Office Hours With Northern Health: Long-Term Growth, Learning Opportunities And More

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On October 1st, TalentEgg hosted Office Hours with Northern Health! Office Hours is an hour-long live chat with representatives from top employers for TalentEgg members. Recruiter Ashley Ellerbeck was on hand to answer questions about hatching a career with Northern Health.

Ashley discussed the unique career opportunities and learning potential available at Northern Health and took a number of questions from TalentEgg-ers like you!

If you missed the live event, you can read the complete transcript below.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Welcome to Office Hours, TalentEgg-ers! My name is Elias and I’ll be moderating today’s chat.

Over the next hour, you can share your questions with the team from Northern Health, learn about Northern Health’s healthcare career opportunities and get application and interview tips from the experts! You can start submitting your questions now.

Today’s expert is Ashley Ellerbeck, a Northern Health Recruiter!

Elias (TalentEgg):

Many of you took the opportunity to submit a question in advance – fantastic!

We’re going to cover as many topics as we can, so you’ll learn a lot over the next hour!

Elias (TalentEgg):

Ashley, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Ahoy TalentEgg! I have been a Recruiter for Northern Health for 3.5 years. The combination of professional development, organizational support and incredible lifestyle here in northern BC has been amazing.

My awesome job is primarily traveling around the country, promoting Northern Health and seeking out the best healthcare professionals to serve our unique population. I attend anywhere from 13-18 events a year ranging from specialty nursing to rehabilitation to ultrasound and laboratory professionals. Excited to be here to answer any questions you have about your healthcare careers!

Elias (TalentEgg):

Fantastic! Let’s kick things off with a question that was submitted by a student in advance:

Landy, a Nursing student at Nipissing University, asks:

What is one way to stand out for new graduates?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

The best way to stand out as a new grad for us in northern BC is to show initiative and get some extra courses such as specialty nursing or attending professional development seminars…anything that will increase your knowledge and build your resume. We love go-getters and self-starters!

Elias (TalentEgg):

Jack, a Nursing graduate from the University of Toronto, asks:

Why is Northern Health a great employer to start a career with? How do you make sure you’re providing the first job experience new healthcare practitioners need?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

I think Northern Health is the best place for new grads to start for a number of reasons. The first would be the full scope experience that you can expect as a rural healthcare professional. All our professionals are generalists, therefore they work with a wide variety of populations on an interprofessional team.

Another great reason is the affordability and awesome lifestyle you can expect. Your experience in and out of work is just so well-suited to new energetic grads.

We also have a team of Professional Practice Leads for each healthcare occupation that ensure our new grads are getting the support, mentorship and professional development they need to get their careers started on the right foot.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Marzia, a student from McMaster University, asks:

What are the long-term career opportunities available for a recent grad interested in the northern healthcare sector?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Because we are a smaller health authority, starting your career with Northern Health means getting ahead faster.
We work with new grads that have a desire to move into leadership positions early on in their careers and provide the support they need to get there. In fact, many of our managers are under Gen Ys!

John:

How do you support people who want to join your team but have to uproot their lives to do so?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Uproot? You mean upgrade? Just joking but really, Northern BC is amazing beautiful, affordable and we have every kind of outdoor activity you can think of like skiing, hiking, world-class fishing, camping, kayaking, mountain biking, etc.

We actually do provide some of the most competitive relocation packages for certain healthcare professionals that are moving across the country. Right now the professions include physiotherapy, specialty nursing, and ultrasound techs.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Have you read Northern Health’s newest editorial?

We talked to 2 of their team members to learn how Northern Health helps you start your career: http://talentegg.ca/incubator/2014/09/28/started-stories-northern-health-team/

Stacy N.;

I’m very passionate about community outreach and support as part of the overall practice of health and healthcare. Can you tell me about the role Northern Health plays in the community?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

LOVE THIS QUESTION! Northern Health is all about serving the community and we are currently undergoing a big change to a Primary Healthcare Model that focuses on providing more integrated health services for our population in which the community plays a big part.

Check out our Facebook page, Twitter feed and our blog (blog.northernhealth.ca) for some great examples of Northern Health staff doing great work in their community!

Darleen:

Hi and thanks for hosting Office Hours for us today. Can you tell me more about how I can learn about Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

A great place to start is our careers.northernhealth.ca and physicians.northernhealth.ca website and of course our social media outlets mentioned above. Oh, and don’t forget TalentEgg 🙂 If that’s not enough for you, please feel free to contact a Recruiter such as myself.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Remember: you can find the latest openings at Northern Health here: http://talentegg.ca/employer/northern-health/

Katie, RN:

I hear a lot about extracurricular experiences as part of being a strong applicant. Is this the case at Northern Health? What kind of experiences would you look for?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Northern Health is all about finding the right “fit” for our positions and communities. Therefore, it is great to see someone who is involved in extracurricular activities as they tend to fit in really well to our community culture.

Since we live in an outdoor paradise, it certainly stands out if someone is really active and also volunteer experience is great to see. At Northern Health, we like to walk the walk as far as leading healthy lifestyles.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Fantastic discussion!

