messages on and hopefully encourage employing organisations to make their adverts a little more useful and effective.