When searching for independent support workers on Mable for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind which will help steer the search in the right direction.
Being provided with choice is great, but it could also mean you’re not sure where to start, so we hope this article provides some suggestions to help you navigate the process. Inbuilt filters on the platform can also assist in narrowing the search to the most likely match.
In this article:
- Tips for viewing worker profiles
- ‘Meet and greet’ questions
- Considerations before your new support worker begins
Questions to ponder while viewing worker profiles
- What is the age of the person requiring support?
Is the person a child, teenager, young adult, mature adult, older person? Matching by age group can bring together people who are more likely to have things in common. It’s not always essential, but for some people it matters that they aren’t being supported by someone who is atypical in their life or who makes them stand out as being someone who requires support. For example a 22 year old male wanting to be accompanied to a pub to see a band would probably prefer support from someone around the same age as him.
Does it matter? Think about whether it’s a personal care role or an out-and-about in the community type role. Personal preference should come into play here.
- Personality type.
Does the person being supported prefer quiet, gentle, reserved people or big personality type people? Also, think about the role. Are you looking for someone who will help the person connect to others, therefore, they need to be confident and out-going themselves. Someone who’s quiet and bookish might be great as a travel companion but not great at supporting someone to barrack for their favourite footy team.
When is the person needed and are the workers being considered available on the required days and at the right times?
Tip: Workers don’t always keep their availability up to date on their profile so if someone looks promising, check their availability with them directly in case it has changed and not been updated.
Engaging people who don’t live too far away is also something to consider. It may sound okay for someone to say they are happy to drive for 40 or 50 mins to and from work, but over time this travelling can become a barrier to job satisfaction, given the vagaries of traffic and the ever increasing cost of petrol.
Next, contact the worker directly via Mable’s direct messaging function.
- About the person (optional)
- What, when, and where
Frequency of support, scheduling, estimated hours per week.
- What will the support worker be doing?
Services and supports
- Worker preference (optional)
The preferred qualities of the worker.
It is then possible to send a private message to the worker asking any relevant questions that haven’t been answered by the workers profile information and providing them with any additional information relevant to the job. Go back to the factors to be considered up front (above) and ask away!
Once you’ve selected a couple of workers that you think might be the right fit, you can then have a ‘meet and greet’ either virtual or face to face.
Some questions to ask at the initial ‘meet and greet’
- Tell me about yourself?
This encourages the worker to talk about themselves and their life and can provide insight into the person and their background.
- Are you working with other people at the moment?
This explores their availability, not personal details about the other people.
- Tell me a bit about your work history. What other types of work have you done?
This can uncover interesting information about other industries the person has worked in, their work experience, otherwise unidentified skills and interests.
- Now that you know a bit about this role, tell me what appeals to you about it?
Explores the type of support they are looking to provide and the type of job that attracts them.
- What particular personal attributes do you think you will bring to this role?
Allows them to talk about themselves a bit more and enables a bit more insight into the type of person they are.
- What skills and experience do you have that will assist you in supporting (insert the person’s name)? Identifies relevant skills and experiences. You could also have asked the worker to bring evidence of qualifications and training that they have undertaken that may be relevant to the support they are going to provide.
- What are your hobbies and interests?
Look for things in common.
- How would you support (insert name) to make decisions?
- Can you describe four simple meals you could assist the person to prepare and cook?
You would only ask this if it is a task that is required.
- Ask a couple of scenario questions that are relevant to the person being supported.
For example ‘what would you do if…..? If possible make it as close to real life as you can, as it can provide a good indication as to whether the worker can think on their feet and respond appropriately to something that might be unexpected or a bit of a challenge.
- Why are you the ideal person for this role and how would you make a positive difference in (insert name) life?
Exploring how the person is feeling about the role at this point and what they see themselves bringing to the person’s life.
- Confirm availability for required days and hours.
When can they start? Do they have any holidays or other commitments coming up?
What to think about before a new worker begins?
- Do they know where they are going for their first shift?
- Are they clear about their responsibility and what is required of them? (Is there a Position Description for the role?)
- Do they have enough information about the person to be supported in order to support them well?
- Are they clear about when they are working – days and times.
- Do they know the communication channels they are to use if other people are involved in the work relationship ie a parent or family member or friend?Do they have the contact details of anyone they might need to contact in the event of an emergency?
- Can a buddy shift be arranged? Is it necessary? Might more than one be needed?
- Should someone else be present in the first instance to help break the ice and get the support underway?
- Is there any training that is needed to assist the worker in their new role?