Office Hours: Looking Ahead With The Northern Health Team

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Did you catch Office Hours with Northern Health on November 12th? We joined Northern Health’s Ashley Ellerbeck for a 1-hour live chat with TalentEgg-ers like you!

Office Hours is your chance to connect with career experts and recruiters from top employers, ask your career questions and get insider insight.

Ashley answered a lot of questions about Northern Health during the 1 hour event. Didn’t have a chance to attend? Check out the 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 Northern Health’s Ashley Ellerbeck and get insider insight into career opportunities at Northern Health!

Elias (TalentEgg):

You can start submitting your questions now.

A number of you signed up and submitted questions in advance – that’s great!

Today, Ashley is going to address a number of live questions, as well as several questions that were submitted in advance, so we’ll cover a lot of ground in the next hour.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Let’s meet Ashley!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

You bet!

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

I have been recruiting for Northern Health for almost 4 years and have lived in Northern BC for about 7 years now. Loving every minute of it!

Elias (TalentEgg):

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

Elias (TalentEgg):

David, a University of Saskatoon graduate, asks:

I’m hoping to work with students and teens as an Addictions Counsellor, are there opportunities in this area at Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Yes! In our smaller communities, our Mental Health and Addictions Clinicians tend to work with a variety of clients from children to the elderly

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

In our largest center, Prince George, we have specific Adolescent Psych Units that work specifically with youth. This is a great place to start out a career in MH and A.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Let’s hear from another student who submitted a question in advance:

Elias (TalentEgg):

Victoria, a student in the University of Ottawa’s Public Administration program, asks:

Do you have human resource and administrative positions within Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Yes! Hundreds actually! Northern Health has almost 7000 employees as one of the largest employers in Northern BC.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We have Human Resource positions in all areas such as Labor Relations, Payroll, Staffing Services, Employee Services, Recruitment, Oganizational Development and Engagement, the list goes on! Tons of opportunity there.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Kate, a Biology student from McGill University, asks:

How would you describe the qualities that make Northern Health truly unique?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Oh wow, BIG question!

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

I would have to say that our amazing environment and affordable, active lifestyle really sets up apart.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

As a company, I think having the opportunity to work to your full scope in a supportive, community environment is quite unique as well.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

You really have the opportunity to expand your skills and be an individual up here in and outside of work.

Mariel B.:

How does the team decides where to place someone? How do you make sure the community is the rightfit?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Easy! Call me!

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

This is the best part of my job. I LOVE speaking with candidates about where they can go with Northern Health. So much depends on what you are looking for professionally but also, what you want in your life outside of work.

For example, I love asking people would they love to do. Do you like to hike? Ski? Kayak? Do you want to take up a new outdoor activity? Are you looking to invest in real estate? Live by the ocean? In the mountains? We literally have something for everyone here.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

The right fit is so important for you and us as an employer so we really spend the time to make sure you are making the best move for you.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Remember, you can learn more about career opportunities and workplace culture at Northern Health by visiting their TalentEgg profile: http://talentegg.ca/employer/northern-health/

AReena:

How do I join in recruitment sessions or informational events by Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We attend more than 20 events each year across the country so you have lots of opportunities to come see us.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We also LOVE speaking with candidatse so feel free to contact us directly if you would like to speak with a Recruiter directly.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Most schools or associations post which employers will be attending their events ahead of time as well so watch the websites for that 🙂

Jennie:

Hi! Can you tell us about the different fields of healthcare practice that come together at Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Absolutely.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We are currently going through a transformation into a Primary Healthcare Model which will drastically enhance the multi-disciplinary teams that will be working together to provide the best cohesive healthcare possible.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

For example, we will have teams that include Dr.s, nurses, physio and occupational therapists, activity workers, pharmacists, all working together with a patient.

Pawem, Nursing grad:

Are multi-language skills a bonus when applying to Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Certainly! We have a very diverse population in Northern BC and we see patients that speak a variety of languages. Anything that increases the line of communication between care giver and patient is an absolute asset.

Joy Orande:

Hi! what do you look for in a person when you’re recruiting?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Enthusiasm!

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

As a Recruiter, I love to speak with people that have done a bit of homework. If you know a bit about our region and approach the booth with more targeted questions, that’s great!

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

It shows an interest in our communities and our unique population which we love to see.

Graham Sykes:

Thanks for doing this Ashley! I wanted to ask what YOU love most about living there. I live in Ottawa and have never really considered living outside of a major city before.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Personally, I love the people. That is what really set northern BC apart for me.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

This is also feedback that I get from new recruits often. They say, “wow! I just got here and already feel at home!”

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

In addition to the super friendly, welcoming environment, the affordable lifestyle is something I have thoroughly enjoyed. I was able to get my masters and work full time all while still being able to have a healthy, active lifestyle. That’s tough in the city!

