Jason Timor, a Badu Island man from the Torres Strait, is an accomplished recruiter with significant agency and in-house experience under his belt. He currently assists Qantas with their aboriginal recruitment strategy. We caught up with Jason to discuss about his personal journey, his current project with the aboriginal community and the stories he will be sharing at the Sourcing Summit.

Q. Tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up in your current role?
I grew up in a small regional town in Queensland and soon found there were limited opportunities for me and decided to study for a short period before moving to Sydney. I wasn’t quite sure what it was I wanted to do but I knew it had to be people focused. After a few customer service and sales roles, I landed into recruitment and did my ‘apprenticeship’ with Hays before moving on to Engineering desk with Hamilton James and Bruce and then onto an in-house role with Caltex.

What I found most rewarding in recruitment was the aspect of changing someone’s life offering them the opportunity they might otherwise would not have come across. As a proud Indigenous Australian and my drive to give back to my community I now have a great opportunity to make a real difference and contribute to Qantas’ Reconciliation Action Plan.

Q. You are currently advising Qantas on indigenous recruitment, can you shed some light on the state of employment in the indigenous community?
It is more a case of the state of unemployment within the Indigenous community being three times higher than non-Indigenous. Its also important to note that 29% of young Indigenous Australians are not employed or studying compared to around 9% of young non Indigenous people. At Indigenous Careers @ Qantas, we have a strong emphasis on the Education to Employment journey and invest alot of our efforts in our School Based Trainees, Cadetships and other entry level roles across our businees.

Q. Is it hard to find indigenous talent? What are the main challenges facing employers who wanted to increase their indigenous headcount?
Indigenous talent is an untapped resource that has numerous commericial benefits for any business beyond a philanthropic message. This talent is not hard to find provided you have multi-faceted approach to this market.

Challenges facing employers wanting to increase their Indigenous headcount can vary but it is very important to engage with the Indigenous communities coupled with traditional sourcing strategies. It is vital to have strong contacts in the Indigenous communities where you recruit so be prepared to get involved rather than just recruiting behind a desk.

Q. What sourcing channels do you find most effective in your experience?
One of the surprising channels that has been quite successful for us has been our Indigenous Employee Network – We capitalise on this network to send our job alerts and we find these get forwarded on to Indigenous communities/organisations/agencies . Our Indigenous staff are very passionate and pro-active in getting involved and as Indigenous people, we have a strong sense of family and community which allows a far reach into this unique candidate market.

I run information/ pre-assessment sessions for bulk recruitment for areas such as Cabin Crew, Ground Crew and Airport staff to prepare Indigenous candidates before they enter into the mainstream recruitment process – Indigenous staff who are actually in the relevant role eg. Indigenous Flight Attendants attend to co-facilitate a Q@A session and give realistic job previews. These sessions are run even when we do not have those particular roles live as our aim is to get these candidates ‘job ready’ for when the opportunities become available.

Careers Fair complement our long term strategy of Education to Employment and Classroom to a Career as the Indigenous population is getting younger, we take Qantas on the road and present a full range opportunities from School Based Traineeships, Cadetships and direct entry roles.

Q. What will you be speaking about at the summit?
I wanted to really highlight the great work Qantas is doing as an Indigenous employer and what strategies we have adopted to increase our Indigenous headcount from Employer Branding to Community Engagement. I also am keen to share what we have learnt along the way and challenges we face in this rapidly evolving area.