Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) works on major projects, some of which are high priority for the government. Employees could be involved in the biggest infrastructure project ever mounted in Australia. Or contribute to the future of broadcasting policy. Or explore ways to ensure that benefits of the digital economy are enjoyed by everyone. CareerHub Central spoke with Recruitment Assistant Manager Lauren Purcell to find out how DBCDE’s graduate recruitment program also helps to shape the way we communicate as a country.
To align the department with the significant list of projects for which it is responsible, many readers will recall how DBCDE underwent a high profile rebrand, including a name change, under the Rudd administration and now helps shape the country’s communications with policy development in relation to the National Broadband Network, the switchover to digital television, advancing community understanding of online security issues, improving communication services in regional, rural and remote Australia, and gathering public input to strengthen the quality of our national broadcasters.
With such an extensive and formidable remit, how does the department’s graduate recruitment function contribute at their level?
For starters, the department has formalised programs for university graduates, Year 12 graduates plus two indigenous entry level programs. DBCDE’s graduate recruitment program is available to all disciplines. The program does not restrict applications to certain areas of study and allows candidates to develop their own career path with generous support to graduates for training and development opportunities. As broad as the remit is for public projects is the scope for applicants to identify niches where they might make positive contributions.
Ask Lauren what comprises her role and she enthusiastically responds with a top-line summary of supervising the recruitment and learning and development teams which makes for an extremely multifaceted role! Dig deeper to find Lauren managing the department’s training calendar, completing training needs analyses and working with service providers to develop programs to meet the needs of department staff. She also designs the development program for DBCDE’s graduate groups. As an assistant manager, Lauren supervises the graduate coordinators who coordinate advertising campaigns, selection processes and the day to day management of the graduate groups. All adeptly done whilst also managing the day to day recruitment needs of the department.
Lauren enjoys the variety of her role who, on any day, could be rolling out a campaign, attending career fairs, coordinating the delivery of a training session, or recruiting a new senior executive. Some aspects of the work are reactive so managing issues which arise whilst achieving deadlines makes each day exciting.
DBCDE loves their graduate program and the quality staff it develops; there are no plans to decrease numbers in any of their programs
Turning our thoughts to the forthcoming year, we asked Lauren about the graduate recruitment plans afoot. DBCDE has commenced their selection process for the 2012 graduate group and, once offers are made, will quickly move into campaigning for the Year 12 graduate program for 2012 to which Lauren added, “It is a never ending cycle!”, and with four recruitment programs it is no wonder.
Like many graduate recruiters, DBCDE is learning to do more with less, with online media being the key to allowing them to achieve this. As the government tries to reform the way things are done DBCDE, like many of their federal counterparts, is turning to alternative and innovative avenues to effectively convey their graduate recruitment message adding, “We love using CareerHub Central as it gets our name out to all the universities quickly and effectively. In the current climate we will be focusing on online media as is it more cost effective and, let’s face it, everyone is online these days!” Lauren believes they are effective despite the restrictions imposed on most government recruiters when using online methods to their full potential. And, now looking forward with the GFC firmly in the background, Lauren is confident that the graduate industry will continue to grow as organisations like DBCDE have a need for future leaders.
Lauren Purcell has worked at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy for over four years in a variety of recruitment and learning and development roles. Of that, Lauren has managed the graduate program for three years, from campaign management through to making offers and coordinating the graduate year.