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Northern Health in this great video: http://talentegg.ca/incubator/2013/12/05/scenes-career-northern-health/

RobertaFareen:

What do you find is the most common error healthcare professionals (new ones) make when they’re applying for a job? How can I avoid it?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Haha, I love this one too. One of the most common ones that I see is a cover letter that starts with “Dear Other Health Authority.”
If you are going to make a personalized cover letter (recommended) please ensure that you are addressing it to the right employer. 🙂
Also, if you are lacking work experience, it’s good to give us more details about your clinical experience while in school.

Ramya:

What does Northern Health offer, specifically for recent grad occupational therapists and fitting into an interprofessional team?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Great question! As we mentioned above, our shift into a Primary Healthcare Model means that our rehab professionals will play a key part in this interprofessional team approach. This of course is in addition to a professional development plan to get you started that includes practice support and mentorship.

Tam, RN:

What kind of continued education opportunities and support are available?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We have a Tuition Reimbursement Program that offers each of our employees $750 for professional development each year. Our Nursing and Allied Health (physios, Occupational therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Ultrasound Techs, etc.) also have New Grad Transition Funds to offer to new grads to ensure they are getting the support they need.

Your professional development plan is created in partnership with your manager and takes into consideration your interests and areas you would like to pursue.

I. Gora:

Hi Ashley! What’s the most important quality successful people bring to Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Absolutely teamwork! Working on an interprofessional team is essential, so having someone who is open-minded and works well in a team environment is an asset for us. Also a sense of community involvement is great!

Mana, OT:

What is the hiring status for occupational therapists now? I didn’t see any OT postings on the website.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Keep checking! We have new postings coming up everyday and some are only up for 7 days so you want to check in with our career page careers.northernhealth.ca weekly. We are almost always hiring OTs and PTs so please stay in touch!

What are you interested in learning about during Office Hours with Northern Health?

• How to stand out when applying to Northern Health ( 40% )
• How Northern Health supports career growth ( 20% )
• The BC lifestyle and Northern Health’s communities ( 30% )
• The workplace culture at Northern Health ( 10% )

Alinne:

As a top employer for new grads, how is Northern Health’s culture reflective of the energetic new professionals who make up your staff?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Northern Health tends to attract energetic individuals because our staff works to the full scope of their occupation while at work and we have this huge amazing outdoor playground that keeps them very busy outside of work. There is literally no limit to the outdoor activities we have available here.

Manss:

What are the prospects for recent MPH graduates at Northern? What experience does Northern look for in MPH graduates?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We have lots of position in Public Health that are more policy- and strategy-based (as opposed to clinical practice). For example we have some really innovative positions involving Public Health such as a Men’s Health Lead and a Physical Activity Coordinator.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Some require some experience on health promotion but above all, the right energy level and personality are essential.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Jane, a Nursing student at Queen’s University, asks:

I was wondering: what’s your favourite thing about working for Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

My hands-down favourite thing about working for Northern Health is going out into the field to catch up with staff that I have recruited. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing how making the move to Northern Health was a great career choice and how much they love their life in and out of work.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

My last visit to Prince Rupert, the Physio I recruited from Cape Breton actually said “I can’t believe I almost didn’t do this!” Totally made my day!

Mike:

What are new employees at Northern Health surprised by?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Definitely a combination of the awesome sense of community and friendly atmosphere and the expanded professional scope.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Working in a rural community comes with extra responsibility, but also the independence to pursue your passions in a supportive environment.

Dana Galsmit:

I’m curious to learn more about nursing experiences at Northern Health. How wide is the range of experiences in nursing? And opportunity to move around?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

As a nurse for Northern Health, you have tons of opportunity to move around different departments in nursing. In fact, many of our community hospitals have combination units, such as ER and ICU. Many of our nurses are also cross-trained into multiple departments, so you are further expanding your scope.

Sara W.:

Hi and thanks for hosting the event today. Does Northern Health have such a thing as an ‘ideal candidate?’ Could you tell us about that, if the answer is yes? Thanks!

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

I don’t think there really is such a thing as each position is unique. There are certainly some common traits we like to see such as again, the sense of community and self-starters but also those that love the outdoors tend to be the best fit long-term.

Bert:

I’ve seen some amazing landscape in your photos and videos. What’s working in that environment really like?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Many of the posted photos are from my trips out to the communities I recruit for. Staff always comment on how much they love the view from the hospital or their home.

Last week I was just up at the 5th largest glacier in North America and the Lab Staff from the Stewart Healthcare Centre were going there on their lunch hour! Also, having a view of the ocean from the hospital in Prince Rupert, Masset and Queen Charlotte is amazing. Kayak after work? Yes please!

Elias (TalentEgg):

That’s all the time we have for questions today. Thanks for participating in Office Hours! And of course, a big thank-you to the Northern Health team as well for answering all these questions! Do you have any final comments?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Thanks to everyone for coming out! I love connecting with students and new grads! Please keep an eye on our website at careers.northernhealth.ca.

Katie:

Thanks Northern Health!

Dave:

Thank you! Great chat.

Alline:

Thanks!

Andrew:

Thank you!

Roberta:

Thanks TE & NH.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

You’re welcome!

Elias (TalentEgg):

Egg-cellent! To learn more about Northern Health, check out their profile on TalentEgg and be sure to follow them on Twitter (@Northern_Health) for insider info.

Thanks again for joining us today, TalentEgg-ers! Keep your eyes on our Twitter (@TalentEgg) and Facebook (facebook.com/TalentEgg) for upcoming Office Hours events!

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