Simon Hatcher writes…
Recently, I was again reminded of the benefits of long-term client relationships when Jobs Statewide won a major new government employment services contract to open 17 new offices in two states over the next few months.
I first started working with Jobs Statewide in late 2007 when they asked for my help with managing a potential issue. I provided some advice and helped them prepare should the issue arise.
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.
Luckily, the issue didn’t arise but unbeknown to me this early advice would lead to a now eight year working relationship.
In 2008, I started helping Jobs Statewide and its commercial recruitment and training company Excel to build its profile and engage with the community and other stakeholders more effectively.
Unfortunately, we didn’t know that less than a year later Jobs Statewide would be facing a much bigger issue when the government re-tendered the government employment services contracts under a new system called Jobs Services Australia.
Jobs Statewide lost almost all of its contract and had to reduce its offices from 11 down to two within a couple of months and make a large number of people redundant. This despite being one of the highest performing providers in Australia and helping more than 41,000 people into work.
If you can keep your head when all about you
It was then I learned of the determination and resilience of Jobs Statewide Chief Executive Officer Wendy-Jayne Williams who had built the organisation from the ground up after walking through the door as a job seeker herself.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too
Rather than hiding in the shadows, we ramped up our communications and went out on the front foot with media and stakeholders, vowing to rebuild and remaining committed to local job seekers, employers and communities.
In her words, it’s about having self-belief. Belief that if we could build it once then we could build it again.
This approach gained the respect of government and coupled with Jobs Statewide’s ongoing high performance won them a contract extension and a new office just a year later.
I then started working with Jobs Statewide on tender submissions to fund new training programs, employment services and pilot programs to improve government funded employment services systems.
Jobs Statewide won nearly all the funding it applied for along with new contracts to provide disability employment services.
We engaged government by meeting regularly with the Minister and Department and prepared submissions to help refine Jobs Services Australia. All were positively received.
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting
Jobs Statewide bided their time, continued to proactively engage with stakeholders and focussed on maintaining its high performance and developing systems and programs to support job seekers and employers.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run
In October last year, the Federal Government released its new employment services tender and again we worked with Jobs Statewide on its submission.
Then after lodging in mid-November, four months of nervous waiting began before last week’s announcement of Jobs Statewide’s big win.
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it
Congratulations to the team at Jobs Statewide for not looking back and turning ‘Ifs into Actions’.