Elias (TalentEgg):

Go behind the scenes with this great video featuring the Northern Health team! Watch it here: http://talentegg.ca/incubator/2013/12/05/scenes-career-northern-health/

Elias (TalentEgg):

Dave, a neuroscience graduate from Dalhousie University, asks:

What does Northern Health do to ensure new healthcare professionals get up to speed?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Whether you are a Physiotherapist, a Nurse or someone just getting their feet wet in HR, we have orientation and training schedules set up for you to get you up to speed.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We also have lots of training on Cultural Compentency and other professional development and mentorship opportunities to help you feel comfortable and supported.

Naureen:

Are there many positions for community health nurses at Northern Health and within multi-disciplinary teams?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Great question! Again, with our transformation into a Primary Healthcare Model, our home care nurses will play a very important role.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Peoli, a Biomedical Engineering Technology graduate from Centennial College, asks:

What kind of extra-curricular experience or volunteer involvement would stand out to you most?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Anything at the community level is great to see. Our healthcare professionals become integral members of each of our communities so showing that you are interested in being a part of that is wonderful.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Jane is studying Medicine at the University of Toronto, and asks:

What’s the long-term career potential like at Northern Health? How would I build on my skills?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Great! We have many managers in their late 20s, early 30s that have shown amazing potential and Northern Health supports their development all the way.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Anyone who shows iniative here can expect mentorship and development as well as encouragement to get to where they want to be. We love developing our leaders from within and do whatever we can to support those that want to move into leadership roles.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We have smaller staff teams so therefore, it is much easier to get ahead at a faster pace here. Also working in smaller communities, your resume looks great when applying anywhere else as they know that you have seen and done it all!

Lori:

Hi Ashley! What’s a skill you think more healthcare practitioners need to develop for professional success?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Definitely good communication skills. When working wtih patients in healthcare, good communication is absolutely key.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

In our smaller communities in particular, you will be working closely with patients over time as well as in the inter-disciplinary teams so building strong relationships on both fronts is very important.

Darine:

Are there special application or hiring dates for different roles?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Nope! We hire for all positions all year around. Watch our website for the jobs you are looking for to see the latest openings.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

It’s also a great practice to check weekly as well as some of our positions are only posted for 7 days so keep your eyes peeled for your dream job 🙂

Elias (TalentEgg):

We connected with two Northern Health employees and asked them about their experience relocating for work. They’re thrilled with the transition they made: http://talentegg.ca/incubator/2014/09/28/started-stories-northern-health-team/

Elias (TalentEgg):

Diane is a Biology graduate from St. Francis Xavier University, who asks:

Are there preferred educational backgrounds for jobs at Northern Health? Thanks!

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Good question! We certainly have more areas of healthcare that are in higher demand than others.

The short list would have to be Ultrasound Techs, Physiotherapists, Nurse Practitioners and other Specialty Trained Nurses such as OR, ER, and Maternity.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Ramir is a graduate from the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Public Health, and asks:

I’ve seen some of your videos and I think the Northern Health environment is really beautiful! How can I tell if I’d be a good fit (before applying) there?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Easy! Call me! I LOVE talking about northern living and how awesome it is. It is so hard to capture on video and all depends on what you are looking for. Again, feel free to contact any Northern Health Recruiter to see which area of this beautiful region is the best fit for you.

Courtney:

Does NH place a lot of emphasis on keeping up with the latest technology in their facilities?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Yes we certainly do! All healthcare authorities can struggle with funding for new technology but Northern Health has tons of new equipment arriving every year.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We also have a wonderful healthcare foundation called Spirit of the North that raises funds for new equipment with much of their funding coming from our caring staff.

__Wendie:

Ashley, do you take part in any hiring interviews, any tips there?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

As a Recruiter without a clinical background, I rarely sit in on interviews myself but the feedback from managers is generally around preparation.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

The people perform the strongest tend to have prepared for the interview with both clinical knowledge and examples of when they were able to perform difficult tasks (behavioral interview questions are key!)

Jason M.:

Where do you see the most need, staff wise , in the upcoming years?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Again, we anticipate our shortages to be Ultrasound Techs, Physiotherapists, Specialty Trained Nurses and Nurse Practitioners. Do you know any? Send them my way!

Elias (TalentEgg):

Want more Office Hours insight from Northern Health? You can find transcripts of all of our Office Hours chats on their TalentEgg profile: http://talentegg.ca/employer/northern-health/

Tanya is a Nursing graduate from York University, who asks:

Can you tell me what a typical day as a Nurse Practitioner at Northern Health would be like?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

It really varies depending on which community you live in.

I think the best thing to do with that great question is to connect you with one of our Nurse Practitioners and you can chat with them.

I think it’s best to speak directly with those in the profession to get the best idea of what their work day is like.

I spoke with one Nurse Practitioner that was about to board a float plane into a remote First Nations community to offer care. What a cool career!

