Future directions by Biggi Gosling, Alice Springs Town Council
Attracting new staff can prove difficult for councils in remote locations. In Alice Springs, where every capital city is a two-hour flight away, recruitment is a challenge for us at Alice Springs Town Council, but our Human Resources team does a good job of selling our unique and beautiful environment to potential new employees.
When I left my native Germany 25 years ago and holidayed in Australia, I ended up falling in love with the Outback and its people. After initially guiding German tour groups through the desert, I was given an opportunity to work in, and later manage, a jewellery store in Alice Springs. It was there, through my engagement in managing staff, that I discovered a passion in Human Resources.
When a vacancy at the Alice Springs Town Council arose, I applied and became a Human Resources Officer specialising in Recruitment and Training of staff. Studies in HR followed, providing a tertiary backing to practical experience. After nine years in the job I went on to become Manager of the Council’s HR team and continue to play a key role in recruitment.
When recruiting for Alice Springs, one has to remember that it’s not just the job role people may be interested in, but also the Northern Territory. Many of Alice Springs Town Council’s employees have joined the organisation from interstate, be it because they were after a lifestyle change or the desire to experience life in a remote community.
Knowing the selling points of the location is crucial. Alice Springs is sports mad and has been able to host many national and even international sports events, the latest event being two cricket matches for the Big Bash League in January this year, as well as AFL and Rugby matches. Council employs dedicated, specialised staff looking after the sports facilities ensuring Alice Springs presents itself at its best for the audience in town and on the television.
It is also essential to match people to the organisation. A lot of care is taken to employ people who are a good corporate and cultural fit – above their technical qualifications. We are like a family and want to make sure people who join us do so for the right reasons. Some of our employees have been with us for more than 30 years, a fact we are very proud of. I feel lucky to live and work in a town as amazing as Alice Springs, so I have no hesitation when speaking to prospective employees about the benefits and opportunities that are on offer here.