Elias (TalentEgg):

Anthony is a Nutrition graduate from the University of Manitoba, who asks:

I value teamwork as part of a multi-skill healthcare team, what are Northern Health teams like?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

LOVE to hear this! I can’t say enough of our amazing Primary Healthcare Model and how important teamwork is going to be with that transition.

We will be looking specifically for candidates that excel in working in teams so this is great to hear that you thrive in this environment. Keep that in mind for the interviews as well, hint, hint. 😉

Asra P.:

What factors should you consider when choosing a healthcare location/employer?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Your own values. Hands down.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

If you value cutting edge research and big city environments, Northern Health might not be the best option for you.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

However, if you value community, teamwork, active outdoor lifestyle and personal development and support, this is the place you should be.

Liam O.:

Thanks for your time today. Do you offer a relocation package with every position?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Unfortunately, not with every position. Relocation is determined on a case by case basis and depends on the position and community.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

The current occupations that are receiving relocation right now are Ultrasound Techs, Physiotherapists, experienced Specialty Trained Nurses and Nurse Practioners. However, if you are moving to a very remote community, you may also be eligible.

Elias (TalentEgg):

This seems like a great time for our poll!

What would you like to learn from Northern Health today?
• How I can stand out as an applicant ( 50% )
• More about the BC lifestyle ( 25% )
• More about the work environment ( 25% )

Utu:

It sounds like personal fit is a big factor, would you say that’s important at NH in a big way?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Absolutely. We love happy employees and do our best to support them to find their best career move. That goes for people coming into the organization as well as those moving from within.

Right fit is so important both inside and outside of work. We want to make sure that you get to do what you do best as much as possible as well as being able to do what you love the most outside of work.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Lucky we have so much to choose from in both those areas 🙂

Teresa:

Do you have a lot of staff from big cities? Do they miss it?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Wow love this question!

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We actually do! For example, our two managers on Haida Gwaii, our most remote communities, are both from Vancouver and Toronto.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

I think there are some things they miss at times but they both LOVE their northern lifestyle now and we can barely drag them off the island 😛

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Also, most of our cities are a quick 1 hour flight to Vancouver so you can visit the city whenever you like…that is if you want to go down and brag about your awesome life in northern BC 😛

jane:

You mentioned considering your own values earlier, are there shared values at Northern Health that really stand out?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Good question. I think a sense of community, providing personalized care and team work would be top contenders for sure.

Robert:

How could I learn more about communications careers and opportunities with Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We have a great communications department with a staff full of eager Gen Ys.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Again, if you ever want to speak with on of our members in Communications, I would love to connect you with them so please feel free to contact me directly and I can set it up for you.

Kady:

How does working at Northern Health help you explore different areas of practice in health and healthcare? Thank you!

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Working on an inter-disciplinary team exposes you to a wide variety of professions which is a unique feature of a smaller health authority.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

For example, we have many Med Lab Techs that work along side Ultrasound Techs that decide to go back to school to become a UT. Or we have many nurses that start off in Med/Surg that decide to specialize after being exposed to large team of specialty trained nurses.

Britt:

Does Prince George have a vibrant culture? Aside from outdoors-y things, what else is there to do?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Absolutely. Prince George has a great Farmers Market, Symphony, TONS of sports clubs, a life Theatre group, great concerts (we had Elton John up here! WHAT!) and other awesome places to go and areas to see.

Clark:

Thanks Ashley! When do you typically do most of your hiring?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

We hire year all year but definitely have our ears to the ground in the Spring when new grads are getting ready to apply. Also, we offer work to Rehab professionals for example in the interim period when they are waiting for the official registration.

That generally happens in the fall. But can give them a month or two of extra work before they officially graduate.

UofTgrad:

Thanks for this chat today. From your work connecting with Gen Y hires, are there any common misunderstandings you find they have about Northern Health?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

I would say the biggest thing that people assume about northern living is that we are waaaaay out in the boonies. We actually have some of the most well serviced communities that provide them with all the services they need.

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Our weather is also a big misconception. Many of our communities don’t even get snow in the winter! Most of our communities get a full four season experience but being close to the coast, our northern environment is much milder than most people expect.

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 Ashley as well for answering all these questions! Do you have any final comments?

Ashley Ellerbeck, Recruiter:

Just a big warm “thank you!” to everyone who participated today. I love connecting with new grads and totally appreciate the opportunity to tell you all about the wonderful place I live and the great company I work for.

Elias (TalentEgg):

Egg-cellent! To learn more about Northern Health, check out their TalentEgg profile (http://talentegg.ca/employer/northern-health/) and be sure to follow them on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Northern_Health).

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!

Clark:

Really appreciate it! Thanks.

Melody:

Can’t wait to find myself up north! Thanks Ashley!

Guest:

Thanks!!!

Guest:

This was really informative.

Guest:

You’re awesome, thanks Ashley!

Guest :

Thanks TalentEgg, thanks Northern Health!!!

Joy Orande:

Thanks for the valuable advice!

See the latest opportunities with Northern Health here!

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